Moore About Franklin – April 2013

April 6th, 2013

Posted by marykate in Newsletter on April 6th, 2013
Mack Hatcher Disappointment-TDOT recently announced its three year plan and for the seventeenth year since conception, the project is not yet funded. It was disappointing to learn that the Mack Hatcher NW Extension Project was not listed as part of this plan.  Franklin continues to be “blessed” with multiple road projects to continue to move traffic in a more efficient manner in the future. The City will continue to work with TDOT to update the plans to ensure this project is ready for construction in the event funding becomes available.  TDOT will bid additional widening of I-65 and the Goose Creek interchange reconstruction/enhancement later this year.
Carothers South Extension project. Good news that this road project from Falcon Creek to the Highlands at Ladd Park is moving along. The bid notice for construction of the Carothers Parkway South Extension Project appeared in the classifieds of the Sunday, April 21, 2013 edition of The Tennesseannewspaper.  The bid opening is set for Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 10:00 AM in the Franklin City Hall Boardroom.  This project is expected to have a construction time of approximately 24 months.
Sales Tax report. The local sales tax remittance from the State of Tennessee for April was $1,856,748 compared to $1,729,002 for the same month in 2012, an increase of $127,746, or 7.4%.  Year-to-date, the City has received $17.2 million compared to $15.9 million in the previous year, a difference of $1,300,062 or 8.2%.   For budget comparisons, the City anticipated collections of $16.6 million through the first eight months of the fiscal year.  Through February, the City is $573,356 above budgeted collections.  As a further comparison, the February collection of $1.85 million compares to $1.75 million in 2008, $1.51 million in 2009, $1.52 million in 2010 and $1.63 million in 2011.
Earth Day-Participation in earth day took two forms for me this year. The first was a ride on the 91X express bus from Franklin to Nashville. The day started with a ride on the Franklin Transit TODD to the bus stop. Return trip was by VanStar service. The other event occurred at Pinkerton Park with a proclamation and tree climbing.
“Love Your Neighborhood”-This is the first event promoted by the Housing Commission to help raise awareness of our many neighborhoods in Franklin. The  event conducted in the Hill Estates neighborhood was a big success!  The Solid Waste Department hauled away 6.55 tons of household garbage; 2.83 tons of bulky items and brush; 1.21 tons of tires; 12 paint containers; and one 55 gallon drum of oil.  The total debris taken out of the neighborhood last Saturday was 10.59 tons!  Watch for other opportunities to participate and volunteer.
Old, Old Jail Sale-BOMA approved the sale of this property to the Heritage Foundation for $25,000 at a recent meeting. The property which lies in the flood fringe overlay had been declared as surplus several years ago and a previous request for proposals did not satisfy the City’s vision for the building. The opportunity to stimulate economic development along Bridge Street and to save a historic building is a positive step forward. The Heritage Foundation plans to spend over $1.5 million dollars for the renovation.
Multipurpose Equestrian Area at Harlinsdale-The Board recently heard a presentation by Friends of Franklin Parks, LLC proposing to “bring the horse” back to Harlinsdale with a proposal to build a multi-purpose arena. This would be a privately funded effort by the group.
Land Trust at Harlinsdale-The City is working with the Land Trust of Tennessee to clarify language in the agreement for the land trust. The clarification will not expand the list of permitted uses but will only serve to clarify what our agreements have been in the past. It will not open up the opportunity for carnivals.
Billing and Collection of Property Taxes to the Williamson County Trustee-In the future, look for a single bill that will include City and County taxes and their remittal to the County Trustee. This will be done thru an interlocal agreement that will save money and improve efficiency for the City and decrease some confusion on taxes.
Franklin TV- Since 2001 Franklin TV has been broadcasting on Comcast Channel 10. Their programming has recently expanded after the construction of a studio in City Hall. These programs include: “Moore with the Mayor”, “A Walk in the Park”, and “Franklin Heat”. These programs can be viewed on You Tube or on Channel 10.

Moore About Franklin – February 2013

February 20th, 2013

Posted by marykate in Newsletter on February 20th, 2013

Financials

  • Sales tax-City sales tax revenues continue to be positive. Year-to-date, the City has received $13.4 million compared to $12.5 million in the previous year, a difference of $887,844 or 7.1%.   For budget comparisons, the City anticipated collections of $13.1 million through the first six months of the fiscal year.  Through December, the City is $316,305 above budgeted collections.  As a further comparison, the December collection of $3.01 million compares to $2.73 million in 2007, $2.49 million in 2008, $2.48 million in 2009 and $2.67 million in 2010.
  • Budget Hearings-The Budget and Finance committee continues to hear budget presentations from each department. The process will continue and result in a budget document that will be presented for approval in June.

Five Points Post Office Lease-BOMA gave the final approval for the lease with First Bank on this property. The initial lease is for twenty years with two renewal periods and is a triple net lease. There are provisions to continue a postal operation from that facility and the City will use the basement for storage. Their total investment will be in the $3 million dollar range and will bring the building up to modern standards without taxpayer dollars.

Sales from the Sidewalk-BOMA continues to work with the issue of sales from sidewalks of newspapers. Our current ordinance does not permit sales in the right of way and the ordinance is being rewritten to make it clearer. There is a potential amendment being brought forward that would allow sales from specific sidewalk near certain turn lanes but would specifically ban sales from the median and in the street. This will be considered again at the March 12, 2013 BOMA meeting. If you have thoughts on this issue, please let me know.

Contract for the design of the wastewater plant-As the result of a two year study, the City is moving forward on the design of the expansion of the waste water plant. The current wastewater plant is rated at twelve millions gallons per day and needs upgrades based on capacity and regulatory issues. Additionally, consideration will be given to the treatment of bio-solids. The design contract for this was awarded to CDM Smith in the amount of $2.967 million dollars.

Study of the Harpeth River Water Basin-The City along with Brentwood, Williamson County, and Metro Nashville have agreed to fund a feasibility study concerning the Harpeth River Water Basin. This study will look for ways to alleviate flooding issues. Potential projects will not be identified until completion of the study.

Staff Development-The City is fortunate to have an engaged, enthusiastic, and well trained staff. Keeping them up to date involves many initiatives. One of the recent efforts was a trip to Cary, NC which is a city about twice our size that has grown rapidly. This trip will spawn new ideas and best practices to keep Franklin on track. Another initiative is a leadership initiative that several staff will be attending at the University of Virginia.

State of the City-My annual State of the City address usually occurs in the spring and I am looking for specific issues or formats that citizens may be interested in seeing as I begin planning for the occasion.

Toussant L’Overture Cemetery- American Idol and Studio Tenn star Melinda Doolittle was atCity Hall this week.  She was working on a Leadership Franklin project in conjunction with the City of Franklin Parks Department to add a stop to the Historic Parks Audio Cell Phone Tour.  The group is bringing Toussant L’Overture Cemetery to the tour with stories of Franklin African Americans who contributed to our community over the years. It along with the City Cemetery and Rest Haven are on the National Registry of Historic Properties.
Housing Commission Appointment-The Housing Commission is a Mayor appointed committee that is chaired by Dan Klatt to study housing issues in our community and specifically workforce and affordable housing. J. Edward Campbell was recently appointed as a member of that commission.

Engineering and Communications- Look for the new traffic web page with all of the city traffic cams at the following:http://franklintn.gov/index.aspx?page=844.  You can also view a video featuring Kevin Comstack related to the new web page at www.youtube.com/cityoffranklin

 

Moore About Franklin – January 2013

January 29th, 2013

Posted by marykate in Newsletter on January 29th, 2013

Belated Happy New Year-2013 promises to be an exciting year filled with new growth, new businesses, and new projects.

The Tragedy of Newtown and Sandy Hook School-The entire community is saddened by the tragedy of Sandy Hook and it has heightened our awareness of making sure that we do all we can to keep our kids safe. I am proud to report broad support from elected officials, law enforcement, and fire departments all across our county to take a multi-faceted approach to school safety that will also include School Resource Officers in all of our public schools. Over the remainder of the school year, police presence will be obvious during specific times both inside and outside our schools. A statewide safety conference will be held at the factory on January 29.

 

South Carothers Road-The Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the funding of this road from Falcon Creek to the Highlands at Ladd Park. The project will cost almost $13 million dollars; will be graded for four-lanes but only two lanes will be constructed at this time. It will include bike lanes and curb and guttering. It is expected to bid later this year.

 

Future Franklin development-Franklin’s future development will likely be on the east side of I-65 and along the South Carothers Road.  New developments such as Stream Valley, Berry Farms, Highlands at Ladd Park, Nichols Bend, and Simmons’s Ridge have been approved and will bring a mixture of residential options and also include future commercial and retail space.

 

Americana Music Association and Sugar Hill Records- Adding to the entertainment and creative side are these two new relocations to Franklin. Welcome!

 

Signing the contract for Hillsboro Rd, Phase I.

Street Projects:

  • Mack Hatcher Parkway NW extension-City staff continues to work with TDOT to move this project to the funding plan.
  • Hillsboro Road Improvements (SR 96W to Independence Square)- Bid has been awarded and construction likely to start late January 2013.
  • Hillsboro Road Improvements (Independence Square to Mack Hatcher Parkway)- Estimated bid date is November 2013 with construction to begin in January 2014.
  • McEwen Drive, temporary connector-construction has begun with a projected completion date of July 2013.
  • 3rd Avenue Extension-construction in progress with a projected completion date of September 2013.
  • South Carothers-see above
  • Carlisle Lane/Boyd Mill @ SR 96 West Signalization-construction to begin early 2013.
  • McEwen Drive at Wilson Pike Intersection Improvements Project- utilities are currently being relocated and the construction will start shortly thereafter.
  • Access Road to the Public Works Facility- construction to begin in February.
  • Century Court/Beasley Drive Connector-construction plans are nearing completion and utility relocation costs are being gathered.
  • Eastern Flank Battlefield Park Access Roadway-construction should begin early in 2013 and be completed in about six months.

 

Local Sales Tax Report-Sales tax remittance continues to be positive. January was $2.17 million dollars compared to $1.99 million dollars compare to the same month in 2012. This represents an 8.9% increase and compares to the State of Tennessee collection increase of 5.0%.  The City is $338,954 above our budgeted collections at this time.

National Register of Historic Properties-The Rest Haven and the City Cemetery were recently added to this list. Toussaint L’Overture Cemetery located across Hillsboro Road from these properties is already on the historic registry.

 

Private Water Line Solicitation-American Water Resources of Tennessee is a private insurer that is offering coverage for water line breaks on the “owner’s side.” This is not a City program and is offered by a for profit entity with no connection to the City.

 

Franklin Road Sidewalk-BOMA has been studying options to increase connectivity along Franklin Road between downtown and the Factory. Available funds from development could fund a sidewalk only on the east side but would not include drainage and would be very intrusive into yards along the road. Engineering has recommended that future consideration be to do “streetscape” type improvements rather than just a sidewalk. This will be considered as we review capital projects ranking later this year.

 

TML Prescription Drug Card-The Tennessee Municipal League offers a free prescription drug card thru their office. The City will participate in this offering to our citizens, which will be at no charge to the City. Stay tuned for more information.

 

Traffic Calming Devices-Look for some modifications of the “jut outs” on Fair Street in the 1000 block where BOMA approved the removal of these devices. The others on Fair Street will remain.

 

 

 

 

 

Moore About Franklin – November/December 2012

November 7th, 2012

Posted by marykate in Newsletter on November 7th, 2012
Merry Christmas!
November/December 2012 (Happy Holidays Edition)
Get Fit Franklin-Get Fit Franklin kicked off on Saturday, Nov. 17, at Pinkerton Park. There were more than 400 people on hand for the event, which featured a variety of vendor booths, food from The Bean, New York Bagel Deli & Cafe, and Publix, as well as the pickup of your goody bags. Get Fit Franklin is a community initiative of Franklin Tomorrow and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee designed to get people to take the first step to fitness by stepping out their front door and walking on pre-measured paths described on our Website at www.getfitfranklintn.org.
Sister Cities of Franklin and Williamson County-Franklin Mayor Ken Moore and his wife Linda along with Patricia Kriebel and her husband and former Franklin Alderman, Robert Kriebel traveled to Germany over the Thanksgiving holiday to explore a sister city relationship with Bad Soden, Germany.  Patricia is the President of Sister Cities of Franklin and Williamson County.  She is working with local officials and Sister City representatives to facilitate the relationship. The group were led on a tour of the city by Mayor Norbert Altenkamp who discussed Bad Soden’s history and its community challenges. The group also visited the headquarters of Messer, Albert Einstein School, and the Deutsche Bank located in two LEED platinum office towers. Presentations were also made by local clubs. A potential reciprocal trip will likely occur this summer.
Franklin ranks no. 2 in business-friendly ratings. The Beacon Center released their business friendly rankings of the 50 largest cities in Tennessee.  According to the Nashville Business Journal (article attached), Franklin will rank second in the state.  Our second place ranking is up one spot from last year’s rating of third place.
Monthly Sales Tax Report. The local sales tax remittance from the State of Tennessee for November was $2,065,402 compared to $1,947,970 for the same month in 2011, an increase of $118,432, or 6.1%.  Through September, the City is $192,954 above budgeted collections.  As a further comparison, the September collection of $2.06 million compares to $1.90 million in 2007, $1.83 million in 2008, $1.64 million in 2009 and $1.88 million in 2010.
South Carothers Design-The design has been completed and the estimated cost for the entire road and bridge is $12.7 million dollars. The next step will be to do financial modeling with our consultants to identify our capacity to fund the project. The road will be a two lane curb and guttered road and the prep work will be done for future expansion to a four lane road. The board will be considering it early 2013 as to completion of the entire road or phasing it.
Water Treatment Plant design-This project was awarded to Smith Seckman Reid, Inc in the amount of $1,246,585 dollars for the design of the water treatment plant update required by regulatory authorities. A future decision will also be made as whether to expand its treatment capacity from two to four million gallons per day.
Five Points Post Office Building-The City earlier this year issued a RFP for this building and the sole responder was First Bank. A letter of intent is being created to enter into a triple net lease (they pay all expenses) with an initial lease period of twenty years. Existing tenants will have the opportunity to remain and the agreement will specify that a postal operation shall remain in this facility going forward. A potential capital outlay by First Bank could be in the $3 million dollar range. A rate of over $23 dollars per square foot is probable when considering lease income, capital  improvements, operating costs, and cost avoidance by the City.
New Vice-Mayor- Annually a new vice-mayor is selected. Congratulations to Alderman Dana McClendon in this new role and thank you to outgoing vice-mayor Michael Skinner.
Public right-of-way sale of goods-A concern for safety of vendors has prompted the consideration of an ordinance to regulate where goods and wares and charitable collections can be sold. One such issue has been the sale of newspapers in the right-of-way. The proposed new ordinance would restrict sales and collections to the sidewalk and the transaction would not be able to be completed from the street.
Survey-A survey of residents’ priorities and goals for the City of Franklin was conducted by American Strategies for Franklin Tomorrow on behalf of the Williamson County Association of REALTORS.  Major findings are as follows:
  • Franklin residents are overwhelmingly positive about the City, feel it is headed in the right direction, the quality of life is excellent, and 83% rate the job being done by the city government as good or excellent.
  • Residents see both residential and business development happening at about the right pace.
  • Two thirds of the people surveyed felt that the tax load was about right.
  • Preserving city neighborhoods and bringing more businesses to the area toped the list of future goals along with improving the transportation infrastructure.

 

Moore About Franklin – October 2012

October 7th, 2012

Posted by marykate in Newsletter on October 7th, 2012
Project updates-
  • West Main Street Water and Sewer Rehabilitation-This project is upgrading old sewer and water lines. The sewer rehab has been completed and the water rehab is under way with an anticipated completion in November.
  • Mack Hatcher NW Extension-TDOT has elected to do additional studies comparing a roundabout versus a signalized intersection on Hwy 96W. Franklin has completed right of way acquisition.
  • Hillsboro Road (SR96W to Independence Square)-should be going for bid in November 2012 with construction starting in January 2013 and estimated completion in June 2014.
  • Hillsboro Road (Independence Square to Mack Hatcher)-Estimated bid date is October 2013 with a start date of December 2013 and construction completion in May 2015.
  • 3rd Avenue Extension-construction has begun and will be completed by September 2013.
  • McEwen Drive, temporary connector- The bid has been awarded and estimated construction start is February 2013 and estimated completion is December 2013.
  • South Carothers Parkway Extension-Right of way acquisition was completed in 2011. The estimated bid date is November 2012. BOMA will review this project either in early November.
  • Carlisle Lane/ Boyd Mill at Hwy 96 W-Estimated start date of November 2012.
  • McEwen Drive at Wilson Pike-Project has been awarded with a completion date estimated to be September 2014.
  • Eastern Flank Road-contracts for engineering oversight are being approved with an anticipated start in January 2013 and completion in June 2013..
  • Low Head Dam Removal-this project on the Harpeth River across the road from the Eastern Flank Battlefield has drawn lots of attention. It will be completed in November and includes stream bank restoration and river access.
MooreAboutFranklin
TN Water and Wastewater Energy Efficiency Partnership recognition event at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
Financials
  • $194,000 Annual savings-The City of Franklin developed an energy management plan which identified specific measures to save energy at its wastewater treatment plan. The plan and annual savings came from a partnership between TVA, EPA, University of Tennessee, University of Memphis, Schneider Electric, and TDEC. Congratulations to staff  (Juan Davis, Wayne Davenport, Mark Hilty, Andrew Orr, Dan Allen) who were recognized by EPA Region 4 director Gwen Keyes -Fleming and Commissioner Martineau in a special ceremony in Nashville on October 11, 2012. Special thanks to and all staff who participated for making this happen.
  • Sales Tax-Local sales tax received in October was up 14% over the same month in 2011. For further comparison, the current $2.1 million dollar collection compares to $1.98 million in 2007, $1.75 million in 2008, $1.71 million in 2009, and $1.77 million in 2010. Collections to date are $163,553 above budget.
Blue Bag Update-This three year pilot program continues to be successful with a 15% diversion rate and a 48% participation rate. The goal for the third year is to reach 18% diversion and 50% participation. Program expansion continues to be studied in regard to including glass, tubs or rollouts, multifamily units, and business opportunities.
Water and Sewer Rates-The Board of Mayor and Alderman approved on first reading the fourth and fifth year of water and sewer rate increases. Water and Sewer are run by enterprise funds and by law are not allowed to make a profit and must operate on revenue generated by rate -payers. With these increases, the City is able to be near the revenue necessary to break even. Rates will increase 4% for water and 7% for sewer. The average user will see a $1.72 increase in their water bill and $2.62 increase in their sewer bill. A public hearing will be held on November 27. Compared to other utilities, our rates continue to be below average when compared to other regional providers.
Save the Date!
Dickens of a Christmas will be held December 8-9, 2012.
Christmas Parade will be held December 1, 2012.

 

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

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