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County has full agenda on slate for Monday

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Several Wilson County Commission committees took action on various items, resulting in a full agenda for next full commission meeting.

All of the actions listed below will go before the full county commission at its October meeting at the county courthouse on Monday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m.

• The Development and Tourism Committee voted unanimously, as did the Budget Committee, to fund a new tourism manager position reporting to the county mayor and county commission.  

At the September commission meeting, several commissioners asked for a job description before considering any new position. The Development and Tourism Committee also approved a new job description, with the primary changes being:

  • The position will be part of the mayor’s staff, not the creation of a Convention and Visitors Bureau department
  • The individual will develop an awareness program aimed at marketing the county not only locally, but throughout Middle Tennessee, the state and the southeast region
  • The tourism manager will establish and maintain “effective communications” with concerned parties, such as government and business leaders, as well as meeting, event planners and local tourism industry individuals. He or she will also create “specific, measurable and reportable goals; activity and return on investment.”

With a budget of $99,000, up to $70,000 will be allocated for salary and benefits, while the remaining $29,000 will go for expenses to operate the office in marketing Wilson County “as a premier, year-round visitor destination” that will “positively” impact the area’s economy “through marketing efforts aimed at selected target markets.”

• The Animal Control and Budget committees both unanimously approved two resolutions.

The first resolution would dissolve on Dec. 31, 2013, the collection of the $2 Domestic Animal Tax assessed whenever cats or dogs received their rabies vaccination.

This tax was established in 1980 with the funds going to the Humane Association of Wilson County, Inc., which at the time conducted animal control operations for the county.

However, in 2003, Wilson County began operating its own Animal Control Department, which has two full-time employees and one part-time. In 2004, the Tennessee General Assembly passed a law authorizing local laws to be implemented for animal registration and the collection of “any fees imposed to go to a country rabies control fund for the operation of an animal shelter.”

The second resolution would implement a $5 fee per domestic animal (dogs and cats) beginning Jan. 1, 2014, with the money going to the Wilson County Animal Control Department, minus a 5 percent collection fee to be paid to the Office of the County Clerk for the collection and disbursement of the fees.

It also changes the manner and time frame for the collection of the fees, as well as institutes penalties for veterinarians or other vaccinating institutions if they fail to remit the fees or certificates.

• The Public Works and Budget Committees both approved spending $185,000 out of the capital projects fund for the purchase of two parcels of land adjacent to the Criminal Justice Center for immediate parking needs and possible future expansion of the jail.

• The Budget Committee approved several promotions and pay changes in the Sheriff’s Department and the Circuit Court Clerk’s office. All of the changes in the Sheriff’s Department were promotions within the department, while in the Circuit Clerk’s Office the changes were some promotions and the others merit raises. In both departments, the changes are in addition to the 2.5 percent raise approved by the County Commission in the fiscal year 2013-2014 budget.

Other items going before the commission include the following:

  • Drug Court: Transferring funds from the DUI Fine Reserve fund to cover the cost of a conference in November
  • Courtroom Security: Releasing $84,500 in Courtroom Security money for 22 additional key FOB points in the Criminal Justice Center, Judicial Center on College Street and Sheriff’s Department, as well as for bullet proof vests and tasers for courtroom officers.
  • Drug Fund: Transferring $60,000 in drug funds to purchase equipment
  • Wilson Emergency Management Agency: Transferring $20,000 to create a line item for the Maintenance and Repair of Equipment other than vehicles per the request of the Finance Director Aaron Maynard.
  • Ward Ag Center: Request to put into budget refunds received to pay various expenses related to the Wilson County Fair and other events. Maynard also said changes will be made in the accounting process to better reflect expenditures and reimbursements or refunds in the future.

Correspondent Amelia Morrison Hipps may be contacted at amhipps@downhomepolitics.com.

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animal control, budget, Circuit Court Clerk, development, public works, tourism, Wilson County Commission
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