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Commissioners move may cost county thousands

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From Post staff reports

A move by a Wilson County Commissioner Monday night to skirt a payment to the City of Mt. Juliet of $650,000 for the county’s portion of a West Wilson road project may result in the county paying almost $1 million instead, according to County Road Superintendent Steve Armistead.

Armistead said Tuesday that Chris Sorey, who represents District 2 on the County Commission, was mistaken when he told the Commission Monday night in a regularly scheduled meeting that the county’s portion of a recent road project on Curd Road, a local interstate connector, was some 600 feet in length.

Armistead said the original contract for the work on the project as well as the county’s own road department inspectors confirm that the “distance lying within Wilson County’s exclusive jurisdiction is 1,725.5 feet.”

Sorey, at Monday night’s commission meeting, was able to delay the confirmation of a payment to the City of Mt. Juliet for the county’s portion of the road through a procedural move orchestrated by a seldom used tactic in Roberts Rules of Order.

Sorey, despite a pre-agreed settlement of $650,000 between the City of Mt. Juliet and county government, argued that the county should provide itemized costs related to the project before a payment is made.

Armistead said he has assembled an assessment of the costs incurred by the county and is prepared to offer an itemized statement.

In a statement submitted yesterday, Armistead notes that of the 5,271 feet of road construction for the entire project, “Wilson County’s 1,725.5 feet represents 33% (1/3 of the distance).”

The entire project cost was approximately $3.5 million. Fifty percent of the cost of the project is to be paid through a federal grant program administered by the Tennessee Department of Transportation, leaving a cost of about $1.75 million to be paid locally. Of that amount, Armistead says the county, based on its portion of the project, is responsible for one-third or approximately $577,500 plus an additional $380,956 for right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation.

The statement now to be submitted for the county’s portion is $958,456.

Armistead said the matter had been worked out for sometime between the county and City of Mt. Juliet. He said that an agreement had been made in the past that the county would pay $650,000 to the City of Mt. Juliet for its portion of the road but now that is in question because of the move by Sorey at the Commission meeting Monday night.

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