In light of increases in the number of people infected with COVID-19, city of Oak Ridge officials issued updates Thursday on the status of city facilities.
“Due to the significant increase in COVID cases, city officials strongly urge citizens to conduct their business over the phone and by mail whenever possible,” stated a news release from City Manager Mark Watson. Information below is from that news release.
The city of Oak Ridge is supporting the “Tennessee Pledge” efforts by the state government. Refer to State of Tennessee websites for updates and advice on precautions to be taken by particular businesses.
City facilities will continue to be operated as below as precautions and security matters are considered for the safety of city government employees and “social distancing” for its customers. Visitors may receive a temperature scan and inquiry about current health. Call the city manager’s office or department offices on the city’s website for further information.
Financial transactions can be handled electronically and via mail. If you need to meet someone, you can call the department’s extension directly. Phone numbers are listed under each department below.
The city of Oak Ridge Municipal Building has partially reopened to the public with the following COVID-19 precautions in place.
Secured, badge-only areas of the Municipal Building are in effect; only city staff can access most city departments.
Public access to the Municipal Building is restricted to the north entrance near the courtroom labeled Court Public Safety, the Utility Business Office and Community Development permit window, and the entrance near the City Clerk’s office on the south side of the building, which is for handicap-access only. For handicap access, contact the handicap-access helpline at (865) 425-5377 for assistance.
At the Court Public Safety entrance, visitors can check in for their scheduled appointments to be escorted to the secured areas of the building.
Masks are required to enter the building.
Departmental services are still available electronically or by appointment.
If you need to reach a department, call the number listed below for each department or go to the website for a list of all departments. You can also reach a department by email or social media.
The city will limit the number of face-to-face meetings and conduct electronic meetings as allowed by the governor’s executive order. An official record of the meetings will be established for review on the city of Oak Ridge website.
Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch continues to issue Emergency Executive Orders that parallel the Governor’s Executive Orders.
Due to the dramatic increase in local COVID-19 cases, the Oak Ridge Public Library has returned to curbside pickup only until further notice.
Library users are invited to place holds on books, movies, music, and audiobooks through the library’s catalog, http://orpl.ent.sirsi.net/.
Curbside hours are Monday through Saturday from 1 to 6 p.m. If you would like help finding items to read, watch, or listen to, call (865) 425-3455 for assistance placing holds.
ORPL’s new wireless hot spots are also available to the public through the library’s curbside service. You can place hot spots on hold through the library’s catalog or call the front desk for assistance.
Patrons can print from their phone or other device via our mobile printing service at ORPL.org and pick up their prints through curbside. Prints will be held for seven days, and cost 10 cents per page.
For patrons needing reference help, a reference team is available via chat, text and email. Here’s how it works.
Go to ORPL.org and click on “Ask a Librarian”.
Chat with or text reference staff from your phone, mobile device, or computer
Chat is accessible from the library website or by texting (865) 324-0400
A friendly Reference staff member will respond to your question when chat is available.
When staff is busy or unavailable, you can always email [email protected], and a staff member will get back with you as soon as possible. As always, if texting, chatting or emailing is not an option, call (865) 425-3455.
The library will not be able to accept donations while the building is closed. Please hold onto any gently used books until the library is fully open to the public once again.
The book drop will be closed on Sundays until further notice.
For the health and safety of our staff and patrons, the library will continue to quarantine returned materials and will remain closed to the public on Wednesdays and Sundays for cleaning and general library maintenance.
Keep an eye on the library website and Facebook page for updates.
The lobby to the Utilities Business Office (UBO) has reopened to the public with COVID-19 precautions. A limited number of customers are allowed in the lobby at one time. Masks are required.
Customers are still encouraged to make payments through the online Customer Self Service portal at https://payment.oakridgetn.gov, or by phone 24 hours a day/7 days a week by calling (833) 268-4341, six-digit account number required. Customers are also welcomed to use the overnight drop box located in the parking lot at 200 S. Tulane Avenue or payments can be mailed to P.O. Box 1 Oak Ridge, TN 37831.
Many people in our community live with financial hardship, especially amid COVID-19 and the holidays. If you are in need of emergency assistance paying a utility bill, contact Aid to Distressed Families for Appalachian Counties (ADFAC) at (865) 483-6028.
Public Works and Electrical Department services are still ongoing.
The Central Services Complex is open to the public by appointment only.
Visitors will be buzzed in and escorted to the office they need. All visitors will be temperature-screened before entry.
The annual citywide leaf pickup program is ongoing, but subject to delays due to weather and COVID-19. View the schedule on the city website.
The Waste Connections Convenience Center on Warehouse Road has returned to accepting bulk items and metal, brush and yard waste. More information can be found online.
If you need to reach Public Works, call (865) 425-1875. For the Electric Department, call (865) 425-1803.
The Community Development and Codes division are closed to public access, but services are being provided electronically.
If you need assistance with permitting or inspections, contact [email protected] or call (865) 425-3532.
For planning or general information, call (865) 425-3531 and leave a message.
All citizen visits and tours to fire stations and headquarters have been suspended.
Fire administration may be reached via phone at (865) 425-3520.
The South entrance to the police department is closed to the public. Those needing assistance should enter the Municipal Building on the North side of the building near the courtroom, labeled Court Public Safety, that faces the Oak Ridge Turnpike.
To file police reports, citizens should call the police department for guidance at (865) 425-3504.
Crime tips can still be reported online.
The ORPD and Tennessee Highway Safety Office are teaming up to increase impaired-driving enforcement from Dec. 18, 2020, to Jan. 1, 2021. Read more about the statewide Booze It and Lose It campaign on OakRidgeTN.gov.
City Court continues to conduct in-person hearings with COVID-19 precautions. Guidelines for City Court can be found online. If you are attending a hearing, remember to socially distance and wear your mask while you wait to appear before the judge.
Masks or face coverings must be worn at all times in City Court and the Court Clerk’s Office.
The City Court Clerk’s office is open for payment by appointment from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or via mail. Citizens can send money orders or personal checks to: City of Oak Ridge – City Courts, P.O. Box 1, Oak Ridge, TN 37831
If a payment is past due, only a money order or a cashier’s check is accepted.
If you have any questions about what is owed or whether you need to appear in court, call (865) 425-3536.
Oak Ridge Animal Shelter is temporarily closed to the public to ensure the safety and health of animals, employees, volunteers and visitors.
Animal Control will continue to respond to animal emergencies.
Adoptions and owner reclaims must be scheduled by calling (865) 425-3423.
Aggressive and loose animals in the city limits will be responded to by Animal Control. Animal Control may be reached during normal business hours, Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. at (865) 425-3423. If you have a problem after-hours, you can call the Oak Ridge Police Department’s non-emergency number (865) 425-4399.
If you have donations such as towels or blankets to share with the shelter this winter, contact the Oak Ridge Animal Shelter at (865) 425-3423 during normal business hours to make arrangements in advance to drop off the donation.
A phased reopening of the Senior Center began Nov. 3.
During the first phase of reopening the Senior Center will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. This limited schedule will allow time to clean and disinfect the building between sessions.
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Tennessee Commission on Aging & Disability, the following safety protocols will be in place.
Participants and staff will be required to wear face masks and follow social distancing standards while in the building.
Upon entry, all participants will be asked COVID-19 screening questions and temperatures will be checked.
Those who have COVID-19 symptoms will not be permitted to participate in programs.
Each participant will be required to fill out new information and release forms when they return to the building for the first time.
During Phase I, participants will be required to call ahead to schedule activities so that room and building capacity limits can be observed.
The Recreation Room will be available for pool or ping pong in one-hour increments, with a limit of six players at any one time.
The exercise room will be open to schedule 45-minute sessions.
Equipment use will be limited to one machine per person per session and there will be no more than three participants allowed in the room at a time.
The Senior Center will also be offering a limited number of spots for one-on-one technology assistance to participants.
This will include help using smartphones, laptops and other devices as well as guidance on the use of social media and conferencing applications (such as Zoom).
Other programs and activities will be phased into the Senior Center schedule as conditions permit.
Participants are asked to bring bottled water, as water fountains will not be open at this time.
The ETHRA Senior Nutrition Program Home Delivered Meals (“Meals On Wheels”) will continue.
The MyRide program is discontinued. Residents may schedule rides for trips within the city with Oak Ridge transit by calling (865) 482-2785 Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Residents can schedule rides outside of the city by calling ETHRA transit services at 1- (800) 232-1565.
Recreation and Parks
City playgrounds are open with COVID-19 precautions in place. More details are on the city website.
Trails, greenways and parks including tennis courts, and Blankenship Field and Track remain open for walking and jogging use.
The indoor pool is open.
Visit orrecparks.oakridgetn.gov/indoor-pool/facilities/ to view the schedule for various rental groups and open lap times. Private pool parties and group/club outings are unavailable at this time.
COVID-19 protocols are in place and capacity limits will be enforced. Locker rooms are unavailable at this time.
The Recreation Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Rooms are available for rent. Activities, like art classes and volleyball clinics, are being added to the schedule.
Masks are required in all areas for staff and the public. Patrons’ temperatures will be taken as they enter. Staff will inquire about COVID-19 symptoms and exposure per current building postings. Areas will be sanitized by staff after each use. Numbers in each area of the buildings will be limited based on safety protocols. Call (865) 425-3450 for specific room limits.
The Scarboro Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The restrooms at Melton Lake Park are open and cleaned by Parks Division staff. Adventures Outdoors is closed for the season.
The Recreation Center, Senior Center, Scarboro Center and Indoor Pool will be closed on Tuesday, Dec. 15, for staff in-service training.
Centennial Golf Course
Water coolers at the Centennial Golf Course remain off the course.
Restrooms have reopened and are being cleaned and sanitized twice daily.
Ball washers remain off the course but flags on the putting green have been replaced.
Golf carts can now be shared, however, if a player has concerns about the virus, they may take their own cart for a small fee. Carts are still being sanitized after each round.
Golf cups have been replaced back to normal play.
The driving range and range machine are open, weather permitting.
The grille at the golf course club house remains open with a limited menu.
The beverage cart is running more often to serve customers in the open environment and encourage distancing by not having to enter the clubhouse for food and beverage needs.
For more information, contact the City Manager’s office at (865) 425-3550.