Today is Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mt. Juliet debates fire fighting agreement

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There had been some debate among the Wilson County Commission that Mt. Juliet doesnt pay its fair share in county taxes, so the county would not increase the amount of coverage in Mt. Juliet, the reason being that Watertown and Lebanon have their own fire departments and Mt. Juliet does not. However, Eichenthal said that Mt. Juliet pays out 25 percent, but only gets 21 percent back from the county.

Eichenthal said that might raise some red flags with Mt. Juliet citizens, but that it is very common. He used the example that federally, New Jersey pays in more than they get back, while Tennessee pays in less than they get back.

Eichenthal said in looking forward for the next five years, Mt. Juliet needs to look at the data. Of all the calls that WEMA receives, only 1.2 percent of calls are for structural fires in Mt. Juliet. The majority of the calls are for ambulances, while mixing in false calls, rescue and calls of that nature.

You are a relatively small fire risk for a city your size, Eichenthal said.

He noted that Mt. Juliet is lower because of factors such as a lower poverty rate and mostly newer structures in the city. He said that 1.4 percent of the total Wilson County Emergency Management Agency budget is spent on fire suppression in Mt. Juliet, which works out to about $75,000 a year.

There was no question in Eichenthals mind about continuing the interlocal agreement with the county.

Id work really hard with the county to maintain the interlocal agreement, he said. Its in the best interest of Wilson County, financially for both.

In the report, it states that the Countys cost of providing WEMA service to Mt. Juliet would not be reduced if it ceased providing fire service. In fact, its cost would likely increase

Commissioner Jim Bradshaw said that the city commission had been working to continue that agreement with the county, but that there were some hardheads on the county commission that are trying to derail it. Bradshaw, in addition to representing District 4 on the city commission, is also a Wilson County commissioner, representing District 11.

In the regular meeting, the commission approved an ordinance regulating firework sales. They also approved an amendment to the final master development plan for Ellenwood Farms.

Academy Sports had two issues approved, the first being their outdoor signage, and the ability to have outdoor sales under a canopy in front of the store.

The commission approved the purchase of a new K-9 Unit vehicle. The new one has 100,000 fewer miles than the current, gets better gas mileage and is already equipped for the K-9.

Two grants were approved as well, one for Planet Playground and the other to plant trees at Mundy Park.

By Kenny Howell

Editors Note: Kenny Howell is the managing editor of The Chronicle of Mt. Juliet. He may be contacted at

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