Retreat finds BOMA listing its 2024 priorities

Adding pickleball facilities in Mayor Bob Leonard Park, dealing with traffic and building a greenway under Kingston Pike near Rick Terry Jewelry Designs — at the intersection of the Pike and Campbell Station Road — are among the projects that topped the list of Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen priorities in 2024.

The Board mused over Town-proposed projects, challenges and concerns during its annual retreat, which took place for about six hours in Jersey College, next to Tennova Turkey Creek Medical Center, Friday, Feb. 9.

A new proposed project involved a Christmas ice skating rink in Town.

“Getting started on the pickleball courts (at Mayor Bob Leonard Park)” was one of Vice Mayor Louise Povlin’s priorities, as well as wayfinding signage.

“It would certainly help with newcomers, as well as visitors,” she added.

Other Board priorities included initiating a master plan and public input process for the future park land at McFee Road, implementing wayfinding/placemaking (signs) efforts, beginning renovations on Campbell Station Inn, identifying critical missing greenway connections or needed open/park space, adding sidewalks along spine streets in older subdivisions and enhanced park security, and researching new technology to increase efficiency and management of the Town’s lawn maintenance program, among others.

One of the priorities that caught Alderman Scott Meyer’s eye was the addition of sidewalks along roads “in the parental responsibility zone” near schools.

“And, we’re going to have a new parental responsibility zone here before too long on Boring Road (because of the new school),” Town administrator David Smoak said.

With the renovations at Campbell Station Inn, “I want it to happen, but I want to know what we’re going to do with (the Inn),” Alderman Drew Burnette asked. “I don’t think it makes sense to say ‘start with the renovations’ and not fully decide.”

“It sounds to me like the public wants it to be flexible,” Povlin said.

One issue with which the Board will have to decide is whether to keep the Red-Light Camera Program.

“It’s a program we’ve had for many, many years,” Smoak said. “But our contract is up with our vendor in March, so we wanted to talk to the Board to see if it’s something you want to continue doing, or do you want to do away with the contract — or do you want to re-bid the whole thing out?”

Initially, the Red-Light Camera Program involved three intersections, but BOMA amended the RLCP five years ago to add a fourth intersection.

“We’re now at the end of the five-year period, so the question … is do we want to continue, do you find the program valuable or helpful or do you want to do away with it or rebid this out?” Smoak asked.

“Back in 2022, we had to add a part-time employee because the citations we were sending out was overwhelming for the one employee,” he said. Financially, “we’re a little over breaking even, but not quite at this point,” Smoak said.

“If (the employees in the program) got that kind of work, that means the program has some merit,” Mayor Ron Williams said.

“They’re busy,” Smoak said.

“I would put it back on the company and tell them to show data that shows this is keeping people safer,” Burnette said.

“To me, this has always been a safety issue, to remind people,” Povlin said. ‘The federal transportation funding is moving us toward safety…”