Feature Articles

JC Parks to offer Teen Summer Camps

Johnson City Parks and Recreation will offer the following Teen Camps this year during their summer program.

Teen Adventure Quest Camp Winged Deer Park (Robert Young Cabin) – July 17-21: Ages: 13-17. Camp Fee: $60/camper. Camp hours: 9 am – 4 pm. For an unforgettable experience, a real accomplishment, and something to be proud of this year; campers can tour a rock quarry and fish hatchery, build survival shelters, explore a cave, hike, swim, go river rafting, and even more surprises are in store. Additional minor usage fees may apply. Field trips daily and 2-meals are included in the camp fee. Camp is sponsored by Mountain River Guides powered by USA Raft.

Teen Volunteer Camp Memorial Park Community Center – July 17-21: Ages 14-17. Camp Fee: $35/camper. Camp hours: 8 am drop off (8:30 departure from Memorial Park Community Center 4:30 pm pick-up). Looking to get some volunteer work done this summer? Join our first ever Teen Volunteer Camp! Campers will travel all over Johnson City lending a helping hand to make our community a better place. Some of our volunteer sites include Second Harvest Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Jacob’s Nature Park at Sinking Creek, and more! Campers will earn 40-hours of volunteer work experience as well as a valuable and exciting experience. Campers should dress for comfort and prepare to get their hands dirty.

Registration is available online at www.myjcparks.org or in person at the following locations: Carver Recreation Center, 322 W. Watauga, Memorial Park Community Center, 510 Bert Street, or Winged Deer Park, 4137 Bristol Highway. Walk-in registrants must bring a copy of their child’s birth certificate.

Rotary Park Inclusive Playground and Splash Pad now open

Members of the Johnson City Rotary Club along with City officials cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially open the Rotary Park Inclusive Playground and Splash Pad on Tuesday. The facility, located at 1001 N. Broadway St., provides 22,000 square feet of play area designed for all ages and abilities.

“This playground allows full accessibility and enjoyment by all, with specifically designed features for those using assistive devices such as wheelchairs as well as our visually and hearing-impaired citizens,” said James Ellis, director of Parks and Recreation. In addition to the main treehouse-style play component, the playground features “Zero-G” swings that enable users with special needs to swing alongside friends, “Impression Swings” for children and adults to swing facing one another, and a merry-go-round with a center section that allows a non-walking user to enjoy the ride. The cushioned artificial turf helps protect against falls.

The 1,000-square-foot splash pad area includes many water features and will operate on the same schedule as outdoor pools (Memorial Day through Labor Day). “The vision of this playground began in 2010, when we approached the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board about it,” said Rotary Club Past President Mike Medford. “To see it come to fruition today is truly a dream come true.” The City’s Parks and Recreation Department was awarded a $250,000 Local Parks and Recreation Fund Grant for the project from the state in 2015. The Rotary Club raised matching funds, and the City of Johnson City budgeted $250,000 as well. Ground was broken on Aug. 9, 2016.

While the playground has just opened, it is already award-winning. The project received the 2017 John S. Wilder Rebuild Tennessee Award from the Tennessee Development District Association. The award was given on the basis of nomination by the First Tennessee Development District and is presented to local governments and other agencies for special contributions to the improvement of infrastructure and/or quality of life for their citizens.

Rotary Park Inclusive Playground and Splash Pad:

1001 N. Broadway St., Johnson City, TN
Playground open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. daily, April 1-Oct. 31
Splash Pad open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. daily, Memorial Day-Labor Day (weather permitting)

City receives Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for 16 consecutive years

The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting has been awarded to City of Johnson City by Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.

An Award of Financial Reporting Achievement has been awarded to the individual(s) or department designated by the government as primarily responsible for preparing the award-winning CAFR.

The CAFR has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive "spirit of full disclosure" to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.

This is the 16th consecutive year the City has earned the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting. Please call Finance Director Janet Jennings at 434-6033 for more information.

City to begin live streaming of commission meetings

Johnson City now offers City Commission and Planning Commission meetings via live streaming. “The city is always looking for no- or low-cost ways to provide services in a more efficient manner,” said Information Technology Director Lisa Sagona. “Live streaming does just that — it opens up the meetings to anyone, anywhere with Internet access. Additionally, it increases our transparency, which is key to our relationship with our citizens.”

Communications Specialist Wendy Graham said commissioners and city staff have been discussing the process for about a year, and recent work on the project has been completed to move forward with this service. "The real reason we started looking into it was that people had been canceling their cable,” Graham said. “We have been, and will continue to, broadcast the meetings on Charter’s channel 192 and Comcast’s channel 17. The equipment we have (inside the Municipal & Safety Building) will now be running through YouTube. So if you can view a YouTube video on your cell phone, android, PC, notebook or laptop, you will be able to watch and listen.” The city currently contracts with Milligan College to provide interns who operate cameras and help produce the broadcast version. Graham will continue to oversee production of both meetings.

Viewers can access the live stream three ways: The “LIVE” button at the top of the city’s home page www.johnsoncitytn.org; by using a direct link www.johnsoncitytn.org/streaming; or from the city’s Youtube channel here. Twelve months of City Commission and Planning Commission meetings will be available in an “archive” link.

The Johnson City Board of Comissioners meets the first and third Thursdays at 6 p.m. Johnson City Regional Planning Commission meetings take place the second Tuesday at 6 p.m. To request videos of meetings before the online streaming, contact Wendy Graham at 434-6076 or wgraham@johnsoncitytn.org. There is a charge for each DVD. For questions on our streaming service, email streaming@johnsoncitytn.org.


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