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Response to community center survey low


Low participation in Town surveys has led one Farragut alderman to think a community center might not be necessary — or wanted — after all.

Alderman Bob Markli questioned the need for a community center after hearing only about 90 people had participated in various surveys and public forums held to gauge local interest in a community center.

“To me, that seems almost shocking that only a handful of people would respond to something that seems to be such a big issue to the Town and of such general interest,” Markli said.


The least interest seemed to come from the business community. Community Center Committee Chair VeromeMiller said more than 400 surveys were handed out. Only seven were returned.

“If the interest level appears to be so low, is this something we really need to be pursuing?” Markli asked.

Miller said he felt interest was still strong.

Alderman Jeff Elliott asked Miller if he thought the sampling of those who had given opinions on the community center were representative of the community as a whole.

“Is it really representative? That’s hard to say. I guess those who are interested will come,” Miller said.

Overwhelmingly, participants in surveys and public forums have said they see the need for a community center with facilities for aquatics; athletics; performing arts and hobbies, clubs and social events.

And those needs strongly echo those set forth in the Town’s Parks and Leisure Services Master Plan, which was completed in 2006.

“While it might be biased in some areas in terms of participation, the programs are all still coming out to be basically the same” as in 2006, Miller said.

“What’s left to do? Our path forward at this point is … to match up the needs with the programs,” Miller said.

“The survey information that we collected will be categorized into the various programs we feel they would fit, and then we’re going to match those programs with what facilities will be the best match for those programs,” he added.

Miller said other goals include looking at possible funding partners for a community center.

The committee has toured area community centers and reviewed available property for future community center use in Town.

“And there may be more property available at the McFee Park location that could be suitable,” Miller said of the recent acquisition of the Dimmick property off McFee Road.

 

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