Community leaders hope for a home run at Sulphur Dell meeting - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Community leaders hope for a home run at Sulphur Dell meeting


People had plenty to say about plans to bring a ballpark back to Sulphur Dell.

Saturday morning's meeting in north Nashville carried a fairly positive tone, with many city council members pushing for the development.

"You don't have to worry about local people being hired," said council member Jerry Maynard. "It will happen."

"This is good," said Gregory Pillow, president of the Buchanan Street Association. "For the kids, the job opportunities coming in and everything is coming around. I'm open for it," he added.

But, along with the excitement, some residents fear traffic will only get worse.

"If it is a main corridor between 3rd and 5th, it is also going to have to address the issue with the train," Bill Pittenger said. "The train stops at the train tracks and we'll be parked there an hour and a half at a time."

Other supports say Jefferson Street has more than enough capacity to handle the crowds. "We're also talking about off-peak hours for the most part," said Brian Heuser, a founder member of the Friends of Sulphur Dell. "It's a concern, but the overwhelming benefit here certainly outweighs the traffic concerns," he added.

But for some, a quickly approaching Dec. 31 deadline brings more reason for pause.

"They may not have enough time to really complete a study to get a full look at what type of traffic really comes through this corridor," Pittenger said. "I do think it is being overlooked."

All things considered, the project is moving forward with overwhelming support.

"This is the kind of recreation that is extremely positive," Heuser said. "Minor league ball clubs are huge for economic development. They're huge for the growth of private industry. We think this is a smart investment."

Metro council will discuss land agreements and financing for the project again at Tuesday's council meeting. The city wants to use $65 million in bonds to pay for the project.

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