After Franklin Tomorrow’s Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen forum Monday night, the incumbent candidates returned to City Hall for a regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday to vote on a sidewalk project and annexation, among other resolutions.
At the forum, moderator and WAKM radio personality Tom Lawrence caught several of the candidates — incumbent and challenging — by surprise when he asked which of the sidewalk design options listed on the Tuesday meeting agenda they preferred, but he didn’t list the options.
This time, the aldermen had each possibility set in front of them. The resolution maps out four designs to extend the sidewalk on Lewisburg Avenue from its cutoff just south of East Fowlkes Street.
Option one is just over $1 million and extends the existing sidewalk on the eastern side of the road down to Stewart Street. Option two, $2.1 million, extends it to Thompson Alley. Option three, $3.4 million, mirrors option two but adds a multi-use trail to the other side of the road just past Thompson Alley, and option four extends that trail all the way to Eastern Flank Battlefield Park, totaling $5 million.
Alderman At-Large Brandy Blanton expressed her approval of option four, but, as she mentioned the night before at the forum, she said she believes it would be better to extend the trail even farther to connect with Mack Hatcher.
“If you don’t go ahead and finish it out, then you’re going to pay more in the long run,” she said, suggesting that perhaps the Tennessee Department of Transportation would help with funding if the trail were to connect with a state route.
Ward 1 Alderman Beverly Burger agreed.
Because this extension would require further design work and cost estimation, the board passed option four in the meantime and will discuss tacking on another leg to Mack Hatcher at a future meeting.
“I know that the people on Lewisburg Avenue and out Lewisburg Pike are jumping for joy tonight, and I’m jumping with you because, for years and years and years, I walked through the mud, too, down Lewisburg Avenue,” said Ward 4 Alderman Margaret Martin.
The board also passed two resolutions concerning annexation. One will absorb Sunset Farms, a property between Long Lane and Peytonsville Road, into the city limits. There is no development proposal for this land as of now, though a developer previously planned to present one alongside the request for annexation.
The second is the plan of services, required as a prerequisite to annexation, for 26 properties east of Interstate 65 and south of Long Lane, outside the urban growth boundaries for the city. These properties total nearly 800 acres and would be zoned estate residential.
Though passing this resolution does not bind the board to annexing the properties, this is the logical next step.
Franklin Mayor Ken Moore also read a proclamation and joined Gov. Bill Lee in declaring Thursday, Oct. 10 as a day of prayer and fasting.
The next regularly scheduled Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting is Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. at Franklin City Hall, preceded by a work session at 5 p.m.