Thursday, December 02, 2010

Copy of Megan Barry's new ordinance to legislate the Mayor's revised plan to keep State Fair going one more year, demolish racetrack

I just received a copy of the new ordinance to be introduced to replace Mayor Dean's plan to exile Fairgrounds flea marketers to Hickory Hollow:

ORDINANCE NO. ______________


An ordinance amending Chapter 2.78 of the Metropolitan Code to require the Board of Fair Commissioners of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County to hold a state fair on the fairgrounds property in 2011, to continue operating the expo center at the fairgrounds until a suitable relocation site has been identified, and to oversee the demolition of the existing racetrack facilities for use as a public park.


WHEREAS, Chapter 6 of Article 11 of the Charter for the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County provides for a Board of Fair Commissioners (“Fair Board”) to exercise all the powers and perform all the duties imposed on the Fair Board by Chapter 490 of the Acts of Tennessee for 1909 and Chapter 515 of the Private Acts of 2923; and

WHEREAS, the private acts referenced in Section 11.062 of the Metropolitan Charter provide that the Fair Board was established for the purpose of maintaining and operating a fair for the people of Davidson County; and

WHEREAS, section 11.602 of the Metropolitan Charter provides that the Board of Fair Commissioners shall perform such other duties as may be imposed upon the board by ordinance; and

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Council has determined that it is in the best interest of the Metropolitan Government that a state fair be held on the fairgrounds property in 2011, and that the expo center functions traditionally held at the fair grounds should continue until another location is identified.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:

Section 1.      Title 2 of the Metropolitan Code is hereby amended by adding the following new Chapter 2.78:

Chapter 2.78 BOARD OF FAIR COMMISSIONERS

2.78.010       Additional duties.

In addition to the duties provided in Section 11.601 of the Charter of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, the Board of Fair Commissioners (hereinafter “Fair Board”) shall have the following duties and responsibilities:

A. The Fair Board shall negotiate with the Tennessee State Fair Association to hold a fair in 2011 to be called “The Tennessee State Fair” on the existing 117-acre Tennessee State Fairgrounds site located in Council District 17.  Any agreement negotiated between the Fair Board and the Tennessee State Fair Association shall provide that the Metropolitan Government shall not be liable for any financial losses associated with the operation of the State Fair. 


B. The Fair Board shall continue to operate the expo center and related facilities on the Tennessee State Fairgrounds property at such times and in such ways as to not interfere with the operation of the Tennessee State Fair until another suitable location for these activities has been identified and approved by a resolution of the Metropolitan Council receiving twenty-one (21) affirmative votes. 

C.  The Fair Board shall oversee the demolition of the existing racetrack, grandstands, and associated facilities on the Tennessee State Fairgrounds property.  Once the racetrack, grandstands, and associated facilities have been demolished and the site has been cleared, the Fair Board shall transfer control of this area, as well as the floodplain area along Brown’s Creek, to the Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation for the development and operation of a public park.  


Section 2.      It is the intent of the Metropolitan Council that the expo center functions held at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds property will operate on the revenues generated by such functions at no cost to the general government.  In the event the revenues generated at Tennessee State Fairgrounds property are insufficient for the operation and maintenance of the facilities, the Council intends to appropriate the necessary funds from the State Fair fund balance to cover any shortfall.


Section 3.      This ordinance shall take effect from and after its final passage, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.


APPROVED AS TO                                  INTRODUCED BY:
AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS:

Particularly troubling to me is that the bill writers put in an explicit prohibition against using the General Fund to pay for any overages in the Fairgrounds budget. The same rule should have applied to the building of the new convention center, but the council Dean Team was perfectly fine with exposing general government revenues to certain new construction overruns. These council members--Barry, Ronnie Steine, Rip Ryman, Sandra Moore, etc.--are pitching this action as pro-neighborhoods, even as neighborhood services are threatened by the much larger Music City Center.

I'll have more extended comments on this as I reread it, but take a look at it and as usual share your feedback below or via e-mail.

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