Sept. 25 meeting: will reflect citizen interest in McFee $5.5 million cost?

Although Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen have scheduled a public meeting to address concerns about the proposed $5.5 million purchase of 55 acres of property along McFee Road beginning at 6 p.m., Monday, Sept. 25, in Farragut Community Center, four residents raised questions and voiced their objections to the purchase — and the conduct of the Board — during BOMA’s meeting Thursday, Sept. 14.

During Citizen Forum time at the end of the meeting, citizen Patrick Lee asked Mayor Ron Williams, Vice Mayor Louise Povlin and Aldermen David White and Drew Burnette several questions. Among them:

• “Are you aware there is a nearly 2-acre active sinkhole on the McFee land purchase site?

• “How does this impact the access easement for the road?

• “What was the reason for refusing to vote to Alderman (David) White’s request to delay the vote to allow for a workshop to ask the residents if they want this purchase over other needs?

“Will you commit to significant public outreach and allow the citizens to decide if they want to purchase this property,” Lee asked.

“In the budget meeting, I warned you that you were violating the Open Meetings act,” citizen Mike Mitchell said. “On June 22, when you voted on this, I warned you that you were violating the Tennessee Open Meetings Act.”

In prior meetings, Town attorney Tom Hale said the Town did not violate the state Open Meetings Act.

Meanwhile, Town administrator David Smoak addresseda couple of the citizen issues at the Sept. 14 meeting.

“We are in the due diligence period right now … We have surveyors working on the property,” he said. “We have environmental studies being done on the property. We have not gotten those final reports yet.

“We have until the end of October to really decide whether you want to move forward or not,” Smoak said. “We have several maps that show many different things on there, and yes, there is a depression that’s a little less than 2 acres that’s on the property.”

He pointed out that 2 acres, even if it’s a sinkhole, could be used as a detention pond or for other non-building uses, such as an open space.