Wilson County Blogs

Blogs from Wilson County Government.

Spring Clean Series: 100K Tree Giveaway

Spring Clean Series: 100K Tree Giveaway

 

Over the next few weeks on Mayor Hutto's Blog, we will be featuring "The Spring Clean Series". The goal of the series is to feature some of the latest and greatest happenings with Wilson County Government's effort to provide a greener, and cleaner county. We felt  there was no better way to start off our series than featuring the success of the recent 100K Tree Giveaway hosted by the Wilson County Stormwater department.

The annual event, held on February 25th, was so successful that there were over 3400 trees given away to Wilson County residents, absolutely free. Wilson County Stormwater set up at the Wilson County Expo Center at 7:00 AM and handed out trees until noon. There were 4 workers on site and not a minute of downtime as citizens flocked to receive their trees. The most popular tree of the day was Pine followed closely by the new American Plums, offered for the first time this year.

Lisa Baldwin, Administrative Assistant in the Stormwater Department, had the following to say regarding the tree give away: “We were so pleased to be a part of this massive event! The quality of the water in Wilson County is our main concern. Trees being natural filters of water are a tremendous help to this system. With as much growth as we are having in Wilson County, planting trees is quite an asset to the cause.” Next year, Wilson County Stormwater plans to increase the number of trees given away to 4000

 

 

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Where Do My County Tax Dollars Go?

Where Do My County Tax Dollars Go?

             

              There is a large push locally and throughout the state to shop local this Christmas.  Aside from supporting local business owners, did you know when you shop locally here in Wilson County you are supporting a variety of other services that are available to every Wilson County resident throughout the year as well? By simply living in Wilson County and contributing to our economy, you play a significant role in every service Wilson County Government is able to provide individuals from all backgrounds and income levels. With the push to shop locally many people begin to ask the question “What do I receive for my county tax dollars?” Citizens seem to easily notice the benefits of city taxes; however, many people have a hard time determining where county taxes are applied. Because of this, we thought it would be a good idea to give the citizens of Wilson County a little more information on how county tax dollars are used.

 

               First and foremost, your tax dollars go to support education in Wilson County. Your tax dollars support schools throughout the county through the Wilson County School System as well as the Lebanon Special School District. Though the Lebanon Special School District collects revenue through an extra tax placed on those that live inside their district, they also receive a portion of funding through county property tax and sales tax revenue (The same taxes that go to support the Wilson County School System). The property tax and sales tax revenue pays for the operation of schools, teacher pay, and other expenses but also goes towards the construction of new schools as the county continues to grow. To date, around 93% of the total indebtedness of Wilson County goes to schools alone.

 

               Secondly, your tax dollars go to support all aspects of public safety. Wilson Emergency Management Agency (WEMA) is funded by county tax dollars. The WEMA organization provides ambulance services, water rescue, disaster rescue, EMA planning, as well as public assistance and rescue. Fire related services are handled on the city level and through volunteer fire stations. Fire services for WEMA are funded by state shared revenues. Your tax dollars also go to support the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s Department works to prevent and investigate crimes on persons and property. The Sheriff’s Department also serves civil and criminal warrants and patrols county as well as state roadways. The Sheriff’s Department also supplies every Wilson County school with a School Resource Officer to ensure student and teacher safety.  In short, the Sheriff’s department works to keep the citizens of Wilson County safe. Another aspect of public safety that is funded by your tax dollars is our county jail. There are no city jails in Wilson County. We are extremely proud of all of our local law enforcement groups from the city to the county and commend the way they work together as a whole. We are also extremely proud of all of our WEMA personnel, city fire departments, and our volunteers. 

 

               In addition to education and public safety, your tax dollars also go to support the court systems in Wilson County. Our court systems include Chancery, Circuit, Criminal, Juvenile, and General Sessions courts. Your tax dollars support the Judges, clerks, and Judicial Commissioners. The Judicial Commissioners issue orders of protection, arrests, and search warrants. Tax dollars also support the elected Circuit Court Clerk and the appointed Clerk and Master.

 

               There are many offices throughout the county that provide services funded by your tax dollars. Probate court handles estates that are being probated. The County Clerk’s office offers a variety of services such as vehicle registration (tags and titles), passports, marriage licenses, notary publics, and business licenses to name a few. The Register of Deed’s office records property deeds and the Trustee’s office collects taxes from residents all over the county in various areas. The Election Commission allows citizens to vote in county, state, and federal elections and also assists with city elections as well.

 

Other county services funded by county taxes include the following: the Property Assessor’s office which provides property assessments for our cities as well as the county, Wilson County Archives which keeps and maintains historical and permanent records related to the county; and the Veterans Services Officer who works to assist our veterans. The Wilson County Road Commission is also funded through tax dollars. The road commission is responsible for maintaining the roads throughout the county.

 

The Solid Waste Department allows us the use of the landfill and is operated by tipping fees rather than property taxes, but the convenient centers, placed at various locations across the county, are funded by property tax dollars. Your tax dollars also fund some of the expenses associated with the Health Department including salaries and maintenance of the facility. Your tax dollars also go to support the Medical Examiner’s office.

 

The libraries are funded on a two-thirds basis provided by the county, whereas all three cities split the remaining 1/3 of their respective facilities budgets, which would be the operational cost. The county fully funds the construction of the library buildings and any overall raises given to employees. Of course, the libraries do a great job managing their systems and fundraising on their own. In addition to providing all of these services, there are also contributions made to the chambers of commerce, local non-profits, senior citizens, ball parks, sports organizations and recreational facilities.

 

               At one time, we had used your tax dollars to fund the James E. Ward Agricultural Center, which is really what you might call the county’s park, by way of property tax. We have now made the change to fund that department with hotel/motel tax which would conclude that they would be encouraged to have events that would put more “heads in beds” to help them maintain their budgets. Hotel/motel tax is also used to support Tourism. We hope in the future to use hotel/ motel tax to fund Health and Welfare, as well as Recreational budgets.

 

               This is a list of services and agencies that your tax dollars support and is not inclusive, of course. However, I do hope that it gives you some overall view of how your tax dollars are used. The commissioners have a hard job to determine the best use of our resources, but I do believe the County Commission has always done a great job of getting the most out of each tax dollar brought into Wilson County Government.

 

               Wilson County is in a great position, and we are using the most of every resource available. However, there is a continuous strain on our existing revenue to cover the rapid growth happening throughout the county. Other counties in similar situations are constantly looking for ways to pay for growth, because unfortunately it rarely pays for itself. We know that the citizens of Wilson County are some of the best in the state of Tennessee and expect the best not only in the way of services, but in the way those services are carried out. The County Commission, myself, along with all of our elected officials and appointed department heads will continue to do our best to serve the citizens of Wilson County. This Christmas, remember to shop small and support Wilson County as a whole. We hope this information is both helpful and encouraging.

 

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The Wilson County Fair: The Success Continues

The Wilson County Fair: The Success Continues

 

Some people use a planner to keep track of days and events happening throughout the year. Wilson County residents organize their lives by means of the Wilson County Fair. Though the 2016 Wilson County Fair has come and gone and the holiday season is here, the success of this year’s fair continues. Each year the Wilson County Fair attends the International Association of Fairs and Expositions contest program. This year’s contest had over 1,468 entries judged by over 50 industry experts. The Wilson County Fair received a total of 18 awards including:

 

Agriculture Awards

 

1st Place-Agriculture Programs Promotional Video-Jr. Goat Show Video

 

2nd Place-Any other Agriculture Program/Exhibit-Watermelon Patch

 

3rd Place-Agriculture Program Area Beautification-Landscaping Improvements

 

3rd Place-Non-Fair Related Agriculture Event/Program-Spring Garden Festival

 

 

 

Competitive Awards

 

1st Place-Use of a Single Theme Throughout all Divisions- “We Want You at the Wilson County Fair” and   the featured Agricultural Commodity-Watermelons

 

1st Place-Unique Contest- Fair Commemorative Print Contest

 

1st Place-Competitive Exhibit Display Photo Series-Kids Power Tractor Races

 

1st Place-General Display Photo Single-Flower “Bed” photo

 

2nd Place-Competitive Exhibit Display Method and/or Prop-New Rose Show Display

 

2nd Place-Create it on the Spot Contest-Watermelon Carving (Adults) and Watermelon Head Decorating (Youth)

 

2nd Place-Participatory Contest-Watermelon Gumball Blowing

 

2nd Place-New or Unique Contest to Attract Competitive Exhibitors-Gaited Mule Show

 

2nd Place-General Display Photo Series-Broom Making Demonstration

 

 

 

Communication Awards

 

2nd Place-Promotional/Advertising Poster

 

2nd Place- Unique Advertising Specialties/ Merchandise/ Souvenirs

 

 

Sponsorship Awards

 

1st Place-Sponsorship Innovation

 

1st Place-First Time Sponsorship

 

2nd Place-Sponsorship Continuity

 

 

Best of Division for Innovation in Sponsorship

 

 

The Wilson County Fair is a staple in our community and in the state of Tennessee. It is a nationally recognized fair and continues to excel year after year. Not only does it set the calendars of the citizens of Wilson County, but it seems as though the whole world stops during fair time. It is a week dedicated to fellowship and fun. With a focus on families, the Wilson County Fair always provides a safe, enjoyable environment to gather with friends and family. It is a week dedicated to highlighting accomplishments throughout our community, and not just our community as a whole. Our fair does a fantastic job at showing all that Wilson County has to offer but the Wilson County Fair also makes it a priority to give individuals of every lifestyle and background a chance to shine. The Wilson County Fair is also a week to celebrate agriculture in our community and throughout the world. Our fair’s main objective is to highlight the importance of agriculture in Wilson County. Every aspect of the Wilson County Fair, in some form or another, is related to celebrating and preserving agriculture our community. Without agriculture, we as human beings simply couldn’t survive. The deep appreciation for farming that the Wilson County Fair instils in all of us is an example to communities all across the nation. Our fair is diverse, our fair is thriving, our fair is fun, and our fair puts Wilson County, TN on the map. 

 

We are so proud of the accomplishments of our fair. However, none of these accomplishments would have been possible without the hard work of the Wilson County Fair Board and all of the volunteers that work continuously to make our fair the best of the best. So many people work year after year to provide the best fair experience possible and there is no way to thank each and every person enough for their contribution. Here at the County Mayor’s office, we would like to say congratulations to Wilson County Promotions and the Wilson County Fair on another job well done!

 

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Grateful to be in Wilson County, Tennessee

Grateful to be in Wilson County, Tennessee

 

The holiday season is officially in full swing here in Wilson County. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, it’s easy to get caught up in busy schedules and long lines at the supermarket.  We rush around trying to accomplish so many things that sometimes it is hard to wrap our minds around what this season is truly about: giving thanks. Wilson County has so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. For one, we recently held the grand opening of the new Wilson County Exposition Center at the James E Ward Agricultural Center. This facility is already bringing so many wonderful events for Wilson County residents to enjoy and will truly be an asset to our community. We also have new schools in the works and have almost completed the new Veterans Museum which will pay tribute to our veterans and provide educational resources for all residents of Wilson County. In addition, we will soon celebrate the grand opening of WEMA Station 7 in Statesville, the groundbreaking of WEMA Station 11 in Norene, and wrap up a record breaking summer with the Wilson County Road Commission. To say Wilson County has had a successful year is an understatement.

 

 In the next few weeks we will celebrate the expansion of WEMA services to the rural parts of the county with the opening of WEMA Station 7 in Statesville and the groundbreaking of WEMA Station 11 in Norene. WEMA Station 11 will host a groundbreaking ceremony on November 28, 2016. The groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 2:00 PM at the site of the new WEMA station in Norene. Commissioner Terry Ashe and WEMA director Joey Cooper will speak at this event. Citizens of Wilson County are invited to attend the groundbreaking and celebrate the expansion of WEMA to the Norene community. Following the groundbreaking, WEMA Station 7 will host a Grand Opening and Open House on the same day, November 28, 2016, from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM. This station will be located in the Statesville community and will provide much needed access to emergency services provided by Wilson County Emergency Management Agency. The Grand Opening and Open House will include comments from WEMA director Joey Cooper as well as Commissioner Sara Patton. Citizens are invited to attend this event and tour the new facility. In response to the expansion of WEMA stations to both Statesville and Norene, WEMA director Joey Cooper stated “We are very excited to open WEMA Station 7 in Statesville and break ground on WEMA Station 11 in Norene. These facilities will allow us to serve the citizens of Wilson County better by providing emergency services in every community.”

 

In addition to the expansion of WEMA services, the Wilson County Road Commission is currently wrapping up a record setting year. Road Superintendent Steve Murphy noted “The Wilson County Road Commission has had a very successful summer. We have paved over 56 miles and plan to continue paving as long as weather permits”. The Road Commission has been working to not only make sure every road in Wilson County is paved, but has also has been working to resurface roads throughout the county as well. The maintenance of Wilson County roadways ensures safe driving conditions for all citizens in every part of the county.

 

The new WEMA stations, Road Commission success, and opening of the Expo Center are only a few of the exciting events that have taken place throughout 2016. Wilson County is thriving and we are excited to share the success with every citizen. I am humbled to work alongside both our County Commission and our citizens to provide services such as a quality education, a high standard of public safety, and a great quality of life.  Wilson County has one of the best County Commissions in the state. Without the determination of our Commissioners, none of these events would have been possible. This Thanksgiving, as you pause to give thanks for all of the blessings that surround you, take time to give thanks for the great country we live in, the state of Tennessee and for Wilson County. It truly is “the place to be”!

 

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Star- Spangled Banner Day

Star- Spangled Banner Day

On September 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key saw the American Flag flying over Fort McHenry and was inspired to write the words of the “Star-Spangled banner. The National Society United States Daughters of 1812 and the Upper Cumberland Chapter have called for a day to observe the historical significance of our National Anthem. Pictured, Mayor Hutto signs a proclamation for Teresa Deathridge proclaiming September 14, 2016 as Star Spangled Banner Day.

Thank you to all our service men and women.

 

 

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Music City Star Runs Special Train for the St. Jude Rock n Roll Nashville Marathon

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City of Lebanon's Annual Spring Clean Up

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Make your starting line for the Country Music Marathon at the train station

Runners and spectators for the city’s largest marathon race event next month will have a convenient, hassle-free option for getting to downtown by riding the Music City Star.

The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), Wilson County Government and Premier Orthopaedics are partnering to operate a special Music City Star train on Saturday, April 25 from Lebanon to downtown Nashville for the 2015 St Jude Country Music Marathon. The special train service will offer an affordable and convenient transit option on race day, and showcase Middle Tennessee’s only regional commuter train service.  A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit St Jude Children’s Hospital and the St Jude Heroes program. 

“This partnership brings together two issues that are important to the success of our community – mass transit and the health of our citizens,” Nashville Mayor Karl Dean said. “Connecting the St Jude Country Music Marathon and the Music City Star train can only make this year’s event an even more positive experience for runners and visitors alike. I appreciate Mayor Hutto having the vision to make this innovative partnership happen.”

Wilson County Mayor Hutto, who is a half-marathoner and RTA vice chairman, first proposed the idea of special train service for the event a year ago, and recruited Premier as a financial sponsor so ticket proceeds could directly benefit St Jude.  “Our goal is to provide runners throughout the Middle Tennessee region a convenient transportation alternative for getting to the marathon, while also providing direct financial support to St Jude Children’s Hospital,” Hutto said. “Thanks to Premier Orthopaedics, we will be able to accomplish both.”

“Through this unique public-private partnership, we will be able to further the RTA’s mission to introduce new riders to the Music City Star and emphasize the benefits of Middle Tennessee’s regional transit network,” added Steve Bland, RTA Chief Executive Officer. 

The St Jude Country Music Marathon Train is scheduled to depart from Lebanon Station at 5 a.m., stop in Martha at 5:15 a.m., Mt. Juliet at 5:25 a.m., Hermitage at 5:35 a.m., Donelson at 5:50 a.m. and arrive at Riverfront Station at 6 a.m.  The train will leave Riverfront Station at noon, stopping at all stations on the return trip to Lebanon.

Round-trip tickets cost $12 plus a $1 processing fee and can be purchased with a credit card through the RTA website or at www.ticketsnashville.com. Tickets will be on sale until 24 hours prior to departure or until they are sold out, whichever comes first. 

Customers will receive only one round-trip ticket for the St Jude Marathon Train and must show the ticket to train personnel for scanning when boarding.  Children age 4 and younger will not need a ticket to board; however, they will be required to sit in a parent’s lap.  Children age 5 and older will need a ticket. Weekday Music City Star tickets and passes will not be accepted on the St Jude Country Music Marathon train.

Any items that will not fit underneath the seat, such as large coolers, bikes and wagons, are not permitted on the train.  Backpacks and folding chairs will be allowed onboard.

For more information, contact Customer Care at (615) 862-5950 from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sundays or visit the Music City Star Web site at www.musiccitystar.org.

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Plant a tree 2015!

The Tennessee Environmental Council is sponsoring a “50k Tree Day” event Saturday, February 21, 2015. 50,000 trees will be planted across Tennessee. There will be a variety of trees to plant ranging from Oak and Evergreens to various native ornamentals such as Redbuds and Dogwoods. This a great way to support our environment and help create an impact for generations into the future! We hope you can make plans to attend and be part of this event. Click on the link below for Registration and Location Information.

https://t.e2ma.net/click/mi41i/izilrg/yzpfhc

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COUNTY PARKS AND RECREATION NEEDS COMMUNITY INPUT

Wilson County has recently formed a Parks and Recreation Board and are in need of input from the community through a survey.

The Wilson County Parks and Recreation Board is looking for opinions on the importance and benefits of parks, visitation, improvements, greenways, trails and sports programs that would benefit the citizens of the county.

The Parks and Recreation Survey is available online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WilsonCountyParkSurvey.

“We look to the citizens of Wilson County for their input,” County Mayor Randall Hutto said.  “We are wanting to enhance the quality of life of our community and I encourage everyone to take part in the survey.”

Please take a moment and answer the short survey and feel free to share with anyone you think would be interested.  In addition to linking to the online survey, copies will be provided at the County Mayor’s Office. 

The survey will be open until October 15.

 

We appreciate your support of the Parks and Recreation Board and if you have any questions, please contact Jeni Lind Brinkman, Board Chair at 615-478-5364 or jenilind.brinkman@tn.gov or the County Mayor Office at 444-1383.

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JE Dunn Construction host Job Fair

JE Dunn Construction will host a job fair noon to 4:30PM, Thursday, September 4 at Tennessee College of Applied Technology.  

“This is another great opportunity for our citizens to find work close to home,” Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said.  “I’m excited for the Four Lake Regional Industrial Development Authority to land this opportunity and for the jobs that are available to our citizens.”

The fair will recruit workers of the upcoming build of a new CCA facility in Hartsville, which will be managed by JE Dunn Construction Company.

Corrections Corporation of America’s 2,552-bed correctional facility will be built, own and operated in Trousdale County.  The facility is expected to be ready for inmates in the first quarter of 2016.

 

Tennessee College of Applied Technology is located at 716 East McMurry Blvd. in Hartsville.  

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Working Together in Wilson County

I have enjoyed serving as your County Major and feel honored and fortunate to have the opportunity to serve for another term by being unopposed in the August General Election.

I have strived these past four years to represent all areas of Wilson County.  Growing up in the Watertown area and currently living just outside of Lebanon, it has been my pleasure to become more acquainted and involved with the city of Mt. Juliet and west Wilson County.   It was a humbly experience for me to be named the 2013 Wilsonian of the Year by the Mt. Juliet/West Wilson Chamber, making me feel the goal of representing everyone has been accomplished.

 

 Let me share just a portion of the things that have been accomplished in our county.

-City of Mt. Juliet and Wilson County officials have cooperated to successfully double both fire and ambulance emergency services within Mt. Juliet.

-County Mayor available to meet with citizens the last Wednesday of each month at Mt. Juliet Chamber office from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. with no appointment necessary

-Organized regular meetings with all three city mayors and Mt. Juliet City Manager in an effort to promote cooperation between all local governments.

-Regularly attend Mt. Juliet Chamber Economic Development Committee meetings as well as the North Mt. Juliet ECD meetings

-Additions made to several schools, including West Elementary, West Wilson Middle, with a PreK – 2nd Grade added to Rutland Elementary

-Wilson County website has been totally revamped  

-Veterans Park is under construction to honor our local veterans.

-SRO’s placed in every public school in Wilson County as of fall 2013

-Wilson County Departments have been awarded over 2.6 million dollars in grants from 2011 to 2014.

-Parks and Recreation Board is in organizational stages to be able to secure grant funding for all local parks and recreation areas.

-Wilson County Government will realize a savings of 4.6 million dollars over the next several years because of refunding of capital bonds and notes ($505,000 annually)

-Worked to balance Budget.  Fund Balance increased to 2 million+ in FY 2012-13

-ISO Rating improved to lower fire insurance rates

 Future Plans:

-New interchange at I-40 and Central Pike

-Expansion of Mt. Juliet Library

-Multi Sports Park Complex

-Transit Loop for Wilson County

 

 

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Wilson County Welcomes Cath Lab

University Medical Center has taken another major step in becoming one of middle Tennessee’s finest and most comprehensive community hospitals with the recent ground breaking of a cutting-edge cardiac catheterization or “cath” lab.  This will be in addition to the hospital’s current diagnostic capabilities and allow patients’ access to the most minimally invasive techniques available to treat cardiovascular disease.  The hospital’s board members and outstanding Cardiologists have been a vital part of this ground breaking.  A ribbon cutting ceremony is anticipated upon the completion of this project in a few short months.

“This new cardiac “cath” lab is a great asset to the community members of Wilson County.  We have phenomenal Cardiologists on staff here at University Medical Center, representing the best of what Nashville has to offer, and the new cath lab will enhance our physicians’ ability to treat advanced cardiovascular disease closer to home,” said Matt Caldwell, CEO of University Medical Center“This is truly a testament of what a community-based hospital can achieve when it commits to delivering the highest quality care.”

This new lab will feature the latest generation of cardiovascular technology including the Phillips FD20 Flat Pannel digital imaging x-ray system.  This technology provides sharper images and the ability to better visualize a patient’s anatomy during a complex procedure. 

Time is muscle.  Every second counts when it comes to a heart attack.  The quicker a physician can restore vital blood flow through all of the heart’s arteries, the less damage to the heart muscle should be expected.  To restore this blood flow, cardiologists work in a cardiac catheterization lab using a stent or a balloon to open the artery.

The gold standard for “door to balloon time” set by the American Heart Association is 90 minutes.  University Medical Center is committed to outperforming this standard of care. 

 

For more information about the cardiac catheterization lab at University Medical Center, call 615-453-4500.

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Wilson County Job Fair brings Potential 1,200 Openings

Wilson County Mayor’s Office in combination with Tennessee Career Center and Cumberland University will be hosting a Job Fair 10a.m. to 1p.m. Tuesday, May 13 at Cumberland University’s Dallas Floyd Recreation Center. 

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