City Council to discuss and set Tax Rate

With all present, the City Council meeting began with Jimmy Redden giving an update on the repair of the fire engine. The pump on the engine was repaired but still has some mechanical problems. He presented information on a new engine. He has received a bid of $255,825 and is expecting to receive several other bids by the next meeting.

Mr. Redden realizes that the Council could not make a decision right now but wanted them to know that even if they ordered the engine now it would take approximately one year from order to delivery.

He wanted the Council to keep this in mind in making their decision concerning a new truck. Due to the age of the equipment the City would either be paying for maintenance of present trucks or payment on a new truck. Either way the money would be the same.

Mr. Edward gave an update on the new Food Pantry. He said the new facility would be finished in a couple of weeks. He also requested that the City help with utilities and purchase of food. The Council approved to give $3000 to help with their needs, which is the same as last year.

Mr. Gene White gave a presentation for the Housing Authority. He said they are at 78% occupancy and 71% of that is extremely low income.

Mr. White’s main objective was to request approval for PILOT (Payment in lieu of taxes), which the Council approved.

The Council approved the Robertson County Care and Franklin Volunteer Fire Department 4B request. There was also discussion concerning updates to the guidelines and funding requirements for 4A, 4B, and HOT. The decision was made that the City would have a workshop to discuss this further.

There was a lengthy discussion concerning the Franklin Chamber of Commerce and the Pridgeon Center. Originally, the Pridgeon estate left the Chamber substantial funds to build a community center for the City of Franklin.

At the time of construction, it was decided that the City should own the property and the building for liability purposes. The City currently leases this building to the Chamber of Commerce on a 99-year lease renewable every year. The contract states that the Chamber is liable for all repairs and maintenance on the building.

The Chamber receives revenue from oil and gas leases, which have gone down greatly in the past few years, rental for the building use, and chamber membership.

The Chamber as well as the City receives revenue from the HOT funds, which is a hotel tax payed when you stay in a hotel. The Chamber is in the process of rethinking some of their ways of raising funds that have not been successful and coming up with better ways to be more sustainable on their own.

Until they can be totally independent, they are asking for the City’s continued help in maintaining the Center. The Council asked for balance sheets and operating cost for a full year to see if it would be feasible for the City to take over the Pridgeon Center.

This possibility would be discussed at a future time. The Council voted to accept the request of the Chamber and give them the $5,000 they need at the present to help them maintain the Center.

The Council voted unanimously to keep the proposed tax rate the same as last year, which is .42940, which would give the City a small increase in the revenue due to an increase in the tax base.

The water department reported that the water main is now fixed and at the moment there were no other new issues to report.

Terry Thibodeaux reported that the police department was running smoothly and wanted to give the Council the opportunity to ask any questions or concerns they may have in reference to him or his department.

Councilman Richard assured him that he felt all City departments were doing a great job and appreciated everything that is being done for the City of Franklin. The Council decided to approve the tax rate at the next meeting on September 18.

Franklin Advocate

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