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News Town board explores future water options

The Franklin Board of Aldermen gathered Monday night for its monthly meeting to discuss a variety of issues that the town will be facing, ranging from water issues to rezoning to amusement ordinances. Members of the public were invited to attend and many accepted that invitation.

Brian Tripp from the consulting firm W.K. Dickson was present at the meeting to present a plan that would expand the current infrastructure and guide the town's water system to meet the demand up to and beyond 2035.

“As you can see, the population of Franklin increased by 9.23 percent from the year 2000 to 2010,” said Tripp as he showed graphs and data to those in attendance. “In 2010, the average residential water use per capita per day in Franklin was 175 gallons, which is actually spot on with the national average that is also 175 gallons per day per capita.”

According to the key findings, based on the history of Franklin's population data, growth is expected to continue and the gallons per day per capita is expected to grow yearly as well. In 2015, the firm projects that Franklin's average annual daily demand for water will be approximately 1.15 million gallons per day with its maximum daily demand being estimated at 1.91 million gallons per day. In 2020, the average annual daily demand could be 1.217 million gallons per day and the maximum 2.020. In 2030, the average annual daily demand could be 1.36 million gallons per day with a maximum use of 2.257 million gallons per day.

The recommendation that Tripp made on behalf of W.K. Dickson was that considering the condition and the age of the town's water treatment plant and the need for additional capacity by the year 2020, the town should rehabilitate their existing plant and upgrade it to a 3.0 million gallons per day capacity plant.

Outlining the Capital Improvement Plan, Trip presented options to remedy the looming capacity issue. The first option the town can look at is the water treatment plant rehabilitation and expansion to three million gallons per day which would cost around $21,870,000.

“Or you can build another plant on the other side of the property,” said Tripp. “A completely new plant would cost a little more that the first option at $22,262,000.”

The third option he presented was to refurbish the existing plant and expand to four million gallons per day.

Town Planner Derek Roland explained the importance of the data.

“I think it’s very important that we consider the things that W.K. Dickson has presented to us,” he said. “We can take this information and I can sit down with Warren (Cabe) and the water and sewer committee in the next couple of months and come back with a plan to carry this out with. Twenty-one million dollars is a lot of money, so we have to develop a good plan. This is a very important step forward for the town.”

The model recommended that the board make it a point to meet with Macon County officials in the near future to discuss potential plans with them since many entities in the county use the system as well

“If the county is going to be using a lot of this water then it is extremely important that they help us out with some of this,” said Alderman Sissy Pattillo.

Mayor Joe Collins agreed with Pattillo, pointing to the fact that the extra water in the facility is used by the county.

“We just really want the public to know how aware of the water situation we are and how it affects the town's future,” said Collins.

“I think you have a good model here, but the only concern I have is that your estimates of population growth are going to be off,” said Alderman Bob Scott. “We've got something here that people want and they are going to come here for it. That's strong water sources.”

The Board of Aldermen will meet next month on August 5. Two public hearings are on the agenda. The first will be in regards to the rezoning of Gaston Street, Green Street and West Palmer Street at 7:05; and at 7:10, the rezoning of Pauline Avenue.


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