State of the City Address-The annual “State of the City” address will be at Liberty Hall in the Factory on April 25, 2012. This is a free event open to all citizens of Franklin and will begin at 7:30 and include a free breakfast. Please join me for this update on the City. My topic will center on “what we want Franklin to look like in twenty-five years.” I look forward to greeting you that morning and would like to hear your ideas on what you want Franklin to look like.
Financials- The local sales tax remittance from the State of Tennessee for April was $1,722,901 compared to $1,628,745 for the same month in 2011, an increase of $94,156 or 5.8%. Year-to-date, the City has received $15.88 million compared to $14.94 million in the previous year, a difference of $942,505 or 6.3%. Through February, the City is $575,119 ahead of budgeted collections.
Integrated Water Resource Plan-Much has been said and written about this much-touted plan for water, wastewater, and storm water for the next 25-30 years. The bottom line is very expensive. We are looking how to divide these projects off in five-year increments. Many of the options are urgent needs and cannot be put off because of regulatory issues. Stay tuned for more information on how this plan will roll out.
South Carothers Parkway-Much of the cities future growth will occur east of I-65 and south of Highway 96. Among our current capital projects list is the South Carothers Parkway. Financial constraints at this time dictate that we should consider phasing this road. The options would include building from Ladd Park in a south to north direction which will cross the Harpeth River or build from north to south. There is supporting evidence for both options. Your opinions are appreciated in this matter.
Transit Options-In a recent Regional Transportation Authority meeting in Nashville, it was announced that regional ridership on the rapid express bus service for the region is on schedule to have 10 million riders for the year. Ridership on all routes continues to have double digit increases as gas prices escalate. This trend suggests that we need to consider other transit options for the future. Those options will be important for continued economic growth in the area and avoidance of gridlock.
Solid Waste Hauling and Disposal-Five years ago, $5 million dollars was used from the general fund to pay for the deficit not met by fees for solid waste collection. Thru a combination of budget cutting efforts and fee increases, the contribution from the general fund is now $1 million dollars. Recently, the board has been considering a bid from Bi-County Solid Waste of Steward and Montgomery County. This bid would lock in rates for up to fourteen years at a predictable rate tied to the core CPI. If this is enacted, it will almost completely eliminate our general fund contribution to solid waste series. Currently, the City is awaiting bids from other vendors to see if there might be better opportunities in the market.
Streets Department and Sustainability- In mid-January of this year, the City received its long-awaited infrared patch truck. This new truck provides a much improved, more cost-effective method of providing street repairs. The repairs are achieved by super heating the asphalt to 300 F and adding a rejuvenator emulsion and a small amount of additional asphalt then compacting the asphalt with a roller. The old conventional process was saw cut, dig out, haul off/ haul in new mix, place and compact. In its first full month of operation, the Infrared Truck Patching System cost of repair was approximately $20.00 per sq. yd. This compares to a cost of approximately $50.00 per sq. yd. using the conventional process. As a result, our first month’s savings was approximately $9,000.
Awards of Recognitions:
- Congratulations to the Engineering Department and RPM Transportation Consultants. Kevin Comstock served as project manager for the City on the Cool Springs Area Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Expansion that won a Grand Award (the top award in its category) in the 2012 Engineering excellence Awards statewide competition sponsored by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee.
- Congratulations to the Franklin Fire Department who were recently recognized in ceremonies at City Hall. Here are a few of the highlights of the recognitions for our department:
- Rookie of the year Firefighter, Dustin Anderson
- Engineer of the year, Anthony Sedlack
- Firefighter of the year, Richey Schatz,
- Officer of the year, Lt. Sean Smith