Battle brews over Sumner County greenway

Nashville 2019

SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – It’s a tale of two trails in Sumner County. 

On one side of Long Hollow Pike near Gallatin, lies acres and acres of mostly farmland. On the other side, Station Camp Greenway wraps around a quiet subdivision. 

But these two worlds may soon collide, with the county’s plan to extend the greenway into miles of private property. 

Deborah Holmes and her husband own a large piece of property across the street from the current greenway. 

She and other neighbors recently received a pair of contracts. One contract pays for an easement for a new underground sewer, to be connected to the new “Liberty Creek” school. 

The second contract though is for an easement to have a paved greenway follow the sewer. 

Deborah argues, this development simply invites the public to tour through her backyard. 

“It looks like a park,” she explained. “But it’s our property, we bought this to be our park.”

Behind Deborah’s home, lives Tony Hibbs. Tony is concerned with the foot traffic, and the flooding that plagues the area. 

“We do not care about the money, what we care about is people walking in our backyard,” he noted. “Talking about a greenway with 1000 people a week walking on it.”

The deal involves both White House Utility District and Sumner County. 

County Executive Anthony Holt tells News 2, the plan is a by-product of growth. He says the sewer is a must, and it will need an access road, which will likely invite unwanted traffic anyway. 

So if the greenway is added, he believes this plan properly compensates owners. 

For Deborah and others though, the concern lies in what they may be liable for should visitors step off the path. 

“Personal injury, theft, underage drinking,” she said. “Anything anybody wants to do, it’s not policed.”

Officials are currently working with a third party company to make a fair deal with homeowners. 

Holt tells News 2 though that while it’s a   last resort, eminent domain could be used.  

“No we’re not signing it,” said Hibbs. “They’re going to have to come take our property.”

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