Wednesday, July 2, 2014
The city of Soddy-Daisy made a deal to purchase 285 acres of land surrounded by Cumberland Trail State Park known as the Big Soddy Creek Gulf. Valued at more than $3 million, the city purchased the land from Signal Mountain residents Steven and Tiffany Quarfordt for $1,150,000, which will be paid over a four-year period.
One of the last remaining natural estates in Hamilton County, the secluded land tract features more than 2 miles of mountain streams. It will remain unthreatened by future development or encroachment by adjacent property owners.
“There’s no place like it anywhere around,” said City Manager Hardie Stulce of the land, which features Class 5 rapids as well as numerous swimming holes.
“That will be a legacy for Soddy-Daisy,” said Commissioner Patti Skates of the land. “It’s going to be an investment that will pay for itself many times over.”
Stulce said Soddy-Daisy has been debt-free for five years and had the funds to purchase the land in reserve for emergencies or opportunities such as this.
The land will be preserved in its natural setting with improvements made for recreation such as hiking, camping and cycling. The land will not be open to the public until the purchase has officially gone through, which is set to happen in the next 7-10 days. Once open to the public, access will be controlled by the city.
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is aware of the purchase and will be involved in future plans, as will various outdoor groups which have already offered input.