THE CITY OF 
OAK RIDGE
N E W S L E T T E R

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HERE'S WHAT IS HAPPENING 
IN THE CITY OF OAK RIDGE!
MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR THE 2018 CHILDREN'S HALLOWEEN PARTY
The Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department will host the  2018 Children’s Halloween Party  on Friday, October 26, from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

This annual event is now in its 36th year and will be attended by hundreds of local children and their families. Sponsors and volunteers are still needed! Click the button below for more information.
AMERICAN MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND ENERGY GRAND OPENING
The American Museum of Science and Energy (AMSE)  is holding a grand opening event on October 18 to welcome visitors to its new location at Main Street Oak Ridge.

The 18,000-square-foot space includes a newly-designed exhibit gallery featuring state-of-the-art interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, as well as a lecture hall and classroom facilities. The grand opening kicks off at 10:30 a.m. Admission will be free all day as we celebrate the new museum!

Following AMSE’s grand opening event ,  full public operating hours will go into effect. DOE Public Bus Tours have also resumed from the museum.
ALL-DAY CLOSURES PLANNED FOR OAK RIDGE PUBLIC LIBRARY
Heads up, library patrons! The  Oak Ridge Public Library  expects to be closed on five separate occasions between now and November 23 to allow for planned work to the rooftop air conditioning and heating system as well as staff work days.

During this six-week time period, visitors should expect increased noise and a high level of construction activity in and around the library.

 Library closure dates:

  • Thursday, October 18
  • Wednesday, October 24
  • Wednesday, October 31
  • Thursday, November 8
  • Friday, November 9

On the above dates, the library will be closed to the public all day and the stretch of Oak Ridge Boys Way in front of the library will be closed. Please be aware that the book drop will also not be accessible on these days.

The closure dates in October are weather dependent and may need to be rescheduled if rain or other inclement conditions are in the forecast. The Oak Ridge Public Library will make every effort to communicate changes to the schedule as soon as staff are made aware. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding during this time.

Visitors can follow the library’s  Facebook and  Twitter  accounts, @OakRidgePubLib, for the most up-to-date information. Visitors can also call the library’s front desk at (865) 425-3455.
CITY AWARDS CONTRACTS FOR TWO MAJOR PROJECTS
At a special meeting on Thursday, October 11, Oak Ridge City Council unanimously approved resolutions awarding contracts to  Jenkins & Stiles, LLC  for the construction of two major projects: the new  Oak Ridge  Preschool with Scarboro Park Improvements and the new  Oak Ridge Senior Center .

Architectural rendering of the new Oak Ridge Preschool.
Architectural rendering of the new Oak Ridge Senior Center.
Construction on both projects is expected to begin soon, with completion dates estimated to be October 2019 for the Senior Center and December 2019 for the Preschool.

*DID YOU KNOW?* Oak Ridge was the site of the very first Pre-K school in the State of Tennessee!
THANKS TO ALL FOR A GREAT FIRE & CRIME PREVENTION CELEBRATION!
The Oak Ridge Fire Department (ORFD), Oak Ridge Police Department (ORPD) and Oak Ridge Neighborhood Watch Program (ORNWP) teamed up to host a Fire & Crime Prevention Celebration on October 6.

The free event, which combined the police department’s annual National Night Out and the fire department’s Fire Prevention Parade into one big community celebration, featured safety demonstrations, emergency vehicle displays and plenty of activities for the whole family. The celebration was attended by people from all across the area.

Thanks to everyone who came out for the event and all those who made it possible! The Fire & Crime Prevention Celebration certainly met its goals of highlighting the partnership between the community and the police and fire departments, increasing awareness of fire, crime, violence, and drug prevention efforts, and promoting neighborhood unity.
HALF-OFF ADOPTIONS AT THE ANIMAL SHELTER
The  Friends of Oak Ridge Animal Shelter  (FORAS) non-profit group is sponsoring half of the adoption fee for every pet adopted at the  Oak Ridge Animal Shelter  between now and Saturday, October 20. All adoption fees will be reduced to $55 during the special promotion. You still have a few days left! Come visit the shelter on Belgrade Road and "Fall" in love with the newest member of your family!
OAK RIDGE ELECTRIC RECOGNIZED AS TREE LINE USA UTILITY FOR 4TH TIME
The City of Oak Ridge Electric Department (CORED) was recognized by the  Arbor Day Foundation  as a Tree Line USA Utility at the annual Trees & Utilities Conference in Omaha, Nebraska, this past August. This is the fourth consecutive year that CORED has received the honor.

From the Arbor Day Foundation website: “Every day in communities all across America, people depend on safe, reliable electric service to power their homes, businesses, and public buildings – all while protecting and enhancing the urban forest. The Tree Line USA program exists to recognize best practices in public and private utility arboriculture, demonstrating how trees and utilities can co-exist for the benefit of communities and citizens.”

CORED staff plans to apply for the 2018 award year as well this December, continuing Oak Ridge’s recognition as a distinguished Tree Line USA Utility.
GREAT JOB, ARDO!
Congratulations to our own Ardo Ba, electric operations manager with the City of Oak Ridge  Electric Department, who earned a spot on the  Knox.biz  40 Under 40 list of excellent local business leaders.

We're thankful to have Ardo on our team!
CITY BLUEPRINT: PLANNING FOR OAK RIDGE
The Oak Ridge Planning Commission and staff from the Community Development Department are preparing a long-range plan called City Blueprint for the physical growth and development of the city. 

Energized by a successful kickoff meeting in 2017, and with additional input from subarea community meetings, focus groups, and concurrent studies, the present task is to assimilate the information and prepare a draft report and implementation strategy for public review. 

Broad public support for a long-range plan such as Blueprint will enable the adoption and implementation of the Plan, as well as underscore the importance of monitoring progress – and subsequent updates. The Planning Commission has the authority to adopt advisory plans and to recommend those plans for adoption by City Council. City Council has the authority to make a plan a legal instrument that governs land use decisions, such as the current Comprehensive Plan, last updated in 1997.
In the coming weeks, draft report segments for Blueprint will be available for public review. Please visit the City’s website or contact Nathalie Schmidt, Senior Planner, for more information: nschmidt@oakridgetn.gov or (865) 425-3580. More info is available by clicking the button below.
OAK RIDGE CITY MANAGER FEATURED IN UT DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE NEWSLETTER
UT Newsletter: "Grad students at the top of their game"

Mark Watson is finishing his PhD fitting in classes, his dissertation, and research with his job. Watson practices what he learns as the city manager of Oak Ridge. In April, he was invited as a guest professor with China University...

Read more
polisci.utk.edu
OAK RIDGE REPRESENTED AT WORKSHOP IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
City Council member Chuck Hope participates on a panel about the importance of engaging local governments in cleanup decisions at the recent National Cleanup Workshop in Washington, D.C.
City Manager Mark Watson joins Energy Communities Alliance Director Seth Kirshenberg in a discussion about the importance of infrastructure partnerships at the National Cleanup Workshop in Washington, D.C.
ROAD WORK UPDATE: CITYWIDE PAVEMENT PATCHING UNDERWAY
PRI of East Tennessee, Inc., working under contract for the City of Oak Ridge, has begun citywide pavement patching and repairs. The work is estimated to continue over the next three months.

The repairs are part of an effort to assist Public Works Department street crews with a backlog of approximately 140 open work orders for pavement repairs associated with water main breaks. Over half of the repairs needed are the result of the more than 80 water main breaks from January 2018.

Drivers, pedestrians and cyclists are urged to use extreme care and caution when traveling in and around the affected sections of roadway. We apologize for any inconvenience the road and lane closures may cause and appreciate patience and cooperation during this time.
STREET STRIPING WORK RESCHEDULED DUE TO RAIN
As part of the ongoing Oak Ridge Turnpike Pedestrian Improvement Project, drivers should be aware that lane closures will be in effect for several hours on the evening of Thursday, October 18 . The work originally scheduled to take place October 16 had to be rescheduled due to rain.

Starting at approximately 7pm on Thursday, crews will be street striping, placing pavement markings and installing new crosswalk markings. Work will occur at the Oak Ridge Turnpike intersection with North and South Tulane Avenue as well as the Tennyson Road and East Division Road intersection. Please use caution in the area.
SIGN-UPS START NEXT WEEK FOR WINTER BASKETBALL LEAGUES
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The City of Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department’s 2018 winter basketball season registration will open Monday, October 22, 2018.

Early registration will end Saturday, November 10, at 10 p.m. Late registration will end Saturday, November 17. Men’s and women’s games are scheduled to begin the week of December 3 and will be played on Monday and/or Thursday evenings. Participants must be 18 or older on December 1.

Youth league games will be played on Saturdays and are scheduled to begin January 5, 2019. Players must be no older than 18 on December 1, 2018, to participate.
An organizational kickoff event has been scheduled for Tuesday, October 23, 2018, in the Social Room at the Oak Ridge Civic Center beginning at 6 p.m. 
OAK RIDGE PUBLIC LIBRARY ANNOUNCES NEW DIRECTOR
The City of Oak Ridge has named Julie Forkner as Director of the Oak Ridge Public Library. Forkner was hired in 2016 as Manager of Library Operations. She has served as Acting Library Director for the last six months. Please join us in congratulating Julie on her new position.

Julie Forkner is a graduate of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, receiving her Masters of Library and Information Science in 2012. Prior to this, she also obtained a Masters of English Rhetoric and Composition from UT-Chattanooga and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Warren Wilson College in North Carolina.
Julie is a member of the American Library Association as well as the Public Library Association and the East Tennessee Library Association. She previously served as Reference Librarian, and later Director, of the E.G. Fisher Public Library in Athens, Tennessee.

“I am looking forward to building on the strong tradition of excellent library service in Oak Ridge and bringing our library into the future with creative and innovative collaboration,” Forkner said of her new position.

City Manager Mark Watson announced the decision to staff earlier this month, stating, “I am proud to make this appointment. I have observed Julie Forkner’s capacity as Library Director and am pleased with what I’ve seen. Julie promises an ability to modernize and improve the library while respecting its history. She has a high degree of concern for customer service and always works to meet the needs of the community.”

The Oak Ridge Public Library circulated nearly 135,000 items last year and fielded more than 32,000 reference questions. Approximately 68 percent of Oak Ridge residents hold active library cards. Additional information is available online at  www.orpl.org .
NOW HIRING: FIND A JOB WITH US
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The City is currently accepting applications for the following positions: 

  • Police Officer
  • Police Officer Trainee
  • Public Safety Communications Officer (Dispatcher)
  • School Crossing Guard
  • Electric Line Technician (Lineman)

Please note that closing dates vary by position and applications must be submitted by the deadline to be considered. 

Interested applicants can view all current job openings, position descriptions and learn how to apply by visiting the  Employment section of our website
STATUS UPDATE: TENNESSEE AVENUE RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT
The road reconstruction project along Tennessee Avenue continues and is expected to be complete by mid-November. 

Road reconstruction will include repaving and some concrete work. The contractor will make every effort to maintain local access; however, total closure of portions of the road requiring detours will be necessary.

When crews and equipment move from one location to another, the contractor and city personnel onsite will advise local businesses as traffic patterns change. The affected portion of Tennessee Avenue will be a smooth surface when all work is complete. 

Drivers, pedestrians and cyclists are urged to use extreme care and caution when traveling in and around these sections of roadway. The Public Works Department strongly recommends that drivers make plans to take alternate routes. We apologize for any inconvenience the closures may cause and appreciate everyone's patience and cooperation during this time. Please note that all construction work is subject to change based on such unknowns as weather, equipment, and access issues.  
 
Additional project questions or concerns can be communicated to the contractor's onsite superintendent or foreman, or City personnel onsite. You may also contact Public Works via email at  PubWorksDis@OakRidgeTN.gov  or by calling (865) 425-1875.