The Mt. Juliet Board of Commissioners voted against purchasing the Joy Church property near Charlie Daniels Park Monday.
The vote failed 2-3 with Mayor Ed Hagerty, Vice Mayor James Maness and Commissioner Art Giles voting against it. Commissioners Jim Bradshaw and Ray Justice voted to purchase the property.
The Joy Church property is adjacent to Charlie Daniels Park. The church will be relocating when their new building is built, and the City had looked into purchasing the five acres of land and the building, which could have been used as a second community center or have other functions. However, there is an 127-acre piece of land that costs roughly the same that could be a possible purchase for the city. The land still has some right of way issues that TDOT needs to access because it is along the eastern connector project which will run from the Beckwith Road exit on I-40 to Lebanon Road. The City cannot move on the property until those issues are resolved.
“I don’t see how we can buy both,” said Maness of the two properties.
Hagerty thought that the Joy Church property would fill a short term need, but the 127 acres would fill a long term need.
“Long term our need is for additional land,” said Hagerty.
Hagerty said the larger piece of land would help alleviate the problems with the space for football fields, soccer fields, and other park needs. He said if he has the choice between five acres and 127 acres for the about the same price, he will always choose the larger piece of land.
The property has been available for awhile and Commissioner Bradshaw said a previous board chose not to purchase it before when they had the chance. Hagerty said the fear is that if they did purchase the Joy Church property then waited longer on the 127 acres, the price on the land would go up. The commissioners could still choose to buy the Joy Church property if the 127 acres fell through and the property was still available.
The Commissioners voted to allocate money to complete the Ava’s Splash Pad for Charlie Daniels Park. The Splash Pad has been a project of the Avalyn Shaye Foundation and the Bright family in honor of their daughter who passed away in 2010. They donated $80,000 to the city from different events they have had over the past few years. The Splash Pad will be located just north of the community center. They plan to have a grand opening July 4.
The commissioners also approved to appropriate funds for a right turn lane at the signal on West Division Street onto South Greenhill Road to help traffic move more efficiently through the area.