THE CITY OF OAK RIDGE
N E W S L E T T E R
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We Hope You Had a Wonderful Valentine's Day!
PROGRESS UPDATE ON MAJOR CITY PROJECTS
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New Senior Center and Preschool Under Construction

Construction of the new Oak Ridge Senior Center and Oak Ridge Preschool is going well despite all the recent wet weather in our area. Crews have made incredible progress since groundbreakings in January. At that time, the first steel beams were just being installed at the Senior Center site.
Work at Senior Center site as of February 19.
Aerial view of Preschool site as of February 19.
Studio Four Design, Inc., designed both the Preschool and the Senior Center. Oak Ridge City Council unanimously approved resolutions awarding construction contracts to Jenkins & Stiles, LLC, totaling just over $11 million ($8.4M for the new Preschool and Scarboro Park Improvements and $2.68M for the new Senior Center). General obligation bonds were sold in late November to completely fund the projects.
Oak Ridge Senior Center: The single-story, approximately 11,000 square foot facility will overlook part of A.K. Bissell Park. Plans include a large kitchen, craft and exercise rooms, billiards parlor, lounge, and other common space.
Oak Ridge Preschool:
The 33,000 square foot single-story facility will be located on Carver Avenue. The project includes improvements to Scarboro Park such as lighted basketball/tennis courts, a baseball field, a public pavilion, green space, and a walking trail.
The Preschool is expected to be complete by the end of November 2019 and the Senior Center has an estimated completion date of October 1, 2019.
CITY TO CELEBRATE ARBOR DAY ON MARCH 1
TREE PLANTING AND AWARDS CEREMONY AT GLENWOOD ELEM.
City of Oak Ridge officials will join the Oak Ridge Environmental Quality Advisory Board (EQAB) for the 34th Annual Arbor Day Observance on Friday, March 1, 2019. The event is set to begin at 10 a.m. at Glenwood Elementary School, located at 125 Audubon Road.
The ceremony also marks the 31st year that the City of Oak Ridge has been recognized as a Tree City USA and the fifth year for the City of Oak Ridge Electric Department’s recognition as a Tree Line USA Utility by the Arbor Day Foundation.
This year’s Master of Ceremonies is Michelle Campanis, UT Arboretum Education Program Coordinator. At the ceremony, Area Foresters with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry will present the Tree City USA and Tree Line USA Utility awards to Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch.

The Arbor Day ceremony will also include the planting of a Red Sunset Maple tree donated by the City. Glenwood Elementary School students, along with Cub Scouts from Troop 123, will participate in the program.

Click the button below to read about program standards that must be met to achieve each award.
CITY BLUEPRINT PROJECT UPDATE
Thank you to everyone who was able to attend one of our recent open house events for the City Blueprint project!

On February 5, the Community Development Department and Municipal Planning Commission welcomed a group of more than 75 people who helped us define priorities based on what they felt would be most beneficial to the community. Participants used stickers to choose their top five recommendations to be included in the plan.
Two days later, on February 7, we held another open house at the Historic Grove Theater. The discussion was relaxed and positive. We can't wait for the next phase of Blueprint!

Final edits are in process and a final draft of the plan is expected to be available online by March 8.

Planning Commission will consider the plan for adoption after public review.

Stay tuned for updates!
ORPD JOINS "SAFE" CAMPAIGN TO INCREASE SEATBELT USAGE IN OAK RIDGE
SAFE = SEATBELTS ARE FOR EVERYONE
The Oak Ridge Police Department is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office for its annual Seatbelts Are For Everyone (SAFE) campaign.
This statewide initiative is designed to increase seatbelt usage and child passenger safety restraint usage through the implementation of occupant-protection programs, public events, and checkpoints throughout local communities across Tennessee. The SAFE campaign began earlier this month and will conclude August 1, 2019.

“Proper seatbelt use isn’t just about obeying the law, it’s about saving lives,” explained ORPD Officer Matthew Johnston. “Buckling up is one of the easiest things you can do to protect yourself in the event of a crash.”

2019 will be the sixth year the THSO has sponsored the SAFE campaign. Last year yielded the following results:

  • 1,182 child restraint violations
  • 13,165 seat belt citations
  • 305 other seat belt enforcement activities
“In 2017, Tennessee’s average seatbelt usage rate was 88.51 percent,” said THSO Director Vic Donoho. “Last year, the usage rate was 88.77 percent. Through increased education, enforcement, and community involvement, we’re striving to achieve 100 percent.”
CHILD CAR SEAT CHECKPOINT IN MARCH
MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
The Oak Ridge Police Department, in partnership with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, will hold a free car seat checkpoint on Saturday, March 9, from 10am-1pm .

Additional checkpoint dates for 2019 include:

  • May 11
  • July 13
  • Sept 14
  • Nov 9
All checkpoints will be held at Oak Ridge Fire Department Station #2, located at 609 Oak Ridge Turnpike (near Home Depot). Parents and caregivers are invited to stop by anytime between 10am and 1pm. There is no need to pre-register.
REGISTRATION OPEN FOR SPRING BREAK CAMP
The City of Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department still has openings for its Spring Break Camp this year! Camp will be held March 11-15. Online registration is available until March 8.
CITY DONATES FLAG TO NJROTC
The City of Oak Ridge donated a City flag to NJROTC members from Oak Ridge High School.

(Photo by Todd Livesay)
The flag was presented to the group during the January City Council meeting.

(Photo by Jim Dodson)
REGISTRATION OPENS NEXT WEEK FOR SPRING SOFTBALL
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Team registration for the City of Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department’s 2019 Spring Softball season opens  February 25 .

Men’s, Women’s, and Co-Ed Leagues will be offered during the season. Teams must complete registration paperwork and pay the applicable registration fee by  March 23 . Games are scheduled to begin the week of April 8.

For additional information, teams may contact Supervisor of Athletics Matt Reece by phone at (865) 425-3440, by e-mail at  mreece@oakridgetn.gov  or by inquiring at the front desk of the Oak Ridge Civic Center.
ORPD KICKS OFF 2019 CITIZENS' POLICE ACADEMY
The Oak Ridge Police Department is once again conducting a Citizens' Police Academy. The program kicked off February 19 with roughly 20 participants.

Opening session topics included an overview of the department's mission and vision from Chief Robin Smith. The program will continue through April 23, with classes held on Tuesday each week.
The mission of the Citizens’ Police Academy is to debunk myths about law enforcement as well as open lines of communication between officers and civilians. Citizens will get to know their officers and understand the challenges the job brings.
Students will learn through classroom lecture and hands on experience, as well as real life scenarios and role play. Students will also participate in a ride along with officers during a patrol shift and observe how officers provide police services.
SIGN UP FOR NEW RECREATION PROGRAMS
REC & PARKS LAUNCHES ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES FOR 2019
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The Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department has started two new programs on Monday and Wednesday mornings at the Oak Ridge Civic Center to encourage folks to be more healthy in 2019. 

You are invited to participate in our free Walking Program on Monday and Wednesday mornings in the Civic Center gymnasium from 8am-10am. Participants are encouraged to track their laps with staff each day.
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The second new activity on Monday and Wednesday mornings is our Toddler Time program for parents and children ages 4 and under. Toddler Time is a great time for walking laps with a stroller or to let young children get some exercise in the gymnasium. 

An Exercise for Fitness class and a Tai Chi program are also provided. Exercise for Fitness is hosted three mornings a week from 9am-10:30am (M, W, F) and Tai Chi is hosted twice a week from 11am-Noon on Monday and Wednesday mornings. 

The Oak Ridge Pickleball program is also hosted at the Civic Center Gymnasium on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings. 

For all program questions, please contact the Civic Center Front Desk at 425-3450.
NEW GRAPHIC NOVEL ART CLASS FOR STUDENTS
The Recreation and Parks Department is offering a new “Graphic Novel” Art Class for students in grades 5 through 9.

The 12-week session begins February 28 and registration is open now. At the end of the class, participants will be able to take home their mini-graphic novel.

The fee is $15 per class or $150 for the full 12-week session (a $30 discount). Participants may register by coming to the Civic Center Recreation Building Monday through Saturday between 8am and 10pm or by calling (865) 425-3450.
GUITAR LESSONS AT OAK RIDGE SENIOR CENTER
Interested in free guitar lessons for senior citizens? The classes are now underway and are open to seniors age 50 and older.

All levels of guitar players are welcome. Beginner’s lessons start at 9 a.m. with intermediate lessons following. Bass guitar lessons are also included.

Call the Senior Center at (865) 425-3999 for more information.
A LOOK AT JOB SHADOWING DAY
BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE REC & PARKS DEPARTMENT
Recreation and Parks Department staff hosted Ethan and William from Clinton High School earlier this month as part of the Anderson County Schools job shadowing program.

They visited the department for some real-life work experience. In Recreation, you never know what your job will be. Staff had them sort Legos for an upcoming program and help touch up paint on the walls of the Civic Center.
Rec & Parks staff had a great time giving these students an inside look at the department. Maybe it will inspire them to pursue a career in Recreation when they go off to college!
NOW HIRING: FIND A JOB WITH THE CITY
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The City is currently accepting applications for the following positions: 

  • Animal Control Officer
  • Equipment Operator
  • Parks Maintenance Crew Chief
  • Summer Recreation Leaders
  • Summer Lifeguards
  • 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.
ELECTRIC DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE MAKES KNOXBIZ 40 UNDER 40 LIST
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 so thankful to have Ardo on our team!
REMINDER FROM THE UTILITY BILLING OFFICE
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Some City of Oak Ridge utility customers were notified last year of changes affecting credit and debit card transactions. As a reminder for 2019, the updated policies are as follows:
 
  • Credit and debit card payments are capped at $1,000 per month per account
  • Credit card payments will only be accepted for amounts greater than $10
 
The City has several payment options available for customers, including electronic fund transfer (ACH) and bank drafts. Any customer wishing to establish an alternative form of payment should contact the Utility Business Office at (865) 425-3400 during normal business hours.
 
Thank you for your understanding!
WINTER FARMERS MARKET ON FEBRUARY 23
Be sure to check out the Winter Farmers Market this Saturday, February 23, for the last market of the season!

You'll find fresh, locally grown foods, including winter produce, artisan breads and pastries!

The market is located inside the gymnasium at St. Mary's School, 323 Vermont Avenue, in Oak Ridge. They're open between 10am and 1pm.

Can't make it on Saturday? Don't fret! They'll be back next winter beginning in December.
City of Oak Ridge
PO Box 1
Oak Ridge, TN 37831
constantcontact@oakridgetn.gov