Dickson County Mayor Bob Rial will start the new year with a state of the county update at the January luncheon for the Dickson County Chamber of Commerce. The luncheon for chamber members is $13 and will be at noon Monday, Jan. 9, at GreyStone Golf Club at 2555 Highway 70 East. On a recent Power Lunch program, Rial said the first priority of the new year for the Dickson County Commission will be a proposal for a new school. Rial has already outlined to the county commission and school board how the county’s improved financial status has put it in a position to borrow up to $40 million for school capital projects in 2017 without needing a property tax increase to pay for the additional debt. The Dickson County School Board is expected to make its pitch for a middle/high school in the Burns area early next year with hope to begin construction this spring and open in August 2019. In preliminary discussions between the commission and school officials, Rial has said he also wants to know how the school board plans to come up with the money to operate the new school. Estimates have ranged as high as $4 million in annual operating costs. Rial has said it would take a 44-cent property tax increase to create that additional revenue while school officials have said not all of that money will necessarily come from new revenues and some could come from savings in other parts of the school system. The mayor also has said the county is in a position to borrow up to $30 million in 2017 for other county capital projects, which could include a new criminal justice center to alleviate overcrowding in the Dickson County Courthouse Annex and improve security by putting all of the county’s courts and supporting offices in one location. The commission already has approved the purchase of 2.2 acres on Highway 49 next to the Courthouse Square for the new center and Rial has said he expects to issue a request for qualifications soon to begin design work. The commission also has approved the purchase of property on West Iron Hill Road on which it plans to build a new station for the Dickson County Emergency Medical Service and a volunteer fire department. The county plans to use surplus funds for that project without having to borrow money. The capital plan also could include funds for work at the Dickson County Public Library, which re-opened last week after a section of exterior wall fell on Nov. 20. The mayor has said a new library building and county government satellite office in Dickson could be part of a future capital project. The deadline for chamber members to RSVP for the luncheon is Tuesday, Jan. 3. Reservations can be made by calling the chamber at 615-446-2349.
With final approval from the Dickson County Commission, the new tipping fee schedule at the Dickson County Landfill will go into effect Feb. 1. Without discussion Monday night, the county commission approved proposed increases in the fees for waste that crosses the scales at the landfill on Eno Road. Solid Waste Department Superintendent Jim Lunn said the tipping fee increases are needed due to increased costs in a new contract to have the county’s garbage hauled to Benton County for disposal. Following the commission’s vote Monday, Lunn said notices of the new fees will be included in bills sent out in January and will take effect Feb. 1. Lunn emphasized that the fee increases only affect tipping fees for waste brought to the landfill and will not impact the county’s $10 monthly sanitation fee. At the work session earlier this month, Lunn said the additional cost will be passed on to the mainly commercial and industrial users bringing waste to the transfer station so the sanitation fee charged to residents will not be increased. “Part of the importance in raising this fee is that we don’t have to revisit our sanitation fee. We can leave it alone by hitting our commercial and industrial and making up some of this cost increase,” Lunn said. The commission approved a new 10-year contract with Waste Management Inc. to haul the county’s trash from the transfer station at the landfill on Eno Road to the West Camden Landfill in Benton County. Waste Management’s fee for hauling class I household waste increased from $27.48 per ton to $31.66. The commission approved increasing the tipping fee from $36.85 to $42.87 per ton. The new schedule also increases the fee for construction and demolition debris from $25 to $32 per ton. Tipping fees generate just over $1 million in annual revenue while the $10 monthly fee generates about $2.3 million. The total operating expenses for the Solid Waste Management Department in the 2016-17 budget are $3.6 million. The county instituted the $10 fee in 2011 to make the department an enterprise fund that generates revenue to cover its expenses without any money from property taxes.
As seasonal employment picks up heading into the holidays, Dickson County’s unemployment rate dropped in November. According to statistics released Thursday by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, there were 1,020 Dickson County residents receiving unemployment benefits in November for a rate of 4 percent of the workforce. That is a decrease from 4.4 percent in October and almost a full point less than the 4.9 percent rate in November 2015. Dickson County was one of 81 counties that saw unemployment decrease last month, while 10 counties reported an increase and four were unchanged. Williamson County continues to have the state’s lowest rate at 3.4 percent while Lake County is the highest at 8.3 percent. Overall, Tennessee’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.8 percent while the rate for the U.S. dropped from 4.9 to 4.6 percent in November. Dickson County’s rate of 4 percent is the lowest since hitting a 15-year low of 3.6 percent in May.
With an 8-point burst in the second quarter of Thursday night’s 69-61 win over Waverly, Creek Wood’s Coulter Dotson passed the 1,000-point mark in his Red Hawk career. Dotson finished with 19 points and the Red Hawks hit crucial free throws in the fourth period to hold off a Waverly rally for the District 11-AA win. Creek Wood was dialed in from long range in Charlotte as the Red Hawks hit four three-pointers in the first period to build a 21-11 lead. The margin stretched to 16 points by intermission as Dotson scored his 1,000th point in the second. Waverly began to fight back in the second half and got the margin down to single digits by the start of the fourth. But Micah Westerman hit 5 free throws and Dallas Hall added 3 from the stripe as Creek Wood held on for the 8-point win. The Red Hawks sank 13 treys on the night. Dotson had three in his 19 points while Hall drained four in his 18. Westerman had two in his 11 while Devon Higgins and Aaron Daniel both had a pair of treys. The Lady Red Hawks also sank 13 treys as they crushed Waverly 71-24. Sam Kilian scored 15 points in the first half as Creek Wood took control 36-8. A 24-9 third period put the mercy rule in effect for the fourth as reserves finished off the 47-point win. Kilian finished with 17 while Taylor Moore added 17 all in the third period. Raegan Hohl finished with 12. After hitting 11 treys in the junior varsity win, Emily Michael canned a trio of threes for 9 points for the varsity. Following the Christmas break, the Lady Red Hawks head to a Christmas Classic in Summertown to face the host Lady Eagles at 5:30 Thursday and Community High School at 6:30 Friday. Dickson County will play in the Above the Rim Invitational at Hickman County starting Wednesday.
Following her 18-point, break-out performance Sunday night, Dickson County High School graduate LeaLea Carter got her first collegiate start in Vanderbilt’s Wednesday game against 8th-ranked Louisville. Carter finished with 10 points and 8 rebounds in a 78-66 loss to the Cardinals at Memorial Gym. Former Creek Wood Lady Red Hawk Rachel Bell led Vandy with 21 points as the Commodores saw their nine-game winning streak snapped. In Sunday’s 89-57 win over Tennessee Tech, Vanderbilt saw senior starting forward Marqu’es Webb carried off the court on a stretcher following a collision. The Commodores responded with career highs in points from Carter, Christa Reed and Erin Whalen. Vandy’s leading scorer, Bell was held to a season-low 3 points. Carter hit 8 of 12 shots and both free throws for her 18 points to go with 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Whalen finished with 23 and Reed led the way with 25, both career highs. While Webb returned for limited action against Louisville, Vandy coach Stephanie White gave freshman Carter her first career start. The McDonald’s All-American responded with 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists in 32 minutes of action. Bell rebounded from her 3-point night against Tech by hitting 6 of 13 from the floor, 2 of 4 three-pointers and 7 of 8 free throws for a team-high 21 points. She added 4 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal. Louisville used its size advantage to control inside scoring. Vandy’s roster has no players taller than 6’1” while the Cardinals have six players 6’2” or taller. Louisville dominated points in the paint 48-26. After the Christmas break, Vanderbilt will close 2016 with a Wednesday trip to Memphis for a 4 pm game on ESPNU. The Commodores open their 16-game SEC schedule Jan. 2 at Texas A&M and host Tennessee Jan. 5.