Had you been holding your breath for a new federal courthouse in Nashville, you'd already be dead. But if you only had your fingers crossed, you came pretty close last week to getting your wish. But close doesn't get it done.
In the 1,000-plus pages of the federal stimulus package put before the U.S. House of Representatives last week was an item allocating funds for the General Services Administration to build new federal courthouses in Nashville and a number of other cities. That bill passed, as did the Senate bill containing the same items.
Sometime over the weekend, though, things changed. The final stimulus package includes money for GSA construction projects, but two-thirds of the cash has been allocated to the construction of a new headquarters for the Department of Homeland Security.
That means federal courthouses in Los Angeles, San Diego and New York City will get what they need to complete construction, but Nashville and other cities on the list have to wait...again.
The Nashville courthouse has been "shovel ready" for a long time and was initially supposed to have been completed by June of last year.
Congressman Jim Cooper spoke to NashvillePost.com today prior to addressing the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. He said the money "was bumped from the bill to make way for the Homeland Security headquarters." He couldn't explain why it was bumped, but said that Nashville had "moved up the list."
"This will probably take place in regular appropriations bills," Cooper said, "Senator (Lamar) Alexander and Congressman (Lincoln) Davis are both on appropriations committees and it will occur. It just didn't get funded now."
A new federal courthouse, coupled with the construction of a new convention center, would go a long way to helping Nashville's development community ride out the current economic crisis. The courthouse is slated to rise at Church Street and Seventh Avenue North, immediately to the west of the downtown library.
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- COOKE, ETHEN LANYARD TRUSTEE; COOKE, ETHEN LEWIS ESTATE
- JACOBS, JESSICA ALEXANDRA; JACOBS, ERIKA BESS