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TML deputy director speaks at FBMA


In its July 22 meeting, the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen took the opportunity to learn more about the law regarding state-shared taxes.

The board invited Ross Loder, deputy director of the Tennessee Municipal League, to speak about the issue that’s come to a forefront since the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations voiced concerns about municipalities that do not issue a property tax.

“It seems like we’re a target sometimes for being efficient,” Vice Mayor Mike Haynes said before Loder’s comments.

In a January 2004 document, TACIR did report inequities among the distribution of state-shared taxes, particularly for cities without a property tax.


For those cities, the number of services offered, is a point of concern, an example of inequity, according to TACIR. The group suggests cities that provide a full-range of seven services (Farragut does not fall into this category) carry a greater burden since those cities do not receive more revenue to help fund these services. Loder said TML believes all cities do not (and should not) provide the same number of services.

Ford contended, “We are proud of our business model. It is very beneficial to our citizens.”

Loder suggested that a representative of the town attend the next TACIR meeting in September.

Loder said, that while this is a serious issue, “this is not a panic situation.” He added that he doesn’t believe any legislator wants to take action that could be detrimental to a municipality. Loder said it was important to get the word out about the services Farragut provides citizens.

Ford noted the town’s $13 million in growth projects over the next two years and said he looked forward to the challenge.

Loder’s comments became a running commentary during the remainder of the meeting, as Ford highlighted Farragut’s services throughout.

“The burden needs to be on us,” Ford said. He suggested the matter be placed on the work program.

Haynes added, “It is critical that the representatives we send to Nashville are advocates of our town.”

Loder was also asked to speak about Tennessee’s annexation law. He noted the 1998 change in the laws to make annexation within an urban growth boundary less difficult and annexation beyond the boundary more difficult. At that time, the law read: If a suit is filed to challenge an annexation, the party filing the action must prove, one: an annexation ordinance is unreasonable for the overall well-being of the communities involved and two: the health, safety and welfare of the citizens and property owners of the municipality and territory will not be materially retarded in the absence of such annexation.

Since then, the wording was adjusted. “And” was changed to “or” whereby only one stipulation had to be proven by the filing party. In January 2004, the law was revisited to change the “or” back to “and” which did not survive the legislative process, Loder explained.

The House and the Senate adopted different bills, and the issue was referred to a TACIR committee. Loder would not comment on his opinion of the outcome of the committee but said, “TACIR’s view carries significant weight with the General Assembly.”

Loder’s comments carried weight with the first reading of Ordinance 04-19 to annex land, described as the “southern gateway entrance” to the town, a move recommended by the FMPC. The reading affected Parcel 010, Tax Map 153BA; Parcels 001, 002 and 003, Tap Map 153BB; Parcels 037.05, 037.06 and 039; Tax Map 153; and a portion of Parcel 037.03 Tap Map 153, that is located on the east side of Concord Road.

Town Attorney Tom Hale suggested, “We must weigh the cost associated with the possibility of a contest associated with this annexation versus the benefits the town would derive by gaining control of the development of this land.”

Hale advised against going forward with the annexation. Ford suggested postponing the reading, adding the importance of monitoring what happens in the legislature with regards to annexation law. “We have a great lawyer but he’s limited by the law,” Haynes said.

The Board voted unanimously to postpone the reading until further notice.

Other votes scheduled for the meeting included Pilot Corporation’s Ordinance 04-24 requesting permission to reduce the minimum width between fuel pumping islands and buildings from 40 to 30 feet. The ordinance passed with a vote of 4-0. Since Haynes’ law firm represents Pilot, he abstained his vote.

Because the applicant’s representative was delayed, a vote on Ordinance 04-25, permitting CVS Pharmacy leniency on sign placement, was postponed until the Aug. 12 FBMA meeting.

In the Mayor’s report, Ford announced a delay in the Campbell Station Road extension project. He said the town had deposited its portion of the construction cost but that TDOT was waiting on two outstanding environmental reports, at least one of them from the Corps of Engineers. Ford expects the project to start by the end of August. “It’s good news and bad news, but at least we’re moving,” he said.

Ford announced a July 2005 bid letting date for the McFee Road project. The Board moved to deposit the town’s share (20 percent) of the cost or $412,017. The Board had budgeted for $700,000.

“Two major road projects,” Ford concluded, adding that it’s something else TACIR needs to be made aware of in the future.

In the Engineer Darryl Smith’s report, Fox Run resident Gary Bishop was on hand to update the Board on the subdivision’s erosion issue. “We thoroughly appreciate the town’s response,” Bishop said. He described a “3 and one-half hour tour” by several involved parties. Bishop was given a copy of a letter sent by Smith to M & M Partners which outlined the plans for “reconstruction and/or remediation of the drainage and erosion problems that became so evident during the recent storms.”

Bishop added that he was concerned about possible erosion associated with a 32-inch pipe located in a new section of the development along steep terrain that runs into a “beautiful meadow.”

All work is to be completed by Aug. 13.























All work is to be completed by August 13. “Failure to meet this deadline with result in withholding of building permits and/inspections in Fox Run Unit 11,” Smith’s letter concluded.

Other business:

• Leland Johnson addressed the board about First Utility District’s future growth plans. (see FUD expansion article)

• In unfinished business, Town Engineer Darryl Smith requested approval of a change order for the completion of the Kingston Pike sidewalk project. The Board approved an additional $8369.50 be paid to Greenback Asphalt Co.

• Administrator Dan Olson announced that FBMA meetings and FMPC meetings are now televised on cable station no. 3. He also presented the Leisure Services report, whereby Ford touted the many activities available to residents.

• Ford presented Earl Johnson with a certificate for completing the Tennessee Chapter of American Public Works Association four-day workshop. Johnson is the second town staff member to complete the course. The workshop was funded partly by the Tennessee Chapter. Ford commended the Public Works Department. “You do a tremendous job,” he said.

• The Board approved a Special Events Permit submitted by Betsy Johnson of Baptist Health System Foundation. The “Baptist Turkey Trot” 5K run/walk, held from 8 to 10 a.m. on November 20, will begin at Baptist West Hospital with 5/10 mile taking place in Farragut.

• Clyde Knisley whose Special Events Permit requested permission to hold a Christian rock concert in the parking lot of Outlets Mall, reported that the event’s exact date was yet to be determined. Ford made Knisley aware of the need to specify a date and suggested he revise his permit once the date has been set. Because of incidents at previous functions held at the location, Alderman Constance Rutenber suggested Knisley plan for adequate security.

• Linda Ford represented the Farragut Decorating Committee to announce the 2004 Landscape Beautification Awards. Winners were chosen based on landscape design, plant selection, maintenance and first and last impressions. In the commercial/office building category, Kohl’s and SunTrust both received first place honors. Honorable mentions went to: Gables & Gates Realtors, McDonald’s Restaurant, O’Charley’s Restaurant and Wendy’s Restaurant. Vista Subdivision on Virtue Road was named the winner in the residential entrance category with Fox Den and Fox Run subdivisions named as honorable mentions. In the religious institution category, Faith Lutheran Church took the top spot and Farragut Church of Christ and Farragut Presbyterian Church were awarded honorable mentions.

 

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