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Friday, May 27, 2016

Battling the budget crunch

Posted Friday, April 4, 2008, at 2:29 PM

County officials and commissioners are talking openly, and city officials should be, about the need to watch budgets and cut costs as national economic problems and high gas costs have more of an effect here.

Their first consideration should be making sure no employees lose their jobs.

Where, and how, to cut expenses or make money?

First, the county has been talking and talking about whether to sell or retain its growing number of empty or soon-to-be empty buildings such as the old Central High School and Bedford County Medical Center.

It'll be interesting to see if the county buildings could be sold or rented at all, considering the number of empty privately-owned buildings up for sale or lease.

And I wonder, in some cases, if the land under these buildings is worth more than the buildings themselves.

Would it be better to sell these buildings for whatever could be obtained, even if it seems low, and use the total amount to build one, centrally-located, modern and upgradeable structure for offices and courts?

The city could start by ditching the street sweeper, an expensive device which appears to me to simply redistribute the dust rather than actually clean anything. I'm not cricitizing at all anyone who drives the sweeper or suggesting anyone be laid off; let's make that clear.

What are your ideas on how local goverments, or individual departments within them, could cut costs with minimal impact to the public?

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Let's just make sure that our future buildings are so well-made and well-maintained that they remain functional long after the first students to attend there are playing with their great-grandchildren.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Mon, Apr 14, 2008, at 9:13 AM

Harris Middle School is a dump. The floors are rotting out, holes in the walls and floods in the basement. The reason for the new school was that the repairs would cost more than a new school. So the school should be razed and a new building erected. Its just a shame that the new elevator was installed just a few years ago. It's the only thing worth saving from that school.

-- Posted by leChat on Sun, Apr 13, 2008, at 11:03 PM

Oh my...That affects a lot of students and teachers. I am guessing there will be many re-assignments for teachers, but hopefully many shorter bus trips for students?

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Thu, Apr 10, 2008, at 10:16 AM

Jacks4me and EastsideMom,

The way I understood it from reading an article in the newspaper is that all of the elementary schools in town will be K-5th grade, including Thomas and the new school.

-- Posted by Richard on Wed, Apr 9, 2008, at 12:17 AM

Isn't the annex of the old Harris Building used for the alternative programs? It was a wreck when I left, but definitely worth the work for a smaller program like the alternative school.

The main building is even more of a wreck. Is it being used for anything?

What school buildings will be affected by the new elementary building? Is it a new school, or will others just move housing? I was under the impression it would be Pre-K through 5th grade. Will the other schools change their format also?

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Tue, Apr 8, 2008, at 11:29 AM

I agree with most of the suggestions but disagree with EM's idea about the brothels.

If that were an option,we'd need to utilize some of the classic,elegant houses that would otherwise succumb to the wrecking ball.

Fix them up,landscape them like something out of Bellingrath Gardens and furnish them with the opulence of a Gold Rush era bordello.

The employees could be more like courtesans,heterae,geishas and the Mayflower Madame's workers than two-bit tricks.

(That way,if our youth insist on copying those who are "on the game",they'd,at least,be emulating the well-mannered and well-groomed.)

As such establishments are improper and illegal,we probably won't get to improve the character of their clientele by offering discounts to those bringing in church bulletins,straight A report cards or receipts from our non-profit charities.

If we were to use public buildings for those services,I'd reccommend utilizing sections of the jail or the hospital as it would save the patrons time if they started out where they'd wind up anyway.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Mon, Apr 7, 2008, at 11:40 AM

We not only need more shelters, we at least need one.

I have been saying for quite sometime Shelbyville needs a homeless shelter, the closest one is Murfreesboro (if there happens to be room from someone outside their county.) I've been told Shelbyville don't have a real need for a homeless shelter but I know better. Sometimes city officials need to open their eyes and see what is really going on in our city.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Sun, Apr 6, 2008, at 11:15 PM

A little off topic but what will be done with the Thomas school building when they finish the new ele. school? Why couldn't it be used as an ele and forget the new school? But if they must build a new school, could it not be used for a community center with meeting rooms and other uses?

-- Posted by EastSideMom on Sat, Apr 5, 2008, at 10:49 PM

The old Central High School could be setup as a community center, and the old Medical Center could be marketed as a Medical School Campus and leased. The revenue could be enormous.

And if the town really wants to make a messload of money they could turn them into brothels.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Sat, Apr 5, 2008, at 5:58 PM

I have always thought that we need a Y.M.C.A here...Just a thought

-- Posted by rebelrose on Sat, Apr 5, 2008, at 1:15 PM

David thanks for calling attention to the street sweeper. Although I believe that it is needed I have a hard time understanding why it operates in the middle of the day during rush hour traffic on North Main Street. The street sweeper should be operated at night. If you go to other cities thats when they run theirs. There is too much traffic in town for the sweeper to be shutting down lanes of travel during the day time.

-- Posted by Justunjust on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 10:19 PM


Excellent points. We are a wasteful country! Seems our locals that are in control only know how to sign the back of a check and never fill out the front of one. Steve Mills could use a place to meet for his gardening club. How about a youth center? These buildings are old, however well built. All I see is more,more,more,

new, new, new. It's like buying a new lawn mower, using once, and then taking it to the dump.Be honest, another analogy I use tools every day, that I bought in 1963. I don't own them because of personal property tax. (Business)

I think it's a matter of clear thinking. I'm not against progress, but how much is enough, and when does the well run dry. You and I are too old & logical to be heard. Great Depression: Young people need to study this era carefully.

Oh, by the way, the U.S. Dollar is worth exactly $63.5 cents today. I hope readers get my meaning.

-- Posted by framestraight on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 6:59 PM

If we could,I'd like to see these old buildings used.

Think of what we need here then ask what it would take to make those things available in terms of all our resources: time,space,personnel AND money.

The people could say what they'd be willing to make a sacrifice for-even if they had to give of themselves and not just their wallets.

Would continuing education and expanded health care be a priority?

Do we need more places for community gatherings? Do we need more shelters?

Could we use empty retail or food service places as training centers for those preparing for the job market?

Could business students be used as staff in public or non-profit offices?

Could empty land be used to grow food and ornamental plants for our public institutions?

Perhaps prisoners,the differently abled,etc. could be given some life skills as they grew heirloom vegetables,trained stray animals,etc.

Projects such as these (and better ones y'all can think of) could put resources we already have in combination so that none are left underutilized.

That would give us a better idea of what is truly inadequate and redundant and what needs to be repaired,repurposed or swapped out between the public and private sectors.

Even in a Depression,people supported projects with little more than elbow grease,common sense,hope and determination.

Surely,we can come up with some priorities and a way to meet them that makes sense for everyone.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Fri, Apr 4, 2008, at 3:04 PM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.