By Angie Mayes
Mt. Juliet News Correspondent
Wilson County Commissioner Lauren Breeze brought information about educational impact fees to the Wilson County Education Committee meeting Thursday night.
“I talked about educational impact fees at the last meeting,” Breeze said. “This is a summary from the County Powers Relief Act, which we’re not under because we are under a private act for the [adequate facilities tax].”
The County Powers Relief Act said, “a county that levied a development tax or impact fee with a private act under previous law cannot levy a school facilities tax authorized by the act, so long as they are levying and collecting a development tax or impact fee under the authority of the private act.”
Breeze said if Wilson County tried to create an educational impact fee like Williamson County did, “that would take us out under our private act and put us under the County Powers Relief Act, which would restructure how we do [adequate facilities tax] in general.”
She said if the commissioners “wanted to explore the idea of an impact fee, we could increase the [adequate facilities tax]” and designate [the extra tax money] for schools.
“We could use money that way for building improvements and to work on facility improvements that was given to us by schools.”
If the adequate facilities tax was raised from its current level, the extra amount of money would go into the educational fund balance, Breeze said.
Youth Links will no longer be a part of Wilson County Schools, according to Wilson County Director of Schools Donna Wright.
The program will now be a part of the Tennessee Workforce Development System, she said.
“They’ve consolidated programs,” she said. “If you remember several years ago, they did that with the adult high schools and several other programs. They collapse them around the state in different regions. That’s what we’re seeing right now with Youth Links.”
She asked for approval for other lines of the account. Listed on the sheet was a $66,382 increase, which included $750 for unemployment and $65,632 for other supplies.
The expenditures included $9,000 for clerical; $53,500 for other salaries; $2,879 for Social Security; $94 for state retirement; and $909 for Medicare. The items were reclassified per the grant guidelines by the granting agency, according to the report.
Also included in Wright’s requests was a capital outlay transfer of $400,000 to the school system’s fund balance.
The money will be used for small wares for Gladeville Middle School. That will include pots, pans, utensils and other small items to be used in the kitchen.
Also included was the repainting and refreshing of some school kitchens, to install a card-entry system for school cafeterias, which is part of the Wilson County Schools safety program. A state safety grant was used to buy keyless entries at all of the schools that did not have them, Wright said.
The final project that would be paid for out of the transfer is the renovation of the serving and eating areas at Wilson Central High School. Included in that will be the replacement of aging tables and chairs.
“The serving and eating areas are nearly 20 years old and are in need of these improvements,” Wright said. “Wilson Central is our oldest high school.”