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senior center

Investing in the city’s future: preschool and senior center

Yes, Oak Ridge is finally going to have a new preschool and senior center. In the City’s 75th birthday year, the city government is investing for the future.

Council voted last Thursday to award construction contracts for the projects. Work should start in a couple of weeks. The preschool project will include construction of new recreation facilities in Scarboro Park (basketball courts, ball field, tennis court, pavilion and paved walking trails), where the school will be built.

It was a great relief that the construction bids came in below estimates — the projects won’t cost as much as we thought! Next Monday, October 22, we’ll have a special meeting to get the ball rolling on selling bonds for the building projects. (The bond issue is already approved.)

Read about the meeting at Oak Ridge Today or The Oak Ridger, or watch the video on the city website.

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Yes, Oak Ridge does have public transportation!

There were many more buses in Oak Ridge back in the Secret City days than we have today, but the fact that we do have public transportation may be one of the better-kept secrets of 21st-century Oak Ridge.

A friend asked me recently about transportation options for people who no longer drive and want to get around Oak Ridge without feeling dependent on family and friends. Actually, I know of two services supported by public funds, but when I tried to look up the details, I discovered that the information was elusive. Eventually I did assemble the needed information. For the benefit of others who may need the information, here are some details of Oak Ridge’s transit services:

Van Transit. Vans operate in Oak Ridge from 8 am to 4:30 or 5 pm (sources differ), Monday through Saturday, except for major holidays. Anybody can ride. It costs $1.50 per ride ($3 for a round trip). Young children ride for half price. The phone number for the service is (865)482-2785 — you need to call 24 hours in advance to reserve a ride. The service has a website at http://oakridgepublictransit.org, but it isn’t functioning right now.

Taxi coupons. Oak Ridge residents who are over age 55 or have a physician-certified disability can get coupons that provide discounted rides in the local yellow taxis. The coupons cost 75 cents each (sold in books of 12 coupons for $9). One coupon covers the first $3 of your cab fare; you have to pay for any cost over $3. They are sold at the city senior center on Emory Valley Road between 9 am and 4 pm, Monday through Friday. Phone the senior center at (865)425-3999.

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