Moore About Franklin, June 2010

June 27th, 2010

Posted by kenmoore in News on June 27th, 2010

Blue Bag Curbside Recycling Program-The voluntary recycling program will begin on July 12 on your regular solid waste pickup date. Everything but foam and glass may be placed in a blue bag curbside. This includes all plastics 1-7 and includes plastic bags. The object of the program is to reduce the amount of material going to the landfill and create savings thru reduced tipping fees and transportation costs. Glass may be dropped at any county recycling facility. Items for recycling should be rinsed and cardboard boxes will need to be broken down and placed beneath the blue bag. Blue bags may be purchased at most local grocery store and building supply stores. This program is another effort to make Franklin a sustainable city and demonstrates our leadership in this area. There is no additional fee for this service and is paid thru the savings generated from less material to the landfill and less transportation charges to the landfill which is in Murfreesboro. The recent increase in solid waste fees is not related to this program and is instead an effort to match the costs of providing the service to the eighteen thousand customers served by the City. The other important point to know is that this voluntary program is also a pilot program that will be regularly evaluated to monitor its costs and savings.

City Takes More Honors-The City received two awards at the recent Tennessee Municipal League conference.   The first award was for excellence in Green Leadership and the second was for excellence in Municipal Government for our Sustainable Community Action Plan and the Live Green Business Partnership.  TML officials said, “The city’s devotion to sustainable practices, not only in municipal departments but throughout the entire community, is commendable.”

Flood Update-The cost and damage related to the flood of 2010 seems to be leveling out. The City suffered about $800 thousand dollars worth of damage, most occurring to the Parks. The City over the coming months will be submitting project worksheets to obtain reimbursement for our costs. 

A total of 449 private structures were damaged with 85% of these being residential. Of this number, 393 were in the 100 year flood plain. Inventories show that there are 929 buildings located in the flood plain and 49% had damage. Of the 34 significantly damaged homes, 26 have been assessed and nine of these will require rebuilding. FEMA has declared an important deadline of Tuesday, July 6, 2010 as the last date that you can declare flood related damage. If there is any question in your mind, go ahead and file because after the above date, you will no longer be eligible. We are awaiting confirmation but the flood of 2010 may be the worse non-hurricane related flooding in United States history.

Jackson National Life Insurance Company-Over 750 new jobs will be coming to Williamson County as Jackson National Life Insurance Company establishes a regional center for its insurance operations. The company is named after Andrew Jackson and is an AA rated insurer and has over $87 billion dollars in assets.

Police Station-The opening of the new police facility on Columbia Avenue has been overshadowed by the flood. The facility appears that it will be under budget by over $1 million dollars.

Small Capitalization Projects-The top three ranked projects were approved to be moved forward and included in the funding model. The three projects in order of ranking are Eastern Flank Battlefield Road, Signalization at General George Patton Drive, and Nichol Mill Road in Cool Springs off Mallory Lane. The funding will be studied and voted at future BOMA meetings. The Battlefield Road may be a combination of private funding and capacity from the Hotel/Motel tax. The latest proposal is a loop road without curb and gutter which lowers the cost. The portion that would remain open would be a form of asphalt and the other less frequently used limb would be gravel.

Septic Tank Certification-In recent BOMA work sessions, a manual for the Septic Certification Inspection Program has been proposed and studied. Anyone with a functioning septic tank system and their property is within 200 feet of an existing City sewer line would be required tohave an inspection on a regular basis. The manual would determine the frequency and the procedure. At present the proposal has been a visual ground inspection and pumping of the tank with interior inspection every three years. The estimated costs would be $300 for the pumping of the tank and a $75 City inspection fee. The frequency and the costs are an ongoing issue that is being discussed and will return to the work session again. The major concern is trying to keep the cost low and consider making the frequency of pumping at the outer range of State recommended guidelines.

Integrated Water Resource Plan- A public meeting will be held at City Hall on July 12, 2010 at 6:30 PM for comment on the plan for our water resources for the next thirty plus years. This program will look at our long range water requirements, storm water, and wastewater and the effect on the watershed. This is an important meeting to voice your opinion and learn what the stakeholders are proposing. Prior to this meeting, there will be a special board workshop to study the computer modeling and the alternatives that are being considered.

Establishing a Sustainable Building Policy for City of Franklin Municipal Buildings-The Sustainability Commission will be bringing to an upcoming work session a proposal for LEED certification of City buildings over five thousand square feet. The resolution would require that all City buildings in the future meet LEED standards unless it is not economically feasible or not reasonable. This potential ordinance does not apply to privately owned buildings but many landlords are finding that certification improves value and marketability and happier employees. Studies confirm that these energy efficient buildings have healthier, happier, and more productive workers not to mention increased value. More recent evidence also indicates for commercial buildings, the cost is almost negligible given the payback. Certification is important in my opinion for these reasons and also it is the current gold standard for buildings. I compare it to your physician: is he board eligible or is he board certified. You know what you are getting if you go with certified.

Sales Tax Report-The May report, which reflects April sales, was a 9.3% increase from last year while the State reported an increase of 3.7%. This is the third month in a row that we have seen an increase compared to last year.

Super Build America Bonds Sold-Franklin continues to hold a strong financial status as evidenced by the recent sale of Super Build America Bonds in the amount of $15.7 million dollars to finance the Hillsboro Road, Columbia Avenue, and Third Avenue North extension projects. A total of six firms bid on the bonds. An interest rate of 5.16% on face value will equate to 2.93% after the forty-five percent interest refund. For comparison, the yields on the December bond issue were at 3.17% which is also a very attractive rate. Estimates are that near $2 million dollars of interest savings will be produced over the life of the bonds when compared to a similarly structured tax-exempt issue.

 

Upcoming Events

  • St. Paul’s annual BBQ-July 24
  • 2010 Franklin Classic, September 6, 2010. Franklin Square www.franklinclassic.org
  • Jingle Bell Run-December 4

Williamson AM: For locals, green remains the color of money

March 20th, 2010

Posted by kenmoore in News,Press on March 20th, 2010

Thrift trumps eco-awareness as ‘sustainability’ spreads

By Kevin Walters • THE TENNESSEAN • March 19, 2010

FRANKLIN — Richard Perko says he’s no poster boy for the green movement. 

So, how is it then that the president of Franklin-based Lee Co. came to find himself supporting Franklin’s Live Green Partners initiative kickoff this week?

Simple: Any ideological debate over the environment was left at the door of Puckett’s Grocery Wednesday morning. But the financial impact of using two-sided paper, recycling or turning down thermostats won the day.

“I don’t think we have to have the climate discussion first, which is the polarizing issue behind the green movement,” Perko said. “To me, this movement, from a business perspective, is just about being a good business person.”

The Lee Co., which is a home services/facilities solutions company, was among the 126 companies to inaugurate Franklin’s Live Green Partnership during a kickoff news conference this week. It’s a simple program that promotes companies using any of a number of steps to reduce things such as paper and electricity use. As a reward, companies are rewarded with a certificate and a window sticker to build awareness of what they do.

Though it’s a small step, the Live Green Partnership is the latest in a growing number of green-related efforts Franklin has launched. This summer might be the biggest, as Franklin’s first blue-bag curbside recycling program gets a tryout.

At a time when national debate about the environment is more sharply divided than ever, Franklin officials are stressing the economic worth of taking on sustainability-related steps, not the environment itself.

“Right now, no one knows if we’re having global warming or not,” said Mayor John Schroer. “You can’t argue (that in) a 100 years from now, our landfills will be better . . . though I think there’s truth to that. But you can really say ‘do this today and it will make a difference to your bottom line.’ It may not be great, but it will make a difference.”

One factor that might also be driving more interest now than ever before is that there’s growing interest in the community.

“The movement was already here in Franklin,” said Alderman Ken Moore.

Moore led a task force of more than 30 people last year to craft a citywide sustainability plan that includes a host of measures such as reducing waste sent to landfills and cutting energy use, among other things.

Companies large and small found similar ways to reduce waste.

At Mars Petcare in Cool Springs, employees recycled enough plastic bottles to create 2,700 small-breed dog sweaters, said Angela May, community affairs manager. Teams of employees created a plan to spur greater environmental consciousness, May said.

Meantime, the smaller family-owned Puckett’s Grocery restaurant in downtown Franklin did its part by turning off kitchen equipment at night, lowering thermostats and using more local farmers for some produce and meat

“You don’t have to be some high-end restaurant,” said Claire Marshall, manager. “It’s the little things, too.”

Contact Kevin Walters at 615-771-5472 or kewalters@tennessean.com.

Moore About Franklin, February 2010

February 15th, 2010

Posted by kenmoore in Newsletter on February 15th, 2010

 Moore about Franklin

It has been a little over a year since new City Administrator, Eric Stuckey, arrived and as part of the process; we are going through a series of interviews with him. Part of the preparation was to review a four page single spaced list of accomplishments by the City in 2009. The list ranges from completed infrastructure projects, community outreach and communication, national recognitions, park openings, safety initiatives, and AAA bond rating. In review of the list, all are impressive achievements but two stands out for Franklin as we go forward. I am referring to the debt and reserve fund policies and the CIP (capital improvement project) ranking. These two efforts create a roadmap for the City going forward. As Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you may not get there.” These items give direction and warnings going forward.

 

Work Session, February 9, 2010(highlights)

  • Franklin Brewfest (formerly Feile Franklin) March 13, 2010.
  • Curbside recycling-see below
  • Presentation of Mack Hatcher Parkway Extension Context Sensitive Design Elements-The presentation discussed the work that was approved by a group of citizens and  BOMA in 2007. The presentation concerned the proposed northwest extension of Mack Hatcher and the design elements which include observation points along the Harpeth River, native plantings, a one half mile bridge over the Harpeth River, and a 12 foot strip for non-motorized vehicles.
  • Ranking for small projects to be funded ($500,000/year)-this is the beginning of the process to identify and rank the projects that generally are less than $500,000. The projects include some of the following: access to Eastern Flank Battlefield, Nichol Mill Road, Jordan Road, Beasley Drive, Mallory station signalization, white topping improvements, traffic signal upgrades, Carothers Parkway right turn at Cool Springs, and Boyd Mill improvements to mention the most prominent ones. Your input is needed.
  • Waiving plan review and building permit fees for public schools and selected not-for-profit agencies. This failed to gain any support and will not move forward.
  • Goose Creek interchange (type of interchange)-This will move forward to the BOMA meeting on February 23, 2010.

 

BOMA, February 9, 2010-One of the shortest sessions on record.

 

 

Curbside Residential Recycling-On January 19, 2010 the Sustainability Commission voted to support in principle a curbside recycling program. The importance of recycling was evident by the attendance by multiple citizens at this meeting. The commission agreed to recommend to BOMA that the status quo was not appropriate and that the City should explore either a “blue bag” program or a container program curbside.

The proposal offers four options ranging from no change to a full roll out container program. The option that other cities have used with success (that eventually became a full service program) is the blue bag option. It is a weekly curbside program which would take all plastics, all paper, steel, aluminum, and cardboard (no foam or glass) and with no limit on the number of bags per household. The good news is that the savings from diminishing our waste that goes to the landfill in Murfreesboro goes a long way in paying this program. The estimates are based on a 15% diversion rate and the greater the diversion, the greater the savings. Many people have indicated an interest in a curbside recycling program and this may be an opportune time. There are a number of pressures that will continue to cause the City to divert the waste steam away from the landfill such as State regulations, available drop off sites, and the rising cost of landfill fees. The reception from the board was generally positive and the target date for implementation is July 1, 2010. Please forward your comments and ideas. HOA’s involvement and comments would also be welcome.

BOPAE.  In November of 2009, a joint effort of the City and County created a drop-off site for BOPAE (Batteries, Oil, Paint, Automotive and Electronics).  The drop-off center, located at the Solid Waste facility on Century Court provides this service Monday through Friday. This should help clean out some garages and basements of those “what do I do with them” items.

Winter Storm Cleanup- A frequently asked question during the winter storms concerns the City’s plan for cleanup of ice and snow from our roadways. The initial approach is to focus efforts on the most heavily traveled roadways and particular “trouble-spots.”  These roads include Liberty Pike, Mallory Lane, McEwen, Carothers, and Cool Springs Boulevard for the City and TDOT is responsible for Mack Hatcher, Franklin Road, Columbia Avenue, Hillsboro Road, and Highway 96. During the most recent storm over 325 tons of salt were spread using the four salt trucks of which three have snow plows. Dedicated City employees logged nearly 250 hours of overtime. Go to http://www.franklintn.gov/index.aspx?page=239 to view the current snow and ice removal map.

Traffic Accident Statistics (November 2009) Franklin Police Department statistics on accidents within the City show that nearly 80% of traffic accidents occur on week days with Monday’s being the worse day. Thirty percent occur between the hours of 3PM and 4PM and as might be expected more heavily traveled roads such as Mallory Lane, I-65, Murfreesboro Road and Carothers Parkway were more common sites for these occurrences. Inattention and following too closely accounted for nearly 30% of the contributing factors. The moral to the story is walk more and stay away from peak hours and the busiest roads.

Update of City Revenue-The City receives its share of sales tax revenues on a delayed basis from the State. The January receipts for the month of November 2009 were $1,736,146 compared to the same month in 2008 which were $1,816,125. This is a 4.4% decrease. Year to day, the City’s share is down 6.3% compared to the State which is down 8.2%.

Haiti-The devastating earthquake in that country continues to dominate the news. As an orthopaedic surgeon, I wanted to share some of the updates that I am receiving from the medical activities in that country and the dire conditions that continue to exist. Since the earthquake on January 12, over two hundred orthopaedic surgeons have been deployed to Haiti. Another five hundred have volunteered to go at a future date.

Comments from some of the returning surgeons:

  • “The first operating room was two picnic tables. In the first 24 hours, we performed more than fourteen surgically necessary amputations for gangrenous limbs. There were no anesthesia machines, oxygen, or other fancy things like tourniquets or power saws and sterilization solution. Civil war medicine comes to mind.” (Jan Pieter Hommen, MD)
  • “It looks like an A-bomb hit this city-entire areas without a house standing and people all living on the streets.” (Brian Parsley, MD)
  • “Many hospitals have not had electricity or sterilization. USAID helped in getting an anesthesia machine to Port au Prince and the Canadian military delivered it to the roof of the hospital by chopper.” (Timothy D. Browne, MD)

This is but a sample of some of the comments.  The response of our citizens locally and across the country has been inspirational and the people of Haiti will need our help long after our memory of the earthquake fades.

 

Announcements of Interest

 

IWRP, public hearing- On February 22nd at 6:30 PM in the Board Room at City Hall, the City of Franklin will host a Public Forum to discuss the Integrated Water Resources Plan (IWRP) currently being developed.  All citizens and interested parties are welcome to attend to have an opportunity to learn about the IWRP process, participants, and progress to date, as well to ask questions about the plan. 

The IWRP takes a holistic approach to managing all water resources including drinking water, wastewater, reclaimed water and storm water, along with their interaction and interrelation with the Harpeth River.  The plan will provide the City of Franklin a “road map” for making investments to improve water resources with a focus on sustainability and consideration of regional goals and partnerships.  Additional information on the IWRP process is available on the City of Franklin website on the Water Management Department homepage at http://www.franklin-gov.com/index.aspx?page=243.

Moore About Franklin, December 2009

December 16th, 2009

Posted by kenmoore in Newsletter on December 16th, 2009

Moore About Franklin

Franklin’s balance of historic preservation and growth has made our City one of the most desirable places to live and work in America. We have continued to see relocations of families and national headquarters on a regular basis. Given the intense activety that this creates for City Government, it is a challenge to keep up with all of the issues and understand their meaning.

In the last year, City staff and increased the number of opportunities to keep abreast of government. Dan Klatt’s newsletter was an eagerly awaited e-newsletter that gave an insider’s view. I commend Dan for his years of service and his newsletter which ceased when he did not run for re-election. I hope to help fill this void by starting a monthly newsletter this next year.

My plan will be to introduce timely subjects before the Board and the City and provide information relative to understanding the issue. I may occasionally weigh in on my thoughts on how to approach it. This will be a work in progress over the upcoming months as I find out how to fill the void and what information my readers want.

So, send me your suggestion and what you would like to see and I will try to provide this on a monthly basis.

Ken Moore, MD

Alderman at Large

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

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