MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
OCTOBER 2019
VOLUME 5, ISSUE 10
Utilities Business Office Temporary Relocation
IMPORTANT REMINDER: Where you pay your utility bill has changed temporarily!

The City of Oak Ridge Electric Department moved its Utilities Business Office (UBO) to the Oak Ridge Civic Center. The relocation will be in effect for approximately four months.

The move is due to renovations of the UBO that are needed to increase efficiency and safety. The affected offices are normally located inside the Oak Ridge Municipal Building at 200 South Tulane Avenue. Signs are posted to direct patrons to the temporary offices.
During the estimated four-month renovation period, UBO operations will be based out of the Recreation Building of the Civic Center located at 1403 Oak Ridge Turnpike. Staff will utilize the same space recently vacated by the Oak Ridge Senior Center when it moved into a new building.
Customers routinely handle utility and property tax concerns at the UBO, including signing up for new accounts, terminating services and making payments. Utility and tax bills are also generated in this office. During this period, persons obtaining permits and licenses from the Community Development Department will be able to pay at the permit desk by check only. Cash will have to be received at the temporary business office location.

Customers who normally visit the business counter are encouraged to use online or mail payments during this period.

The phone number for the UBO will remain (865) 425-3400. Any questions about the temporary relocation can also be directed to the Electric Department at (865) 425-1803.
City Closes on WIFIA Loan for New Water Plant
The City of Oak Ridge closed on the $20.7 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan on October 17. Funds provided by the federal loan program will be used to design and construct a new water treatment plant, replacing an aging facility that has served the community since the 1940s.

Deterioration is outpacing the City’s ability to repair the existing water treatment plant, located on a ridgetop inside the boundary of the Y-12 National Security Complex. Some equipment is no longer in production, meaning costly tools and pieces must be custom-made when replacement is required. Erosion and seismic activity have also taken a toll on the building and the hillside below.
The total cost for replacement of the water treatment plant is estimated to be $42.2 million. WIFIA will provide approximately 49% of that cost, with the City using the Tennessee State Revolving Fund (SRF) Loan Program to cover the balance of the project.

“After three years of application and planning, the City of Oak Ridge has reached a significant milestone in the funding needed for a new replacement water plant,” explained City Manager Mark Watson. “WIFIA has helped Oak Ridge with a low interest federal loan, allowing us to avoid potential failures in a system originally designed for a different Oak Ridge. The financial terms will allow Oak Ridge to afford these much-needed improvements to serve not only our residents, but the national security and U.S. Department of Energy facilities located here.”

The WIFIA loan will save the City an estimated $7 million compared to typical bond financing. Project construction and operation are expected to create 135 jobs.
Oak Ridge Senior Center Grand Opening
Huge Turnout to Celebrate Opening of New Facility!
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the ribbon cutting on October 15 at the new Oak Ridge Senior Center. As you can see from the photos, it was quite a crowd! This grand opening celebration is something we will all remember.

Special thanks to our Recreation and Parks Department staff, City Council, Senior Advisory Board, Studio Four Design, Inc., Jenkins & Stiles, LLC General Contractors, Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge, the Oak Ridge Senior Foundation, and many others who made this day possible.

If you couldn't make it to the grand opening, be sure to stop by soon to see all the programs and activities offered for our local seniors.
Annual Children's Halloween Party on Oct. 24, Volunteers Still Needed
The Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department will host the annual Children’s Halloween Party on Thursday, October 24, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. This event is now in its 37th year and will be attended by hundreds of local children and their families.

Activities will be held inside the Oak Ridge Civic Center, located at 1403 Oak Ridge Turnpike, and a hay ride will be offered outside in A.K. Bissell Park, weather permitting. There is no admission fee for the event, but participation in most activities requires one or more tickets. Tickets can be purchased at the Civic Center. The cost is 25 cents per ticket or $5 for a pack of 20.

Additional adult volunteers are still needed to assist with activities. On the night of the event, volunteers should report to the Civic Center by 5:30 p.m. and plan to stay until 9 p.m. A pizza snack will be served to all volunteers immediately following the event.
Notice of Greenway Closures for TWRA Fall Hunts
Fire & Crime Prevention Celebration on Oct. 26
The Oak Ridge Fire and Police Departments, in partnership with the Oak Ridge Neighborhood Watch Program, will hold this year’s Fire & Crime Prevention Celebration on Saturday, October 26.

Everyone is invited to participate and support this free event, which combines the police department’s annual National Night Out and the fire department’s Fire Prevention Parade into one big community celebration.

The event will kick off with a parade at 11 a.m. starting at ORFD Fire Station 3 on Tuskegee Drive and ending at A.K. Bissell Park. The celebration in the park is expected to begin around noon following the parade. The event will also feature food, emergency services equipment displays, mobile video game theater, bounce houses, safety information booths, and police/fire demonstrations.

New this year, a fundraiser organized by the United Way of Anderson County will help decide which public safety chief gets to go in the dunk tank at the event – Oak Ridge Police Chief Robin Smith or Oak Ridge Fire Chief Darryl Kerley. Donations can be made on Facebook and a pick for the dunk tank participant can be included in the comments. All money raised by United Way will support the Shop with a Hero event in Oak Ridge later this year.
Learn About "Downtown Oak Ridge" Possibilities
Public Meeting Set for October 23 at Oak Ridge Chamber
The City of Oak Ridge and its Community Development Department will present possibilities for the mixed-use redevelopment of the Wilson Street Corridor at a public meeting set for October 23.

The meeting will be held at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce, located at 1400 Oak Ridge Turnpike, from 5 p.m. until 6 p.m.

The community is invited to view the presentation, which uses data compiled over several years of study and public engagement focused on the needs of Oak Ridge residents, business owners, and visitors.
The City of Oak Ridge secured grant funding for this project under an agreement with the State of Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and coordinated through the regional Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) for the purposes of envisioning a new “Downtown Oak Ridge.”

The goal of the study is to explore what could be along the Wilson Street corridor, including multi-story, mixed-use development adjacent to the ongoing retail redevelopment of Main Street Oak Ridge. This location will serve as a catalyst for new and expanded growth.
Free Car Seat Checks at Oak Ridge Preschool
The Oak Ridge Police Department, in partnership with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, will conduct free drive-through car seat checks on Tuesday, October 22, and Wednesday, October 23, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Officers will be set up across the street from Oak Ridge Preschool, located at 304 New York Avenue.

This safety checkpoint is an annual event for the Oak Ridge Police Department. Car seats will be checked for manufacturer recalls and examined for proper installation by certified technicians.

East Tennessee Children’s Hospital advises anyone planning to attend a car seat inspection to bring their car seat instruction booklet and vehicle owner’s manual if possible. Also, to make the process more efficient, please install the child restraint seat to the best of your ability before attending the inspection.
Happy Spooktober: Ghost Hunting Event at ORPL
Technology Grant Awarded to Public Library
The Oak Ridge Public Library has been awarded a 2020 Technology Grant from the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

The $5,022 grant will be matched with funds from the library and used to create a laptop lab. Library staff plan to purchase approximately eight laptops with software, a printer and a laptop charging cart. The laptop lab will offer technology and computer classes for library patrons.

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett, Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally, and State Representatives John Ragan and Kent Calfee attended a special check presentation at Oak Ridge Public Library on Friday, October 11, with library staff and volunteers as well as City staff and members of Oak Ridge City Council.
NOW HIRING: Find a Job with the City
join_our_team_sign.jpg
The City of Oak Ridge is taking applications for the following positions:

  • Treatment Plant Operations Supervisor
  • Paralegal
  • Police Officer Investigator
  • Firefighter Engineer, EMT, & Paramedic
  • School Crossing Guard
Please note that application deadlines vary by position. To read full job descriptions and apply online, click the button below.
Congrats to Oak Ridge's National Merit Semifinalists!
Great News from ORHS!
Oak Ridge High School has five National Merit Semifinalists this year. We are very proud of these academically talented seniors. They now have the opportunity to continue in the National Merit Scholarship competition for some 7,600 scholarships worth more than $31 million.

Over 1.5 million students entered the competition. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. If you see these students, please congratulate them!

Submitted by: Brianna Ottinger,
ORHS Counselor
Pictured from left to right: Andrew Brady, son of Michael and Tina Brady; Matthew Calhoun, son of David and April Calhoun; Melody Guo, daughter of Yi Yang and Xiaoqin Guo; Travis Pitz, son of Daniel and Miriam Pitz; George Wang, son of Lisa Zhu.
Winter Basketball League Registration Open Now
basketball-basket.jpg
The City of Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department’s winter basketball league registration is now open!

A men’s division and a women’s division will be offered for the 2019-2020 season with games scheduled to begin the week of December 2. Adult league games will be played on Monday and/or Thursday evenings. Participants must be 18 or older on December 1. Registration will close on Saturday, November 16, for the adult league.

Teen Basketball League registration will close on December 2. A boy’s and a girl’s division will be offered for the 2019-2020 season with games scheduled to be played on Saturdays beginning January 4. Players must be no older than 18 on December 1 to participate.
Notice Something New?
You may have noticed something shiny and new with this issue of the City newsletter (scroll back to the top if you missed it)... we have a new City logo!

The logo is the result of a recent special project involving staff from every department. The project team used a "logo tournament" website open to thousands of graphic designers. After sorting through approximately 300 submissions, a final concept was chosen. There is a main City logo (seen at the top of this newsletter) as well as a version for each department or division. The logos will now be used in addition to the official seal of the City of Oak Ridge.

You may have already seen the logo featured in the new Oak Ridge Senior Center. The logo is visible on the exterior doors as well as the dedication plaque on the wall inside. City staff are now working on additional ways to feature the new logo, so you may be seeing it around town very soon.