Clarksville votes to buy land for new athletic complex, council - WSMV News 4

Clarksville votes to buy land for new athletic complex, council remains divided

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The mayor is looking to place the athletic complex on 400 acres off Rossview Road near the I-24 exit. (WSMV) The mayor is looking to place the athletic complex on 400 acres off Rossview Road near the I-24 exit. (WSMV)
CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

There's been another big step forward for a new athletic complex in Clarksville. The city council voted to approve money to buy the land.

The vote of 7 to 5 divides a group who sees potential and another group who believe parts of the current plan are wrong for the city.

The complex has been debated for three years. After the project was voted down two years ago, it was approved with the 2018 budget over the summer.

"This community really needs upgraded facilities for youth sports," said Clarksville city spokesman Richard Stevens.

Stevens said the plan includes a baseball stadium, tournament complexes, a soccer field and a possible ice rink.

At Thursday night's city council meeting, Mayor Kim McMillan was among the group to vote and approve the borrowing of $6.5 million to buy the land for the project. The mayor is looking to place the athletic complex on 400 acres off Rossview Road near the Interstate 24 exit.

"It shows poor leadership for the city to build a complex out in the county," said Councilman David Allen.

Allen argued instead of the chosen location near the Hankook facility, the complex should be placed on Tiny Town Road in the growing northeast Clarksville.

"I just think it's a bad idea, a bad location," he said. "I've said that from the start, and I've never changed my position on that."

Allen also believes the money could be used instead for road improvements.

"There's many more things we could do with $6.5 million," he said. "If you were to take a poll of concerns for citizens of Clarksville, athletic complex would not be at the top of the list."

"We're one of the youngest counties, if not the youngest in the state of Tennessee," Stevens said. "We have a lot of young families."

Stevens said the athletic complex is a major need, both for young people in the city and as a host for large youth sports tournaments.

"Our major soccer facility, for example, at Heritage Park is just overrun," Stevens said. "We need more facilities."

Stevens said a possible Tiny Town Road site was also studied, but consultants ended up choosing Rossview Road as the better location. He said the city's hoping to close on the land by the end of the year and get work under way in 2018.

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