The Wilson County Public Works Committee met Tuesday evening and approved buying land that could eventually lead to a larger jail.
The committee unanimously approved spending $182,500 on the two tracts of land behind the jail at 204 and 206 Rogers Ave. The money will come from the Wilson County Commission’s capitol outlay fund if ultimately approved by the commission. The plan previously passed during the Law Enforcement Committee meeting last week.
Sheriff Robert Bryan said the land allocation is part of a five-year plan started by former Sheriff Terry Ashe.
“We may not have a need to build a building today, but we have a need for parking right now,” Bryan said. “We need to be proactive in doing this. It’s no secret the county is growing. We will need a place to build when we need to.”
The two tracts of land under consideration would square off a larger tract of land bought by the county about two years ago, which included the former Goodyear tire store. At the time, the store and a home were moved to make room for additional parking at the jail.
“It will square up that piece of property,” Bryan said. “That would take us into the future. This is nothing but a good thing.”
Currently there are two houses on the properties the county is considering buying. One is owned by Greg Dugdale and has a tenant. James Moseley owns the other tract.
County attorney Mike Jennings said the plan would be to close on the land in mid-December to allow time for the renter to move if the commission approves it.
If the county acquires the two tracts on Rogers Avenue, Bryan said the homes would either be moved or torn down.
The land formerly acquired by the county is currently used for parking, but Bryan said those lots are full. He said he’s also been in talks with Lebanon Public Works Commissioner Jeff Baines to close Lake Street between the jail and properties to allow for future building.