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Town, County partner to connect Little Tennessee Greenway to recreation park 

Last updated on September 15, 2022

A 13-acre property is the missing piece needed to connect the Littles Tennessee Greenway to the Macon County Recreation Park, a goal of the project since its inception. After negotiations with the property owners, Mainspring Conservation Trust, the town of Franklin voted to purchase the property for $22,000. 

The property is located behind the Macon County Public Library between Allman Road and Siler Road. According to Franklin Town Manager Amie Owens on Tuesday night during the commissioner’s meeting, the town looked at purchasing the property due to how difficult it currently is for the town to access the lines in that area and the property will give them a better entrance to get work trucks in as needed.

Tuesday night, the Macon County Board of Commissioners voted to partner with the town on the project which will utilize the 13-acre property and existing easement agreements on nearby parcels, to extend the Little Tennessee Greenway the remainder of the way to reach the recreation park. 

The Town of Franklin will own the property and be responsible for building out the greenway, and the county will agree to manage and maintain the greenway. 

Members of the Macon County Board of Commissioners commended the town of Franklin for their negotiation skills, as the county commission has attempted to purchase the property for several years, however, had been unsuccessful. Mainspring Conservation Trust purchased the property for $162,500 in April 2017 from Glenn and Linda Dills. Acknowledging the need for the town to access the water and sewer lines and the benefit of extending the greenway, Mainspring sold the land for well below the appraised value of more than $250,000. 

The vision for the Little Tennessee River Greenway started in the late 1990s, with the Friends of the Greenway non-profit being established by 2002. Over the next 20 years, the greenway was established to follow along the Little Tennessee River and a tributary, Cartoogechaye Creek. The greenway meanders through wetlands, railroad cuts left behind by the Tallulah Falls Railroad, alongside pastures, and through upland forest. Its surface is a mix of paved and non-paved (gravel) sections.

The greenway includes benches, picnic shelters, fishing piers, exercise stations, a playground with water feature, canoe put-ins and much flora and fauna. 

 

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