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News Aldermen clarify sweepstakes ordinance; consider street ranking system

Franklin Aldermen are considering a new street ranking system that prioritizes projects in order of importance and tracks maintenance based on a point system.At the August meeting of the Franklin Board of Aldermen, a public hearing was held for comments about suggested changes for sweepstakes parlors. The suggestion made by Town Planner Derek Roland would amend text of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) and restrict sweepstakes parlors to C-3 Commercial areas should they ever become legal.

“The application that was sent down to the planning board has been expanded from its original version,” said Roland. “We didn't originally include a formal definition so the planning board recommended adding the amendment that would define the devices in a similar manner to the state's wording. They also recommended a portion of the text to set guidelines that are similar to ones followed by private clubs. That's where we stand right now.”

According to the UDO, that means sweepstakes parlors “shall not be located within a 500-foot radius of another establishment housing Electronic Machines and Devices for Sweepstakes, nor within 250 feet of a residential use or residential zoning classification.”

Mayor Joe Collins opened the floor up for public comment, but no one was present to object to or support the changes. As a result, Collins asked about the 500-feet requirement between clubs that was suggested.

“Yes, that is a part of our Unified Development Ordinance in terms of private clubs,” said Roland. “They took that requirement for consistency purposes and applied it to sweepstakes parlors.”

Town Attorney John Henning Jr. expanded more on the reasoning behind the amendment.

“I think what we're trying to avoid here is a group gathering and it starting to look like little Vegas,” he said.

Alderman Joyce Handley made a motion to accept the ordinance as the Town Planning Board suggested. It was seconded by Alderman Verlin Curtis and passed unanimously.

As a result of the UDO change electronic machines and devices for sweepstakes will be limited to C-3 Commercial districts.

Street maintenance ranking system considered

Town Manager Warren Cabe detailed a new Street Maintenance Ranking System that he hopes to get rolling in the next month or so. There are 26.8 miles of road in the Franklin city limits that would be considered by the system.

“I think using a ranking system like the one that we have developed will help us prioritize and it will also give people who are concerned about their street an idea of where they are on the list,” said Cabe. “It'll also gives us an idea in the budgeting process. We'll know that we may have enough money to work on three streets.”

Four criteria that are all weighed differently include Current condition – 45 percent; Usage – 25 percent; Maintenance – 15 percent; Consideration – 15 percent.

Town staff will analyze current conditions of a street by driving over it and assigning a score of 1-5. A score of five means that the street is in excellent condition.

The usage category will indicate how heavily used a street is in its current state as well as the level of influence it has on the overall transportation network inside the city limits.

An arterial street amounts to five points. This means that it is a major street in the town's street system that serves as an avenue of circulation into, out of, or around the town. It also carries a high volume of traffic. Many of these streets are Department of Transportation maintained streets. An example would be Wayah Street.

“In addition to the city streets, Derek [Roland] and I decided to put these state maintained streets on a separate list so we can bring them back to you and we can forward them on to the DOT,” said Cabe.

Collector streets are scored as four points. These streets carry traffic between minor, local, sub-collector, and arterial streets. They serve or are designed to serve more than 100 dwelling units.

Sub-collector streets provide access to abutting properties, but are also designed to connect minor and local streets with collector or arterial streets. These streets have a value of three points.

A cul-de-sac street functions to provide access to abutting properties or terminates in a vehicular turn around. It is designed to serve at least 10, but no more than 25 dwelling units. These streets are two points.

A minor street scores one point. These streets provide access to abutting properties. They serve nine or fewer dwelling units and are worth one point.

The maintenance score indicates the last time repair or resurfacing work was performed on the street. The system assumes that the longer a street has been without maintenance, the more need exists. The amount of years is scored accordingly.

Consideration scores place value on the length of time a project has been on the list. According to the proposal, this will ensure that in due time, all projects will be addressed.

“This is an effective way to get these projects done,” said Cabe. “We don't want certain streets to be favored and this is a way to prevent that from happening. We want this to be used as a tool. If you could give us 30 days, we could run through and make a list and bring it back to you. Of course if you disagree then you can change the list.”

“I think this is a great idea,” said Alderman Farrell Jamison.

The aldermen agreed and gave their approval of the idea.


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