Farragut board plans for the future

Wendy SmithFarragut, The Farragut Insider

While some municipalities struggled to make ends meet in 2020, the town of Farragut carried on with planned projects. As a result, the town opened a community center, completed the Ralph McGill Memorial Plaza at the Campbell Station Inn, adopted a new sign ordinance, improved property maintenance enforcement, made progress on Virtue Road improvements and expanded Light the Park through Tennessee Tourism CARES marketing program funding, among other things.

“Some municipalities went backwards, but we continued doing things,” says Farragut Mayor Ron Williams.

One of the reasons the town was able accomplish so much was a focus on priorities set during the 2020 Board of Mayor and Aldermen Strategic Planning Retreat. This year’s retreat took place last week, and as usual, focused on Farragut’s Strategic Plan, updated in 2019. The annual meeting is the first step in the town’s budgeting process.

Before the board comes together, each alderman fills out a questionnaire about the previous year’s accomplishments along with priorities they’d like to set for the coming years. Town of Farragut department heads filled out a similar survey for their own recent retreat, and board members have access to their responses, as well as the responses of other board members.

“This is an opportunity to assess what we accomplished last year and take the pulse of what’s going on in the town now and plan for it,” says Vice Mayor Louise Povlin.

One of her goals for the coming year is addressing pedestrian safety. The opening of a popular new food truck park at the corner of Kingston Pike and Campbell Station Road has pushed the need for improved crosswalks up on the town’s priority list. There was no way to know how many 35 North customers would park at the Campbell Station Inn and cross Campbell Station Road, but that has accelerated the need for better facilities, she says.

“We knew it would be necessary when the town center was built, but that pedestrian traffic is already starting to take shape.”

She’s also concerned about the safety of kids walking to school from the Parental Responsibility Zone, especially along Sonja Drive. Other goals on her list are for the town to host a neighborhood conference and be more proactive in addressing stormwater issues.

Povlin says her priorities are driven by what she sees around town, but she knows that each board member will have their own goals and they won’t be able to accomplish everything on everybody’s list.

The mayor’s priorities for 2021 include the start of a town center, breaking ground on Topgolf at Outlet Drive, the first phase of the Advanced Traffic Management System, progress on improvements to Virtue, Union, Watt and Smith roads, and completion of the current phase of McFee Park and the BlueCross Healthy Place playground at Town Hall.

One reason that Farragut didn’t slow down in 2020 is that the board and staff are pulling in the same direction, Williams says.

“The current board and staff are the best I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been watching for over 30 years. The staff is the key to making everything work.”

Town of Farragut marketing and public relations coordinator Wendy Smith is your reliable Farragut insider.

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