Overton County celebrates groundbreaking

Local officials and community leaders came together for the groundbreaking of the new Overton County Services Building

By Michelle Price
UCBJ Managing Editor

LIVINGSTON –Public officials, local business people, philanthropists and county citizens gathered today in Livingston to celebrate the official groundbreaking for the new Overton County Public Services Building. 

 “1869 was the last time Overton County citizens got together and did a groundbreaking for a new county building,” said Overton County Mayor Ben Danner. “It’s really exciting times.”

Danner shared the impact the building would have on the community and the entire town.

“We’re progressing here in the county with new businesses opening,” said Danner. “We’ve got lots of jobs here and lots of sales tax coming in. I think it’s going to be really good for the citizens of this county to have this building sitting here. We have events here and we’ll have parking for when the city has events downtown.”

Danner discussed how he first sat down with Millard Vaughn Oakley on March 7, 2018 to discuss the project and his desire to move the county offices out of the 80-year old former hospital and to build a new county services building without raising taxes. 

After that discussion, Oakley and First National Bank of Tennessee donated $2 million dollars to the project, allowing the county to build the new county services building without having to raise taxes to fund it.

W & O Construction Company of Livingston had the low bid of $4,486,000 and was awarded the project. The project will have an added impact on the region since W & O plans to primarily use subcontractors from adjoining counties, including: Chris Ray Excavators, Allons; Charles Stone HVAC, Cookeville; MMB Electrical, Cookeville; Harkins Roofing, Baxter; Masiongale Masonry, Byrdstown; and Cookeville Glass and Mirror.

Local officials with the help of the Oakley family and Rep. John Rose move the first dirt for the new Overton County Services Building.

In honor of the donation by Oakley, Overton County and the city of Livingston honored Oakley and his wife, JJ, with a proclamation declaring May 6, 2019 as Millard and JJ Oakley Day. Wording of the proclamation is as follows:

WHEREAS, Millard and JJ Oakley are recognized as valuable citizens of Livingston and Overton County faithfully; and

WHEREAS, they have proven themselves by being dedicated philanthropists;

WHEREAS, they have demonstrated professionalism, passion and a reputation for giving back to the community, ready to offer assistance to friends and fellow community members; and 

WHEREAS, they have contributed so significantly for many years.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVEDthat Overton County, the city of Livingston and First National Bank of Tennessee express their deep appreciation by hereby proclaiming this day, May 6, 2019 as Millard and JJ Oakley Day and encourage all citizens to take this opportunity to join us in expressing such appreciation for this commendable service.  

Millard and JJ Oakley were honored with a proclamation declaring May 6, 2019 as Millard and JJ Oakley Day. Pictured l to r: Ben Danner, Overton County mayor; Kendall Smith, granddaughter; Millard Oakley; JJ Oakley; and Curtis Hayes, Livingston mayor.

Michelle Price is the managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached via email. Send an email.

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