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Shipley reports on building activity, FUD reveals capital plan

Farragut’s Assistant Community Development Director Mark Shipley presented the 2008 development activity of the Town to Farragut Municipal Planning Commission, Thursday, Feb. 19.

Building permits in “new principal structures” topped out at 18 in June, Shipley said. While commercial development maintained record levels, residential development slowed.

This was due in large part, Shipley said, to the number of vacant and undeveloped lots in subdivisions around Town.

“We have a huge surplus of lots. … It’s going to take a long time to exhaust it,” Shipley said.

According to Shipley and Community Development Director Ruth Hawk, a rough count showed about 600 vacant lots in 12 new subdivisions.

“You could add the number of unsold houses,” FMPC Chair Robert “Bob” Hill said.

There was only one concept plan in 2008, which Shipley said was “the best initial indicator for plat activity in the future.”

A commercial slowdown was possible due to the poor economy, he added.

“We don’t know what this year holds,” Shipley said.

First Utility District also presented its capital plan to the Commission.

Troy Wedekind, FUD spokesman, informed commissioners FUD was in the process of changing its meters to some that could be radio-read.

First Utility’s new sewer plant, which currently is under construction, should be completed this fall, Wedekind said.

Finally, Wedekind took commissioners on a tour of some of the district’s oldest concrete and clay wastewater pipes, which are being “rehabbed” by lining them with a plastic polymer.

The new lining cuts down rainwater runoff, leaks and backups in the main line’s pipes.

“That looks like a colonoscopy,” Hill said of a slide of roots clogging a clay pipe.

“Those are the reasons we’re going to be in people’s yards,” Wedekind said, adding the Utility was trying to be proactive with the “in situ” repair.


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