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Wish List 2012
Town leaders share their hopes for the Town

Members of Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen are taking a look back at their accomplishments in 2011 and looking forward to projects to be pursued in 2012, as well as to “someday” plans.

Topping the list of “pie in the sky” goals is a community center.

“I still really want to see a community center, but that won’t happen next year,” Vice Mayor Dot LaMarche said.

Mayor Ralph McGill agreed. “We still would like to find a way to build a nice community center. That’s going to be difficult because it’ll be about $15 million or so,” he said.

Alderman Ron Honken said his long term plans might include starting to set aside money in a capital fund to save up for large projects — such as community centers — without incurring debt.

“I’d like to see us start putting chunks of money away,” he said.

McGill also mentioned pursuing a resolution with the Russell-Campbell House, for which Campbell Station is named, and which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, sitting on land for sale. Farragut has pursued options to purchase the house but hasn’t reached an agreement.

McGill also said an ultimate, long-term goal could be re-pursuing the Town Center District, a downtown-like area that was planned for private property between Town Hall and Kohl’s before the recession killed the idea.

“While we might not be able to have the big, splashy place, we might be able to create the same sort of ambiance little by little in that area,” McGill said.

That’s the reason the Board still is considering pursuing decorative lighting on Campbell Station Road, he added. “That would have been a start.”

More immediate goals include revamping Farragut’s land use plan, which designates the type of zoning desired for available land.

“We have to think very carefully about our zonings and uses of land. We’ve got a lot out on the western end that’s still available for housing, a lot is still zoned commercial although nothing is happening,” McGill said.

Alderman Jeff Elliott said he most wants to finalize a retirement plan for Town employees and look at new ways to fund Farragut’s community grants fund, since the state legislature has limited red-light camera revenues.

“I would welcome the hiring of a part-time recycling/sustainability coordinator and the benefits this person will bring in better promoting and increasing recycling among residential homeowners and our business community,” Elliott said in an e-mail.

Another major project could be setting architectural standards for development in Town.

Honken said he’d like to grow the Town’s volunteer base and start an “Introduction to Farragut” program: “I really want the citizens of the Town to get a better understanding as to the workings of the Town.

“That way they know who the people are, they know how things happen and they know how to provide info better. Then, no disrespect, but we won’t just get it through the presstalk,” he added.

Alderman Bob Markli didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

Topping the list of most prided accomplishments in 2011 was Farragut’s business growth, the opening of phase II of McFee Park and large-scale community events including Red, White & Blues and Taste of Farragut.

“I think there’s no question we’ve done very well in terms of new business and prospective new business,” McGill said.

Honken agreed: “I’m very excited about the Public Market, I’m excited about Costco and I’m excited about Publix.”

McGill added, “And of course it was topped off with that award as the Most Business Friendly City in the state.”


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