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Norris BZA, Planning Commission reject Covenant church RV park requests


Covenant Life Church attorney Daniel Sanders addresses the Norris Planning Commission on the church’s application for rezon- ing for its Solid Rock RV Park on Monday evening at the Norris Community Building. - G. Chambers Williams III

Covenant Life Church has one more opportunity to gain city of Norris approval to operate a recreational vehicle park/retreat on its property after both the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals and Planning Commission rejected the church’s request Monday evening. Votes against the church’s requests were unanimous in both of the meetings, the first of which was an appeal to the BZA to overturn the city’s denial of a certificate of occupancy, followed by an application to the Planning Commission for rezoning part of the church’s property to commercial (C2) status. While the BZA’s decision is final, the Planning Commission’s denial of rezoning must still be considered by the full City Council, which Mayor Chris Mitchell said will have on its agenda for the next regular meeting, Monday, July 8. The Planning Commission voted 7-0 against the rezoning, citing documents from 1937 and 1959 in which the Tennessee Valley Authority required that the land along Norris Freeway from Andersonville Highway to beyond Norris Dam be preserved as a greenway, and not be used for commercial purposes. Mitchell, who supplied the Planning Commission with the documents, led the discussion Monday night in his dual role as a member of the commission. “The city and TVA have valued this as a special area,” Mitchell said before the vote on the rezoning request, adding that the “intent is to keep the area beautiful.”

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Miners Museum plans Thursday event to reveal Memorial Brick Walkway


Lisa Pebley, volunteer curator at the Coal Creek Miners Museum in Rocky Top, shows the bricks that were offered for sale to be used in the museum’s Memorial Brick Walkway, which will be dedicated during a ceremony at 1 p.m. Thursday at the museum on South Main Street. - G. Chambers Williams III

Rocky Top’s Coal Creek Miners Museum plans a ribbon-cutting event tomorrow (Thursday, July 4) to reveal its new Memorial Brick Walkway, which is the result of a fund-raising campaign the museum began last fall to pay for upgrades, including the new second floor of exhibits. The ribbon cutting will be held at 1 p.m., and later – beginning at 7 p.m. – the museum will hold a July 4 celebration, which will include live music, hot dogs, other snacks, drinks, and “light-up accessories” for sale at the museum site, 201 S. Main St.. In October, the museum began selling bricks to donors to raise money for the additions and improvements to the facility. The museum said it aimed “to raise funds through the sale of personalized bricks that will be used to construct a commemorative pathway at the museum,” according to a flyer explaining the campaign. Then, in early December, the museum was notified that it had been awarded a $50,000 grant from the state of Tennessee to help with the expansion. The money from the state, awarded through a program of the Tennessee State Museum, has allowed the museum to add heating and air conditioning, along with ADA-compliant restrooms, to the second floor, according to an announcement by the state museum. According to the announcement, “The Tennessee General Assembly made available $5 million in funding from the 2023-2024 Appropriations Act ‘for the sole purpose of providing grants to museums with a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or affiliated with a governmental entity for capital maintenance and improvements.’”

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Broadband grant could allow for internet hot spots, music in Historic Downtown Clinton

In the future, loudspeakers could fill downtown Clinton with melodies.  Katherine Birkbeck, director of the Historic Downtown Clinton organization, spoke to the Clinton City Council at its June 24 meeting about the city applying for a state of Tennessee Broadband Ready Communities Grant.  She said the grant’s broadband could help set up a public service emergency alert system, but the speakers for that system could also play music in the downtown area. The grant will be for 100% of the cost, she said. The council took no vote, and Birkbeck said didn’t need an answer on the proposal until November.   “Some of it is adding life to downtown,” she said. “If there’s music playing, people are happier. They’re more likely to buy things and shop, so that’s a whole part of it as well.” 

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Citizens say Ridgeview Drive dangerous

Concerns are rising regarding traffic issues in South Clinton. Citizens Jerry Graham and Melinda Williams brought up issues around the intersections Ridgeview Drive has with Melton Hill Drive and Unaka Street at the June 24 meeting. City Manager Roger Houck said the city needed the traffic engineers’ recommendation before acting. Graham, a South Clinton resident, recommended four-way stop signs at those intersections, while admitting that wasn’t a popular idea. “I know there will be a lot of people probably pretty mad, but I’ll take the blame for it if it passes,” he said. Houck said Clinton had a traffic-engineering study done about 12 weeks before that June 24 meeting and said Public Works had already done several improvements in general. He said he would refer Graham’s comments back to traffic engineers.

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News

Norris BZA, Planning Commission reject Covenant church RV park requests  Read More

Broadband grant could allow for internet hot spots, music in Historic Downtown Clinton  Read More

Citizens say Ridgeview Drive dangerous  Read More

Waiting game  Read More

CHS timeline, fallout of alleged grade changing  Read More

Clinton City Council approves new barn at Jaycee Park to assist with health emergencies  Read More

Early voting begins on Friday, July 12  Read More

Sports

Mavericks open season at home  Read More

Dragons open on the road at Cleveland  Read More

Wildcats open at Jefferson County  Read More

Mavs youth football camp begins July 8  Read More

Pickleball tournament set for July 27  Read More

Clinton Baseball has All-Star Weekend  Read More

Community

Festive fourth  Read More

Miners Museum plans Thursday event to reveal Memorial Brick Walkway  Read More

Sam Turner, descendent of Clinton 12, recognized for his service to Food City  Read More

‘Oak Ridge Prophet Revealed’ by great-grandson  Read More

School

Clinton City Schools announces construction, renovation projects  Read More

Roane State seeks nominations for alumni award  Read More

Business

Long John Silver’s opens in Oak Ridge  Read More

Photo Galleries

Anderson County vs. Clinton Tennis at Jaycee Park  View

Anderson County High School Homecoming  View

Faces at the Fair  View

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