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Mayor reveals vision for downtown district

Laurie Everett mtjulietnews@tds.net • Updated Jul 26, 2013 at 9:59 PM

MT. JULIET – Downtown Mt. Juliet may get a "signature piece" with a proposal by the mayor to upgrade Regional Transportation Authority land near the train depot on Division Street.

Hagerty said, for the first time in the city's history, attempt is made to establish a downtown district. Over the past 12 months, the city has placed benches and banner poles along main roads. Hagerty said the idea of a signature piece "has been a dream of mine for a long time."

Hagerty said the arch in St. Louis and racehorse statues in Lexington, Ky. are examples of signature pieces in those cities.

He said Mt. Juliet needs a signature piece built on proper scale.

He contacted Clyde Rountree with Rountree & Associates and asked him to sketch a signature piece for Mt. Juliet at the corner of Mt. Juliet Road and Division Street.

While Hagerty realizes Mt. Juliet will never have a "town square" like Lebanon, he thinks this will be a central zone in the city.

The sketch includes an amphitheater, sign, monuments, fountains, a stage and restrooms. Near the grass amphitheater will be water jets. A playground is included, along with additional water sprays. Hagerty envisions three pillars inscribed with the city's core values.

"This will be used by train riders and all citizens," said Hagerty.  

Hagerty said if the project comes to fruition, it will be a significant new landmark and public space for the heart of the city. He would like to see a public space where people can drink coffee or have an ice cream cone while their children play in the water.

The projected cost for the project is $500,000 with 50-percent city and private match each.

"There has been a lot of interest from the private sector," said Hagerty. "The city's match might be far less."

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