CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Kim McMillan has proposed construction of a new downtown parking garage in her 2019 budget, which is being considered by the City Council. The structure’s top floor also could be the future home of new City Council Chambers.
The parking facility, envisioned on the City-owned parking lot north of City Hall, is needed to support growth in restaurant, retail and events in Clarksville’s core, and bring more businesses to downtown, Mayor McMillan said.
After some fine-tuning, the Mayor’s plan calls for allocating $6.5 million to build a four-story parking garage with 215 parking spaces. The design would allow the City to build a “shell” on the top floor for new Council Chambers, which could be funded and built out in the future.
The current Council Chambers are at 106 Public Square in the former City Hall, which was built in 1914 and remodeled several times. Discussion has been ongoing for several years about replacing the Chambers with a larger, more accessible space for City Council meetings and other gatherings.
“The old Chambers have served us well, but the building’s age and size is limiting,” Mayor McMillan said. “When a big crowd gathers for a Council meeting, we don’t have adequate space for our residents. Also, citizens today expect the City to provide a top-notch audio and visual experience during meetings and to be able to broadcast meetings and events from City Hall. We’ve done a lot of retrofitting and retooling to meet those needs, but we’ve just outgrown the capacity of the the old Chambers.”
The City would use General Fund money and Parking Commission proceeds to finance and build the parking structure, which would be paid back over time in part from the proceeds -- mainly short and long-term parking fees -- from the garage operations. Of the initial $6.5 million investment, about $3.3 million would be financed by Parking Commission operations, and about $3.2 million would come from the General Fund. Future build-out of the Council Chambers would come from General Fund spending.
The Mayor and City Council will conduct a second discussion work session on the budget at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, June 7. Here are remaining key dates in the 2019 budget process:
* Budget work sessions for City Council: June 13 (if needed).
* Special called session for a public hearing and first reading: June 14.
* Special called session for second reading: June 21.
The City’s 2019 Fiscal Year begins on July 1, 2018. Full details of the budget are available online at: https://bit.ly/2kmImah.
Graphic shows proposed downtown parking garage next to City Hall with proposed Council Chambers on the top floor.