The nuts and bolts of Farragut

Wendy SmithFarragut, The Farragut Insider

Before becoming the PR and marketing coordinator for the town of Farragut, I covered Farragut government for the Shopper News. Even though I grew up in Oak Ridge and had been familiar with Farragut all my life, attending Board of Mayor and Aldermen and Planning Commission meetings opened my eyes to how little I knew about the town.

One of my current duties is managing the town’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. I also keep tabs on comments made at meetings and chat with Mayor Ron Williams and Vice Mayor Louise Povlin about what they hear from constituents. Sometimes, I recognize the same misperceptions I had as a new reporter. I’ve used my experience to write a series of columns devoted to educating the public about what Farragut is, how it works and how it’s preparing for the future.

Wendy Smith

The town of Farragut was incorporated on Jan. 16, 1980, after a group of citizens decided they wanted more control as this part of Knox County grew. The town is named after Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, the first admiral of the United States Navy, who was born a few miles of Farragut.

The volunteer Board of Mayor and Aldermen, which consists of a mayor and four aldermen, serves as the governing body. The town also utilizes volunteers who serve on a variety of advisory committees. There are 57 full-time staff members and approximately 19 part-time staffers. The town’s largest department is Public Works with 28 full-time employees.

Geographically, Farragut might not be as large as you think. The town is generally bordered by:

  • I-40/75 to the north, except at Campbell Station Road and Snyder Road/Outlet Drive
  • Lovell Road on the north side of Kingston Pike, and Thornton Heights and Concord Hills subdivisions on the south side
  • Turkey Creek Road/Boyd Station Road
  • The Loudon County line

Interesting note: only half of Turkey Creek Shopping Center is located within the town. The businesses located west of Belk Men & Home and Chili’s Bar and Grill are in Farragut; the rest of Turkey Creek is in the city of Knoxville. (To see the results of Knoxville annexation in west Knox County, click here.)

Farragut’s parks are Mayor Bob Leonard Park, McFee Park, Anchor Park, Founders Park at Campbell Station and the new BlueCross Healthy Place at Town Hall. Mayor Ralph McGill Plaza at the Campbell Station Inn is another Farragut asset. The Cove and Concord Park are not in Farragut. They are part of the Knox County parks system.

Residents do not pay property taxes to the town of Farragut. The town’s funding is primarily through sales tax. Property taxes are collected by Knox County and Farragut doesn’t receive any of that revenue. The city of Knoxville charges an additional property tax, and Farragut could, too, if citizens voted for a tax to fund a big-ticket item like municipal fire or police protection. (Residents currently have fire protection through subscription to Rural Metro and law enforcement through Knox County Sheriff’s Office.) The school system is operated by Knox County Schools.

Farragut schools draw from Knox County, so being zoned for Farragut schools does not mean you’re a Farragut resident. Residency is primarily an issue at election time. Only Farragut residents can run for office or vote in municipal elections.

Next week, the Farragut Insider will take a look at how the town of Farragut plans for big projects, like the expansion of McFee Park or improving roads as the population grows. Don’t miss it.

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

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