On Saturday, September 30, volunteers at Bays Mountain will join hundreds of thousands of fellow Americans at public land sites across the country to give back to the lands where we play, learn, exercise and relax in celebration of the 23rd annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD) – the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands.

NPLD, coordinated each year by the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) with support from national sponsor Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., brings together volunteers from across the country to improve and restore the lands and facilities that Americans use and enjoy every day. Each year, NPLD volunteers provide tens of millions of dollars’ worth of services in one day that would otherwise take limited park staff months to accomplish.

Volunteers at Bays Mountain will get their hands dirty from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., removing brush or improving the parking lot area.  Volunteers will meet at the Herpetarium to begin their day.

“Your work will help ensure that Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium continues to be a beautiful place for all to enjoy,” said Megan Krager senior naturalist at Bays Mountain Park.

Pre-reservations are required by signing up at the Nature Center or calling (423) 229-9447. For more information please call Megan Krager at (423) 229-9490.

national public lands day

kingsport aquatic center logo

The Kingsport Aquatic Center Outdoor Water Park closes September 30.

The indoor Olympic pool and three heated pools are open year round and are open to all swimmers. The indoor pool hours are Monday through Friday, 5:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6:00 p.m. Open swim begins at 11 a.m., Monday through Saturday and at noon on Sundays.

Admission fees have changed for the fall, winter and spring seasons.

  • 48” & taller: $8
  • Under 48”: $6
  • Senior (55+): $6
  • 2 & younger: FREE

Half-price admission will be offered after 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and after 4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

The Outdoor Water Park will reopen in May of 2018.

For more information, please visit www.swimkingsport.com or call 423-343-9758.

cultural arts logo

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5) national impact study completed in the Great Kingsport Area provides evidence that the nonprofit arts and culture sector is a significant industry in the Greater Kingsport area—one that generates $29.5 million in total economic activity. This spending—$9.6 million by nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and an additional $19.9 million in event-related spending by their audiences—was reported by 25 local organizations.

The City of Kingsport Arts & Culture Office led local efforts. They collected 845 surveys from audiences attending events at the 25 participating local nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, and coordinated financial and program data collection from the organizations.

“The AEP5 study confirmed what we have known for a long time. The arts are a driving force in Kingsport’s economy.” – Bonnie Macdonald director of Kingsport’s office of cultural arts.

The study reported that there were 685,512 nonprofit arts and culture attendees in the Greater Kingsport area in 2015, 57% of who were residents. Of the nonresident survey respondents, 85% indicated that the primary purpose of their visit to the Greater Kingsport area was “specifically to attend this arts/cultural event.” Nonresident attendees spent an average of 41% more per person than local attendees ($34.85 vs. $24.81) as a result of their attendance to cultural events.

The study shows that arts and culture help retain local dollars: 54% of local resident attendees said they would have “traveled to a different community to attend a similar cultural event” if the event was not taking place locally.

The statewide report shows that Tennessee’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $1.17 billion in annual economic activity—supporting 38,482 full-time equivalent jobs, and generating $837.8 million in household income and delivering $135.9 million in local and state government revenues.

The Tennessee Arts Commission worked with 25 local partners and nine development districts to produce a statewide report and customized city, county and regional reports. Data was collected from 642 participating nonprofit organizations across the state and included 14,915 audience participation surveys. The study does not include numbers from individual artists or for-profit arts, music and culture businesses.

“This study demonstrates that nonprofit arts and culture is a significant industry in Tennessee and the Greater Kingsport area—supporting jobs, generating local and state revenue, and driving tourism,” said Anne B. Pope, Executive Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission.

The reception and presentation for the study will be held on Tuesday, October 3 at Kingsport City Hall. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. and will recognize the organizations that partnered with Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts for the Arts & Economic Prosperity study. The event is open to the public.

For more information on the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study, visit http://bit.ly/2pz48tn.

arts reception invitation

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN to all citizens of the Kingsport Tennessee-Virginia area and the public at large, there will be a Public Meeting of the Kingsport Area Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization (MTPO) Executive Board on Friday, September 22, 2017 at 10:00 A.M. (EST) in the Bob Clear Conference Room, First Floor Development Services Building, 201 West Market Street, (downtown) Kingsport, Tennessee. Copies of the agenda and supporting documentation can be found in the Improvement Building, City Hall, and Kingsport Public Library in addition to the following website: https://www.kingsporttn.gov/city-services/kmtpo.  The primary purpose of this meeting is to amend the current Kingsport Area Transportation Improvement Program to provide funding for the Lynn Garden Drive Coordinated Signal System. A public hearing will also be held in order to receive comments and questions on these or other items pertaining to the Kingsport Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization. Disabled citizens wishing to attend and needing special accommodations or anyone seeking further information on the MTPO meeting should contact William A. Albright at (423) 224-2677.  For persons with disabilities or limited English proficiency, contact VDOT’s Civil Rights Division at 804-786-2085 or by mail 1401 E Broad St, Richmond, Virginia 23219.  In Tennessee you may contact TDOT’s Civil Rights Office at (615) 714-3169. If you have a hearing or speech disability or use a TTY please use the FCC 711 dialing code to access a Telecommunications Relay Service to forward your comment.  Kingsport MTPO ensures nondiscrimination and equal employment in all programs and activities in accordance with Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Si usted necesita la traducción por favor entre en contacto con el MPO en por el teléfono en 423-224-2677.

David Mason
David Mason

David Mason – Construction Projects Manager

From beginning to end, David is proud to have a hand in every major project the city has completed over the past 10 years.

David’s job is extraordinary because he works on projects within the city, all the way from conception until completion. He does his best to get involved on city projects at the start. He coordinates and directs the architects, engineers, and contractors into successfully representing the city that he is proud to call home. According to David, no two projects are ever alike, which keeps things interesting.

“I’ve had the privilege of working on numerous projects in the city, and each one is different,” said David. “I love how different each project is, and how you learn something new from the experience and the people involved in each one.”

Kingsport has seen a lot of major projects in recent years, from the construction of parks and the Aquatic Center, to the renovating and replacing of old buildings. One thing is for sure, David’s passion for the work he does has helped keep the projects going. David works as the Construction Projects Manager for the city, overseeing and facilitating new improvement projects all over the area. Despite not growing up in the area, the significance of his projects brings new and existing families closer together within the city, especially Centennial Park.

“It’s been fascinating and rewarding to see the city go through her centennial and come together to celebrate its history,” said David. “It’s wonderful to see that everyone cares so much about the community that they’re from, or that they are a part of now.”

Centennial Park has many important and significant architectural details that David helped plan and organize. The overall circular layout of the park mimics the theme of the original master plan for the City of Kingsport, making it a reflection of the entire city. In addition, the circular path around the park is made up of 44 granite bands inside the concrete, all which hold facts or historical events from the city throughout its 100 years. All of the small details like these that David works to incorporate into his projects showcase his passion and love for the City of Kingsport.

“Watching the unveiling of the Centennial Park was very special for me. Seeing the kids run through the fountain for the first time and seeing the joy on their faces really made it all worth it. That’s what I do this for, moments like those.”

No matter the project, large or small, David is a major reason that it becomes a success. He works hard on Kingsport’s projects to make sure they help bring the community closer together through growth and development. Whether you’ve seen this hero at work or not, David’s fingerprints are most certainly on any new project the city has produced in the past decade.

kingsport logo
Get Involved. Make Change Happen. Volunteer.

The city is looking for volunteers to share their opinions and help make Kingsport a great place to live, work and raise a family. If you are interested in serving, complete a brief form that can be found here.

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library logo

They are creative educational spaces for learners from birth to high school and beyond. September is Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when the Kingsport Public Library joins with the American Library Association and public libraries nationwide to make sure that every student has the most import school supply of all – a free library card.

Librarians provide important resources to families whose children are at the earliest stages of development, by teaching parents and caregivers the components of early literacy that help children develop the basic tools for school readiness. As of 2010, libraries in the United States offered more than 2.3 million children’s programs, which account for nearly two thirds of all library programming.

Older students can access high-speed Internet, digital tools and the opportunity to work with trained professionals on how to use them. Librarians provide guided training in digital media and grow digital literacy skills. Libraries also provide equity of access to digital tools and media, which has become increasingly important in high-poverty areas where students are less likely to have a computer or internet access in the home.

Libraries are also a training ground for students of all ages to expand their knowledge and explore creative pursuits. The development of makerspaces is just one way libraries are seeking to meet this demand, ranging from low-tech, hands-on engineering opportunities for children and teens using toys and kits to the incorporation of high-tech tools like 3D printers.

Resources at the Kingsport Public Library are available to anyone who has a library card. Students can turn to the library for materials, programs and knowledgeable library staff that support academic achievement.

“Our library provides access and programs for students of all ages,” says Kingsport Library Director Helen Whittaker. “For preschool age children we offer early literacy and story times to encourage school readiness, for older children and teens we supplement education with hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) programs, and for nontraditional students we offer GED resources. We even have thousands of e-book downloads. There’s really something for everyone, and it’s all free with a library card.”

For more information on how to sign up for a library card or the September program calendar, visit the Kingsport Public Library or visit online at www.kingsportlibrary.org.

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police badge

The Kingsport Police Department is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for an upcoming class of the highly acclaimed Citizens Police Academy.  K.P.D.’s Citizens Academy is open to individuals who are at least 18 years of age, who either reside or work within the city limits of Kingsport.

The Academy is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 6:00 PM. Classes will meet twice each week on Wednesday and Thursday evenings for four consecutive weeks at 6:00 PM, with the final class being held on Thursday, November 2, 2017. Each class will run approximately 2 to 3 hours in duration.

The Citizens Police Academy is not designed to prepare citizens to become actual police officers; however, it will give citizens a chance to walk a few steps in an officer’s shoes to experience what it might be like to serve as a police officer and to better understand why officers do what they do. Citizens Academy classes include an interesting mix of classroom presentations, demonstrations, and hands on activities.

Class topics include:

  • An Introduction to K.P.D. with a Tour of the Justice Center
  • Collision and D.U.I. Investigations
  • Crime Scene Investigations
  • The Bomb Squad
  • The Police K-9
  • Traffic Stops and Building Searches
  • Defensive Tactics and the Use of Force
  • W.A.T. (Special Weapons and Tactics)

The deadline to submit an application will be Friday, September 15, 2017 at 5:00 PM. Anyone interested in participating in the Citizens Academy needs to submit a new application, regardless of whether or not they have previously submitted an application.

For more information, and to download an application, please visit https://www.kingsporttn.gov/police-department/programs_for_citizens/citizen-police-academy. For any questions regarding the Citizens Police Academy or for further assistance in applying, please contact K.P.D.’s Public Information Officer at 423-229-9433.

kingsport logo

Weather permitting, the New Construction of Church Circle project will start today. No streets will be closed, but barricades will be placed around the center of the circle.

Kingsport’s historic church circle is undergoing a major renovation and upgrade. The upgrades will fix longstanding issues with the crumbling edges of the circle, irrigation and maintenance of the landscaping, and enhance the traditional events held in the heart of the city. In connection with adjacent churches, Downtown Kingsport Association, local architects and engineers, the new design is historically appropriate to our nationally recognized circle and compliments the nearby buildings. It will feature professionally selected plantings and a new tree that reflect the importance of the circle to our community.

GRC Construction will be completing this project for the city.

Motorists are asked to use extra caution when traveling through this area. If possible, motorists should search for an alternate route to avoid any congestion.

For more information, please contact David Mason, construction project manager for City of Kingsport, at 423-343-9792 or davidmason@kingsporttn.gov.

We appreciate your patience during this improvement process.

Church Circle Conceptual Rendering

Development of “West End” Greenbelt Project and Application to TDOT for Federal Grant Funds

Notice is hereby given that the City of Kingsport will be holding a public hearing in the sanctuary foyer of the Crossroads United Methodist Church, 200 Bays Cove Trail, Kingsport Tn. on Thursday, September 14  from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. to receive comments and questions from the public concerning the City’s application to the Tennessee Department of Transportation for federal grant funds to assist in the development of the “West End” Greenbelt project.  The proposed project extends the current Greenbelt from Rotherwood Drive to Lewis Lane along the south side of Netherland Inn Road and West Stone Drive (SR 1 / US 11-W). Citizens are encouraged to attend and provide input on this proposed project and grant application.  Note ADA facilities are available, including transportation to and from this meeting. The project will be under the guidance of federal and state regulations, including Equal Opportunity and Title VI requirements.  For further information about this public hearing and related questions regarding ADA facilities and transportation, please call William A. Albright with the City of Kingsport at (423) 224-2677 or e-mail billalbright@kingsporttn.gov.