Town starts design phase for Little Turkey Creek Greenway

Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen recently took the first step in filling in the Town’s “missing link” by voting unanimously to approve a professional services contract to LDA Engineering Inc. to design Little Turkey Creek Greenway connection between Brookmere and Sheffield subdivisions.

“Once that gets done, you will be able to walk all around Farragut,” Mayor Ron Williams said during the Feb. 10 meeting. “I walked it, and it will be an outstanding project.”

“The Town’s FY2022 Capital Investment Program includes funding for design and acquisition of easements for a greenway connection along Little Turkey Creek,” between the two subdivisions, Brannon Tupper, assistant Town engineer, said. “We all know that one of the Board’s critical success factors was providing excellent parks, recreation, cultural amenities and programs.

“I recently talked with Sue Stuhl, (Parks and Recreation director), and she said consistently the No. 1 or top feedback from the citizens is greenway connections, so we know it’s a priority for our citizens,” he said.

According to the proposal for the contract with LDA Engineering, the total cost is not to exceed $62,500. Of the three line items, there is a $51,000 base contract cost, which includes all the design services, survey, right-of-way easement acquisition documents and final design plan.

There also is a $7,500 line item for no-rise certification only for as-needed basis, Tupper said.

“The greenway runs along the creek, and the plan, right now, is to stay out of the floodway and above the no-fill line so we don’t believe this (line item) will be needed based on the preliminary survey, but we did include it in the proposal just in case,” he explained.

The third line item, $4,000 is for construction administration support, Tupper said.

The proposed schedule shows three months to develop the design documents.

“So we expect it to be completed in the summer of 2022,” he said. “Then, we’ll require a couple, possibly three, easements. That will probably be another three months. We’re hoping to go to bed possibly this winter in 2023 year.

“We selected LDA Engineering because they brought a strong civil engineering-led team,” he said. “This project will be particularly challenging greenway.

“It’s pretty steep along the eastern bank there, so it’s going to take, probably, some small retaining walls and just some creative engineering to make this project work,” Tupper said. “We felt comfortable going with the LDA team for that.”

The path starts on Saddlebrook property,” he said. “They did dedicate an easement with their plat, so we won’t need to acquire one from them.

“Then it crosses onto Town property, and there are three Kingsgate addresses there,” Tupper said. “We try to stay as close to the creek as we can, but we have to get above that no-fill line, so there will probably be just a small easement (needed) around the back of the properties.”

“I’m seeing we had a budget of $240,000,” Vice Mayor Louise Povlin said. “We have a remaining balance now of $57,500. That doesn’t sound like that’s going to cover the construction.

“Are we going to have to expand this budget or …?”

“Alderman, there are more dollars in next year’s CIP that will cover construction of the greenway,” Town administrator David Smoak said.

On another note, the mayor recognized Hunter Gray, the Town’s Community Center operator, who is earning his master’s degree in sports management from East Tennessee State University. Gray attended the National Collegiate Sports Sales Championship in Atlanta last week, where he placed eighth out of 180 participants in sales competition and first in the speed sales challenge.

Williams also recognized Smoak for his 10-year anniversary with the Town and introduced Mike Walker, the new account executive for membership services with Rural Metro Fire in Farragut.

Prior to the Board meeting, Farragut Beer Board voted unanimously to approve a Class 6 special occasion beer permit for Southern Tequila & Taco Festival, which is scheduled to take place April 29 in the parking lot of JCPenney, 11534 Parkside Drive.

The is the seventh year for the event that benefits Remote Area Medical, which provides free medical, dental and vision care at mobile clinics for people in need.

“We’ve been doing this since 2015, and we’ve raised a lot of money over the years,” said John Volpe, chief development officer with RAM. “We intend to keep on going. We love it here in West Knoxville, so we’re going to keep it here in the Town of Farragut.