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Town nixes ‘pocket park’

The Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen has decided to brush the idea off the table for a pocket park on Campbell Station Road near the entrance to Farragut High School.

“It’s my own personal feeling that there is a better way to spend $310,000 of our money,” Vice Mayor Mike Haynes said concerning the project that would have cost approximately $380,000.

“It’s an important part of our town and our park system, but the price tag is beyond my comprehension,” said Alderman Joel Garber.

If the FBMA had voted to go forward with the project, the town would have re-bid the project and asked for an extension on a Local Parks and Recreation Fund grant of $71,000.

Instead the board voted unanimously to pull the plug on the project and let the area remain as green space.

“I support the decision because in the future I think we can make it a more attractive green space,” said Alderman Connie Rutenber.

“I hope there’s a way to do something attractive for less money,” Garber said.

The property eyed for the project was once used for a First Utility District substation.

Since the town obtained it several ideas were tossed around for the property, from a place to commemorate the town’s 20th anniversary in 2000 and as a passive park with a clock as a centerpiece.

The idea for the clock was later nixed, but the pocket park idea remained.

When bids came in for the project, they far exceeded what the town had budgeted. The board declined the bids and decided to discuss the idea at a later date.

The FBMA also voted unanimously to approve a Plant-A-Tree program for the town.

The program will allow an individual or group to honor or memorialize an individual by having a tree planted in their name in a town park or along a town greenway.

Trees will be purchased and planted in a location discussed with the donor.

Donors can choose from five types of trees — Eastern Hemlock, Red Maple, Willow Oak, Dogwood and Redbud.

The trees price range from $150 and $200.

A granite disk will be placed at the base of the tree, outside the root ball with the person’s name inscribed on it.

The town’s Public Works Department will conduct annual maintenance of the trees.

For more information on the program or to receive an application call the town’s Leisure Services office at 966-7057.

In other business:

• The FBMA voted unanimously on second reading to amend the Farragut Zoning Ordinance and create a five-story office district (O-1-5). The new district was created “primarily for the area along Parkside Drive,” said Ruth Hawk, community development director for the town.

• The FBMA voted unanimously on second reading to annex largely commercial tracts on the south side of Kingston Pike between the town’s current boundary and Canton Hollow Road.

• The FBMA voted unanimously on second reading to zone recently annexed parcels 1.01, 1.03, 1.04, 1.05, 1.06 and 2, Tax Map 143BA from none to office (O-1); and parcels 38, 38.02, 38.03, 38.04, 40 and 40.01, Tax Map 131, parcels 1 and 2, Tax Map 143, parcels 1,2, 3 and 26, Tax Map 143BD, and parcels 30 and 31, Tax Map 143BC from none to commercial (C-1).

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