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AMP, Mass Transit Funding Mistakenly Left Out Of Metro Budget

AMP, Mass Transit Funding Mistakenly Left Out Of Metro Budget

CREATED Jun 10, 2014
by Todd Walker

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A paperwork mistake came under heavy criticism from Metro Council members, Tuesday night, after the MTA said it forgot to ask for funding for the AMP project in the city's annual wish list.

More than $51 million had to be put back in at the last minute before council members approved the Capital Improvement Budget for next year.

Because of that mistake, the money may not even be for the AMP anymore.

If approved, it would be for mass transit in Davidson County in general, not necessarily for the AMP.

That came after an amendment from Councilman At-Large Tim Garrett stripping the words "east-west connector" from the bill.

Garrett said he hoped council members would feel more comfortable voting for the bill with that kind of language.

Some members were still not convinced and unhappy with the last minute change.

"Whether you're for or against this," said Councilman Duane Dominy. "This looks bad. It looks like something is being done that's inappropriate. I'm not suggesting it is I'm just telling you it looks bad."

Councilwoman Erica Gilmore represents a district which would have the AMP project running through it.

"I had concerns about where it is, but never the less I believe in giving bills and amendments opportunities to go forth."

Council members approved the amendment and the Capital Improvement Budget for 2015.

This does not immediately allocate the $51 million for the AMP or other transit projects.

It just makes sure it can be available in the future.

Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors said if it's not on the wish list it can't be considered later.

Any money for the project would have to be approved by council at a later date.

MTA said it takes full responsibility for the mistake, saying it was an oversight during a change in management.

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