Planning for national park, Park Service tours Jackson Square, K-25, ORNL, Y-12

Vic Knox of National Park Service

Vic Knox (Photo by D. Ray Smith)

Note: This story was last updated at 12:37 p.m.

Planning for the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park has started, and federal officials this week toured Jackson Square, the former K-25 site, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the Y-12 National Security Complex.

Stops included the Alexander Inn, Chapel on the Hill, the former K-25 Building site, the Graphite Reactor at ORNL, and two buildings at Y-12: Building 9731, a pilot plant, and Building 9204-3, also known as Beta 3.

“Several of those sites are just amazing,” said Vic Knox, associate director of park planning, facilities, and lands for the National Park Service in Washington, D.C. “They seem like they are just the way they were in 1943. It seems like they take you back in time.”

Oak Ridge was built as part of the Manhattan Project, a top-secret federal program to build the world’s fist atomic weapons during World War II. Besides Oak Ridge, the new national park includes Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Hanford, Washington. [Read more…]


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Council to consider reviewing, investigating ORPD in special meeting Friday

Oak Ridge City Council on Feb. 9, 2015

The Oak Ridge City Council on Monday, Feb. 9, agreed to a third-party review of turnover and morale in the Oak Ridge Police Department but rejected requests for two other probes. On Friday, March 27, the Council could consider reviewing or investigating the ORPD—there has been a dispute over which term to use—placing the police chief on administrative leave, or accepting a proposal from the Municipal Technical Advisory Service to conduct a 30-day review. (File photo)

 

The Oak Ridge City Council will consider whether to review or investigate the Oak Ridge Police Department during a special meeting on Friday, March 27. The Council will also consider whether to place the police chief on administrative leave during the investigation, if one is conducted.

City Council members Trina Baughn and Rick Chinn called for the special meeting earlier this month, and it was set for this Friday, March 27. Baughn and Chinn asked to set the parameters of an investigation and possibly select an investigator during the special meeting. They also asked to discuss and possibly vote on placing the police chief on administrative leave during the investigation.

Once it became clear that the special meeting would be called, Council members Ellen Smith and Charlie Hensley asked to consider selecting a reviewer to conduct the police review, as opposed to an investigation, approved in February. [Read more…]

Main Street Oak Ridge signs first anchor lease, other leases could follow

Main Street Oak Ridge

Main Street Oak Ridge would redevelop the former Oak Ridge Mall as a mixed-use project that could include retailers, restaurants, residential units, and possibly a hotel. The existing space between the two remaining anchors, Belk and JCPenney, would be demolished, although those two stores would remain.

 

Note: This story was last updated at 10:15 a.m. March 27.

The developers who want to convert the former Oak Ridge Mall into Main Street Oak Ridge signed their first anchor store lease last week, an executive said Thursday.

And three to five more leases could be signed in the next month or so, said Tim Sittema of Crosland Southeast, the North Carolina company that has proposed the roughly 60-acre redevelopment.

Main Street Oak Ridge would redevelop the mall as a mixed-use project that would include retailers, restaurants, residential units, and possibly a hotel. The existing space between the two remaining anchors, Belk and JCPenney, would be demolished, although those two stores would remain. [Read more…]

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Big day: Main Street Oak Ridge, Manhattan Project Park on Thursday’s agenda

Main Street Oak Ridge Presentation

Pictured above during a presentation on Main Street Oak Ridge last week are Crosland Southeast partner James Downs, right; Barry James, Crosland Southeast senior vice president, center; and Houston E. Daugherty, Cannon and Cannon vice president.

 

A vote that could help Main Street Oak Ridge, the redevelopment of the former Oak Ridge Mall, is on Thursday’s agenda. So is an open house on the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

They are among two of the biggest projects in Oak Ridge in years, and both are considered key parts of an economic renaissance that also includes new business development along Oak Ridge Turnpike and South Illinois Avenue, a new Kroger Marketplace shopping center, the proposed multi-billion-dollar Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex, and the announcement by metal powder manufacturing company CVMR this month that it will move its operations from Toronto to Oak Ridge, investing $313 million and adding 620 jobs.

A rezoning has been requested for Main Street Oak Ridge. It will be considered by the Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission during a meeting that starts at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26, in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Courtroom. The Planning Commission will also consider a planned unit development, or PUD, master plan for the project. [Read more…]

Spring Cleaning at future home of Coal Creek Miners Museum

Coal Creek Miners Museum Building

The proposed remodel of the building that will house the Coal Creek Miners Museum in Rocky Top. (Submitted photo)

 

The Coal Creek Miners Museum Board of Directors, volunteers, and the City of Rocky Top have been working hard to obtain funding for the remodel of the new Coal Creek Miners Museum building, a press release said.

Before the holidays, they applied for an Appalachian Resource Commission grant and applied to two other private foundations for funds. They are still waiting to hear whether or not they will receive any funding, the release said.

In the meantime, they are planning a Spring Cleaning at the future home of the Coal Creek Miners Museum. [Read more…]

Oak Ridge joins statewide effort to plant 50,000 trees

Oak Ridge Tree Day Group

The City of Oak Ridge participated in the 50K Tree Day on Saturday, March 14, a statewide planting throughout Tennessee with the goal of planting 50,000 trees in one hour. (Submitted photo)

 

The City of Oak Ridge participated in the 50K Tree Day on Saturday, March 14, a statewide planting throughout Tennessee with the goal of planting 50,000 trees in one hour.

With the help of 61 volunteers, including students from Oak Ridge High School, members of Keep Anderson County Beautiful, and other community supporters, volunteers were able to plant about 400 trees at the disc golf course on Tuskegee Drive. The variety of Tennessee native trees planted included elderberry, silky dogwood, staghorn sumac, shumard oak, and ninebark.

Purchasing Department hosts inaugural Vendor Breakfast

Purchasing Vendor Registry

Pictured from left are Anderson County Chamber of Commerce’s Norm Nelson, Anderson County Purchasing Department employees Karen Whaley, Toni Romero and Sheila Davis, Purchasing Agent Pamela Cotham, Mayor Terry Frank, and Vendor Registry’s Brian Strong. (Photo courtesy of Anderson County government)

 

CLINTON—On Tuesday, Anderson County Purchasing Agent Pamela Cotham and the Anderson County Purchasing Department hosted the inaugural Vendor Breakfast event.

Inspired by the City of Knoxville’s vendor events, the program was designed to educate local people and businesses on how to do business with Anderson County government, a press release said. Anderson County Purchasing partnered with both the Anderson County Chamber of Commerce and Vendor Registry to help spread the word, and also to answer questions. [Read more…]

2014 in Review: Accomplishments, continued improvement, but big challenges ahead 

Chris Phillips and Terry Frank

Chris Phillips, left, director of Anderson County Accounts and Budgets, and County Mayor Terry Frank are pictured above. (Submitted photo)

 

 

By Chris Phillips, director of Anderson County Accounts and Budgets, and County Mayor Terry Frank

We recently finished our Popular Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, and we wanted to share a snapshot of Anderson County’s financial health. While there are many factors that go into evaluating our county’s overall ability to promote prosperity for the people of our county, our financial health as a county government has a direct impact on the lives of families who live here and the business and industry that operates here.

Noteworthy accomplishments from 2014: [Read more…]

Public meeting on Kingston coal ash natural resource damage restoration, compensation plan

TVA Kingston Fossil Plant Dike C Reinforcement

Photo courtesy TVA

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Tennessee Valley Authority are releasing the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant Coal Ash Release Natural Resource Damage Assessment—Restoration and Compensation Determination Plan for public review during a public meeting on Thursday, April 9.

A copy of the document is available online at http://www.tva.com/kingston/ and http://www.tn.gov/environment/kingston.

Who: Representatives from Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Tennessee Valley Authority [Read more…]

AC Animal Welfare Task Force meets Monday, March 30

The Anderson County Animal Welfare Task Force will meet at 4 p.m. Monday, March 30. The meeting will be in Room 118A at the Anderson County Courthouse in Clinton.

Oak Ridge household trash pick-up starts Monday, March 30

The citywide household trash pick-up program in Oak Ridge will start on Monday, March 30. Household rubbish, old appliances (compressors must be removed from refrigerators and air conditioners), and minor remodeling materials will be picked up.

City collection efforts will follow the accompanying schedule as closely as possible, a press release said. The proposed schedule is a general guide and can vary considerably from the actual schedule due to weather conditions and/or the amount of participation by residents.

“Residents have always been very cooperative and we ask for their continued cooperation this year by following a few guidelines,” the release said. [Read more…]

Main Street Oak Ridge rezoning, master plan to be considered Thursday

Main Street Oak Ridge Presentation

Pictured above during a Monday presentation on Main Street Oak Ridge are Crosland Southeast partner James Downs, right; Barry James, Crosland Southeast senior vice president, center; and Houston E. Daugherty, Cannon and Cannon vice president.

 

The Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission will consider a rezoning request for Main Street Oak Ridge during a Thursday meeting.

The Planning Commission will also consider a planned unit development, or PUD, master plan for the project.

Main Street Oak Ridge is the redevelopment of the former Oak Ridge Mall, now officially known as the Oak Ridge City Center.

The Thursday meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Courtroom. [Read more…]