Franklin Council Approves Project  Bid
February 7, 2005

Morning Sun Staff Writer

Franklin Community Council approved a bid for construction of the community center Sunday afternoon at Henry Ashbacher's Construction Building.

Reports were made on various community projects, including the new community center, the new park, and the sewer system.

Joe Cukjati, building committee chairman, said that of the eight contractors contacted about the community center project, only three returned bids.

Tri-State Building and Supply Co. had the low bid of $432,782, which the council approved.

Plans for 4,000-square-foot building include a conference room and a multi-purpose room with an area devoted to the community's heritage and history.

Ray Hamblin, Franklin Community Park committee chairman, distributed minutes from park committee meetings. Fox Construction has started on the park site, and as soon as the weather improves the project will be finished.

The park will house a shelter, rest rooms, and a walking path with pavers, which can be purchased as permanent remembrances of a family. The price of the pavers is still being discussed, but they will be placed on the inside of the walking path.

Dianna Morrison discussed plans for a possible community picnic and a ceremony in conjunction with the anniversary of the May 4, 2003, tornado. The picnic will be at 4 p.m. on the first Saturday in May. A location for the event has not been determined.

Phyllis Bitner, chairman of the heritage committee, sought the council's approval for the establishment of an endowment fund through the Pittsburg Area Community Foundation to benefit Franklin.  She said one-time contributions, bequests, gifts of life insurance, and donations in memory of a deceased loved one are all tax-deductible.

Stokes said the sewer project is in progress, though it is certainly not moving as fast as everyone had hoped.

"No one knows when it is going to start," he said. "We don't know if it will be one year, two years, three years. I can assure you that it is not going to be this spring. I think there is a possibility of next spring."

Since rebuilding the area is contingent on the sewer, Stokes said he would like to get ideas from the engineer, the County Commission, and the Franklin Community Council on how to proceed.

The council decided to draft a letter to various legislators informing them of how little progress is being made on the sewer situation in Franklin.

"It took six years and a tornado just to get funding for a sewer," Stokes said. "Persistence and patience is what is going to get it done. None of it gets done (quickly)."

The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. Sunday, March 6, at Henry Ashbacher's Construction Building.

Staff Writer Joe Noga can be reached at or 231-2600, Ext. 132.

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