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Commissioners pass budget, add six firefighters

Kenny Howell

Managing Editor

The City of Mt. Juliet Board of Commissioners approved the yearly budget on second reading, which included adding six firefighters. 

The adding six firefighters item was brought up the first time July 12 when a special meeting was called to discuss the new firefighters and the possibility of bringing in private EMS provider Medic One. 

Mayor Ed Hagerty thought that it wasn’t a good time to discuss the adding of firefighters and private EMS because the public has not been fully informed on the situation. The city will be holding two town hall meetings on the subject,  July 7, 6:30 p.m. at Life Assembly Church and July 8, 6:30 p.m. at Joy Church. 

“This was not part of the plan. This is a major shift. It deserves public scrutiny,” said Hagerty. 

Jim Bradshaw agreed and the two made an amendment that would defer the item until July 14. Hagerty said he will probably vote for the extra firefighters once it came back, but thought it needed to go through the town hall meetings first. The amendment failed 3-2. 

“I’d like to see those [firefighters] in the budget,” said Vice Mayor James Maness. 

The vote came back up to add the firefighters, and it passed 4-0, with Hagerty abstaining from the vote. The cost for the firefighters is $255,000, and will  move forward the second station behind City Hall, which would give the Fire Department of Mt. Juliet better coverage in the city. The firefighters are expected to be hired around September or October. 

The entire budget would then be approved 5-0. 

An ordinance that had come to the floor several times was replaced with a resolution. 

The issue of what to do with improving Old Lebanon Dirt Road, and limiting the amount of wrecks has has several readings by the commission. The latest was to add rumble strips along the edge of two 100 foot sections where many wrecks occur. Sponsor Art Giles replaced the ordinance with a resolution that would task the city with doing a study on what would be the proper action for the piece of land. Giles said that City Engineer Jessica Gore and the Public Works Department have until December to see what the proper fix is, and the commission would take action on their recommendation. 

Commissioner Ray Justice disagreed, saying that the issue has been talked about too much and it was time to take action. The resolution passed 4-1, with Bradshaw voting against it. 

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