City Manager

Welcome to the City of Cookeville.  I am City Manager, James Mills.  Thank you for taking the time to review the City’s website.  Cookeville has much to offer and is a wonderful place to live, work, play, and learn.

Cookeville was established as the county seat of Putnam County in 1854.  The city was incorporated in 1903 under Chapter 542 of the private acts of the State of Tennessee.  Our municipality operates under the council-manager form of government with the city manager selected by the City Council.   The city manager serves as chief executive officer and is responsible for the proper administration of all affairs of the City.

Our city is the largest micropolitan area in Tennessee and we continue to experience tremendous growth.  The 2020 U.S. Census placed our population at 34,842 and our 2022 estimated population is 35,883.  We are centrally located in the state along Interstate 40 within a one-hundred-mile radius of Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga.   

Cookeville is the hub for employment, dining, shopping, education, healthcare, and entertainment for approximately 350,000 people living in the Upper Cumberland region.  We are proudly the home of Tennessee Tech University, the Cookeville Regional Medical Center, and WCTE-TV (PBS affiliate).  It is estimated that our daily population swells to over 75,000 as people come to our City to work, learn and shop.  We welcome our visitors and want them to feel they are a part of our community.

The City of Cookeville is a full-service municipality.  The provision of these services is divided among eleven city departments.  The departments are led by directors under the supervision of the city manager.   Electric, natural gas, water, and sewer utilities are all owned and operated by the municipality.  Our police department is fully accredited and will soon be moving into a state-of-the-art 42,000 SF facility.  Our fire department has achieved an ISO Class 2 rating (the highest in the state).

The Cookeville Leisure Services Department operates and maintains ten parks.  The largest city park is Cane Creek consisting of approximately 300 acres with a 56-acre lake.   Adjacent to the park are the Cane Creek Sportsplex, which has multiple ballfields, and the Cane Creek Recreation Center, which provides year-round fitness activities.  Dogwood Park, located in our historic downtown area, includes an amphitheater, fountain and the all accessible Heart of the City children’s playground area.  The Cookeville Performing Arts Center is also operated by the Leisure Services Department and offers a full schedule of touring plays and performances.

I am proud to call Cookeville my home.  We invite you to come visit us.  Like many before, you might decide to stay.  If I or my staff may be of assistance to you, please feel free to contact us or visit City Hall.