It was a familiar scene at the Metro Courthouse Tuesday night, as red-clad fairgrounds supporters turned out for a public hearing on Mayor Karl Dean’s proposed $1.8 billion budget.
Their numbers did not approach the unprecedented crowd that showed up for a hearing on the property’s fate in 2011, but members of the Save Our Fairgrounds group arrived Tuesday intent on reminding Metro Council members of that night as well as of a referendum on the century-old fairgrounds
…Proponents of the fairgrounds, a regular opponent of Dean after his botched attempt to develop the 117-acre site during his first term, teed off on the budget Tuesday for lacking a subsidy they see as showing commitment to the property.
“It will maintain itself if you just get it started and give it the little boost it needs,” said Jerry Cole of Madison, one of several citizens sporting red shirts reading “Save Our Fairgrounds.”
Fairgrounds Director Buck Dozier had requested a subsidy exceeding $700,000 for next year’s budget. But it was declined, just as a smaller request was last year. Other self-sustaining entities that generate their own revenue, the Nashville Farmers’ Market and Municipal Auditorium, also lack subsidies.
…Amid all the uncertainty about the future of the facility and the Fairgrounds in general, all the political maneuvers and all the ways in which the racing scene has diminished throughout Middle Tennessee, the speedway is as it always has been. It is a dynamic .596-mile oval that creates competitive, side-by-side racing and helps foster development in those drivers who hope one day to race on a larger stage….
The PUBLIC HEARING for the 2013-2014 Metro Budget will be held this coming
Tuesday, May 21st.
This will be our only chance to speak out in support of the Fairgrounds.
It is imperative that we have a large number of red shirted Fairgrounds
supporters on hand
SaveOurFairgrounds.com urges everyone to get out their red shirts and fill the
Council Chambers in support of the Fairgrounds.
Mayor Karl Dean and Metro Finance Director Rich Riebeling raised the curtain on a $1.8 billion budget proposal in a presentation to Metro Council members last night.
The proposed budget for 2013-14 is $100 million larger than the current budget, mostly accounted for by a $26 million funding increase for schools and $57 million in additional debt service payments. The largest portion would still go to Metro Nashville Public Schools, with their $746 million allotment making up 41 percent of the overall budget. Public safety would receive the second largest portion of the funds, at 22 percent,
There is no operating subsidy
* The Farmers’ Market lease payment is recommended for continued funding