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Town approves $14k park and ride lease

A view of the town of Farragut Park & Ride lot off Campbell Station Road
Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously approved leasing a current access easement for its park and ride lot off Campbell Station Road for $14,000 this year.

“We own the property; it’s being used; we feel we should be compensated,” Pamela Treacy, owner of Campbell Station Wine and Spirits, told the Board Thursday, Aug. 27.

“I’m trying to be as fair as I can with the value,” she added.

The Town owns the parcel of land immediately adjacent (to the north) to Campbell Station Wine, and the property line splits the liquor store’s side parking lot, which the Town and the retailer currently share.

According to Treacy’s count, there are 54 designated park and ride spaces. Of those, 16 spaces are on Town property, 10 are on shared property and the remaining 28 are on CSWS property.

The Town uses its easement as a park and ride lot for the KAT Farragut Express and for the Grigsby Chapel greenway.

“I don’t think you’re going to find very many people who will give up land just to have something use it for no charge,” Treacy, also a commercial realtor, said.

“This is not just a gratis situation,” she added.

The Town had an agreement with the previous owners of the liquor store, in which the Town had access to the parking lot in return for maintaining the space.

The Treacys bought the land in spring 2009, and wish to be financially compensated for the use of the parking lot.

“In the future, if we chose not to run the retail business that we own there, or rent it out to others … that would be a problem, because we would need those parking spaces to meet Farragut’s requirements,” Treacy said.

“I would need those parking spaces back; they are a value to that building,” she added.

Other retail establishments require more parking spaces than liquor stores.

Mayor Ralph McGill asked Interim Town Administrator Gary Palmer whether the Farragut Express was guaranteed to run for the next year.

Palmer answered in the affirmative, but a bus rider in the audience said the service of the route had declined.

“You always get home, but the service is not as good as it used to be,” John Tyner said, adding KAT no longer schedules regular bus drivers for the route.

“They combined it with the 101, so it goes through Cedar Bluff also … on the way home.

“The quality of the service has deteriorated, in my opinion, and [of] my colleagues on the bus,” he added.

Alderman John Williams asked whether most municipalities charged drivers to use the parking spaces in public lots.

Treacy said most cities do, adding Downtown Knoxville charges as much as $3 or $4 per space per day.

“I don’t think it’s out of the question to do so,” Williams said.

Alderman Bob Markli pointed out that, if the Town paid the Treacys $14k, that worked out to a cost of $1.10 per parking space per day.

“I think it’s reasonable to charge a fee to park, but I think it will cut the ridership way down,” Tyner said.

Williams moved to fund the park and ride lot easement for one year; Vice Mayor Dot LaMarche seconded.

Williams also asked Town staff to examine possibly charging for spots. Markli recommended the Town also look at alternative parking.

“That would give us time to pursue other possibilities out there,” he said.

The motion was unanimously approved.


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