Moore About Franklin – May 2011

May 18th, 2011

Posted by marykate in Events,Newsletter on May 18th, 2011

State of the City Address-April 27 was a special day for me since it was my first State of the City Address. The theme of my address was the “Spirit of Franklin” and it recognized what makes Franklin such a wonderful place to live and the City staff that helps make it happen. It also helped commemorate the May 2010 flood event where so many volunteered their time to help others. Each department showcased their current activity and it was well received by a near capacity audience. Thank you to those that attended.

Campaign Kickoff-My campaign kickoff event will be May 26, 2011 from 6-7:30 pm at the commons area of the Factory. Please come by if you can and enjoy the free event.

Proposed Budget FY 2012-The review process for the 2012 budget has begun. The proposed budget is $52,867,506 dollars, which represents a 3% increase but is still 11% less than the 2008-09 budget. Highlights of the budget include the following:

  • It is balanced with ongoing revenues meeting ongoing expenses.
  • It complies with debt and reserve fund policies established by BOMA.
  • There is no cut in services or layoffs.
  • A 2% raise will be given mid-year for employees.
  • The City property tax rate will not increase.
  • A little over $568, 000 will be used to fund capital equipment that has been delayed for several years.

The largest source of revenue continues to be sales tax, which comprises 44.2% of our revenue stream and is estimated to be $23.35 million dollars. Intergovernmental revenue is the second largest revenue stream and amounts to $13.3 million dollars. Property tax is estimated to be $12.8 million dollars. Licensing and permit revenue make up the rest of the revenue stream.

General Fund expenditures will increase 3% to $52.9 million dollars with 49% going to public safety functions. Across the board, employee wages and benefits make up 67.2% of the City’s general fund budget. The pension has been decisively addressed over the past year with a more sustainable plan, increased funding, and improving earnings results. Last year the pension required a contribution of 12% of the general fund whereas this year it is 6.8% or $3.6 million dollars. This represents a very positive result from proactively addressing this issue.

The other significant reduction in funding has occurred in solid waste where general fund subsidy has been reduced significantly over the past three years.

Overall, the budget continues to reflect a conservative approach to the finances of our City and a continuation of living within our means.

Local Sales Tax report- The local sales tax remittance from the State of Tennessee for May was $1,979,079 compared to $1,819,095 for the same month in 2010, an increase of $159,985 or 8.8%.

Roads-A recent release by TDOT did not include Mack Hatcher Northwest extension and this is not a surprise since they only include projects that are completely cleared in all respects. In our case, we are still in the right of way acquisition phase and anticipate that once we have that completed, we may be able to move forward. It is hoped that it will follow Mack Hatcher widening.

Another project that we hoped would be funded was the Eastern Flank Battlefield Road. We will need to reevaluated this and determine our approach going forward. This will occur in upcoming committee meetings.

LEED Gold-The web site for the United States Green Building Council now list the Franklin Police Headquarters as a gold level LEED certified building. This verifies that it is energy efficient and also environmentally sound. Congratulations to all involved in getting us included in this unique group.

Keeping Franklin Safe-There are many behind the scenes processes that go un-noticed that contribute to the safety of our community. Routinely, the Police Department, Fire Department, and Streets Department regularly monitor weather conditions and make changes to anticipate potential adverse events.

Given the sensitivity that we have after this recent series of storms, it seems appropriate to get an inside look at other operations.

Several such events just recently occurred. Main Street Festival created an opportunity to create an “incident command perspective” of operation during the event. The simulated exercise gave the opportunity to monitor the response and communication of all departments in a situation such as a lost child or other potential disaster situation. It was regarded as a success.

On May 2, the City held a second exercise that was led by the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and included disaster relief organizations such as the Red Cross, governmental bodies such as the City and County, Middle Tennessee Electric, Schools, and other groups involved in disaster situations.  The City was able to utilize some of its state of the art equipment and programs to monitor the exercise and coordinate interventions. The exercise helped determine our readiness for a catastrophic event. So the bottom line is we are well prepared.

Ipad Ap-Modern technology has come to Franklin in the form of an ap for ipads that helps tourists. This was just released by the Williamson County Visitors and Convention Bureau. This free ap uses both global position satellites and an interactive map that highlights five routes downtown with tabs that contain information about the sites. For those that don’t have an ipad, they may be rented at Dr McPhail’s office on Main Street for a fee of $10 dollars.

Paid for by Ken Moore for Mayor, Lisa Lu Smith treasurer.

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