CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – About an hour Northwest of Nashville, you will find a place like no other, according to Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan.
Clarksville, like many cities in Middle Tennessee, is experiencing a population boom.
“They are going to experience something that they can’t experience anywhere else,” said McMillan. “It is a wonderful city that sits on the Cumberland River that has the type of amenities you won’t find anywhere else.”
She describes it as a big city with a small-town feel.
“I think it is exciting to know that we are the fifth largest city in the entire state of Tennessee, and we are on the move, and we are a city that continues to grow,” the mayor told News 2.
The latest population estimates show a city with more than 150,000 residents, and in the last five years, the city has grown in population by 13 percent.
So, what is the driving factor behind that growth? McMillan says there are a lot of factors, and one is the quality of life.
“Thirty-four parks, four recreation centers, there are blue ways, green ways, pools, splash pads… we have so many things for people to do,” she explained.
Mayor McMillan says a strong workforce and plenty of opportunities for big businesses to expand have also played into that growth.
“We have a low tax base here, so that draws the companies here,” she told News 2. “It is also the quality of our workforce that is exceptional, and that is one of the driving factors for large companies.”
Wes Boling with Hankook Tires says his company is capitalizing on all the opportunities the city has to offer.
“I don’t think a lot of people know about the growth in Clarksville,” said Boling. “We were looking at hundreds of locations to build our first North American plant, and Clarksville stood out because of the workforce.”
Open land and places to expand have also contributed to the city’s popularity with businesses.
”The availability of land is another factor, and the Montgomery County Industrial Board has a keen eye for where those areas exist, and you have other companies that are riding that wave as well,” said Boling.
With growth comes maintenance and renovations.
”Obviously infrastructure is top on everybody’s list,” said McMillan. “Roads are always an issue because whenever you grow you have to provide a road network for people to get around.”
So what will Clarksville look like 10, 20 or 50 years from now? That is still unknown, but for now, Mayor McMillan is focusing on the growth of the present.
“My goal is to continue to grow so we can continue to provide all the citizens with the assets that they deserve and enjoy,” she said.