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Rural King

MSA North & East - Montgomery, Sumner, and Wilson Counties

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I believe a $1.2 M bid won the project. And it has been sorely needed for years. Legion Street has always been seen as the "back of Franklin Street." But, I believe this is just the beginning of a push to extend the downtown "area" more towards Austin Peay, Emerald Hill and Riverside Drive.

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Attended the Rivers and Spires Festival on Saturday 4/19/08.

The clouds were dark and dreary as the temperatures plummeted. It was cold and this seemed to keep the usual crowds a bit lower than the past two years. However, my daughter and I saw a good Blues Rock group in Blue Mule who had an "axe man" who could really tear it up.

As the evening descended we ventured to another stage to watch Hot lanta. Much to our delight it was the same band that appeared last year on another stage but they were called "Cousin Hogg," an Allman Bros. Tribute Band. Last year they absolutely mesmerized the crowd and they certainly did not disappoint this year. They are the consumate professionals who do not miss a note. The Country group LONESTAR was the headliner for the evening on that stage and they followed Hot lanta but we did not stay for LONESTAR. Making our way back to the vehicle we noticed that the crowds were jam packed which was nice to see.

I love that festival but my only big complaint is the practice of having to buy tickets to purchase food and other items. In the past, most vendors were more than happy to simply accept a customers cash and I doubt anyone wants to fool with tickets. Get rid of the tickets altogether.

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We went Saturday afternoon for the Jazz and Wine portion of Rivers and Spires. There were 15-20 Tennessee local wineries offering tastings and wine/food demonstrations. It was a blast.

And, from my understanding, the tickets are used in order to ensure that the festival gets its fair share of the profits. Vendors could easily keep cash without the festival promoters ever knowing. It is an inconvenience, but I understand why they do it.

Edited by miami1855

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We went Saturday afternoon for the Jazz and Wine portion of Rivers and Spires. There were 15-20 Tennessee local wineries offering tastings and wine/food demonstrations. It was a blast.

And, from my understanding, the tickets are used in order to ensure that the festival gets its fair share of the profits. Vendors could easily keep cash without the festival promoters ever knowing. It is an inconvenience, but I understand why they do it.

Yep, I was in that area also on Saturday afternoon and had the good fortune to see a few selections from the US Navy Band. Didn't sample any wines though.

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The fiance and I were planning on possible coming up to Clarksville to visit with her friend and husband who has just returned from 15 months in Iraq this past weekend. The plans were to attend River and Spires event as well as it would have worked out perfectly, unfortunately they had a full house still with their family, so we went to Gatlinburg instead. Maybe we can catch it next year, it sounds like a great festival that we would enjoy - and possibly we can't catch/meet some local forumers at the event as well.

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^ Good to see that Clarksville is in the mix, I was just mentioning in the East Tennessee forum topic on this subject that I hear much about the Clarksville mega-site in contention for auto plants, then low and behold it is in the running for the plant. This just goes to show that Tennessee has great mega-sites to offer for manufacturers across the state as at least two of our mega-sites have made just about every short list for all the recent auto plants built in the US. They didn't mention the West Tennessee Auto Park site in Crockett County (WTN) though, and I am pretty sure it is still TVA certified, or at least was.

Anyways, I have to give TECD and local communities across Tennessee kudos for their great efforts to bring new businesses and economic opportunity to every region of the state.

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I think the VW plant would be great for Clarksville. However, we really need more white-collar jobs in this town.

We have never had any trouble attracting industry. We really need businesses and corporations that attract higher-paying jobs. This would also benefit Austin Peay in that these companies could either co-op or develop working relationships with certain degree fields at the university.

But, a VW plant could help in that its high profile, high media attention could attract these type of businesses. So, it could be a win-win for Clarksville.

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I think the VW plant would be great for Clarksville. However, we really need more white-collar jobs in this town.

We have never had any trouble attracting industry. We really need businesses and corporations that attract higher-paying jobs. This would also benefit Austin Peay in that these companies could either co-op or develop working relationships with certain degree fields at the university.

But, a VW plant could help in that its high profile, high media attention could attract these type of businesses. So, it could be a win-win for Clarksville.

I agree fully with you, miami1855, that Clarksville needs more white collar businesses and jobs. It is severely deficient in that area.

I also do not completely understand Clarksville's prioritizing getting an auto manufacturing plant. To be sure, such a facility would bring a lot of jobs to Clarksville and if that is the bottom line then so be it. However, the trend in the auto industry is toward severely decreasing wages and benefits for new hires and many areas of automobile assembly which were once performed by company employees are now outsourced. Many employees now going into work at an auto plant are actually Temps who work for some Temp service and they receive only a fraction of the wages and none of the benefits. The UAW has been trying to force auto manufacturers to at least hire a temp into the auto company if that temp has worked there x amount of time.

At any rate, one of the reasons I do not understand cities trying to lure these auto manufacturers (aside from creating jobs) is that one reason auto manufacturers were able to gain such high wages at about $25-$35 an hour is because that industry has an abysmal injury rate. Surgery or the need of surgery is commonplace as workers are especially susceptible to repetative stress disorders but also traumatic type injuries as well. Hence, I would think any city would want better for its citizens than to see so many of them crippled. It could potentially be good for physical therapists, pharmacys and physicians in a city but auto companies have brought all that "in-house" too.

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The majority of the workforce in Clarksville, and in most of Tennessee, have skill sets that are more in line with manufacturing employment, so it makes sense to me that cities and the state try bring the most and best jobs in this category as possible. White collar jobs are not very useful if folks won't qualify for them or have the skill sets to tranistion into them. Cities of course still need to try to attract white collar jobs to diversify their labor-force and create new opportunties for younger more diversely trained workers entering the labor market, but when the majority of your workforce would benefit from blue collar manufacturing and/or service sector employment, then that's what you have to go after.

My understanding and experience is that most Japanese and German manufacturers treat and pay their employees very well. Unfortunately the examples I can think off the top of my head that use "temps" in the fashion described are all U.S. based manufacturers, which is not to say it's exclusive. It also seems to be mainly the US auto makers, and esp. some of their subsidary supply firms, who are having to cut wages, use temps, etc. to stay competative against their better managed competitors who have not had not incurred "legacy" benefit liabilities from operating within the US labor market for decades.

If Clarksville lands VW I think you will be pleasantly suprised at how good an employer and corporate citizen the city will have landed. I have never seen or heard of a city that has a foreign owned or domestic auto-maker who has not reaped substantial benefits for its local workforce and community. Look at Princeton, IN; Smyrna, TN, Bowling Green, KY; Canton, MS, Spartanburg, SC, etc. I doubt any of those cities would trade their plant for a white collar operation, as that is simply not the right demographic fit for those cities or their workforce at this point.

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The majority of the workforce in Clarksville, and in most of Tennessee, have skill sets that are more in line with manufacturing employment, so it makes sense to me that cities and the state try bring the most and best jobs in this category as possible. White collar jobs are not very useful if folks won't qualify for them or have the skill sets to tranistion into them. Cities of course still need to try to attract white collar jobs to diversify their labor-force and create new opportunties for younger more diversely trained workers entering the labor market, but when the majority of your workforce would benefit from blue collar manufacturing and/or service sector employment, then that's what you have to go after.

My understanding and experience is that most Japanese and German manufacturers treat and pay their employees very well. Unfortunately the examples I can think off the top of my head that use "temps" in the fashion described are all U.S. based manufacturers, which is not to say it's exclusive. It also seems to be mainly the US auto makers, and esp. some of their subsidary supply firms, who are having to cut wages, use temps, etc. to stay competative against their better managed competitors who have not had not incurred "legacy" benefit liabilities from operating within the US labor market for decades.

If Clarksville lands VW I think you will be pleasantly suprised at how good an employer and corporate citizen the city will have landed. I have never seen or heard of a city that has a foreign owned or domestic auto-maker who has not reaped substantial benefits for its local workforce and community. Look at Princeton, IN; Smyrna, TN, Bowling Green, KY; Canton, MS, Spartanburg, SC, etc. I doubt any of those cities would trade their plant for a white collar operation, as that is simply not the right demographic fit for those cities or their workforce at this point.

Hello Rural King,

I do hear what you are saying and can concur with much of what you have stated. For instance, I will in no way deny that cities and communities reap tremendous economic benefits from such an industry. My point is at what cost to the vast number of people who actually work there. I have worked in one such facilty for over 15 years.

It is not just the US manufacturers which use Temps extensively. As a matter of fact, Nissan outlined plans to its workforce about one year ago an idea borrowed from "The Big Three" whereby work is now designated as being either "core" or "non-core"; "non-core" meaning any individual job which is not directly and physically involved with actually placing a part on the car as it is being built. "Non-core" jobs would be filled by temps "through attrition." That is worth 600 forklift operator jobs alone.

Toyota has been considering another idea; In a fairly recent memo produced and circulated amongst Toyota Management, they stated that when they first entered the US market as a maunfacturer that they used the big three as a benchmark for hourly wages. However, they stated, Toyota is now the leader in the industry and can now set the benchmarks. Rather than paying wages established within the industry they are looking into paying wages comparable to all industries in a region which, of course, would bring the hourly wages down considerably to around $15 per hour.

Yes, I agree that the city officials would not want to rid themselves of the Nissan plant and see it as a definite economic plus for the city. Afterall, Canton and the Jackson area was in desperate need for jobs and Nissan supplied them. However, I have not been looking at it from that perspective but from the perspective of the ones who obtained jobs there. Canton has had a most difficult time retaining workers and the Canton workforce is not a happy one in the least. After having written the last sentence, I just did a quick Google search for an old article I once read about the vast number of workers leaving the Canton plant. I found a few other articles instead such as the one provided below where a Mississippi Senator called the plant a "slave labor camp."

article

A big albatross hanging around the necks of the American Manufacturers is their vast number of retirees and the cost for their penchants and continued healthcare. The foreign transplants do not have that expense as of yet to any large degree and make no mistake that the transplants do NOT want to find themselves in the same position. they are doing everything possible to avoid it. Tis better to rid themselves of older workers before they retire than to keep the promises made to them when hired.

The Nissan Smyrna plant opened in 1981 and many would be entering reitrement but one does not hear of very many retiring because not very many of those then hired remain. Most don't make it! Of the 16 new hires (along with myself) within my original small workgroup over 15 years ago, only four of us are still employees and of that four only one of us has not had surgery due to some work related injury - that one being me - although I have been carried to the hospital once and have had more cuts, contusions, sprains, etc., that I can even count. Walking is now difficult and became so when I was still in my 30's.

My prediction is this; Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn will close the Smyrna plant within the next 5 - 8 years.

You think I will be pleasantly surprised by VW? Ha, I've been in this business too long for that. BTW, people at work, Management included, consider me to be a "company man" and one of the better attitudes. Unfortunately, they are right.

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A good article today in the Leaf Chronicle about the resurgence of downtown residential construction. One project that was mentioned was the planned 2nd Street Lofts and mentioned a rendering by the Architects, Lyle, Cook & Martin. I like the work of this firm and was wondering if that rendering is available to view on the internet?

I love the fact that more people are building and moving to the downtown area. Hopefully this will generate new life for that area of so much potential. All the projects do seem like small ventures thus far but it's a start.

Edited by Fallingwater

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A good article today in the Leaf Chronicle about the resurgence of downtown residential construction. One project that was mentioned was the planned 2nd Street Lofts and mentioned a rendering by the Architects, Lyle, Cook & Martin. I like the work of this firm and was wondering if that rendering is available to view on the internet?

I love the fact that more people are building and moving to the downtown area. Hopefully this will generate new life for that area of so much potential. All the projects do seem like small ventures thus far but it's a start.

LCM does most of the architectural work for Austin Peay. While their work is solid, I see it as mediocre. I know there are budget constraints with any state school that limit what can be done. However, it seems as though they design the same types of buildings each time. I would like to see a little "envelope pushing" by them. Clarksville and APSU could both use the added building character.

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LCM does most of the architectural work for Austin Peay. While their work is solid, I see it as mediocre. I know there are budget constraints with any state school that limit what can be done. However, it seems as though they design the same types of buildings each time. I would like to see a little "envelope pushing" by them. Clarksville and APSU could both use the added building character.

Insofar as LCM is concerned with respect to APSU I am only familiar with the new Rec. Center and I do consider that building to be very aesthetically bland especially on three sides of it! However, I thought the Courts Bldg. and FM Bank buildings, while not daring, were nice additions to downtown and complimentary of the surrounding architectural landscape.

That being said; I have no objection to someone pushing the envelope as you say - daring and bold! I do not like the idea of a city that sees its downtown as being completely married to what builders erected back in 1890.

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So, how are the people of Clarksville reacting to the "Worst City in the Country" label?

With much jocularity from what I have read especially since the city just adopted the new "Tennessee's Top Spot" slogan which nearly everyone seems to hate. In regard to that slogan, many asked the question; Top spot in what? So now the slogan has some true meaning.

I think the distinction was worst city in the country to raise a family. Well, I think nearly everyone would strongly disagree with that, myself included. It is far from the worst place in the country to raise a family although I would not consider it anywhere near the best either. The funny thing is that Clarksville has rated quite highly in other such studies and polls such as Places Rated, etc.

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I think "worst" or "best" lists have to be taken with a grain of salt. Some like business preferences for locating operations can be indicative of trends, albeit with a subjective slant fo those firms surveyed; while other lists that rank a place a good place to live can vary wildly on the subjective measures they use in their determinations. If a place is gaining/retaining jobs, gaining/retaining population, and overall has a stable and positive environment I think it's hard to say it's a particularly bad place to live and/or raise a family.

The city is growing at a pretty quick rate, so at end of the day it appears for lots of people and businesses their own personal subjective views of the city are positive ones. So what a ranking says is fairly irrelevant if the facts on the ground say otherwise, no?

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Also, the study used outdated numbers for areas such as amount paid per student. The Best Life study showed that Clarksville paid a worst $6,500 per student. When, in fact, the actual number per student is closer to $7,500.

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Noticed on the news yesterday that Clarksville's new hospital is now open and moving day was yesterday or rather Friday. Good News!

Yes. The official move was on Saturday. They successfully moved 58 patients within 6 hours and discharged 19 others before the move. By 9 a.m., they had already treated and discharged several patients in the new ER.

Also, as much as I think the new hospital is boring architecturally, there are several new doctor's clusters and medical office buildings that look promising. Will try to get pics soon.

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New census figures show (again) that the city of Clarksville is among the top ten fastest growing in the nation.

http://theleafchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/...KMrv8wJHPy4k%3D

These figures do not include a large portion of the soldiers at Ft. Campbell because many of them either live outside the city or on post, which do not count towards these numbers.

Even after these studies, Montgomery County still rarely shows up as even one of the fastest growing counties in Tennessee. So, in my opinion, this just goes to show that Montgomery County IS Clarksville and that we should push forward with consolidated government.

It also screams for more retail within the city. I am tired of the same ol' chain restaurants, Kroger and Food Lion as the only grocery options, 4 Wal-marts and a line of 12 cars at the Starbucks drive thru.

Thoughts? With studies like this coming out every year naming Clarksville, where do you think the city and county are headed? Do these numbers continue to encourage Clarksville as a separate entity from Nashville?

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Well, Clarksvillians, the census estimates are in and Clarksville comes away the winner. Clarksville ranks #9 in the nation among "large cities" (pop. 100,000 and up) in rate of growth. The estimated population is now approximately 119,500. Clarksville constituted the largest population increase in the State speaking of mere raw numbers; 5,400 new residents. Nashville Davidson County added 5,200. Knoxville and Chattanooga each added over 1,000 and Murfreesboro added 4,500.

Edited: Looks like Miami beat me to the punch.

Edited by Fallingwater

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Well, Clarksvillians, the census estimates are in and Clarksville comes away the winner. Clarksville ranks #9 in the nation among "large cities" (pop. 100,000 and up) in rate of growth. The estimated population is now approximately 119,500. Clarksville constituted the largest population increase in the State speaking of mere raw numbers; 5,400 new residents. Nashville Davidson County added 5,200. Knoxville and Chattanooga each added over 1,000 and Murfreesboro added 4,500.

Edited: Looks like Miami beat me to the punch.

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Congrat to Clarksville on their growth. But the numbers that you are looking at for Clarksvilles growth (5400)are their growth numbers since the 2000 census. The growth numbers from Nashville and Murfreesboro are only for 1 year. Nashville has grown by 45000 and Murfreesboro by over 30000 since 2000.

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Congrat to Clarksville on their growth. But the numbers that you are looking at for Clarksvilles growth (5400)are their growth numbers since the 2000 census. The growth numbers from Nashville and Murfreesboro are only for 1 year. Nashville has grown by 45000 and Murfreesboro by over 30000 since 2000.

The Tennessean shows Clarksville's growth at 5,411 residents from 2006-2007. Our seven year numbers are closer to 20,000 residents.

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