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Big projects in small towns are often a sign dedication and teamwork are at play — and the city of Kingston has been cited as a shining example.
As good stewards of grant funding, the city is advancing toward economically sound development in the areas of energy, the environment, water source delivery, recreation and services, ensuring citizens reap the savings and benefits for years to come.
The city’s drive to move ahead has earned it the Tennessee Municipal League’s Small City Progress Award.
Announcing the first of two planned “solar farms” May 7, Kingston, as part of a solar energy agreement with Energy Source Partners LLC, has set its sights on a future renewable energy source.
The Nashville company will install and maintain 200 solar panels behind the Kingston Water Treatment Plant on Hwy. 58 South, generating a capacity rate of 50 kilowatt-hours, and another 800 panels on a 1.38-acre tract of city-owned land off James Ferry Road near the plant, generating 200 kwh.
The panels and associated gear will enable electrical power to flow into the Tennessee Valley Authority’s power grid, generating the equivalent of enough electrical power to operate the water treatment plant.
Revenue from TVA for the power will be divided between the company and the city, where, in around seven to eight years, the city should receive most of the revenue.
After five years of operation, the city will have the option of buying the solar farm outright.
Part of being a progressive community is forging good partnerships. Kingston’s work with Tennessee Renewable Energy and Economic Development Council, Rockwood Electric Utility and TVA will help the city stay on track with the project.
In 2010, the city qualified for a series of low-interest $1.44 million loans and grants from the U.S. Rural Development Administration to be used for various infrastructure projects. Since then, all projects have been successfully completed or are in the stages of additional development.
Projects on the list include the Rockwood water line interconnect project to connect Rockwood, Roane Central Utility District and Kingston with a 16-inch water transmission main, enabling Kingston to purchase water from Rockwood for the next 20 years. The Gallaher Road Phase 2 sewer project will accommodate commercial development in the Gallaher Road corridor.
In addition, the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development approved engineering for additional Gallaher Road collection lines along with a force main from pump station 7 and an additional sewer line to begin this summer.
TDEC also awarded the city a used oil and equipment grant for the 2013 fiscal year.
Other improvements include:
• Automated meter readers, allowing the city to operate more efficiently, with less error and less staff man hours devoted to reading meters.
• A new greenway project at Ladd Park.
“Kingston had a most productive year in bringing achievements to its citizens,” said Warren Nevad, Municipal Technical Advisory Service consultant.
“As you can see, they are very deserving of the award for Small City Progress.”
Each year the Tennessee Municipal League honors cities throughout the state for overall excellence, improvement, specific outstanding programs, or department accomplishments.
Other award winners for 2013 include Covington, for excellence in green leadership; Goodlettsville, for excellence in public works; Johnson City, for Excellence in community progress; Medina, for small city progress; and Martin, for excellence in police services.
The Tennessee Municipal League is a voluntary, cooperative organization established by the cities and towns of the state for mutual assistance and improvements.
The league’s primary function is to advocate on behalf of city governments.
TML works with the Tennessee General Assembly promoting legislation helpful to cities and opposing legislation harmful to cities.