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A proposal to require fire sprinklers in new residential construction in Trousdale County died quickly during Monday’s meeting of the County Commission.

Commissioners voted unanimously to remove the requirement for sprinklers from the 2018 version of the International Construction Codes, which were up for approval. The Codes & Zoning Committee had voted to send the codes to the full Commission with the sprinkler requirement in place.

Third District Commissioner Gary Walsh made the motion to delete the requirement from the code, noting that he had heard from several constituents opposed to the plan.

Other commissioners noted similar sentiments, with Beverly Atwood stating, “We need to listen to our people.”

Before the vote, commissioners heard from members of the public who spoke in opposition to requiring sprinklers. Among the reasons for opposition listed were the desire to have fewer government restrictions, the long-term costs of sprinklers and how those on well water would be able to install sprinklers.

Once the sprinkler requirement was removed, the residential construction code update was approved by a 16-3 vote with commissioners Bill Fergusson, Dwight Jewell and David Nollner voting no. It will have to come back for a public hearing and second reading in November.

Commissioners also approved the updated version of commercial construction codes on second reading by a unanimous vote.

Two rezonings were also approved Monday night: on Highway 25 from C-2 (commercial) to A-1 (agricultural) and on Herod Lane from I-1 (industrial) to R-1 (residential).

Commissioners also approved resolutions adding Ray Lane and Nix Lane to the county’s Official Road Name List, allowing the Sheriff’s Department to sell two trucks as surplus and recognizing the 50th anniversary of Volunteer State Community College.

A number of budget amendments were approved, most of which came from the school system:

  • $63,300 from fund balance for added nurse and maintenance positions;
  • $690 from fund balance for a Youth Risk Behavior Survey;
  • $4,821 from fund balance for insurance premiums that came in above projections;
  • $101,050 in reallocated funds because of a decrease in state revenue through the Basic Education Plan;
  • $1,127 in maintenance of effort for special education;
  • $12,712 for personnel at athletic events;
  • $30,780 in a Safe Schools grant;
  • $42,050 for a school psychologist that has been contracted out; and
  • $126,706 in LEAPS afterschool and Project Diabetes funding.

Commissioners also approved $15,000 in additional CARES Act funding for the Senior Center.

Nine appointments were approved as well as four notaries. Landon Gulley, Linda Sue Johnson, Ray Russell, Steve Whittaker and Freida Cornwell were named to the Ethics Board, Mary Ann Baker was appointed to the Planning Commission and Jimmy Anthony, Bill Scruggs and Tracy Belcher were named to the Emergency Communications District Board. Lisa Angel, C.D. McClard, Anita Sullivan and Tina Stafford were appointed as notaries.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or

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