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The City of Cookeville, incorporated in 1903, is located 79 miles east of Nashville and 101 miles west of Knoxville at the intersection of I-40 and Highway 111 in the Upper Cumberland Region of Middle Tennessee. The Municipality’s land area is 20.4 square miles. Cookeville is the county seat of Putnam County and is one of four cities located within the county. The other municipalities are Algood, Baxter, and Monterey.
The City of Cookeville operates under the council-manager form of municipal government. The five-member city council, including an elected mayor, vice-mayor, and three council members, establishes policy administered by a full-time city manager. The city council members serve (4) four-year terms with the next election scheduled for August 3, 2000. The City Manager and City Clerk are appointed by the city council. The City Clerk also serves as the Finance Director, which is appointed by the City Manager.
Cookeville is a regional center for employment, education, retailing, health care, and recreational/cultural activities. Approximately 15,000 Upper Cumberland Region residents travel to Cookeville each day to work, attend school, received health care, shop, or participated in leisure time activities.
A wide variety of recreational and cultural opportunities are provided for residents of Putnam County and the Upper Cumberland Region by local governments, the state park system, civic clubs and community organizations. Cane Creek Park, a 260-acre park with a 56-acre lake is owned and operated by the City of Cookeville’s Department of Leisure Services. Three state parks offer many camping, picnicking, hiking, and other recreational opportunities. Three Corps of Engineer lakes, with over 1,200 miles of shorelines, are within a 30-minute drive.
The Cookeville Drama Center offers a full schedule of touring plays and performances plus presentations by the Cookeville Summer Theatre and the Cookeville Children’s Theatre. The Tech Community Symphony, in operation since 1963, presents several concerts each year. Putnam County’s Parks and Recreation Department, the City of Cookeville’s Leisure Services Department, and the YMCA work together to provide a comprehensive recreational program. There are over 100 active civic clubs and community organizations in the county.
Cookeville and Putnam County have a consolidated school system.
The Putnam County Board of Education operates fourteen schools with an enrollment of approximately 9,200 students. Six elementary schools, (grades K-4), two middle schools, (grades 5 & 6 and grades 7 & 8), an alternative school, and a high school (grades 9 – 12), and an adult high school are located in Cookeville. The high school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Cookeville High School serves as a comprehensive vocational education center for all Putnam County Schools. Since 1989, Putnam County has received the Governor’s A+ Award for Excellence in Education, and ACT scores of Putnam County students are above the national average. In addition, two state-supported vocational schools serve Putnam County.