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DeKalb County Library System Re-Opening Guidelines

September 23, 2020

The DeKalb County Libraries will re-open to the public on Monday, September 28th by appointment only. There will be safety guidelines that are to be followed by the library and the public as mandated by the CDC, State and Federal Government on the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“These guidelines are being implemented to ensure the safety and well-being of the community and our library staff and are subject to change depending upon the current health situation and regulations. We want to work with the public in providing as many services as possible in a safe and welcoming environment,” said Library Director Kathy Hendrixson.

This is a list of the guidelines that have to be followed in order for the libraries to re-open to the public.

The public can only enter Justin Potter Library from the side door next to the City Hall for their appointment. The front door is for Curb Side service only.

The patron will need to call and schedule an appointment time to enter the library. The appropriate amount of time will be allotted for their visit depending on the service that the patron requires.

The computer usage is limited to a one hour session per day. The first priority will be for those needing to apply for jobs, school work, census and unemployment sign up. There will only be two computers available for use at this time in order to keep social distancing. The computer keyboard and mouse will be cleaned between patron visits. One on one assistance is not available during this time. Wi-Fi is available outside the building 24/7.

Patrons will have an allotted amount of time to check out books and movies. There will be a limited number of people allowed in the library at one time. This way we can accommodate as many people as possible each day in a safe environment. All returned items need to be placed in the outside book drop before you enter the library. We will not accept returned items inside the library. Returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours before being checked out again.

Please help keep everyone inside safe by wearing a mask, having your temperature taken and honor social distancing guidelines when you enter the library. There will be hand sanitizer available for use by the door. Please stay home if you are ill or running a fever.

“We will continue to provide curbside service with copying, printing, faxing, book and movie pick up to those who are not able to meet these safety guidelines or that are concerned about entering the library. There may be parts of the library that have limited access due to the book sale, said Hendrixson

Justin Potter Library’s virtual and by appointment only book sale begins on September 28th. There will be guidelines in place that must be followed in order for the public do the in person book sale. This is to ensure the safety of the patrons and the staff.

“We have missed everyone and look forward to welcoming our patrons back into the library. The staff and library board appreciates the public’s understanding and co-operation during this stage of the libraries re-opening process. For further information call Justin Potter Library at 615-597-4359 or Alexandria Library at 615-529-4124, visit us on Facebook or our website at,” Hendrixson concluded

City Reapplies for Up to One Million Dollars in Grant Funding for Pedestrian Crosswalk Improvements

September 23, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

The City of Smithville is again embarking on a plan to improve pedestrian crossings at two busy intersections.

During a special meeting Monday evening, Mayor Josh Miller informed the aldermen that the city has reapplied for a Tennessee Department of Transportation Multi-Modal Access Grant.

This program is a 95/5% match for construction of up to $1 million. If fully funded, the city would receive $950,000 in grant funding with a $50,000 local match requirement for construction of crosswalk improvements at the intersections of Highway 56 & 70 and at Highway 70 & 146.

Virginia Alexander, Community Development Planner for the Upper Cumberland Development District, was also at the meeting Monday to discuss the project.

“Smithville submitted a letter of intent to apply for a TDOT Multi-Modal Access Grant. The scope of the project is to redo the intersections at Highway 56 & 70 and Mountain Street & Highway 70 with new crosswalks and potential signalization if needed. A study would be done for rehabbing the area and intersections with crosswalks for safety and any sidewalk repair needed. It was accepted to be a full application so we are working to get that application completed,” said Alexander.

The city first applied for the grant last October but was denied.

City Leaders Pitch for New Playground at Greenbrook Park

September 22, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

Its been 23 years since the community playground was built at Greenbrook Park and while it has held up well city officials believe its time for a new one to replace it.

The city recently applied for a Healthy Places Grant through the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee Foundation which if approved would provide up to $750,000 in funding for a new playground.

Mayor Josh Miller addressed the issue with the aldermen during Monday night’s special called city council meeting.

Virginia Alexander, Community Development Planner for the Upper Cumberland Development District, was also at the meeting to discuss the project.

“Its done through Blue Cross as a foundational grant so its not coming from government funds. Its from Blue Cross. They started this foundation to do parks and create what they call Healthy Places. We have applied to have the Greenbrook Playground replaced with new equipment. It would be new, upgraded, safer equipment and it would have turf type material to make the grounds safer. It would also be more handicapped accessible. If this grant is awarded Smithville would be required to do the demolition of the existing park but then Blue Cross would come in and build the park with branding on it that says Blue Cross Healthy Places because they want their name on it if they are going to put up to $750,000 in it. They will come in and redo that whole area and then it transfers back over to the city once its completed. The city will be responsible for maintenance but it’s a free installation and they (Blue Cross Blue Shield) does everything during the project,” said Alexander.

The grant application was submitted in August. Grant awards are announced in January.

Since 2005, the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation has supported schools, arts and cultural groups, museums, and other organizations that make life better here in Tennessee.

In 2018, Blue Cross Blue Shield announced a new signature cause that would help make an even bigger impact on the communities they serve – the BlueCross Healthy Place Program. The foundation is creating BlueCross Healthy Places, including parks with fitness equipment and playgrounds, across the state so neighbors have places to come together, get to know one another and enjoy healthy activity.

Each BlueCross Healthy Place is uniquely designed to meet the needs of the area and people it serves, and each space is inclusive with features for visitors of all ages and abilities.

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