published Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Lake City votes June 26 on Rocky Top name

Lake City, Tenn., is about to become Rocky Top.

Members of Lake City's City Council will meet in special session June 26 for the historic vote to change the town's name to Rocky Top.

A federal judge last month declined a bid by House of Bryant LLC of Gatlinburg, which holds the copyright on the bluegrass song "Rocky Top," to block the name change.

A private legislative act to allow the name change for the town of 1,800 residents was approved by state lawmakers and signed by the governor, and four out of the five City Council members would have to ratify the change for it to become official. It would be the second time the town has changed its name. It was originally called Coal Creek when the area was a coal-mining hub.

The name change to Rocky Top would take place immediately after the vote, Mayor Tim Sharp said.

The expected name change is also going to be celebrated during the town's annual Independence Day celebration, City Recorder Chris Phillips said.

That "carnivallike atmosphere" is conducted on the George Templin Memorial Field off Main Street starting at 10 a.m. The three lawmakers who ushered the name change private act through the Legislature will be recognized at the celebration, Phillips said.

In the city's proposed budget for fiscal year 2014-15, officials have doubled to $14,000 the amount earmarked for fireworks for the event.

That budgetary framework for the fiscal year that starts July 1 includes 5 percent raises for Lake City's 27 full-time employees, Phillips said.

The budget is up for a second and final reading just before the name-change meeting on June 26.

Contact Bob Fowler at fowlerb@knoxnews.com.

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