Council puts brakes on bill to compensate car washes

Tuesday, August 3, 2010 at 8:30pm

The Metro Council deferred voting on a bill Tuesday night that would compensate operators of car washes and plant nurseries who lost business when they were forced to shut down for 30 days during May’s flood.

Instead, the plan is for car wash owners to meet with Mayor Karl Dean and his administration to discuss financial losses accrued by those businesses when they were ordered to temporarily shut down while one of Nashville’s water treatment plants was out of service.

“The car wash owners have expressed dismay that they’ve been unable to meet with the administration and talk with them about this issue and their concerns, and see if they can be addressed more expeditiously, and without a council ordinance,” said Councilwoman Emily Evans, one of the bill’s sponsors.

Evans said she would consider bringing the ordinance back before the council if the mayor’s office and car wash owners don’t work something out.

The bill, deferred on the second of three council readings, would offer financial aid to around 35 car washes and plant nurseries through credits on their water bills.

Under the proposal, no company would receive more than $30,000 in compensation. The plan would take approximately $200,000 out of Metro’s general fund.

Other items:

• The Metro Council pushed forward Dean’s plan to redirect a portion of revenue collected from the city’s hotel taxes to repair $20 million in flood-related damages to Gaylord Opryland’s Grand Ole Opry House.

The bill, which cleared the second of three votes last night, addresses a portion of the city’s hotel taxes the council had already earmarked for Gaylord in 2007, revenue collected through Gaylord’s tourism development zone.

Originally, the company was to use the tax collections for the expansion of its convention center, but the project is currently on hold. Under the proposal, tax revenue would be reallocated over the next 15 years to pay for repairs to the Opry House.

The ordinance is scheduled to go before the council on third and final reading on Aug. 17.

5 Comments on this post:

By: Dwilso31 on 8/3/10 at 7:45

This is about as stupid as it can get. I have been seven months now. Who is going to pay me for my lost income? Wasn't my fault people quit buying.

By: xhexx on 8/4/10 at 5:55

Why are we going to fund Gaylord for 15 years to repair the Opryhouse now? They should have bought sufficient flood insurance, especially given their proximity to the river. Besides, I thought the hotel tax was going to pay for the Mayor's mausoleum aka the convention center?

By: budlight on 8/4/10 at 8:46

Council has time to talk about a fricking Christmas tree and tables talk about the lives and livelihood of real feeling thinking living humans -- oh and I hope these people get voted out by those same people.

Shame on you city council. When the mayor shut down the water, news reports said they would help the shut down car washes.

By: on 8/4/10 at 11:41

This comes as no surprise. A government will hand out money to people that don't need or deserve it, and stick it to people who work hard to try to be productive. It happens every time.

By: budlight on 8/4/10 at 11:49

Need a free cell phone? No problem; gov-ment will pay for it.

Need the mayor to keep his promise to carwashes? oops! gotta re-think that one.