TOP PHOTO: La Follette Vice-Mayor Wayne Kitts points out a feature on one of the drawings of a couple of major projects the City is about to undertake. City officials met with Christopher Golliher, Project Engineer with ARDURRA out of Knoxville, on Wednesday morning at City Hall.

La Follette Sports Complex at Midway.
In Downtown La Follette, Dr. Lee J. Seargeant Park.

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Thoughts and ideas were interjected here and there as officials with the City of La Follette along with the mayor and council members met with a project engineer regarding the Midway development of nearly 20 acres at Independence Lane and the joining of Seargeant and Liberty Parks project.  On Wednesday morning, the group gathered inside the City’s conference room.

The projects are titled the La Follette Sports Complex at Midway and in Downtown La Follette, Seargeant’s Park.

“We need someone who can be dedicated to this entire project (Midway),” said Vice-Mayor Wayne Kitts.  “A developer,” said City Administrator Stan Foust.  Christopher Golliher, Project Engineer with ARDURRA out of Knoxville, said he would arrange a meeting with a developer and city officials.

Left to right are Terry Sweat, Christopher Golliher, Cliff Jennings, Stan Foust, Wayne Kitts, Phillip Farmer and standing, Charlie Bozeman.

Council member Chuck Queener, taking part in the meeting over the telephone, suggested a contractor is needed as well.  “We’re going to need pricing on these projects so we can budget toward it,” Queener added.

The City has a hotel committed, and a national restaurant chain is also looking at the spot next to the hotel, according to Foust.  “Our number one goal is to have a sit down restaurant in the City,” said Foust.

When asked, Golliher answered that there will be three tenants in the strip mall portion of the Midway development.  Kitts suggested that they start with the commercial part of the development, and noted that the county plans to help with the cost of the tennis courts.  The Local Parks and Recreation Fund (LPRF) provides grants, and the City plans to apply for those likely being able to use the property as the match. The grants would only be applicable to the non-commercial projects.

Christopher Golliher, Project Engineer with ARDURRA explains a feature of the Sports Complex rendering.

“We can get a rough cost estimate for the boulevard and commercial area and talk to the developer,” said Golliher.

When talk turned to the taking out of Depot Street/South 5th Street, the City, at one time, had entertained the idea of the street department removing that area. “We can’t expect our Public Works Department to take this on given how busy it is already,” said Queener. “The City already has 70-plus projects in progress,” Foust added.

“We really need someone to push this for us. I’m hoping we can get this completed in three to four years,” said Kitts. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 10/05/2023-6AM)