Prevent, reduce hazards: task of Town leaders

With an Americans with Disabilities transition plan under its belt, Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen now can act on a natural hazard mitigation plan at its meeting Thursday, Oct. 11.

Bart Hose, Farragut Community Development assistant director, presented an updated draft — for Knox County, City of Knoxville and Town of Farragut — of Multi-Jurisdictional Local Hazard Mitigation Plan to Board members during a workshop Thursday, Sept. 13.

Town administrator David Smoak said Town staff has worked with Knoxville and Knox County officials on the plan for about a year. The Board can be expected to take action in “a couple of weeks,” Smoak added during the workshop.

The goal of the plan is to eliminate risks of natural hazards such as flooding, sinkholes, hail storms and tornadoes, rather than respond to consequences after the disaster, Hose said, adding the plan does not address man-made hazards such as toxic spillages. “Most of the grants that are associated with this type of plan are targeted at natural hazards,” he explained.

“Some communities do put in man-made hazards, but the committee (that drew up the proposed plan) — because of the timeline — chose not to do that.”

The proposed plan essentially has been approved by FEMA pending adoption of the plan by the Town, Knoxville and Knox County governments, Hose said.

“The way it works, the local governments put the plan together; they ship it off to FEMA; FEMA reviews it to make sure it meets the guidelines for this type of plan; then they approve it subject to adoption,” Hose said.

If the Town wants to apply for mitigation grants, he added the Town would have to have this plan in place.

Some goals listed include requiring “real estate disclosure to buyer of drainage easement maintenance responsibility … detention ponds, low-impact development practices; developing an outreach/public education program to address excessive heat, sheltering options and information on reducing agricultural losses; implementing more stringent requirements for low-impact development practices for new and re-development projects; and enforcing recommendations of Hillside and Ridgetop protection Plan.