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Dimmick property a ‘no go’

After more than a year of negotiations and nearly 10 months after purchasing the Seal property, Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted not to purchase the property between the Town’s newest park and its newest land acquisition.

Ralph and Susan Dimmick offered their land, situated between McFee Park and the Seal property, to the Town more than a year ago.

“It is strategically important to the Town,” Ralph told Board members Thursday, July 23.

“It certainly is an excellent fit,” Alderman Jeff Elliott acknowledged, but added the purchase was a “significant expenditure” and he would like to wait until later in the fiscal year before deciding.

Alderman John Williams pointed out Dimmick’s property would tie in well with the planned use for the back portion of McFee Park: passive recreation.

“It’s probably much more suited for passive recreation use, which is exactly the use intended for the back portion of the current McFee Park.

“You can see where the back portion of McFee Park would dovetail in to the Dimmick property,” Williams said.

Vice Mayor Dot LaMarche asked if the Parks and Leisure Services department had an opinion on the purchase.

“The parks and athletics council would like to purchase this property at some point because we think it’s a good match to the other pieces we have, but they don’t have a recommendation on the time,” Parks and Leisure Services Director Sue Stuhl said.

Williams added Farragut’s Municipal Planning Commission also had recommended purchasing the Dimmick property.

“Recognizing the future value of the property, even in a time of economic uncertainty that can not be ignored, we do have the money appropriated to make this purchase,” Williams said.

The Town has approximately $645,000 in its land acquisition fund for fiscal year 2010.

Williams moved to purchase the Dimmick property for no more than the appraised price of $600,000. McGill seconded.

However, the vote did not pass: Williams and Alderman Bob Markli voted yes, but LaMarche, Alderman Jeff Elliott and McGill voted no.

Board members mentioned several other possible and perhaps more pressing financial expenditures, including a solution to the problems at The Farm at Willow Creek, where an entire stormwater drainage system likely will have to be replaced.

Other expenditures could include extending Outlet Drive to Snyder Road, a project that was first mentioned at the same meeting.

LaMarche even mentioned saving the money for a more central piece of property for a possible community center, should a parcel come available.

“We just started that tonight,” LaMarche said.

“Eventually we probably will need it to finalize all of our [land on McFee Road], but [not] with the economic situation right now,” she added.

“I’ll say no at this time,” McGill said, adding Dimmick should feel free to pursue other options.

“Of course we will,” Dimmick said.


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