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Van Buren Mayor Supports Separate General Sessions Court Legislation

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Van Buren Mayor Supports Separate General Sessions Court Legislation

Van Buren County Mayor Greg Wilson said he and the entire county commission support legislation forming their own general sessions court.

Wilson said that the county would not be held to the General Assembly’s Fiscal Review Committee’s estimated costs of over $200,000, based on conversations with Speaker Cameron Sexton. Wilson said the more likely estimated cost would be $18,000-$22,000 more than the county currently pays.

“We would have to really take a good, long look at and ensure that, number one that we can pay for it in the next fiscal year and the years coming,” Wilson said. “And again, they would have those numbers in front of them, we would present that wholly to them.”

Wilson said that if the cost to the county is higher than what the county can afford, he would be the first one to recommend commissioners to not approve the change. He said the county currently pays roughly $45,000 a year to share a court with White County.

Wilson said the estimated costs to the county was based on the assumption it would cost Van Buren County the same price as White County.

“We would have to take a look at that and if that’s what it was going to be, of course we were like okay let’s hold up on this,” Wilson said. “That’s a lot more than what we had anticipated, about five times more. So let’s stop and take a look at that real quick and so that’s kind of what slowed and stalled the bill.”

The house version has been removed from Civil Justice Committee’s calendar. The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office mentioned the removal of the bill from the calendar during Tuesday night’s county commission meeting.

“The last time I talked to Speaker Sexton was when we were wanting the bill to go through,” Wilson said. “Secondly, our attorney Mr. Upchurch talked to him last night, he got up and made a call to him to see if it was going and he came back and said, ‘yeah it would be moving on.”

Wilson said without the final cost known by the county, the estimated costs could be higher or lower than the additional $18,000-$22,000.


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