Town gifts $100,000 to Farragut schools

Sandra ClarkFarragut

Several educators attended Thursday’s meeting of the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen as Mayor Ralph McGill presented the town’s school donations to principals. This year’s gifts totaled $100,000 with $22,000 going to each of four schools and $12,000 to the Farragut High School Foundation.

School principals present were Ryan Siebe, Farragut High; Weston Edmonds, Farragut Middle; Dr. Chris Henderson, Farragut Intermediate and Gina Byrd, Farragut Elementary. Henderson brought a delegation from the intermediate school.

McGill thanked each principal, and Alderman Louise Povlin added her appreciation for the work of educators to benefit the community. “People move to Farragut because of our schools … and sidewalks,” said Povlin.

McGill also recognized members of the Daughters of the American Revolution during Constitution Week.

Tourism promotion: The board OK’d on first reading a proposal to spend $120,000 for tourism promotion, but not before lengthy debate that engaged the entire board and three citizens.

Town Administrator David Smoak promised more detail before the second reading vote, which could come on Sept. 28. He proposed hiring a part-time tourism coordinator to implement the plan developed under contract by Girl on the Roof, a Knoxville-based strategic marketing firm. The position would cost $30,000 for the remainder of fiscal year 2018, with the additional $90,000 to be spent for advertising and materials.

Alderman Bob Markli asked Smoak for metrics to determine whether the new position was cost-effective. “A goal not written is a wish,” he said.

Vice Mayor Ron Pinchok countered, “We’ve got the plan, let’s get started.”

Discussion was spirited. Expect even more when the second reading comes. “You’ve got two weeks to convince me,” Markli said to Smoak after the vote.

The Parade of Homes will have five houses in Farragut, located in the neighborhoods of the Farm at Willow Creek, Sheffield, McKinley Station, Hanover Court and Briarstone. The homes will be open from noon to 5 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 6-8, 13-15 and 20-22. Admission is free to the public.

Recodification: The town will recodify its ordinances, adding new language adopted since the last revision. Town Recorder Allison Myers said the changes will be posted on the town’s website before the second reading.

BMA schedule change: The Board of Mayor and Aldermen opted to cancel the second meeting in both November and December because of holidays. BMA will meet Thursday, Nov. 9, and Thursday, Dec. 14. If a need arises, a special meeting may be called.

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