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Board votes to ‘kill’ Smith Road sidewalksBoard votes to ‘kill’ Smith Road sidewalks

The Smith Road sidewalk project, which has been the mainstay of much conversation for the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen in recent weeks, was voted down at the FBMA meeting Thursday, July 18.

“We should really wait and do this project at a date that we can afford to do it entirely,” Alderman Joel Garber suggested. The board took Garber’s suggestion and decided to hold off the project, which could now be set back for up to three years and deter from putting together a construction plan that would not meet all of the Board’s goals. In recent weeks, the FBMA has debated as to what the construction plans of the project would ultimately be.

Plans to put curb and gutter on both sides of the road and a sidewalk on the north side of the road were argued down on the basis of potential intrusion to homes on Smith Road. The same curb and gutter plan was proposed with the sidewalk to be placed on the south side of the road, but was argued that a great deal of foliage would hinder the project and the road widening would not be completed to desired width at this time.

A contingent of Smith Road and Hickory Woods residents were present to argue their positions and offer suggestions to the Board on how to better approach the controversial situation.

Robert Harrison, 512 Smith Road, was one of the main combatants of the Smith Road project as proposed.

“I stand to take the biggest impact from construction,” Harrison said. “I ask that the Board not proceed with the project as proposed at this time.”

After deliberation between the Board and town engineer Darryl Smith, the FBMA voted to postpone the Smith Road sidewalk project until capital is sufficient to complete the project to full satisfaction of the Board and local residents. The characteristics of the project were laid out by the Board as follows: curb and gutter of both sides of the road, a sidewalk on one side of the road, and a widening to 24-feet of Smith Road. No timeframe was set by the Board for completion of the project.

While considering Resolution R-06-01, the Annual Salary of the Town Administrator, Dan Olson, the Board also discussed a new path for the evaluation and implementation of salaries for town of Farragut staff members.

The idea to contract an outside firm to analyze both job description of town staff members and salary increases for town staff members was discussed and accepted by the FBMA. The Board agreed to a 2 percent increase as a median for town staff salaries until the contracted group can advise further.

Ordinance 5-13, the Sinkhole Ordinance, was passed unanimously by the Board. The ordinance was placed before the FBMA at its previous meeting when requests to amend the ordinance language to better define the stipulations of sinkhole determination were heard. The amendment states: “the burden of proof is on the developer to disprove the existence of sinkholes and the cost of such proof is his/her alone, unless the developer shall prevail in which the reasonable cost will be paid by the town of Farragut.”

In other business:

• FBMA fourth quarter status report for fiscal year 2005 Work Program was read and reviewed by the Board.

• Unanimously approved proposal for contract to audit accounts for fiscal year ending June 30, 2005, from Ingram, Overholt & Bean, PC.

• Approved request for Knox County Election Commission to use Town Hall Community Room for July 14-29 elections and Oct. 18-Nov. 2 elections. The town rotunda and committee room will be used for April 12-27 elections.


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