Cookeville Mayor Rickey Shelton told SGA members he has worked hard during his tenure to improve the community so students like them will want to live and work here.
Shelton said the population of Cookeville and its surrounding areas and the number of jobs have increased since he took office in 2014. Last year, the U.S. Census Bureau named Cookeville the eighth fastest growing micropolitan in the United States. That is a 12 spot improvement after placing 20th the year before, according to that report.
The mayor said he helped raise $100,000 from local business to support the Red, White and Boom 4th of July celebration in Cookeville. The event has grown to cover the entire holiday weekend, he said.
“Red, White, and Boom has been a success, and is now home to Tennessee’s second largest firework show in the state, behind only Nashville,” Shelton said.
Shelton also addressed the number of new jobs coming to Cookeville. Academy Sports + Outdoors has brought 450 new jobs to the area, and there are plans in the works for more jobs to come, he said.
The mayor said the focus on improvements has changed.
“At first we went for quantity, but now we want quality,” Shelton said, “As you attend Tennessee Tech you adapt to Cookeville, and if you fall in love with this town and community, and decide to stay here, we want to have a job for you here.”