Contingency $218k for McFee OK’d

Farragut’s largest project to date will now offer a multi-purpose court when completed in 2021.

Following a work session, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted 3-2 during its Thursday, Oct. 8, meeting to approve an additional $218,305 to add a multi-purpose asphalt-based acrylic-topped sporting court as part of ongoing Phase 3 work in McFee Park.

That amount is in addition to the $7.385 million previously approved by BOMA for the project, which is adding a great lawn, a four-court tennis complex, a restroom pavilion, loop road and additional parking.

Town administrator David Smoak explained during the work session that a 5 percent contingency ($369,000) had been built into the project, and since there had been few change orders and the project is moving along relatively on schedule, additional amenities were discussed.

“The staff feels confident that some of the contingency money could be utilized to provide more amenities to the park if it is the desire of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen,” Smoak’s report stated.

Initial plans had called for a basketball court at the park but were scrapped due to cost concerns when the plans were approved last year. As the Oct 8 plans were presented, initially, it also called only for a basketball court.

Vice Mayor Louise Povlin, who voted against the addition, said she was hesitant to add to the Park’s costs right now.

“I don’t believe it would be financially prudent at this time to spend that much money,” she said. “I’m concerned the project is not far enough along to reallocate the funding right now.”

Alderman Scott Meyer, who cast the second “no” vote, said initially he was concerned a proliferation of basketball courts already exists in Farragut.

“There are courts in our schools and in our neighborhoods,” Meyer said.

“I’m not comfortable spending this amount on a basketball court.”

However, Mayor Ron Williams noted he had helped install a multi-purpose asphalt court in his Sugarwood subdivision and perhaps that would be a better plan in McFee.

In two related matters, BOMA also approved change orders to be paid to Merit Construction’s work in McFee park in the amount of $15,749 for fees, storm drain work and power line work and $40,000 for utility relocation.

In other business: BOMA voted to approve on first reading the following ordinances: 20-17, amending Farragut Municipal Code, Special Event Permit, which allows food trucks for special events sponsored by a homeowner’s association; and 20-18, which rezoned 24.85 acres at 1013 McFee Road from Agricultural (A) to Open Space Residential Overlay (R-1OSR).