On Monday, Gov. Bill Lee announced his administration would be distributing $200 million in grants across the state as a means to help cities endure the economic blow brought on by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Of that $200 million, roughly $2.3 million will be awarded to the Williamson County government, and another $4.3 million will be distributed amongst all Williamson County municipalities based on population.
The breakdown of funds are as follows:
Williamson County: $2,297,010
Spring Hill: $945,047
Thompson Station: $164,927
For the most part, city leaders have eyed infrastructure needs such as roads as the likely use for the grant funds.
In Spring Hill, talks of entering the 2021 fiscal year with a “bare bones budget” were strong during the city’s first ever virtual Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting on Monday.
Speaking with the Home Page on Tuesday, Spring Hill Mayor Rick Graham said the city had been heavily considering using the $945,000 in grant funds towards road projects, but that a portion could also be used to help fill holes brought on by the recent economic slump.
“Next year's budget is going to be a bare bones start off budget - we've got to assume we're going to be looking at probably 30, 40 percent sales tax reduction,” Graham said. “But the beauty is, we get to amend the budget through the year, so if we start off with a very bare bones budget plus a few projects, we can change it as the year goes. But we got to start with a bare bones [budget], plus the commitments we already have.”
In Franklin, communications director Milissa Reierson said city leaders were looking at the best way to use the funds, but that they didn’t yet “have a specific response of what [they’re] going to do with the grant.” The Tennessean, however, reported that Franklin Mayor Ken Moore would “most likely use the money to help fund the city’s many infrastructure needs.”
Brentwood community relations director Deanna Lambert said the city had “made no final decisions yet,” but that leaders were “looking at [funds] being directed towards road and maintenance related projects.”
Nolensville Mayor Jimmy Alexander on the other hand said it was too early to tell where the grant funds would be directed towards.
“I don't want to get ahead of ourselves,” Alexander wrote. “We won't make an application until the end of the month. We will at that time discuss how to spend the money. There are multiple ways we can make use of the funds.”
Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson as of Wednesday did not respond for a request to comment.