Council Members Question Flood Prevention Plan

Posted at 10:29 PM, May 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-30 13:58:41-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn - Everyone can agree the 2010 flood is something Nashvillians never want to experience again.

If there is another "1,000 year flood" Mayor Karl Dean wants downtown Nashville to be spared.

According to a proposal first rolled out in February, it would take a $100 million flood prevention system to do it.

Monday, Metro Council members got their first chance to grill the director of Metro Water Service, Scott Potter, about the details of the project.

Potter said downtown Nashville suffered $2 billion in damage during the 2010 flood.

"If it happened again the expense would be even greater," he said.

There are already some skeptics on the council, mainly because the project only protects downtown.

Everyone else who was flooded before would be flooded again, but everyone in Davidson County would pay for the project through their water bills.

"[Downtown residents] are some of the wealthiest people in Nashville," said Council Member Carter Todd. "They are getting a huge windfall when we build this wall for them. It seems like we should capture some of those savings and apply it back to this project."

Potter said the flood protection system would include a flood wall along First Avenue, a pumping station and installing valves on underground sewer and drainage lines.

The project would be paid through bonds, so the $100 million would be broken up over the years $8 million at a time.

Because of that, Potter said rates should not go up.