Chamber holds first town news event

Xavier Smith • Updated Jan 28, 2017 at 8:00 AM

The Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce introduced a new way for citizens to “be in the know” and “stay connected” Friday with the first Chamber Town News event.

The event featured city and county leaders who updated citizens on recent and future developments in their realms of the community. Featured speakers included Lebanon Economic Development director Sarah Haston, Lebanon Ward 4 Councilor Chris Crowell, Wilson County District 13 Commissioner Sonja Robinson and Lebanon Mayor Bernie Ash.

Ash, who said he is getting settled into his new role as mayor, said he’s spoken with all city department heads and is confident in the city’s future. He also discussed conversations with Haston.

“The first talk that we had I told her I wanted to see an aggressive marketing for Lebanon,” Ash said. “Sarah’s job is specific and only to bring jobs to Lebanon and I will support her in every way I can.”

Ash also spoke about conversations with some residents who have questioned why Lebanon hasn’t seen the rapid growth like Mt. Juliet. Ash said the city grows by about 100 people a month, which is no small amount, and highlighted Mt. Juliet’s growth is related to its relation to Nashville.

He said the growth is spreading east to west from Nashville, which means the city, which has already seen recent burst in growth, is set to grow exponentially over the next few years.

Crowell highlighted the need for city leaders to control that growth as diligently as possible.

“One of the things I think we all have to think about is not only where the city is right now, but where we’re going,” he said. “What’s our future going to look like for the city?”

Crowell said the Hartmann Drive corridor could be a vital piece in the city’s future.

“A lot of people are interested in coming to Hartmann Drive. That’s a new gateway to our community,” Crowell said.

Haston discussed some of the businesses looking to call Hartmann Drive home, such as Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n’ Biscuits and Fairfield Inn. 

The four-story hotel, to be located at the corner of Hartmann Drive and Franklin Road, will join Hampton Inn and Suites as hotels on the road that also features Subway and Outback Steakhouse.

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