Whether Wilson County has a comprehensive book that details its buildings and roads was a topic of discussion at the Wilson County Finance Committee meeting Wednesday night.
Newly chosen committee chair John Gentry asked county finance director Aaron Maynard if the county had such a book, which would include a listing of future capital improvement projects.
“I know the school system has a long-term capital projects book,” he said. “Do we have one of those in the county?”
Maynard said the county did have some information but “not in the same form. I’m going to assume that [Wilson County Schools’ book] has different architectural and design work that is included. What we’ve done since I’ve been here is, for example, we have a plan as to the [Wilson County Emergency Management Agency] stations and where they are. The mayor, who is in charge of county buildings, has drawn up a plan as to where future WEMA stations should be.”
Maynard said the Expo Center plans “had been going on for 20 years, and it came to a vote as to whether it would be funded or not.”
The only other building the county has built, outside of the Mt. Juliet Public Library, WEMA stations and the Expo Center, is the Wilson County Veterans Museum, Maynard said.
Maynard said one building project currently on the table to be done is the jail expansion. The other, which is in discussion, is the consolidation of the various courts into one building.
“We don’t have the same kind of building infrastructure situations that the school system does,” Maynard said.
Wilson County Director of Schools Donna Wright said the school system’s book has an inventory of buildings, as well as structures to be built in the future.
“We have a systematic value of our buildings done at least every five years to be sure we have adequate insurance coverage,” Maynard said.
Gentry asked about information in regard to renovations that included roofs, doors and items that would not be total construction.
“That might be something worth looking into, beyond my area of expertise,” Maynard said. “But it’s something that’s not impossible.”
Gentry stressed the need for such a book.
“This is something that we should probably look ahead and do,” Gentry said. “At the same light, if we do require, say, a new jail, we should look at what it’s going to cost to operate. Before we pass something like a new jail, would it be appropriate for us to ask the sheriff what it’s going to cost to operate it?”
Maynard said the county has asked the sheriff that, “but he said until you go through the process with the design, you’re not going to know how many people you’re going to need. There’s not a rule that you have to have a corrections officer for every 15 inmates, or whatever.”
Gentry said, “When you’re funding something like this, [the cost to operate] should be included. I don’t know if it is.”
Maynard said, “In most cases, we know. When we built the Veterans Museum over here, we knew the veterans office was going to move. So, it wasn’t anything new as far as personnel goes.”
He said when a WEMA station opens, the county knows the number of personnel it will need to operate out of the station.
“We know the operating costs of that,” Maynard said. “We don’t have a whole lot where we don’t know the personnel needs.”