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This month, the City of Kingsport will begin consolidating four government buildings and multiple departments into one new City Hall location at 415 Broad St. The transition will provide improved efficiency, accessibility and convenience to residents.

Progress on the move to the six-floor building, formerly the Regions Bank building, will be announced through “Kingsport is on the move” updates via the Kingsport Alerts page on Facebook and the city’s website at www.kingsporttn.gov/onthemove.

“We’re looking long term,” Kingsport Deputy City Manager Ryan McReynolds said. “By consolidating, there will be considerable savings to Kingsport taxpayers. Instead of maintaining and updating four buildings, we will have one convenient location, which will improve customer service and efficiency and reduce confusion.”

The new location is ADA-compliant, and visitors will have access to more than 270 nearby parking spots. In addition to 75 parking spots at the new City Hall building, parking also is available in city lots located on Clay Street and New Street and at Kingsport Public Library and East Sullivan Street.

The consolidation is anticipated to be complete by this summer. When complete, city services and departments will be at these locations in the building:

Floor 1

  • Building Division
  • City Clerk
  • Code Enforcement
  • Customer Service/Bill Pay

Floor 2

  • Budget
  • City Manager
  • Economic Development
  • Planning
  • Community Development

Floor 3

  • Board of Mayor and Aldermen Meeting Room
  • Human Resources
  • Legal & Risk Departments
  • Public Information & Communications

Floor 4

  • Purchasing
  • Leisure Services
  • Finance

Floor 5

  • Archives
  • (GIS) Maps

Floor 6

  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Kingsport Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization (MTPO)
  • Public Works Administration

“Our new city hall building reflects the accessibility the city wants to provide to our residents, while also adhering to the high standards set by our Kingsport community,” McReynolds said.

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The City of Kingsport is excited to launch ConnectKingsport, a new mobile application that is powered by SeeClickFix. This application is a citizen-first approach that allows residents to have a direct line of communication to request services and report non-emergency issues such as potholes and graffiti. The app will also be a great source of information on all things Kingsport, with links to the city website, animal services, ongoing events and more.

The ConnectKingsport app uses GPS to recognize your location and gives you a menu of common quality-of-life conditions to select from when submitting a request. The app also allows you to upload pictures or videos to accompany your request. Residents can track the status of reports they, or other members of the community, have submitted until the issue is resolved.

“When maintenance requests come in, they will be instantly routed and passed into Cartegraph, the city’s work and infrastructure management system,” said Kristen Steach, public works asset manager. “By pairing our new app and Cartegraph systems together, city field crews can now see and respond to requests in record time, automatically notifying citizens every step of the way.”

Back at the office, city staff will leverage powerful dashboards and reporting tools to identify hot spots, increase productivity, prioritize projects and spend tax dollars smarter.

This new application not only allows citizens to report concerns, but also to view and track concerns submitted by their neighbors. Citizens will have access to helpful links to city services and updates on local events.

To download the free app, go to the App Store or Google Play and search “ConnectKingsport” to find the app. Download the free app today to be a part of making Kingsport a great place to live, work and play!

To view the ConnectKingsport media kit, please click here. For more information on the app, please click here.

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The Kingsport Public Library has installed a new StoryWalk® in Glen Bruce Park to encourage reading and outdoor activity for families in an interactive format.

The new title is Hogwash by Karma Wilson. It’s a fun story of a farmer giving the animals a bath. It all goes well until he tries to wash the hogs.

StoryWalk, a system created for outdoor spaces with numbered stations that contain laminated pages from children’s books, can be found in all 50 states and internationally.

“With the return of the nice weather, it is the perfect time to enjoy the Storywalk in Glen Bruce Park,” said Chris Markley, manager of the Kingsport Public Library.

The library plans to change the stories quarterly, and new books will be announced on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kingsportlibrary/.

Participants are encouraged to share photos via social media and tag the Kingsport Public Library on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Participants also are encouraged to visit the library to check out books to share together in the park or at home.

Glen Bruce Park is located at 414 Broad St., in downtown Kingsport, adjacent to the library. Free parking is available.

Anne Ferguson created the StoryWalk concept, and it was launched in 2007 at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier, Vermont.

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Join Bays Mountain Park in celebrating the 10th Annual Kids to Parks Day! Visit the park on Saturday, May 15 for a day of outdoor fun with a scavenger hunt and touch table.

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.

Kids to Parks Day at Bays Mountain will take place from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. The event highlights the nature programs offered at the park, with extra programs including touch tables from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Stop by the information table in front of the Nature Center to pick up your stamp sheet. Collect all stamps and receive a prize. Nature programs and barge ride fees apply, but the touch tables are free upon entry.

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.

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Mayor Shull has officially declared May as Water Safety Month in Kingsport, and the Kingsport Aquatic Center is celebrating with Water Safety Day this Saturday, May 15.

“We take water safety very seriously at the Aquatic Center, in, on and around the water,” said Madison Gump, KAC Operation Supervisor of Programming. “We’re excited to offer this opportunity to help you learn more about water safety.”

Beginning at 1 p.m., join the KAC  to learn about the importance of staying safe around the water. This fun, educational afternoon will include trivia, prizes, safety demonstrations and more as you explore topics of water safety. You’ll learn how to keep your kiddos safe whether you’re swimming at the Kingsport Aquatic Center or anywhere else this summer!

The KAC will also have an information table available starting at 12:30 p.m. where you can learn about the many programs the KAC offers, including swim lessons, the Junior Viperfish Summer Swim Team and the Viperfish Masters Team.

Water Safety Day is free with KAC daily admission. To learn more about the Kingsport Aquatic Center and its programs, visit swimkingsport.com or call 423-343-9758.

City work crews will be making road repairs along West Center Street on Wednesday, May 5 starting around noon. During this time, the right lane will be closed near the intersection of W Sullivan St.

Motorists are urged to slow down, obey all traffic signs and use extreme caution when traveling in this area.

If you have any questions, please contact (423) 343-9823.

West Center Street lane closure map

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Join Kingsport Public Library and the Friends of the Kingsport Public Library for the next in the Behind the Book series on May 6th at 6:30 p.m. Behind the Book will feature discussions with regional authors and illustrators to find out more about their books. The discussion will be held virtually via Zoom (link available at www.kingsportlibrary.org).

Hannah B. Olsen is the next author in the series. A Colorado native, Hannah B. Olsen has swapped the Rockies for the Appalachians where she now resides with her husband and two children in Eastern Tennessee. After studying Creative Writing at Valparaiso University, she went on to write for magazines, websites, and blogs, taking pretty much any writing gig she could get her hands on. But her true love of writing has always been that of telling stories. As a fiction writer and full-time mother, Hannah rarely manages to find time that she isn’t reading, writing, or kid-wrangling; however, when she does, Hannah enjoys photography, graphic design, traveling, and doing pretty much anything in the kitchen besides cleaning it. A Knight for a Queen is her YA Fantasy debut.

“The Behind the Book series has been a way to share the work of a wide variety of regional author’s with the community,” said Chris Markley, Manager at Kingsport Public Library.

Upcoming Behind the Book discussions will feature Larry D. Thacker, and J. Dianne Dotson. Visit the Library website, www.kingsportpubliclibrary.org for more information or contact the Kingsport Public Library at 423-224-2539.

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Summers-Taylor will begin milling and paving in the Tri-Cities Crossing Area starting Thursday, April 29.

There will be flagging operations during this project to facilitate traffic flow, however, motorists are urged to use alternate routes as much as possible. The work is expected to take three weeks.

Drivers are asked to use caution in the area during this time. If you have any questions, please contact Public Works at 423-229-9451.

Thank you for your cooperation during this improvement project.

For more information, please visit www.kingsporttn.gov or www.pavekingsport.com.

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Our Kingsport citizens have been a great help in the design process for the new skatepark in Kingsport!

We’ve now moved into the construction design phase for the park, as shown on these drawings. We’re hoping to bid the project in early June, but can’t commit to a construction time or opening date until we have the bids back and ready for approval.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please contact our parks and recreation manager Kitty Frazier (kittyfrazier@kingsporttn.gov).

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The Kingsport Farmers Market will begin its 2021 season on Saturday, April 24. The season officially kicks off on May 1, with some fun activities to get you in the farmers market mood.

“We are glad to welcome people back to the market this season,” said Kristie Leonard, market manager and Special Events Coordinator for Kingsport. “This last year has given us all a new appreciation for local goods and services, and the Kingsport Farmers Market is one of the best places to shop local.”

Market goers should prepare to follow similar safety protocols as last year, as long as the Kingsport Farmers Market and Sullivan County Regional Health Department deem them necessary. The market has designated, clearly marked entry and exit points, as well as signage inside the market to help visitors navigate the layout. To create adequate space between vendors, parking has been modified. Overflow parking is available in the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce lot.

The CDC and the SCRHD recommend that people wear masks when visiting public places like the market. Anyone who needs to redeem SNAP benefits may do so at the market kiosk.

Preparing for your visit
– If you feel sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, stay home.
– Be alert and follow all posted signage in the market.
– Maintain at least six feet of space between yourself and others. Look for physical cues like tape,
chalk and signage to help you remember.
– Be prepared to shop quickly and efficiently.
– Only touch produce you intend to purchase. Allow vendors to help you with produce.
– Wash all produce when you arrive home.
– Please respect vendors by leaving adequate space between yourself and them. Do not go
behind a vendor table.
– Wash and sanitize your hands often.

On May 1, join the market for a celebration of the new season, featuring live music from Mike Milhorn and friends. Leadership Kingsport, in partnership with Appalachian Sustainable Development, will also host “Diggin’ in the Dirt.” During two free sessions at 9 and 10:30 a.m., participants will get to transplant either tomato or sunflower seedlings from trays into pots to take home, while supplies last. Leadership Kingsport will also have educational posts on display and an interactive, educational produce-sorting game available 9 a.m. to noon.

Wednesday markets will begin on May 5. To learn more about the Kingsport Farmers Market, please visit kingsportfarmersmarket.org.