Municipal Technical Advisory Service


MTAS leverages the resources of the University of Tennessee to improve the lives of Tennesseans with technical consulting, research and training for municipal governments.

MTAS is the resource for cities, towns and state agencies on municipal services and issues in Tennessee. This agency provides unsurpassed technical expertise on municipal government in the state and in the nation with the quality and cost savings of a centralized source of service. MTAS assists cities and towns with the training and information necessary to support informed decisions, and develops valuable solutions to the issues and concerns facing these communities.

MTAS was created in 1949 to provide technical assistance to municipal governments in Tennessee. We offer programs and services to cities and towns in the following areas:

Finance and Accounting

Finance and accounting consultants help city officials effectively use and manage available fiscal resources and develop new revenue sources. They cover accounting, purchasing, budgeting, debt service, and other finance-related issues.

Human Resources

Human resources account for a large percentage of municipal budgets, underscoring the importance of managing city workers wisely. The MTAS human resource consultants will help you develop job descriptions, employee performance evaluations, and personnel rules and regulations using MTAS-generated models. Each year the agency publishes salary information of municipal officials statewide.

Information Technology

Information technology consultants help cities in the constantly evolving IT environment. These professionals provide assistance in areas such as policy development, security, network planning, as well as reviewing existing information technology infrastructure to ensure optimum efficiency.

Legal Assistance

Legal consultants help city officials deal with the complexities of today’s municipal legal environment. Services offered by MTAS attorneys include writing legal opinions, preparing and revising city charters, drafting ordinances and resolutions, and providing copies of sample ordinances from other cities. One attorney heads a team that produces municipal codes.

Municipal Management

Municipal management consultants are usually a city’s first contact with MTAS. These professionals work one-on-one with city officials to solve problems and answer questions. They help with risk management, financial planning, annexation, community goal setting, municipal organization, and municipal utilities. They are assigned specific geographic areas where they become familiar faces in city halls. When necessary, municipal management consultants team up with our specialists to offer in-depth experience.

Performance Measurement and Benchmarking

MTAS has facilitated the Tennessee Municipal Benchmarking Project since 2002. This project is a member-driven effort where performance and cost indicators are collected, benchmarks are collected, and information is analyzed and discussed by members to identify best practices.

Public Safety

Public safety management consultants are trained and experienced in various aspects of law enforcement and fire protection. Whether the question is where to build a fire station, how many public safety officers are needed per shift, or how to develop a police training manual, MTAS’s police and fire management consultants provide guidance.

Public Utilities

Utility consultants provide assistance in utility finance, plant operations, management, and utility ordinances. Services include utility rate studies in water, wastewater and natural gas, water and wastewater plant operations and optimization, regulatory assistance, sludge disposal, unaccounted for water reduction, inflow and infiltration reduction, industrial pre-treatment permitting, and utility management.

Public Works

Public works consultants typically offer technical assistance that supplements the services of private consultants and city engineers. Solid waste management is a growing problem for local governments. The state’s Solid Waste Management Act spells out requirements for Tennessee cities, and MTAS public works consultants are ready to help municipalities comply. They also handle questions on drainage management, street and pavement management, snow and ice control, recycling, and much more.

Research and Information

The Research and Information Center houses a large collection of reference materials on municipal government. This professionally staffed library serves as a clearinghouse for information produced by and about cities and provides reference and research services.


Training is offered in a variety of formats that include: on-site classroom or city hall instruction, retreat settings, hands-on learning, small group processes, and self-assessments. Training programs are developed by the our employees and include the participation of various state of Tennessee departments and municipal associations.

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