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County OKs funds for vet museum

Xavier Smith • Updated Nov 22, 2016 at 8:00 AM

The Wilson County Commission approved funds Monday that will complete the Wilson County Veterans Park and Museum project. 

The body approved $437,000 to use to complete the interior of the Wilson County Veterans Museum after some discussion among the commissioners. Construction of the museum began in March with hopes of an opening by Veterans Day, but the interior of the museum and adjoining offices remain unfinished.

Commissioners, Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto and Wilson County Finance director Aaron Maynard disputed the exact dollar amount spent on the project, but all agreed it was at or more than about $1.4 million.

Maynard did not have the figures in front of him during the meeting, as Commissioner Jeff Joines estimated more than $2 million has been spent on the entire project.

“Every time we get ready to build a school it’s something about the land and something about getting the utilities in there and something about the school. It’s all the same, but we want to break it out, so let’s break it out. We got $500 a square foot in that building over there and nobody’s saying nothing. It’s not apples and oranges,” Joines said.

Hutto said Joines’ figure, if accurate, did not account for the square footage of the entire park property, but just the building. Joines said his point is the commission should support “good” projects, such as the veterans’ park and museum and school construction.

“Let’s vote this and get it done. I think the biggest mistake we’ve made on this is doing it the way we’ve done it. We should’ve invested in it. We should’ve built it. We don’t drag any other buildings out. We don’t drag schools out. We don’t drag the Expo Center out. We shouldn’t have drug this out. We should’ve got a figure of what it was going to cost and voted on it,” Commissioner Mike Justice said.

The commission approved using $160,000 from the county’s fund balance for the construction at the Mt. Juliet Library that was miscalculated during construction and owed.

In other business, the commission approved:

• insurance contracts with Cigna, Key Risk Insurance and Mutual of Omaha Insurance

• fire truck purchase for the Wilson County Emergency Management Agency

• guidelines for ambulance service in Wilson County, known as the Wilson County Ambulance Requirements

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