During Monday's regularly scheduled meeting of the Franklin Town Board of Aldermen, Angel Medical Center (AMC) employees Don Capaforte and Bonnie Peggs requested the town consider a deal to transfer town property to the hospital for the development of a memorial garden.
“In addition to being the director of marketing and public relations, I am also the hospital's chaplain,” said Peggs. “A memorial garden is something that we have been thinking about for a long time and definitely think it is something the hospital needs and can benefit from.
Peggs and Capaforte, executive foundation director, asked aldermen to consider giving AMC a piece of townowned property adjacent to the back side of the hospital. “The piece of property is in the back of the hospital near the emergency room,” explained Peggs. “There is not a lot of traffic there, and we think it would be relatively peaceful.”
to Peggs, the memorial garden would be used as a place of respite for those visiting loved ones in the hospital, as well as a relaxing place for AMC staff members to go during their breaks.
“We have worked with the Franklin based landscape architect Steve Baldwin to develop the plans for the garden,” said Peggs. “We would have benches, plenty of shade and a fountain in the center. We have memorial bricks and benches placed all over the hospital, some placed in memory of loved ones and others in honor of nurses and staff that cared for individuals when they were patients, and the garden would give us one central location for all of those things.”
The total property adjacent to AMC owned by the town is 1.55 acres and is mostly a wooded area. According to Capaforte, the hospital is requesting 1.1 acres be given to the hospital to construct a permanent structure.
“I think that it is well worth it,” said Alderman Sissy Pattillo. “There is not much that we can do with that land, and I think this would be a good use of it.”
Alderman Bob Scott stated that while he believes the project is a worthy one, he believes it would be better for the town to work out a long term lease as opposed to giving the property away. Scott also requested time to visit the property and examine it and determine the actual boundaries that AMC is requesting.
Mayor Joe Collins agreed with Scott and suggested that AMC get a surveyor to look at the property lines and determine the actual property markers that would be used.
The board, which seemed in favor of AMC's request, decided to allow more time to examine the property and to determine the best method of executing a lease for the transfer of the property.
According to Peggs, if approved by the board, the garden will be completed in phases to allow for funds to be raised for the development. If everything goes according to plan, Peggs hopes to begin phase I of the project this fall.
Event and festival guidelines
Warren Cabe, who will be replacing Sam Greenwood as Franklin's town manager later this year, presented the board with a list of guidelines for festivals and events for the downtown area.
At the request of the aldermen, Cabe worked with a committee comprised of Summer Woodard, Main Street Director Linda Schlott, Franklin Police Chief David Adams, and Town Planner Derek Roland to review existing rules, regulations and ordinances to develop a consolidated checklist for entities outside of the Town of Franklin who want to hold events downtown.
The guidelines presented to the town board varied but included liability insurance requirements for $1,000,000, to ensure the Town of Franklin was named as an additionally insured entity, requirement of parade permits, as well as a face-to face meeting with Schlott as the Main Street director, as well as Roland as the town planner. “We wanted to be sure to include a faceto- face meeting to allow for communication, which has been a concern in the past,” said Cabe.
Cabe also explained that the insurance requirement was set in place to prevent the town from being liable, but also was not to deter people and small non-profits from holding events. “We have found that a policy providing a million dollars in coverage will cost someone just a couple of hundred dollars and can be obtained pretty easily,” he said.
The guidelines also require that anyone wanting to hold an event downtown, must fill out the paperwork two months prior to the event, to allow time for Schlott, and if needed, the aldermen, to look over the request before giving final approval.
Per the aldermen's request, Martha Holbrook, owner of Rosebud Cottage, presented board members with a list of event dates for 2013 StreetFest events, which will be hosted by the downtown merchants. In addition to informing Aldermen of the proposed StreetFest dates, Holbrook also requested that the downtown merchants be included in the creation of the event guidelines, since they would be directly impacted by them. “As the event guidelines continue to be developed and discussed, we request open discussion that includes the public,” said Holbrook. “As merchants, we understand the need for flexibility and to have spontaneous events as opportunities happen. The guidelines should be flexible enough to allow for our creativity and the need for an economic boost.
Holbrook informed the board, that the downtown merchants are currently working to bring people downtown. “The Downtown Merchants are working together to develop a promotion or event for each month,” she said. “This month we are having a Valentine Giveaway. We invite each of you to visit our businesses and register to win the gift basket, valued at $250.”
Holbrook emphasized to the board the importance of the guidelines allowing for events such as the Valentine's Day giveaway downtown.
Cabe informed aldermen that he was not looking for approval from the board Monday night, but instead wanted the board's go ahead to allow the proposed guidelines to be a public record in order to solicit public input into the regulations.