Hamilton County Buying McDonald Farm in Sale Creek Farm

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – “I’m sure there’s alot of angst in the community when government purchases property this size,” said Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger at Wednesday’s County Commission meeting.

He offered a few words of assurance following the county’s major $16 million purchase of 2,170 acres in Sale Creek.

“It’s a sizable investment obviously that the tax payers are making on this property in hopes of being able to create jobs and be able to get large amounts of property taxes off this property so we don’t have to raise taxes on everyone,” Coppinger says.

Comparisons to Enterprise South and the Volkswagen factory are mentioned frequently by the commission but Coppinger said no businesses are committed to building on the sprawling and scenic acreage yet.

“Sometimes people will come in and be looking for a site but we haven’t had anything to show them, even off into the future,” the mayor says. “And this gives us an opportunity to actually mark it.”

Mayor Coppinger says he looks forward to holding multiple round-table discussions with the community to get feedback.

“What’s really critical to us is being able to involve the community, get their input and make sure they are comfortable with what they’re doing there,” the mayor says.

Concerns of developing a waste water treatment facility on the land is one topic the mayor is addressing.

Mayor Coppinger says the McDonald Farm was visited by 25,000 school children a year so preserving its green spaces, natural beauty and collaborating with environmentalists will be a priority.

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