During a surprise press conference Thursday, State Rep. Susan Lynn announced Mt. Juliet would receive more than $1 million in greenway grants.
The conference took place at 4 p.m. at the Mt. Juliet Community Center. Lynn said she learned about the hefty federal and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) grants from Gov. Bill Haslam's office that morning.
"The governor's office called me early this morning to tell me that Mt. Juliet was to be awarded $1.3 million in grants today," she said at the announcement.
However, the release of the information was embargoed until the City of Mt. Juliet was informed at about 1 p.m. Lynn called a quick press conference to share the news at 4 p.m.
"We've been working on getting these grants for quite a while now," she said. "I could not tell anyone until the city was notified; however, they let me leak it a little."
Two of the grants come in Phase 1A and 1B. Phase 1A is Cedar Creek Greenway for $467,000. Phase 1B is the second portion of the Cedar Creek Greenway at $582,000.
The much-anticipated Safe Route to School Grant will help the students at Elzie Patton Elementary School, as well as those at Mt. Juliet Middle School, at $250,000.
District 1 City Commissioner Ray Justice and District 3 City Commissioner Art Giles represent the two districts that will receive the grant funding.
"We are very grateful to Gov. Haslam and TDOT Commissioner John Shroer," Lynn said.
She explained the Safe Route to School Grant is a federal grant that flows to Mt. Juliet through TDOT. She also thanked Rep. Diane Black and Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker.
"Many people worked to make these grants possible, and they also deserve our gratitude," Lynn concluded. "These grants will make Mt. Juliet an even better place to live, work and play."
Writer Laurie Everett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.