The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County spent half a million dollars on hotel rooms and airfare in fiscal year 2022, making $2.2 million in total credit card purchases, twice as much as the year before.
That spending includes $233,202 for 1,216 transactions at Amazon— $30,000 more than the year before.
The credit card purchases across 38 agencies are posted on the Metro website.
Metro government denied OpenTheBooks.com’s request through the Tennessee Public Records Act to get details on what metro employees purchased, only providing department, merchant name, amount and date.
The 38 departments were led in spending by Police ($340,950), Sheriff ($231,180) and Water Services ($200,486).
Twenty-five agencies spent a collective $220,099 on 527 airfare transactions at Southwest, Delta, American, United and Alaska airlines. Southwest was the most frequently booked, with 455 transactions costing $172,420.
About half of all flight transactions — 261 — were made by police, costing $103,479
The information provided doesn’t include where the flights were to or for what purpose and police haven’t responded to our request for comment.
Metro agencies spent $306,656 at around 50 hotels in FY 2022. Many of them were budget-friendly stays at Best Western, Super 8 Motels, Red Roof Inns, La Quinta Inns and America’ Best Value Inn, among others.
Many of the hotel rooms were purchased by the Office of Family Safety, Office of Emergency Management, Social Services, the Public Defender and the courts, presumably to place people in need with temporary housing, along with the Sheriff and Police.
However, departments also spent at upscale Westin and Omni hotels among others, and Information Technology Services spent $2,802 at the five-star Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in April 2022, while the Health Department spent $1,302 at Golden Nugget in February and April 2022.
Various departments spent almost $200,000 at stores like Home Depot ($45,738), Sam’s Club ($41,646), Wal-Mart ($40,693), Lowes ($26,665).
Other shopping included Kroger stores ($13,782), Best Buy ($6,332), Hobby Lobby ($4,397) and Office Depot ($3,670).
Food was a big spending item, with $102,350 spent at dozens of eateries, including Apple Spice catering ($16,609), other catering ($10,203), Jason’s Deli ($14,301), Subway $8,444, various pizza places $6,337 and many more.
Police spent $2,162 at National Car Rental, $950 at Budget Rent-A-Car, and $540 at car washes, while several agencies spent $4,790 at various parking lots/garages, and $2,059 at various flower shops.
Metro paid $37,143 to various associations, including the Tennessee Bar Association, American Jail Association and Solid Waste Association of North America.
The mayor’s office spent $17,006, including $370 at a Hilton in January 2022, $202 at Southwest Airlines in January and another $,1407 at the airline in May. The office spent $3,569 at food establishments.
Top 10 Agencies That Spent Most on Their Credit Cards
Water Services $200,486
Social Services $198,839
Parks and Rec $164,794
Emergency Communications Center $112,511
Metro Action Commission $104,550
Office of Emergency Management $101,300
The mayor’s office and police spokespeople didn’t respond to requests for comment by deadline.