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Trousdale County’s current wheel tax would expire at the end of May under a resolution to be taken up by the County Commission later this month.

At the Jan. 4 meeting of the Steering Committee, commissioners sent the resolution on to the full body for its consideration.

Trousdale County voters approved a wheel tax in 2000 and gave it a 20-year sunset clause, with the understanding that the $40 tax would expire once the high school had been paid off. The final payment on that note will come due in May.

The resolution also includes a provision that any funds left over in the Education Debt Service fund will be applied toward the replacement of the roof at Jim Satterfield Middle School. Since the wheel tax was intended to be applied to education debt, commissioners felt that would satisfy that requirement.

Amy Thomas, the mayor’s administrative assistant/budget director, estimated there could be in excess of $20,000 left over once the final school payment is made.

While commissioners have in the past discussed the possibility of creating a new wheel tax, that issue did not come up at all Tuesday evening.

Commissioners also looked at a proposed contract between the county and the Greater Nashville Regional Council (GNRC) to administer projects using American Rescue Plan funds. Trousdale County should have access to just over $5 million under the relief plan passed last year, but if the money is spent in ways that do not meet U.S. Treasury guidelines the county could be responsible for repaying part of that.

Commissioners questioned some of the contract terms, noting that GNRC would bear no responsibility if regulations were not deciphered correctly. Some of the fee structures were also questioned.

“Are they going to come back and charge us $20,000 for looking at a million-dollar project we’ve already looked at? That’s the question I have with it,” chairman Dwight Jewell noted. “It’s making sure we understand what the total ramifications are.”

Commissioners also referred to the Buildings Committee, which is scheduled to meet on Jan. 13, an engineering request for qualifications for a new criminal justice center.

“This is not funding it; it’s laying groundwork for someone to do this so we have accurate numbers to look at,” Jewell said.

The Steering Committee also referred to the Solid Waste Committee a proposal to increase the fees for roll-off containers. The proposed ordinance raises those fees to $325 for a two-week period plus $45 per ton and follows a recommendation from a Solid Waste audit conducted last year.

But commissioners also asked whether the ordinance should also look at raising fees for residential and/or business trash collection, given that there is a recurring deficit in that department.

“We wonder why we’re losing money? I’m not sure it’s the dumpsters, it looks like it’s these rates here,” Jewell said.

The County Commission is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 24 in the upstairs courtroom of the courthouse.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

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