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EDC strategic plan outlines goals, tasks

Farragut’s Economic Development Committee nailed down a strategic plan at its meeting Wednesday, Nov. 9.

The strategic plan is a written document meant to represent the EDC’s goals and tasks for the foreseeable future, designed to help the group move forward with discussions and implementation.

And at the top of the list is branding, which has been a point of discussion at EDC meetings since the committee was chartered more than a year ago.

“Moving forward, we want to have a consistent marketing design,” said Bill Johns, Bluewater Consulting LLC, who assembled the strategic plan with Town Administrator David Smoak.

That meant having a single message both inside and outside the town of Farragut through all channels that market — either directly or indirectly — the Town, including Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce and Farragut Business Alliance.

Another much discussed item in the strategic plan was recruitment of new businesses, one of the original goals listed in EDC’s charter.

That goal includes defining the commercial districts in the Town (i.e. Turkey Creek, Outlet Drive, Dixie Lee Junction), targeting markets and/or businesses and attending the International Council of Shopping Centers conference in Las Vegas, Nev., in May.

The ICSC conference brought up another round of discussion on just who would be going to represent the Town.

The EDC originally budgeted money for two EDC members to attend, but Smoak said he and Mayor Ralph McGill likely would be attending to represent the Town as a whole. Phil Dangel, The Shrimp Dock, asked if anyone else needed to go.

In the end, interested parties were asked to give their names to EDC chair Jim Holladay, with the intent that the EDC as a whole would vote on who goes at its December meeting.

A third goal from the strategic plan is increasing tourism and event exposure in Farragut, both through already occurring FBA, Chamber and Town events such as Taste of Farragut, Freaky Friday Fright Nite and the Farragut 5k, and through new endeavors.

“Taking this to the next level is key,” Johns said.

“Our citizens, our community, are dying to have events,” he added.

The Town could build tourism with a community center, promoting sports recreation and developing the Town’s historical heritage.

The strategic plan also touched on land use, encouraging Farragut to annex Historic Concord and the rest of its one-square mile Urban Growth Boundary. Smoak said the Town also would be completing a new land use plan — which outlines current and projected land use — within the next year.

Finally, the EDC strategic plan made a number of recommendations, including implementing a business license and creating a “how to” business guide, inventorying a list of available commercial and office property and lowering the EDC’s own membership number to 9. The EDC started out with 17 members.

Another recommendation the EDC made was for Farragut West Knox Chamber — asking it change its name to just Farragut Chamber, the name the Town originally founded it under.

The Farragut West Knox Chamber has members across the Greater Knoxville Area.

Knick Myers, Myers Bros. Development, told Johns, “I think we should give you a hand. That makes it look like we’ve done a lot in the last year.”

The strategic plan next will go back to Johns and Smoak, who will set a rough budget for the plan. It will then be approved by Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

“It comes down to money and people,” Johns said.


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