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What people are redeeming their RecycleBank rewards points for

City Council received a report the other day on what Tennesseans (mostly in Oak Ridge and Jefferson City) redeemed their RecycleBank rewards points for in April.

My household hasn’t redeemed any of our RecycleBank rewards points yet, and it looks like we’re in the majority — fewer than 1500 rewards were redeemed in April (some by households that got more than one reward).

It was interesting to see what other people are choosing, as it gave me hints on the most attractive “deals.”

After seeing that Kashi products (free items such as granola, granola bars, and pilaf) are the number one choice (more than one in five of the rewards ordered were from this vendor), I looked into their reward offers and decided that we need to use some of our points to try some of their products.

Ruby Tuesday was the second most popular vendor, with some “buy one, get one free” coupons that appealed to nearly 200 Tennessee households during April. Food City was high on the list of popular vendors with their offer to exchange points for reusable cloth shopping bags.

It was great to see Oak Ridge ice cream destination Razzleberry’s in 5th place with a couple of yummy offers to entice people into their Jackson Square store.

Several other Oak Ridge businesses were popular choices, including Moondollars Cafe in Jackson Square, Firehouse Subs, and Venice Pizza. (Do I see a food theme here?)

ADDED June 10: Several people commented on this item over at Facebook. Tom Beehan said he had used some points for the Epicurean, Kelly Ayers said Moondollars has been getting some redemptions, and Cyndy Bailes says she has redeemed points for Moondollars and Naturally Gourmet. That food theme is going strong.

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Continuing discussions on next phase of Hwy 95 widening

TDOT has supplied notes on a recent meeting between the agency and Southwood subdivision homes, held in State Senator Ken Yager’s Harriman office on May 15.

TDOT recorded the following “Home owners concerns and requests regarding alternatives/design changes” (thiis is what the homeowners said to TDOT), but I have not yet seen TDOT’s analysis:

Health, noise and safety- Proposed road will not leave much room between houses and traffic lanes. The shifting of lanes towards houses will generate more noise and long exposure to it will affect health.

Existing tree lines in front of houses will be cut to build the roadway and slopes. Removal of this natural barrier will open the possibility of vehicles running over the slopes and landing on the backyard of houses. Guardrail does not provide good protection. A noise wall or any other kind of wall between roadway and houses will be an appropriate safety device. Buying houses close to the roadway is another alternative.

Roadway cross section, median ditch- Plan shows a median ditch from old Sweet Gum entrance to Southwood entrance but there is no ditch in front of Sweet Gum subdivision. Begin ditch form Southwood entrance to save property and trees. A flush median in this area can be an alternative. Would like an urban typical adjacent to the subdivision.

Roadway alignment- All ROW for building the road is taken from homeowner’s side whereas empty Federal land (DOE property) is available on the other side. TDOT can work with the Feds to secure property on the north side.

Communication gap- The subdivisions were built after the acquisition of ROW by TDOT. The developer Mr. J.W. Gibson did not pass the information about imminent road construction to them. The City of Oak Ridge on the other hand issued permits to build houses. The owners requested an electronic copy of the final deed between Mr. Gibson and TDOT.

Delaying the project- The project took several years to reach this stage. It can be delayed further for the changes they are requesting now.

Consideration should be given to any change that would lessen the project impact on the subdivision. Example: speed limit in the vicinity of the subdivision.

ADDED May 27th: Some people have asked about TDOT’s requirements for evaluating the impacts of highway projects. Here’s a link to their guidance on the subject: Tennessee Environmental Procedures Manual, Chapter 5

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