Public Works Day is May 25!

The week of May 20th through May 26th is National Public Works Week as declared by the American Public Works Association. Kingsport Public Works professionals will be on hand on Friday, May 25th, for the popular Public Works Day event. The event is from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Farmers Market Pavilion, with equipment displays, kid-friendly activities and other information as well as several presentations explaining essential daily operations.

City Public Works professionals will demonstrate the work of those who plan, manage, and maintain the city’s essential infrastructure, including water, sewer and transportation networks.

Other Public Works group members also will detail the city’s efforts in solid waste collection and disposal, as well as maintenance of public buildings and grounds.

“We are blessed by an extraordinary group of employees who are dedicated to serving the taxpayers of Kingsport,” said Public Works Director Ryan McReynolds. “We very much appreciate the community taking a few minutes out of their day to visit with us at the Farmer’s Market Pavilion, where we can personally explain the many of services offered by the City of Kingsport.”

Lunch will also be provided for all those who attend!

What:    City of Kingsport Public Works Day

Where:  Farmer’s Market Pavilion

When:   Friday, May 25th (10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.)

If you have any questions, please contact Sheila Catron with the City of Kingsport Public Works Department at 423-229-9470 or sheilacatron@kingsporttn.gov. For more information, please visit www.kingsporttn.gov.

Bays Mountain Launches New Website

With the warmer weather on its way, Bays Mountain Park is making it easier than ever to plan your trip to the mountain. With the launch of a new website this week, the park is inviting visitors to take advantage of all that Bays Mountain has to offer.

The new website has a clean design, improved functionality and enhanced content focused on Bays Mountain’s mission to provide park information in the clearest and most accessible way.

“The new site is very user friendly and captures the true essence of the park in its design,” said Rob Cole, park manager at Bays Mountain. “We believe that this new site will allow our visitors to have a very informative experience as we continue to grow and increase opportunities at the park.”

Designed and created by The Net360, the website offers several additional functions that will help visitors when planning their trip to the park, including three separate calendars on the website. Each calendar will have its own theme, one for the planetarium, and another for daily nature programming and the third for special events.

“We are honored to work with some amazing clients and Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium is one of our favorites,” said David Cate, creative director at The Net360. “There’s nothing like the City of Kingsport’s gem here in Northeast Tennessee.”

Bays Mountain’s new website will be updated on a regular basis with news of special events, daily programs and park information. Visitors are encouraged to explore the website and sign up for the Bays Mountain e-newsletter at baysmountain.com.

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

Kids to Parks Day in Kingsport!

Join Kingsport is celebrating the 8th Annual Kids to Parks Day! With activities happening at Bays Mountain Park and with Kingsport Parks and Recreation, your kids will want to spend all day in a park!

On Saturday, May 19th, Bays Mountain Park will host a day of outdoor fun! Kids to Parks Day at Bays Mountain will take place from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The event highlights the nature programs offered at the Park, with extra programs including a touch table from 11:00 – 3:00 p.m. in front of the Nature Center and a scavenger hunt from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. in front of the Farmstead Museum. Nature program fees apply, but the touch table and scavenger hunt are free.

Kingsport Parks and Recreation is offering up a free rental at one of the Parks and Recreation centers to the winner of a Kids to Parks Day photo contest! All participants have to do is visit one of the four parks on May 19th, Borden Park, Kingsport Greenbelt, Centennial Park or Preston Forest Park, and snap a photo! Then post your photo on Facebook with the hashtag #KidsToParksDay and follow the Kingsport Parks and Recreation page.

Kids to Parks Day is a nationwide celebration of the great outdoors and is designed to connect kids and families with their local, state, and national parks and public lands. By discovering and exploring our public lands, kids across the country can learn about park stewardship, outdoor recreation, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), and the history of our country.

By teaching our kids to appreciate and enjoy our public lands, we can foster future outdoor enthusiasts and create the next generation of park stewards and caretakers of these important places.

For more information on Bays Mountain Park, please visit baysmountain.com or call 423-229-9447.

For more information on Kingsport Parks & Recreation, please visit kingsportparksandrecreation.org or call 423-343-9723.

Kingsport Aquatic Center Outdoor Park Opens Monday

The outdoor water park at the Kingsport Aquatic Center will open its gates on Monday, May 14 at 10:30 a.m.

Swimmers can enjoy two waterslides, the Eastman Credit Union 900-foot lazy river, climbing structure and play area with water cannons, lily pad crossing and concessions stand. New this year, guests can also rent one of the many outdoor cabanas.

“With all of the warm weather we have been having, we know everyone is excited to get in the pool” said Kari Matheney. “The Water Park Pass is going to come in handy this year if the recent weather is a predictor of this summer.”

The Kingsport Aquatic Center admission is based on industry standards. Upon arrival, children will be required to take off their shoes and be measured. If the child is 48” or taller, their admission to the park will cost $10. If the child is less than 48”, their admission cost is $8. Seniors are $8 and children 2 and under are free with a paying adult.

The Aquatic Center, both indoor pools and outdoor waterpark, will be open Memorial Day from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Outdoor waterpark hours: (beginning May 14th)

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday and Saturday 10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Sunday 12:00 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Check out a quick promo video here!

The Kingsport Aquatic Center is located at 1820 Meadowview Parkway, Kingsport. For more information about the outdoor waterpark, please visit the “Know Before You Go” page on www.swimkingsport.com or call 423-343-9758.

Kingsport Aquatic Center Celebrates National Water Safety Month

The Kingsport Aquatic Center will host International Water Safety Day on Tuesday, May 15 from 4:00 to 7:30 p.m. Prizes, such as swim lessons and Water Park passes, will be given out throughout the event.

“It’s so important to be familiar with basic water-safety skills, especially during summer months when people are more often in the water,” said Kari Matheney, director of the Kingsport Aquatic Center. “Learning to swim and the exposure to the water safety skills and messages that swimming lessons offer provide a lifelong foundation for drowning prevention.”

The Aquatic Center staff will host water safety demonstrations and provide water safety information. Children can take part in mini swim lessons to help determine at which swim level they should participate. Aquatic Center staff will be available to answer questions and discuss pool etiquette and safety.

International Water Safety Day schedule is as follows:

  • 4:00 – 4:45        Longfellow’s W.H.A.L.E Tales Movie on Water Safety
    • Legion Room
  • 5:00 – 5:20       Backboarding Demo – Lifeguard Demonstration on Spinal/Head Injuries
    • Outdoor Leisure Pool
  • 5:30 – 5:50       Mini Swim Lesson – Free Lesson & Placement Tests
    • Outdoor Leisure Pool
  • 6:00 – 6:45       Longfellow’s W.H.A.L.E. Tales Movie on Water Safety
    • Legion Room
  • 7:00 – 7:20       Mini Swim Lesson – Free lesson & Placement Tests
    • Outdoor Leisure Pool

May is dedicated to education about water safety and Governor Haslam has supported this initiative with an official proclamation. It helps bring attention to the fact that drowning is the leading cause of accidental death among children 5 and under, and the second leading cause of accidental death in children 5 – 14 years-old. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, every day about 10 people die from unintentional drowning. The main factor that contributes to drowning is lack of swimming ability.

If you or your child are interested in swimming lessons, please call 423-343-9758 or visit www.swimkingsport.com.

Kingsport’s Original Long Island Iced Tea

History of Kingsport’s Long Island Iced Tea

The story begins in the 1920’s in the midst of prohibition. Charles Bishop, aka “Old Man Bishop” is known for creating the original Long Island Iced Tea recipe while residing on Long Island in Kingsport, Tennessee. Packing quite the “punch”, the original recipe includes five liquors and maple syrup. In the 1940’s, Old Man Bishop’s son, Ransom Bishop tweaked the original recipe by adding lemon, lime and cola.

To learn more about this exciting story, check out the links below:

Visit Kingsport

Kingsport reclaims stake as home of the ‘Long Island Iced Tea’

Oh, it’s on! New York and Tennessee towns both claim Long Island Iced Tea was created there

Kingsport, Tennessee Reclaims Part Of Its History As Home Of The Original Long Island Iced Tea

 

BMA Moves Forward to Balance Budget

City Manager Jeff Fleming presented a balanced budget today with no tax increase. In order to balance the budget and deal with a shortfall of $644,000, cuts had to be made.

As city manager, Fleming is required to present a balanced general fund budget each year. He shared city efficiencies, strong operations and a declining employee per capita – doing more with less. Even with strong operations, the city is left with a shortfall of $644,000. This shortfall is a result of a reduction in educational funding by the Sullivan County Commission.

Below are the options considered by the BMA at the work session:

Option A – Cut Services/No Tax Increase

  • 20% reduction in funding for special programs ($98,400)
  • Cut planned debt – capital projects ($339,722)
  • Cut OneKingsport funding by 35% ($245,000).

Option B – Cut Services and Raise Taxes 2 Cents

  • 10% reduction in funding for special programs ($49,400)
  • Cut planned debt – capital projects. ($241,122)
  • Keep OneKingsport projects whole.
  • The average homeowner will see a $7/year increase.

Option C – Raise Taxes 4 Cents

  • Keep special programs, capital funding and OneKingsport whole and projects on schedule.
  • The average homeowner will see a $14/year increase.

After much deliberation, the BMA moved forward with Option A, a cutting of services and no tax increase.

Next steps include passing the fiscal year 2019 budget. To pass the budget, there must be two readings by the BMA. Those meetings will occur on June 5th and 19th.

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To view the General Budget presentation, please click here.

To view the Utilities Budget presentation, please click here.

To view the Kingsport City Schools Budget presentation, please click here.

 

Public Art Master Plan

The Kingsport community is invited to share their input for a Public Art Master Plan via a quick 5-minute survey. The link to the survey is at the bottom of this release.

In addition, a discussion session to help plan for future public art ideas is planned for Thursday, May 10, at 4:00 p.m. in room 310 of the Kingsport Renaissance Center.

The city’s public art program was created in 2006, and includes a ‘Percent for Art’ Ordinance and established a Public Art Committee. The Committee created Sculpture Walk in 2007 and has annually exhibited contemporary outdoor sculpture for over 10 years. Over the years, several sculptural pieces have been purchased or commissioned for Kingsport and more recently, murals have been added to help celebrate the community.

“In 2017, the Office of Cultural Arts organized two temporary public art installations, Humanae and Rise Together Kingsport,” said Bonnie Macdonald, director of the Office of Cultural Arts. “Now it is time to work on a new plan of action and we want the whole city to share their creative ideas!”

The public is encouraged to fill out the survey and attend the discussion session.

Survey Link

For more information, please visit EngageKingsport.com or call 423-392-8414.

Bays Mountain Day Camp Registration Open

Bays Mountain’s Summer Day Camp is the perfect combination of adventure and education! Registration is now open, and with tuition only $60 per child, it’s a win for you and your kids.

Each week of Day Camp is filled with outdoor, nature-oriented activities and adventures. Day camp hours are Monday thru Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Campers should bring a bag lunch with a drink. Parents or grandparents should plan to stay on the first morning for a short orientation of the week’s activities and expectations.

Sessions are limited to 30 campers per week. Session dates are as follows:

Session dates for students entering 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades in Fall 2018:

  • June 4th – 8th
  • June 18th – 22nd
  • July 2nd – 6th
  • July 16th – 20th
  • July 23rd – 27th

Session dates for students entering 4th, 5th, and 6th grades in Fall 2018:

  • June 11th – 15th
  • June 25th – 29th
  • July 9th – 13th

A current Family Membership is required to register your child or grandchild for Day Camp. Family Memberships are $35 and allow you and your family free entry into the Park for one vehicle and up to six free passes per program (planetarium show, barge ride and nature program) every time you visit the Park.

To register your child for Day Camp, please pick up an application in the Nature Center or download the application from baysmountain.com. Payments should be made with the submission of applications. Please make check(s) payable to “Bays Mountain Park Association.” Refunds will be given up to two weeks before the session. After that, refunds will be given only if the slot can be filled.

For more information on Bays Mountain Park, please visit baysmountain.com or call 423-229-9447.

Homegrown – Gardening Series at the Kingsport Farmers Market

Have you always wanted to learn how to grow your own herbs or create your own raised bed? Then join us for Homegrown! Homegrown is a free gardening series at the Kingsport Farmers Market presented by Keep Kingsport Beautiful.

The Homegrown series will teach participants the skills needed to help their gardens flourish. No experience in gardening is required to participate in the series. All classes will be taught at the Kingsport Farmers Market, 308 Clinchfield St.

Homegrown dates and times:

  • May 12 – Gardening 101: 9:00 a.m.
  • May 16 – Container & Straw Bale Gardening: 12:00 p.m.
  • June 9 – Container & Raised Bed Gardening: 10:30 a.m.
  • July 21 – Herb Gardening: 10:30 a.m.
  • August 11 – Winter Gardening: 9:00 a.m.
  • September 15th – Composting 9:00 a.m.

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