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Mix-up generates harsh words, apology

Farragut Municipal Planning Commission heard an apology from a local developer who had taken issue last week with the Town cashing in a letter of credit for sidewalks in a subdivision he is building.

Scott Davis, the developer of Summer Oaks in Farragut, said last week at the Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting that the Town “indiscriminately and arbitrarily decided you wanted the sidewalks completed.”

The Town had cashed in a $35,000 letter of credit Davis put up with a local bank to finish construction of sidewalks within the subdivision.

“You all, as a Town, have fraudulently misrepresented facts for something you are financially benefited from,” Davis told the Board.

However, Thursday, Feb. 17, at the FMPC meeting, Davis said he “came with hat in hand,” explaining that the letter of credit controversy had been a misunderstanding.

“There was an inadvertent error on behalf of the Town and I was acting on incomplete information,” Davis said.

According to Town associate administrator Gary Palmer, the Town’s subdivision regulations required Davis to put up a letter of credit for completion of sidewalks in the subdivision, as well as a separate letter of credit for various maintenance items.

The sidewalk LOC was to be established with collaboration between Davis and the Town, but tht didn’t happen. In 2009, Farragut staff discovered the error and asked Davis’s bank, BB&T, to amend the existing letter of credit to include the sidewalks.

They did and signed the amended letter of credit.

Apparently, they never told Davis.

“If you are familiar with letters of credit — which, you’re lucky if you don’t have to deal with them — the bank signs the letter of credit; I don’t sign them,” Davis said.

“I hadn’t seen or recall seeing that document.

“I would like to get this resolved and move forward. I think we all understand and appreciate the times that builders are in, and if we can have an amicable way to resolve these issues, it works to everyone’s benefit,” he added.

At the Feb. 10 Board meeting, Davis began his comments during citizens’ forum by asking the Board when Old Stage Road was supposed to be widened. Summer Oaks is located off Old Stage near the Loudon County line.

Town engineer Darryl Smith said the Town was essentially waiting for TDOT to let the project, and estimated the road wouldn’t actually be widened for another two-and-a-half years.

Davis then asked if the Board voted on letters of credit, or if those were handled administratively.

Town administrator David Smoak said Farragut’s Municipal Planning Commission administers letters of credit.

After Davis explained his situation with the letter of credit, Smoak said any money that was not used by the Town to construct the sidewalks would be returned to Davis’s bank.

Later, the Board approved a contract for construction of a walking trail and pedestrian bridge from McFee Road to Wentworth subdivision.

“That would be a great connection to get across there,” Alderman Jeff Elliott said.

The walking trail will connect from a roundabout on McFee and will follow the property line of the Floyd family before crossing Little Turkey Creek and connecting to Wentworth’s green space.

Smith said the Floyd family and Wentworth homeowners’ association granted easements to the Town for the trail.

“My hat’s off to everyone there,” Smith said.

The project, awarded to Fulghum Macindoe & Associates, Inc, will cost $51,900.

The Board also voted unanimously to name the Town Hall rotunda in honor of one of Farragut’s founders, and the first Town Attorney, David Rodgers.

“Dave was a major force,” Betty Dick, another of the founders, told the Board.

The six remaining main founders of Farragut will pay to have a plaque installed above the Board room in the rotunda, and asked that the Town place two smaller plaques in the rotunda as well.

The founders also asked that there be a May dedication ceremony for the naming.

The founders’ plaque will have a bas-relief photograph of Rodgers and will read: “David E. Rodgers ‘Pardner’ Founding Father 1979-1980 Town Attorney 1980-December 1999.”

It also will include a quote from Mayor Ralph McGill: “Without David, there would not be a Farragut.”

In other business, the Board:

• Appointed Keith Alley to the Board of Zoning Appeals and Nancy Wentz to the School Education Relations Committee.


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