Flood Damage? Contact FEMA four ways:
- 1. 1-800-621-3362
- 2. www.disasterassistance.gov
- 3. M.fema.gov (e-mail)
- 4. Go to the office at City Hall
Where do you start? Since the last newsletter, there has been massive swings of emotion from the well received Mayor’s “State of the City Address,” a new national recognition, and then the emotional low of the flood and the damage it left behind. Now we have an evolving new high from the public outpouring of volunteerism and resources and the City’s tireless efforts to hasten the recovery.
The Perfect Storm-Who would have believed that Franklin would be under a curfew, almost all major roads into the City would be closed, and we would be on water restrictions in May? We have just witnessed a rain event that occurs only once in over a thousand years. The City employees have worked long and hard in these difficult disaster times and should be congratulated for their efforts. Positive stories continue to emerge on the City’s actions. Often, it seems that the day to day services are accepted as normal and expected and things run smoothly. The greatness of a City is certainly measured by these daily efforts but the ones that are long remembered are those in times of greatest stress to the operations of a City and how well the City has prepared for such an event. We will learn lessons from this storm and improve on future adverse events but we can be proud of how prepared the staff of the City were prepared and went the extra mile for our Citizens. Early estimates place damage to City property at nearly $175,000. A total of 386 people were rescued not to mention the 1000 calls handled by police and fire. Personal property damage at this early stage exceeds $14.5 million dollars and involves at least 612 properties. As of May 10, total tonnage of flood debris collected was 1,446,200 pounds!
Franklin’s disaster –The devastation that many of our citizens are experiencing is being met with an effort of cooperation among neighbors and outsiders that many have never seen. A friend may have said it best that other cities respond to disaster sometimes with riots and looting but we responded with a spirit of volunteerism and cooperation to get thru this tough time. Walking with other alderman thru many of the neighborhoods hard hit by the flood brought stories of hope and survival and determination. As we passed out information about the upcoming FEMA meeting and about City services available, the sound of families and friends working together was refreshing and encouraging. Our spirit may have been dampened temporarily but this challenge will only make it stronger. Lined up in front of homes were belongings it took years to accumulate and homes that were now a skeleton of their former self with drywall and floors removed. The couple on Daniels Drive who were glad to learn of the help from FEMA, the family with health issues who could not move anything out of their house in Rebel Meadows, or the lady in Ewingville who just didn’t know whether she could move back in from fear of every rain that would come in the future. Then the lady who saw in the loss of her accumulated possession that she felt so blessed. There are more comments and stories many of which we will never hear such as the City workers and volunteers doing their job for neighbors and friends. This is what makes Franklin such a great place to live. It is what makes and builds our community as a place people want to live.
BOMA, May 11, 2010-The significant information from this meeting was as follows:
- A Resolution adopting a plan of action regarding residential displacements for the extension of State Route 397, Mack Hatcher, impacted by the May 2010 flood which will allow acceleration of offers to purchase the ten homes as determined by the pre-flood value and account for temporary house and relocation.
- A resolution terminating the water shortage emergency status 2.
- Free residential building permits for homes affected by the May 2010 flood.
Mayor’s State of the City Address (April 21, 2010)The Mayor in his address made a great point in that when he was speaking of the state of the City, this should refer to the state of the citizenry and not the state of the government. He highlighted several important points in presentation that included videos featuring special recognition of the City, the economic development process of being pro business, family friendly, and government creating an environment for growth of businesses. He discussed the effort to continue to attract national headquarters, promoting preservation and tourism, and the community and City’s ongoing sustainability initiative. He highlighted the upcoming blue bag recycling program, affordable housing initiatives, ongoing infrastructure projects and a segment highlighting behind the scenes City employees who are making a difference in our lives. I received an e-mail from a friend that I quote, “I wanted to let you know the meeting this morning was very impressive. It made (my wife) and I realize a stronger sense of community and that is a very important part of life.”
Police Overtime-The initiation of the twelve hour shifts seems to be having an impact as evidenced by a significant reduction in overtime for the month of March. This pilot program will continue to be monitored for its impact and effectiveness, and overall satisfaction.
Sales Tax revenue-The April sales tax report (reflecting February sales) showed a 0.9% ($14,000) increase compared to the same month last year. Of note is that this is the first increase in over 22 months. The State and Brentwood continued to be down for the year. Year to date, sales tax revenue is down 4.6%.
Fuel Usage by City-The City has recognized that one of its unpredictable costs is the fuel used to run the City fleet. This factor led to the development of a “fuel hedging program” thru the City of Nashville that fixes the price for a period of time. Basically, you are betting that the price will not go down below your cost and that it will increase. During the past nine months roughly 60% of the fuel usage of 600,000 gallons was hedged resulting in a $22,000 savings. Other measures such as programs to decrease idling, more vehicles sharing, and more fuel efficient vehicles are also being used to reduce consumption.
Budget-The Finance Committee of the Board of Mayor and Alderman is currently completing budget interviews and anticipate that a budget document will be presented for review on or about May 7. A ten day period to review the document will be hearings starting on May 17 and are anticipated to last up to three sessions prior to the voting sessions by the Board.
Columbia State Williamson Campus announces Sustainability Project- Columbia Sate has begun and energy efficiency project on the Williamson County campus to reduce its power and water usage. The total annual guaranteed savings is nearly $200,000 which is about a third of third of their current annual utility costs. Energy efficient lighting, low flow bathroom fixtures, and more efficient HVAC units are but a few of the efforts. For their efforts, they were recognized as a platinum member of the recently launched “Live Green Business Partnership”.
Business Week announces Franklin as a top 10 city for new Business- What took them so long to find out? What about the award for a community that pulls together like ours?