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Farragut who?

A concerned Fort West resident questioned Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen about the Town’s identity Thursday, March 11.

“We love living in this Town,” Jim Caldwell told the Board.

“I would love to see Farragut have an identity,” he added.

Caldwell listed Farragut’s identity problems, beginning with the 37934 ZIP Code. Although all of Farragut is included in 37934, the ZIP Code also includes areas not in Farragut. In addition, the postal service officially recognizes 37934 as a subset of Knoxville, not as an entity on its own.

“As of today, the U.S. government still does not recognize Farragut as a Town. I do not live in Knoxville. I do not live in Concord,” Caldwell said.

“I am proud to be a resident of the town of Farragut,” he added.

Mayor Ralph McGill told Caldwell the ZIP Code problem was out of the Town’s hands.

“If we can grow another 10,000 [in population], that might catch their attention,” he said.

Caldwell also asked that the Town look at installing entrance signs on major roads in the Town so drivers know when they are in Farragut and when they are not.

“I would love to see signs that identify Farragut,” Caldwell said.

McGill said the Town was, in fact, working on that as well; an idea he brought before the Board soon after he was elected.

Town Administrator David Smoak said the entrance signs were being designed.

“I’m thrilled about that,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell also recommended the Board step away from Knoxville-affiliated Dogwood Arts Festival, to which the Town donated $10,000 this fiscal year.

“Get away from the Dogwood Arts thing,” Caldwell said.

Instead, the Town should honor the Farragut schools and sports teams, he added.

Finally, Caldwell said he wanted to see Farragut have a community and senior center, more upscale restaurants “or even a bowling alley.”

Alderman Bob Markli said that the Town’s identity was at the crux of the Farragut Economic Development Committee’s mission.

Alderman John Williams said, “It’s a frustration of mine also, several of the issues you’ve talked about.”

“At one level, it’s actually a mark of the success of the Town … that we’ve got to the point where we can start thinking about establishing a cultural identity instead of just simply widening roads and building sidewalks,” Williams said.

“It’s going to be an interesting challenge to the residents of the Town to see what they really are willing to do to help these things come into play.

“They’re not going to happen automatically,” he added.

Caldwell agreed.

“If we had the things you can do to make Farragut more desirable, as far as the identity aspect, that would also bring in the other things.

“The other things, I think, would follow. The domino effect,” Caldwell added.


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