NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Gallatin leaders said they’ve missed out on high-paying jobs because there’s no place for the companies to go. On Tuesday, Oct. 10, they’ll consider an idea to help.
The Gallatin City Council is set to discuss the purchase of 386 acres, commonly known as The Meadows, for a city-owned planned business park. Leaders of the project said the economic development could be the answer to accommodating the steady growth of Gallatin.
“This year I got 56 RFI’s, which is request for information, for companies that we couldn’t respond to because we didn’t have a place to put them,” said James Fenton, the executive director of the Gallatin Economic Development Agency. “This will give us an opportunity to start responding and attracting the additional industries.”
The asking price is $19.3 million or roughly $50,000 an acre for the land located on the north end of the city.
“Over the last 10 years or so, Gallatin has attracted more than 5,000 primary jobs. We have just a stellar track record. We have a city that understands what development is and how important it is,” Fenton said.
In the last few years, millions have also poured in through large tech companies. The hope is to continue pouring into Gallatin’s balanced economy by creating more jobs and elevating pay.
“Gallatin has almost 20,000 people a day that get their paychecks here, but don’t live here. We have about 13,000 that live here that get their paychecks elsewhere. We have a higher daytime population, and we’d love to be able to keep those people here and give them jobs,” said Fenton.
Leaders of the project said it’s about more than just creating a business park; it’s about improving people’s livelihoods.
“Someone will walk up and say, ‘Didn’t you bring such and such company to town?’ And I’ll say, ‘Yes,’ and they’ll say, ‘My son got a job there and I get to see my grandkids,’ or, ‘My husband got a job there and we didn’t lose our house.’ So, it’s those moments, those one-on-one moments,” said Fenton.
Following Tuesday night’s business park presentation, project leaders hope for city approval in order to move forward with their strategic plan.