NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Nashville Police Department's mounted patrol horses will soon be moved from their long-time home at Ellington Agricultural Center to a temporary location.
The state's horse barn, which offered a free lease to MNPD, is in need of repair. However, the city and department aren't willing to repair the roof which cost well into six figures to complete.
According to a MNPD spokesperson, the state also asked the department to pay rent of more than $170,000 per year for the building. The end of the lease is July 1 of this year.
The horses will be moved to a temporary location at Percy Warner. They'll stay there for about two years while a permanent solution is created by the city.
Metro Councilmember Courtney Johnston said she believes a site that could be developed is Peeler Park. Though, the MNPD spokesperson said there haven't been any plans finalized.
A new site would include a newly developed stable and potentially more land than the current six or so acre pasture for the horses.
Neighbors in the Crieve Hall area were saddened by the news. Many people in the area are accustomed to seeing the horses while driving or walking by the area.
"I do not want them to move the horses because I come here at least twice a year to get horse manure for my garden and my flowers," said Doris Driskill. "I'm so upset."
Driskill said she loved seeing the horses while walking her dog.
Johnston said she recognizes people are upset over the change, but ultimately the move will be better for the horses.
"It wasn't fiscally responsible to invest money into a building that we don't own," said Johnston. "There's not really enough acreage for the horses that we have anyway. The roof was just the tip of the iceberg as far as the needed repairs for this actual building."
She believes the horses could be moved from the facility within the next two weeks. There isn't a set time for the move, yet.