By RACHAEL LONG
It’s no secret that the City of Brentwood is a desirable place to live. Between its parks, green space and low property taxes, people flock to the Middle Tennessee city.
The city’s population has grown steadily over its 50-year history, and according to the Brentwood 2030 Plan, there is room yet to grow.
Along with its many bright spots, the city faces challenges, such as traffic congestion and strains on its infrastructure. To address these challenges proactively and in a fiscally responsible manner, city staff is already looking ahead to improvements for the next six years.
At a Monday meeting of the City Commission, City Manager Kirk Bednar submitted to commissioners the proposed FY 2020-2025 Capital Improvements Program (CIP).
The program identifies areas where improvements, upgrades or expansions are needed for city growth. It calls for the investment of $154,500,000 in city, state and federal funds to address the following areas: transportation, facilities and equipment, utilities, technology, parks and recreation and storm drainage.
The CIP plan is now considered a draft, and it covers the six-year period between FY 2020 and FY 2025.
Of those areas, the largest investment — 43.6 percent of the total funds — is targeted for transportation. Among several items to be addressed are the widening of Sunset Road from Ragsdale Road to Concord Road, construction on the McEwen Drive extension east of Wilson Pike through the Taramore subdivision and the planned widening of Ragsdale Road from the Glenellen subdivision west to Split Log Road.
The single largest transportation item in the six-year plan is projected to be the completion of widening improvements to Franklin Road South to five lanes from Concord Road to south of Moore’s Lane.
About 19 percent — or $29.25 million — of the $154.5 million program is dependent upon utilization of inter-governmental revenues (state, federal, and county). This amount is targeted mostly to the completion of improvements to Franklin Road, annual street repaving and the Police Headquarters project.
Several other projects for technology, equipment, and parks and recreation are also part of the improvements program. The full CIP draft can be found here.
While the proposal was submitted Monday night, a lengthy and public process awaits the CIP Program before it can be adopted by the Board of Commissioners. Even once it is approved by the Board, the plan is considered a “living document,” subject to change during annual updates. Only the first year of the proposal is fully committed as part of the FY 2020 budget.
In other words, projects can be added, deleted or changed in future updates to the plan.
A work session of City Commissioners to review each item of the CIP plan is scheduled for April 2 at 4 p.m. at City Hall. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.
After the initial work session, the CIP will be circulated in the community for comments and citizen review.
Three formal, public hearings will be held at City Commission meetings on the following dates: May 28, June 10 and June 25.
At the last meeting, a resolution to adopt the CIP will be presented to the Board of Commissioners. The annual budget is also scheduled for adoption on June 25, according to the city’s website.
City staff noted in a March 25 memo that the City Commission’s consideration and approval of the CIP program “represents one of the most important actions taken by the Board each year.”