Franklin to use ARPA funds to upgrade community center

FRANKLIN – Voters addressed unfinished business at a special town meeting on June 27.

Much of the discussion focused on articles two, three and five of the annual term of office of the city assembly, which dealt with the use of unspent funds as well as property taxes for various purposes in the city.

Article two dealt with the allocation of funds for the operating costs of the town’s municipal building. The budget committee and special committee recommended that $5,000 be taken from unspent city funds to pay for the running costs of the building.

This would be in addition to the $15,000 that has already been raised for this purpose from property taxes. The motion passed and the transfer of funds was approved.

Item three dealt with the proposed funding for improvements to the Franklin Community Center. This funding would also be taken from the City’s unspent surplus, in the amount of $22,000. These funds would be used to make improvements to the center, including the installation of heat pumps, a generator and Wi-Fi, which would open up the community center to more uses.

This appropriation would have a zero net cost to the city’s excess funding, as it will be repaid by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding on behalf of the community center trustees. This motion passed after some discussion regarding reimbursement with ARPA funds, with voters focusing on ensuring that this appropriation would be costless.

Article five of the terms of reference proposed raising $500 from property taxes, as recommended by the budget committee and select council, for various demands. The purpose of the funds would be to decorate the graves of city veterans for the annual Memorial Day service and parade.

Flags, flag bearers, ribbons and wreaths are among the items to purchase and display at veterans’ graves and municipal sites for Memorial Day observance. An additional amount of $1,500 has already been raised for this purpose from the property tax, bringing the total cost of this request to $2,000. After some discussion about what would be purchased, the motion passed.

Journalist Malachy Flynn covers news on the Schoodic beat, which includes the towns of Eastbrook, Franklin, Hancock, Sorrento, Sullivan, Trenton, Waltham and Winter Harbor. He also reports on the town of Tremont on Mount Desert Island. He welcomes tips and suggestions on the stories of the area. To contact Malachy with advice or questions, write to him at [email protected].

Jill E. Washington