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Cookeville Approves Retail Strategies Contract Extension; West Stevens St. Widening Agreement

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cookeville Approves Retail Strategies Contract Extension; West Stevens St. Widening Agreement

Cookeville City Council approved a one-year contract extension with Retail Strategies for retail development marketing and consulting services.

Economic Development Coordinator Melinda Keifer said that the group provides retail real estate data that aids both the city and citizens. She said their demographic data is key in bringing the retail developers the city wants, and is a service that citizens have to ability to utilize.

“So it not only does service to all the citizens, it’s a big service to our actual development and owner community,” Keifer said. “They like to say that we are the local expert, but they are retail real estate expert. So I feel like it’s a good bang for our buck.”

Keifer said the data collected by Retail Strategies shows Cookeville has some $1.7 billion of goods and services in its trade area for sale, with over $1.8 billion of demand. She said that the goal in retail recruitment is to narrow that gap.

Keifer said after seven years in contract with Retail Strategies, the service has proved a fruitful relationship with the city. The council approved the one-year contract, and Keifer said she would explore a contract extension per the request of Mayor Ricky Shelton.

In other business, City Council approved an engineering service agreement for the West Stevens Street widening project. City Manager James Mills said the estimated nine-month project would cost some $191,000.

“The proposed improvements include widening the street to two, 11 footways with curb, gutter, and sidewalks on both sides of the street,” Mills said. “And a center turn lane on West Stevens Street where it intersects with South Willow Avenue. The service also includes design for storm drains, erosion sediment control plans, new water and sewer lines, and a survey stakeout of the right-of-way takings.”

Mills said the extension would go from South Willow Avenue to Hughes Street.

Council also approved Cookeville Fire Department to purchase 25 new self-contained breathing apparatuses, seven new sets of turnout gear for their new hires, and a new medical response vehicle.

Interim Chief Benton Young said that the need to add a second medical response truck comes from the fact that the first purchased vehicle was such a success. He said that the vehicle is used in situations that require faster response time than using the firetruck allows.

In addition to new purchases, the council also approved marking the 1972 American LaFrance 100 ft. ladder truck as surplus because its hydraulics are now out of service.

Council member Eric Walker chose to abstain from the vote, citing an interest in seeing other uses for the truck after discussion at the work session Monday where council discussed the truck’s historic significance and other potential.


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