Supporters outnumbered detractors Tuesday night during a hearing in front of the Metro Council about a proposed flood protection system for downtown Nashville. But some tensions remain over the $100 million plan.
Most who spoke during the public hearing described downtown as the epicenter for commerce and jobs in Davidson County. Several echoed a news conference earlier this week that rallied behind Mayor Karl Dean’s embattled proposal. They shared stories of May 2010 flooding, which they worry will threaten again without protection.
Yet one supporter, business owner Barrett Hobbs, tapped into a lingering tension. He said flooding could affect his properties both near Opryland and in downtown Nashville, and he would prefer a flood protection plan for the entire county.
“I don’t think there’s a man or woman in this room that doesn’t have flood issues," he said. "I hate to see that it’s kind of downtown against other areas, especially when you’ve got businesses all over.”
Yet Barrett said something more has to be done. “It’s almost mandatory that we protect downtown and look forward for a more comprehensive plan.”
A third and final vote is still required for the capital projects, including the floodwall.