Kingsport POPS!

Join us for Kingsport POPS!, a centennial July 4th celebration that will be one for the history books! Food trucks, local restaurants and music will kick off the evening with a special concert by Symphony of the Mountains. Symphony of the Mountains will play current and past big hit pop songs to keep the expanded Independence Day celebration going!

The winner of the 2017 Honda Civic will be announced and given the keys to their new car! The celebration will close with a spectacular fireworks display behind the clock tower.

We hope to see everyone out for the next city signature centennial event!

4th of July Poster

Opening Day for the Kingsport Mets will be a Homerun for the Centennial

K-Mets and City of Kingsport Team Up for a Celebration of a new season and 100 years for the city

The City of Kingsport and the Kingsport Mets are joining forces on Sunday, June 25th in the celebration of both opening day at Hunter Wright Stadium and the city’s centennial. With an action-packed Sunday afternoon designed around nine innings of baseball, all ages are surely to enjoy.

Celebrating in true centennial fashion, this special home opener includes a single-game name change in which the club will be known as the ‘Kingsport Spirit’ in all references throughout the game.

Players and coaches will sport special, one-time-only jerseys that showcase various images of Kingsport through the years. Starting at the third inning of the game, fans will have an opportunity to buy a game-worn jersey for $100, while supplies last.

Proceeds from the jerseys will go to the Kingsport Archives. This department has been instrumental in the celebration of 2017 as well as providing photographs for the centennial jerseys. Other centennial merchandise will also be available and even giveaways will occur between innings.

Pregame festivities include Kingsport Mayor John Clark throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, and he, on behalf of the city, will receive a ceremonial bat signed by the Kingsport Mets. Also, Carla Karst, a Kingsport native, will sing the national anthem.

Appropriately so, this game is also the City of Kingsport Employee Appreciation Night, recognizing and showing appreciation for all the hardworking and dedicated individuals that serve our city.

Opening day is Sunday, June 25th against the Johnson City Cardinals. The first pitch is slated for 4:00 p.m. with gates opening at 3:00 p.m. Hunter Wright Stadium is located at 800 Granby Rd, just off Stone Drive.

For more information regarding promotions, ticket sales or the 2017 Kingsport Mets, visit the club online at www.kmets.com or follow on Twitter at @Kingsport_Mets.

For more information regarding Kingsport’s Centennial and other upcoming events, please visit www.kingsport100.org.

“Safe Exchange Zone”

The Kingsport Police Department is offering a “Safe Exchange Zone” service to citizens. K.P.D.’s “Safe Exchange Zone” consists of two designated parking spaces in the parking lot behind Kingsport City Hall, located at 225 West Center Street, adjacent to the Kingsport Justice Center. These two parking spaces are under video surveillance, 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week, 365 days-a-year, with parking being restricted to a 15-minute time limit.

The concept behind K.P.D.’s “Safe Exchange Zone” is to give citizens a safe place to conduct transactions with other individuals, particularly individuals who are complete strangers, but also with known individuals with whom they expect potential problems.

More and more citizens are making purchases in person after initially seeing something listed for sale either online or in a traditional newspaper classified advertisement.  Classic social media applications, such as Facebook, have offered online yard sales for quite some time.  Newer more specialized services, such as LetGo, offer free, person-to-person, mobile classifieds applications, that allow users to buy from, sell to, and chat with others locally.

“Safe Exchange Zone” offers a clearly marked, well-lit, and very public spot, under constant video surveillance, strategically located adjacent to the Kingsport Police Department, as a site to conduct these person to person transactions between complete strangers.

On a national scale, frightening stories have been told of crimes, such as thefts, robberies, assaults, or worse, being committed during these types of transactions.  Fortunately, the Kingsport Police Department has not seen this particular type of crime trend locally.  It is our hope that this proactive approach of offering a “Safe Exchange Zone” to our citizens will help this positive cycle continue in Kingsport.

As an added benefit, K.P.D.’s “Safe Exchange Zone” can also be used for child custody swaps between divorced or estranged parents, particularly when there has been a history of significant problems or disagreements between the parents during past exchanges.

safezone

Recycling at Civic Auditorium

Due to planned construction, congestion and parking issues associated with the DBHS expansion project, this County Recycling Convenience Center will be closing on June 15.

Please visit one of our 5 other Kingsport locations:

  • 1921 Brookside Lane (at City Landfill)
  • 609 Industry Drive (across from Wastewater Plant)
  • 101 Lakecrest Drive (in Colonial Heights near Ingles)
  • Sullivan Gardens School
  • Indian Springs School

For more information, please call 423-229-9400.

‘GateKeyper’ Greets Residents & Visitors to Downtown

Kingsport has another colorful creative piece of art for residents and visitors to admire – the ‘GateKeyper’ by Joe Maye. It’s located at the intersection of Center and Sullivan Street.

‘The GateKeyper,’ is a neo-cubist piece meant as a welcoming to the downtown community. The area of the installation influenced the title and idea of the mural, as it is known as “The Gateway.” The mural portrays a key approaching its destination, held by a figure with variable eyes.

“The variable eyes signify the multiple influences that affect the path to which we, as individuals but also a community, will move forward, expand, and develop our future,” said artist Joe Maye.

To view a time-lapse video of the mural, please visit the City of Kingsport Facebook page!

Maye’s mural is included in the Public Mural Program. Other murals completed from the establishment of this program include ‘Hamilton: The Giraffe’ located on the side of The 101 building on Main Street and the Bellafina Chocolates mural which is still in progress. It’s located on the side of the Bellafina Chocolates building on Cherokee Street – and they’re encouraging the public to help them paint the background! Check out Bellafina Chocolates on Facebook for more information.

Kingsport Mural Arts Program is funded in part by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission. For more information, please visit www.engagekingsport.com.

joy maye mural

Don’t Get Blinded!

Check Out The Solar Exhibit Creation

Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium is happy to announce their latest exhibit creation for the public. The display highlights the major points regarding total solar eclipses, especially the one coming up on August 21!

The exhibit features wonderful design elements, including nine different panels. Visitors can learn about eclipses, how to view them safely, what phenomena to experience, some insightful quotes, and a large map of the eclipse shadow path as it crosses the United States. It’s important to show just how close the path of totality is to the Tri-Cities area – only about three hours away!

The exhibit was a joint effort of the exhibits and planetarium departments. The principle players were Cassy Rose and Jason Dorfman, respectfully. The exhibit was developed in conjunction with the Park’s main planetarium show, “Totality,” which was also produced in-house by the planetarium and exhibits departments and is now showing in at least 30 theaters across the US at this time.

The new exhibit is on display adjacent to the main lobby of the Nature Center. The planetarium show is offered most days up through August 20. Please visit baysmountain.com for show times.

solar eclipse exhibit

Bays Mountain Park employees Cassy Rose and Jason Dorfman created the Total Solar Eclipse exhibit.

Kingsport sets one of the lowest tax rates in city history

With reappraisals recently completed in Sullivan County, taxpayers in Kingsport are reaping the benefits of higher property values that enable the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to set the fourth lowest tax rate in city history.  The new rate is $1.9750 per $100 of assessed value, while the previous rate was $2.07.

The tax rate had been as high as $2.39 in 2000.

Tennessee assesses residential property at 25 percent of market value and 40 percent for commercial/industrial. In many states, it is not uncommon to see property taxes applied to 100 percent of assessed value.

“Tennessee has a rollback provision that is very favorable to residential property owners,” said City Manager Jeff Fleming. “This, coupled with the fact that taxes are only assessed on ¼ of the property value, makes Tennessee an extraordinarily affordable place to live.”

In cities that are located in two or more counties, the tax rate is also equalized between counties. “For the first time in recent memory, the Kingsport city tax rate in both Hawkins and Sullivan Counties is the same.”

While the rate is one of the lowest in city history, the combination of rate and individual property value determines the actual out-of-pocket cost to a homeowner.

“If your property is above the citywide median value, your out-of-pocket might be slightly higher. If it is below median, you may actually pay less out-of-pocket than you did four years ago. The basic rule is that the city receives the same aggregate amount, but the burden is shifted,” Fleming explained. “It’s Tennessee’s built-in tax relief for those who need it most.”

Under the new tax rate, annual city taxes on a $50,000 home would be $247, a $175,000 home would pay $740, a $300,000 home would pay $1,481, and a $500,000 home would pay $2,469.

Annual taxes on a $500,000 business would be $3,950, a $1,000,000 business would pay $7,900 and a $5,000,000 business would pay $39,500 and a $15,000,000 business would pay $118,500.

“A growing tax base is the sign of a fundamentally-sound, healthy community,” Fleming added. “Kingsport continues to be the lowest cost among the Tri-Cities in terms of taxes and fees. We provide the highest quality services with the greatest value proposition to our customers.”

In 2016, the city’s ten largest property taxpayers accounted for 33% of all taxable assessed value – that’s down from 37.5% in 2005. A more diversified tax base is one factor that helped improve the city’s financial ratings from “good” to “strong.”

2017 tax rate

 

Saturdays with the Chef

The Saturday cooking series offers a free cooking demo showcasing some of our local chefs each Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. in June and July. This summer, discover how to take advantage of those peak season produce items with creative tips and new recipes from our chefs. Buying from our local farmer’s market not only boosts the local economy but also is a great way to provide healthy and fresh food for you and your family!

The series is sponsored by Food City, Healthy Kingsport, Visit Kingsport and the City of Kingsport. For more information, click here.

Postcard Chef Event

Top 5 Outdoor Spots in Kingsport

Kingsport is a great city to find something to do outdoors. We have many natural resources within a 10-minute driving distance, why not take advantage of them?

  1. Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium

A local Kingsport nature preserve, Bays Mountain is full of adventures and things to see! Did you know you can take a barge ride around the lake or ride on the 300-ft zip line? If climbing is your skill, try out the adventure ropes course!

It’s not only a haven for hikers and mountain bikers, offering roughly 40 miles of trails, but it’s also for animal observers. A nature center with a state-of-the-art planetarium theater features example animal habitats while the paved walking trails around the center provide visitors an up-close view of local wildlife. Visitors can see wolves, deer, bobcats, raptors, reptiles and more.

For more information, visit www.baysmountain.com.

  1. Kingsport Greenbelt

The Kingsport Greenbelt is paved multipurpose trail connecting neighborhoods, parks, downtown commercial districts, schools, and activity centers. It features a pathway that meanders along gentle streams, wanders through marshlands, glides across open meadows, and passes historic buildings and houses that have been preserved and restored.

Along the Greenbelt, travelers can use water fountains and refill stations, picnic shelters, playground and benches. Fishing piers and boat ramps can be seen and accessed on the Netherland Inn side of the trail. The 9-mile trail is accessible throughout the city of Kingsport, with popular spots being behind PetSmart and Riverwalk Park.

For more information, visit www.kingsportparksandrecreation.org.

  1. South Fork Holston River

Because mountains and the Holston River border it, Kingsport offers many opportunities for adventures. Throughout the summer, the river is full of kayaks, canoes, small boats and even river tubes.

There are locations along the Greenbelt between mile markers 7 and 9 to access the river. Boat ramps, fishing platforms and picnic areas are open to the public. For more information on river activities, visit www.kingsportparksandrecreation.org.

The river area is also a great location for bird watchers. To find out more about bird watching in the Kingsport area, visit www.kingsportbirdingtrail.com.

  1. Warriors’ Path State Park

Attention mountain biking fanatics – located on the shores of the Patrick Henry Reservoir on the Holston River, Warriors’ Path is home to an internationally renowned mountain bike trail system (which is a designated National Recreation Trail).

The 950-acre park is also home to premier boating and fishing activity, hiking trails, an award-winning nature education program and a nationally recognized golf course.

For more information, visit www.tnstateparks.com.

  1. Kingsport Centennial Park –Coming July 2017!

After careful study and community input, the Centennial Commission developed a plan for a financially feasible and sustainable legacy project.

This park is a gift we give to the city for current and future residents of Kingsport to enjoy. Located in the historic district of Kingsport, Centennial Park will feature an interactive water fountain, historic brick walkway, greenspace, benches and public art pieces!

In August, a grand opening park party is set to be the first official event! For more information, visit www.kingsport100.org.

‘Totality’ – You Don’t Want To Miss This

Bays Mountain is proud to announce their latest planetarium show creation, “Totality,” running now through August 20, 2017. “Totality” is a fascinating look at all the wonders of eclipses, especially total solar eclipses.

An eclipse is described as when one celestial object blocks another from view. The staff of the planetarium and exhibits departments at Bays Mountain produced this program. It examines what eclipses are, how and when they occur, and what wonderful sights they create. The program also looks back to a fascinating period in scientific discovery when general relativity was proven with the photographic recording of a total solar eclipse.

The planetarium show is followed by an update on the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse and a brief tour of the current night sky.

The production includes a variety of wonderful styles – from spectacular space environments to humorous pop-up books. A very special part of the show relates, in a very human way, what happens when you are caught in the shadow of the Moon and the Sun is plunged into a total solar eclipse.

The show runs about 35 minutes in length. During May, the show is offered at 4:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and at 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. During the months of June-August, the show will be offered at 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and at 1:00, 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

To see a trailer and learn more about the show, please visit Bays Mountain Park.

Eclipse Poster