In a program change list provided recently to the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Town officials are looking to upgrade security, add positions at the new community center, provide staff merit raises and purchase a new phone system among requested changes to the under-construction 2019-20 budget.
Town Administrator David Smoak provided a list of program changes and corresponding budget adjustments to the Board during a workshop session Thursday, April 25, which met prior to the group’s regular bi-monthly meeting.
Altogether, the new items would bring the total current proposed General Fund expenditures to $7.365 million for the coming year.
One of the biggest needs Smoak detailed included a complete upgrade of the Town’s phone system at an estimated cost of $45,000.
The current phone system is seven years old and was described in a report as being so outdated, its own manufacturer no longer supports it.
“With the addition of the community center and the need for voice communications this is the perfect opportunity to address the loss of support for our current system and provide (for the needs) of the new facility,” the report stated.
Smoak said the project would be put out for bids.
Additionally, he said a need for increased safety measures, both at Town Hall and the new community center, are needed, while the town’s Information Technology Department has proposed adding security cameras and access control cards for staff members at an estimated total cost of $24,000.
Most of that cost would be for upgrades at Town Hall, as the measuresalready had been figured into the new community center budget appropriations, Smoak said.
Personnel changes also were discussed, with Town Parks and Recreation director Sue Stuhl asking that the current part time media assistant’s position be upgraded to full time due to increased work loads.
This position had previously been held by a student, but with an expanded focus on tourism, and expected additional demands when the new Community Center opens sometime in the next calendar year, it needs to be upgraded to full time.
Other positions discussed during the workshop were a full-time janitorial/maintenance worker, a part-time janitorial worker and several part-time attendants — all slated for the new Community Center.
The budget also proposes 4 percent employee merit raises at an estimated cost of $133,384.
Other issues being considered are bids to resurface the Campbell Station Road retaining wall and purchasing a stormwater pipe camera system, Smoak said.
The 2019-20 Budget is set to be completed in the coming weeks, with first reading tentatively scheduled for Thursday, May 23 and second reading Thursday, June 13, in order that it will be adopted by the beginning of the new fiscal year July 1.