a u g u s t  &  s e p t e m b e r   2 0 1 6
v o l u m e  2 ,   i s s u e  8 & 9

Dogs and their owners cool off in the Oak Ridge outdoor pool on the last day of the season - August 7_ 2016
Dogs and their owners cool off in the City's outdoor pool
on the last day of the season. ( August 7, 2016)

DOUBLE ISSUE: This special expanded edition of the newsletter covers the months of August and September. You can expect the next issue during the first week of October. We'll keep you updated on Facebook, Twitter and the City website until then...
Rowing teams train on Melton Hill Lake
(March 2013)
On August 2, Tennessee's Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd was in Oak Ridge to announce $40,000 in Tourism Enhancement Grant funds that will help bring an 8th rowing lane to Melton Hill Lake. 

The course already attracts several regattas and rowing team training excursions every year, but this expansion means even more events would be coming to our waterways.

State grants, along with funding from the City and several other sources,  have nearly covered the expected cost of the project.  So far, the list of contributing agencies includes Explore Oak Ridge ($25,000), Visit Knoxville ($15,000), the Anderson County Tourism Council ($15,000), TVA ($20,000), the Oak Ridge Rowing Association ($25,000), and the Oak Ridge Economic Development Initiative ($25,000).

The new lane is expected to be complete by the 2017 spring rowing season.

Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd (far left) joins Anderson County Tourism Council Executive Director Stephanie Wells, Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank, State Rep. John Ragan, and Sen. Randy McNally at the Tourism Enhancement Grant award announcement. (August 2, 2016)
Dog jumps into Oak Ridge outdoor pool during Puppy Pool Party in August
Click the photo to see more!
The Oak Ridge outdoor pool is officially closed for the season, but the City's first-ever Puppy Pool Party was a big success. 

The event helped raise over $500 for the Oak Ridge Animal Shelter. Several pounds of dog food were also donated by some of the attendees. We estimate that more than 200 dogs came to swim on Sunday, August 7. 

We'd like to thank Pet Supplies Plus of Oak Ridge for their generous donations as well as everyone who came out to take part in this special event. 
undefinedJuly 20th seems like just yesterday, but it's been more than a month since our groundbreaking for Main Street Oak Ridge.

In a matter of a few weeks, demolition crews have already transformed the site. Much of the rubble has been taken out and Phase One is moving along at an impressive pace.

"Main Street will be a catalyst in enhancing the image of our City," Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch said about the project. "This helps us attract new families. That results in more homes being purchased and encourages continued investment not only by our existing businesses, but new companies who have decided to come to Oak Ridge."

Crews continue to sort through the remaining piles of rubble (above); A massive concrete pad at the site has already been cleared (below).
(August 25, 2016)
Check out our  Welcome to Main Street photo album on Facebook. 
You can also watch some of our  video updates as we monitor the progress 
along with the rest of town. We can't wait!

"This project represents the clear establishment of a central city for Oak Ridge by creating a new core gathering place to live and work," City Manager Mark Watson said.

Once again, we want to thank everyone who came out to celebrate with us on that hot July day. The parking lot was full of people ready to see this project move forward and bring new life to the center of town. 

Remember that  Belk, JCPenney  and  Cinemark's Tinseltown  are all still open during the demolition and construction.  New stores are expected to be open by  spring of 2017 .
The  Sister City Exchange  program through  Oak Ridge Schools  is celebrating its 25th anniversary while welcoming the latest group of students from Naka Shi, Japan.

In July, ten students and four chaperones from Jefferson and Robertsville Middle Schools traveled to Naka where they learned all about Japanese culture. The students were able to spend time with other children their age, even going to class with them.

The Naka students and their chaperones arrived in Oak Ridge on Thursday, August 18. The next day, they were part of a morning assembly for 7th and 8th grade students at Jefferson Middle School. The students put on a lively presentation for their classmates, complete with special performances and music. They also introduced the Japanese visitors and presented them with gifts.

Students meet and ask questions of Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch.
(August 19, 2016)

A very busy Friday continued for the students with a visit to the Municipal Building in Oak Ridge. They got to meet and talk with Mayor Warren Gooch before participating in a mock city council meeting in the courtroom. Students took turns discussing and then voting on different issues, like school uniforms and cell phones in the classroom.

Sister City Exchange Program students watch as their votes show up
on the monitors during a mock city council meeting. (August 19, 2016)

The day wrapped up with a special welcome ceremony in the auditorium at Jefferson Middle School. The Oak Ridge students each told the crowd their favorite part about going to Japan. Mayor Gooch presented the Japanese students with honorary citizen certificates. Each chaperone from Naka received a key to the City.

As part of the presentation, City Councilman Rick Chinn Jr. also presented a check on behalf of the Naka Exchange Program for more than $9,700. The money will go to help with the  Friendship Bell restoration .

Students from Naka and Oak Ridge gather for a group photo with parents, chaperones and school staff. (August 19, 2016)
The City's Youth Advisory Board, created in 1991, is also celebrating a milestone anniversary. The board serves as a liaison between the Oak Ridge City Council and the youth of the community. In the 25 years since its inception, the YAB has offered input on City issues and also provided activities and programs that enhance the lives of young people in Oak Ridge.

On Wednesday, August 3, the newly appointed members of the City of Oak Ridge Youth Advisory Board attended their first meeting of the 2016-2017 term of office. City staff liaison Matt Reedy conducted the meeting and Sandy Sexton of the City Clerk's office assisted the members through the swearing-in process. City Councilman Chuck Hope, who currently serves on the YAB Application Screening Panel, also attended the meeting to wish the students well on a new year.

YAB member and ORHS senior Brent Robinson was elected as YAB Chairman. In other elections, senior member Stella Powell was elected as Vice-Chair, senior Shreyank Patel was elected Treasurer, and junior Candace Pang was elected Secretary.

At a meeting on Wednesday, August 17, YAB members set annual goals and voted on continuing some of its most popular events including Graduation Celebration, Water Awareness and Dodgeball Tournaments, while also considering many new ideas.

"The discussion on goals is the most important discussion we have during the year," Reedy said. "Each YAB member will be given a chance to share an idea or dream for Oak Ridge and each of them will accept leadership responsibilities for at least  one program or event during the year. Board members will learn valuable skills through policy discussions, volunteering, event planning and partnership building which will be a benefit to them throughout their lives." 

YAB meetings are held twice per month on Wednesday afternoons at the Oak Ridge Civic Center and are open to the public. Board members serve a one-year term of office and must re-apply in May of each year.

If you have questions about the YAB, contact Matt Reedy at (865) 425-3442 or visit the City of Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department website.  

Vendors with locally sourced goods at the Oak Ridge Farmers' Market. 
(Above, Summer 2016)
The  Oak Ridge Farmers' Market is celebrating  40 years in the community. The official anniversary is  September 3 , 2016, and the City honored the tradition with a special proclamation in August.

Vendors from all over East Tennessee bring their products to Jackson Square on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the late spring, throughout summer and into the fall season.

Farmers' Market hours are 3 to 6pm Wednesdays and 8am to noon on Saturdays (or until they sell out). There's a little something for everyone.

The Oak Ridge Farmers' Market: A long-standing tradition. 
(Photos from 1982, thanks to the Oak Ridge Public Library!)

Stop by during your next trip to  Historic  Jackson Square  and see what's available! Be sure to like them on Facebook, too!  @OakRidgeFARMMarket
recycling_bottle.jpgDID YOU KNOW?... The City provides curbside residential recycling services through a contract with Waste Connections of Tennessee.

variety of materials are available for recycling such as cardboard, paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum. Recycling pickup within each neighborhood is scheduled for the same day as trash pickup, however, the materials are picked up by different vehicles at different times of the day.

WHY RECYCLE?... Recycling mines valuable materials out of the garbage in order to more sustainably create products that we use
every day - from water bottles to carpet,
glass, automobiles, and even clothing.

Recycling carts are provided by Waste Connections. You can contact them by calling (865) 482-3656.
Oak Ridge City Council
A reminder for the community that you can watch all Oak Ridge City Council meetings live online. We stream the video to our website so you can stay informed about what's happening in your city, even if you can't make it to the meeting. 

City Council meetings are held in the Municipal Building Courtroom on the second Monday of each month. You can also watch archived video of the meetings online as well as take a look at the agendas. 

You can contact City Council by emailing
The Make Oak Ridge Energy Efficient  (MORE2) program will begin hosting classes aimed at educating homeowners on cost effective ways they can make energy-saving improvements to their homes.

Classes will be held in the Oak Ridge Civic Center Recreation Building from 5:30-6:30pm.  Attendees will get an overview of the MORE2 program and how to register as well as a look at ways to lower energy consumption at zero cost to the homeowner. It will also cover "invisible" areas of the home that may need energy efficiency upgrades.

Those interested in applying can bring the following items with them to the class:
  • The first two pages of the application, fully filled out
  • Proof of current total monthly household income from occupants age 18 and older
  • Proof of payment of previous year's City and County property tax
  • Photo identification for homeowner and all household members above 15 years of age
  • Most recent electric bill
  • Last three months of bank statements
A schedule of upcoming MORE2 classes and public meetings can be found online. Walk-ins are welcome, but registration is also available on the website.
Portrait of Serena Williams
The August art display at  Oak Ridge Public Library  is a collection of acrylic and watercolor paintings and book illustrations created by Nadine Egnatios

Ms. Egnatios is a retired educator from Detroit Public Schools and was an adjunct professor at Wayne State University. She has exhibited her work in oil, watercolors and acrylics in various art shows around the country, including the Ann Arbor Street Fair and the Secret City Art Festival in Oak Ridge. 

Many of the portraits depict strong, fearless women that have broken barriers in sports, politics, and society. In one of those portraits, champion tennis player Serena Williams is shown with her arm raised triumphantly. In another, you can see the determination in six year old Ruby Bridges' eyes as she is escorted to school by a federal marshal. 

Painting of Ruby Bridges being escorted to school
Seven children's books, illustrated by Ms. Egnatios and written by her husband, James H. Beene, are also on display. These colorful books explore themes of education, teaching and family. One book, In Your Face, deals with the sensitive issue of bullying in school.

Please visit  Oak Ridge Public Library  during the final days of August to view the contemporary portraits and illustrations that are on display.

Main Library hours are listed below...

Monday - Thursday:
10:00am - 9:00pm
Friday:     10:00am - 6:00pm
Saturday:   9:00am - 6:00pm

Sunday hours (2-6pm) resume after Labor Day.
job_fair_chalkboard.jpgCome to the Oak Ridge Public Library on  September 1, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a  job fair hosted by Aqilah Rashid, Recruiting Coordinator for Trueblue/Labor Ready in Knoxville. Trueblue is currently partnered with  Waste Connections, Covenant Health, Hertz, and the current construction on  Main Street Oak Ridge. There is an  immediate hiring need for car detailers, general laborers and carpenters.


Need help with a resume? Veteran Services? GED Services? The Career Coach, sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, will be coming to the Oak Ridge Public Library parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, September 15 Come by anytime during those hours and receive job assistance. 

With access to their state-of-the-art computer workstations and well-trained team, you can successfully navigate online job searching and get on track to find the job you want. 

For more information on the Career Coach, check out their website or find them on Facebook.


From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the 2nd Tuesday of every month, trained federal navigators will be available at a table in the Main Library to provide one-on-one assistance for those signing up for health insurance under the ACA Exchanges

Local help is available, and 4 in 5 Tennesseans who got covered also received financial assistance

Call (844) 644-5443 or visit to book an appointment with your navigator at your Library. 


All library events are free to the public and do not require library membership. 

For additional questions on any of these programs or other activities scheduled by the library, call (865) 425-3455 or send an email to

One more chance for NIGHT GOLF at Centennial Golf Course...
  • Friday, September 9th
9 Hole walking Night Golf event

$40 per Golfer

 - Includes Green Fee, 1 Glow Ball and 2 Drink Tickets

 - Register in the Golf Shop  or Call ( 865) 483-2291
Visit for more information.
The City of Oak Ridge would like to remind citizens that the deadline to pay taxes without penalty is August 31st

With this date quickly approaching, we encourage you to stop by the business office to pay your taxes directly. You can do so between the hours of 8am and 5pm or you can drop them in the night depository located outside the building at 200 S. Tulane Avenue. 

Payment by credit card is also accepted at the counter and on the City's website . A 3% convenience fee is assessed to all credit card transactions to offset the cost of the program.
City staff cautions that a relatively small number of property owners may not receive a tax notice. There are several reasons why this may happen. For example, by law, property tax bills are mailed to the owner of record as of January 1st; if the property has changed ownership since that date, the new owner may not receive the notice. Failure to receive notice may also be attributed to address changes and delivery issues.
Regardless of the ability of the Utility Business Office to deliver the notice, it is still the responsibility of the property owner to make the payment in a timely manner. If someone has not received a tax bill by now, they should contact the City's Utility Business Office immediately.
Unfortunately, Tennessee State Law is very restrictive and there is little that can be done to help someone who did not receive a notice or who received it late. The last day to make tax payments without penalty is August 31st. Penalties start to accrue on September 1st, 2016.
If you have questions or concerns regarding your tax bill, please contact the tax specialist at (865) 425-3404.

City of Oak Ridge | |
200 South Tulane Ave
Oak Ridge, TN 37830