It wasn’t long ago in our area it seemed as if new real estate and construction offices were popping up on a regular basis, blooming from the warmth of an overheated housing market. Today, it appears we have more new vacant commercial spaces than actual new businesses. One of the few exceptions is the increase of sweepstakes establishments. The town of Franklin however, has apparently decided that this isn’t the right kind of business and has voted to impose licensing fees that transcend mere taxation - rising to a level of punitive fines. It’s been reported that sweepstakes establishments within town limits will not only have to pay a $2,600 annual fee - an additional $1,000 per machine surcharge is being added for the privilege of conducting business.