town view

When residents hear about possible projects around Farragut, like road improvements or greenway additions, they may get discouraged when they don’t immediately see evidence of work. But you need to know that the Town is hard at work on several projects and money is budgeted for their completion. A look at the Town’s Capital Investment Program shows both projects that are under way and new items we hope will be budgeted in FY2019. The proposed FY2019 budget will be approved in June.

There are three large engineering projects already under way that will impact everyone who drives in the Town of Farragut. One is the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality traffic signal system upgrade, which will include a centrally-controlled system, and replacement of all controllers and communications equipment. While we have $75,000 budgeted for the project this year and over $2.5 million budgeted next year; the federal government will reimburse the Town 100 percent as the project is completed.

Another is the long-awaited Union Road improvement. Design is in development for the new road from Hobbs Road to Everett Road and from Hobbs to Kingston Pike. The Town will invest $500,000 in FY2019 and $3,520,000 in FY2020, and the project should be completed in the fall of 2020. The project is funded as an 80 percent federal/20 percent local cost share.

Virtue Road is also slated for upgrades from south of Broadwood Drive to south of Kingston Pike. FY2019 funding for this project is $450,000, and FY2020 funding is $2.3 million. The completion date is fall of 2021.

The big-ticket item on the proposed FY2019 budget is the McFee Park expansion. After completing a master plan in FY2017 and a survey and architectural plans in FY2018, $6.1 million is budgeted in FY2019 for grading, a large pavilion and restrooms, a new connection from McFee Road and creation of a great lawn. This is a significant line item, but it’s an investment that will pay off for future Farragut generations.

The Town also has two greenway projects under way. One is a connector between the existing greenway behind Brooklawn Shopping Center and the north side of Kingston Pike via an existing arch bridge over North Fork of Turkey Creek. This project, currently in the design stage, will be a safe way for pedestrians to cross Kingston Pike near the heart of Farragut.

Design is also in development for new pedestrian facilities along the north side of Smith Road from Everett Road to Andover Boulevard. The FY2019 budget for the Smith Road Greenway is $225,000.

Construction projects take a lot of time and money, but through good planning and a fiscally-conservative approach to budgeting, the Town improves each and every year.

Follow the progress of the FY2019 budget by checking the Board of Mayor and Aldermen agendas for upcoming discussions.

As always, the public is invited to attend our meetings, held at 7 p.m. on second and fourth Thursdays. I hope to see you there.