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Regions Bank will soon house city hall

A plan that’s been in the making for years has finally been put into motion – consolidating four of Kingsport’s government buildings into one. The Board of Mayor and Alderman voted to purchase the current Regions Bank building, located on Broad Street, to become the new space for residents to take care of all their city needs.

The city purchased the Regions Bank building for $2.82 million to support operational effectiveness, better serve Kingsport residents and help provide more secured courtrooms for the city.

Why move?

“The most expensive option,” says Ryan McReynolds, Asst. City Manager, “is to do nothing.”

The city had an opportunity to consolidate city services and improve efficiency as well as the overall customer service experience and it followed through. Long term, this is a financial savings to the city.

The 4 C’s – Courtrooms, Customers, Collaboration, & Consolidation
  • Courtrooms

Better security, modernization and more support offices will happen in the estimated $2.3 million expanding and renovating of the current Justice Center. Better and more modern courtrooms have been a need for quite some time. The city will consolidate the courtrooms to be only in the Justice Center.

  • Customers

By having most departments, such as customer service, building, procurement, in one location, it creates an improved customer interaction for residents, eliminating the need to travel to multiple city buildings within the city.

  • Collaboration

Working with community partners Regions Bank and local architectural firms, the city is working to improve service to citizens. This is a top priority and what continues to drive decisions.

  • Consolidation

The current city hall building isn’t ADA accessible and in need of repair. The estimated cost to fix the building and bring it up to ADA standards is over $3.1 million. By combining the four current city buildings and over 100 city employees into one, not only does it allow for better efficiency, but also allows the city to put those buildings back on the tax roll for private use.

What’s next?

Renovations to Regions Bank will start very soon, with floors 3 through 6 completed first. Renovations to the Justice Center to increase courtroom space and provide offices will begin in the fall.

Public parking is available at and around the Regions Bank building. On Clay & New Street, there are over 70 spaces. At the Kingsport Library, there are over 50 spaces. At 5 Points, there are over 75 spaces and at Regions Bank, there are over 75 spaces reserved just for customers. Between these four parking locations within close proximity to Regions Bank, customers and employees have over 270 parking spots.

The departments that interact most with Kingsport residents will be located on the first and second floor. Customer service and the building department are on the first floor and and city manager, administration and development services on the second.

Kingsport hopes to have the move complete by summer of 2020.

“We want city hall to remain at the heart of the city and I think this move will continue that,” said McReynolds.

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Kingsport Parks & Recreation Department is now accepting registration for youth baseball and softball. Leagues offered are for boys ages 5-16 and girls ages 5-15. The season will start in April and finish in June.

Registration deadlines:

Monday, March 12     Boys – ages 5-11, Girls – ages 5-12

Monday, April 2          Boys – ages 12-16, Girls – ages 13-15

Participants must live inside Kingsport City limits, attend Kingsport City Schools, and/or own Kingsport City property (business), to be eligible to participate. All registration will take place Monday through Friday at the Civic Auditorium, located at 1550 Fort Henry Drive, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

If you have participated in any Kingsport Parks and Recreation programs before, you may register online online at www.kingsportparksandrecreation.org.

For more information, please contact (423) 229-9459 or JasonWilburn@KingsportTN.gov.

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Share your thoughts on Kingsport’s public transit system and how KATS can improve services by taking a quick survey. Participants then receive 6 free KATS tickets!

Kingsport Area Transit Service (KATS) will offer the ‘Survey for Six Free Tickets’ promotion for one week beginning Monday, February 26th and ending Friday, March 2nd. KATS will offer six free bus tickets per person in the exchange for their time to fill out a brief on-board survey.

KATS will conduct the survey to learn more about public transit use and how to improve its services. The goal is to gather data on current and potential transit usage from passengers.  The objective is to obtain valuable information such as travel patterns and passenger characteristics so that KATS may gain insight on the quality of our services, improvement opportunities, as well as identifying our areas of success.

Surveys will be conducted through a quick one-on-one interview process. Surveyors will ride KATS buses, routes, and be available in the lobby of the Transit Center alongside passengers and complete a tablet-based survey. Passengers will also have the option to fill out a paper form to return to KATS.

KATS operates public fixed route services and Dial A Ride services for those who qualify and live within the city limits of Kingsport.

For more information about KATS, please visit www.kingsporttransit.org.

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Kingsport is pleased to announce it has received Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its budget.

The award represents a significant achievement by the city. It reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. In order to receive the budget award, Kingsport had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well a city’s budget serves as:
• a policy document
• a financial plan
• an operations guide
• a communications device

Budget documents must be rated “proficient” in all four categories, and in the fourteen mandatory criteria within those categories, to receive the award.

When a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award is granted to an entity, a Certificate of Recognition for Budget Presentation is also presented to the individual(s) or department designated as being primarily responsible for having achieved the award. City Manager Jeff Fleming and Budget Director Judy Smith received the certificate.

“This award represents years of sustained effort,” said Jeff Fleming, city manager. “We should never take this commendation for granted. Judy Smith and John Morris do a great job and it’s fitting that they are recognized for exceeding the highest national standards.”

There are over 1,600 participants in the Budget Awards Program. The most recent Budget Award recipients, along with their corresponding budget documents, are posted quarterly on GFOA’s website. Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.

For more information, please visit www.gfoa.org.

parks and rec logo

Kingsport Parks & Recreation Department is now accepting registration for youth baseball and softball. Leagues offered are for boys ages 5-16 and girls ages 5-15. The season will start in April and finish in June.

Registration deadlines:
Monday, March 12     Boys – ages 5-11, Girls – ages 5-12
Monday, April 2          Boys – ages 12-16, Girls – ages 13-15

Participants must live inside Kingsport City limits, attend Kingsport City Schools, and/or own Kingsport City property (business), to be eligible to participate. All registration will take place Monday through Friday at the Civic Auditorium, located at 1550 Fort Henry Drive, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

If you have participated in any Kingsport Parks and Recreation programs before, you may register online online at www.kingsportparksandrecreation.org.

For more information, please contact (423) 229-9459 or JasonWilburn@KingsportTN.gov.

 

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Lynn Tully headshotLynn Tully, Development Services Director for the City of Kingsport, TN has earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), an international recognition that denotes a mastery of skills in economic development, professional attainment and a commitment to personal and professional growth.

The CEcD exam was administered by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) on January 27-28, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. With over 20 years of experience in development and six years in economic development with the City of Kingsport, Tully has worked to encourage and promote retail, industrial and commercial development and operates closely with community partners to present the region as a best place to locate and grow business. Her work includes partnerships for existing business retention and expansions as well as new commercial attraction. She also promotes non-traditional economic development efforts in housing and residential attraction.

The CEcD designation recognizes qualified and dedicated practitioners in the economic development field and sets the standard of excellence within the profession. Candidates must pass a rigorous and comprehensive examination, which has three parts culminating in an oral interview and spans two intensive days. The exam tests a practitioner’s knowledge, proficiency and judgment in the following key areas of economic development:

  • business retention and expansion
  • finance & credit analysis
  • marketing and attraction
  • strategic planning
  • entrepreneurial & small business development
  • managing economic development organizations
  • neighborhood development strategies
  • real estate development & reuse
  • technology-led economic development
  • workforce development strategies

As highly competent economic development professionals, Certified Economic Developers work with public officials, business leaders and community members to create leadership to build upon and maximize the economic development sector.  Excellence in the economic development profession improves the well-being, quality of life and opportunities for individuals, businesses and communities. There are currently over 1,100 active CEcDs in the United States.

Tully was also appointed to serve on the Tennessee Housing Development Agency Board in June of 2016. Board appointments are made by the Governor and represent a variety of backgrounds from finance and banking to real estate and development. THDA was created to promote the production of more affordable new housing units for very low, low and moderate income individuals and families in the state, to promote the preservation and rehabilitation of existing housing units for such persons, and to bring greater stability to the residential construction industry and related industries so as to assure a steady flow of production of new housing units. She chairs the Tax Credit committee which awarded more than $419M in tax credits and bonds across the state to build or preserve affordable rental housing in 2016.

The Kingsport Farmers Market is now accepting vendor applications for the 2018 season! Applications can be filled out on the new Kingsport Farmers Market website. If you have homegrown produce, hand-made crafts or anything in between, consider joining us on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.

For over 40 years, Kingsport has enjoyed a vibrant and successful farmers market, named one of Tennessee’s best markets for a number of years. The collective impact of the market – affecting economic vitality, food availability and health of the community – cannot be overstated.

The Kingsport Farmers Market is making the process of becoming a vendor at the market easier than ever with these new resources:

  • Website -The new Kingsport Farmers Market website (kingsportfarmersmarket.org) has information and guidelines for becoming a vendor, facility rentals, programs offered at the market and ways to get involved.
  • Vendor Applications- For those interested in applying to be a vendor at the market, there is a digital application on the website or physical applications can be picked up at the Kingsport Carousel or Kingsport City Hall. Vendors will be accepted on a rolling basis, but will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Training Sessions- Training sessions will be setup prior to the market opening to train the 2018 season vendors on a new software, Manage My Market, which will be used to register vendors. Sessions will be held every Wednesday, starting February 7th, until the market opens. Held at the Kingsport Carousel, the sessions will run from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

After researching models of stable growth and flexibility and in collaboration with the Kingsport Farmers Market Association, the City of Kingsport will provide administrative support in the management of the Kingsport Farmers Market facility and weekly market for the upcoming season.

“In order to ensure a seamless transition and sharing of best practices, the City of Kingsport will continue to work closely with the association president and market manager,” said Chris McCartt assistant city manager for administration. “This will be a combined effort to uphold the legacy of the Kingsport Farmers Market for seasons to come.”

Over the coming months, city staff will begin rolling out several new programs, procedures and marketing efforts for the market. The implementation of these new opportunities will help with the ease and effectiveness of the market for its customers and vendors.

The administrative team will work with vendors to implement the ‘Manage My Market’ software. This software will provide easily accessible applications, online payments and booth information for potential vendors as well as up-to-date information for the public. The ‘Manage My Market’ software will also enable market staff to offer customizable booth rentals in order to keep the market full.

In addition to the software, the administrative team is also working with the USDA to offer SNAP benefits. Accepting SNAP has been a long standing request for the market, and the city is eager to implement the program for Kingsport.

For more information on the Kingsport Farmers Market, how to become a vendor or to sign up for our monthly newsletter, please visit kingsportfarmersmarket.org.

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 Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization (MTPO) Executive Board on Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 2:00 P.M. (EST) in the Bob Clear Conference Room, Improvement Building (first floor), 201 West Market Street, in (downtown) Kingsport, Tennessee. Copies of the agenda and supporting documentation can be found in the MTPO office 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 items for this meeting include discussion/adoption of Safety Performance Measures as established by TDOT and VDOT, an overview of adjustments to the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), and a discussion about TDOT’s Consolidated Planning Grant. 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.