Eastern Flank Battlefield Announcement-On July 20, Governor Haslam made the announcement of $500,000 enhancement grant to help build the loop road to the Eastern Flank Battlefield. With the $369,000 already pledged by the City and the potential of donation of much of the signage, it appears that the road will be a reality during the coming year and in time for the sesquicentennial celebration of the Battle of Franklin.
Harpeth River and the Low Head Dam-One of the conditions for expansion of the water treatment plant has been removal of the low head dam on the Harpeth River. At a recent BOMA, the process and agreement between Harpeth River Watershed and also TDEC was discussed. The project that will approach nearly $1 Million dollars will include removal of the dam and stream bank restoration for about two hundred yards. Engineering studies have determined that dam removal will not affect the City’s ability to remove water for the raw water reservoir and the production of water by the Franklin Water Department.
Our Drinking Water-With the summer temperatures and the surface water temperatures higher than normal, algae grow. The City along with other water utilities in the area is experiencing this growth. These algae give off certain natural substances that cause the water to taste or smell different. Many businesses and residents in Franklin utilize various water utilities and all are experiencing this problem and some worse than others. Franklin’s water department has been flushing lines and utilizing other methods to remove the odor and taste. The City’s Facebook page has been a good site to follow the issue and to also inform staff of the problem locations. The City’s tap water is safe and meets water quality standards. I join the City in apologizing for the inconvenience that this problem is producing.
- Budget passed with revenues projected to equal expenditures.
- Bond Resolution for Refunding-The City of Franklin issues debt instruments of several types. The traditional bonds which have a fixed interest rate and varying maturities. Another bond instrument is called variable rate debt whose interest rate fluctuates weekly and is tied to treasury bills rates. At present, the water and sewer fund has $20 million dollars of variable rate debt, which in the past has been a money saver. Looking into the future, our financial advisors have advised us to reduce our exposure to this type of debt, thus the refunding. The City will work to lock in a long- term interest rate that is beneficial to the City.
- Sales Tax-Another positive month of sales tax increase with an 11.7% increase compared to the State increase of 6%.
- More savings-Last year the City moved to a self-insured retention program on their workers compensation and saved over $562,000 dollars in premium cost. Also, the City’s prescription drug rebate program has saved over $82,000. These are examples of City staff continuing to look for ways to deliver top-notch services with significant savings.
Citizens Government Academy-Annually, the City offers an eight- week academy where participants learn about planning, finance, public works, and public safety. In addition to the knowledge of the functions in these areas, participants will be able to tour facilities and talk to City officials to obtain a perspective on the inner-workings of local government. Applications are available on the City web site, www.franklintn.gov/index.aspx?page=87.
Happy Birthday Buddy Blue Bag-It has been one year since the City introduced the “Blue Bag” recycling program. It appears that there are 40% of the 18,000 households that are recycling and 12% of our trash is being diverted from the landfill. If you include yard waste and brush, our diversion rate increases to 20%. Overall costs of the program have been about $82,000, which is much less than expected. Blue bags are available at most stores and only glass and Styrofoam are not accepted at this time. An option for glass continues to be investigated.
Early voting. Please mark your calendar with the dates of early voting. The dates will be October 5th – 20th with the hours of operation being 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday – Friday and 8:00 AM to 12:00 Noon on Saturday, The location will be the County complex. If you have not registered to vote, please do so. You can obtain registration information on the Franklin Tomorrow website or at the County complex.
Williamson County Fair- August 5-13 will be the dates for the fair this year. The kickoff will be on stage inside the “ag” center at 5:30 pm with a “friendly” competition of the mayors in a line dance contest. Come and support my effort to outdo the other mayors in this competition.
Mercy Children’s Clinic is a non-profit pediatric office based in Franklin, Tennessee and has been providing quality healthcare to children in over 30 counties in Tennessee since 1999. They are committed to ensuring that no child is ever turned away because of their inability to pay. Because 70% of their patients are either uninsured or on TennCare, they must raise $1.5 million a year to help cover the costs to see these children. The Franklin Classic is Mercy Children’s Clinic’s largest fundraiser of the year. It is one of the oldest and most popular races and community events in Middle Tennessee.
The thirty-third Annual Franklin Classic will be on Labor Day, September 5th, 2011 and offers certified 5K and 10K courses for both runners and walkers, a 1K Kids Fun Run and a FREE Kid’s Zone. Find out more info and register at www.franklinclassic.org.