Franklin council plans to use CDBG funds on repaving projects

Allocation of the City of Franklin’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds was discussed at Monday’s meeting of the Franklin council.

Franklin Community Development Director Amanda Power said the city’s total 2021 CDBG allocation is $315,030. Power said $56,705 will go toward administration while the remaining $258,323 will go toward project funds.

After the first public hearing and city staff consultation, Power said it is recommended that the city allocate the funds with $158,230 going toward street improvements, $80,095 toward a street stormwater management project at 11th and Sassafras streets, and $20,000 toward demolition of blighted structures.

Streets that were suggested paved include 11th Street between its intersections at Liberty and Elk streets, 12th Street from Railroad to Chestnut streets and Otter to Elk streets, South Park Street from its end to Elk Street, West Park Street from its end to Elk street, and the 1,000 block of Chestnut Street, according to Power.

Power said streets that serve a city-wide benefit were given priority to be repaved with CDBG funds.

A second public hearing for the city’s 2021 CDBG program will be held on Oct. 4, prior to the city council meeting at 7 p.m., Power said. Council is expected to approve the application of funds before Oct. 28.

In other business Monday, several changes were approved for the Miller-Sibley Recreation Project.

The Miller-Sibley project was first introduced to the council in late 2019 and includes the construction of new basketball and tennis courts.

City Manager Tracy Jamieson said construction crews discovered an 8-inch slab of concrete under the old tennis courts as they tore them out. Jamieson said the concrete would have to be removed to avoid the seasonal freeze-thaw cycle from causing cracks in the new basketball courts that will be constructed at that spot. A French drain will also now be added around the court, Jamieson said.

“Unfortunately I do not have a cost yet,” she said.

Jamieson said a sewer line runs underneath the location where the new tennis courts are being constructed and an inspection of the 1980’s era pipes found them to not be sufficient.

“When it was put in it was the cheapest pipe, it was the smallest size, it’s just amazing that didn’t get backed up sooner,” Jamieson said. “Again, I don’t have a cost for that, but it’s just something that needs to get done,” she added.

The city manager also recommended that a large pre-cast stormwater drain gets replaced at the park for $7,122, with another stormwater inlet added on at an additional cost.

Jamieson said the last recommended change was to install gates and block off the road that passes through the park and connects Spruce and Walnut streets to provide safety for kids in the park. That path will be repaved under the new plans, Jamieson said.

Council in July approved a $562,275 bid by Terra Works Inc., of Clarion, for construction work at the park. The project has largely been funded through DCNR grants, PNC Charitable Trusts, and the McElhattan Foundation.

Council approved Halloween trick-or-treating hours from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31.