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Montgomery County Trustee Kimberly Wiggins Named Middle Tennessee Trustee of the Year

July 13, 2022 - MoCo Gov.

Last Edited: July 13, 2022 @ 4:50 pm

 Montgomery County, Tenn – In May of 2022, Montgomery County Trustee Kimberly Wiggins was named Middle Tennessee Trustee of the Year at the Tennessee County Trustees Association (TCTA) Conference.  

The 2022 TCTA Conference was held in Obion County, Tennessee, and hosted by TCTA President Marci Floyd, Weakley County Trustee. The TCTA is made up of all 95 counties in the state. This yearly event is five days long and includes business and committee meetings, continuing education sessions and more.  

Annually, the Trustees in attendance select a Trustee of the Year for the West, Middle, and East Grand Divisions. Wiggins was selected by her Middle Tennessee Trustee peers as the Middle Tennessee Trustee of the Year. “I cannot think of a more deserving honor for the admirable service Trustee Wiggins has provided to our local and statewide community so diligently since taking office. She is a leader and mentor who strives to continually serve well” said Marci Floyd, TCTA President. Currently, she currently serves as the Middle Tennessee Trustee Association (MTTA) President and TCTA Audit Committee Chairwoman.   

Montgomery County Trustee Kimberly Wiggins stated, “I am humbled by such an honor. The Trustees welcomed me with open arms when I took office and the least I can do is serve to the best of my ability in return.” 

Wiggins was elected Montgomery County Trustee in August 2018. This year, she has qualified as an unopposed Independent Candidate for re-election. The State Primary & County General Election will take place on August 4, 2022.  

AARP Awards Grant Funds for Community Garden

July 13, 2022 - MoCo Gov.

Montgomery County will provide space for a community garden at Rotary Park

 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TN – On July 11, representatives from AARP formally awarded a Community Challenge Grant of $12,900 to install a community garden near the Wade Bourne Nature Center at Rotary Park. Montgomery County Parks and Recreation Natural Resource and Program Manager Katie Netti and former CMC Green Certification Manager Carlye Sommers, co-authored the grant application in March 2022 and received notification of the award in June 2022.

The grant will cover the tools and supplies necessary for tilling, soil amendment, composting, and planting winter crops, and 10 raised mobile garden beds. The garden will be a way to bring the community together while learning and immersing in the outdoors.

“I was thrilled to learn that we received the grant! My uncle is a farmer, so I learned a lot about planting crops. We want to bring people of all ages and abilities to the garden. Bringing the community together through the garden,” said Katie Netti.

“It’s evident that Katie is passionate about putting the Community Challenge Grant to good use for people in Montgomery County. It is so good for AARP representatives to get back out and connect one-on-one with our communities again,” said AARP Community Outreach Director Stacy Pennington.

Various crops suitable for every season will be planted on the plot. This month and the month of August will be the time for prepping the land, now overgrown with wild brush.  The first seeds are expected to be planted this September.

The programming staff will manage the garden while volunteers will take care of the maintenance. Anyone who volunteers to help tend the garden will be eligible to receive some of the harvests at no cost.

“The community garden is another unique way for County Parks and Recreation to serve our citizens’ needs and recreational interests. Katie and her programming team look for opportunities to encourage nature engagement at every skill level and the garden is a perfect example of this,” said Montgomery County Parks and Recreation Director Sally Burchett.

This project is part of the largest group of grantees to date with $3.4 million awarded among 260 organizations nationwide. Since 2017, AARP Tennessee has awarded 18 grants and more than $223,000 through the program to nonprofit organizations and government entities across the state. AARP Challenge Grantees will implement quick-action projects that help communities become more livable in the long-term by improving public places; transportation; housing; diversity, equity and inclusion; digital access; and civic engagement, with an emphasis on the needs of adults age 50 and over.

Please watch the Montgomery County, TN and Montgomery County Parks and Recreation social media outlets for a volunteer sign-up form.

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 https://bit.ly/3OSot7z, and to find out more about MCVSO, visit https://mcgtn.org/vso

Fort Campbell Leaders Present Awards to EMS Employees at County EMS Station

June 21, 2022 - MoCo Gov.

Montgomery County, TN — On June 15 at the main County EMS Station on Dunlop Lane, Fort Campbell Garrison Commander Colonel Andrew Jordan and Blanchfield Army Community Hospital (BACH) Commander Colonel Vincent Myers presented awards to Montgomery County and BACH EMS Team Members who assisted in incidents at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Certificates, coins and medals were given to County EMS Lieutenant Dustin Haas, County EMS Lieutenant Chris Turner, County EMS Paramedic Ernie Schmidt and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Officer Joe Campbell in appreciation for their assistance in locating a soldier who drowned at a quarry on Fort Campbell in September of 2021.

Colonel Jordan stated, “We mourned that hero’s loss and worked with our community partners to remove his body and provide him with the honorable burial he deserved. There are times we need help from our community, and there are times when they need our assistance. I am thankful that we have strong partnerships in our surrounding communities.”

Recognitions were also presented to County Paramedic Joe Farley, County AEMT Alex Wood and Dustin Blankenship, Jeff Martin, Kim Burr, and Josh Maynard from Blanchfield Army Community Hospital’s EMS team for their efforts on the morning of May 11, 2022, when weather conditions resulted in a mass casualty event during a ruck march at Fort Campbell. Members of the Fort Campbell team who were not able to be at the presentation and are also receiving awards are Sgt. Qingjie Wang, Bobbi Trogden, Marc Rogers, and Dennis Scales.

Colonel Jordon described the training as the most difficult 10-day course in the Army that culminates with a 12-mile march carrying a 35-pound rucksack after nine days of intense drills. 

“On the tenth day, the weather went from mild to unseasonably hot and humid. The soldiers did not have a chance to acclimate to the change, which could have resulted in severe consequences. Thanks to quick and proper action from BACH and Montgomery County EMS, all of our soldiers left the training without harm,” stated Colonel Jordan.

Colonel Myers added, “EMS is near and dear to my heart. Being a paramedic was my first job out of school in the small town where I grew up in Pennsylvania. EMS personnel save lives every day, and we are grateful to you.”

Montgomery County Mayor Durrett also congratulated the recipients for their work in the community and with our heroes at Fort Campbell. 

If you want to be part of a team that makes a life-saving difference in the community, consider becoming an EMS team member. For more information about joining the Montgomery County EMS team, visit https://bit.ly/39wUhj5.

Captions

Photo 1 Left to Right

Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Harbour, Fort Campbell Garrison Sergeant Major, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Officer Joe Campbell, Montgomery County EMS Lieutenant Dustin Haas, Montgomery County EMS Lieutenant Chris Turner, Montgomery County Paramedic Ernie Schmidt, and Colonel Jordan.

Photo 2 Left to Right 

Command Sgt. Maj. Harbour, Montgomery County EMS Paramedic Joseph Farley, Montgomery County EMS, AEMT Alex Wood and Colonel Jordan.

Photo 3 Fort Campbell Group Left to Right: Command Sgt. Major Marlon Faulds, Dustin Blankenship, Jeff Martin, Kimberly Burr, Josh Maynard, Col. Vincent B. Myers.

Photo 4 Left to Right

Mayor Durrett, Dustin Haas, Alex Wood, Chris Turner, Joseph Farley, Ernie Schmidt and EMS Chief William Webb.

 

 

Montgomery County Mayor Appoints New Chief of Staff

June 20, 2022 - MoCo Gov.

Montgomery County, TN — Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett has appointed Lee Harrell for the position of Montgomery County Government Chief of Staff. He will begin serving in the chief of staff position on June 22.

Harrell most recently served as Vice President of Advocacy for Tennesseans for Quality Early Education leading lobbying efforts, providing oversight and direction of contract lobbyists, and building coalitions.

Prior to his work with Tennesseans for Quality Early Education, Harrell worked as Vice President of State Policy for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce from Jan. 2016 through Dec. 2020. Before that, he served from Nov. 2009 through Nov. 2015 as the Director of Government Relations and Staff Attorney for the Tennessee School Boards Association (TSBA).

Harrell holds a JD from Nashville School of Law and became a licensed attorney in 2007. He also earned his Bachelors of Arts in History from Tennessee Technological University in 2002.

"I look forward to serving as Chief of Staff for Montgomery County Government. I appreciate the opportunity to work with Mayor Durrett and the exceptional team of County employees. Montgomery County is home for me and my family. I have spent many years working in Nashville and I’m eager about not only living in my community but now working here as well,” said Harrell.

Lee is bringing a wealth of unique and important experiences and perspectives to the Chief’s

position,” said Mayor Durrett. “I believe his background will prove to be a great benefit to our staff and the community as we continue to grow and work to meet the challenges ahead,” he added.

 

The County chief of staff is under the supervision and authority of the Mayor and is the executive assistant and liaison officer for the County. This position is responsible for spearheading key planning, administrative, and organizational development efforts and typically makes recommendations to the Mayor and Commission for action and represents the County’s interests with other levels and agency governments.

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