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 – March 2013

March 20th, 2013

Posted by marykate in News on March 20th, 2013
Old, Old Jail-The property at 112 Bridge Street (along with several other properties) was obtained through a swap with the county for the Springs Property about five years ago. The City has previously requested proposals on this property. Only one response came forward and it was not acceptable. The property lies in the flood plane and also in serious disrepair. BOMA recently indicated an interest in exploring a proposal by the Heritage Foundation to renovate the property and located their offices there. There is no formal agreement at this time but it appears to be a promising opportunity to save an older building.
Temporary Signs-What is your opinion on temporary signs (alive and paper) and how long they should be displayed or would you favor not permitting any temporary signs? Give me your opinions.
Main Street Festival-Mark your calendar for this annual festival for April 27-28.
Sale of Goods in the Public Right-of-Way-At a recent board meeting, the sale of newspapers was approved by BOMA in a 4-3 vote. The new ordinance will allow sales only from the sidewalk to the passenger side in selected intersections. Franklin Police immediately began enforcement of the new ordinance.
Franklin Police Department Receives 5th Accreditation-The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies just awarded the department its fifth accreditation after an extensive review in November 2012 by the agency. Congratulations to the FPD.
Request for Zoning Change (Rachel Springs)-The Planning Commission denied the application for Rachel Springs with an 8-0 vote at a recent meeting. For residents of Forrest Crossing and Maplewood, the applicant has withdrawn his request and will have to bring forward a completely new request unless he chooses to continue with the previously approved plan for commercial space.
Sales Tax-Sales tax collections for March were up $284,471 dollars or 17.1% compared to 2012. Year to date the City has received $15.3 million dollars compared to $14.2 million dollars in the prior year. For budget comparisons, the City anticipated collections of $14.8 million through the first seven months of the fiscal year.
Through January, the City is $524,673 above budgeted collections.  As a further comparison, the January collection of $1.94 million compares to $1.66 million in 2007, $1.50 million in 2008, $1.40 million in 2009 and $1.55 million in 2010
Active shooter exercise-On March 14th, the Franklin and Brentwood Police along with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department conducted an active shooter exercise at the Columbia State Community College facility in Franklin.
Love your neighborhood event – April 6th.  The City of Franklin in partnership with the Housing Commission is hosting a “Love Your Neighborhood” Day on April 6, 2013 in the Hill Estates Neighborhood off of Liberty Pike. The intent of the event is to offer an opportunity for the neighborhood to participate in a cleanup effort assisted by volunteer groups. If you have an interest, call Laura Tracy with Community Housing Partnership at 615.790.5556. I hope you will join me at 8:00 in the neighborhood if you have an interest.
Integrated Growth Plan- This plan has been developed by City staff to discuss future options for Carothers Parkway in light of the intense development anticipated along this corridor. It is a plan that gives direction to developers, utilities, and staff in the future on required right of way along this parkway. Any future action would still require board action. This is a continuation of developing long range plans to meet infrastructure needs in the future.
I-65 and Goose Creek Interchange Project- TDOT just announced that the I-65 and Goose Creek Interchange Project schedule has been moved to a July 12, 2013 construction Letting due to a number of pending issues associated with Right-of-Way acquisitions and Permit issues.
Mack Hatcher Extension Project (NW Loop) The City received notice from TDOT formally requesting the City to  modify the construction drawings for State Route 397 (Mack Hatcher Bypass) to include signalized intersections at SR96 and Del Rio Pike.  BOMA will be considering approving this design change and authorizing redesign in April. The cost will be reimbursed by TDOT.

 

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 – Happy New Year!

January 7th, 2013

Posted by marykate in News on January 7th, 2013

Happy New Year!

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

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