Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen looked back on a banner year, and ahead to what 2020 and beyond may hold during a several hour strategic planning retreat Friday, Feb. 21 in the new Farragut Community Center.
Mayor Ron Williams., along with Vice Mayor Louise Povlin, and Aldermen Ron Pinchok, Drew Burnette and Scott Meyer submitted in advance to Town administrator David Smoak their ideas on what they saw as the Town’s top accomplishments over the last year, along with goals and other focus areas they would like to see in the coming year.
Looking ahead, Williams noted some of his top priorities include expanding the Outlet Drive Entertainment Corridor around Top Golf, which should break ground later this year along with developing a Town Center District — perhaps at the Old Kroger site, or former Farragut Mayor Eddy Ford’s property; the planned $8 million expansion at McFee Park; the Campbell Station Inn Plaza, due for completion this summer; and planned reconstruction of Virtue Road, which, when completed, would eliminate its prevalent flooding issues.
“The Plaza will be a great addition to our parks,” Williams said. “But as far as the house itself, I think we are between a rock and a hard place.”
It has not yet been determined what will be the best use for the historic Campbell Station Inn, which dates back to the early-to-mid 1800s. The Town bought the house and surrounding land almost a decade ago, and it has undergone extensive renovations.
“Should it be a public facility? A private one? Should we rent it out for private events?” Williams asked.
“Now that we have the Hotel/Motel tax, along with Visit Farragut, Shop Farragut and the (Farragut West Knox County) Chamber, we need to have more direct purposeful coordination between (them),” Povlin said.
Povlin said she also would like to see a multimodal transportation plan be developed in conjunction with an update of the Major Road Plan, and she remains eager to continue working with Farragut Municipal Planning Commission and the Town’s Education Relations Committee, even though she is not running for reelection this year.
Meyer, who was unable to attend the retreat, listed several priorities he would like to see, including the upcoming national volleyball tournament that he worked to bring to Town, along with “refinement of current tourism activities to focus on sports tourism,” and hopes for “an impactful town 40th anniversary celebration.”
In the coming year, Pinchok — long a parks proponent — said he would like to see the Town “marketed more,” and a retention plan be considered to “maintain our great staff.”
He also noted McFee Park’s expansion, along with completion of the Town’s new sign ordinance and updating its Comprehensive Land Use Plan. (The latter two were discussed during the Feb. 20 regular monthly FMPC meeting.)
Burnette mentioned he would like to see plans for “additional rectangular ball fields,” suggesting one existing baseball field be converted,” and also mentioned, in the future, he would like to see consideration given to building an all-inclusive playground.
“They bring kids, all kids (inclcuding those disabled) together to play, when a lot of times, those groups are separated. I think Anchor Park would be a fantastic place for it.”
Town Parks and Recreation Director Sue Stuhl said she has previously looked into grant for such a project, and both Burnette and Williams noted the possibility of funding could possibly come from partnerships with former athletes.