To further safety, curb vandalism, expansion of park security cameras considered by Town Board

Consideration of expanding installation of cameras in Town of Farragut parks drew the most interest from Board of Mayor and Aldermen during a workshop review of Farragut Parks and Recreation proposed’s Master Plan.

“I think there’s lots of items here that have a lot of merit,” Alderman Scott Meyer said during the workshop, held prior to BOMA’s regular meeting Thursday, Jan. 27, in Town Hall boardroom. “My only comment would be the cameras. I believe we talked about it in the (Capital Investment Plan) so we would make that a priority across all of our parks.”

As the Town adds new features, “We probably need to protect it,” Meyer added. “In the strategic plan, we probably should discuss that.”

The Board will be discussing its strategic plan and other matters during a retreat set to start 9 a.m., Friday, Feb. 4, in Town Hall.

In the front portion of the new part of the road at McFee Park, “I was hoping the cameras would be up,” Alderman Ron Pinchok said.

“The problem is we can’t move in until we get part of it released, and we didn’t know when that was going to happen,” Parks and Recreation director Sue Stuhl said. “I think you don’t want to wait until the cameras come in to open.”

Concerning the cameras, Stuhl said Founders Park at Campbell Station has them, as does the current two phases of McFee Park.

“The third phase will be put in as soon as the equipment comes in,” she said. “It’s already funded.

“Starting on Mayor Bob Leonard Park would be a big deal,” Stuhl added. “That’s not going to be easy … because there are so many entrances.”

“With the wrong people coming in, I think it’s important,” Meyer said. “I would push that (project) up.”

“I agree, cameras are huge,” Stuhl said.

Other park topics

Pinchok also asked about a fence going up along the green lawn at McFee Park.

“Yes, today (Jan. 27) they started on it,” Stuhl said.

“There’s still quite a bit of work to do in the lawn area itself,” Town administrator David Smoak said. “It’s really weather dependent, so we want to keep people off of it as much as possible … for the next couple of months.”

Master plan praise, outlook

Concerning the Master Plan draft, “Sue, you did a wonderful job” Pinchok said.

“She still has a lot of work to do,” Smoak said.

“It will come back to you in February and late March,” Stuhl said. “The next grant round hasn’t been announced yet, so we’re not pushed for time on this. (The plan) has to be approved by the deadline of the grant (Town is applying).”

Light Ordinance passes

In Board action during its meeting, the update to Chapter 4 of the Farragut Zoning Ordinance netted final approval with a unanimous vote. The ordinance affects businesses as they apply for lighting permits.

The ordinance update initially was discussed in October and November 2021, and received approval on first reading Thursday, Jan. 13.