The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee)
BYLINE: By, Kevin Walters
Franklin leaders are expanding their blueprint for making the city more green.
Three years after approving the city’s first Sustainability Action Plan, Franklin officials are taking suggestions about what should be next when it comes to the city’s ongoing environmentally friendly practices.
Franklin has come a long way in a short while, creating a citywide curbside recycling program, installing solar panels on city property and adding electric vehicle charging stations, to name a few of the actions.
Now, Franklin wants more ideas from residents – in person and online – to bolster the city’s green practices. Residents can voice their opinions about ways to update Franklin’s sustainability plan by completing an online survey or one-on-one during an open house at the CoolSprings Galleria mall later this month. Elected officials, volunteers and city staffers will attend the open house.
Mayor Ken Moore, who has said he wants Franklin to become one of the top 10 sustainable U.S. cities, said resident input will ultimately guide what steps the city takes next.
“We’ve accomplished so many things,” Moore said. “I think citizens’ input on it is going to drive my thoughts. It’s going to be what they want.”
So far, more than 160 people have responded to the city’s short online survey, which can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/s/livegreen.
The action plan will ultimately guide the city staff as well as the city’s Sustainability Commission, a volunteer group overseeing and discussing the proposals.
‘Quality of life issue’
Ken Scalf, commission chairman, isn’t surprised by the popular support for the measures, such as the curbside recycling program. Franklin officials had discussed a curbside recycling program for years but didn’t begin one until 2010. Residents can leave their cardboard, plastic and paper items in blue recyclable bags for pickup by city crews.
“I think the public in general is becoming more cognizant of this,” said Scalf. “This is not a political issue. It is more of a quality of life issue.”
Looking ahead, Scalf hopes to see a larger cultural shift occur with even more people becoming aware of sustainable measures and how they can impact future generations.
“We think there’s still more work to do,” Scalf said. “There are more models out there that the city of Franklin can aspire to.”
The city’s Sustainability Action Plan open house will be 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21, in the main stage area in the center of CoolSprings Galleria.
Reach Kevin Walters at 615-771-5472 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Back in 2009, Franklin created its first Sustainability Action Plan, which outlined ways the city government and the community itself could pursue greater energy efficiency, water conservation, and other environmentally friendly sustainable practices.
Franklin’s steps toward greater sustainability since then include:
· City-wide curbside recycling “blue bag” program.
· Established the Live Green Business Partnership, which has 160 members.
· Installation of energy-efficient sports lighting at Jim Warren Park.
· LED (light emitting diode) streetlight pilot project.
· Adoption of Franklin’s Greenway and Open Space Masterplan.
· Adopted city Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design resolution to pursue for construction of new city buildings, if cost effective.
· The Franklin Columbia Avenue Police headquarters building achieved a LEED “Gold” ranking.
· Created a long-term integrated water resources plan.
· Added two “Big Belly” solar-powered trash compactors in downtown Franklin donated by Waste Management.
· Municipal composting facility for residential yard waste.
· Installed bike bollards and bike racks in downtown Franklin.
· Public-private partnership to install 200 kilowatt solar array on Franklin city property near the city wastewater facility.
· Installed electric vehicle charging stations in Second and Fourth Avenue parking garages.
- Source: City of Franklin
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