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Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS)


Welcome to the Knowledgebase

Knowledgebase is a database of templates, ordinances, resolutions, legal opinions, survey results, and job descriptions to help you lead your Tennessee municipality. 

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Recently Added

Regulation of Mailboxes in Rights-of-Way
Since the preparation of the memorandum by Sid Hemsley, MTAS Senior Law Consultant in July 2003 (see attachment below), the United States Postal Service (USPS) has prepared and published design standards and guides for the construction and installation of mailboxes that include free-standing mailboxes, wall-mounted mailboxes, and centralized mailboxes.
Sevier County Right of Way Utility Permit Application
In order to obtain a permit, the application must be picked up at 139 County Garage Road, Sevierville, Tennessee.
ADA Coordinator Position in Selected Tennessee Cities and Towns
Twelve Tennessee cities and towns responded to a request for information regarding the role of an ADA Coordinator in their municipalities.
Summary of 2022 Public Acts
This document summarizes the year's public acts that have the most impact on municipal operations in Tennessee.
Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Control Study
Former MTAS Management Consultant Pat Hardy and CTAS Consultant Rick Hall worked together on a study of animal control and animal shelters in both Carter County and Elizabethton, Tennessee. Both the city and county were seeking information on how to handle animal control and shelter responsibilities more efficiently.
Municipality Liability for Damages Caused by Failing Drainage Systems
MTAS Legal Consultant Melissa Ashburn responded to a Tennessee city's request for information regarding a municipality's responsibility to homeowners in the event of failed drainage system damage.
MTAS Signing Bonuses and Referral Incentives Survey
The MTAS Research and Information Center conducted a survey to find out how Tennessee municipalities handle signing bonuses and referral incentives and thirteen cities responded to the request for information.
Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Fire Resource Information
The author of this document explains the number of all electric and hybrid vehicles are on the road with the number of them expected to increase. The listed resources are provided to assist fire departments and other first responders with their local training program on electric and hybrid vehicle fires.
Mayor's Employment and Potential Conflict of Interest
MTAS was asked whether the mayor is precluded from doing landscaping work for private property owners on private property located within the town as part of the mayor's outside employment.
Natural Gas Basics
This guide provides basic information concerning natural gas as it relates to a municipal gas system or local distribution customer (LDC). It is not intended to be an all-inclusive detailed discussion on natural gas.
Woodland Mills Renewable Energy Resolution
The City of Woodland Mills adopted a resolution in January 2022 creating the Woodland Mills Community Pilot Resiliency Program with MTAS and TREEDC.
Ordinance to Amend the Town of Somerville Municipal Code Regarding Brown Bagging Alcoholic Beverages
Management Consultant Rick Whitehead authored this ordinance for the Town of Somerville regarding alcoholic beverages.
Facebook Posting Sufficiency for Notice of Public Meeting
MTAS Legal Consultant Melissa Ashburn replied to a request for information regarding pending legislation on public meeting notices. Ashburn goes on to explain that a Facebook posting is not sufficient alone to satisfy open meeting requirements.
Accounting Support Specialist
The City of Clarksville, Tennessee provided MTAS with the job description for their Accounting Support Specialist role.
Landfill/Container Credit Application and Service Agreement
The Town of Greeneville, Tennessee provided MTAS with a copy of their solid waste collection application and service agreement.
Notice Requirements for Special Meetings
MTAS Legal Consultant Elisha Hodge answers questions from a Tennessee city regarding the notice requirements for special meetings. Case law on this topic was cited as well as a list of locations that public notices can be posted for special meetings.
Beer Sale Hours in Tennessee Cities
MTAS Legal Consultant Melissa Ashburn responds to a Tennessee city's request for information regarding beer sale hours and the effect it might have on liquor by the drink sales.
Provision of Utility Services
MTAS Legal Consultant Melissa Ashburn responded to a city's question regarding utility services being provided to customers in a part of the area that was annexed into the city.
Beer Permit Age Limitation
MTAS Legal Consultant Elisha Hodge responded to a question about whether or not a person under the age of 21 can apply for and hold a beer permit in the State of Tennessee.
Documentation Retention of Closed Files
MTAS Legal Consultant Elisha Hodge responded to a Tennessee municipality's request for information regarding records retention and public records.
Drainage Law and the Responsibility of the Design Engineer
A PowerPoint presentation for the Tennessee section of ASCE.
Resolution for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Allocation
MTAS Finance Consultant Eric Spencer created this sample resolution to be used by a Tennessee municipality to use when receiving their allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act.
Pay Scale Increases and Promotion/Demotion Practices in Selected Tennessee Cities
The MTAS Research and Information Center was asked to gather information regarding pay scale increases and promotion/demotion practices in selected Tennessee cities. Five cities replied to the survey.
Time Clock Usage in Selected Tennessee Cities
The MTAS Research and Information Center was asked to conduct a survey of cities with approximately 150 employees regarding their usage of time clocks and associated payroll systems. Invitations were sent to 22 municipalities and 11 completed surveys for a 50% response rate.
City Attorney and Conflict of Interest
MTAS Legal Consultant Stephanie Allen O'Hara responded to a request for information from a Tennessee city regarding conflict of interest and city officials.
Police Officer Hiring Considerations in Selected Tennessee Cities
MTAS conducted a brief survey of 62 cities regarding specific considerations in the hiring of police officers.
ARPA and Other Federal Grants, What's the Catch?
In this MTAS Hot Topic sent out to cities in February 2022, how to comply with federal grant requirements is discussed and resources are provided.

Free money is great but there are conditions. The acceptance of federal grants obligates the recipient to comply with the federal grant regulations. The information included here is meant to assist Tennessee municipalities in complying with these federal grant requirements related specifically to Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (CSLFRF) which is the program resulting from the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
City Websites, Agendas, Minutes, and Credit Card Payments
A survey of one hundred sixteen cities with websites to determine which post their agendas and minutes and which can accommodate credit card payments.
Pre-employment HIV Testing Declination Form
State law (T.C.A. § 7-51-209) provides a rebuttable presumption that any emergency rescue worker who suffers a condition or impairment of health that is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and that results in total or partial disability or death shall be presumed to have a disability suffered in the line of duty, unless the contrary is shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the exposure did not occur elsewhere. They employer may offer a preemployment test for the human immunodeficiency virus, and the applicant may choose to decline the test. MTAS created a template for a HIV preemployment testing declination form. You may modify this template to meet local needs, and MTAS recommends that your city attorney review this form before you use it.
Certificate of Compliance and Issuing Alcoholic Beverage Licenses
MTAS was asked for a legal opinion regarding the following question: "If the City receives a certificate of compliance application that is otherwise satisfactory in all regards, must the City grant a liquor license up to 10 such licenses?"