NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Eight city infrastructure investments have been chosen by Bordeaux and North Nashville residents as part of Metro's first-ever participatory budget program.
Residents submitted around 280 ideas on how to spend $2 million on infrastructure investments in the neighborhood. The ideas were then vetted and developed into formal proposals that went on a ballot.
Community members aged 14 and older were invited to participate in the vote. Ballots were cast online, by mail and in person for the top choices out of a list of 24 potential projects. Nearly 500 ballots were cast over an 11-day voting period.
After the community vote in December, a committee will work with the mayor and Metro Council to implement projects.
This is the first time in Metro history that community members will decide how to spend part of a public budget.
"Making Nashville a city that works for everyone starts with our neighborhoods," Mayor John Cooper said. "Nashville’s participatory budgeting initiative is one step we can take to invest in Bordeaux and North Nashville, and it’s made even more meaningful by the neighbors who brought their ideas, their voices, and their inspiration to this community-driven process."
The projects include:
- Bordeaux Gardens Park: A new pavilion, fencing and picnic tables; an upgraded playground with new equipment and rubber surfacing.
- 1490 Snell Boulevard
- Looby Community Center: An air conditioning for the gym.
- 2301 Rosa Parks Boulevard
- Bordeaux Hills neighborhood: Six sets of speed bumps to keep speeds between 15 and 20 mph.
- Hartman Park: Improved outdoor restroom facilities; a better playground with new equipment, rubber surfacing and ramps for better accessibility; landscape improvements.
- 2801 Tucker Road
- New signage to designate the Buchanan Arts District.
- Additional bus shelters.
"The park center and bus shelter improvements are a great first step toward improving quality of life in the community. I appreciate the Participatory Budgeting Steering Committee and volunteers for their great work in the process," said Metro Councilmember Jennifer Gamble, who represents District 3.
The proposals had to meet certain criteria:
- Self-sustaining for a certain period not requiring ongoing maintenance/labor/costs (no operating budget match required)
- Under $2 million
- Provide primary benefit for the public-at-large
- Provide a tangible, permanent benefit that allows for broad public access
- Design to accomplish goals and fulfill purpose without further funding past the initial investment
- Are capital infrastructure, capital improvement or durable projects
- $50,000 or higher and the lifespan of at least ten years
The funding comes from Mayor Cooper’s fiscal year 2021 capital spending plan. He renewed the program in his fiscal year 2022 spending plan and is looking for a new group of volunteers to lead the process. The mayor’s office chose these specific neighborhoods to reengage the community, placing a priority on historically Black colleges and universities and churches.