Kingsport’s Assistant City Manager, Ryan McReynolds, Named TCAPWA 2018 Leader of the Year

The City of Kingsport’s Assistant City Manager for Operations, Ryan McReynolds, recently received the 2018 Public Works Leader of the Year award by the Tennessee Chapter of the American Public Works Association (TCAPWA).

The Leader of the Year program honors excellence and dedication in public service by recognizing career service achievements of individual public works professionals and officials, from both the public and private sectors. As one of the most prestigious awards presented by the Tennessee chapter of the association, the Leader award is given to honor the public works professional’s career, in which he or she demonstrated excellence in public works, services and infrastructure in his or her community through advancement of public works services and technology.

McReynolds has been with the City of Kingsport for more than 14 years and has over 24 years of public works experience. His Civil Engineering degree, coupled with a Master of Business Administration, provides the citizens of Kingsport confidence that the city is moving services forward while maintaining the lowest cost structure. The departments that McReynolds ultimately oversees include drinking water treatment and distribution, wastewater treatment and collection, stormwater management, streets maintenance, sanitation collection, traffic management, fleet operations, property and building maintenance, transportation planning and the city’s engineering division.

“We are blessed to have such a wonderful team within Public Works,” explains McReynolds.

When pressed to describe the department’s success, he explains that combining Mayor and Aldermen support with the dedication and ownership of the city’s workforce provides the right recipe for success.

“Our board fully understands the expectations of the citizens evidenced by their financial commitment to the city’s infrastructure. Our employees are our neighbors and truly care about the future of Kingsport,” stated McReynolds.

The city has moved forward in many ways under the direction of McReynolds.

  • PaveKingsport: the city’s sustainable paving program that allows for every road to be paved in a 20-25 year cycle
  • Automated Garbage, Recycle & Leaf Collection: the conversion enhanced the service level while lowering the cost structure
  • Automated Water Meter Reading: provides a safer work environment while lowering the cost structure
  • Raw Water Tunnel: construction of the tunnel has provided a protected source of drinking water for the next century
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant Rebuild: ensures that we are protecting our citizens and environment

“Our employees understand that they have the privilege of running the city’s operations on a daily basis,” said McReynolds. “Not everyone has that privilege – not everyone can go home at night knowing that they produced water clean enough to mix with baby formula, that they cleaned the streets and removed the trash for their neighbors, or that they provided a safe passage through city traffic.”

For more information about APWA’s awards program, contact Rhonda Wilhite, Awards & Chapter Relations Associate, at (816) 595-5261 or rwilhite@apwa.net.

Ryan McReynolds at booth

Called BMA Work Session – Presentation by Ballad Health

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The City of Kingsport BMA will hold a special called work session on Thursday, December 6, at 7:00 p.m. at the Higher Education Center, located at 300 W Market Street. The meeting is open to the public.

Purpose of the meeting: 

  • For context, to understand the historical timeline of the Wellmont-MSHA merger and creation of Ballad Health leading up to today
  • To provide an opportunity for Ballad Health officials to present information and answer pre-submitted questions from the Board of Mayor and Aldermen (on behalf of the community) about the Trauma Center, NICU, and to explain services that will remain or expand in Kingsport
  • To allow interaction between Ballad officials and the BMA. The public is invited to observe and listen, but there will not be an opportunity for public questions or comment.

Time/Location:

Format:

  • This is an official BMA work session
  • BMA members will pre-submit questions based on input they have received from community
  • Community members can directly pre-submit questions on the city’s website here
  • Due to time constraints, specific questions may not be able to be answered, but every effort will be made

Path Forward:

  • The Board of Mayor and Aldermen has no specific authority to approve or disapprove
  • Community members have as much direct access to influence the process as the BMA
  • Pre-hospital care (EMS, ALS) is of particular interest as it is provided by  the City & County
  • The BMA would like to develop a strong working relationship with Ballad Health on the provision of integrated healthcare in Kingsport and the region

Please submit your question for Ballad Health through the link in the ticker on city website at www.kingsporttn.gov or follow this link: Submit Question to Ballad Health.

What: Ballad Health Called Work Session

Where: Higher Education Center, 300 W Market Street, Kingsport

When: Thursday, December 6, at 7:00 p.m.

A Polar Plunge at the Aquatic Center

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The Kingsport Aquatic Center is happy to invite you to Santa’s South Pole Swim.

On Saturday, December 8, from 6 to 8 p.m., bring your kids for a holiday pool party at KAC’s indoor facilities. Don’t worry—the water’s warmer than the Antarctic Ocean. In addition to regular pool time fun, guests can join in the reindeer games, paddle board with the elves, and learn how to sled in the water.

All pre-registered kids under 12 will also be able to decorate a stocking to take home, provided by the KAC. Extra stockings will be available on a first-come first-serve basis, so the KAC strongly recommends pre-registering for the event to ensure your child gets to decorate a stocking.

Stocking decoration is reserved for children aged 12 and under, but all are welcome to swim. Pre-registration costs $5 per ticket. All day-of swimmer tickets will cost $5, and all spectator tickets are $2. Again, pre-registration is recommended to guarantee a stocking.

Purchase your tickets for Santa’s South Pole Swim by visiting the Special Events page at swimkingsport.com. For more information, please call the KAC at (423)343-9758.

Buffalo Grasslands Boardwalk Dedication

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The outdoor trail that connects one end of Kingsport to the other has a new addition – the Buffalo Grasslands Boardwalk. Join us for a dedication on November 30 at 11:00 a.m. The boardwalk is located at the Greenbelt access point of Indian Trail Drive Trailhead, which is behind PetSmart.

The wooden boardwalk, built with uniquely treated Eastman A wood, is a quarter mile loop located in a wetlands marsh. The elevated walkway design allows the Reedy Creek floodwaters to pass under it while providing local wildlife, such as birds, frogs, and insects, a good home. Birdwatching is a popular hobby that can be done from just about anywhere on the boardwalk.

The project was partially funded through a Recreation Trails Program Grant of $120,000. These grants are administered by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

Spoden and Wilson Consulting designed and engineered the boardwalk, while Building Character was the construction contractor. The boardwalk is ADA compliant.

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

Mountain Bike Night Rides Are Back at Bays Mountain

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Hit the trails at night again this year with Reedy Creek Bicycles and Bays Mountain Park.

Join Reedy Creek at Bays Mountain Park on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month November through February for a nighttime ride that’s sure to bring some thrills to our dark winter evenings. Each ride will be led by people from Reedy Creek Bicycles through different trails of the park. Riders will meet in the mountain bike parking lot to begin the ride at 6 p.m. on each date.

Though there are no age or skill level restrictions, helmet and bike lights are required. If you’re new to night rides or mountain biking in general, stop by Reedy Creek Bicycles in downtown Kingsport where their knowledgeable staff will have you ready to ride in no time.

Dates for the night rides are November 27, December 11, January 8 and 22, and February 12 and 26. All dates are subject to weather and trail conditions. Call Reedy Creek Bicycles at (423)765-2770 or visit their Facebook page for more information. To learn more about Bays Mountain Park, please visit baysmountain.com or call 423-229-9447.

KAC Hosts First Annual Tread-Away Turkey Day

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Feeling sluggish after a full day of feasting on a delicious Thanksgiving meal? The Kingsport Aquatic Center has the perfect pick-me-up.

The KAC’s first annual Tread-Away Turkey Day is the ideal way to ease back into an active lifestyle post-holiday. This 30 minute class will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday, November 23, in the toasty Palmer Center Foundation Warm Pool.

“This is the first time we’ve done this event, so we want people to understand what this is going to be,” said KAC Assistant Manager Chassy Smiley. “What it’ll be is a lot of fun.”

Attendees will enjoy half an hour of low-intensity treading water activities designed to get you moving and back on track for the rest of the holiday season. Upbeat music and enthusiastic instructor guarantee that Tread-Away Turkey Day will beat your regular early morning job any day.

Tickets are $2 and can be purchased at the KAC main desk on the day of the class, like any other regularly scheduled class. For more information, please call the KAC at (423)343-9758.

Fun Holiday Happenings with Parks & Recreation

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Santa’s getting ready for the holiday season and he’s got a few fun things planned with the Kingsport Parks and Recreation Department!

Letters to Santa

  • Let Santa know what you’re wishing for this holiday season and he’ll send you a letter back! Stop by V.O. Dobbins to drop your letter in a special letterbox next to the gym from now until December 10. Letters can also be mailed to 301 Louis Street, Kingsport, 37660. Don’t forget to include a return address. Please allow one week for a response.

Winter Break Camps

  • Looking to stay active after a fun-filled holiday? Enroll in the Holiday Hangout Camp or New Year’s Camp! Campers will enjoy different sports, games, crafts, movies and more! Each camp is $20 per child. The Holiday Hangout is December 26-28 and New Year’s Camp is January 2-4.

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

Contracted Paving to Begin November 10

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Asphalt milling, paving and road improvements in the Ridgefields, Rivermont, and Fort Robinson areas will begin on Saturday, November 10. The contracted paving work is expected to be completed by the end of November.

The areas of improvements include:

  • Ridgefields Road from Riverport Road to Chippendale Road
  • Pendragon Road
  • Fort Robinson Drive
  • Rivermont Drive to Lawson Drive.

Work will include subgrade repairs, milling, placement of new asphalt, and new asphalt markings. W-L Construction and Paving will be the contractor performing this work for the city.

Signs will mark the construction zones and lane closures.  Drivers are asked to use caution in the areas during this time.

If you have any questions, please contact Hank Clabaugh with the City of Kingsport Engineering Division at 423-229-9475.  Thanks for your cooperation during this road improvements project.

Contracted Paving Map

 

“Planetary Visions” Return to Bays Mountain Planetarium

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Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium brings a new alternative feature to the dome-screen starting Saturday, November 3. “Planetary Visions” will run through December 31.

Revisit this beloved program the planetarium first showed a few years ago on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. through the end of the year. “Planetary Visions” is a fantastic, interactive program that is best described as an adventurous tour of the Solar System. With its whimsical, flying robot main character, Toggle, and the interactivity of the operator with the show and the audience, this is a treat for all who attend.

This program was produced by Bays Mountain Productions and highlights the incredible talents of the exhibits and planetarium staff. The program includes a live tour of the current night sky from the planetarium operator, who can answer any questions guests might have about what they see in the stars. The show runs about 40 minutes. All planetarium show tickets are $5.

The ongoing main feature at the planetarium, “Sunstruck,” plays Tuesday through Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 1 and 4 p.m. In this show, discover how the sun came to support life, how it threatens life as we know it and how its energy will one day fade away. This show also includes a night sky tour, and runs 40 minutes.

Bays Mountain also offers evening observing sessions through the end of November, called StarWatch. This free outdoor program allows the public to enjoy the splendor of the night sky at the park’s observatories. Visit the park Saturday evenings in November at 6 p.m. to gaze the moon’s craters and witness the celestial cycle of star birth and death. If the weather is uncooperative, an alternative activity will be held in the planetarium.

For more information on Bays Mountain’s planetarium shows, please visit baysmountain.com or call 423-229-9447.