MADISONVILLE — Madisonville residents again will have the opportunity to voice their opinions concerning the future of their downtown area at a workshop on March 8.
This is the second workshop that’s being held as part of the “Downtown Madisonville 2025” program. The event will be held at the Madisonville Presbyterian Church.
“We learned a lot from the first workshop. People talked a lot about their concerns and shared their hopes for the future. Now we want to build on that vision and talk about specific project ideas,” said Tim Ezzell, director of the University of Tennessee’s Community Partnership Center (UTCPC).
Participants at the first workshop brought up a number of important issues, including historic preservation, parking, housing, and access to parks and public facilities. Program facilitators now plan to explore those issues in detail while continuing their discussion with Madisonville residents to develop clear and specific strategies to improve downtown.
“Downtown commerce is an important economic base for communities, and the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TDECD) is placing a renewed emphasis on supporting downtown revitalization efforts. Last year, TDECD initiated a grant program supporting redevelopment of courthouse square districts. However, Madisonville was not eligible to apply for this program because the first requirement was to have a downtown planning study,” said Mary Hendershot of the Monroe Area Council for the Arts (MACA).
Ezzell said organizers of the workshops were very impressed with results of the first workshop.
“Local residents had some great ideas to improve downtown, and I look forward to exploring these in more detail at the second workshop,” he said.
“Downtown Madisonville 2025” is a partnership between UTCPC, UT’s political science department, which offers a master’s degree in urban planning, and the people of Madisonville. The program is supported by a grant from the John D. Grubb−Louise G. Sumner Fund of the East Tennessee Foundation.
Created in 1994, the CPC has worked to create equitable partnerships between UT and low- and moderate-resource communities. The CPC provides leadership in developing collaborative and participatory approaches and methods in research, planning, and policy development, and implements those approaches through local, regional and national programs. For more on the CPC, see http://sunsite.utk.edu/cpc/.
Tim Ezzell, UT-CPC (865) 974-9036
Mary Hendershot, MACA, (423) 442-3210