Nashville councilmembers will vote Tuesday night on whether $29.8 million should be used to reimburse the city for public safety salaries.
This plan would allow the city to save money on its budget for costs related to the ongoing response efforts, like testing centers, vaccine distribution and contact tracing.
“Without spending the funds this way, Metro would not have funds to continue to provide the necessary services related to the pandemic response,” Metro Deputy Finance Director Mary Jo Wiggins says. “This strategy also allows for funds to be available for those who need relief after Dec. 30, rather than using up all the funds prior to that date.”
But Councilmember Freddie O’Connell says Nashville should take a different approach and spend the money on housing and business relief, as the national eviction moratorium ends soon. “I want that $20 million in the pockets of vulnerable Nashvillians as quickly as possible,” O’Connell says.
The Metro Finance Department says money in the reserve could also be spent on Metro Nashville Public Schools and other community needs. So far, the city has spent $23.5 million of federal money on rent and mortgage relief, business relief and aid for MNPS.