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Residents seek Town help
‘The Farm’ residents seek proposed Dimmick money to fix subdivision problems

The Farm at Willow Creek residents asked Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen to fix the subdivision’s leaking stormwater drainage system instead of purchasing the Dimmick property for parkland.

Kim Pannelle, Farm residents’ spokes-person, presented the Board with memos dating from January 2008 from and to Town staff regarding the situation, a leaking stormwater drainage system that has caused massive soil runoff and road collapses.

The Town currently is involved in litigation with The Farm’s developer, Chip Leonard, to determine the cause of the drainage system malfunction and who will pay to fix it.

In January 2008, then-Town Administrator Dan Olson issued Leonard a notice he had 15 days to submit a plan noting how the system will be repaired and to install new concrete pipe.

“Failure to comply with this order will result in a citation and summons to appear in Municipal Court,” the letter states.

In early February, Katrina Atchley, Leonard’s attorney at the time, asked for a 15-day extension, which the Town granted with limitations.

“The Town isn’t granting an ‘extension’ so-to-speak. … the Town won’t take any precautionary/punitive action and will work with you and your client as long as your client consistently and continuously communicates, works in coordination with, and under the direction of, the Town staff,” the Town’s response states.

At its meeting Thursday, March 12, Pannelle told the Board that, more than a year later, everyone was still waiting.

She asked the Board to take money that would be appropriated for the Dimmick property purchase and instead direct it to fixing The Farm at Willow Creek’s problems.

“I don’t think the Dimmick property is going anywhere; our houses are collapsing,” Pannelle said.

Town Attorney Tom Hale told Pannelle he has retained a consultant to assess the cause of the malfunction.

“I’m perturbed, too, at the time this has taken,” he told Pannelle.

“There’s a limited amount you can do to bring people to the table.

“It’s the practical part … I can’t make them all do what I want them to do,” he said.

“We need them to fix it. We can’t wait,” Pannelle said, mentioning the partial collapse on Evans Road and the fact school buses travel the road every weekday.

“I do believe there are going to be repercussions,” she added.

The Town has not accepted the streets in the subdivision because they do not meet Town standards.

“You are asking this body to do something it has never done in the history of the Town,” Hale said, adding the Board joined the lawsuit when the residents of the subdivision wouldn’t.

Alderman John Williams asked Town Engineer Darryl Smith if the malfunctions were a public safety hazard and if the problems were growing worse.

Smith said the curb and gutter in parts of the subdivision were separating from the road and sinking, but he had noticed nothing on Evans Road itself.

Vice Mayor J. Michael Haynes asked Smith to regularly monitor the situation and document his findings.

Alderman Dot LaMarche asked interim Town administrator Gary Palmer if he had any ideas on how to help the process move forward.

“Other than the Town expending its own funds, no,” Palmer said.

In past meetings, Smith has estimated it could cost about $600,000 to fix the drainage system.

In related business, the Board unanimously approved a bid from Linginfelter Landscaping for $18,167.50 for “stabilization” vegetation in the subdivision.

The Town cashed a $25,000 letter of credit for erosion control from the developer, which would have expired in January.


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