County finance department moves to MAB

Thursday, February 26, 2009
Robert Daniel ( web site photo)

Bedford County Finance Department relocated this month to new offices in the Medical Arts Building.

"We're still unpacking," said County Finance Director Robert Daniel.

The department, which now has a staff of eight, had previously been based in the school system central offices on Madison Street.

More county offices may follow since the county owns the building and must pay utilities for its empty suites anyway, said Daniel, and it makes sense to use the space.

Daniel said the county zoning office is scheduled to move to the building today from its previous location in the basement of the US Bank building. The Register of Deeds office, which is next to the old zoning office and which Daniel said is in need of additional space, will probably expand into the space being vacated by the zoning office.

Bedford County Board of Commissioners voted in November 2006 to place itself under the state's Financial Management Act of 1981, which meant consolidating the financial management of various county agencies.

The county hired Daniel in April 2007 as its first county-wide finance director. Daniel had previously been finance director for the county school system, which is the largest single component of the county budget, and until this month he continued to operate out of the school system's central offices.

Since 2007, Daniel has been consolidating various departments' payroll and bookkeeping functions. He's now in discussions with Bedford County Nursing Home about taking over its bookkeeping and financial reporting, which is currently outsourced.

The Medical Arts Building was originally built to support Bedford County General Hospital nearby. But the hospital was sold and has relocated to U.S. 231 North, where it is now known as Heritage Medical Center. Some of the doctors who formerly rented space in the MAB are moving to newer offices closer to the new hospital.

The finance department is in the newer, two-story portion of the MAB. The older, single-story portion is where Middle Tennessee State University hopes to begin offering satellite classes.