Brentwood to follow state plans for reopening businesses

The Brentwood City Commission meets at Brentwood City Hall at 5211 Maryland Way, Brentwood. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Brentwood City Commission meets at Brentwood City Hall at 5211 Maryland Way, Brentwood. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Brentwood City Commission meets at Brentwood City Hall at 5211 Maryland Way, Brentwood. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)

With Gov. Bill Lee's stay-home-order set to expire April 30, several cities across the state are working to figure out what reopening the economy again will look like over the next several weeks.

In a Q&A session via Facebook Live on April 23, Brentwood City Manager Kirk Bednar spoke on how the city expects to approach a phased-in reopening and how the long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic will influence the city's operating budget.

Earlier in the morning, Metro Nashville Mayor John Cooper released a plan that called for a separate phased-in approach from the state's; however, Bednar said the city of Brentwood does not expect to implement its own plan.

"It's important for people to understanding that we're not anticipating that there would be a Brentwood-specific plan," Bednar said. "The anticipation is that the governor's plan will be out. I know that he announced earlier this week the reopening, with some things reopening starting Monday, [April] 27, and the rest of his order expiring May 1. Some people may be confused by that, thinking that everything's back to normal at that date in time, and I don't believe that that's the intention."

Bednar said the city expects Gov. Lee to release a multiphase plan on the coming days for when and how different industries, such as restaurants and retail, can reopen.


"We're waiting to see the details of that plan, and our expectation is that it will be that plan will govern what we do here in Brentwood," Bednar said.

Even with several businesses in the city closed for the past several weeks, Bednar said the city does not project significant economic effects for fiscal year 2019-20, which is set to end in June, but it is planning to see losses in FY 2020-21.

The city staff is expected to watch the budget throughout the year to monitor revenues and adjust the budget as needed, Bednar said.

"The hope is [that] we have a gradual reopening within the next month or two, [that] we don't have any slip backwards in terms of the health cases and that we can continue that reopening, and by July or August, we're back to—probably not the same normal—but a reasonable new normal in terms of economic activity and we'll see things bounce back fairly quickly," he said. "They won't go back to where they were originally, but we would like to think that we'll be back to something reasonable in our budget by the middle of the year, and we'll reassess some things we cut out. ... We can always adjust those midyear."
By Wendy Sturges
A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.