Is Hendersonville in too much debt to split cost of Batey Farm with resident group?


The city of Hendersonville is in a battle of wants versus needs. The acres of land that comprises Batey Farm is up for sale, and some want the city to turn it into green space, but others say the city has more pressing needs.

A group of residents called "Friends of Indian Lake Peninsula" are the ones who hope to team up with the City of Hendersonville to buy the 73 acres of land and turn it into green space. “One of the things we want to do as far as how to maintain it, we’ve got two Eagle Scout groups [and] various fathers, who are helping us [and] said they would love to participate,” said Len Jannaman, a member of the group.

Jannaman said the group is halfway towards their goal of raising $1 million to buy 38 acres, which is just over half the property owned by Destiny Real Estate Ventures. City officials are considering whether to buy the other 35 acres for $3 million.

News4’s Briona Arradondo asked Ward 2 Alderman Scott Sprouse if the city has the money to buy the land. “I agree with Mayor Clary when he told us last fall that the city did not have $3 million for the purchase,” Sprouse said. Sprouse said the city would go into more debt to make the deal happen.

“There’s benefit to buying the land," Sprouse said. "There’s benefit to saving the money and using it for infrastructure projects and paving. We had to borrow money last year to pave roads, and that’s a situation that we need to get out of."

Neighbors already prevented developers from buying Batey Farm last year.

Some residents believe the city should hold off on buying the land and fix existing problems, including needed road projects and funding for police and fire departments.

“I think everybody in town wants more passive parks and green space," said Hendersonville resident Rita Lea. "This is strictly my opinion that (the city) should be looking at (this) from a financial standpoint of extreme indebtedness on top of some other obligations the city has talked about wanting to do."

The deal is part of a resolution that passed first reading last month. The board of aldermen and the mayor will vote one last time on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Hendersonville High School.

To contribute to Friends of Indian Lake Penninsula's fund to save Batey Farm, click here.

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