WEMA

The Wilson County Commission approved resolutions to secure land for two future Wilson County Emergency Management Agency stations in Mt. Juliet.

WEMA currently shares space with the Fire Department of Mt. Juliet at its Belinda Parkway station and Station 3 — located on East Hill Drive — locations, which are owned by Mt. Juliet. The approved resolutions would move personnel from those stations into WEMA stations to be constructed.

WEMA Station 12 would be located on Clemmons Road near Mt. Juliet Fire’s Station 3, and the county would move personnel and equipment into the new station that is currently at Station 3.

“It is a three-bay station. It will be equipped with the people and personnel that’s in Station 3 right now. As a matter of fact, it’s a rock throw from Station 3,” Wilson County Mayor Hutto said last month. “The goal for us was to make sure that we put a fire station with an ambulance in it. We didn’t want to hurt ourself on trying to make the calls in the city with the ambulance, but yet, we wanted to be better at making the fire coverage out in the county.”

The second property would combine three tracts of land totaling 2.9 acres on Central Pike for WEMA Station 14, which will be a four-bay station.

“The two people and the ambulance that’s in the Belinda City station, right now, in Mt. Juliet …/ it would just move over on the other side of Providence really in this station,” Hutto said.

The county commission approved a $43.5 million bond last month that will go toward the Wilson County Jail expansion — about $39.5 million — and the rest for construction of the two WEMA stations in Mt. Juliet.

Monday night, the commission approved a total transfer of $647,000 from the general fund to pay for a new fire truck ($494,000) for the Central Pike station and the land purchase ($153,000) for the Station 12 property. The property that has multiple tracts is being donated.

The agency provided fire protection for Mt. Juliet prior to the Fire Department of Mt. Juliet’s creation in 2014.  Hutto said WEMA used Mt. Juliet ambulances and fire trucks to put out Mt. Juliet fires.

Hutto said former Mt. Juliet Mayor Ed Hagerty approached him in the 2014-2015 fiscal year and asked for rent of $20,000 from Wilson County because it was still using the facilities after the city created its own fire department.

Hutto said the county paid utilities for the facilities — about $30,000 — and Hagerty dismissed the request for rent.

Hutto said Hagerty suggested in the 2016-2017 fiscal year that the utilities should be put into Mt. Juliet’s name and Wilson County pay $30,000 to Mt. Juliet, which the county agreed.

The next year, Hutto said Mt. Juliet wanted to increase the payment to $60,000, but delayed until the start of a new fiscal year, and Hagerty noted the city would present an agreement the following year for an increase.

The agreement called for Wilson County to pay increased rates of $50,000 for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, $60,000 for the 2020-2021 fiscal year and $70,000 for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, according to Hutto.

“It’s just like anybody else. If you’re renting from somebody and they go up on rent, you got a couple of choices — either pay the rent or get out,” Hutto said.