BOMA may rethink Splash Pad policy

After amending the Town’s McFee Park Splash Pad policy regarding childcare centers, a business owner asked Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen to reconsider the move during its meeting Thursday, April 14.

“I just wanted to speak in front of the Town (Board) and express my displeasure of the policy,” said Scott Bailey, owner of P3 Sportsplex.

P3 Sportsplex, located along Kingston Pike, Farragut, offers martial arts, cheer, tumbling and fitness classes, as well as a summer camp program.

“I sent an e-mail on March 31 to everyone of you guys about the recent Splash Pad policy,” Bailey said.

Most Board members and Town administrator David Smoak said they never received that e-mail.

“I understand what everyone is trying to do — everybody is trying to use McFee Park in a productive way,” Bailey said. “We currently pick up 150 kids in Knox County and bring them back to our facility for after-school every day.

“Our summer camp already has over 250 participants signed up,” he added.

Bailey said he understood the new policy states he could bring the more than 200 participants and use the playground but could not bring them to use the Splash Pad unless they rent a pavilion, which costs $85.

“That makes no sense because if I bring over 200 kids to McFee Park, that place is going to be overcrowded,” he said, noting other childcare centers would be bringing their groups on those same two days.

Additionally, “I want you to understand that these field trips to McFee Park helps keeps costs low for parents,” Bailey said.

“I am respectfully asking that each one of you guys consider … revising the policy and incorporating businesses like mine into communication regarding these policies.”

The policy states childcare businesses use the Splash Pad on Mondays and Wednesdays, but Bailey said his camp doesn’t take field trips on Monday, leaving him only one day for his children to use the facility.

“One of the largest complaints —and the reason for the policy — was for residents, to try to strike a balance between residents and businesses and trying to do both,” Smoak said. “If we need to look at revising that ... we’re certainly welcome to open that up again.”

“I want to compliment you,” Alderman Scott Meyer told Bailey. “It’s not often that we have a resident who is frustrated and comes here and hears our side.”

Before taking action, Smoak said the Board needs to read the e-mail then he can get with Bailey to see what the Town can do.