Proposed projects in Metro expected to cost billions - WSMV News 4

Proposed projects in Metro expected to cost billions

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The proposed $5.2 billion mass transit plan would include an overhaul of the Metro bus system. (WSMV) The proposed $5.2 billion mass transit plan would include an overhaul of the Metro bus system. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A push for several major projects could make the "It city" flashier than it's ever been before, but at what cost?

Tennessee tourism is at an all-time high, and Nashville is no longer just about country music. Visitors come for sports, food and the high-rise views.

“The city is thriving. The best way to make it stop thriving is by spending more money than we don't have,” said Mark Cunningham with the Beacon Center of Tennessee.

The Beacon Center scrutinizes government spending.

Cunningham said more can be done by fighting tax hikes, something that comes with the plethora of projects planned for the next few years.

If Metro moves ahead with a proposed soccer stadium, it's expected to cost around $250 million. The Nashville International Airport has announced a $1 billion expansion. And a mass transit plan, if approved, would cost $5.2 billion.

Those three projects total $6.5 billion.

“I don't think people truly understand the magnitude about what $6 billion dollar is in a city of 700,000 people,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham said the burden will fall both on those live here and those who visit.

“She’s (Mayor Megan Barry) raising taxes for everyone in Nashville down the road,” Cunningham said.

A hotel tax is a deal breaker for tourist Krisi Secrist.

“Just for a trip if we have a family one day, and we wanted to come, I think that would be a little much,” Secrist said.

Some projects are already done deals. The $5.2 billion transit plan is not.

“There is one way to say they are against it. They can vote,” Cunningham said.

The issue is expected to be on the ballot next May.

The Beacon Center is also pushing for the soccer stadium to go up for a vote. Metro Council said if that’s what citizens want, they will consider it.

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