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MoCo Government News
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Clarksville, TN 37040

Phone: (931) 648-8482
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Nature Center Receives Initial Investment for Aquarium

December 02, 2022 - MoCo Gov.

The Wade Bourne Nature Center Foundation contributes to a swimmingly fun learning experience


Montgomery County, Tenn. — The Wade Bourne Nature Center Foundation presented Montgomery County Parks Director Sally Burchett with a check for $50,000 to purchase a custom 500+-gallon freshwater aquarium that can be viewed by visitors from inside and outside the Nature Center. The tank is expected to be installed by spring of 2023 with the goal of stocking it with native species of fish.

"The Wade Bourne Nature Center Foundation is proud to present these initial funds for a project that will enhance the Wade Bourne Nature Center. This money will pay for the building and installation of a very large aquarium. We will need the community’s help to raise money to actually "stock the tank" with fish. You will hear more about fundraising opportunities in the future,” said Wade Bourne Foundation Chair Rosalind Kurita.

The fish and items that go in the tank will be purchased through fundraising efforts, while Montgomery County will pay for the ongoing maintenance of the tank and fish.

“We are always excited to bring in new exhibits that help us extend the love for the outdoors to people in our community. The aquarium fits with our mission of promoting conservation and nature education for all ages while connecting visitors with the environment. The native aquarium educational opportunities will be unique to Rotary Park and a special experience for our community,” said Burchett.

We appreciate the gift from the Wade Bourn Foundation. This project is a testament to the great things that happen when the community and government pull together. What a wonderful opportunity for our kids to learn more about Tennessee wildlife,” said Montgomery County Mayor Wes Golden.

The Wade Bourne Nature Center Foundation is a non-profit organization providing support for the educational outreach of the Nature Center located at Rotary Park. Funding is provided by charitable organizations and individuals interested in the conservation of natural resources along with human health and well-being.

For information about the Wade Bourne Nature Center, free programs for children, and Rotary Park, visit, Montgomery Parks on Facebook, or call 931-648-5732.

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Pictured from left to right front row: Sally Burchett, Wade Bourne Nature Center Foundation Member Wes Sumner, Montgomery County Parks and Recreation Natural Resources and Program Manager Katherine Netti (holding check) and Montgomery County Trustee Kimberly Wiggins. Back row: Montgomery County Parks and Recreation Committee Member Mike Taliento, Montgomery County Parks and Recreation Committee Member Ronnie Boyd, Mayor Golden, County Commissioner Jason Knight, County Commissioner Chris Rasnic and County Commissioner Rashidah Leverett standing in the location of the future fish tank. 

Fee Structure Changes Set for Bi-County Landfill

November 22, 2022 - MoCo Gov.

Solid Waste Management Board approves new fees for household waste

Montgomery County, TN – Bi-County Solid Waste Management will change its fee structure for Montgomery and Stewart County residents effective January 1, 2023. The new fee schedule will apply to large loads from an individual's primary residence. 

The $5 landfill user fee will continue to cover small loads of bagged household waste and other miscellaneous items at the Dover Road Landfill and Convenience Centers that fit in a standard pick-up truck, SUV, passenger vehicle, or small trailer. Small loads will remain free subject to verification of name, address and up-to-date landfill user fee payments. Trailers are no longer accepted at the Transfer Station off Highway Drive due to traffic flow concerns. 

Since Bi-County opened in 1974, Montgomery and Stewart County residents have been able to dispose of unlimited trash with little to no cost. The $5 per month user fee did not take effect until 1997. A new fee schedule was presented to the Bi-County Board and approved at the November 2022 meeting. 

"Bi-County Solid Waste Board Members and Bi-County staff do not take this change lightly. The research showed that we are well under the market rate," said County Commissioner and Bi-County Board Chairman John Gannon.

Executive Director of Bi-County Landfill Mark Neblett stated, "We have been working on this proposal for awhile now to make it as fair and low-cost as possible. Staff members spent a great deal of time researching what surrounding counties and others charge across Tennessee and the United States. One example is Dickson County, which operates most closely to Bi-County, charging residents a $10 per month user fee and $54 per ton for large loads. No one wants to pay fees; however, it is remarkable we have made it almost 50 years without charging for load sizes."

The fee schedule beginning January 1, 2023:

  • Large trailers with large loads pay a $30 flat fee. 
  • Medium trailers with large loads pay a $20 flat fee.
  • Mattresses and Box Springs are $10 each 
  • Freon Appliances are $10 each. 
  • Wood waste: first 500 lbs. covered by the user fee. Above 500 lbs., the rate is .023 cents per pound/$46 per ton. 
  • Demolition loads will pay $2 less than the current commercial gate rate, at $10 per cubic yard. 

Trailer sizes will be determined by yardage based on the length, width, and size of the trailer sides. Bi-County scale employees will work with patrons using reasonable discretion on the sizing of loads. 
The fees collected will be set aside for the future purchase of an $800,000 mattress shredder to assist in processing mattresses and for personnel dedicated to pick up litter along Highway 79/Dover Road. 

Mattresses are a complicated waste in landfills that cause leachate (garbage water) problems, compaction issues and costly equipment repairs. They must be dug out of the slopes, pulling equipment and employees from other projects. Additionally, litter and large items are becoming more common on Highway 79, even with Environmental Enforcement keeping a watchful eye on this section of the road.

“Highway 79 is the gateway to Stewart County and a major highway in Montgomery County. We owe it to the residents of both counties to ensure we are maintaining the litter in this area,” said Mayor Wes Golden.  

"We've become a more "disposable society," finding it cheaper to replace an item than repair it. Bi-County has seen major increases in household waste and specialty items, including mattresses, which are banned in many landfills. The new fees are reasonable for the services offered compared to other locations that charge by ton, bag, or yard. When our transient military families call to inquire about solid waste disposal rates, they are often shocked there is little to no cost for the disposal of large household items," said Neblett. 

Montgomery County Mayor Wes Golden and Stewart County Mayor Robert Beecham, who attended the November meeting, both stated they are relieved to know there is a long-term plan for waste in their respective counties. 

"After recently attending a conference with other mayors across the state and hearing the challenges they face with landfill space, we know we are blessed to have Bi-County Landfill. Operational costs are expensive and increase every year. We must look toward the future," said Mayor Golden.

For questions about the additional fees for residents who take waste items to the landfill, visit mcgtn/bi-county or call 931-648-5751.

EMS Station 20 Unveils Major Renovation Project

November 02, 2022 - MoCo Gov.

Montgomery County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) celebrated the completion of the Station 20 renovation project at 1610 Haynes Street with a tour and ribbon cutting on the afternoon of November 1. Station 20 is historically the first EMS station built in Montgomery County 44 years ago. 

EMS Director Bill Webb led the celebration by thanking the current and previous County leadership and County Commission for understanding the need for the renovation. He also thanked the County Engineering Department, Jon Clark with Clark Architecture & Design and Mike Boisseau with BR Miller and his team for their work on the project.

“This is where our emergency workers spend a great part of their lives, often working 24-hour shifts. There were no private rooms in the facility before the remodel, and these stations are their home away from home,” added Webb.

According to Chief Engineer Nick Powell, the footprint of the facility and garage did not change. Still, the building was gutted and reconfigured, bringing up-to-date codes, adding more efficiency and safety features, modernizing the look, and providing more effective use of space for EMS staff. The remodel also gives every team member their own space and offers better space for female members of the EMS crew.

“The exterior walls and the roof structure were the only components to the existing structure that were unmodified with this project.  This was a full floor to ceiling remodel of the facility with some exterior improvements and a new lift of asphalt.  The project took 11 months and $1.4 million to complete,” said Powell.

Director of Emergency Services, Jimmie Edwards provided some historical background on Station 20, saying that, “In April of 1967, the County and City agreed to contribute funds to develop an ambulance service. The original build-out was between the local funeral homes, Clarksville Memorial Hospital, and the City and County Governments. Montgomery County was six years ahead of the State of Tennessee in taking action to develop an ambulance service, and the State passed legislation for ambulance services in Tennessee in 1973. Before the construction of EMS Station 20 in 1978, the ambulances ran out of Clarksville Memorial Hospital.” 

“It is always a good feeling to construct something new, but it is just as important to keep up with the facilities that we already have. This is a good investment,” said Montgomery County Mayor Wes Golden.

For more information about Montgomery County Emergency Services and where other the other 12 stations are located, visit

The Eagle has Landed at Patriots Park

August 15, 2022 - MoCo Gov.

Public art is dedicated as a tribute to the 101st Airborne Division

Montgomery County, TN — On the morning of August 13, members of the 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell Command Staff, Montgomery County, City of Clarksville, business sponsors, and representatives from the County Public Art Ad hoc Committee gathered to honor the 101st Airborne Division with the reveal of the Tip of the Spear statue.

Created by artist Mark Aeling and his team in Clearwater, Florida, the sculpture is made of 10,000 pounds of surgical-grade stainless steel. Base included, the Tip of the Spear is an impressive 27-foot symbol of the strength and resilience of the 101st. 

The Fort Campbell Honor Guard posted and retired the flags during the reveal ceremony. Director of Marketing for Roxy Theatre Donald Groves sang the National Anthem and City of Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts offered the prayer. Comments were made by Artist Mark Aeling, Chief of Staff of the 101st Airborne Division Col. Jared Bordwell, and Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett. The event was emceed by Clarksville Now Reporter Lee Erwin. 

A project to honor Fort Campbell soldiers has been more than 10 years in the making. It began with Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett’s vision in 2012, while working in the private sector, to bring artwork near Fort Campbell that would be a lasting tribute to the men and women who served there. He shared his idea with friend Kem Hintom who was in Leadership Middle TN with him at the time and was also involved in the Wings of Liberty Museum project. Their original vision was 3-D laser steel artwork that looked like soldiers. 

“I actually have a picture dated February 2012 of me and my good friend Jeff Truitt, who’s out here today, at this location looking at the vision. That was a long time ago, but good things take time. A group that bought into that vision back in 2012 and 2013. They included Dex Imaging, James Corlew Chevrolet, Planters Bank, Valerie Hunter-Kelly, the City of Clarksville, Jenkins & Wynne, Montgomery County, F&M Bank, Clarksville Pediatric Dentistry, US Bank, The Settlement Day Care, Clarksville Rotary Club, Wyatt Johnson, Inc., Gannett Foundation (Leaf-Chronicle), Legends Bank, Cumberland Bank & Trust, and Campbell Crossing. We raised $100,000, and that money sat there for a long time. We weren’t where we needed to be yet and did not know exactly what we wanted to build, and along came this idea to run for County Mayor, so that kind of sidetracked the project, but the dream never died. It was something I could always see as I drove up and down 41A to honor and recognize the service of the men and women at Fort Campbell,” said Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett.

Shortly after he was elected, Mayor Durrett and then Chief of Staff Jeff Truitt requested and received approval from the County Commission to create a public art fund. They put a public art ad hoc committee in place in 2017. Based on Mayor Durrett’s idea to include art near Fort Campbell to pay tribute to the men and women who served, the committee conducted a nationwide search and received over 80 submissions. The Tip of the Spear, by artist Mark Aeling, was selected, and the County entered into a contract with Aeling to construct and install the sculpture in late 2020.

Aeling, a self-proclaimed Army brat, is a 3D sculptor who lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and has earned multiple awards for excellence in the visual arts. His artwork can be seen around the Florida Bay Area and throughout the United States. In 2012, he was the only American whose work was chosen to show at the Stone Sculpture Triennial in Takamatsu, Japan.

“When I was selected as a finalist and did some research into the area, I was incredibly relieved to discover the connection to the 101st Airborne Division and the Screaming Eagles because I am a lover of birds and particularly wings because the magic of nature is pretty spectacular. As an artist, you try to find a thread to connect what you’re interested in with the interest of the commissioning body. To discover the relationship with Fort Campbell and the history of the 101st Airborne, it was a no-brainer which direction I wanted to go. To date, this is one of my favorite pieces,” remarked Aeling.

“Thank you for allowing us to participate as we recognize this incredible piece of art and join in this momentous occasion as we dedicate Mark Aeling’s Tip of the Spear to the homage of the soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division. Without the unwavering support of our community leaders, our division mission would truly not be possible. This breathtaking artwork expands the Tip of the Spear phrase beyond the operational construct of the military. It is a trailblazing endeavor that spanned a decade of planning and development, a vision that embodies the voice and spirit of the community and the strength and courage of the 101st Airborne Division soldiers for over eight decades. Because of the vision of Mayor Durrett and his team, today, standing proudly at the gates of Fort Campbell stands the Tip of the Spear, greeting veterans, community, friends, and visitors from across the globe. This sculpture represents not only this community’s commitment to the men and women of the division but the resolve and dedication of community leaders to see this incredible vision through,” said Colonel Bordwell.

Mayor Durrett provided closing comments, “My family has a long history with Fort Campbell. My grandmother lived not even a quarter mile from this site, where she could go outside at night, walk all around her house, and not see a single light in any direction. Now to know that right across the street, you have the strongest, most lethal fighting force anywhere in the world is pretty special. We selected Mark almost a year and a half ago and were in constant contact with him throughout the project. Then all of a sudden, I get this email from Mark that says we’d like to come up and set it in August. I was like, whoa, I didn’t realize that was going to happen so quickly. But this is the great part about Clarksville, Montgomery County. When we found out Mark was ready to come to install the art, Chris Fielder with TTL laid it all out, but we didn’t have anybody to do anything more, so I reached out to a couple of friends and said, we’ve got this great big statue that we’re going to put up to honor Fort Campbell, and their response was what do I need to do. They all just jumped right in and didn’t ask any questions. I’ve lived here all my life and don’t want to live anywhere else. When you have something like this happen, and you make a phone call to a friend, and your friend says, hey, I’m all in without knowing what the consequences are, that’s what makes this community so great.”

Mayor Durrett offered special thanks to Josh Dennis with Dennis Concrete, Rex and Kendra Hawkins with Hawkins Homes, Phillip Hagewood with Moore Construction, Lance Morgan with Morgan Contractors, and Jeff Burkhart with Screaming Eagle Concrete. He shared his gratitude for David Smith, who took the time and effort to survey the property for the project at the beginning and work with TDOT for approval. Mayor Durrett also thanked the County Facilities and Maintenance Team for their hard work preparing the site.

“Clarksville, Montgomery County is a great place to live. It is my hope and my dream that this will be an everlasting legacy and monument to those who have served at Fort Campbell, those who are currently serving, and those who will serve,” added Mayor Durrett. 

The sculpture is located at 3176 Patriots Park, Fort Campbell Blvd., between Gates 2 and 3. To view the ceremony, visit the Montgomery County, Tennessee Facebook Page.

Military Veterans Make a Big Impact in Montgomery County

July 08, 2022 - MoCo Gov.

VSO Director shares data from the Veterans Affairs Office


MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TN – At the July 6 informal County Commission meeting, Montgomery County Veterans Service Organization Director Andrew Kester presented his annual overview of the benefits and economic impact of military veterans in the community. The data he shared is from the latest information the Veterans Administration (VA) provided.

Montgomery County is in the top four percent of all military veteran populations in the U.S. and ranked 25 for their total known veteran population at slightly over 14%. Out of the 3,134 counties in the United States, Montgomery County ranks number 309 in the overall population and 127 in the total veteran population. 

“When you consider the number of military veterans in the community who may be voters along with the voters in their household, I believe they make up at least 25% of our community,” said Kester.

From an economic standpoint, in 2021, a total of $459,412,000 has come from veterans' disability benefits alone. Montgomery County leads in economic impact over every other county across the state.

“That is not seen directly in our office but in the community in economic impact dollars in education, entertainment, and housing,” said Kester.

The three main concerns identified to VA by the veteran community were healthcare, disability benefits, and transportation. The degree of concern varied with age and demographics. The MCVSO assists and directs those three areas but primarily helps veterans with disability benefits.

"We are fortunate to have a local VA Clinic for healthcare but, if our veterans need to visit the VA Medical Center in Nashville, we have a 501C3 non-profit veterans van service for transportation. We are one of the few VSOs in the state that offers rides. We also provide veterans van service with a computer and phone, which is part of a cross-collaborative effort of the non-profit and public sectors,” added Kester.

Between 2019 through 2021, MCVSO served more than 9,000 veterans each year with no significant difference in numbers through COVID-19. Eighty percent of the veterans they serve live in Montgomery County, 10% live outside Montgomery County, and 10% live out of state.

“We make the biggest impact at our VSO and have the largest staff because of the support we receive from County Commissioners, our VSO board, the Mayor and the community, allowing us to provide the best services for our veterans,” said Kester. 

To see the presentation, visit, and to find out more about MCVSO, visit