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GCR islands, community center top CIP discussions

Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen was told to weigh the option of pursuing a community center with other capital improvement projects long on the books during a workshop Thursday, March 24.

“You really need to weigh the community center against some of these other proposed [Capital Improvement Plan] projects,” Town associate administrator Gary Palmer said.

“If you want to move on the community center, you may need to look at the current CIP and see if some of those projects can be deferred,” he added.

The CIP is an annually-revised list of capital projects Town staff are hoping to actively pursue during the next few budget years. The 2012-2016 CIP, the one discussed Thursday night, did not include plans for a community center.

But several road improvement plans — some on the books for years — were listed, including the Watt Road extension and the Everett Road widening project.

Watt Road currently dead-ends near Cool Sports, and the extension project would extend the road back to Old Stage. It’s a TDOT-led project and has been discussed for years.

“It’s been slow moving,” Palmer said.

At this point, the Town estimates an end construction date in 2014.

Also on the list is the planned repair of The Farm at Willow Creek subdivision drainage system, which has been leaking for years and has caused road and sidewalk collapses within the subdivision and along Evans Road.

The Town is expected to chip in $192,500 to that project, which is being cost shared with the subdivision’s new developer, Freeman Webb.

Another CIP project on the list is an outdoor classroom to be constructed at the corner of Campbell Station Road and the west entrance to Farragut High School. The Town has applied for a grant for the project, but it hasn’t been approved yet.

Palmer said the estimated cost for that is $81,500, but Town Administrator David Smoak said, “that could definitely go down,” with donations and in-kind contributions he was expecting.

New on the CIP list, but not new to disgruntled Grigsby Chapel Road residents, is a Town plan to “rehab” the GCR traffic calming islands.

“We may need to do some different types of plantings for more of an aesthetic look,” Palmer said.

The islands have been maligned for their plantings, among other things. Palmer said the possibility of a rehab would be nailed down after Town staff evaluates how the plants come in this year. He budgeted $25,000 for possible re-planting, maintenance and lighting.

Also new this year is another project for Campbell Station Road, which was recently widened.

Palmer said the Board “discussed considerably during the strategic planning process” an idea to use decorative street lighting along Campbell Station to create “a corridor effect.”

Decorative lights (and their installation) could cost $550,000.

Rounding out the CIP list is a plan to update the master plan for McFee Park to encompass the Board’s recent land purchases off McFee Road and plans to install parking lot lighting at Mayor Bob Leonard Park, historical sign markers in Campbell Station Park and a walking trail and pedestrian bridge from McFee Road to Wentworth subdivision.

The total cost of all CIP projects that would come up during fiscal year 2012 is $2,668,200. The Town, because of cost shares and grants, is expecting to pay about $1,857,880 of that total.

Palmer said the Town might need to explore alternate funding, such as issuing bonds, to maintain current funding levels for all of the CIP projects planned.

“It’s something the Board needs to consider — alternate funding,” he said.

The Board didn’t vote on any of the CIP projects; the item was a workshop item for discussion only.


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