Metro Council votes to include 'Let's Move Nashville' transit pl - WSMV News 4

Metro Council votes to include 'Let's Move Nashville' transit plan to May 1 ballot

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Metro Council will decide Tuesday if Nashville residents can vote on the mayor's transit plan. (WSMV) Metro Council will decide Tuesday if Nashville residents can vote on the mayor's transit plan. (WSMV)

Nashvillians will get the chance to vote on Mayor Barry's "Let's Move Nashville" transit plan in May. 

Late Tuesday evening, Metro Council passed the bill, adding a referendum vote to the May 1 ballot. 

Mayor Megan Barry has been the champion of the plan since last year, but some are questioning if it might be in jeopardy after admitting to an affair with a Metro employee last week.

"Everybody understands the importance of it to our city. No matter what part of town you come from, there's always some type of gridlock in our city and that affects the quality of life," said Erica Gilmore, a Metro council member-at-large.

In the same meeting on Tuesday, Metro Council also created a committee to look into Barry's affair. 

The May vote will allow Nashvillians to decide how they want to pay for more buses, light rail and other transit services, which include higher sales tax, hotel/motel tax, business tax and rental car tax.

"We know that transit is not cheap because we've gotten such a late start on it," said Gilmore.

The council also approved an amendment to the bill, proposed by Councilman John Cooper, to change the language on the ballot to reflect the "true cost" of the plan, which he estimates is around $9 billion, a much larger figure than the original estimate of $5.4 billion.

In addition to the higher base cost, the amendment also mentions the annual operating and maintenance costs of $99.5 million that will come with the transit plan.

NoTax4Tracks is a local group against the Nashville transit plan and agrees with the proposed amendment's intent.

"We think that voters need to know the full cost of this plan," said NoTax4Tracks spokesperson Jeff Eller. "We hope that council will have the ballot language that captures the $9 billion cost of a light rail plan that we think doesn't do much to ease congestion and traffic."

For the full transit plan, click here, and to read the ordinance, click here

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