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Walking trail for FPS nix’d
Back gate to remain open remainder of school year

Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen chose not to install a temporary walking trail along Campbell Station Road in front of Farragut Primary School in anticipation of a permanent sidewalk to be constructed with road improvements.

“Homeowners that live within the parental responsibility zone at Farragut Primary School had raised some concerns because the Grammar Lane entrance … was under consideration for closure,” Alderman Tom Rosseel said.

At public meetings, parents suggested children could walk along Campbell Station Road to get to school instead. Rosseel then contacted Town Engineer Darryl Smith about the possibility of constructing a mulch walking trail to accommodate these walkers.

“The thought was we would cut the trees back to the trunk to about a height of eight feet and put in a mulch path,” Rosseel said.

“It’s actually a matter of cutting back tree limbs,” Smith said. The public works department would do tree trimming and install mulch, which would be used from the Town’s stores and made from the trimmed limbs.

The homeowner who would be affected, Zafer Roback, told the Board, “We would be more than happy to help the town of Farragut do whatever they want to do, especially those parents with children.”

Zafer also said the pine trees between his home and Campbell Station Road will be entirely cut down when the road is widened.

However, since the item was placed on the agenda, Knox County Schools had begun considering keeping the gate open temporarily.

“In the meantime, I’ve had plenty of parents tell me they would like to use that as an alternate route,” Rosseel said.

“This seems to be a rather inexpensive fix and I think it would be well worthwhile for the Town to do that,” he added.

Vice Mayor J. Michael Haynes said FPS principal Julia Craze informed him the gate will be left open for the rest of the school year, and that Knox County Schools would supply an officer to direct traffic.

“I applaud Mrs. Craze for taking the leadership and causing this to happen,” Mayor Eddy Ford said.

“I don’t think we should encourage school kids to come up near traffic,” Haynes said.

“I’m not going to support this. I think it’s something we don’t need to do,” he added.

Alderman John Williams said he was in favor of the idea in a practical sense, but wondered how soon the mulch path would be removed during the Campbell Station Road improvements.

Smith said the project would have a June letting date, and construction would begin in late summer.

“Sidewalks are one of the last items to go in,” Smith said, but added construction will largely eliminate pedestrian traffic on Campbell Station.

“I’m not sure what T-DOT is projecting for a time frame for the project; I would assume it’s 18 to 24 months,” he added.

A mulch path, depending on the location of utilities, could “very likely” be gone by the end of summer, Smith said.

“It’s probably not worthwhile doing this because it will likely be ripped up,” Williams said.

The motion to build the trail failed, with Rosseel and Alderman Dot LaMarche voting in favor.


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