Capital spending plan preview includes riverfront water park

Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 3:45pm

Mayor Karl Dean’s administration released a preview of the capital spending plan to be filed tomorrow, highlighted by $156 million for schools and $30 million for riverfront redevelopment.

It will be the first capital spending plan released by Dean. Last year he froze all new capital projects and then didn’t release a spending plan in the summer months, as previous Mayor Bill Purcell had done.

When the economy took a turn last year, it further delayed finalizing the plan and prompted Dean to start from scratch.

“It has been two years since the city has approved a capital spending plan, and this will be the first for my administration,” Dean said. “It is important, even during difficult economic times, for a city to invest in its infrastructure and facilities needed for our citizens. But given the current economic environment, it’s more important than ever for our investments to be made wisely and support our priorities and our community’s greatest needs.”

Riverfront redevelopment was a key focus of the projects released by Dean’s office. Included in riverfront projects will be a water Adventure Play Park, redeveloping the NABRICO building, an east bank river lawn, a new riverfront redevelopment district, the First and Broadway overlook, a city wharf and a pioneer walk on the west bank.

The Adventure Play Park was a sense of contention for District 6 Councilman Mike Jameson and East Nashville residents, who feared Dean might move the park to the second phase of redevelopment. Dean stuck with the original plan and kept the park in the first phase.

“I don’t think I’m overestimating the significance of this to say it was enormously important to folks on both sides of the river,” Jameson said. “The downtown neighborhood groups, as well as East Nashville neighborhood groups, and for that I’m grateful for the mayor’s decision.

“This is a decision that will have an impact for decades. An upgrade to the city’s riverfront has been something we needed for a long, long time and I think this is a historic moment.”

Of the $156 million provided for schools projects, $63 million will be for new projects with an emphasis on adding classrooms to replace portable buildings at elementary schools.

The capital spending plan will also include $30 million for public safety, featuring a new Metro Police DNA crime lab and a new west Davidson County police precinct.

Dean also committed $37 million for the Metro Transit Authority, including $22 million for infrastructure to develop a citywide Bus Rapid Transit system beginning on Gallatin Road.

The plan also includes $60 million for public works projects, including $6 million for new and improved bikelanes and sidewalks.

“Walk/Bike Nashville appreciates Mayor Dean’s clearly sincere commitment to making Nashville a more livable city through bicycle and pedestrian friendly initiatives,” said Freddie O’Connell, president of advocacy group Walk/Bike Nashville.

To view the capital spending plan preview, click on attachment below.


capital spending plan.pdf128.56 KB

13 Comments on this post:

By: JeffF on 5/7/09 at 2:16

I would like to see the plan broken down by district when that becomes available.

By: Kosh III on 5/8/09 at 6:02

Reading between the lines, it seems like funding has been approved for the purchase of a 380 acre farm in Neelys Bend which is adjacent to the current Peeler Park Greenway and would be become part of the Greenway making Peeler Park 637 acres in size and one of the larger parks in the city. Great!!!

By: Anna3 on 5/8/09 at 6:49

Let me get this straight.....Dean lays off a hundred Police Officers....East Nashville is currently riddled with Crack Houses....but we're going to build one hellua Water Park for you to take your family to....just to enjoy being robbed at gun point! Karl Dean is nuts!

By: idgaf on 5/8/09 at 7:03

Yes Anna he is nuts. I believe that other water park we own not all that far from there is a money loser just in operating expences not even counting building it.

By: yank283 on 5/8/09 at 10:01

Oh Anna3, there's so much more over here on the eastside. You should get out of your gated villa more often, hah. Way to go Mike Jameson and Karl Dean. This first step in the Riverfront development plan was badly needed.

By: Time for Truth on 5/8/09 at 10:01

I looked at the Water Park online and I liked it for a number of reasons. id, it is completely different than the one in Donelson, more of a park and less of an amusement facility. And it looks like a facility designed to be used by residents of the area, not another tourism welfare project.

The two big questions remaining are what to do about the metals dump, and are they really serious about "Fantasy Island".

The Phillips site will remain an eyesore even as a waterpark is built right next to it. The positive development of the riverfront cannot be fully realized without the site being converted to another use. IMO the best use would be a minor league ballpark but there are other options. The potential for a brownfield makes offices and residences a huge question mark, however.

"Fantasy Island" is the brainstorm someone came up with to create another channel in the Cumberland essentially isolating LP Field, the water park and , yes, the Phillips site from the rest of East Nashville. This is the only project that I can honestly say is even dumber than the Music City Center. The potential for opening cans of worms-erosion, pollution from Phillips, additional car traffic and potential for massive bottlenecks- is reason enough to say "no". Then factor in the huge expense. And what the Waterpark should be trying to accomplish, accessibility and walkability for the community, would be largely eliminated.

The Water Park online sites have one site with Fantasy Island still in place as phase two, on another most drawings have it gone. The Nabrico Building is another question mark. Apparently to the city hasn't figured out what to do with it yet as any mention of it is in generalities.

By: Time for Truth on 5/8/09 at 10:02

yank, way to go Mike Jameson for heading off Phase Two, aka "Fantasy Island".

By: airvols on 5/8/09 at 10:15

I like the redevelopment of the river area. We don't need more parks, what about livable area's like the waterfront in Baltimore. They even tied in the baseball park in that development.

By: Time for Truth on 5/8/09 at 10:33

airvols, if Phillips was available and found to be a brownfield it is likely that a costly cleanup would occur no matter what goes in there. However with the history of the site I think a three-hour stay at a ballgame would be an easier sell than living or working there. There are places just a little farther from the river that would be great locations for housing, retail and maybe even a hotel.

The Waterpark site is ill-suited for any brick and mortar development and I like the park, although the Metro site page showing it as a great place for a night time stroll is quite humorous.

By: yank283 on 5/8/09 at 12:48

Truth, I'm guessing PCS Metals (or whatever it's called now), get their marching/vacate orders within the next couple of months. I'm guessing they will give them 2 to 3 years to move though, unless they do decide to put a ballpark there. Then they might get rushed out a little sooner.

By: Alphadog7 on 5/8/09 at 12:55

The "Fantasy Island" phase includes tons of mixed use retail and residential waterfront development if I'm not mistaken.

The original Plan of Nashville calls for eliminating the interstate on that side of town as well.

By: Kosh III on 5/8/09 at 1:04

"although the Metro site page showing it as a great place for a night time stroll is quite humorous."

Why? If you feel unsafe just whip out your Uzi and fire away. :)

By: NewYorker1 on 5/8/09 at 3:28

I wouldn't let me kids play in this type of water park that is probably infested with all kinds of bacteria and diseases. What a waste of money.