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Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS)

Parks and Recreation

Reference Number: MTAS-212
Reviewed Date: 08/14/2023

Programs and Services
Municipal recreational programs are authorized by an optional general law. The law also authorizes joint programs by two or more cities. A city’s governing body has the option to retain control of such a program, enter into an agreement with one or more municipalities for operation under a joint board or authority, or place it under a recreation board or commission, school board, or park board. T.C.A. §§ 11-24-103–105.

To protect property under its jurisdiction, a recreation board may promulgate rules to be enforced by local law enforcement officials. Maintenance and operation of a recreational system may be funded from property taxes, general revenue, user fees and charges, or any other appropriate source. Any city may levy a special tax earmarked for playground and recreational purposes. T.C.A. §§ 11-24-101–112. Cities or recreation boards may contract with businesses, civic groups, or individuals for volunteer services to maintain and improve parks. T.C.A. § 11-24-202.

The Parks and Recreation Technical Advisory Service (PARTAS) in the Department of Environment and Conservation helps municipalities establish and operate parks and recreational programs. T.C.A. § 11-9-108.

Conservation boards are authorized to develop and maintain county parks and recreational areas. These boards are empowered to enter into agreements with small cities to provide them with parks and recreational services. T.C.A. §§ 11-21-111–112.