Oak Ridge officials continue to ask residents to conduct municipal business over the phone and by phone when possible because of COVID-19.
On Wednesday, the City of Oak Ridge released an update about city facilities as the world continues to be affected by the pandemic.
The city said it is supporting the Tennessee Pledge of the state government. You can refer to State of Tennessee websites for updates and advice on precautions to be taken by particular businesses, a press release said.
City facilities will continue to be operated as below as precautions and security matters are considered for the safety of employees, and social distancing for customers, the press release said. Visitors may receive a temperature scan and be asked about their current health, the press release said. You can call the city manager’s office or department offices on the city’s website for more information.
Note: Financial transactions can be handled electronically and by mail, the city said. If you need to meet someone, you can call the department’s extension directly, the press release said. Phone numbers are listed under each department below.
- The City of Oak Ridge Municipal Building is partially open to the public with the following COVID-19 precautions in place:
- Secured, badge-only areas of the Municipal Building are in effect; only city staff can access the majority of city departments.
- Public access to the Municipal Building is restricted to the north entrance near the courtroom (labeled Court Public Safety), the Utility Business Office and Community Development permit window, and the entrance near the City Clerk’s office on the south side of the building, which is for handicap-access only. For handicap access, contact the handicap-access helpline at (865) 425-5377 for assistance.
- At the Court Public Safety entrance, visitors can check in for their scheduled appointments to be escorted to the secured areas of the building.
- Masks are required to enter the building.
- Departmental services are still available electronically or by appointment.
- If you need to reach a department, call the number listed below for each department or click here for a list of all departments. You can also reach a department by email or social media.
- The city will limit the number of face-to-face meetings and conduct electronic meetings as allowed by the Governor’s executive order. An official record of the meetings will be established for review on the City of Oak Ridge website.
- Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch continues to issue emergency executive orders that parallel the governor’s executive orders.
- Oak Ridge Public Library has returned to curbside pickup only.
- Library users are invited to place holds on books, movies, music, and audiobooks through the library’s catalo. at http://orpl.ent.sirsi.net/.
- Curbside hours are Monday through Saturday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. If you would like help finding items to read, watch, or listen to, please call (865) 425-3455 for assistance placing holds.
- Wireless hot spots are also available to the public through the library’s curbside service. You can place hot spots on hold through the library’s catalog or call the front desk for assistance.
- Patrons can print from their phone or other device via our mobile printing service at ORPL.org and pick up their prints through curbside. Prints will be held for seven days, and cost $0.10 per page.
- For patrons needing reference help, the reference team is available via chat, text, and email. Here’s how it works:
- Go to ORPL.org and click on “Ask a Librarian.”
- Chat with or text Reference staff from your phone, mobile device, or computer
- Chat is accessible from the library website or by texting (865) 324-0400
- A Reference staff member will respond to your question when chat is available.
- When staff is busy or unavailable, you can always email [email protected] and a staff member get back with you as soon as possible. As always, if texting, chatting, or emailing is not an option, please call (865) 425-3455.
- The library will not be able to accept donations while the building is closed. Please hold onto any used books until the library is fully open to the public once again.
- The book drop will reopen on Sundays after the January 18, Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
- For the health and safety of the staff and patrons, the library will continue to quarantine returned materials. Users may see a delay between the time they return an item and when it is removed from their account. No late charges will accrue while items are in quarantine.
- Tax forms will be made available as soon as they arrive. The library expects tax forms in late January.
- Keep an eye on the website and Facebook page for updates.
- The lobby to the Utilities Business Office (UBO) has reopened to the public with COVID-19 precautions. A limited number of customers are allowed in the lobby at one time. Masks are encouraged.
- Customers are still encouraged to make payments through the online Customer Self Service portal at https://payment.oakridgetn.gov, or by phone 24/7 by calling (833) 268-4341 (six-digit account number required). Customers are also welcomed to use the overnight drop box located in the parking lot at 200 South Tulane Avenue or payments can be mailed to P.O. Box 1 Oak Ridge, TN 37831.
- Many people in the community live with financial hardship, especially amid COVID-19 and the holidays, the press release said. If you need emergency assistance paying a utility bill, contact Aid to Distressed Families for Appalachian Counties (ADFAC) at (865) 483-6028.
- Public Works and Electrical Department services are still ongoing.
- The Central Services Complex reopened to the public by appointment only.
- Visitors will be buzzed in and escorted to the office they need. All visitors will be temperature-screened before entry.
- If you need to reach Public Works, please call (865) 425-1875 and for the Electric Department, call (865) 425-1803.
- The annual city-wide leaf pickup program is ongoing but subject to delays due to weather and COVID-19. Click here to view the schedule.
- The Waste Connections Convenience Center on Warehouse Road has returned to accepting bulk items and metal, brush, and yard waste. More information can be found here.
- The permit desk, Community Development, and Codes division are currently closed to public access, but services are being provided electronically.
- If you need assistance with permitting or inspections, contact us at [email protected] or call (865) 425-3532.
- For planning or general information, call (865) 425-3531 and leave a message.
- All citizen visits and tours to fire stations and headquarters have been suspended.
- Fire administration may be reached via phone at (865) 425-3520.
- The main entrance to the police department is closed to the public.
- To file police reports, citizens should call the police department for guidance at (865) 425-3504.
- Crime tips can still be reported online.
- In light of the recent record number of COVID-19 cases and related hospitalizations in Tennessee, as well as the Governor’s issuance of Executive Order 70 on December 21, 2020, and under the constitutional, statutory, and inherent authority of the Tennessee Supreme Court, Oak Ridge City Court adopts the following provisions:
All in-person proceedings in all state and local courts in Tennessee, including but not limited to municipal, juvenile, general sessions, trial, and appellate courts, shall be suspended from the close of business on Monday, December 28, 2020, through the close of business on Friday, January 29, 2021.
- Please contact the Oak Ridge City Court Clerk’s Office at (865) 425-3536 to schedule a new court date and time.
- Masks or face coverings must be worn at all times in the Court Clerk’s Office and, if in session, in City Court.
- The City Court Clerk’s office is open for payment from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by mail. Citizens are encouraged to handle any transactions electronically or by mail to help reduce the chance for spread of the COVID-19 virus.
- Citizens can send money orders or personal checks to:
City of Oak Ridge – City Courts
P.O. Box 1
Oak Ridge, TN 37831
- If a payment is past due, only a money order or a cashier’s check is accepted.
- If you have any questions about what is owed or whether you need to appear in court, please call (865) 425-3536.
- Oak Ridge Animal Shelter is temporarily closed to the public to ensure the safety and health of animals, employees, volunteers, and visitors.
- Animal Control will continue to respond to animal emergencies.
- Adoptions and owner reclaims must be scheduled by calling (865) 425-3423.
- Aggressive and loose animals in the city limits will be responded to by Animal Control. Animal Control may be reached during normal business hours, Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. at (865) 425-3423. If you have a problem after-hours, you can call the Oak Ridge Police Department’s non-emergency phone number at (865) 425-4399.
- If you have donations such as towels or blankets to share with the shelter this winter, call the Oak Ridge Animal Shelter at (865) 425-3423 during normal business hours to make arrangements in advance to drop off the donation.
- A phased re-opening of the Senior Center is underway.
- During the first phase of re-opening, the Senior Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. This limited schedule allows time to clean and disinfect the building between sessions.
- Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability, the following safety protocols are in place:
- Participants and staff are required to wear face masks and follow social distancing standards while in the building.
- Upon entry, all participants are asked COVID-19 screening questions and temperatures are checked.
- Those who have COVID-19 symptoms are not permitted to participate in programs.
- Each participant is required to fill out new information and release forms when they return to the building for the first time
- Participants are required to call ahead to schedule activities so that room and building capacity limits can be observed.
- The Recreation Room is available for pool or ping pong in one-hour increments, with a limit of six players at any one time.
- The exercise room is open to schedule 45-minute sessions.
- Equipment use is limited to one machine per person per session and no more than three participants are allowed in the room at a time.
- The Senior Center is also offering a limited number of spots for one-on-one technology assistance to participants.
- This includes help using smartphones, laptops, and other devices as well as guidance on the use of social media and conferencing applications (such as Zoom).
- Other programs and activities will be phased into the Senior Center schedule as conditions permit.
- Participants are asked to bring bottled water because water fountains are not open at this time.
The ETHRA Senior Nutrition Program Home Delivered Meals (“Meals On Wheels”) will continue.
- The MyRide program is discontinued. Residents may schedule rides for trips within the city with Oak Ridge transit by calling (865) 482-2785 Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Residents can schedule rides outside of the city by calling ETHRA transit services at (800) 232-1565.
RECREATION AND PARKS
- City playgrounds are open with COVID-19 precautions in place. Click here to read more.
- Trails, greenways, and parks including tennis courts, and Blankenship Field and Track remain open for walking and jogging use.
- The indoor pool is open.
- Click here to view the schedule for various rental groups and open lap times or visit orrecparks.oakridgetn.gov/indoor-pool/facilities/. Private pool parties and group/club outings are unavailable at this time.
- COVID-19 protocols are in place and capacity limits will be enforced. Locker rooms are unavailable at this time.
- The Recreation Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Rooms are available for rent. Activities, like art classes and volleyball clinics, are being added to the schedule.
- Masks are required in all areas (staff and the public). Patrons’ temperatures will be taken as they enter. Staff will inquire about COVID-19 symptoms/exposure (per current building postings). Areas are sanitized by staff after each use. Numbers in each area of the buildings are limited based on safety protocols. Call (865) 425-3450 for specific room limits.
- The Scarboro Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- The restrooms at Melton Lake Park are open and cleaned by Parks Division staff. Adventures Outdoors is closed for the season.
CENTENNIAL GOLF COURSE
- Water coolers at the Centennial Golf Course remain off the course.
- Restrooms have been winterized and closed for the winter. Clubhouse restrooms remain open and are cleaned and sanitized daily.
- Ball washers remain off the course but, flags on the putting green have been replaced.
- Golf carts can now be shared, however, if a player has concerns about the virus, they may take their own cart for a small fee. Carts are still being sanitized after each round.
- Golf cups have been replaced back to normal play.
- The driving range and range machine are open.
- The grille at the golf course club house remains open with a limited menu.
- The beverage cart is running more often to serve customers in the open environment and encourage distancing by not having to enter the clubhouse for food and beverage needs.
For more information, contact the City Manager’s office at (865) 425-3550.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
You can contact John Huotari, owner and publisher of Oak Ridge Today, at (865) 951-9692 or [email protected]
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