City, county leaders speak at Chamber News

Jake Old • May 26, 2017 at 12:05 PM

Lebanon Mayor Bernie Ash, Lebanon city Councilor Rick Bell and Wilson County Joint Economic and Community Development Board executive director G.C. Hixson spoke to local business leaders Friday morning during the Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Chamber Town News event.


Ash detailed his recent trip to Las Vegas, where he and other city officials attended an expo designed to network municipalities with prospective businesses. Ash said there were at least 1,000 retailers, developers and commercial real estate professionals at the event.

Although he could not share every business the city met with, Ash confirmed among the 13 businesses he and Sarah Haston, economic development director for the city, met with were Kroger, Five Guys, Hilton Garden Inn and Firehouse Subs, but none were a done deal to move to Lebanon.

Retail Strategies, a consulting firm the city works with to attract businesses, also had a presence at the event, Ash said.

“[Haston] talked to 13 people; Retail Strategies talked to 300 people,” Ash said.

Hixson shared some details about the JECDB’s 2016 annual report, which includes information about economic growth countywide.

“The growth of residential communities throughout the counties continues to increase with 2,721 homes sold in 2016,” he said. “That’s a 9.6 percent increase. The median home price rose 9 percent last year.”

Hixson also talked about the new terminal at the Lebanon Municipal Airport.

“I commend the city for what they’ve done,” he said. “It’s a beautiful building, and it is a front door for us. As a pilot, I see a lot of those place, and I can tell you there’s none prettier and more appropriate for what we have in our community.”

Bell talked about the new train station that will open near the Hamilton Springs development.

“When we talk about the Music City Star, we’re really talking about the future,” Bell said. “Right now, there are 1,000 people who ride the Star every day, and what’s important about that, is that’s 1,000 people who are not on the interstate. As this community grows, more and more people are going to be riding that.”

Several chamber members spoke about their businesses during the meeting. Chamber president Melanie Minter also updated those present on upcoming chamber events.

The chamber holds Town News on the last Friday of each month at the chamber office on the Lebanon Square.

For more information, contact the chamber at 615-444-5503. 

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