Russell Bowling was honored at Monday night's Board of Aldermen meeting for his years of service and contribution to the Town of Franklin while serving on the Franklin's ABC Board.
Mayor Joe Collins and fellow board member Pat Pattillo presented a plaque showing the town's appreciation of Bowling. Bowling, who served for 19 years, graciously accepted the award and thanked those in attendance and those who had presented the award.
“I was first put on to the board in 1994 when being on the ABC Board wasn't the most popular thing to do here in Franklin,” he said. “But we made it work and if you look at our store and look at others throughout the state, you'll see that ours is one of the nicest ones you'll see. I also want to acknowledge Todd Mason who manages the store. He was our first hire and I know that his father Clarence Mason and mother Elizabeth would have been so proud of him.”
The aldermen voted to fill the vacant seat after the presentation, unanimously approving Alton Sutton to the board.
Amusement ordinance struck down
A 1948 ordinance that was put into place in Franklin that banned alcohol from being served in establishments that also allowed patrons to play pool has been officially repealed.
“I personally don't have a problem with repealing this ordinance,” said Collins. “There's establishments where it's happening anyway and I just really don't see the point of keeping it on the books.”
Alderman Joyce Handley motioned to repeal the ordinance with Farrell Jamison seconding the motion, but before it went to vote Alderman Verlin Curtis spoke up in opposition.
“I think that before we vote on this issue that we should at least discuss it,” he said. “Personally, I'm against the sale of alcohol period, but also, I believe that when the citizens of Franklin voted on this issue, they did not mean they wanted to expand alcohol sales to the pool halls. I think they wanted to allow it for restaurants, but they did not want to see it in private clubs and if I have to support keeping this ordinance in place as a means of restricting that then I guess that's what I'll have to do.”
In 2006, citizens of the town of Franklin passed a referendum to allow the on-premises sale of malt beverages by Class A hotels, motels, and restaurants only, as well as the sale of mixed beverages in hotels, restaurants, private clubs, community theaters and convention centers.
“I think they had a reason for this ordinance back in 1948,” said Alderman Bob Scott. “Things change though and Franklin has changed, too. I don't see a point in keeping this ordinance.”
The board voted to repeal the ordinance, 5-1 with Curtis opposing.
A public hearing will be held on Aug. 5 beginning at 7:05 concerning the rezoning of East Main Street, Gaston Street, Green Street, and West Palmer Street, followed by a hearing concerning the rezoning of Pauline Avenue. At 7:15 will be a hearing concerning the amendment of text only of the Unified Development Ordinance for regulating the location of electronic machines and sweepstakes.
Applications for the town’s fiscal year 2013-2014 non-profit funding pool are available at Town Hall and online at www.franklinnc.com. The deadline for all applications is Aug. 26.
The old Town Hall property has also been packaged for sale and can be viewed at www.franklinnc.com soon. Interested parties may contact the Franklin Board of Realtors for more information.