DECEMBER 2022 | VOL. 8, ISSUE 11

happy holidays


It was another busy month in Oak Ridge! Here's a look at everything that happened in December and what's ahead in 2023.

At the beginning of December, our new members of City Council were sworn in. Check out your new Oak Ridge City Council in the photo below!

Front row: Ellen Smith, Mayor Warren Gooch, Mayor Pro-Tem Jim Dodson

Back row: Chuck Hope, Derrick Hammond, Charlie Hensley, Sean Gleason


Leaf pickup continues

The fall leaf collection is underway right now. As of today (12/31), crews are a few days behind due to the winter weather we experienced last week but Waste Connections anticipates catching up over the next couple of weeks.

The schedule is updated & published on the 

City's website:


Sign up for pickup reminders

Residents can now sign up for email reminders and updates of the pickup schedules. The schedules for household trash, leaf, and brush pickups will be emailed upon publication and updates will be sent as crews may get ahead or behind schedule. 

To sign up, you can click here, click on the QR code above or scan the QR code with the camera on your phone.

Holiday closures and schedule changes

As a reminder, all City of Oak Ridge administrative offices, including City Court, will be closed on Monday, January 2, 2023, for New Year’s Day. Offices reopen and court continues as normal beginning Tuesday, January 3, 2023.

Household trash and recycling pickup will occur as scheduled on New Year's Eve (Dec. 31, 2022) and New Year's Day (Jan. 1, 2023). For questions, contact Waste Connections of Tennessee at (865) 482-3656 or visit

The Centennial Golf Course hours will change in January and February to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Police and Fire services will continue to operate as normal. Emergencies can be reported by calling 911. The non-emergency line is (865) 425-4399.

Customers can continue to make utility payments online at or by phone 24/7 by calling (833) 268-4341 (6-digit account number required). Customers are also welcomed 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.


3rd Annual Wreaths Across America Ceremony in Oak Ridge

Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch was privileged to represent Oak Ridge at the City's third annual Wreaths Across America Ceremony on December 17. 

"Hundreds of people attended. It was truly an inspiring and emotional event," Mayor Gooch said. 

ORHS Navy JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps) arranged the event with the national Wreaths Across America organization, and Oak Ridge Memorial Gardens.

Lt. Governor Randy McNally and State Representative John Ragan also spoke at the event. Oak Ridge City Councilmembers Chuck Hope, Charlie Hensley, and Sean Gleason were also in attendance. 

Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach is carried out by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as at more than 3,700 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea, and abroad.

Join WAA by sponsoring a veterans’ wreath at a cemetery near you, volunteering, or donating to a local sponsorship group.

National Park Service Designates City of Oak Ridge as an American World War II Heritage City

The City of Oak Ridge received notification from the National Park Service (NPS) that City of Oak Ridge, TN has been designated an American World War II Heritage City.

The American World War II Heritage Cities Program (AWWIIHC) honors the contributions of local towns, cities, and counties and commemorates the stories of the men, women, and children whose bravery and sacrifices shaped the U.S. home front during World War II, and still impact our nation today. Only one American World War II Heritage City can be designated in each state or territory. Oak Ridge played a critical role in history and has been designated Tennessee’s American World War II Heritage City through the program.

City Manager Mark Watson notes the significance of this designation: “Created secretly during World War II as a key location of the Manhattan Engineer District, Oak Ridge is a community which embraces the preservation of its history and the unique role played on the home front during the United States’ involvement in World War II. The City appreciates the endorsement of our application by our federal, state, and local partners, particularly by Congressman Fleischmann, without which the application would not have been considered.”

"Oak Ridge played one of the most important roles of any city or community in the United States during World War II. The work conducted at Oak Ridge to develop the Manhattan Project was instrumental for our nation to triumph over evil during the War," said Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03). "Oak Ridge's legacy has already been enshrined by the establishment of the Manhattan Project National Park, and the National Park Service's designation of Oak Ridge as an American World War II Heritage City will further preserve the city's legacy for countless generations of future Americans."

"I am proud to have led the Tennessee Congressional Delegation to have Oak Ridge be designated as our state's one and only American World War II Heritage City.”

According to the NPS, information about the engagement of the citizens of Oak Ridge, TN to marshal resources toward the U.S. World War II home front effort and to commemorating and preserving its legacies are included on the website ( and may be included in future AWWIIHC program promotional materials.


Oak Ridge claims two Middle East Tennessee Tourism Council Awards

Oak Ridge is getting some recognition for highlighting excellence in promoting tourism within the Middle East Tennessee Tourism Council (METTC).

The METTC, which promotes tourism activities and represents a 16-county region including Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cooke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott, Sevier and Union counties announced their 2022 Excellence in Tourism Awards on Dec. 1.

“There are five awards given annually for excellence in promoting tourism within the METTC region and this year two Oak Ridge organizations received two of those awards,” Explore Oak Ridge President Katy Watt said. “We are so proud of our City for making such a big impact!” 


Sign up for traffic & emergency alerts from the City

Did you know that the City notifies you via text, phone call, and/or email in the case of an emergency?


► For weather & emergency alerts, sign up for the ORFD’s CodeRED notifications: Text 'OAKRIDGE' to 99411 or visit


► For traffic & safety info, subscribe to ORPD’s Nixle Alerts: Text '37830' to 888777 or visit

ORFD reminds residents of space heater safety

When the weather turns cold, many turn to portable space heaters to help keep rooms and homes warm.

If you plan to use one, the Oak Ridge Fire Department wants to make sure you're using them safely:

  • Purchase a heater with the seal of a qualified testing laboratory
  • Keep it at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn, including people; keep children away
  • Keep space heaters out of the way of foot traffic and never block an exit
  • Turn off and unplug them when you leave the room or go to bed
  • Make sure it has an auto shut-off to turn the heater off if it tips over
  • Plug the heater directly into the wall outlet
  • Never use an extension cord for a space heater
  • Place the heater on a solid, flat surface.

As always, make sure you have working smoke alarms in your home. You can contact the Oak Ridge Fire Department for a free inspection of your smoke alarms at 865-425-FIRE (3473). Contact the Oak Ridge Fire Prevention Office by phone at (865) 425-3917.


Annual Oak Ridge Tree Lighting

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Annual Oak Ridge Tree Lighting!

The tree, a Norway Spruce which was presented by the Woman’s Club to the City years ago, has become part of a growing community tradition.

You can check the tree out at the A.K. Bissell Park Secret City Commemorative Walk on the east side of the Oak Ridge Public Library parking area.

To view more photos from the event, click the button below!


Oak Ridge Civic Center Indoor Pool Renovations Continue

The Oak Ridge Indoor Swimming Pool is getting some upgrades! It will remain closed at least through the month of January for resurfacing.

An exact reopening date cannot be set at this time due to the uncertainty that comes with construction and delays in product delivery. A reopening date will be released and published on the City’s website once it is set.

For more information, visit, call (865) 425-3450, or stop by the Civic Center Front Desk at 1403 Oak Ridge Turnpike.


Festive Month for the Youth Advisory Board

The Oak Ridge Youth Advisory Board made their donation to the Holiday Bureau of Anderson County at the beginning of December. The group was very thoughtful in picking out the gifts as they shopped. They were responsible for finding gifts that other teens would want. The Youth Advisory Board was proud to support such an amazing service to the City! 

The group also held Brunch With A Grinch and it was a great success. To view pictures from the event, click here.

Learn more about the Youth Advisory Board here.

Thank you, Oak Ridge, for another fantastic year. We wish you and your families a Happy New Year and look forward to serving you more in 2023!

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