By Savanna Schubert
There are no changes to the 2016 Secret City Festival, but Oak Ridge may enjoy the festival in a new season in 2017.
The first resolution on the Oak Ridge City Council agenda on Monday related to the Secret City Festival, an annual two-day festival that is the city’s biggest event each year but is in transition. It’s now in June, but it could be a fall event starting in 2017 and it could be transformed into a celebration that lasts a week or more.
“We are looking to broaden the festival into a series of concerts and festivals to last throughout the year,” City Manager Mark Watson said.
The 2016 festival will continue the tradition of nightly concerts, war re-enactments, and fun family-oriented activities for all ages.
One of the major changes happening to the festival will be the inaugural board of directors appointed for the 501(c)(3) nonprofit celebration.
“This is a transition year, we will have the festival in June…it will be business as usual,” said Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch.
The board will be responsible for actions such as time, location, the length of the festival, sponsorships, and funding in the future.
The 2015 festival was the most successful one to date, and Gooch is hopeful that future festivals are as well.
“Coming into June 2016, there will be a fun night of concerts, day-long activities, and we will still do that like in previous years,” Watson said.
Moving on from the festival, City Council discussed a proposal for a new U.S. Department of Energy landfill. This new landfill, which would be roughly one mile from the Scarboro community and west of the Y-12 National Security Complex, was the main concern for the City Council on Monday.
Council member Trina Baughn addressed issues concerning how this could impact the future for all Oak Ridge residents as well as neighboring towns, cities, and residents.
“There are real affects of being a DOE host city, there is a real impact on our environment and our residents…this is the opportune time to address these issues,” Baughn said.
Roughly 800 acres of landfills are within the city limits of Oak Ridge and by adding a new DOE landfill, more acres of contaminated space could be added. This landfill will mainly be filled by demolished buildings that have been contaminated over the years.
“You have to look at the area around the city and properly coordinate and co-habitat with these types of activities,” Watson said. “The only way you can take care of these places is to demolish them and move them to a safe location.”
While no plans for the DOE landfill have been approved, Council will soon be submitting documents to the U.S. Department of Energy to determine what will happen concerning the landfill.
Other items discussed during Monday’s meeting were nutrient management plans for the wastewater treatment plant, authorization for the mayor to sign certificates for the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission, authorization for the city manager to make an application to the National Park Service for the transfer of federal property, endorsement of the Chamber of Commerce’s Strategy Committee on a possible 10-year housing development, and authorization of refunding bonds to the City of Oak Ridge.
See previous story on the potential changes to the Secret City Festival here.
See previous story on the proposed DOE landfill, which would hold waste from cleanup work at Y-12 and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, here.
Savanna Schubert is a freelance contributor to Oak Ridge Today.
Copyright 2015 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.