If you’re not convinced yet the City of Franklin has taken the lead in goals and vision in St. Mary Parish, witness the efforts of the building maintenance committee.
While there’s no perfect world and no perfect government, Franklin’s municipal, civic and ancillary leadership is making great strides.
The building maintenance committee was charged last year with the unenviable task of addressing the structures in the city in need of anything from repairs to demolition. It takes courage to serve on such a panel which, by its very nature, will make people very angry. And though the committee has not been without its hiccups, the early learning stages and growth pains are just about over.
The committee has moved onto final warnings on four properties in Franklin. They’ve got dozens of properties on the list, but wisely decided to take only a handful at a time, go through the complicated legal process, and get it right, dotting all the I’s and crossing all the T’s.
A citizen saw the advertisement of Wednesday’s meeting of the committee in the newspaper and attended just to check out the panel’s work. She said she was suitably impressed with their handling of the situation and noted that it’s long overdue.
Coupled with the cleanup campaign that has been well-received by the public, this city is moving ahead by leaps and bounds daily.
By the way, the next cleanup is Saturday. Volunteers will be meeting with organizers at 7 a.m. at the parking lot next to Hong Kong Kitchen on Main Street.
We need to live in the here-and-now. It has to be understood, clearly, that all our problems aren’t going to be solved overnight. But there’s no sense pointing fingers, blaming. We need to address today’s problems before they become tomorrow’s, and we’re doing that.
A considerable source of pride for this leaping-and-bounding community is the new Franklin Foundation Hospital.
If you didn’t get to see it during the open house, you missed something. (Okay, okay, I didn’t get to go to the open house myself, but I got to see it in bits and pieces on various photo assignments!)
Here’s an example of the can-do attitude it takes to get the entire community back on its feet. That hospital is sweet. Now, I was born in the old Hospital Avenue facility, and we’ve all either been patients there or have visited folks who were. I imagine in the 1950s when that facility was built it was oohed and ahhed over just like this one. Should the new hospital enjoy such longevity, we’ll do well.
Hospitals are important to the community. Not only for its existing residents but for visitors and potential residents, as well as business and industry. We’ve got a first-class facility, and a gorgeous one too.
All the art inside was done by locals, and all the subjects are local. From what I saw, we are well-represented by their talents.
I think a hats-off to the Franklin Historic District is also in order.
If there’s ever been a more embattled public commission, I don’t know about it. But over the last year or so, the commission has been dead serious about making things right. That means a combination of not repeating the errors of the past with a newfound expectation of defining and enlarging the scope of their activities.
Most recently, a brochure has been created with grant monies to outline the district’s purpose, authorities and so forth. It also includes a map, perforated application and documentation of word pages and more.
The plan is to mail them to every property owner in the district and place them with various offices such as utilities and realtors.
That’s a long-overdue asset to the community. The historic areas of Franklin are our crown jewels, and the district has been a misunderstood entity for decades.
The task of not repeating past mistakes is going to be a difficult one, but worth it in the long run. It’s been said that just because a thing has been done does not mean it should be done, or continue to be done.
Believe me, having that historic district is going to pay off big time. It already has, by many measures. But when the leaping and bounding of Franklin reaches a crescendo, the historic district is going to be at the heart of it.