Moore About Franklin – September 2011

September 27th, 2011

Posted by marykate in News,Newsletter,Photos on September 27th, 2011
TDOT Tour of Williamson County Road projects with Commissioner Schroer and TDOT staff

TDOT Tour of Williamson County Road projects with Commissioner Schroer and TDOT staff

City Elections for Mayor and Alderman-Early voting will begin on October 5 and extend until October 20, 2011. Election day is October 25, 2011. I encourage everyone to vote in this important election. Local newspapers and radio will be highlighting candidate profiles. Franklin Tomorrow will be having a candidate forum at City Hall on September 29 starting with a meet and greet of the candidates at 5 PM followed by the forum.  As these times approach, I ask for your vote for Mayor of the City of Franklin.

Sales Tax report- Sales tax revenue continues to increase. The latest report shows an 8.8% increase compared to the same period in 2010. For budget comparisons, the City is ahead of expected revenues by over $112,000 at this point. The collections exceed those in 2007, 2008, and 2009. This represents continued good news for our economy.

Mack Hatcher widening-TDOT recently opened the bids for the widening of Mack Hatcher. When completed, Mack Hatcher from Murfreesboro Road to Franklin Road will be a four lane divided highway. No date as to completion but when completed should be of help in handling more traffic and relieving some of the congestion.

Spine Tingling-There are not many things that make that tingle run down your spine. Saturday was that experience for me as I biked with the Wounded Warriors group. This event travels across America and raises money for wounded soldiers. Their courage and ability to accommodate to some of the most disabling injuries and continue to be active are all inspiring. Franklin continues to walk the walk.

Housing-The City of Franklin’s land use plan states that the City has a diverse population with diverse housing needs. Young couples; established professionals, moderate-income families, single-parent households, single residents, empty nesters, and senior citizens are all segments of the population with unique needs. Housing is a complicated issue and not only is the City studying this issue thru the Housing Commission but also Franklin Tomorrow, The Franklin Housing Authority, Habitat for Humanity, and Mt Hope/Hard Bargain Redevelopment are just a few studying the issue. According to federal guidelines for our area, homes can be divided into three categories: affordable (value less than $204,000), workforce (homes between $204,000 and $384,000) and above (those priced above these values). If you analyze these further, 19% of our housing stock is affordable but of this category, most are older and only four that sold in the past year are new and they were built by non-profits. This raises the issue of maintenance of an older home.

The Housing Commission was formed in 2007 to encourage the production and maintenance of affordable housing, raise community awareness of potential business opportunities involving partnerships with neighborhood residents and community development organizations, and advise BOMA. Thus far, they have developed an inclusionary housing ordinance to increase affordable units in developments that request more density. A full time staff position has been created. The thirty person commission continue to identify barriers to housing choices, created incentives for non-profits and builders and a round up program that can be used to pay for certain fees. Last, the group has directing the use of Community Development Block Grant funds make emergency repairs on older homes that qualify.

Tennessee Department of Transportation Bus Tour-Recently, TDOT has been conducting regional bus tours with elected officials and other citizens to review road projects in each region. There were several take away from the tour. I-65 widening is on schedule and we can expect that as it is completed, the Goose Creek interchange and I-65 widening to 840 will begin. 840 will open at 12 noon on 12-12-2012.

84 Lumber Property- The City has signed a contract for this property to be used for a consolidated facility for water, fleet, and the streets department. The purchase price is $2.45 million dollars. Over the next several years, the property and its buildings will be conformed to hold all of these departments and increase efficiency and expected economy of scale. Their current locations will be declared as surplus property in the future. A sixty-day window exists for the City to do its due diligence on the property.

Consultants-The City frequently uses consultants for issues ranging from Human Resource to Engineering issues. Their use has actually decreased as the workload decreased during the recession. Much more of the previous consultant work is done in house and the City is managing many more projects. Design continues to be outsourced at this time.

Moore About Franklin – August 2011

September 1st, 2011

Posted by marykate in Newsletter,Photos on September 1st, 2011

It’s a Tie!-At the County Fair, there is always a friendly competition between the mayors in the County. This year the contest was a “line dance” competition. The quotation marks are there for a reason! Mayor Rogers Anderson and I made it to the final dance off and ended up tied for the prize, a western buckle.

Election Information-Are you registered to vote in the upcoming election for Mayor and Alderman?  If you are not registered to vote, you may do so by visiting the Elections Commission at the Williamson County Complex or on line at www.williamsoncounty-tn.gov. Election for Mayor and Alderman at Large will start with early voting on October 5-20, 2011 and Election Day will be October 25, 2011. In order to be eligible to vote in Williamson County elections, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States
  • Be a resident of the State of Tennessee
  • Be eighteen (18) years old on or before the next election
  • Have never been convicted of a felony, or have had your rights restored as required by law.

Congratulations-For the twentieth consecutive year, the City Finance Department has received an award recognizing excellence in accounting. Our department is one of only a handful across the State to receive this recognition.

Survey-Thank you to all who responded to the survey, “Mayor Moore Would Like Your Input!” The response has been outstanding and I have a long series of comments that I will respond to over the coming months and during the campaign. I would like to give you a brief summary at this time of the results.

  1. How is the City doing managing growth and development? 77%-very good to good.
  2. How do you feel about economic development and new companies coming to Franklin? 73% just right.
  3. Would you say the City of franklin is on the right track? 92% strongly agreed or agreed.
  4. Would you say the City does a good job in managing its finances? 83% strongly agreed or agreed.
  5. Is the City adequately keeping pace with infrastructure needs such as roads, water, sewer, etc.? 65% were very satisfied or satisfied.
  6. How would you rate the quality of life in Franklin? 98% responded very good or good.
  7. How do you feel about the City’s sustainability efforts including the blue bag-recycling program? 94% strongly approved or approved.
  8. Do you feel safe in your community? 96% responded safe to very safe.
  9. How do you receive most of your information about city government? 64% depend on the newspaper and 21% utilize “Moore About Franklin” and 16% use Internet websites.
  10. Do you feel there is a need for more affordable housing the City of Franklin?

47% felt there was a need for more affordable housing and 34% felt there was not a need.

I look forward to further articles about these subjects and also on the multiple comments made in the comment section. Over 53% of the respondents made a comment on an issue that was important to them.

Financials-The City has saved over $200,000 over the past 12 months on its fuel-hedging program. Sales tax revenue continues to outpace 2010 and was up 4.4% for the month of June. Preliminary budget numbers reveal that our fund balance will be $500,000 higher than anticipated on budget estimates last year. Other positive indicators are that building permits, road impact fee collections, and facilities taxes are ahead of budget projections.

Iraq Dignitaries-The City of Franklin hosted a group of dignitaries from Kurdistan area in Iraq. Their titles included one of the judges from the supreme military court and a Mullah. I was presented with a tri-color hand woven rug, which represents their region. The flag symbolically represents the bloodshed by American soldiers, regeneration, and innovation. They all had positive comments about our troops and about our Country.

Census Data-We now have available the census data by aldermanic ward and it appears that Wards 1 and 2 will need to be rebalanced. This will be an issue that will be addressed this fall by the Board of Mayor and Alderman after the elections.

Clovercroft School Update-It has been a little over a year now since BOMA approved the rezoning of this property and now the school is a reality and is receiving students. Part of the agreement with the County was that they would provide signalization at two intersections: Clovercroft/ Wilson Pike and McEwen/Wilson Pike. These signals are not up yet but hopefully will be up in the next sixty days. In the meantime, police will be directing traffic at these intersections until the signals are functional.

Low Head Dam-Removal of the low head dam on the Harpeth River is a project that has been in the news recently and has received some comments that need to be addressed. This is a project that has been funded thru Federal and State grant money and also funds from the City of Franklin. The project, which is just under a million dollars, is more than just a demolition project but will include access to the river and two hundred feet of stream bank restoration. So, why are we removing the low head dam? Not only is it an ecological improvement to the river but it a TDEC requirement for our water plant to continue to produce water.

Tour-I am constantly amazed about our community. I recently had a tour led by United Way of Williamson County to view some the programs that they support and why these programs are important to our community. The first stop was at the American Red Cross where I heard about their blood drive but more importantly learned how they respond locally to adverse events whether they be the flood or a single incidence such as a house fire where families are displace. The second stop was at the Literacy Council of Williamson County who help adults learn to read and develop math skills, student tutoring for GED, assisting learners of English to develop conversation and reading skills, book clubs for assisted living facilities, and providing reading material to area hospitals. The Community Child Care program is an outstanding program that is helpful to families that are trying to get a leg up and need child care. The program has an outstanding record and is doing a great service for our community. The last visit was to the Boys and Girls Club where I learned of the many programs that they offer to protect our youth and help them to learn healthy living habits and prepare them for the challenges of the world.

 


 

 

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

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