Lake City residents in favor of changing town name to Rocky Top

Lake City residents say changing the town name to Rocky Top would bring big bucks

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Lake City is about 20 miles north of Knoxville, just off Interstate 75. Lake City is about 20 miles north of Knoxville, just off Interstate 75.
"Our city needs a shot in the arm, and I believe this is a shot that will help us," Lake City Commissioner Douglas says "Our city needs a shot in the arm, and I believe this is a shot that will help us," Lake City Commissioner Douglas says
"The estimated revenue for the first phase of the project is $50 million a year," Anderson County Commissioner Tim Isbel, said. "The estimated revenue for the first phase of the project is $50 million a year," Anderson County Commissioner Tim Isbel, said.
"I think it will be a lot more prosperous, and I think it will attract a lot more people back to this area," Lake City Chief of Police Jim Shetterly said. "I think it will be a lot more prosperous, and I think it will attract a lot more people back to this area," Lake City Chief of Police Jim Shetterly said.

by KAYLA STRAYER
6 News Reporter

LAKE CITY (WATE) - Some Lake City residents say they're serious about changing their town's name to Rocky Top. They say it would bring big business to the struggling area.

Lake City is about 20 miles north of Knoxville, just off Interstate 75.

This isn't the first time residents have wanted to change the town's name. The original name was Coal Creek, but that changed after the completion of Norris Dam in 1936. Now, residents say they're ready for another fresh start.

"I'm not sure they really took it serious at first, but it has caught on," said Donald Douglas.

Lake City Commissioner Donald Douglas has lived here all of his life. He said his town is struggling with poverty and drug issues.  

"Our city needs a shot in the arm, and I believe this is a shot that will help us," Douglas said.

Lake City Chief of Police Jim Shetterly agrees.

"I think it will be a lot more prosperous, and I think it will attract a lot more people back to this area," Shetterly said.

The idea for the name change started when city leaders voted to turn this former bank into a coal miner's museum. That caught the eye of the owners of Rocky Top Bottling, based in Knoxville. Now, they want to develop this area into an amusement complex with a water park, restaurant and theaters.

"The estimated revenue for the first phase of the project is $50 million a year," Anderson County Commissioner Tim Isbel, said.

Even with that kind of money, not everyone is on board.

"Some people don't want to lose the name because it does have some value. They've lived here their whole life," Shetterly said.

"A lot of people just doesn't want change, of course that comes with everything, but I believe it will be good for everybody concerned in our city," Douglas said.

"When we change the name, it's a new blank canvas. This community, for years, has been on a downward spiral. We've had problems with poverty, we've had problems with drugs. Now that this new resurgence has come in, it's gave great hope for this community," Isbel said.

Lake City residents who want more information, or to voice their opinion can attend a public meeting at 6 p.m. November 1 at the Main Street Family Life Center in Lake City. On November 7, City Council will vote on whether to change the name. If it passes, it moves on as a bill to state lawmakers.

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