Moore About Franklin – January 2012

January 26th, 2012

Posted by marykate in Newsletter on January 26th, 2012

Land Announcement-January 20, 2012 was a significant day for Franklin and Williamson County. Columbia State Community College announced the vision for a new campus on recently purchased land on Liberty Pike just east of Carothers Parkway. In a ceremony at the Cool Springs Marriott and Conference Center, Dr. Janet Smith revealed the campus master plan and emphasized that it would be a “campus” to educate students for years to come. Building the campus from the ground up is a rare opportunity for a college. The plans for the current campus have not been determined yet. Representative Charles Sargent and our legislative delegation worked very hard to make this purchase a reality. The ultimate impact of this will be felt for years to come.

Crating a Business Friendly Model-The City’s zoning is being changed to reduce the amount of time required for plan approval. The Concept Plan and Regulating Plan are being combined into one plan called the Development Plan. This will create less review time and get projects started several months faster.

Capital Improvement Projects (CIP)-Annually, capital projects are reviewed and ranked by the board. The project list will not include projects that have already been funded and approved but will be projects that we are planning on funding in the future. Note, a new City Hall is not on the current list of rankings and may be a project that could be considered separately.  Also, several projects have already been funded in this list. The following are the current “top ten” projects:

  1. Eastern Flank Battlefield Improvements-This access road is currently on the funding plan and will be partially funded by a Transportation enhancement grant. Design is currently underway. The combination of the City approved funds of $369,000 dollars and the $500,000 grant should fund this project.
  2. South Carothers Parkway-This project will be phased in segments and will be a two-lane road that will include right of way acquisition for four lanes. The total cost for each segment will range from $7.6 million dollars to $9 million dollars depending on the segment selected.
  3. McEwen Drive-We are currently in the completion stages of Phase III, which will be paved and opened in the spring. There are two other phases which have yet to be designed and would extend McEwen to the Brentwood City limits. Projects such as this are phased over a number of years to spread the cost over time. For example, Phase IV is a $25 million dollars plus project and various stages of design and planning could extend over multiple years prior to completion.
  4. Fire Station #8-This is an important project that needs to be designed to accommodate the protection needed in the Highway 96 West area. Design would be $225,000 dollars and construction would be about $2.8 million dollars.
  5. Century Court/Beasley Drive connector-This street would connect the two mentioned streets and improve safety and improve traffic circulation off of Columbia Avenue. Estimated cost is $625,000 dollars.
  6. Carlisle Lane Signalization and realignment-This project will improve traffic operations and safety on the 96West corridor. Estimated costs are $2.25 million dollars. Right of way acquisition has begun.
  7. Consolidated Public Works Facility-The property (former 84 lumber) for the facility has been purchased by the City and will be a project completed over several years and will include signalization on Columbia Avenue and a new access road.
  8. Clovercroft Road and Wilson Pike Intersection-The additional lane and signalization have been completed.
  9. Columbia Avenue Improvements from Downs Boulevard to Mack Hatcher Parkway-The estimated cost is $21 million dollars and is on the short-term project list of the Major Thoroughfare Plan. Staff has been working to get it moved up on TDOT’s project list.

10. Harlinsdale Park/Barn-The barn is on the National Historic Register and engineering studies are being completed for the structural integrity of the building.

Solar Powered Water Circulation Equipment (Solar Bee) -The water department will be purchasing this piece of equipment to improve the water circulation in the raw water reservoir in order to reduce algae blooms, to prevent stagnation, to improve dissolved oxygen, and improve water quality. Other communities that have had the blue/green algae issue in their surface water during hot weather report success in improving water quality and reducing the effect of the algae.

Intelligent Transportation System Maturity Model Study-This is not a project that is being performed by Franklin but is being administered thru the Transit Alliance by IBM. The purpose is to study regional transit issues. The expected results will be to highlight existing strengths and weaknesses across all modes of transportation, benchmark the existing system, develop a strategic roadmap of what a system should be, develop a business case to secure funding for investment in sustainable mobility, and gain insight into the challenges of implementation by using IBM’s experience in the sector.

Horse Drawn Carriage-In a recent work session, the board began to discuss changing one of our ordinances to make horse drawn carriages available in Franklin. Some citizens have expressed concern about vendors that have an interest in this service and the qualifications and credibility would be a consideration in this issue.

TIF District-Incentives are frequently used to attract large corporations. Nissan was no exception and received tax abatement from the county and the City purchased the property for Nissan thru the Industrial Development Board and a Tax Increment Financing District (TIF). This district which is comprised of the property in the McEwen area will generate additional tax revenue as the properties are developed over time and will pay for the purchase of the property over time.

Redevelopment of Alexander Plaza-A resolution was passed approving the concept plan for Alexander Plaza, which will include relocation and renovation of Kroger. The decision to improve these properties may lead to other properties updating and redeveloping along this important corridor. One other property considering redevelopment is the Ford dealership on Murfreesboro Road.

Moore About Franklin – December 2011

January 6th, 2012

Posted by marykate in News on January 6th, 2012

December 2011

As 2011 closes down, I want to express my thanks for the opportunity to serve this great community. May you and your families enjoy the Holiday Season together and at the same time remember those that will not be able to be home because they are away protecting our freedom. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

GIS System-Geographical Information System or GIS is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage and present geographical data. Yes, Franklin has such a system and it is available for use not only by City staff and developers but also the public.  The MIT department of the City manages this site. The site may be accessed thru the City website thru Municipal Information Technology under the “your government” tab. Aerial photos of the City help locate streets, parks, greenways, bike paths, zoning, and potential solar sites. Other features include the ability to view all current street, Tennessee Department of Transportation projects, water, and sewer projects and their status.

 

Housing Commission Creates Two Tasks Forces-The Housing commission is a 30-member commission that has been working on workforce and affordable housing issues. A recent presentation revealed that they are establishing two task forces consisting of the Initiatives Task Force who will work to identify and foster public/private housing partnerships and the Mixed-Income Development Task Force to identify future housing development barriers and opportunities. In addition, they are seeking approval for expansion of the Community Revitalization Plan to be more inclusive of existing neighborhoods in the city’s central area and expansion and organization of an Inventory of Available Land.

 

PODS or Outdoor Storage units-The City’s zoning ordinance allows for the use of these PODS under certain situations such as temporary storage for residential storage during construction and for certain commercial applications with permitting. Unfortunately, there are over 200 such PODS and containers on 150 properties that are not compliant with City zoning. Plans are to start alerting violators of this issue and to get feed back to determine if there needs to be medication or exemptions under the current zoning.

 

Congratulations- Sara Sylvis and Rodney Escobar of the Human Resource Department recently received awards from the Tennessee Public Risk Management Association for their work as risk associate and risk manager respectively. They were the only two members across the state that won the awards this year. These awards exemplify the quality staff that we have as a City.

 

Retirement-Gary Luffman, department head for Building and Neighborhood Services has announced his retirement. He has steered the City in many capacities during his 32 years of service and has seen Franklin grow from a small town of 9,000 to its current population approaching 65,000. Thank you, Gary, for your many years of service.

 

Quarterly Budget Report (July-September)-State law requires that the budget approved by the Board of Mayor and Alderman be balanced. This first quarter report has numerous highlights. Local sales tax is up 5.2% compared to the same period in 2011. Building permit revenue, business tax, business license, and electrical inspection fees all show an increase reflecting increased activity in those sectors and some encouragement about our economy.

 

Aaa Rating-A number of states, counties, and cities were placed on a watch list by Moody’s after the United States credit downgrade. After a recent review by the rating agency, Franklin is no longer on this list and retains its top rating. Good news.

 

Hazard Mitigation Funding- Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) informed the City that they have received approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the City’s funding of Phase 1 of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.  This provides funding of $1,132,096 for the acquisition and demolition of substantially flood damaged properties.  The grant will provide for acquisition and demolition of five properties, three in the Ewingville neighborhood and two on Thompson Alley.

 

Solar program gets “green light” from TVA and BOMA-The  Wastewater Treatment Plant solar array project is ready to become a reality.  The City’s application has been approved by TVA and our project has been accepted into the Generation Partners Program.  The lease for the array passed the Board unanimously on December 13, 2011. City staff members, Dan Allen and Andrew Orr have led this effort for the City.

 

 

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

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