“I really have a belief that we could bring co-location into our existing facility – I believe we will lose this board room in that process – without making a multi-million dollar investment, at this point anyway, in a building and be good stewards of money we have,” said board chairman David Hale.
The group has discussed potentially renovating the office for months after the group decided to make changes to county 911 dispatch operations last year. The group has previously discussed building a new location for dispatch services, but decided the renovation would be a more feasible option at this time for all parties involved.
“If we’re going to do co-location, we have to live within our means. We can’t go out there and spend taxpayers’ money or money we don’t have. If this building will suffice that, which we won’t know until somebody comes and looks at it, I would like us to move in that direction,” said board member Terry Ashe.
Ashe said the renovation would be a better option for county governmental entities, which are strapped for funds for their own respective projects and issues.
The group will tap an architect to examine the building and potential options and report to the board during next month’s meeting.
Lebanon police Chief Mike Justice highlighted the city’s current dispatch position, which has some issues with dispatchers too close in proximity to one another, which creates some communication issues. He said he hopes the group keeps the issues that caused them to move away from the office renovation in the first place.
Mt. Juliet police Lt. Tyler Chandler said he hopes the group would think about future growth in the area. Ashe said he believed the renovation would work for dispatch until government entities are in a better position to build a location.
“This may not even be an option. The first step is making sure it’s possible,” Ashe said.
“We’ve had this conversation for how long now? We need to start somewhere. Let’s do it,” said Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan.
The co-location was called into question in August when the group discovered the Lebanon Police Department was moving forward with plans to build its own communications building.
Justice clarified he is all for the idea of co-location.
“We are, moving forward, looking at building a communications building,” Justice said. “But if the 911 Board, in the future, ever got the funding and built a building, we absolutely would co-locate. We would just reutilize that space from our communications department.”