Town of Franklin PRESS RELEASESFor Additional Information call 828-524-2516
February 13, 2024
TOWN SEEKS BANDS / FOOD VENDORS FOR PICKIN' ON THE SQUARE
Call for Bands
The Town of Franklin is seeking applications from area bands interested in performing for the Pickin’ on the Square 2024.
This is a paid performance opportunity and all submissions will be considered for inclusion in the event. The deadline to apply is March 15, 2024. Bands selected will be contacted after April 1, 2024.
Call for Food Vendors
The Town of Franklin is seeking applications from area food vendors interested in participating in the Pickin’ on the Square 2024.
The deadline to apply is March 15, 2024. Bands selected will be contacted after April 1, 2024.
2024 PICKIN' ON THE SQUARE DATES
All Pickin’ on the Square concerts begin at 6:00 p.m. and end between 8:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
• Week 1: Saturday, May 11, 2024
• Week 2: Saturday, May 25, 2024
• Week 3: Saturday, June 8, 2024
• Week 4: Saturday, June 22, 2024
• Week 5: Saturday, July 13, 2024
• Week 6: Saturday, July 27, 2024
• Week 7: Saturday, August 10, 2024
• Week 8: Saturday, August 24, 2024
• Week 9: Saturday, September 14, 2024
• Week 10: Saturday, September 28, 2024
• Week 11: Saturday, October 12, 2024
January 23, 2024
UPDATE: WATER SERVICE OUTAGE EAST FRANKLIN
The water service line has been repaired and there is no need for a boil water advisory as the break was not to a main service line nor was it exposed to any potential contaminants during repair.
There is a potential for water to appear cloudy due to air in the lines. If this occurs, please run water until it clears.
January 23, 2024
WATER SERVICE OUTAGE EAST FRANKLIN
There has been a water service line break in East Franklin on Watauga Street. This is not the same line as the break earlier in the month and there is not as widespread service interruption.
Crews are on site now and have isolated the repair area and are actively working on repairs. The following streets may be impacted with either no water service or limited pressure: Watauga Street, Clyde Street, Randolph Street, Town Mountain Drive, Skylark Street, Lamplighter Street, Grandview Street, Greenbrier Street, Foxfire Street, Starfire Street, Brentwood Street, Lion Street, Kingwood Circle, Ridge Street and the lower end of Lakeside Drive.
Town crews have been in touch with East Franklin Elementary School regarding the service interruption. Other areas in East Franklin were not impacted by this outage as it was not on a major line, but rather a smaller service line.
The time to restoration is not known, but the Town will provide an update as service is restored or at 4:00 pm whichever is earliest.
The area impacted is shown circled on the map below.
January 10, 2024
BOIL WATER ADVISORY LIFTED
The water line break at Lakeside Drive and Watauga Street that impacted water service on Monday afternoon has been repaired. Due to the nature of this repair, the Town had to issue a boil water advisory.
As of Wednesday, January 10 at 3:00 p.m. the lab testing has confirmed that water is safe to drink with no contaminants and that there is no longer a need for the boil water advisory. We apologize for the delay in getting results as we have to use an outside laboratory and have no control over their processes and time to completion.
We wish to thank the Town of Franklin water/sewer crews who worked to repair the line, and thank those who have been impacted for their patience and understanding. Also, to the media, thank you for sharing the information with citizens.
January 10, 2024
WASTEWATER SPILL AT TREATMENT FACILITY AND CRANE CIRCLE
The Town of Franklin had a discharge of partially treated wastewater on the premises of the Wastewater Treatment Facility due to excessive flows into the system. The sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) began on Tuesday, January 9 at 12:30 p.m. during periods of intense precipitation and ended at approximately 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, January 10, 2024. The total spill amount is estimated at 350,000 gallons. The discharge ended when the water levels subsided. The flows in the plant were above 3.0 MGD during this time. All spill areas have been contained and any adversely affected areas cleaned as necessary. No boil water advisory was or is required as the discharge did not impact any water lines or drinking water sources. The partially treated water was released into the Little Tennessee River. Water monitoring samples are being taken upstream and downstream from the plant as is required by the State following such an event.
A second discharge beginning at 9:45 a.m. on January 9 and ending at 2:45 p.m. the same day resulted in 14,000 gallons of untreated wastewater being released from three manholes off East Main Street and Crane Circle. 3,500 gallons of wastewater reached the Little Tennessee River. As with the other spill, no drinking water source was impacted and the area has been cleaned appropriately.
During the times of overflow, precipitation was measured at 3.58 inches in Franklin. Maintenance activities and sewer system rehabilitation are continually being performed to identify and correct issues to prevent any future overflows. The weather event that triggered the overflows was unseasonable and caused similar incidents throughout Western North Carolina. This notice is required by North Carolina General Statutes 143-215. For more information contact Jason Hopkins, Wastewater Treatment Plant ORC at (828) 524-4492 or Water/Sewer Supervisor Jim Zilbauer at 828-524-2516.
January 3, 2024
Town Council Approves Social District Ordinance
The Franklin Town Council has been considering the social district concept since their retreat in February 2023. At their January 2, 2024 meeting, a public hearing was held to gain public input related to a proposed social district. After hearing the 13 speakers who voiced their opinions, the Town Council voted unanimously to adopt the ordinance creating a social district.
What is a social district?
A social district is a designated outdoor area where people can legally consume alcoholic beverages. Social districts are regulated by the NC Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Commission and were approved by the NC Legislature in 2021.
What does this mean for citizens and visitors to Franklin?
There are still several steps that must be completed before the social district goes into effect and it is estimated that these steps will take at least 3 to 4 months. The ordinance has been adopted, but there are signage requirements to indicate the geographical area for the district including entry and exit points; design of specialized cups required for use in the social district that includes required language “Drink Responsibly – Be 21” and submission of required registration with the ABC Commission in Raleigh.
The hours of operation for the district will be Noon until 9:00 p.m. Monday through Sunday. At all other times, unless a permit has been obtained for a special event, consumption of alcohol on sidewalks and in public areas is prohibited. “Education will be provided to those ABC permitted establishments and merchants within the social district during the next few months to ensure that when the district does go live, all will be prepared,” said Town Manager Amie Owens. An operations plan and educational materials are being developed and will be shared with the public online and available in hard copy as part of the implementation of the social district.
How does this impact festivals and events?
Event sponsors will have the option to request that the social district be suspended during their events by simply checking a box on the street closure application. The Town Council will consider the request at the same time as the street closure – no additional steps required. The squares downtown (Clock Tower, Gazebo and Rankin) will remain alcohol-free at all times as they are owned by Macon County, not the Town of Franklin, and are not included in the district. Individuals who are observed taking their marked cups into these areas will be subject to fines.
“The Town Council was aware that there could be support for, and opposition to, the social district and are knowingly moving forward to provide new experiences and opportunities for citizens and visitors to Franklin,” noted Owens.
There are currently 38 municipalities in the state with active social districts. The social district concept is based in economic development principles to attract citizens and visitors to the downtown leading to increased foot-traffic and provide new revenue opportunities for restaurants and retail establishments.
December 28, 2023
Traffic Alert - Watauga Street Closure January 2 to 5
Work is continuing on the section of the Clyde Street Waterline Improvement Project during the week of January 2 through January 5, 2024. (see map in blue) The area in front of East Franklin Elementary School will be closed to all traffic from Lakeside Drive to Randolph Street during this time. Individuals on Watauga Street above Randolph Street, Clyde Street, Janelle Street and Grandview Drive, may enter and exit using Town Mountain Drive or Grandview Drive or Dan Street.
There will be signage in place indicating the street closure and detours. There will be workers in the street at various times so please be aware of your surroundings.
December 12, 2023
Voluntary Water Restrictions Lifted
With the rainfall received over the weekend, the levels for inflow are back within normal limits and all water restrictions have been lifted.
The Town of Franklin asked citizens to voluntarily restrict the amount of water being used beginning on Friday, October 6, 2023. Due to the lack of rain, water levels in Cartoogechaye Creek at the inflow to the water treatment plant were below normal and triggered a Stage 1 voluntary water restriction.
The Town asked for citizen cooperation by limiting the use of water, when possible, until there was enough precipitation to raise water levels.
“We appreciate the citizens taking the necessary steps to assist in water conservation during the driest time of this year,” said Amie Owens, Town Manager.
November 27, 2023
Fire Danger Emergency Terminated
Mayor Jack Horton has terminated the Fire Danger Emergency for the Town of Franklin as of 8:00 a.m. Monday, November 27th.
The termination was declared in conjunction with the North Carolina Forest Service rescinding the burn ban for Macon County.
October 19, 2023
Clyde Street Waterline Improvement Project
The Town of Franklin has contracted with Buckeye Bridge, LLC to replace approximately 3,630 linear feet of waterline on Clyde Street. This project will begin on Monday, October 23, 2023 at 7:00 a.m. Work will begin at the Town’s water tank site on Clyde Street and move down Watauga Street to Lakeside Drive. This is a project that will last for several months with work being done between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
No work will be done near East Franklin Elementary School while school is in session. Work may be done while students are out for holiday break in late-December. The Town will send out updates related to road closures and any planned service interruptions weekly.
There will be lane reductions and periodic closures on Clyde Street as the first phase of the project starts. All will be marked with appropriate signage and flaggers utilized when necessary. Detour signs and barricades and other traffic control implements will be in place.
Should you have any questions, please contact Bill Deal, Public Works Director, at 828-524-2516 x 402.
October 5, 2023
Voluntary Water Restrictions to begin October 6, 2023
The Town of Franklin is asking citizens to voluntarily restrict the amount of water being used effective Friday, October 6,2023. Due to the lack of rain, water levels in Cartoogechaye Creek at the inflow to the water treatment plant are below normal and this has triggered a Stage 1 voluntary water restriction.
In accordance with the Town of Franklin’s Water Shortage Response Plan (WSRP), a stage 1 voluntary water restriction means that all water users are being asked to reduce their normal water use by 5%. Examples of ways to voluntarily restrict water use can include eliminating of washing vehicles, waiting to wash clothes until you have a full load, checking for leaks or toilets that may be running or use of dishwashers, limiting watering or irrigating outdoor landscapes.
The Town is asking for citizen cooperation by limiting the use of water, when possible, until there is enough precipitation to raise water levels.
Any updates related to the water restrictions will be forwarded to the media and posted on the Town’s website and the Town, Police and Fire social media pages.
New Pickleball Courts at Memorial Park
The Town of Franklin has modified the basketball court at Memorial Park to include two new pickleball courts. Town Manager Amie Owens stated “We are pleased to offer this location as an option for pickleball players and providing a multi-use option for the court.”
There are two portable nets which can be moved to the side when basketball is being played. The Town has placed these nets with the hope that individuals will use the equipment responsibly and consider them as an added amenity for the park. Whether it is pickleball or basketball, the court is first come, first served with no reservation of the court required.
Memorial Park is located at 488 West Main Street, Franklin and the park hours are from dawn until dark seven days a week. Restrooms are available on site.
Electric Vehicle Charging Station Now Operational at Town Hall
The Town of Franklin partnered with Duke Energy to install a level 3 fast-charging station in the town hall parking lot. Town Planner/IT Director Justin Setser worked closely with Duke to have the installation done without cost to taxpayers.
This is a fast-charging station and the cost is set through Shell Recharge via the Green Lot App. The fees are paid via a credit card scanning system and the Town does not receive any funding from the stations. “The need for EV charging was brought to our attention and we felt that the location would be beneficial for downtown visitation,” Setzer said.
There are two charging stations available with one indicated for handicapped accessibility. The charge time is dependent upon a vehicle’s battery status at the time of charging.