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Town pours $19K down ‘The Farm’ hole

No one at Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting seemed surprised that a contractor found a large hole along a leaking stormwater drainage system at The Farm at Willow Creek during a repair project.

During its meeting Thursday, Oct. 27, the Board approved a change order in the amount of $19,546.90 for the project, which began earlier this year.

Town engineer Darryl Smith said contractor Blalock & Sons Inc. “ran into a fairly large void” in the subdivision.

The Farm at Willow Creek has had numerous woes related to its leaking stormwater drainage system for years, including a road collapse in the subdivision and a sidewalk collapse along Evans Road.

Blalock & Sons began repairing the system earlier this year after a new developer bought the remaining lots in the subdivision and worked out a repair cost-share agreement with the Town.

Alderman Jeff Elliott asked Smith to define what he meant by “void.”

“It was a really big hole,” Smith said.

Alderman Bob Markli, who said he drove down to see it, agreed: “It was a big, deep hole. You could have put a house in there.”

Smith said the process of filling in such a hole was quite extensive, which is why the change order was so expensive.

“The only way to really fix that is to excavate that open throat down to solid rock. In this case, the contractor went down about 30, 35 feet below existing grade to get to solid rock.

“And then you have to dump graded rock, the larger three-foot boulders into the hole, then cover that with [No.] 57 stone. That allows drainage for any groundwater in that area to continue to flow, but you still want to plug that up. You cover that with concrete, about two feet of concrete in this case,” Smith said.

“And then flowable fill is required up to the elevation,” he added.

Smith compared the process of filling the holes to plugging a leak with a cork.

“It’s a $20,000 cork, for that matter,” he added.

Blalock & Sons is replacing the faulty drainage pipe in the subdivision and repairing voids as they’re found. Smith said the contractors were making good time on the project.

“They’re on the home stretch right now,” he said.

In other business, the Board:

• Approved, on first reading, an ordinance to amend Farragut Zoning Ordinance that would define “medical spa” and allow medical spas in commercial and office zoning districts

• Approved, on first reading, an ordinance to amend Farragut Municipal Code to replace Farragut’s beer ordinance with a new one.

The new beer ordinance will permit beer sales within hotels, will revise serving hours to correspond with Knox County and the City of Knoxville’s and will revise special occasion beer permit requirements, suspension and civil penalties and on-premise consumption permit requirements.

Town recorder Allison Myers said the beer permit has existed largely as-is since 1985.

• Approved a revised stormwater drainage policy to more clearly define public and private responsibilities

• Approved a resolution that would suspend issuance of special event permits to businesses (i.e., for ribbon-cuttings or grand openings) for two weeks before and after, and for the entirety of, the Shop Farragut holiday campaign

• Approved a memorandum of understanding between Town and Farragut Business Alliance, outlining responsibilities of the FBA in return for a total of $178,000 in funding over the next five years


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