December 2020 | Volume 6, Issue 12
What's Happening In Oak Ridge!?
Due to the dramatic increase in local COVID-19 cases, Oak Ridge Public Library has closed to the public and returned to curbside pickup only.

Now, library users are invited to place holds on books, movies, music, and audiobooks through the library’s catalog, 

Curbside hours are Monday through Saturday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. If you would like help finding items to read, watch, or listen to, please call (865) 425-3455 for assistance placing holds.
The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce's annual Christmas Parade will be held this year, but with a twist. This year’s offering will be a “reverse” parade. The event will be held on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. The theme of this year’s “reverse” parade is “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.” 

Vehicles will be led by members of the Oak Ridge Police Department down the opposite side of Lafayette Drive to view all of the beautiful and creative entries they have come to see!
Last month, we unveiled some new signage you'll notice in City parks and playgrounds. We visited Melton Lake Park and Glenwood Elementary.

In July, City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting smoking on the grounds of any City-owned playgrounds. This includes the burning of a tobacco product, hemp product, or any other drug or substance.

Thank you to Councilman Jim Dodson, City of Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department manager Matt Reedy, Oak Ridge Youth Advisory BoardASAP of Anderson, and the Oak Ridge Schools Health Coordinator Marcia Wade for attending the event and kicking off the #GreatAmericanSmokeout by picking up the area around the parks.
In September 1955, 85 Black students from the historic Scarboro community in Oak Ridge became the first to integrate a public school in the southeast.

Last month, WBIR Channel 10, began its ongoing series on the Oak Ridge 85. This month, WBIR will air a 30-minute special on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern on Channel 10.

“They were very brave young people. Remember, they were anywhere from 12 to 18 years of age," Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch said. “They were thrust into this cultural change related to desegregation of schools, not at their own option, but because they were chosen to do it.”

Read the full series and watch all of the videos at
"As we continue to fight this deadly virus and the growing number of cases in our City, we urge all of our citizens to wear masks, wash and/or sanitize their hands frequently, comply with social distancing, and other CDC guidelines. We also urge our local businesses to encourage their customers to comply with these preventive measures..."
The annual city-wide leaf pickup program, which is coordinated by Waste Connections of Tennessee, is now underway. Collection efforts will follow the planned schedule as closely as possible. 

Please note that the proposed schedule is a general guide and can vary considerably from the actual schedule due to COVID-19, weather conditions, resident participation, and the amount of leaves needed to be picked up.
The City of Oak Ridge and the Oak Ridge Police Department are taking donations for the non-profit Toys for Tots Foundation this holiday season. All donated toys will be collected by volunteers and distributed to local families in need this December.
Residents interested in donating to the program can drop off toys in the designated bins around town until Saturday, Dec. 5.

We ask that all toy donations be new and unwrapped. Donations should also be appropriate for a child that falls into the newborn, infant/toddler, youth, or teen (up to 14) age range.
Donation bins will be set up in the following locations in Oak Ridge:
  • Police and Main lobbies at the Oak Ridge Municipal Building, 200 S. Tulane Avenue
  • T.J. Maxx, 367 S. Illinois Avenue

Oak Ridge Police will also host a collection event on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 2 to 6 p.m., near the entrance of T.J. Maxx.
Since 1945, the Holiday Bureau, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has provided toys, books, games, homegoods, food, etc. to low income families of Anderson County.

This week, ORPD helped connect Bristol Park Apartments with the Holiday Bureau so they could deliver a big donation and learn about more ways they can help the nonprofit year-round.

Next week, people will begin picking up toys from the warehouse on 728B Emory Road. The bureau is still collecting donations and continues collections all year. If you'd like to volunteer at the Holiday Bureau, call 865-483-7831.
The FARM holiday market kicks off this Saturday in Jackson Square! Come shop the outdoor market for fresh produce, baked goods, handmade products, artisan crafts and more! Market is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 5th, 12th, and 19th.

Grow Oak Ridge's market is open Saturdays, 9 a.m. to Noon at St. Mary's School, 323 Vermont Ave. It is open Dec. 5 through March 27 (closed Dec. 26). 
Kelly Kilowatt here! Did you know you can sign up for levelized utility billing with the City?

Previously, those on budget billing had a set payment amount based on an average consumption for the prior year.

The new Balanced/Levelized Billing program will recalculate your payment each month using a rolling 12-month average (the payment amount will vary slightly each month).

You can sign up for levelized billing in person, by phone at (865) 425-3400 or online where you pay your bill.
Need to get tested for COVID-19?
Remember, you can visit the Anderson County Health Department Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to get tested for free. They are conducting drive-through testing and results typically come back within 2 to 4 days.

Testing is still available at other locations, such as your local pharmacy.
As a reminder, City of Oak Ridge offices, including the Oak Ridge Public Library, will be closed on Christmas Eve (Thursday, Dec. 24), Christmas Day (Friday, Dec. 25), and the day after Christmas (Saturday, Dec. 26). Household trash and recycling pickup will run on a one-day delay the week of Christmas. The Warehouse Road Convenience Center will be closed for Christmas (Friday, Dec. 25.)

Household trash and recycling pickup will occur as scheduled on New Year's Eve (Dec. 31, 2020) and New Year's Day (Jan. 1, 2021). For questions about trash and recycling schedule adjustments, contact Waste Connections of Tennessee at (865) 482-3656 or visit

The library will close at 6 p.m. on New Year's Eve (Dec. 31, 2020) and the library and city offices will be closed on New Year's Day (Jan. 1, 2021).

You can still continue to make utility payments online at, by phone 24/7 by calling 833-268-4341 (6-digit account number required). Customers are also welcome to use the overnight drop box located in the parking lot at 200 S. Tulane Avenue or payments can be mailed to P.O. Box 1 Oak Ridge, TN 37831.