Sunday, September 01, 2013

How Karl Dean chooses to spend federal flood money has an impact our neighborhoods

Dean's bauble: the real reason for a ballpark announcement
The reason that a possible deal between Metro, the Sounds, and the state for a new Sulphur Dell ballpark was announced was to clear the way for this week's announcement of a new amphitheater and park at the former thermal site (effectively bumping the ballpark). I cannot prove that claim is true. But I would bet six ways to Sunday that it is.

Whether the Sounds were willing to make the move to North Capitol or whether Hizzoner simply played his hand out until the Sounds felt forced to acquiesce, we may never know. We do know that a lot of old Nashville wealth is behind flipping the thermal site to open space for outdoor orchestra concerts.

The Mayor will pay for this high-society playground in part by flipping flood relief funds to pay for a wall and a "promenade":

The mayor put the estimated cost of the project at between $30 and $40 million, but stressed that his administration is not seeking new funds. The Metro Council has approved about $35 million for riverfront redevelopment on the west bank as part of three previous capital spending plans. And last month, the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency approved the reallocation of $7.1 million in federal flood relief. The former flood aid will be put toward the construction of the flood wall along the promenade.

So, the rest of Nashville is no longer in need of federal flood damage relief? We cannot find any other projects around Nashville that might help the everyday lives of average people? What about these folks in Madison or BordeauxOr how about this guy?

"I've been battling this for two years at least. I feel like their (the city's) negligence caused this whole thing to happen," explained John Watts of Value Vet in Nashville.

The problem is a drainage ditch along the side of Watt's property along Gallatin Road. Every time it rains, he said the water isn't draining properly and causing the edge of his parking lot to slowly erode. Recently the problem got so bad his retaining wall collapsed.

"We would like to make improvements on this property and actually do some construction with the building. We're in a holding pattern, we can't get permits because of this issue, we can't expand because of this issue," he said.

In an effort to get the city to pay attention to the issue John had a sign made at a local print shop that reads "Mayor Dean, This is your mess!" with a black and white photo of Mayor Karl Dean in the center of the sign.

"I get lots of support from it, people come by and honk and are like ‘yay' they know the problem," John added.

The Mayor refuses to acknowledge the problem. He's got a promenade to erect.

However, there might be a problem for North Nashville neighborhoods if all of the federal flood funds are going to suit a stylish amphitheater. Sulphur Dell is an area historically prone to catastrophic floods. Even with the Army Corps of Engineers taking measures to mitigate flood damage in Nashville during the 2010 flood, the Sulphur Dell area flooded again. Has the Mayor figured any flood mitigation costs into a new ballpark? He failed in 2010 to consider the damage that could be caused by Richland Creek on the planned west police precinct and had to add expensive damage mitigation, which still looked flawed afterward. One would think that he learned a lesson and has committed money to flood mitigation for all capital projects that need it. But I have heard nothing to that effect.

For the sake of argument, let's assume that Mayor Dean has taken care of flood mitigation at Sulphur Dell. All of that displaced Cumberland River water will have to go somewhere. Sulphur Dell is now essentially floodplain that kept many of us from flood damage in 2010. Flood waters at that time crested within a block of our house. If we have a future flood with a new ballpark and there are plans to push waters away from Sulphur Dell, whose homes will be inundated in Germantown, Salemtown, Buena Vista and Hope Gardens where they were not in 2010? Given that there is a daisy chain of flood events that results from displacing water in flood mitigation, has Karl Dean any secondary plans to protect our neighborhoods, businesses and homes from damage if a ballpark is built near us?

On this the 8th anniversary of Katrina flooding in New Orleans (which captured our attention at the time), I wonder whether the millions of dollars in federal flood aid in Nashville might be spent to help many more people beyond the patrons of an amphitheater.

1 comment:

  1. Karl Dean is a doofus puppet that does exactly what his campaign contributing rich folks for his next election tell him to do. He is Fred Flintstone in a clown suit. Look how he dresses? Does this look like a man who is a real professional who really cares about all of the citizens in his city?

    When will the folks with money in this town who want pet projects ever realize that the majority of the people (the regular taxpaying people) just long for the basics in life. Basics like being able to sleep at night when it rains not fearing that your home or business is flooding.

    Our city council is made up of many average people, but they are believe that maybe for a brief time they are considered as a part of the elite group and help the rich folks so as to be included. Behind the scenes, the rich folk and the mayor are grinning from ear to ear at how easy it is to fool these elected officials who they will dump as soon as they don't need them anymore.

    Our council members can put a stop to some of this, if they just would. After all it is our tax money and our flood relief money that is paying for these crappy little projects that most cannot afford to attend. Council members, do your job and put that money toward helping your constituents before entertaining the few. If they build the ballpark at Sulpher Dell and it floods, I hope Jerry Maynard doesn't think that Karl will be there helping him out to clean up the place. The North Nashville delegation should work as hard as they can to protect their part of town instead of taking the scraps that the mayor throws out. They need to be fighting the AMP on West End and working for transportation to jobs. Just how many people do you think can work at the ballpark from May to October?

    Your mayor is fooling you and will soon be fooling you again whenhe runs for governor or senator. Wonder how many council members think Dean is going to give them a job that they are not qualified for if he wins another election?