Heavy agenda for the fiscal year passes Budget Committee


The Williamson County Budget Committee unanimously approved a weighty agenda Monday afternoon relating to the 2014-2015 county budget.

The Williamson County Budget Committee unanimously approved a weighty agenda Monday afternoon relating to the 2014-2015 county budget.

An amount of $440,951,983 was approved for the fiscal year that began July 1, which is up about $6 million from last year. The amount reflects a two percent pay increase for county employees.

The tax levy will remain the same at $2.31 per $100 of taxable property.

Funds designated for county nonprofits were approved in the amount of $2,180,857. One new organization providing handicapped services, Take the Reins, joined the list this year and will receive $1,800.

General purpose school funds were approved in the amount of $1,360,719, which accounts for a two percent pay raise for classified employees and some teachers.

The committee appropriated $4 million in adequate school facilities privilege tax funds for general debt service expenditures. The amount signifies 5 cents of the tax rate and goes toward school capital needs.

Education privilege tax funds of $5 million were appropriated for rural debt service payments, which signifies 8 cents of the tax rate.

An intent to fund $4 million for WCS capital projects passed the committee, as well as an intent to fund $2,672,200 in a bond issue for various county capital projects.

Committee members approved $310,500 to go toward the county general fund from the undesignated fund balance. The funds cover county vehicles including 20 for the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office.

Commissioner Bob Barnwell questioned why the county does not lease vehicles to save pennies.

County Mayor Rogers Anderson disagreed and said “we’d rather own†vehicles.

“Most vehicles we have are passed down from other departments. There are few new vehicles,†Anderson said, adding that it was a “philosophical issue.â€

The capital projects budget was amended by $201,025 coming from the county general undesignated fund balance. Funds cover the Fairview Public Library expansion, for which the library is matching half the cost.

The appropriation also covers $70,000 in equipment for the Ag/Expo Center and $40,000 in analog upgrades for the county channel, WC-TV.

Williamson County Sheriff’s Office

The committee authorized an agreement between the county and United States Secret Service, allowing the Nashville District Electronic Fraud Task Force to provide training to WCSO.

Nissan has also donated four tasers to WCSO.

Public Safety

The Office of Public Safety and Information Technology budgets are to receive $200,000 in unappropriated county general funds for emergency response operational costs conducted from facility near downtown Franklin.

Donations and a bond issue amounting to $4,745,00 were approved to go toward both the new 911 dispatch center on Downs Boulevard, on which construction began last month, and renovations to the emergency response facility on Downs Boulevard.

A lease agreement with Premier Leasing, LLC was authorized for county emergency responders to continue using the Downs Blvd. facility, which the county intends to purchase in the future.

Committee members approved annual state grant funds to subsidize emergency management.

Parks and Recreation

The committee approved up to $150,000 in recreation privilege tax funds to the 5-year capital improvements budget to purchase Parks and Recreation equipment like new fencing, bleachers, landscaping, signs and playground equipment.

Williamson County Schools will split the $100,000 total cost with the parks department for ball field lighting at Joel Cheek Park, a county parks facility located near the county animal shelter and frequently used by Franklin High School.

The county’s $50,000 portion will come from the recreation privilege tax, while the schools’ will come from general purpose school fund donations.

Committee members approved a bond issue to go toward the future enrichment center and community theater to be built on the old Battle Ground Academy campus.

Academy Park Enrichment Center, which will cost $6,073,000, will cater to senior citizens during the day. The two employees at the J L Clay Senior Citizens Center in Franklin will relocate to the new facility when built.

BGA’s old library and gymnasium will be converted to Academy Park Theatre at the cost of $3,205,000.

Concerned that the cost could push the county closer to a tax increase, Commissioner Kathy Danner proposed postponing the project until the city of Franklin commits to fund a portion of it.

“This project could push [the tax increase] through,†Danner said.

Committee members disagreed, and Anderson added that he thinks “Franklin will come around†and help with the operational cost.

Bonds not to exceed $17 million for land and design costs at Academy Park were approved.

Williamson Animal Control

Williamson Animal Services funded $9,400 for another part-time veterinary technician at Williamson County Animal Control. The position will last as long as funding does.

The committee approved an agreement between the county and State Department of Health to accept $3,500 in state grant funding for sterilization at WCAC.

Donations totaling $23,000 for the installation of sun tunnels and awnings at WCAC also passed the committee.

Sanitation and Highway Departments

A total of $335,000 from the unappropriated solid waste/sanitation fund balance was appropriated to the department’s budget.

The Highway Department budget was amended by $780,000 to cover the purchase of two dump trucks, a water truck, a pickup and a backhoe.  

Highway privilege tax funds amounting to $50,000 were appropriated to cover paving expenses for the department.

Miscellaneous

Committee members approved an agreement between the county and the State Department of Children’s Services allowing Williamson County Juvenile Court to accept $128,000 in grant funds.

Committee members authorized interest payments of general purpose school fund tax anticipation notes up to $15 million.

Up to $36.5 million was approved to pay debt service on bonds to cover the Williamson County Recreation Complex at Nolensville, which is under construction.

The budget committee also passed the following:

  • Up to $23.1 million in district school bonds for rural debt service payments
  • A lease renewal with the state for the 21st Judicial District Public Defender’s use of the county courthouse
  • An agreement with the cities of Brentwood and Franklin to establish a county-wide communications network, for which each municipality will share a portion of the cost
  • An interlocal agreement allowing the town of Nolensville to use county Geographic Informational Systems
  • An expression of support in state legislation that would allow the county to regulate roadblocks at the Highway 96/Nolensville Road intersection
  • An interlocal agreement allowing the county highway department to service roads in Fairview at the municipality’s expense
  • An agreement providing that the county pays the State Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for mental evaluation and treatment for defendants charged with misdemeanors
  • A license agreement with the Fairview Lion’s Club for parking space between the club’s location and county parks property
  • A resolution to name a bridge at Arno Road crossing the Harpeth River after the late County Commissioner Clyde Lynch
  • $70,700 to the Register of Deeds’ budget from document recording fees
  • $25,136 to the County Clerk’s budget from reserve account funds
  • $13,000 to the Clerk and Master’s budget from reserve account funds
  • $35,000 to the Circuit Court Clerk budget from reserve account funds
  • $15,200 to the General Sessions Court budget from DUI Court Foundation of Williamson County, Inc. donations

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