The Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce had its regular monthly luncheon July 19, at Rutland Place.
The guest speaker was Wilson County Mayor, Randall Hutto. His presentation was “The State of the County,” which focused on all of the changes, improvements and growth that have been happening in Wilson County, and namely Mt. Juliet.
According to recent state surveys, Wilson County is the second fastest growing county in the state, second wealthiest county and the second healthiest county.
“You live in a great place, I hope you know that,” Hutto said.
Hutto stated that the three things pushed the most in Wilson County are: education, public safety and quality of life.
Current enrollment for Wilson County schools is up to 18,500. Performance and progress is measuring in state testing, nine schools were recognized as scoring the highest in Tennessee, three of the schools are in Wilson County. With Mt. Juliet High School receiving the silver ranking.
“We have a great director and she’s here with us today, Donna Wright does a tremendous job. She has to make some tough calls but she has improved our school system tremendously,” Hutto said. “She’s on the ball and doing a fantastic job for us.”
Several new schools have been added to the district, with more planned for the future. The new Springdale Elementary School will be open for this upcoming school year, relieving overcrowding issues at Stoner Creek and Elzie Patton. This growth has allowed for all portable classrooms to be removed from Wilson County Schools.
“A lot of money has gone into education. We’ve worked hard to keep up with the growth,” Hutto said.
One of the proposed future projects, is to transition all school fields to turf. This would create more revenue and allow more activities on the fields, including soccer. This change would save lots of money in water, fertilizer and other lawn maintenance costs. The proposal is that schools could then use all of the money saved on lawn maintenance, to replace the turf in 10-15 years when needed.
After addressing education issues, Hutto spoke about public safety in Wilson County.
One of the biggest improvements in the works, is to incorporate co-location of emergency services. There will be an addition to the 911 dispatch building in Lebanon, to co-locate all of the agencies. What this means, is that other agencies like WEMA, will be in the same location. This saves time during dispatching emergency personnel, saving time and lives.
Quality of life is one of the top three concerns for Wilson County, Mayor Hutto discussed the current status and future plans.
He named many of the great amenities that already exist, such as the Music City Star Railroad, James E. Ward Agricultural Center, Wilson County Fairgrounds, Veteran’s Park, trails and parks, greenways, and numerous restaurants.
Another project that is on the horizon, is the construction of a multi-sports park, so that residents can play sports without traveling out of town.
Hutto discussed the IMPROVE Act which is expected to do great things for Wilson County. Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has 14 years to put out 943 projects, including widening Highway 70 from Highway 109 into Mt. Juliet.
“I wake up every morning, and I enjoy my job. Life is good in Wilson County,” Hutto said. “Enjoy where you live and be proud of it.”
For more information about future events, visit mjchamber.org.