NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The proposal of putting on-street metered parking in private hands is working its way through Metro Council, but a prominent Nashville businessman believes the proposal is wrong for the city.
Steve Smith has a lot at stake because he owns several downtown honky tonks like Tootsies, Rippys, Honky Tonk Central and is a part owner of Kid Rock’s bar.
Smith is concerned an outside company would not have Nashville’s interest at heart.
While Smith is not looking to get into the parking business, he believes local is better.
“I think if you bid this out and you’re gonna give the farm away, give it away to some local people and get local business people together,” said Smith. “I heard the bid is $35 million over 30 years, sounds like a good deal to me.”
Smith believes another concern on whoever takes over the parking meters will hold downtown businesses and patrons hostage.
“They are gonna charge you $50 for parking tickets. They will sue you for parking tickets if you don’t pay. They could up it and do what they want to do,” said Smith.
Metro Nashville wants to outsource all of its parking meters to an outside firm over a 30-year period.