HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. — UPDATE (February 2nd)
Since Hamilton County became the new owners of a 21-hundred acre farm in Hamilton County, the question remains, what's next?
Mayor Coppinger announced the closing papers that finalizes the sale of the Old McDonald Farm passed back in December.
He says plans are to build an industrial park. It will also be used for recreational and mixed-use purposes.
During Wednesday's county commission meeting, Coppinger was questioned by Commissioner Warren Mackey about the farm's timeline for the buildable site.
"Once the state gets involved, we need their help financially. But also they'll help us market that property for different things that are coming to Tennessee. And they'll need large parcels. Hamilton County will be positioned really well in the future," says Mayor Coppinger.
Coppinger says he hopes to begin recreational efforts at the farm in the spring.
He says companies have already expressed interest in the site.
Mayor Jim Coppinger will be hosting a community meeting along with Commissioner Randy Fairbanks about McDonald Farm tomorrow at 6 P-M at the Sale Creek High School gym.
UPDATE (December 21st):
Mayor Jim Coppinger announced Monday that Hamilton County is now the official owner of the McDonald Farm, its newest industrial park.
According to a press release, Mayor Coppinger says closing papers finalizing the sale of the 2,100 acre site were passed on December 21, 2021.
“Our concept is to use the McDonald Farm site for mixed development and our hope is to eventually have a corporate headquarters that offers good wages locate at the farm," says Mayor Coppinger.
The mayor says that while the purchase involves 2,100 acres, parts of the farm will be used for recreational purposes and other mixed uses.
According to the release, the mayor hopes to begin recreational efforts at the farm as early as this spring.
Mayor Coppinger also reminded the public that Enterprise South which now hosts Volkswagen, Amazon and a number of other businesses had to have over 800 acres bulldozed in order for Volkswagen to consider locating their manufacturing facility at that location.
There are now well over three thousand jobs at Enterprise South, according to the release.
UPDATE (July 14th):
Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger and County Commissioner Randy Fairbanks will host an information session concerning the McDonald Farm the evening of July 22nd.
The public is invited to attend.
A release says the 90-minute event will be a community discussion regarding the purchase of the McDonald Farm and the status of forthcoming plans for the site.
It will take place at the Sale Creek High School Gymnasium July 22nd at 6:00 p.m.
Depend on us to keep you posted.
UPDATE (July 7th):
At Wednesday's meeting of the Hamilton County Commission, commissioners approved spending $16 million to buy the McDonald farm.
The 2100-acre property would be used in a similar way to Enterprise South.
It would include industrial sites, office buildings and green space.
In a tweet, Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger said of the vote, "it's a great day in county government" and called it "exciting for our county's future:"
Depend on us to keep you posted as this story continues to develop.
Hamilton County's mayor wants the county to spend $16 million to buy and develop the old McDonald farm site in Sale Creek.
Mayor Jim Coppinger on Wednesday presented the first step in the process to county commissioners.
The 2,100-acre property would be used in a similar way to Enterprise South, with industrial sites, office buildings and green space.
This is a decades-long process, and it will be several years before companies would be ready to build.
"I'm sure there's a lot of angst in that community anytime government purchases a property of this size, so they'll understand where it's not going to be us going up and pouring concrete slabs," said Coppinger, "We are going to be sensitive to them and get their input along the way."
The mayor says the first step is to survey the land.
A few locals are torn about the news for a few reasons.
Some like the idea because they feel it will create more jobs.
"It might be more jobs for people," Wayne Hindman said.
Others are concerned about what it will bring to town.
"What kind of businesses could they be bringing in?" said Rodney Sattler.
Naturally, some will miss the farm for what it brings to the community.
"Just taking my little girl there," Brandon Johnson said.
Sattler and his wife never had a chance to go to the farm.
"Now we are said that we didn't get out there before now."
If the sale is approved by the commission and goes through, they'll have to upgrade the infrastructure like the water mains to get the site ready for development.
In the meantime, if approved, the Mayor wants the 25,000 school kids that visit McDonald farm in the fall to still get that opportunity.
The commission will vote on whether to move forward with the purchase next week.
You can watch Wednesday's Hamilton County Commission meeting below.