Fairgrounds future bill to be delayed again

Monday, April 5, 2010 at 11:45pm

Councilman Eric Crafton’s bill to preserve the Tennessee State Fair will likely be deferred again, this time to accommodate a series of public meetings scheduled to discuss the future of the 117-acre site.

The proposed ordinance, which will be heard on second reading by the Metro Council Tuesday night, would limit the future of the fairgrounds property to its current uses. In February, Crafton moved to defer the bill two months, a decision he said would give the council time to form a plan to save fairgrounds events like the Christmas Village and Nashville Lawn & Garden Show.

But since the deferral, Mayor Karl Dean created a new task force charged with leading public discussion on the future of the fairgrounds. Crafton told The City Paper on Monday he plans to defer the bill again and would only introduce it if the task force recommends closing the fairgrounds for good.

“I’m willing to give them a chance to use their task force and talk to people, but if it’s just going to be a rubber stamp to shut down the fairgrounds, then to me that’s not a reasonable solution,” Crafton said.

Dean’s task force will hold meetings on April 12, May 10, June 14 and July 12 at Wilson Hall, which is located on the fairgrounds site.

After the final meeting, Crafton said he should “have a feel for what they’re looking at doing,” and would know whether or not he plans to move forward with the legislation.

“This is a facility that provides $60 million worth of economic impact to this city, with no cost to the taxpayers,” Crafton said. “Somehow people have forgotten that fact.
With a little bit of work, it could be one of the premier venues we have.”

6 Comments on this post:

By: dustywood on 4/6/10 at 6:39

Keep the events at the fairground site. Too much stuff is directed to the expensive down town area. I think people would not mind entering their baked goods, animals, quilts, art, etc at the State Fair just for a ribbon. Do away with the very small checks that are mailed to the winners. A nice ribbon or certificate would be better. The cost of processing/ mailing the checks really adds to the cost. And what little amount you win, does not begin to cover the cost to make and bring your project to the fair. If I am not mistaken, the state has more than one state fair. There is one in East Tennessee, and one near Memphis. Maybe with the fixing up of 4th Ave South/ Nolensville Rd will make the area more attractive. Bid out the rides, and other events. Definately the lack of toilets makes the whole place a bit rough on the attendees.
We DO NOT need another commerical complex. By the way, I live fairly close to the fairgrounds.

By: 117_acres on 4/6/10 at 9:11

Once again Crafton does not have the votes to pass this ordinance and he will probably never have the votes. The reason why Crafton will not have the votes is because this proposed ordinance restricts the use of the land and if any other development is considered for the property it will have to be approved by the Metro Council anyway. Most of the other council members understand that this ordinance only creates another level of unneeded bureaucracy and that sometime in the near future Metro might want to sell the property to a private entity that will create jobs and utilize the entire 117 acres. Also, this gives Crafton more free publicity for his Juvenile Court campaign. Crafton does not represent the part of town the fairgrounds is located in and should consider helping out his own district which I believe the Bellevue Mall that has been empty for several years now is located in. Lastly, To Mr. Crafton, you know the task force is not going to recommend keeping the status quo on this property so go ahead an run your ordinance or pull it from being considered.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 4/6/10 at 9:42

agreed, 117.

By: concernedtaxpayer on 4/6/10 at 10:45

Metro will make the wrong decision to shut down the fairgrounds even though that is what Dean and his cronies want. The tax revenue will have to be made up elsewhere from other economic activity if the fairgrounds does close. If Metro wants, they can shut down the fairground and give the Wilson County fairgrounds all the business from the events. However, taxpayers will have to deal with footing the bill to pay the difference. However, why does it matter what events are held on the site and why close the site down? If the fairgrounds is not costing one penny to Davidson County taxpayers, then this should be a benefit for the amount of tax revenue brought in.

By: govskeptic on 4/6/10 at 4:29

Mayor Dean has the taxpayer's money to appoint this task
force and the accomping PR effort with most members coming from Green Hills and Belle Meade (as most of this type do) with his agenda prevaling. His Lordship knows how to get
around the concerns of those pesky councilmembers and
taxpayers that disagree.

By: Can Do on 4/6/10 at 6:00

I support Karl Dean and his vision for Nashville. I am tired of hearing Eric Crafton complain and take issue with the Mayor. Crafton is 100% politically motivated by every word that comes from his mouth. He is pandering to people's fear and against change.

I am pro-Nashville and think we have progressed greatly as a City over the last 15 years because of the excellent leadership we have had by the past three Mayors. I would like for Council members to remember that maintaining a great city and keeping it great costs money and that leaders sometimes have to have the courage to lead. We cannot continue to keep Nashville as livable and wonderful as it is without growth. New taxes come from more commerce and increased values of properties and businesses, not just increases.

I know no one likes to pay taxes, but every four or five years taxes must increase in order to keep up with inflation. City employees deserve raises, at least every other year, especially our public safety workers and teachers.

If we want Nashville to continue to be a great place to live, work and play, we have to be willing to pay for it.

Let's let politicians like Eric Crafton know that we don't agree with his negativity and his reactionary rhetoric. Let's put positive and smart people on the Metro Council and in the Juvenile Court Clerk position, people who want to solve problems, not just point at them and complain about them.