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VOL. 41 | NO. 31 | Friday, August 4, 2017

Mayor explains new open data policy

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Mayor Madeline Rogero has launched an open data policy for the release and public accessibility of City of Knoxville data.

City departments will now share data and statistics about their operations and programs.

Knoxville’s open data policy is a result of the city’s participation in the ‘What Works Cities’ initiative, created by Bloomberg Philanthropies to help city governments make better use of data.

“From police and fire to potholes and parks, our departments generate and use a huge amount of data every day,” Mayor Rogero says. “We have always been committed to openness and transparency in our operations. The open data policy will encourage all of our departments to think creatively about how we can provide even more data and information to the public and how we can use it in measuring our own performance.”

The city will now be able to:

• Proactively release all publishable city data, making it freely available in open formats, with no restrictions on use or reuse

• Publish high-quality, updated data with documentation (metadata) and

permanence

• When feasible, provide or support access to free, historical archives of all released City data

• Measure the effectiveness of datasets made available through the program

• Minimize limitations on the disclosure of public information while appropriately safeguarding protected and sensitive information

• Encourage and support innovative uses of the city’s publishable data by agencies, the public and other partners.

Wetlands added to Fountain City Lake

The construction of small wetlands along the edges of Fountain City Lake is underway.

The goal is to improve circulation of water in the lake, and deepen the lake, to discourage algae from forming.

Knoxville City Council authorized a $249,000 contract to construct the wetlands – the final step in a long-range plan to upgrade the lake’s infrastructure and improve its water quality.

The wetlands construction is the last major step in a three-year series of infrastructure investments, totaling about $500,000, made by the city.

Savannah, Tennessee-based Ronald Franks Construction Co. will be building the wetlands over the next four months, with an anticipated completion date of late fall 2017.

The water level in the lake is being lowered, and the walkway around the edge of the lake will be closed due to the construction.

The project basically involves creating a small wetland on a western patch of the lake and a larger wetland on the northeastern edge.

Cumberland Avenue project almost done

Knoxville’s $17 million Cumberland Avenue reconstruction project is nearing completion, moving into the milling stage to prepare for paving. The project is expected to be completed by Aug. 6.

Twelve side streets that connect to Cumberland will also be prepared for paving.

Milling and paving will be done overnight, 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Cumberland Avenue will be paved from 22nd Street to Henley Street, and side streets will be paved north of Cumberland to White Avenue and south of Cumberland to Lake Avenue.

Expect some night-time detours.

In addition, no-parking zones will be in effect on these side streets:

• North of Cumberland to White Ave.

• North 22nd Street

• North 21st Street

• North 20st Street

• North 19th Street

• North 18th Street

• 17st Street

• South of Cumberland to Lake Avenue

• South 22nd Street

• South 21st Street

• Mountcastle Street

• South 19th Street

• South 18th Street

• Melrose Place

First Tennessee gets No. 5 ranking

A new report from American Banker, a daily trade newspaper and website covering the financial services industry, has recognized First Tennessee among its most recent listings.

The report ranks the U.S. banks with the best reputations and puts First Tennessee at No. 5.

First Tennessee ranks second on the list of most reputable banks among customers and sixth among non-customers.

First Tennessee also ranks in the top five overall in every dimension of reputation – citizenship, ethics/integrity, innovation, leadership, performance, products and services, and workplace.

The Bank Reputation Survey, now in its seventh year, was conducted by the Reputation Institute and included Federal Reserve banks based on asset size and deposits plus key regional and non-traditional banks – all with significant retail businesses and/or significant retail brands. Results of the survey are available at americanbanker.com.

Beer and building to support Habitat

The House that Beer Built is a collaboration between Knoxville’s local craft beer community and Habitat for Humanity.

In an effort to address the need for affordable housing in the community, the series of events brings breweries and local craft beer taprooms together to help build homes with two hardworking families.

Knoxville Habitat for Humanity is one of the first affiliates in the U.S. to launch the House that Beer Built event.

Participating breweries and taprooms will hold events to raise a goal of $80,000 needed to construct two homes.

The first of the event series and official kickoff for fundraising begins at Bearden Beer Market on Tuesday, August 22. A full list of events will be available on housethatbeerbuilt.com.

Well-Key Health expands to Maryville

Sevierville’s Well-Key Health of Tennessee recently opened another urgent care and occupational health facility in the region.

The company is expanding to Blount County, according to Dr. Michael Rothwell and Dr. Robin A. Huskey, co-founders of Well-Key.

The new facility is in Maryville, 108 Keller Lane.

The Urgent Care services include caring for acute injuries, common illnesses or minor medical problems – bridging the gap between the primary care provider and the emergency room. The remodeled building was formerly a restaurant but is now a state-of-the-art medical facility with full lab and digital x-ray diagnostic capabilities.

All locations are open 8 a.m.-8 p.m., seven days a week except Christmas and Thanksgiving, and have a licensed provider on-site at all times.

“We are so excited to be in Maryville and bring great services that are convenient and cost-efficient to the community there,” Huskey says. “Quality healthcare should be available for everyone and we hope to help lots of people.”

Section 8 PBVs to be awarded to developers

Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation plans to award up to 300 Section 8 Project-based vouchers to developers for existing, new or rehabilitated housing units.

The vouchers, known as PBVs, will increase the availability of affordable housing in Knoxville and Knox County.

“This is a significant step toward building the supply of affordable housing in our community,” said Ben Bentley, executive director and CEO of KCDC. “We encourage area developers to review the requirements of the PBVs and submit proposals.”

PBVs provide stability to affordable housing stock. As opposed to Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers that are issued to individuals or families, PBVs are attached to housing units.

Owners of PBV units agree to rent the units to eligible tenants for the duration of the contract, which may range from 10 to 20 years.

Knoxville agency buys Louisiana web firm

Knoxville-based advertising agency low+tritt has announced it has acquired the client list and web assets from a Louisiana web development company,

The web firm, Designs by Kacy, closed in March 2017. The transition of client hosting and maintenance will result in 36 clients joining low+tritt’s clients.

“Kacy Hibbard approached us at the beginning of the 2017 and expressed she was seeking a solid company with local ties to the area to entrust with her accounts,” says Shawn Steadman, vice president of low+tritt.

“Since low+tritt already hosts and maintains many Monroe-area websites in addition to our clients’, we were more than happy to accept and flattered that Kacy chose low + tritt,” Steadman adds.

Main Street Oak Ridge gets 4 new stores

Four new stores are now open on Main Street in Oak Ridge, a revitalized shopping community.

Another four are expected to open soon, and additional retail space is being completed.

T.J. Maxx has announced an opening date of Sunday, Aug. 6, at 8 a.m.

Rack Room Shoes, PetSmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods are up and running. Maurices and Rue 21 are open. Ulta and Electronics Express are also expected to open this summer, but official dates have not yet been announced.

Belk and JCPenney are open and have been throughout demolition and construction for Main Street Oak Ridge.