Note: This is a lightly edited version of a presentation that Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch gave to the East Tennessee Economic Council on Friday, September 9.
It is a pleasure for me to be here this morning as I begin my 22nd month as mayor and to share my thoughts about the positive direction of our city, and why that is important to you and your companies. First, I want to thank you for supporting Oak Ridge and investing your time and your money here.
My family and I have lived in Oak Ridge for 23 years. But my law firm, Kramer Rayson, has been involved in one way or another with Oak Ridge from its earliest days when our founding partner, Russell Kramer, received a call from an old friend in Washington. (Gooch tells a story about a telephone call with President Roosevelt.)
By any standard, the last seven days have been great for Oak Ridge and have increased the excitement that is being expressed about the momentum of our city.
First, demolition has accelerated at the old mall as construction for Main Street Oak Ridge ushers in a new and exciting era for our community. The tax increment financing (TIF) loan for Main Street had closed, and so has the loan for the new Marriott hotel that is being built. The importance of Main Street Oak Ridge to the image and self-confidence of our city and the economic vitality of Oak Ridge, Anderson, and Roane counties cannot be overstated. The success of Main Street and the continued redevelopment of our center city’s retail, residential, and commercial properties is my number one priority. We must work hard to maintain this momentum and take full advantage of it in the coming months. If we are successful, it will help you recruit the new workers you require for your businesses.
Second, LeMond Composites announced its licensing agreement with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and that the company is coming to Oak Ridge to manufacture innovative, high-volume, low-cost, carbon fiber in the Horizon Center Industrial Park.
Third, the National Park Service named Kris Kirby as the superintendent of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. [Read more…]