CIP project boost, new hires part of Town’s FY 2021; $10.7 mil estimate

With just some slight tweaking, Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the 2020-21 Fiscal Year Budget on second reading Thursday, June 11.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Town administrator David Smoak has been working on revenue estimates for both the current fiscal year and for the next fiscal year. The second reading reflected a slight dip in anticipated revenues from $10.890 to $10.697 million.

Expenditures are estimated at $7.289 million, a 2.6 percent increase over the current 2020 budget, which would allow for new hires at the community center, in public works and in the engineering department, and also ensure Capital Investment Program projects, such as the pedestrian safety project on Watt Road at Mayor Bob Leonard Park, construction of Smith Road sidewalks from Andover Boulevard to Everett Road, and stormwater improvements will be covered as well.

No merit increases for current employees were included in the budget, but no employees were furloughed, either, as did occur within the Knox County government due to pandemic-related budget shortfalls.

“The overall General Fund budget projects $3.41 million in revenues over expenditures for FY 21,” noted Smoak’s report to BOMA.

Economic Development Strategic Plan

While the Board did not agree to include a line-item $25,000 appropriation for Vice Mayor Louise Povlin’s Economic Development Strategic Plan in the 2021 Budget, she did receive verbal support from Mayor Ron Williams and Aldermen Ron Pinchok, Scott Meyer and Drew Burnett for the proposal.

They also agreed Povlin, Smoak, Town tourism coordinator Karen Tindal and Assistant to the Town administrator Trevor Hobbs would comprise a committee to work on a Request for Proposals that would be sent out within the next 30 to 35 days.

Meyer said he “would feel more comfortable on a budget amendment after the fact, once we know what it will be funding.”