Van Buren County mayor provides updates on progress

By | August 3, 2018 8:30 am

By Hansel Moore

There are a number of things happening in Van Buren County, and the following are some highlights from Van Buren County Mayor Greg Wilson:

Farmer’s Market

“People have been using the market for the past three weeks or so, and every week it keeps growing in the number of vendors,” said Wilson. “We were able to get a pretty diverse group of items this past week including items from the Mennonite community.”

A date for the grand opening day has not been officially scheduled but will be in the next few weeks.

Musical Park area

The area located next to Burritt College has been under development. The stage, electrical, and associated lighting is already complete. The next phase of construction, and the final phase, will be going for bid within the next two weeks. The bid will be open for a period of two weeks, and the project will be awarded Aug. 21 at the commissioners’ meeting. There are a number of pieces to the final phase to include a 40×80 pavilion, a lighted walking track, concession stand, bathroom, and picnic areas.

“With good weather [once the bid has been accepted], the completion time should be less than 60 days,” said Wilson

New Administration Building

Most of the administrative offices have been relocated for   approximately two months.

“So far, it is going well,” said Wilson.” “There have been a few quirky things, but overall, real pleased with the building.”

Energy Conversion Company

JustBegreenEnergy (JBGE), a company that is planning to convert solid waste into fuel, is still on schedule to come to Van Buren County.

“The process is a lot closer than it has been,” explained Wilson. “I can’t really speak to the process of what they are going to be doing, but it is all enclosed…there is no emissions, it’s all heated. The environmental surveys have been and are continuing to be done. I think in the next two to three months you will see a lot of activity there.”

The company has estimated that the venture will create 75-90 new jobs in the county.


“I have been told that it should be less than two months after the concrete pad was poured [and the pad has been poured], so hopefully by Oct. 1st,” said Wilson

The Courthouse Building

The Heritage Foundation Museum has been provided the courthouse building to help keep the stories, photos, and heritage of Van Buren County for future generations.

Van Buren Jail

“There are a few things that need to be updated, and then we will put it up for auction,” said Wilson. “There are some businesses that have a serious interest in utilizing the building.”

Depending on the development purpose, it doesn’t look like it will be empty for too long.

Fire Department Grant

Van Buren County was the recipient of an Upper Cumberland Development District grant for the county’s five volunteer fire departments. The amount of $296,310 will be utilized to purchase the protective gear and self-contained breathing apparatuses.

“Many of these devices used by the fire departments are close to their recommended life-date,” explained Wilson.

Some of the devices are expiring as early as October of this year.

ThreeStar grant

A $25,000 grant has been awarded for entrepreneurship to start in October.

“It for business owners who want to start…” said Wilson. “We will help educate to start or expand their business. We are looking at any startup and are working with a company out of Cookeville called Biz Foundry.”

Part of the grant will be used for community gardens and working with 4-H.

For notifications and updates on events in Van Buren County, follow Van Buren County Tennessee on Facebook or check out the official website of Van Buren County.

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