Gallatin has acquired nearly 70 acres of property across the city as part of a $2.1 million effort city officials say is meant to keep the land safe from future development.
The purchases, which were finalized last month, include 50 acres at 416 Coles Ferry Road, 14 acres at 1062 Sugartree Lane and 2.8 acres at 551 East Main Street, according to property records from the Sumner County Register of Deeds office.
“This is important because there is so much growth happening in our city that we do want to work to preserve land,” Mayor Paige Brown said about the acquisitions. “We’re going to be working to find some opportunities to get some funds to that we can figure out how we want them to be developed.
“It will take some time for them to become something.”
Crews with the Gallatin Parks and Recreation department have already started working to clean up brush and other debris at each site.
The largest property, which was formerly home to Langley Hall, features an existing house that could be converted into a training center, according to Brown. The rest of the property could feature trails along with agricultural and historical exhibits as well as be used for occasional outdoor events.
“I’m not interested in creating something that competes with our existing event centers,” Brown said. “But if there are amenities that we need or would enhance our community that we could make happen there then that’s the kind of thing we’re looking for.
As for the other two properties, Brown said the city is working to develop a master plan for the Sugartree Lane site, which connects to 46 additional acres of existing undeveloped park land. City officials have also previously stated that the East Main Street property, which was part of where the Battle of Gallatin was fought during the Civil War, could include a pavilion and playground on the site.
“I don’t think any of this land you’re ever going to see developed as ball fields or anything like that, but I think you will be able to see it developed with some really neat amenities,” Brown said. “We’re probably not going to do it all at once, but there are a lot of neat opportunities.”
Last fall, the Gallatin City Council approved up to $10,000 to have the three properties appraised. Their total value was determined to be worth a combined $2.96 million.
The purchases come at a time when Gallatin is losing seven football fields of crop land each year to development while a total of nine football fields of new paved surfaces are being added, according to the city’s recently completed strategic plan.
While there are no plans to acquire additional land at this time, Brown said she is “certainly interested in any way (the city) may be able to do that in the future.”
“It’s a wonderful thing for Gallatin to be working to preserve some of this land when we’re in an area and time of such growth,” Brown added. “Obviously, we have limited resources and we expended quite a few doing this, but the opportunity should always be there (for future land purchases).”