The growth, the traffic and questions of what to do about it are familiar to anyone around Mt. Juliet, but is it really a problem that needs immediate attention as the place continues moving from a quiet Wilson County town to Nashville suburb.
“It’s a bedroom community for Nashville now,” said Homer Dudley who operates a farm for his sons a few miles north of Hwy 70 on Benders Ferry Road. “A lot of people move out here, it’s safe, a good environment with lots of open space.”
The farm that began in his wife’s family was once 1,800 acres, spreading all the way to Highway 70, which has been one of the growth areas for Mt. Juliet.
“My sons might sell it one day,” he told News 2, “but right now that’s not going to happen. I love it out here. This is paradise to me.”
On the south end of busy Mt. Juliet Road is the sprawling Providence shopping area.
“I think by most people’s standards and expectations, we have been wildly successful,” Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce President Mark Hinsley said. “We are clearly going through some growing pains, but 10 years ago, this was just a field out here.”
Hinsley said the pluses of growth like this far outweigh the minuses, but he acknowledges that for some a conversation needs to take place about growth with all the stakeholders at the table
“For every person that is excited about new business, there is another person who thought that a deer and the turkey would be in their backyard forever,” he told News 2. “But everybody needs to be mutually respected.”
He thinks residents will be hearing much more about it in the coming 12-to-18 months, but he hopes the City Commission does not put any roadblocks in the way of growth.
So the question is, do you continue on with growth for a place that often cited for being good for business, families and safety, or maybe or maybe do you slow it down a bit?
Mt. Juliet Mayor Ed Hagerty thinks the city “has managed growth well.”
As for traffic, he says Mt. Juliet is nothing like what motorists might find around Nashville’s Green Hills Mall area.