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Join us in Downtown Kingsport to ring in the new year and celebrate Kingsport’s 100th birthday!

Think it will be too cold? We’ll have heated benches (provided by Jackson Jones) and patio heaters to keep you toasty.

Something for the kiddos? Absolutely! The YMCA is sponsoring a kids station with a magician, face painting and more!

Do you like free stuff? Josh Smith, with WJHL, will be giving away free goodies all night!

Always wanted to go to Times Square? Join us and avoid the traffic! We will have a ball drop at midnight – ours is a big “100”!

Do you like a discount with your dinner? Great! Various downtown restaurants will be staying open late to make sure your last 2016 meal is great!

Come celebrate with Kingsport and be a part of history as we kick off our centennial year! We can’t wait to ring in the new year with the Kingsport spirit!

nativity scene

This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of Kingsport’s most beloved Christmas traditions, the Church Circle nativity scene. The nativity scene was first introduced in 1966 with 18 figures in the original set. Since then, a few more pieces have been added. The Kingsport Jaycees have managed the maintenance and storage of the figures since they were donated 50 years ago. All of the original pieces are still on display each year, with the exception of the baby Jesus figure. The original baby Jesus figure was stolen a few years ago and recovered, only to be stolen again. After the second theft, it could not be recovered and was replaced. This year, the Kingsport Jaycees asked for donations to help fund the complete refurbishment of the set, which is now on display at Church Circle.

santa train

Santa’s Special Railroad Car pulled into town on November 26, 1943, marking the first Santa Train excursion. The night before, a delegation of Kingsport merchants, staff writers and photographers from the Kingsport Times News joined Mr. Phetteplace, general manager of the Clinchfield Railroad Company, in Kingsport to journey to Elkhorn City, Kentucky. It was from there that the delegation met up with Santa Claus and escorted him to Kingsport on the specially-designed railroad car for the occasion. The railroad offered special round-trip fares for the day for people to ride the train with Santa and come to Kingsport to do their Christmas shopping. Santa requested that children along the Clinchfield Railroad that could not come to Kingsport be sure to be at their respective railroad stations so Santa could talk with them. Do you celebrate the Santa Train tradition?

fire dept logo

On November 28, our friends and neighbors in Gatlinburg, TN sent out the call for help containing a wildfire that had spread throughout their community. Kingsport is blessed with a great group of firefighters who were willing to answer that call.

The first call went out at 7:17 p.m. on Monday evening and only 13 minutes later at 7:30 p.m, a team of five firefighters and an engine truck were already in place and heading to help. A new crew of five or 6 firefighters was sent every night for the next four nights. They worked 24-30 hours before a crew arrived to relieve them. All Kingsport firefighters returned home by December 3rd.

The Kingsport Fire Dept. had a total of 825 man hours assisting. They worked search/rescue efforts, fought fires, and assisted with clean-up operations.

Scott Boyd
Scott Boyd,  serves as the “District Coordinator for Mutual Aid” covering 8 counties and includes all fire departments and rescue squads. When the Gatlinburg needed help, he immediately took action. He coordinated and sent crews/vehicles to assist by working closely with TEMA (TN Emergency Management Agency).Scott Boyd worked tirelessly to coordinate firefighters and apparatus going to Gatlinburg. He fielded over 300 calls to set up the teams for deployment and handled over 1,000 calls during the week. He also left on Thursday to help in Gatlinburg and returned last Friday night.

Thank you Scott for your dedication and hard work!

Listed below are firefighters that assisted with the Gatlinburg fires.

David Chase
Warren Bishop
Jason Bledsoe
Luke Wood
Dustin Olson
Chris Lowe
Gene Lady
Eric Wilson
Wes Mann
Shane Warren
Jim Everhart
Chief Dye
Lynn Feagins
Shea Payne
David Hawkins
Todd Carter
Caleb Sick
Sean Broyles
John Hollowell
Jared Dawson
Jubal Roe
Jerry Reed
Jim Carter
Jeremy Pitts
Chris Corey
Bill Donoho
Adam Delph
Andrew Catron
Robert Brown
Jared Lindholm
Kevin Mitchell
Billy Triplett
Marcus Osburn
Ben Wexler
Josh Cox
Jonathan Seay

kingsport academic village logo

Tennessee’s best higher education opportunities are all in one location – The Academic Village in downtown Kingsport. Through the collaboration efforts of the City of Kingsport, Northeast State, Milligan College, Lincoln Memorial University, East Tennessee State University and King University, individuals can take classes and earn their degrees from these participating colleges.

The best and most current place to find information about The Academic Village is their newly launched website – www.kingsportacademicvillage.com. Through this site, potential students can decide which college is the best fit along with learning about the degree programs, classes required, and what classes are offered.

Classes are held at The Kingsport Academic Village, a 6 building, $12 million, 54,000-square-foot facility. With lecture halls, computer labs, engineering labs and more, students will be able to get the education and degree they want with the best and most up-to-date equipment.

For more information, please visit www.kingsportacademicvillage.com.

steve hightower
steve hightower

Mechanic to Manager: A Lesson in Change

Loyalty is what Steve Hightower knows. Leadership is what he does.

From his roots as a mechanic to his past twenty years as a manager, Steve knows that change is a must. For Kingsport, Steve creates positive change that yields efficiencies, time and time again.

Steve is the Fleet Maintenance Manager for the City of Kingsport. This department keeps fire trucks, police cruisers, snowplows and all of public works’ vehicles running smoothly.

With 37 years on the job, Steve continues to find innovative ways to increase productivity in his department.

During his time as manager, the fleet department received these recognitions:

  • Top 100 Green Fleets Nationwide – given to those who use alternative fuels for city vehicles
  • Emissions Reduction Award – given by the Governor for the State of Tennessee,
  • 1-star certified green fleet award – also given by the State of Tennessee

In order to receive these recognitions, Steve and his department works hard to improve all city vehicles. “These awards shows us, and the tax payers, that we are going in the right direction,” explained Hightower.

The “green” fleet is now over 40 vehicles, which has reduced fuel costs 34% in the last year. Currently, the city is saving $1 per gallon by using propane instead of gasoline.

Steve’s dedication to his job allows him to feel a sense of pride in what his department has accomplished through this recognition and others like it.

From his early days as a mechanic, Steve understands the importance of his job. When asked what his department does, Hightower responded, “It’s our job to make sure all of the departments can provide services to the city.”

Often Steve and his team’s work is not seen by the public. However, their role in the community is undoubtedly important.

Inspiring Steve is simple. “The opportunity to make sure that any fire truck or police car is getting where it needs to go at any time to ensure safety. They can get their job done because of the work we do.”

 

We want to hear from you. Do you have a concern about the transportation system around the Kingsport Area? Click on the following picture to comment on the 2040 Long range Transportation Plan.

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Click on the map below to be taken to the First Tennessee Development District interactive TDOT Project Map. 
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    Housing – 46%

  • Expand housing development cost reduction options
  • Improve code enforcement
  • Study creation of neighborhood leadership panel
  • Guidelines for creation of Neighborhood Councilsv
  • Market nearer to career benefits (M2K* budget)  
  • Forgivable home improvements loans (in current CDBG** budget for low income families)
  • Market retiree and military friendly locale to movers (M2K budget)
  • Redevelopment of public housing
  • *M2K – Move to Kingsportv
  • **CDBG – Community Development Block Grant
    Downtown Improvement – 17%

  • Downtown Master Plan
  • Target Downtown retail, restaurants, incentives
  • Improve greenspace in Downtown
  • Tactical urbanism (small projects/big impacts)
  • Historic designation for Broad Street/Enhance Tax Credit Availability
  • Downtown Lighting (addition study needed)
    Arts & Entertainment – 17%

  • Outdoor Venue Space – General Shale Land Purchase
  • Outdoor venue Space Consultant – Environmental Review
  • Public Mural Program
    Job Creation & Entrepreneurship – 9%

  • Develop initial plan for a product Creation Center
  • Create a Makerspace summit
  • Economic Development Portal
    Destination City Investments – 5%

  • Bays Mountain Business Plan
  • Reservoir Road local match
  • Provide resources for increased landscaping and maintenance citywide
  • Riverfront Development
  • Directional Signage for assets
  • Enhance appearance of Cement Hill
  • Infrastructure and Utility upgrades for Bays Mountain Park
    Health & Wellness – 3%

  • Continue support of Healthy Kingsport
  • Study regulatory incentives and options for developments to include healthy infrastructure
  • Study private incentives for business to improve health outcomes for employees
  • Increase awareness of access points to healthy infrastructure
  • Study private incentives for restaurants to offer healthy options
  • Prepare facility plan for Health Resources Center at Lynn View
Higher Education -3%
   Master Plan Academic Village
kingsport logo

The 2016-2017 budget includes $57 million of current city projects.

The $57 million implements the start of the sustainable paving program, maintains the long-term downward trend of full-time employees per capita, and provides targeted funding for facilities maintenance and technology infrastructure.

Top 15 – New Capital Projects (excluding water & sewer)
  1. MeadowView Renovations (20th anniversary) $3,500,000
  2. Indian Trail Drive extension $3,300,000
  3. Street Resurfacing (Paving) $1,350,000
  4. Centennial Park (match private) $851,400
  5. Facilities Maintenance – Schools $750,000
  6. Local match for new Transit Center $376,300
  7. Bays Mountain dam repair $370,000
  8. Citywide park improvements $350,000
  9. Citywide aesthetics/beautification $350,000
  10. Facilities Maintenance – City Buildings $330,000
  11. Technology Infrastructure $330,000
  12. Library Renovations (phase 2 of 5) $250,000
  13. Bays Mountain road stabilization $320,000
  14. Lynn View site improvements $200,000
  15. J. Fred Johnson Park – parking improvements $200,000
Top 15 – Existing Capital Projects
  1. Rebuild raw water intake $13,500,000
  2. Rebuild Rock Springs Road to Cox Hollow $7,500,000
  3. Reedy Creek Sewer Trunkline $5,600,000
  4. Indian Trail Drive extension $3,300,000
  5. Colonial Heights Water/Sewer Ph II $3,200,000
  6. Colonial Heights Water/Sewer Ph III $2,600,000
  7. Systemwide water upgrades FY15 Ph 1 $2,600,000
  8. Colonial Heights Water/Sewer Ph IV $2,500,000
  9. Systemwide water upgrades FY15 Ph 2 $1,900,000
  10. Main Street rebuild $1,700,000
  11. Fort Henry/Moreland sewer rehabilitation $1,100,000
  12. Demolition Landfill $1,000,000
  13. Kingsport Greenbelt – eastern extension $940,000
  14. ARC sewer system upgrade $900,000
  15. Stone Drive pedestrian improvements (State) $697,000