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Smoak presents capital improvement projects

Town Administrator David Smoak presented eight capital improvement projects to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for their consideration in the budget process during a workshop Thursday, April 8.

The projects are important for budgeting this year, but the Board also is “trying to project and see what other projects are out there in the future,” Smoak said.

• First on the list is the Watt Road extension and Old Stage Road improvements.

The Town will spend $80,000 on this project in fiscal year 2011, a portion of an 80-20 split with the federal government through Surface Transportation Program funding.

“We’ve already been approved for it. It’s already in the works,” Smoak said.

Watt Road will be extended from its current terminus at The Icearium to Old Stage Road, which will be widened and improved.

• Second on the list are improvements at Kingston Pike and Everett Road, including a turn lane on the Pike and widening the bridge.

The project is largely TDOT funded; $880,000 is the Town’s share of the $1.71 million project.

“It really won’t look a lot different than it does now; just wider,” Town Engineer Darryl Smith said.

The Town has looked in the past at creating a pedestrian walkway under the bridge and purchasing adjacent property as potential parkland.

• Third is the Outlet Drive extension, which will extend Outlet Drive from its current terminus at the former Outlet Mall to Campbell Station Road.

“We would not have any responsibility as far as construction,” Smoak said.

The Town will spend $550,000 on right-of-way acquisition out of the total $4.65 million project. Knox County is funding the rest.

“They’re trying to push this pretty quickly, to get it done,” Smoak said.

• Fourth on the list is McFee Park Phase II, which includes construction of a play structure, splash pad, pavilions and additional parking. Construction began this week.

The Town is paying $50,000 for benches and grills, which Smoak said could be purchased cheaper than if a contractor bought them.

• Next on the list is changing out the Town’s greenway signs to signs that are consistent with the City of Knoxville’s signs. Knox County also is considering adopting the same signs.

“It would be nice if we are all alike,” Parks and Leisure Services Director Sue Stuhl said.

The Town would spend $30,000 on the new metal signs, which would replace wooden ones.

• Leonard Park improvements also are on the list, costing $160,000.

The Town will replace wooden poles with steel, will computerize lights on the baseball fields and will replace lighting on the sand volleyball courts.

• The Town will spend about $200,000 over the next two fiscal years on a greenway along Kingston Pike in front of Willow Creek Golf Course.

The greenway also is STP funded, with the federal government funding 80 percent of the cost.

• On a related note, Smoak said he would like to put $100,000 a year into a “Greenway Connections” line item that would allow the Town to connect sections of sidewalks and greenways.

• Finally, Smoak said he planned to place $500,000 per year for the next five years into a land acquisition fund.

“This is a pretty good time to be buying property,” he said.

The CIP list was prioritized by Town staff, largely based on need and funding, including grants. Total cost to the Town of all projects is $2,420,000.


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