CLARKSVILLE, TN (NOW CLARKSVILLE) – County commissioners met this week to discuss the proposed budget for fiscal year 2023, which includes $43 million in capital projects.
This includes several long-awaited projects such as the North Clarksville Library branch, a new animal control facility, a County Courts Annex and improvements to Stokes Field.
Although these items are currently included in the budget, they still need to be approved by the county commission. Commissioners are expected to vote at the next regular session on June 13, with a discussion on June 6.
North Clarksville Library Branch
The North Clarksville branch library has been under construction for several years. The county approved the purchase of property at 435 Jordan Road in 2018 for construction, and designs are more or less complete.
Since then, progress has been slow. Funding for the library branch was suspended in 2020 due to county economic concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. It was considered to re-include it in the 2021-22 budget, but was again put on hold.
The library branch is again being considered for the FY23 budget, but its proposed funding has been reduced from $16.5 million to $10 million. How this reduction in funding will affect the end result is not known at this time.
New animal shelter
As with the library, a new animal control facility has been in the works for some time. A new facility to be built on Needmore Road was shut down in 2020 due to issues with the property.
Mayor Jim Durrett has since said the county wants to be selective in choosing a new home for Animal Control, waiting for a property in an area that will help the agency better serve residents.
The FY23 budget proposal includes $750,000 to purchase land for a new facility.
Schedule of Courts
In November last year, the County Commission approved the purchase of property at 121 Third St., the current headquarters of the Batson Nolan law firms, to expand the downtown Courts Center . The price of this purchase was $6.8 million.
An additional $30,000 is included in the FY23 budget for this project, along with $60,000 for the renovation of the existing Doug Weiland Courts Center.
The new annex is expected to open up space for two new court spaces by moving support services across the street.
Stokes Field leaves the bench
Stokes Field was brought back into this year’s budget after being left out, with $8 million proposed to renovate the facility.
Another previously canceled project, Stokes Field has been included in previous budgets, but has been delayed due to financial issues related to COVID-19.
The baseball field has been a concern for some time. At a previously reported budget committee meeting, Commissioner James Lewis highlighted the importance of Stokes Field to residents north of Clarksville, saying he heard children walking to the Kenwood ball fields to ‘at Evans Road.
Other major projects
The proposed FY23 budget contains dozens of other capital projects, including several highway projects, computer upgrades and county property improvements.
Among them, $1 million for the Tennessee Wings of Liberty Museum, $3.5 million for building schools, and $7 million for widening Rossview Road.