THE CITY OF
OAK RIDGE
N E W S L E T T E R
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v o l u m e  -  5 , -  i s s u e  -  3
CITY RESPONDS TO HISTORIC FLOODING
Oak Ridge Sees Nearly 5" of Rain in Single Day
We want to say thank you to all of our employees who worked tirelessly last month as we dealt with heavy rainfall and dangerous flooding.

The City is lucky to have such a dedicated and talented team.
We'd also like to thank each of our social media followers for sharing posts during the affected weekend to help us get important safety information out to the community as quickly as possible. Below is an overview of just some of the incidents we faced during this major flood event in  Oak Ridge .
Heavy rains falling on already saturated ground created serious flooding in a number of neighborhoods on Saturday, February 23. Jefferson Avenue at Jefferson Circle and Royce Circle was closed due to standing water in the intersection. Gum Hollow Road was flooded at the entrance bridge and had to be blocked off for several hours. The flooding led to a rear-end collision on the south side of the bridge.  Oak Ridge Fire Department  personnel had to cross the flooded bridge and get the injured patient to the waiting ambulance.

Oak Ridge Turnpike (Hwy 95) near Rarity Oaks Parkway was completely under water and had to be barricaded. During the peak flooding around 3pm, several individuals attempted to drive around barricades and had to be rescued by Police and Fire personnel. Please remember: barricades are placed across the road for public safety. Drivers should never go beyond a barricade and enter flood waters. The road or bridge could be completely washed out and a driver would not be able determine that condition until they are under the water.
One driver did attempt to drive around the Highway 95 barricade, but became nervous when he discovered how deep the water was. The driver attempted to make a U-turn only to drive into the center median where water was more than seven feet deep. An  Oak Ridge Police officer was able to respond quickly and rescue the driver from their vehicle. They were not injured.

Four members of the Oak Ridge Swift Water Rescue Team were activated and placed in service to assist with evacuations if needed, but did not have to enter the water on Saturday. ORFD Captain Jason Benjamin is the lead instructor for the team and furnished his personal inflatable boat for water rescues. The Fire Department also had two additional motorized boats in service for the flooding event.

Oak Ridge Public Works Department crews worked as quickly as possible to keep storm drains cleared and water moving, helping to reduce the impact of all the rain. They also provided barricades and traffic cones to direct and detour traffic on Saturday.
From February 17 through February 23, a total of 9.85 inches fell in Oak Ridge, with 4.97 inches recorded just on February 23. The 7-day total of nearly 10 inches places this between a 50 to 100-year storm event. Saturday’s rainfall of nearly 5 inches equates to approximately 7.7 billion gallons of water, based on the City’s footprint of 89 square miles. This large amount of rain in one day coupled with all the additional rain from prior days was more than the City’s sewer collection system could handle.

On Saturday evening when the rain started to fall once again, crews prepared for strong winds in the forecast and the possibility of downed trees and power lines. The Oak Ridge Electric Department ultimately responded to a few service calls, but none were significant in terms of number of customers affected or length of outage. By approximately 5 a.m. on Sunday, February 24, all roads within the City of Oak Ridge had been reopened.

If you aren't already following our City and Public Safety Facebook pages, please take a moment to do so. We share important public information on them during emergencies. Just use the links below to find our official pages!
OAK RIDGE WELCOMES SPECIAL GUESTS
Mayor Warren Gooch (right) and City Manager Mark Watson (left) welcome Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner David Salyers (center) on a recent visit to Oak Ridge.
City Councilmember Kelly Callison visits with Congressman Chuck Fleischmann during a trip to Oak Ridge.
BATTLE OF THE BADGES: POLICE AND FIRE HOST COMMUNITY BLOOD DRIVE
The Oak Ridge Police Department, Oak Ridge Fire Department and Anderson County EMS will compete this week as part of the “Battle of the Badges” MEDIC blood drive benefiting East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

The blood drive is scheduled for  Friday, March 22, from 10am to 6pm  at the Oak Ridge Civic Center, located at 1403 Oak Ridge Turnpike.

Donations for Broc Selby, a Children’s Hospital patient and grandson of an ORPD officer, are still being accepted. All other donations will directly benefit other children in medical need.

Everyone is invited to support our local first responders in saving lives. All donors will receive a free t-shirt and restaurant coupon from MEDIC.
CITYWIDE HOUSEHOLD TRASH PICK-UP BEGINS APRIL 1
The citywide household trash pick-up program will begin on Monday, April 1. Household rubbish, old appliances, and minor remodeling materials will be picked up. City collection efforts will follow the proposed schedule as closely as possible.
Residents have always been very cooperative and we ask for their continued cooperation this year by following a few guidelines:

  • Residents should place all materials near, but not beyond the curb. Keep materials off sidewalks and out of parking areas and gutters.

  • There is a limit of one truckload of material per residence. A truckload is defined as one pickup truck or approximately 3' high x 4' wide x 8' long, approximately 100 cubic feet maximum.
  • Crews will not pick up hazardous items, paint, tires, or piles of rubbish that are mixed with brush or limbs. Compressors must be removed from refrigerators and air conditioners before collection by crews.

  • All materials must be in place no later than 7:30 a.m. on the scheduled pick-up day. Any materials put out after 7:30 a.m. may not be picked up.
Brush collection is scheduled to begin on April 29, 2019. A new schedule will be provided in advance of the start date. Brush and bagged leaves/yard clippings will be picked up during the next collection. It should be noted that bagged yard waste will also be picked up with the regularly scheduled refuse collection throughout the year.
NATIONAL LIBRARY WEEK FESTIVITIES
This April, the Oak Ridge Public Library (ORPL) joins libraries of all types in celebrating the many ways libraries build strong communities by providing critical resources, programs and expertise.

April 7-13 is National Library Week , an annual celebration highlighting the valuable role libraries, librarians and library workers play in transforming lives and communities. Libraries are at the heart of their cities, towns, schools, and campuses.
ORPL helps lead the way in creating strong communities by starting with our youngest citizens, offering educational programming in its Children’s Room. The library also houses an extensive archive with materials dating back to the early days of Oak Ridge and the Manhattan Project.
“Libraries are cornerstones of democracy, promoting the free exchange of information and ideas for all,” ORPL Director Julie Forkner said. “They also foster civic engagement by keeping people informed and aware of community events and issues.”

ORPL is celebrating National Library Week by hosting special community events, including:


The community can also get involved by sharing a favorite library memory on social media by tagging @OakRidgePubLib on Facebook or Twitter and using the hashtag #MyLibraryMyStory. You can also share your memory by filling out a story card at the main library desk.
OAK RIDGE SUMMER CAMP SIGN-UPS BEGIN APRIL 1
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Registration for the 2019 Summer Camp sponsored by the Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department will begin  Monday, April 1 . The first session will begin June 3 and run for eight consecutive weeks.

Early registration is recommended  as space is limited and the camp will fill up quickly. The  online registration tool  will be available 24 hours a day beginning at 8 a.m. on April 1.

Walk-in registration for cash or check payment will be available during regular Civic Center hours (8 a.m. to 10 p.m.) beginning Wednesday, April 3. Walk-in registrants should still create an online profile/account. Recreation and Parks staff will complete the registration at the front desk.
CITY CELEBRATES ARBOR DAY WITH TREE PLANTING & AWARDS CEREMONY
City of Oak Ridge officials joined the Oak Ridge Environmental Quality Advisory Board (EQAB) for the 34th Annual Arbor Day Observance on Friday, March 1, at Glenwood Elementary.

The ceremony 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.

The Arbor Day celebrations had to move indoors due to the rain, but City Recreation and Parks Department staff took care of the annual tree-planting. The City donated a Red Sunset Maple tree which now stands in the playground. Glenwood Elementary students, along with Cub Scouts from Troop 123, also participated in the program.
Tree City and Tree Line USA flags are presented during the Arbor Day ceremony.

Tree City USA recognizes towns and cities that develop comprehensive urban forestry programs. Tree Line USA honors utilities with a commitment to proper tree pruning, planting and care in the local service area. Communities must reapply for both designations annually.
Tree Line USA Utility  must meet five program standards:
  1. Follow industry standards for quality tree care
  2. Provide annual worker training in best tree-care practices
  3. Sponsor a tree-planting and public education program
  4. Maintain a tree-based energy conservation program
  5. Participate in an Arbor Day celebration
REVISED DRAFT CITY BLUEPRINT PLAN NOW AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW ONLINE
Public Hearing with Planning Commission Set for March 21
The final draft of the Oak Ridge City Blueprint has been posted online with the most recent set of revisions.

Citizens are urged to review the document and continue to share feedback. You may see one of your own suggestions worked into the plan!

The Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission will hold a public hearing regarding the Blueprint on March 21 during its regular meeting held in the Municipal Building Courtroom beginning at 5:30pm.
OAK RIDGE POLICE PARTICIPATE IN 2019 "SAFE" CAMPAIGN
The Oak Ridge Police Department is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) 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. The SAFE campaign will conclude August 1, 2019.
CITY EMPLOYEES WORK "LEAN" TRAINING INTO DEPARTMENT PROCESSES
Another group of City of Oak Ridge employees recently completed Performance Enterprise System training (also known as “Lean”) thanks to a program offered through CNS Y-12.

The most recent participants represented the Oak Ridge Fire Department, Recreation and Parks, Information Services (IT) and Communications. With the latest additions, the City has sent nearly 5% of all staff through the class.

Utilizing hands-on and engaging activities, instructors share better ways to solve problems, reduce frustrations and improve processes across the organization. We hope our staff can continue to put these excellent tools to work within their departments as we all work to meet new goals!
NOW HIRING: FIND A JOB WITH THE CITY
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The City of Oak Ridge is currently accepting applications for the following positions:

  • Recreation Leaders
  • Summer Lifeguards
  • School Crossing Guard
  • Electric Line Technician (Lineman)

Please note that application deadlines vary by position. You can view full job descriptions and requirements by visiting the employment section of our website or clicking the button below.
LIBRARY HOSTS MEMOIR WRITING CLASS
GUITAR LESSONS AT SENIOR CENTER FEATURED ON WBIR
Free guitar lessons for senior citizens began in February at the Oak Ridge Senior Center and were recently featured on WBIR's Live at Five at Four newscast.

Lessons for beginners are scheduled for Fridays at 9 a.m. with intermediate lessons following at 10 a.m. Classes are open to area seniors age 50 and older. All levels of guitar players are welcome. Bass guitar lessons are also included and are scheduled for 11 a.m. following the other two classes. 

Wendall Cook, who has many years of experience playing and teaching, conducts the lessons. Members from the class provide music for the Senior Center’s Christmas party. They will also play at various assisted living facilities and retirement centers as well as other venues from time to time.

For questions about this and other programs offered through the Oak Ridge Senior Center, please call (865) 425-3999.
OAK RIDGE OFFICER'S WILDLIFE ENCOUNTER GOES VIRAL
A funny thing happened last week...

Officer Sweeten had an unexpected wildlife encounter when approaching his patrol vehicle. This unidentified turkey (we called him Tom) didn't seem to like unit #177 and proceeded to peck at the rear of the vehicle. Despite Tom clearly being caught in the act of attempted vandalism, no charges were filed.

After we shared this odd and humorous moment with our social media followers, the video quickly went viral. Local and national news outlets re-posted the funny clip and it reached hundreds of thousands of people.

We're glad you liked it! Thank you all for laughing with us!
City of Oak Ridge
PO Box 1
Oak Ridge, TN 37831
constantcontact@oakridgetn.gov