Lakesite receives Municipal League Award for Small City Progress

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Municipal League is pleased to present the City of Lakesite with an award for Small City Progress honoring the city’s accomplishments over the past year.

Incorporated on Jan. 20, 1972, Lakesite celebrated its 50th city anniversary last year and has gone from a population of around 500 to one of more than 1,850. This growth necessitated the city to grow from three to five commissioners and the hiring of its first full-time city manager, Kirsten Ert Acuff.

Under the current leadership, Lakesite has completed the city’s first ever strategic plan with the assistance of UT- MTAS, and is in the process of developing a Parks and Recreation Master Plan, which provides a comprehensive, long-range strategy for the creation, optimization, and maintenance of the community's assets and makes the city eligible for parks and recreation grant funding opportunities. The city also took over the management of the community pool, previously maintained by volunteers, with a long-term goal of replacing the pool with a larger and more modern facility.

Other capital improvements include:

  • Completion of the final phase of the pedestrian enhancement project in the commercial district through the help of TDOT grant funds; and
  • Stormwater improvements through the use of ARPA funds.

Internally, the city has overhauled its personnel policies to make employee benefits more competitive and boost morale among existing staff; has overhauled financial processes such as payroll and compliance; and has made major IT upgrades including new servers and improved cyber security. The city is also working to be more transparent and to engage the community in more meaningful ways. A major website update is underway to make information more easily accessible, social media has become a vital tool in community building, a Parks and Recreation survey has been completed and the city is expanding its partnerships with local businesses in an effort to engage them in community events and boost economic development.

"I'm not surprised, but I am amazed and honored to see The City of Lakesite receive this award,” said Lakesite Mayor David Howell.  “I've known for a long time that we've had great residents, staff, and Board of Commissioners. The addition of Kirsten Ert Acuff as the city’s first full-time City Manager was the right move at the right time and has proven to be an enormous benefit to our city. All of us in Lakesite should enjoy this time and be proud of what has been accomplished. The good news is that our future is bright and there's more to come. Thank you to the Tennessee Municipal League for putting your faith in our lovely City and bestowing this recognition upon us."

The award will be presented Tuesday, July 25, 2023, at the 83rd Annual Conference of the Tennessee Municipal League (TML) held at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. 

Each year the Tennessee Municipal League honors cities throughout the state for overall excellence, improvement, specific outstanding programs, or department accomplishments.  Award winners for 2023 include the city of Algood for Excellence in Community Development; the city of Clarksville for Excellence in Police Services; the city of Collegedale for Excellence in Public Works; the city of Harriman for Small Town Progress; the city of Kingsport for Excellence in Economic Development and Revitalization; the city of La Vergne for Excellence in Police Services; the city of Lakesite for Small City Progress; the city of Morristown for Excellence in Recreation Facilities; the city of Nolensville for Excellence in Strategic Planning in Fire Service; the city of Paris for Excellence in Green Leadership; the city of Smyrna for Excellence in Governance; and the city of White House for Excellence in Parks and Recreation.

Founded in 1940 and based in Nashville, the Tennessee Municipal League serves as the voice of and advocate for Tennessee’s 345 towns and cities.