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News General

Director predicts a reduction in services and hours.

Since 2008, the rate of inflation had increased by 10 percent, while county funding for the library has only increased by 4 percent, according to Macon County Public Library Director Karen Wallace. Between an increase in services and cost of operating, Wallace addressed commissioners Tuesday night to inform them that if additional funds aren’t placed in the library’s budget this year, the facility will have to decrease services or hours.

“Without an increase in funding for the library, it’s likely that we’ll need to cut hours and services,” said Wallace Tuesday night.

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The Franklin Tourism Development Authority held its annual board retreat Monday night, which included a vote approving the 2015-16 fiscal year budget of $113,700.

Premiere Marketing, which volunteers its services to the TDA, showed the TDA how its dollars were used over the last year and how to better utilize funds in the coming year. According to D’Anne Maddox with Premiere Marketing, with a revamp of the TDA’s website recently, Google Analytics reports that the top two cities visiting the TDA’s website include Atlanta, Ga., and Charlotte, NC, which are the two cities Premiere focused its targeted marketing last year. According to Maddox, about 50 percent of the TDA’s website visits came from Atlanta and Charlotte, while the other 50 percent included areas such as Durham, N.C., Rock Hill, S.C., Houston, Texas, and New York.

Last year, the TDA spent $35,000 on billboards in the Atlanta area; $20,000 for ads on the music streaming application Pandora; $5,200 for a membership for the Charlotte Chamber; $10,000 for Facebook; and $10,000 for Google AdWords.

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All nine of the School Resource Officers (SROs) on the Macon County payroll are required to wear multiple hats throughout the year. When school is out for summer, Christmas, or spring break, Sheriff Robert Holland utilizes the county’s SROs to fill in gaps throughout his department. Since school is not in session year round, the SROs transition to other roles within the Macon County Sheriff’s Office during off months and remain full time employees of the county.

But soon that stipulation may not apply to all SROs in the county.

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Revaluation and tax increases a game changer.

The town of Franklin approved its 2015-16 budget Monday, which includes a one percent tax increase for town residents. In addition to the tax increase, the town of Franklin also approved a 5 percent water and sewer rate increase, and pending county approval, potentially approved a 9/10 of a cent fire tax increase for homes within the service area of Franklin Fire & Rescue. Those increases, paired with an increase on the county end in order to maintain a revenue neutral budget in the coming fiscal year, may cause some sticker shock for town residents.

Town of Franklin one cent tax increase

On the town level, a homeowner with an assessed property value of $75,000 will go from paying $202.50 in 2014 with a tax rate of .27, to paying $210 in 2015 with the tax rate of .28, an increase of $7.50.

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