By BEN DUDLEYThe Wilson Post
With the City of Lebanon and Wilson County struggling to find revenue, Lebanon City Council decided to start buying local at Tuesday night’s regular meeting.
Ward 6 Councilor Kathy Warmath brought up the point that the city was in the process of buying three pickup trucks for the gas and sewer departments. The bids that were to be accepted were from a dealership in Nashville.
Two Rivers Ford, in Mt. Juliet, was the only Wilson County dealership that offered bids, but they were not the lowest. Warmath made the motion to amend the ordinances to accept the Two Rivers bids in order to do business in the county.
“I don’t know why we would want to send our money to Nashville,” Warmath said, “when we can keep it locally. I wish Wilson County Motors or Burchett Ford had put in a bid so we could keep our money in Lebanon, but I would really like to support Wilson County.”
The amended ordinances each passed by a vote of 4-2, with Kevin Huddleston and Joe Hayes, Ward 2 and 4 councilors respectively, voting against the amendments because they thought the convenience of “shopping locally” was not worth paying more.
“There is a maintenance incentive that Ford offers us,” said City Attorney Andy Wright. “I’m not exactly sure on the numbers, but it is a discount on parts for repairs.”
“See? There’s your reason to shop locally,” Warmath said.
In other business, the Emergency Backup Chipper Service that Public Works Commissioner Jeff Baines had received a bid for was not given a motion and therefore died without a vote.
“This is not a big deal,” Baines said. “If we needed chippers, we would call people and get them. After a big storm, our first priority is getting the streets cleared. We can take the next six weeks or six months chipping the fallen limbs if we need it.”
“There is simply no money in the budget for a backup chipper service,” said Ward 5 Councilor Haywood Barry. “If we have an emergency, we can deal with it.”
In the communication from citizens, Glenn Denton, the pastor at Hillcrest Baptist Church, urged the council to waive the payment-in-lieu-of-sidewalks measure that was on the agenda. He gave several reasons for this, mainly being that the church had already spent much of its own money to beautify the area around the building and that there had never been a sidewalk in that area and he did not see a need for one now.
Later on in the meeting, the council accepted Denton’s plea and changed the payment from $17,000 to zero.
Staff Writer Ben Dudley may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.