The Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen gathered this past Tuesday evening for its bi-monthly meeting, discussing boundaries for Franklin’s wards and adopting a fiscal budget for 2022-23.
Ward boundaries in Franklin on track to be reestablished
Following comments from citizens, there was a second reading and passing of Ordinance 2022-16, which will go into effect after passing the third reading.
The ordinance will realign ward boundaries to better distribute the Franklin population across all four wards.
Based on the 2020 census count, Ward 3, the southeast region of Franklin, is significantly larger than the other three wards. By adjusting the boundaries to accommodate roughly 21,000 residents in each ward, the city can provide a more “equal voice” for Franklin citizens.
If passed, 2258 residents will be moved from Ward 4 to Ward 2, 3493 from Ward 3 to Ward 4, 411 from Ward 4 to Ward 3, and 168 from Ward 1 to Ward 3.
2022-23 city budget passes
All consent agenda items, deemed non-controversial and routine by the government body, were passed unanimously. Highlights include the adoption of a budget for the 2022-23 Fiscal Year, increases in the fees for garbage and refuse collection and consideration of hiring a lobbying firm to advocate with the city in the state legislature.
The adopted 2022-2023 General Fund budget is $94,896,513, which is a 2% increase the 2021-2022 General Fund budget of $93,065,290. The FY23 budget for all funds is $207,021,700, a 15.1% increase compared to FY22.
Roughly $20 million of the budget for all funds is the planned use of cash reserves from various funds to support capital investment projects.
The $1.50/month increase in fees for garbage and refuse collection from $20.50/month to $22.00/month should generate approximately $700,000 more for the Sanitation and Environmental Services Fund annually. The fund has worked over the past decade to become increasingly self-sustaining over the last decade.
City considers lobbying group
Finally, the Board considered a Professional Services Agreement with Windrow Phillips Group to provide lobbying and advisory services on behalf of the city of Franklin through December 2022.
The city and Windrow Phillips Group will still work closely with the Tennessee Municipal League. Windrow Phillips Group already provides representation for nine other cities across the state, including Brentwood, Goodlettsville, Oak Ridge, Maryville, Alcoa, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Kingsport and Johnson City.
By joining these cities, the city of Franklin “hopes to collaborate on legislation and to make our voices heard on important legislation impacting our communities.”