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Squires deny urban growth plan

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Wilson County Planning Director Tom Brashear said the growth boundaries are a 20-year plan that does not guarantee any property within the boundaries will be annexed by the municipalities, but does give them the option to do so in the future.


District 17 Commissioner Gary Keith, who represents the area in question, asked fellow squires to remove the neighborhood from the growth boundary, given that they believed they were left out of the boundary 10 years ago.


Id ask to amend this resolution to delete this section, Keith said.


But County Attorney Mike Jennings said the commission couldnt amend the growth plan and then approve it as amended. It has to return to the growth coordinating committee as a whole.


You have to deny all of it and send it back with that recommendation, Jennings said.


Brashear explained that if the plan was denied, the squires have to submit some recommendation or guidance to the growth coordinating committee. However, some squires were weary about sending the plan back to committee for such a small area.


District 13 Commissioner Clint Thomas said he didnt want to send it back because of the hard work already put in by the committee and local representatives from Mt. Juliet to adjust their growth boundaries.


The largest proposed expansion of growth boundaries occurs south of Mt. Juliet, extending the citys growth boundaries as far south as Stewarts Ferry Pike. Thomas said if the committee has a chance to look at the plan again, he sees changes being made in those areas.


If we send it back, I see things changing and weve worked hard to get things changed in Mt. Juliet, Thomas said.


But Keith was adamant about removing the neighborhood north of Lebanon from within the growth boundary. We look at it and ask questions, we dont rubber stamp anything, he said.


Brashear said the committee has done excellent work in negotiating with all three municipalities on their growth boundaries, indicating the current map is far from the original proposal by Mt. Juliet that would have had even more land within its growth boundaries.


Through negotiation its been trimmed back quite a bit and I dont think the citizens of Gladeville are as worried, Brashear said.


County Mayor Randall Hutto made sure the squires knew the neighborhood is currently within the growth boundary and has been for the past 10 years. The changing of the boundaries by the current growth committee did not place the neighborhood into the boundary.


Hutto said since Mt. Juliet and Watertowns boundaries are not affected he expects those two municipalities to approve the plan after the growth coordinating committee accepts the commissions recommendation to remove the neighborhood or not.


The ball would be in the City of Lebanons court, Hutto said.


Brashear said the growth coordinating committee would have to call another meeting now that the plan has been denied. He said since they are not a standing committee, they do not have a set meeting schedule.


They did their work in the allotted time after being called together in October and probably thought they had completed their work, but theyll have to reconvene, Brashear said.


Also during the meeting, the commission deferred a resolution back to the Budget Committee that would have authorized the county to fund the construction of the new Mt. Juliet fire station in the Providence area.


The resolution called for the county to issue general obligation capital outlay notes in the amount not to exceed $1.55 million to build the station, and would have the City of Mt. Juliet repaying that amount over time.


The city would pay the county $650,000 by making a yearly payment of $31,140.31 amortized over 35 years. The city has already purchased land for the station. At this point, the city and county are still working out plans of how to staff the fire station once its built.


Two proposals are currently on the table that would either have Mt. Juliet fully funding the staff and equipment at the station, while the Wilson County Emergency Management Agency continues to staff Station 3 in Mt. Juliet, or have the city pay salaries for personnel at the new station, while the county pays all other costs.


Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com.

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