Mayor Schroer to be Commissioner of TDOT-Governor Bill Haslam recently announced that Mayor Schroer would be the next Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Upon accepting this position, it sets into motion a series of events where he will resign from his current position as Mayor and his position will be filled by the current Vice-Mayor. It is anticipated that the transition will occur on January 25 when Mayor Schroer will present his resignation to the board and Dr. Ken Moore will be sworn in as the 31st Mayor of the City of Franklin and the second physician to assume the position. He has already announced his intention to run for a full term as Mayor in the fall of 2011. The public is invited to this ceremony and familiar faces in the audience would be appreciated.
Chief Justice Connie Clark of Franklin administers oath of office to Governor Haslam.
Hillsboro Road Project update. Recently the city received the “Notice to Proceed” from TDOT for the right-of-way phase of the Hillsboro Road Improvements Project which has no State or Federal funding at this time. This notice to proceed allows the City to start the process of right of way acquisition. The first portion of this process to have title searches done with the three firms the Law Department has on contract and the establishment of contracts with firms for the appraisals as required by the State process.
Sales Tax Report- The local sales tax continues to outpace last year’s performance. At this point, the city is ahead of its budgeted amount by $147,355 dollars. Overall, our collections are up over 8.5% compared to last year and on the State level they are up 2.5%. Up to this point, the City has received over $9 million dollars.
Regional Landfill meeting- One of the challenges that face all communities is what to do with their solid waste. This has taken on added importance as regulations on landfills have tightened and state regulations require an increasing amount of diversion from these sites. Franklin’s solid waste currently is hauled to the landfill in Murfreesboro and our biosolids from the waste water treatment plant are hauled to Camden, Tennessee. The “blue bag recycling program” is one way of approaching this need but falls short of relieving all of our future problems. To explore this problem, a discussion is being initiated with surrounding counties and communities to identify common issues in this regard and where there might be synergy in the future. Thus far the group includes a group of Mayors and key staff from communities including the City of Columbia, Maury County, Dickson County, Williamson County, Lawrence County, Marshall County, Hickman County and Lewis County.
Hazard Mitigation Program-The City has received notification of its funding for the Phase I of this program. At present there are nineteen homes that are “substantially damaged” and may qualify for buy out thru this voluntary program. Seventy-five percent of the funding is federal money and the remainder is equally split between the State and the City. The $1.13 million dollars awarded is less that the City had hoped to obtain and will create some challenges on selection of the affected properties. Staff will start reviewing what they think is the best recommendation for these properties.
Traffic Control at Wilson Pike and McEwen-An initial step will soon occur at this busy intersection to improve traffic control. The proposal at present is a three way all-stop as a precursor to full signalization when the new school opens in that area. This step may make average vehicle delays worsen, but adds a significant safety enhancement in this area until full signalization can occur.
Hold the date-Restoration of the Franklin Theatre on Main Street continues to progress. An exciting event will occur on January 29, 2011 at 5 PM when the replica of the 1937 marquee will be lit in a celebration led by the Next Generation of the Heritage Foundation.
Special Assessment Districts-The Board of Mayor and Alderman approved the establishment of two special assessment districts for sanitary sewer on Boyd Mill Avenue and on Country Road Estates area. These districts establish a means of financing the sewer projects over a long period of time for the residents of these areas.
Streets Department does it again-The Streets Department continues to do a great job keeping our roads clear during these recent winter snow storms. Congratulations to Joe York and his team for their dedication to Franklin and keeping us safe. With this unanticipated snow and ice, we have use more salt than expected and have been lucky enough to procure 500 tons which should bring us back up to capacity.
TDEC-Superior Essex Monitoring Meeting-For the third time, this meeting has been rescheduled and is not set for January 31st at 6 pm in the City Hall Boardroom. TDEC will report their findings regarding the emissions monitoring of the Superior Essex plant.