NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Residents in north Nashville are speaking out about the Metro Nashville Police headquarters relocating to their neighborhood.
They voiced their concerns in a town hall meeting Thursday evening.
Aola Hart has lived near Jefferson Street since the 1970s and owned property in the area for years.
This week, she received a letter in the mail from the Public Property Administration.
“I looked at it and I started crying. I called my daughter. I said you all better get over here before I go crazy because this don’t sound right,” said Hart.
The letter, on behalf of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, told Hart that Metro was interested in acquiring her vacant property on Scovel Street, 0.04 acres more or less.
The letter said they would pay her a fair market price of $1,000 for the land.
When News 2 asked Hart what she thought about the dollar amount offered for her property, she said, “Are you kidding me? I didn’t think. I just thought someone was crazy upstairs, how about that?”
News 2 called the Public Property Administration and spoke with Real Estate Manager Ronald Colter. He declined an on camera interview but sent about 13 letters to property owners.
Colter also told News 2 this is a situation where eminent domain applies.
That means Metro has the power to take private property for public use for a fair market price.
However, Colter said Metro would first have to take the landowners to court.
Developer D.J. Wootson, who is creating a mixed use development on Jefferson Street, shared his thoughts on the situation.
“They need to determine if there is a collective ethos for what they are trying to do and if so, they need someone to help pull that voice together,” explained Wootson.
Hart said her issue isn’t about the police headquarters moving to her neighborhood.
“I love the police. I support them, I work with them, I talk to them, I even pray for them every day,” she stated.
According to Hart, she simply doesn’t want to sell her land.
Hundreds showed up to a town hall meeting Thursday night at Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church to discuss the proposed plan. Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson was also on hand to answer questions and address concerns.