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"Surrounded by board members, First National Bank president and CEO Pieter van Vuuren cuts the ribbon at the bank’s newest location in Shelbyville. First National now has 12 offices in Middle Tennessee."

In the field of opportunity, it’s plowing time again.

Those words, famously sung by Neil Young, certainly apply to TriGreen Equipment, which has found a new field of opportunity in Warren County.

The John Deere dealer officially opens a new store here this Monday just past the VFW at 3766 Sparta Highway. It will be a full-service location with new equipment, parts and service.
“We’ve already been selling parts to people who have seen us in here working,” said employee Cliff Greene. “From what I’ve heard, people are happy to have John Deere back.”
Warren County has been without a John Deere dealer since March, but TriGreen is filling that void. Cliff says he expects to have 20 to 25 pieces of equipment on site this week. That includes tractors, skid loaders, lawnmowers and ATVs.

“Right now is really our slow time of year,” said Cliff. “We’ll have some customers buying Gators and things like that for Christmas. And we’ll have customers looking to buy something before the end of the year to help them at tax time. But other than that, we’re really not that busy. Come spring, we’ll be wide open. By then we should have everything in place.”

Cliff says he realizes customers don’t want to have any down time and that’s why TriGreen has a generously stocked parts department. He said TriGreen has been able to calculate the parts that will be most commonly needed in this area based on sales to Warren County residents at its Cookeville and Manchester stores. He said the company also has access to previous John Deere sales data in this county.

“We have a small service area here, but we also offer mobile service where we’ll come straight to your farm,” said Cliff.
On board to help with parts and service is longtime John Deere employee Joey Grandey, who has good luck fixing equipment if it’s green.

TriGreen will have 20 locations by the end of the year in Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi. Hours of our local store are 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday, and 7 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The phone number is 668-1785.

Cliff says 3766 Sparta Highway won’t be TriGreen’s permanent location here. He said the company would like to find a spot with a little more land and construct a bigger building so it can handle more service work on site.

He said now that TriGreen has a presence here, there’s no pressing need to find another site and it could very well be two years before that happens.

First National banks on expansion

First National Bank continues to show its strength and expand its footprint. The bank that’s proudly headquartered in McMinnville opened its 12th office on Thursday, this one in Shelbyville.

There was a ribbon cutting and light lunch to celebrate the occasion.
First National president and CEO Pieter van Vuuren was quick to point out the bank’s growth wouldn’t be possible without such a strong core in Warren County. First National has five locations here.

This spring, First National opened a mortgage office in Nashville to complement two full-service branches in Murfreesboro. There’s even a loan office in Spring Hill.

In what may be a little-known tidbit, First National is the third oldest bank in all of Tennessee at 143 years old. When you consider that, the bank really looks young for its age.
With two new offices this year, First National is expected to apply the brakes somewhat on expansion plans. The focus is to ensure these new branches are high achievers before considering more growth.

Reach the top With Bottoms

Kevin Bottoms got his start in the heating and air business as a 17-year-old in high school. The time has gone fast and his knowledge has accumulated.

Now Kevin has 25 years of experience in the heating and air business and he’s gone back to work for himself. He’s opened Bottoms Heating and Air and is available to do most any type of household repairs, including plumbing and electric.

“It’s pretty much any type of problem that’s in the home,” said Kevin. “The heat and air business is really only busy when it’s very hot or very cold. I do plumbing and electric work to help fill in during the other times.”

The nature of the business leads to service calls at all hours of the day and night. Kevin said the reason he stopped working for himself in the first place is because, as a single dad, he didn’t want to leave his son alone at home at 1 a.m. Now that his son is a freshman in high school, he’s old enough to stay by himself when a late-night call is required.

The cold spell this weekend is proof you don’t want to be caught without heat, unless you enjoy bone-chilling temperatures. When it comes to plumbing and electric, Kevin says he can do a large project such as plumbing an entire house, or a small project like unclogging a sink or commode. He can install light fixtures and ceiling fans. He can fix leaky faucets and repair electrical sockets that don’t work.

Bottoms Heating and Air can be reached at 607-6224.

IDB eyes Promising 2018

At the last Industrial Development Board meeting, director Don Alexander said a manufacturing company has expressed interest in locating in Warren County.

Don said he provided the company with a wealth of information and “the ball was in their court” in deciding whether to locate here.

In a follow-up to that meeting, I asked Don on Friday about the status of that prospect.
“They’re continuing to evaluate their options and deciding what to do,” said Don.
Outside of that company, the IDB continues to make improvements to two sites at Mt. View Industrial Park to get them ready for development. One site is 50 acres and the other is 26.
Don said the board is getting ready to accept bids for 700,000 square feet of grading work to be done at the 50-acre site. This will get the property prepped for concrete work and ready for a buyer.

“As far as communities go, we are really prepared,” said Don. “I’m expecting big things next year.”

In the words of four-star Army Gen. Colin Powell, “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” I agree and that’s why 2018 will be the year we “Make Warren County Great Again!”

That’s all folks

I realize thoughts are consumed with shopping and family at this time of year, but don’t neglect business news. If you have information to report, email