Only ‘single digit’ Town sales tax hit: Smoak

Though Town of Farragut experienced sales tax losses versus “previous fiscal years” — due to the effects of COVID-19 and based on “four or five months of sales tax revenues under our belts” — Town administrator David Smoak emphasized, “We are certainly better than we projected in our budget” post-COVID-19.

“From a fiscal standpoint, instead of double-digit losses in sales tax revenue, we’re seeing more single-digit losses,” he added while reporting Town financial news to Shop Farragut/Farragut Business Alliance, during its Zoom meeting Thursday morning, Sept. 17. “That’s been at least somewhat encouraging.”

As for the number of visitors in Farragut staying in one of the Town’s eight hotels, “We have seen the number of hotel stays getting better since April,” Smoak said.

• Smoak said construction on Admiral’s Corner, at the corner of Kingston Pike and Campbell Station Road, “is coming along,” estimating an opening date “sometime in late fall.

“They are actually going to be brewing their own beer” subject to Town Beer Board approval, he added.

• He said about completion of the Town’s newest park, which he called “Campbell Station Park” across from Admiral’s Corner behind historic Campbell Station Inn, “We hope sometime in October that’ll be done.”

• While the state “is giving tourism grants … to all 95 counties … they singled out a couple of cities, us and Collierville, to also get addition funds from that,” the Town administrator added. “We’re working with Visit Knoxville and the state of Tennessee. We have to use the money on COVID-19-related marketing.

“And it has to be spent by the end of the year.” He said the Town could get some, or all, of “$78,000.”

• Thought Light the Park will not be an onsite physical gathering on a late November or early December Monday evening as during past holiday seasons, “We will certainly have lights, and we’re trying to expand those, to go further out, to get more people to check them out,” Smoak said. “We’re going to do several things up and down Campbell Station Road to try to get people’s attention. … Maybe all the way down to Kingston Pike.

• Candace Viox, Alliance chair, also has been named Visit Farragut Committee chair. “You’ve a very committed member of our community, and we greatly benefit from your passion,” Farragut Vice Mayor Louise Povlin, Alliance member, said.