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BOMA welcomes Smoak with executive session

Town Administrator David Smoak’s first Board of Mayor and Alderman meeting was a short one, even counting a nearly one-hour long executive session.

Farragut Mayor Ralph McGill welcomed Smoak, who attended the meeting on his fourth day employed at Town Hall.

“He’s come to a great Town and we expect great things from him too,” Vice Mayor Dot LaMarche said.

“Yes, ma’am,” Smoak said.

He thanked the mayor, aldermen and Town staff for their welcomes.

“I appreciate everybody’s warmth and greetings with me … I appreciate it.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the staff for leading me in the right direction this week, and also in not thanking Associate Town Administrator Gary Palmer, and his service this past year as [interim] administrator.

“He’s left me in good shape with the organization right now,” Smoak said.

“I’m learning a lot and have plenty more to learn,” he added.

During the citizen’s forum, a Farm at Willow Creek resident asked the Board if they had investigated runoff, allegedly from the subdivision, leaking onto adjacent property.

“I was at the [Board] meeting two weeks back, and it was learned a neighboring property to our south, owned by Steve Williams, was experiencing drainage issues,” resident Tom Allen said.

“And the question was raised, is it related to the long-standing drainage issues at our subdivision? … Are they related? And if so, does it bring new priority to our issue?” he asked.

Town Engineer Darryl Smith said Town staff had been out to investigate the drainage problem on Williams’ property, which Williams had described at another meeting as a “geyser” in a field.

“It’s a spring coming out of the ground, there, by Steve Williams’ pond,” Smith said.

“Just looking at it, standing out there in the field, I would be hard-pressed to believe it’s coming from the pond at the Farm at Willow Creek,” he added.

However, Smith said the Town was planning to dye the water in the Farm at Willow Creek pond to track where it is leaking.

“That’s all I needed to know, thank you,” Allen said.

The Farm at Willow Creek has a leaking stormwater drainage system that has caused washouts and road collapses in the subdivision, as well as a sidewalk collapse along Evans Road.

The Town is involved in litigation with subdivision developers and contractors over who should take responsibility for the malfunction and how it should be fixed. The case currently is in bankruptcy court.

Town Attorney Tom Hale called for an executive session on the matter at the end of the Board meeting.

“There were no deliberations, just me trying to explain the difficulty of the situation and the things we are trying to deal with, with the many parties involved,” Hale reported after the session.

He asked if any Board member felt he should make a motion “to see if I can’t make some progress on this matter.”

Alderman Jeff Elliott moved that Hale be allowed to “extend discussions where he deems appropriate.”

Alderman Bob Markli seconded, and the motion was unanimously approved.

Hale said if any future action required commitment by the Town, he would return to the Board with a formal recommendation.

“But because this thing is so amorphous right now, it’s a little impossible right now to give you a specific set of things I would ask you to authorize right now,” Hale said.


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