City of Brentwood May 2021 Update — Property Tax Rate, Disaster Relief for Flood, Summer Concert Series

Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me this past couple of weeks with positive comments and support. I don’t think I have ever received more encouraging messages, and I’m honored to serve as your Vice Mayor. I am also pleased to see that people in Brentwood are quick to recognize cheap political stunts.

We’ve recently completed election season in Brentwood, with Mayor Little, Commissioner Smithson, and Commissioner Gorman successfully earning another term of service. The end of election season brings the conclusion of our budget process and finalization of how we will invest in our community.

As always, your perspective and comments are very important to me, and I want to encourage you to contact me at either if it’s not “on fire” and 615-917-1384 (voice or text) if it is.

Sincere thanks to the many friends and professionals who contribute the the process of putting this newsletter together. I think keeping people informed is vital to good governance, and “it takes a village” to do the job properly. I try to consistently link to source material, but please let me know if you have any questions.


Flood Recovery Resource Center Opens

Property Tax & 2021-2022 Projected Revenues and Expenses

  • The proposed tax rate is $0.29 per $100 of assessed value of taxable property. This represents the same effective property tax rate for the City of Brentwood for the 31st year in a row.
  • Brentwood is able to hold the tax rate constant through growing our tax base. This allows us to consistently provide our expected level of city services.
  • While the proposed rate of $0.29 per $100 of assessed valuation represents the same effective tax rate as the 2020 tax year, the impact of this change on individual properties will vary depending on the outcome of the recent Williamson County reappraisal process. If a property experienced an increase in value of less than 23.4%, then the City property tax due on this property will be less than in 2020. Likewise, if a property experienced an increase in value greater than 23.4%, then the City property tax due on this property will be greater than in 2020.
  • If approved, please note that final reading of Ordinance 2021-11 will not occur until our Monday, June 28, 2021 meeting. Formal public hearings are scheduled at three City Commission meetings set for Monday, May 24, 2021, Monday, June 14, 2021, and Monday, June 28, 2021.
  • Thoughts and comments are welcome. As always, feel free to reach out.

Page 50 of the 21-22 draft budget
Page 54 of the 21-22 Draft Budget

Connecting I-65 to I-24 with McEwen Drive

  • A long-time goal is to have McEwen Drive connect all the way through from Franklin to Smyrna so that drivers can traverse the route from I-65 to I-24 without using Concord Road.
  • Mary Esther Reed, Town of Smyrna Mayor, has reached out to the Brentwood City Commission to ask for support in this project.
  • The Town of Smyrna is also in contact with Brentwood Engineering so that we can have a handle on what might be required.
  • This project has the potential to take pressure off Concord Road an improve the flow of traffic through our City.
  • Please contact me if you have any commentary one way or the other. I always appreciate the input.

Potential new zoning category – Agricultural Residential Estate Innovative Project

  • This has come up as part of our effort to preserve the character of Old Smyrna Road.

  • The proposed overlay district would apply to the Old Smyrna Road corridor only. It could be optional like OSRD-IP or universally applied as new base zoning district along the corridor.
  • The overall density proposed would be one dwelling unit per three acres, although the lot sizes within the project could be smaller – maybe a 2-acre minimum. Preserved open space would account for the smaller lot sizes.
  • We are considering a 50-foot vegetative buffer required between the lots and the right-of-way of any arterial or collector street, included as part of the permanent open space, maintained by the future HOA.
  • Note again – this is a potential new zoning – nothing has been finalized yet. If you have input, I would appreciate your analysis.

Brentwood’s Best Ash — $2,500+ of prizes available

Brentwood's Best Ash Contest
  • A significant portion of the large trees in Brentwood are Ash Trees, but these trees are threatened by the Emerald Ash Borer – an invasive pest capable of spreading and killing all of our ash trees.

  • Many of these trees are extremely big – large enough to severely damage a home or total a car if allowed to die and fall.
  • To build awareness of this threat as well as to help locate trees for treatment or removal, we have launched the Brentwood’s Best Ash photo contest.
  • Prizes include $1,000 for the best photo, and $500 for the most trees located and mapped, among others. You can find full contest details at
  • Thank you to State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Company (SVMIC) in Brentwood for sponsoring this contest, and to our media partner Home Page Media and the Brentwood Home Page.

Mountain Biking at Marcella Vivrette Smith Park

Bike Walk Brentwood
  • We’ve had independent citizens visit us at your Brentwood Park Board to promote the idea of adding mountain biking to Smith Park.

  • Since the very beginning, this has been part of the plan for Smith Park whenever the back portion of the park is developed and the road is extended over the ridge, but as other opportunities such as Windy Hill Park have come up, development of additional facilities at Smith Park has not been made a priority.
  • If you have strong feelings one way or the other on mountain biking in Brentwood, please contact me at





This Month’s Focus: Water Capacity and the impact year-around

I’ve had some questions lately about the price of water in Brentwood and about the tradeoff between how much we pay any given month vs whether or not we ever have to limit consumption through mandatory water restrictions.

A few quick comments are:

  • Per Tennessee State Law, utility systems have to be self-supporting. We can’t subsidize with property tax or anything similar.
  • Brentwood has a tremendous seasonal imbalance in our water demand cycle. During the winter we use about 3-4 million gallons a day, but in summer it peaks to 10+ million. Like electricity, we have to build the system to meet peak demand, which means in an unbalanced environment like this, you pay for the peak all year around in the rates required to keep the system self-supporting.
  • Our big yards and low density not only spike the peak when people water grass in the summer, but it also makes us buy a lot more feet of water pipe per resident when compared to a community with small yards and more families per acre. That gives us about 4 time the cost per household when compared to a community with 4 households per acre. (Note — I have no interest in increasing density. Please don’t misunderstand this point).

As I’ve been learning more about this, it seems like as a community we need to decide if we prefer:

  • Building the system somewhat larger and putting contracts in place to consistently buy enough water for the City of Brentwood to meet peak demand all year around without risk of any mandatory water restrictions. If we do this, we will pay more (on average) any given month in order to have the peak capacity.
  • Building the system somewhat smaller and putting contracts in place to consistently buy enough water to meet typical demand year around while knowing a particularly hot or dry spell could lead to mandatory water restrictions. If we choose this, we will pay less (on average) any given month, but will risk having mandatory watering restrictions depending on circumstances.

Neither path is perfect, and we are not able to switch strategies easily or often.

If you have a strong preference for one compromise over the other, please let me know by dropping an email to


Thank you again for all your support!



Nelson Andrews
Vice Mayor
City of Brentwood
“From Brentwood, For Brentwood”

Brentwood City Commission Vice Mayor Nelson Andrews
Eddy Arnold Amphitheater

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