Franklin greenway gets some extra acreage
The Little Tennessee Greenway will offer users a bit more space to enjoy the outdoors following Dick and Melissa Jones’ gift of a .66-acre piece of property adjacent to the greenway.
“The greenway is a tremendous asset out our community,” said Derek Roland, Macon County manger. “Usage of it continues to grow, and I’m sure in the future we will enter into discussion to see how best that property can add to the enhancement of the greenway.”
The property is located off of Highlands Road, near the middle of the 4.5-mile route. It’s just another gesture of public service for Dick Jones, who spent more than three decades of his life as county attorney for Macon County.
County leaders have not yet discussed what the property might be used for but are certain that, whatever the outcome, it will provide some important benefit to Macon County.
“It’s valuable property to the county,” said Kevin Corbin, chairman of the Macon County Board of Commissioners.
The greenway has been a work in progress sine 1997, when Duke Power acquired land along the Little Tennessee in Franklin to build a powerline. The transmission line easement represents almost half of the trail. The Town of Franklin, Macon County, Duke Power and, later, Friends of the Greenway worked together to bring the greenway to fruition. Today, summer visits exceed 20,000 per month, according to Friends of the Greenway’s website, and the greenway connects multiple parks and picnic areas.
The Jones’ gift will add just a little more opportunity for greenway development.
“We’re very grateful that a community member and a long-time public servant of Macon County has been so gracious to give us that piece of property,” Roland said.
— Holly Kays, staff writer