I read with interest Wilson County Commissioner Jerry McFarland’s letter in the Nov. 21 Lebanon Democrat concerning the new Mt. Juliet High School. Some of the issues mentioned were the possibility of unsuitability of the land due to having a 100-foot ravine with attendant costs to correct and the request for $100 million to build the 2,000-student school while a comparable school in Columbia cost $47 million. I suspect the school system will be coming back for more funds if what McFarland said is correct.
I have always tended toward an urban mindset who despises “good ole boy” politics, and this certainly sounds like “good ole boy” politics to me and should be studied further.
This brings up a myriad of issues that are the result of growth in the county. We, as Wilson County citizens, need to decide what we want in our county before the growth overwhelms us. Since we will be unable to remain rural, given the proximity to Nashville, it is imperative we plan and restrict certain types of developments in the county. Do we want high-density development in areas with single-family homes with expansive yards? Do we want strip malls scattered around like someone threw confetti up in the air? Lebanon already has a lot of vacant buildings that need to be knocked down. Finally, do we want to keep the farms in the area to maintain some rural atmosphere or let some corporate developer build mixed-use communities of questionable quality?
It is vitally important that we decide these issues and others, which would cover too much to include in the scope of this letter. Growth requires infrastructure as in schools, roads, etc. As McFarland so aptly pointed out, we need to be frugal and plan what we want and make sure the plan, as implemented, follows sound business practices. If this is not done, the native Wilson County citizens will be priced out of their properties and be faced with urban sprawl that infects many suburbs of large cities. This needs to be done on a countywide basis to be successful and not restricted to each city in the county.
Frank C. Newbell