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A portion of the nearly eight acres bought by the city of Mt. Juliet on West Division Street for multi-purpose sports fields is shown on the right side of this photo taken from the new greenway. The land is adjacent to Victory Baptist Church. LAURIE EVERETT

An 8.64-acre multi-purpose sports field complex is a go in Mt. Juliet with an expected opening in the spring of 2021.

City commissioners gave Mt. Juliet Parks Director Rocky Lee approval to purchase the land that fronts Victory Baptist Church on West Division Street. It is also adjacent to a recently opened greenway.

Lee said the purchase price for the land is $430,000. He said that he plans to request $200,000 at the next commissioners meeting to pay for the development of the land into an area for soccer, football, kickball, baseball and softball.

“Realistically, I’d like to see a small playground for kids to play on while their siblings are practicing,” he said. “And, restrooms.

The city commission deferred a vote at its last meeting and will further consider an option for a $2.3 million, 22-acre parcel at 1041 South Rutland Rd. It has a six-acre lake, a 10,000-square foot residence, a bar, a pool, and, a guest house in disrepair.

“I told commissioners we have more land to show them for an additional park,” he said. “I’ve been getting calls about land out there to buy. Just today I found out about 35 acres and another 47 acres, all at the same price. We want to get all the options out on the table, line them all up and compare.”

Christmas Parade update

City parks officials have renamed the best float award for Rowan Ace Frensley, who was killed at the end of the parade last year when he fell off his float.

“We wanted to figure out a way to honor Rowan in a dignified way, but didn’t want to put the family through it all over again,” Lee said.

Lee said the Frensley family approved the renaming the award. On Sept. 30, the Frensley family plans to unveil a bench in Rowan’s honor (his birthday is Sept. 25) at Charlie Daniels Park.

The parade is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 12 at 11 a.m. The route starts at the Mt. Juliet youth ball park on Lebanon Road and ends at Division Street.

The theme this year is “Hometown Heroes.” This year’s grand marshal is Zack Atwood. He was one of the first officers hired when the Mt. Juliet Police Department was created and worked there 37 years before retiring.

“We as a community have been through so much this year,” said Lee. “We’ve had the March 3 tornado, and then COVID-19. We want a theme that makes us come together as a community. Heroes come from all walks of life. Truck drivers, store keepers and more. We all came together in unison the day after the tornado. Police, fire, public works. We want to thank all of our local heroes.”

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