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BOMA funds grants

Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously approved the fiscal year 2010-2011 budget at its meeting Thursday, June 10.

That budget included $50,000 in community grants, $40,000 to Knoxville Area Transit and $50,000 for Farragut schools and Hardin Valley Academy.

The approval didn’t include moving excess red-light camera revenues to the community grant fund. Alderman John Williams said he considered that a separate issue, and wished to take it up apart from the budget.

The red light cameras would add an estimated $19,000 to the community grants pool.

The Board had several questions for KAT spokesman Belinda Woodiel-Brill. KAT received $40,000 from the Town last year. This year, the public transportation group requested $80,000.

“Who runs KAT?” Williams asked.

Woodiel-Brill said the City of Knoxville provides half of KAT’s operating budget; the rest comes from fares and from federal and state grants. KAT is overseen by Knoxville Transportation Authority, a board appointed by the Knoxville Mayor.

Williams said that if the Town voted to give money to KAT, the Town should receive some type of representation on the KTA.

“We need to have a little more say in how this operates,” Williams said.

Woodiel-Brill also told the Board that riders should expect some changes to the Farragut Express route, especially after KAT’s new transit center opens downtown in August.

KAT would be adding a reverse commute option, adding one or two stops on Lovell Road and Parkside Drive, providing commuting options for people who live downtown and work in Turkey Creek.

“We want to provide more opportunities and increase ridership,” Woodiel-Brill said.

Woodiel-Brill also said the Farragut Express was the only route that runs outside City limits.

In the end, the Board approved a grant of $40,000 to KAT as part of the budget.

The Board also approved a slew of community grants: $2,500 to the Optimist Club of West Knoxville; $2,500 to Junior Achievement of East Tennessee; $6,000 to Farragut Business Alliance; $8,000 to the Dogwood Arts Festival; $2,000 to Concord Adult Day Enrichment Services; $10,000 to Knox Area Golf Charities; $14,000 to the Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce, $2,500 to Farragut High School Lacrosse Club and $2,500 to FHS Football Boosters.

Alderman Jeff Elliott had a few questions for Business Alliance founder David Purvis, including where Purvis saw the FBA in the next five years.

Purvis was requesting some funding so the FBA could achieve a non-profit status.

He called the FBA a merchant’s association that would plan community events.

“Drawing people into the community is what we’re trying to do — establish a Farragut that is fun to come to,” Purvis said.

“People really want this stuff. We’ve got to have a reason to be here,” he added.

Other Board members thanked Purvis for his efforts.

“You’ve been a catalyst. Many of us have wanted these events to happen for years,” Williams said.

“This is the direction many people want to see the Town move,” he added.

Mayor Ralph McGill agreed: “I applaud what you’re doing.”

In other business, the Board approved a change order to Contract 2010-12, for construction of phase two of McFee Park.

According to Town Engineer Darryl Smith, a six-inch water well remnant on the property has turned out to be a six-foot-wide, 15-foot-deep cistern. The project contractors, Christopo-lous & Kennedy, plan to fill most of the well with rock and then top it off with cement and dirt.

That will add $2,367.47 to the original contract price of $1,563,477.

“Would it be a revenue enhancement to just make it into a wishing well?” Elliott joked, miming throwing a coin.

Smith joked that he had one in his front yard.

Williams asked Smith if he made any money off it.

“No,” Smith said.


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