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Clarksville, Tennessee , is located about 35 northwest of Nashville, south of the Kentucky border. Interstate 24 has four exits to access the state's fifth largest city, and the Exit 4 area is the major retail corridor with a mall and various shopping centers located along Wilma Rudolph Boulevard, which pays tribute to the city's Olympic gold medal-winning native.

Clarksville is growing rapidly with a current population of 133,000, which is a 28 percent increase since 2000. Along with Montgomery County and other surrounding counties, the Metropolitan Statistical Area population is just less than 275,000, which is an 18.8 increase since 2000. Growth in the community shows no signs of slowing; Clarksville and Montgomery County have a total of 8,776 residential lots approved for building.

Fort Campbell Army installation and a promising future in the renewable energy industry are key components to the city's growth.

Approximately 80 percent of active-duty soldiers and their families choose to live in Clarksville and the second-highest number of military retirees in the nation live around the city. The number of military families making their homes in Clarksville, even after leaving the Army, makes it a youthful market with a median age of 29. The military background of so many in the community provides a highly skilled work force that is very trainable.

Additionally, Clarksville is home to one of the fastest growing four-year universities in Tennessee. With an enrollment of more than 11,000, Austin Peay State University is adding student housing on campus and is anticipating more building without the aid of state funding. The state did, however, provide about $6 million to help construct the Hemlock Semiconductor Building for the university's Chemical Engineering Technology Degree program.

The new degree program will support Hemlock Semiconductor LLC's new $1.2 billion plant, which is Tennessee's single-largest industrial investment. The plant, which will produce semiconductors used in solar energy and computers, is projected to initially bring in 500 jobs. While it is expected to be completed in 2012, efforts have already begun for a $3 billion expansion that could bring an additional 900 jobs.

Even before Hemlock announced its plans in late 2008, Clarksville's economy was diverse and solid enough to weather the recent recession better than many communities across the nation. Since October 2007, sales tax collections have increased each month over the same month the previous year, except for January 2011, which was a slight decrease.

Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan welcomed news that the City of Clarksville can proceed with the procurement of two watercrafts after receiving more than $300,000 in grant funding from the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Port Security Grant Program. The City of Clarksville is one of Tennessee's 11 Homeland Security Districts to be awarded federal funding from the Homeland Security Grant Funds.

The funding will be used to purchase a fire patrol boat and police patrol boat, which will be stationed at the Liberty Park Marina, as well as training for boat crews. Both watercrafts will be equipped with a full complement of blue lights, sirens, navigational and communications equipment, as well as high-tech equipment allowing for day and night operations, underwater searches, and boating accident victim recovery and transport.

While the primary purpose of these watercrafts is for homeland security, they may and will also be used for inland waterway enforcement, response and recovery, shoreline fire suppression and hazmat containment. An agreement with the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA), will allow officers assigned to the unit, the authority to enforce boating safety laws similar to those exercised by the TWRA on the water adjoining the city boundaries.

Should the need arise, the watercraft may be directed by the Coast Guard to incidents at other locations on the Cumberland River between Nashville and Land Between the Lakes.

Now that funding has been announced, the two department's next step will be to draft a request for proposals and select a bidder. “It will probably take nine to ten months minimum to get them,” said Ron McClurg, City of Clarksville Grant Manager, “most of the time boats of this size are not built until an order is placed.”

The City Council's Charter Revision Committee is refining proposed changes to the city's charter that were completed by a Charter Commission in December 2008.

A final version of the proposed changes was submitted to the state Legislature in 2009 for approval, but the document did not progress past a subcommittee after some committee members expressed concern about certain passages.

With this year's beginning of a new General Assembly, Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan has established a Charter Revision Committee to review the work of the Charter Commission and make appropriate revisions, as well as add needed changes that have surfaced since the Charter Commission convened.

Upon completion, the Charter Revision Committee will present its final draft to the full City Council for consideration and approval. A final version will then be forwarded to the Legislature for consideration and approval before the legislative session concludes.

Charter Revision Committee members are Bill Summers, chairman; Jeff Burkhart; Geno Grubbs; Kaye Jones; and Wallace Redd.

The committee's work will be posted on the city's website as it progresses, so the public can follow its actions.

Committee meetings will be posted on the meeting calendar on the website and are open to the public. However, residents will not be part of the committee's discussion, but anyone wishing to make comments or suggestions to committee members should do so through their City Council representative.

2008 Proposed Charter Revisions
03/07/11 Proposed Charter Revisions

Charter Committee Agendas

Minutes from the Charter Committee

Translation of Website

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