With January heating bills showing up in mailboxes soon, East Tennesseans may want to prepare themselves for an unpleasant surprise.
In Oak Ridge, City Electric Director Jack Suggs says bills for those residents who use electric sources like heat pumps could jump 30 to 40 percent from their December bills. And December bills were substantially higher than November’s. “People do need to be bracing themselves a little bit for sticker shock,” Suggs tells WUOT News, “and they need to be thinking about putting a little extra aside.”
The first time Rick Dover stepped foot into Oak Ridge’s Alexander Inn, he fell through the floor. “It was completely rotted and it had leaking roofs and windows and a complete lack of any care or maintenance,” he says. “It was leaning and rotting and falling and it would not have gone much longer.”
Dover’s company, Family Pride Corporation, is now responsible for renovating the abandoned, dilapidated building and turning it into an assisted living facility. Dover says he hopes to open the facility in the summer of 2014.
Officials from the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge say a spill of chlorinated water over the weekend killed approximately 8500 minnow-sized fish and almost 30 salamanders. A Y-12 statement says about 6,000,000 gallons of the water poured into East Fork Poplar Creek on Saturday when a pipeline burst. Crews from Y-12 were able to contain the spill and inspections on Sunday revealed no additional casualties of fish or other aquatic wildlife. Biologists from nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory predict the long-term effect of the spill on fish and salamanders will be minimal.