By Shawn Stinson
It was a quick business meeting for the members of the Town of Franklin council.
Three members of the council – Kristin Dingess, Clay Richardson and Edwin Wimer – as well as Bob Horan, mayor, and Bruce Minor, recorder, attended the June 14 meeting. Laura Brown and Genevieve Glover did not attend the meeting.
The council members unanimously approved a mission statement for the water system. The statement includes five paragraphs highlighting the town’s commitment.
It states the Town of Franklin water system is committed to the following:
“To provide our customers consistent, safe, clean, fair priced and good tasting drinking water.
“To have no violations and to keep up to date on all current state and federal regulations and keep the public informed of all deficiencies, exceedances and updates.
“To maintain a working plant with environmentally acceptable water treatment and protect and preserve the watershed, our natural resources, public health and the environment during regular work and emergency situations.
“To maintain an adequate backup water source and plan well for all emergency situations and be able to maintain the same consistent water for those situations that may occur.
“To maintain an adequate and updated distribution system with less than 20% water loss per fiscal year.”
Frank Wehrle, town manager, submitted the financial statements for the months of April and May. Wehrle highlighted an increase in revenue with the board of parks. He stated it was due to several successful fundraising events during the year. The council members unanimously approved the financial statements without comment.
Wehrle also submitted a budget revision to conclude the 2021-22 fiscal year for the town. Wehrle increased the revenue for the hotel occupancy tax by $2,000, from $8,000 to $10,000. He also increased the revenue generated from the Interstate Registration Plan fees from $32,000 to $36,000. The gaming income was also increased by $2,000, from $10,000 to $12,000.
“Largely our increase in revenue is outside of our control,” Wehrle said. “We had more than expected income in gaming. More than expected income in our IRPP.”
Wehrle added the companies Air B and B and HomeAway started submitting their hotel tax to state officials in February. The state then sends the tax to county and municipalities. He said it is coming quicker than it had been previously sent out by the state. Elizabeth Scott, assistant business manager, said she spoke with a state official who said the tax is now being captured at the time of booking the room or bed and breakfast and sent to the county and municipalities immediately rather than when the guest stays at the facility.
Wehrle increased the town’s expenditures by $8,000 to offset the additional revenue. The budget for elections was increased from $1,000 to $1,200. The budget for city hall was jumped from $186,091 to $192,891. The expenditure to the Pendleton County Visitor’s Bureau went from $4,000 to $5,000.
The council members unanimously approved the final budget revisions.
The minutes of the April 12 meeting and the April 19 special meeting were accepted without comment. The next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. July 12 at the town office.