Norris gives new budget the green light

No tax hike; fire rating improves

The Norris City Council on Monday night approved a $1.53 million spending plan for fiscal year 2021-22, while holding the property tax rate at last year’s level — $1.54 per each $100 of assessed value.

Also holding the line with no increases for the new year are water and sewer rates, the council decided.

The council also learned that the city’s fire-protection rating has been improved, which could save residents and businesses money on fire insurance premiums.

Even without raising taxes, the new budget provides for pay increases for all city employees, along with a new holiday and bonus pay plan and two new city positions – an additional police officer and public works employee.

Revenues for the general fund budget are projected to be $1.58 million, and the city expects a budget surplus of about $40,000 for the year.

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Clinton gets $500,000 from state to help pay for new pool complex

Clinton has permanently closed its Jaycee City Park swimming pool. - G. Chambers Williams III
Clinton has received a $500,000 state grant to help pay for a new swimming pool complex in Jaycee City Park, which will include a new, smaller pool and a splash pad, city officials said.

The current pool has been closed since 2019, and the city has said it would not be reopened.

Instead, the city will “reconfigure and renovate the pool compound,” according to a city announcement.

The total project will cost about $1 million, with the city matching the state grant with its own money, City Manager Roger Houck said.

“The current pool will be removed and replaced with a smaller Americans with Disabilities Act accessible pool and adjacent splash pad,” the city’s announcement said. “The existing bathhouse and entrance will be upgraded for ADA accessibility.”

The project is not without controversy, with multiple commenters the past few days on social media sites complaining about the plans to replace the current pool with a smaller one.

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Anderson’s drug-related deaths up from 2020

The powerful opioid fentanyl and fentanyl analogues (synthetic opioids) continue to claim hundreds of lives each year in both Anderson County and neighboring Knox County.

Fentanyl and fentanyl analogues were the most frequently identified drugs in the 464 drug-related deaths in both counties last year, according to findings released today by the Knox County Regional Forensic Center.

“After seeing an encouraging 11.6% drop in overdose deaths in 2019, I’m sad to see the 2020 statistics showed an increase of 82% in Anderson County,” Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank said. “The loss of life, the pain and suffering for friends, family and our community is heartbreaking. We must continue our efforts of raising awareness, prevention, education and coordinating with key agencies and organizations to combat drug related deaths.”

Drug-related deaths in Anderson County totaled 51 in 2020, up from 28 deaths in 2019, according to findings released today by the Knox County Regional Forensic Center.

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Norwood Middle School wins “Dream it. Do it.” competition

CNS provides donations to winners for classroom resources

Kristin Waldschlager (left), CNS educational outreach specialist, presents a check to Norwood Middle School for winning first place in Anderson County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Dream it. Do it. competition. Also in the photograph (from left) are Norwood Middle School teacher Robert Stephan, NMS Principal Shawna Woodruff, and Anderson County Chamber of Commerce President Rick Meredith. - Submitted
Oak Ridge, Tenn.— Anderson County Chamber’s 2020-2021 “Dream It. Do It.” competition exceeded expectations, said Chamber officials, as four Anderson County middle school teams, working with local businesses, created videos that received more than 14,000 online votes. Norwood Middle School secured the People’s Choice Award as the team receiving the most online votes (5,445).

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