On Wednesday, July 12, conservative Republican long-time Oak Ridge Town Councilmember George McClellan plans to file to run for another term on the town council.

McClellan told the Rhino Times that the town is at a major turning point in its growth – with several large projects in the works – and, he said, he helped start those projects and he wants to help see them through.

“This is the year of the big projects,” McClellan said, adding that the town is opening Heritage Farm Park, building a water system and starting work on a new community center at Town Park.

McClellan said he’s very excited about all the projects and he’s especially pleased the town is doing them while maintaining the same 8 cent tax rate that it’s had for years.  He said that, between state money, federal money from the American Rescue Plan (ARP), and the town’s money, Oak Ridge is able to make some big improvements.

Town Park, for instance, used to be a tobacco field, and the new community center – which will be able to handle about 50 visitors at a time – is an old farmhouse that’s being converted into the new public facility.

“Next year, from the back porch, there will be ‘Music on the porch,’” McClellan said.

McClellan, who has served on the council for nearly a decade and a half, said the town is primed for growth since it is located near Piedmont Triad International Airport, which will see hundreds of new jobs in the coming years.

He said that getting a water system – eventually freeing the town from well water – will be another big step.

He added that some people in Oak Ridge would prefer not to see growth.  McClellan said that you can’t stop growth, but, with the right leadership, you can guide it in a sensible way.