Former Norris City Manager Tim Hester has been hired as the City of Knoxville’s Parks and Greenways Coordinator.
Hester starts today (Jan. 17). He’ll be managing Knoxville’s existing 100-mile greenways network as well as overseeing the most comprehensive build-out of new connective greenways in the City’s history.
“We have strong momentum related to trails and greenways in Knoxville, and Tim’s presence – his extensive experience – will help us continue to move forward in implementing our plans of expansion,” Parks and Recreation Director Joe Walsh said.
Hester served almost eight years as City Manager in Norris and had previously served nine years on the Norris Planning Commission, including four years as chairman. As City Manager, Hester oversaw a number of important projects, including administration of more than $2 million in grants for improvements to parks, pedestrian amenities (including the Dairy Pond Loop path), local housing, municipal sewers and energy efficiency. He also worked collaboratively with the Norris Watershed Board on more than 30 miles of multi-use trails adjacent to Norris. His efforts also included updates of Norris’ City Charter and water and sewer code from the 1949 originals and management of Norris’ zoning ordinance and building codes.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work with all of the people involved in the greenways community of Knoxville,” said Hester. “As a former City Manager and an avid user of the Norris watershed trail system, I understand and have a passion for the benefits of parks and greenways.”
A City of Knoxville selection committee conducted interviews of applicants and recommended Hester as the most qualified job candidate.
“We are continuing to strategically add new greenways, and I’m excited to have Tim as the City’s point person,” Mayor Madeline Rogero said. “His experience and his appreciation of what makes a greenways network truly comprehensive will serve him well as we continue with plans to add 24 more miles of connective greenways in 13 different corridors.”
Last summer, City officials unveiled the Greenway Corridor Feasibility Study, the blueprint that will guide new greenway construction over the next two decades. The study prioritizes improving the connections between existing greenways to give pedestrians and bicyclists more options – allowing them to walk or ride to work or school or other destinations, in addition to enjoying all the traditional healthy-lifestyle benefits of greenways.
To date, Mayor Rogero and City Council have budgeted more than $3 million in capital funding for new greenway construction.
Examples of projects currently underway include a TDOT-funded pedestrian bridge over Western Avenue near Ball Camp Pike and its connection northward to Victor Ashe Park and southward to Middlebrook Pike; construction of First Creek Greenway near Fulton High School; acquisition of property from downtown north along Second Creek; and development of a trail system along Williams Creek between Brooks Road and Chestnut Street.
For more information on City greenways, please visit www.knoxvilletn.gov/greenways.