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VOL. 41 | NO. 37 | Friday, September 15, 2017

Metro launches hotline for rental complaints

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In an effort to address the negative impact some short-term rental properties have on residential neighborhoods, Mayor Megan Barry is announcing the launch of a hotline to catalog and respond to neighborhood complaints.

Operated by the nation’s leading experts in this field, Host Compliance, the Mayor’s Office states, the service is a 24/7 hotline for neighbors to report unpermitted short-term rentals and filing noise, parking, trash and other nuisance complaints about specific vacation rental properties operating in the General Services and Urban Services districts.

The call center provides a single point of contact for people to record complaints related to specific short-term rental properties operating within Metro. Complaints can be filed online or by calling the hotline at (435) STR-HELP (787-4357).

Short-term rentals operating without permits and guests behaving badly can bother neighbors and present serious problems, especially at night and on weekends.

The hotline will help ensure that Metro can hold hosts and guests accountable for their actions.

Metro Conservation Assistance Fund begun

Mayor Megan Barry has announced the launch of Metro’s Conservation Assistance Fund, a grant program to help accelerate the preservation of open and green space in Davidson County.

A key recommendation of the Natural Resources subcommittee for Mayor Barry’s Livable Nashville effort, the Fund begins with an initial Metro investment of $500,000, which was recommended by Mayor Barry and approved by the Metro Council in June, to help leverage partnerships with successful conservation NGOs.

Creation of the Fund will help to more effectively protect public or private lands with documented merits for natural-resource conservation or open-space preservation. Environmental nonprofits are encouraged to work with both landowners and Metro on targeted acquisitions and protective easements. Project applications are currently being solicited for a mid-September review by Metro’s Greenways and Open Space Commission.

CAF grants will be made available for project proposals that preserve scenic view-sheds, supply buffer-zones to current public-park assets, or protect sensitive habitats such as wildlife corridors, agricultural properties, and important natural areas (i.e., grasslands, ridgelines, or floodplain). Both urban and rural projects of public interest can qualify for assistance.

The Metro CAF is modeled after a highly-successful state program, TDEC’s Heritage Conservation Trust Fund.

Project applications will be accepted for review by Metro’s Greenways and Open Space Commission through September 15. A second round of funding will be awarded to projects submitted by a spring deadline of March 15, 2018.

Information: https://www.nashville.gov/Parks-and-Recreation/Greenways-and-Trails/Metro-Conservation-Assistance-Fund.aspx

Fisk launching Center for Financial Advancement

Fisk University has announced the launch of The Center for Financial Advancement, which is committed to providing financial education to students, staff and members of the Nashville community.

As part of its mission, the Center seeks to provide education in the areas of money management, credit management and home ownership, while also providing education and career preparatory opportunities to position participants for careers in the mortgage industry.

The Center for Financial Advancement is a collaboration between Fisk University, Wells Fargo, Mortgage Bankers Association, Bank of America, and HomeFree-USA, a HUD-approved non-profit organization that specializes in homeownership development, foreclosure intervention and financial coaching.

It will an annual series of five seminars conducted jointly by HomeFree-USA and mortgage banking leaders.

The curriculum will include banking and savings basics, mortgage lending, student loan debt, homeownership, credit reports, overall financial capability and, most importantly, enriching information about mortgage industry opportunities. Students who complete the series of seminars will receive a certificate of financial readiness signed by the leading sponsors.

Participating financial institutions will have access to a pool of interns and potential permanent hires and receive CRA credit.

Metro Schools receives diversity grant from state

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen has awarded funds to five school districts for Diversity Innovation Planning Grants, including funding for Metro Nashville Schools.

In addition to Metro, Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools, Fayette County Public Schools, Humboldt City Schools and Knox County Schools received funding.

The state’s goal is to foster an educator pipeline that improves diversity, equity, and teacher shortages, as illustrated in the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act plan.

“Our districts share in the challenge of recruiting, hiring, and retaining educators who reflect the backgrounds and diversity of all their students,” McQueen says.

“We know that students benefit when they can learn from educators who have similar backgrounds, and these grants will allow our districts to intentionally focus on increasing the diversity of their faculty to better meet the needs of every child.”

About 35 percent of Tennessee’s students statewide are African-American, Hispanic, or Native American. However, only 15 percent of Tennessee educators identify with those racial and ethnic groups.

Franke Foodservice to expand in Rutherford

Franke Foodservice Systems plans to expand its operations in Smyrna, investing $11.6 million and creating 67 new jobs.

The company, part of the Swiss-based Franke Group, is a provider of comprehensive systems and services for the global foodservice industry with more than 1,200 employees worldwide. It manufactures and distributes kitchen equipment and supplies from a number of facilities in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

With the expansion, Franke will consolidate both its commercial food equipment for container shipments, commercial shipments and its coffee machine retrieval, programming, testing and shipping operations for North America.

A new, separate building will be constructed for a showroom for residential kitchen items to include sinks, ovens, faucets, hoods and cooktops.

NFI to build distribution center, employ 170

NFI, a supply chain solutions company, has announced it will invest approximately $7.2 million to build a distribution facility in Smyrna.

One of North American’s largest logistics providers, the firm plans to create more than 170 new jobs over the next five years in Rutherford County.

NFI, privately held and headquartered in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, provides end-to-end supply chain solutions across the United States and Canada. The new Smyrna location will serve as a distribution and fulfillment center for customers throughout the Southeast region.

NFI also offers solutions in commercial real estate, dedicated transportation, brokerage, transportation management, intermodal and global logistics across a wide range of industries including retail, consumer packaged goods, and food and beverage.

Lipscomb welcomes 4,585 students for fall

Lipscomb University has announced its fall enrollment is the third-highest in school history.

The official number of students for fall is 4,585 with 23 percent of the study body coming from diverse backgrounds, a one percent increase up from last year.

In addition, transfer retention and sophomore to junior retention rates have set new records. The number of new undergraduate and graduate students is up. Several graduate programs are also boasting record enrollments this fall.

This year’s student body comes from 47 states (in addition to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) and 50 countries, and represents 35 religious preferences.