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Stormwater Ordinance passes on first reading


The Sinkhole Ordinance was the chief topic of discussion at the regularly scheduled meeting of the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen Thursday, June 23.

For the past two months the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission has been fine-tuning the workings of this ordinance that was put into motion for creation two years ago. Sinkhole requirements were placed on the Commission’s work program because of fear that an incident that occurred in the City of Oak Ridge might be repeated in Farragut. The City of Oak Ridge had to buy out numerous houses because the structures’ foundations were failing with the expansion of a large sinkhole.

Community Development Director Ruth Hawk explained the ordinance to the Board and addressed any questions the aldermen posed.

Hawk first explained the purpose of the sinkhole ordinance.

“The purpose of this ordinance is to protect existing and future development from flooding due to sinkhole overflow and backup, to protect underground drainage systems from clogging due to sediment and debris, to protect the structural integrity of the buildings and roads built near the sinkholes and to work with the State of Tennessee to protect groundwater resources from contamination due to pollutant runoff into sinkholes,” Hawk said.

Chester Carbaugh, a Sugarwood resident, opened the debate with concerns about the text of the ordinance. Carbaugh urged the Board to more carefully define the terms of the ordinance that could potentially cost citizens of Farragut time and money.

Carbaugh had a personal situation linked to the ordinance’s subject that he felt would sway the decision making process of the Board.

When doing construction in his backyard, Carbaugh discovered something that looked similar to a sinkhole but, as he said, “was most likely trash that had been buried from the construction of the house.

“If this ordinance had been in place,” he said, “I would have had to go through an expensive mechanism to prove that I didn’t have a sinkhole.” The type of mechanism referred to by Carbaugh would be an engineer from Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, which Carbaugh said would have cost him between $1 and $2 thousand.

“I just want to emphasize the type of burden this puts on residents of the town,” Carbaugh said.

The Board amended the ordinance before passing on first reading.

Vice Mayor Mike Haynes defined the amendment that the board would finally agree on. The developer/homeowner would bear the sinkhole expense if they do indeed have a sinkhole, “unless,” as Haynes said, “the developer prevails, in which case, the reasonable cost would be borne by the town.”

A second reading of the ordinance will be before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen Thursday, July 7.

Town engineer Darryl Smith in his weekly report discussed concerns about the planned construction on Smith Road.

“The majority of property owners are not seeing this defined plan as good,” Smith said.

Currently, the town of Farragut has budgeted the money to put curbing, gutter and sidewalk on the north side of Smith Road. Smith suggested that the board make a decision to either proceed with the project as previously outlined or hold out on construction for the money to put the sidewalks, curbs and gutters on the north and south sides.

Not being a planned agenda item, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen could not vote on the decision. Mayor W. Edward Ford III encouraged Smith to take the discussion back to the FMPC with the anticipation that the Commission would present its latest suggestion to the Board as soon as possible.

In other business, the Board:

• Unanimously approved with full attendance Ordinance 05-12, Parcel 100.01, on Grigsby Chapel Road from R-1 to R-4 upon its second reading.

• Unanimously approved FMPC-recommended Stormwater Advisory Committee charter. The committee will be appointed at the time of the first FBMA meeting in August.

• Unanimously approved bids for the town of Farragut’s 2006 road maintenance contract. The contract will be let to J.G. Mullins Construction Co., Inc.

• Unanimously approved bids for the town of Farragut’s 2006 pavement markings contract. The contract will be let to Volunteer Highway Supply.

• Unanimously approved bids for the town of Farragut’s 2006 guardrail maintenance contract. The contract will be let to Tennessee Guardrail, Inc.

• Unanimously approved bids for the town of Farragut’s 2006 signal maintenance contract. The contract will be let to Progression Electric, LLC.

• Unanimously approved the second reading of Ordinance 05-14, the town of Farragut budget for the 2006 fiscal year.

 

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