Today is Thursday, March 23, 2017

Bell family donates land for West Lebanon park

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The Bell family has donated 15-plus acres of the Hamilton Springs property to the City of Lebanon for a new public park to be built adjacent to the Hamilton Springs train station on the city's west side.

Lebanon City Council accepted the donation of the property at its August 16 meeting.

"When I first ran for office, one of my platforms was the need for an increased focus on quality of life opportunities within the city," Councilor Rob Cesternino said. "For the last six years, I have on multiple occasions commented on the lack of amenities on the west side of town. This amazing investment in the community by the Bell family is the first step of what I hope to be a priority focus to address both issues. I cannot thank them enough for their gift."

"Having a public park next to the Music City Star stop fits into our overall plan for transit-oriented development at the site," Jack Bell, president of Horn Springs Development Inc., said. "It will be an asset to the residents of Hamilton Springs and also the community at large. We are grateful to be able to provide this space to the City of Lebanon."

Hamilton Springs Station was approved last May. Bids for construction on the commuter rail station will be received on Sept. 1. The stop will be the Music City Star's seventh regional rail station and an additional travel option for people in Lebanon and Wilson County. EOA Architects of Nashville is the lead architect of the Hamilton Springs Station, and Lose & Associates Inc. is performing the site design as well as the concept design for the park, which is currently under development.

"Several local leaders have been extremely supportive of this idea, and we greatly appreciate their support," said Lebanon City Councilor and Horn Springs Development Inc. partner Rick Bell. "With our ties to the City of Lebanon, it is a great privilege to donate this park space for current and future residents to enjoy."

Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead noted planned park amenities include an amphitheater with gladiator seating, playground, picnic area with pavilions, walking trails, dog parks and greenway trails. He added the park will become a major trailhead for the continuation of the city's greenway system.

"Once again, local civic-minded community members have stepped up to the challenge of making Lebanon a great place to live," Craighead remarked. "We appreciate the generosity of the Bell family in making this land donation to our city. Lebanon is uniquely positioned to build on an asset that no other city in Tennessee can match. As a transit-oriented community, additional train stops and services on the Music City Star can increase the possibility of this park development becoming a future destination as a major entertainment venue for Wilson County."

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