Livingston receives Municipal League Award
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Grant funds, citizen and civic cooperation, and diligence by city officials culminated in the realization of a new municipal park bringing new opportunities for health, recreation and revitalization for the city of Livingston.
In recognition of all the efforts made to create the newly opened Livingston Central Park, the Tennessee Municipal League will present the city of Livingston with a TML Achievement Award for Excellence in Downtown Revitalization. The award will be presented on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, at 8 a.m. during TML’s 78th Annual Conference in the Mirabella F Ballroom of the Murfreesboro Conference Center at the Embassy Suites,
Situated just off the historic courthouse square on Spring Street, the park is part of continuing downtown revitalization efforts aimed at bringing more opportunities for visitors and residents to shop, eat, and play in downtown Livingston.
Warren Nevad, a municipal management consultant with the Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS), said the plans for the park began when the city was awarded a 10-year Downtown Revitalization Grant from the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration in 2007.
The grant allows for $0.05 of each $0.07 collected in sales tax from the downtown area to be returned for improvements there, as determined by the Livingston Downtown Revitalization Committee consisting of the mayor, Livingston-Overton County Chamber of Commerce representatives, and business and home owners within the downtown zone.
Over the years, Nevad said other grants came together to help move the park project forward.
“Thanks to the diligence and teamwork of the Livingston Mayor and Board of Aldermen, the city was able to systematically develop a state-of-the-art park to bring leisure and economic development opportunities to its citizens,” Nevad said. “Grant monies flowed into the development of the park project from several funding pockets, including the Tennessee departments of Tourism Enhancement, Environment and Conservation, Transportation, and Agriculture, as well as a state diabetes grant. The Livingston Rotary Club even chipped in to fund the amphitheater, which has been named the Rotary Main Stage.”
In 2012, citizens came together as part of the Livingston Vision 2035 and helped evaluate strategic plans for public safety, health, education, and other quality-of-life aspects for Livingston.
The vision for the park came out of those meetings, and the city began seeking more grant funds to finance the project.
Livingston Central Park includes a state-of-the-art amphitheater complete with LED lighting, sound system and movie screen; a walking trail lined with trees and flowers; benches and trash receptacles to match those around the courthouse square; a large picnic shelter and water bottle filling station; a water feature and guitar-shaped splash pad to reflect Overton County’s “Home of Americana Music” motto; and variety of colorful, all-inclusive play equipment with musical components that go along with the city’s musical heritage theme.
As a result, the park has helped revitalize Livingston’s downtown area and brought more room for events, festivals, and gathering in the heart of the city.
Each year the Tennessee Municipal League honors cities throughout the state for overall excellence, improvement, specific outstanding programs, or department accomplishments. Other award winners for 2017 include Bristol, for Excellence in Human Resources; Chapel Hill, for Small Town Progress; Chattanooga, for Excellence in Green Leadership; Collegedale, for Excellence in Community Planning and Development; Dyersburg, for Excellence in Police Services; Erwin, for Excellence in Economic and Community Development; Germantown, for Fire Services; Harriman, for Small City Progress; Paris, for Excellence in Public Works; Portland, for Excellence in Parks and Recreation; and Townsend, Progressive Leadership Award.