To tackle serious issues, $723G for stormwater approved

Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a $723,000 contract last month to address storm drain infrastructure — addressing a primary concern in recent years.

The approved contract is with Gulf Coast Underground, and the cost will cover cleaning, inspecting and repair of stormwater pipes at 17 locations throughout Town.

The winning bid was well under the Town’s stormwater fund of $1.2 million.

“The Town has not contracted with Gulf Coast Underground in the past, but the company is well-regarded in the industry and has completed many similar projects throughout the Southeastern U.S.,” Town engineer Darryl Smith stated in a report.

“The repairs include cured-in-place pipe lining (CIPP), pipe replacements and all associated work,” Smith’s report further stated.

Farragut found itself repairing two emergency stormwater breaches nearly two years ago following extremely heavy rainfall, and since then staff has worked with outside companies and the University of Tennessee to help assess possible stormwater repair needs.

Vice Mayor Louise Povlin has been the most outspoken for the proactive strategy, and during budget talks pushed to ensure the stormwater budget line-item was well-funded.

In other business, BOMA approved:

• A $258,837 bid from Whaley Construction to construct the Watt Road Pedestrian Crossing project, which was the lowest among four bids submitted.

This project — which will provide pedestrian connectivity from Orchard Grove and Sedgefield neighborhoods across Watt Road to Mayor Bob Leonard Park — had been approved previously, but bids were rejected as being too high during the last fiscal year.

Construction also will include about 700 feet of sidewalk, a pedestrian refuge island in the center turn lane and flashing beacons on an overhead mast arm.

Alderman Drew Burnette cast the lone “no” vote.

“This is a very dangerous spot for a crosswalk,” he said. “It is on a blind hill where people absolutely fly. … I am absolutely not in favor of crossing at one of the most dangerous spots.”

“I don’t disagree that there is not an ideal location, but people do cross there,” Povlin said. “They are crossing in that area already.

“I am relying on the engineer that they will put it in the best line of sight,” she added.

• Three ordinances on second reading: Ordinance 20-24, which prohibits smoking on the grounds of the Town’s playgrounds; updating the Grand Opening Special Events Permit section of the Farragut Zoning Ordinance, which includes omitting a filing fee for grand opening signs and continues allowing signs to be in place up to 20 days; and rezoning a seven-acre portion of the Velma Seal property, south of McFee Park, from R-1 Agricultural to Open Space Residential Overlay (R-I/OSR).

This property will be combined with the 25-acre former Gibson farm for the development of McFee Medows subdivision.