Town ready to access Americans with Disabilities Act status

Although Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen agreed to amend the budget to allocate more money toward a Town-assessment for Americans with Disabilities Act [of 1990] compliance, it tabled action to contract with an engineering firm on that work.

The action to table came after a 30-minute discussion during a Board meeting Thursday, Sept. 28, after two residents asked the Board to wait on action to hire Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc.

Janet Wedekind, Farragut Human Resources manager, introduced the proposed contract with Kimley-Horn for $148,700 to do the ADA compliance project. But Smith Road resident John Nehls said he could do the work himself on a volunteer basis at no charge to the Town.

“I would love to sit down and talk,” Wedekind said.

Along a similar note, Robin Hill, an engineer and former Farragut Municipal Planning Commission chair, said there were several things about Kimley-Horne’s proposal that worried him.

“I don’t know what their proposal means in terms of the total work to do,” Hill said. “This [issue] is a lot more complicated than you think and more expensive than you think.

“Go slow, understand, then do what you need to do,” he added.

“It wouldn’t hurt to wait,” David Smoak, Town administrator, said.

The contract with Kimley-Horn first came up when the Board unanimously passed a budget amendment to add more money for an ADA self-assessment.

Smoak said the Town has budget $60,000 this fiscal year to do the ADA self-assessment and transition plan.

“When we got the [Request for Quotation to invite firms to bid on a project] back from the prospective engineering firms, the proposals came back much higher than we had budgeted,” Smoak said. “So this requested amended amount is for $90,000 to cover the total cost for the actual engineering study for our total FY 2018 general fund budget, to be amended [to] $7,204,579.”

He explained Town of Farragut is under a federal and Tennessee Department of Transportation mandate to make sure it does a self-assessment and transition plan for all publicly owned facilities regarding ADA compliance, while giving a recommendation on a transition plan going forward on “how to fund fixing all those items in the future.

“It’s something we have to do,” Smoak said, adding the deadline for the self-assessment and plan is December 2018.

If the assessment and plan are not done, TDOT and the federal government could withhold grant funding, Wedekind said.

Kimley-Horn has contracted with the state, so Wedekind said the firm knows what is required.

“I think we would get a bigger bang for our buck,” she added.

In the end, the Board agreed to table the issue for four weeks, while in the meantime setting up a workshop to discuss the ADA self-assessment and transition plan.

In other action, the Board passed unanimously an ordinance to consolidate and update Town codes.

The Board also approved unanimously a special event permit for Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce’s 23rd Annual Farragut 5K & Fun Walk, which is scheduled for Saturday morning, Nov. 11, along Watt Road and Mayor Bob Leonard Park.

Prior to the Board meeting, Farragut Beer Board approved an on-premise beer permit for Thai Café/Kasumi, 743 N. Campbell Station Road.