NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Nashville’s new mayor is saying “no thanks” to an incentive deal proposed by the Briley administration that would have relocated PSC Metals from the east bank of the Cumberland River.
PSC Metals, which is a scrapyard and recycling site, sits on a huge tract of land on the east bank of the river that has long been considered an eyesore for past mayors who would prefer something more upscale on the city’s riverfront.
The Nashville Business Journal is quoting sources as saying the Briley administration was working a deal with PSC. The city would help with relocation expenses and PSC could still own and redevelop its current 45-acre site.
Mayor John Cooper's office is backing away from the deal, telling News 4:
"We are not in an era where writing large checks without community input is the path forward.”
The area is represented by Councilmember Brett Withers. He confirmed to News4 that he was involved in preliminary discussions with Mayor David Briley's administration about a "potential land swap,” but said the idea never moved forward. Withers said he’s not sure of the exact date, but believes the conversations took place in 2019.
In 2017, News4 reported that former Mayor Megan Barry and Metro's COO Rich Riebeling were trying to work out a relocation package with the state's help.
This is the first time we're hearing that the Briley administration was sweetening the pot by not only helping with moving expenses, but allowing PSC to keep its present site.
Corporate incentives have been a hot topic in Nashville. Community distaste for giveaways helped get Cooper elected.
Briley, when he was running for re-election as mayor, defended his office’s use of incentives.
"You never really hear about the incentives where I've said no," Briley said earlier this year.