Franklin’s Main Street Program working to improve downtown
One of the Main Street Program’s primary goals has always been to make Franklin's downtown more beautiful, comfortable, and inviting to visitors and locals alike. When Main Street Program's design committee visited nearby Main Street towns to see what improvements they are working on, they recognized the need for new benches that all have the same look in Franklin's downtown to improve the overall appearance while providing, comfortable functional space for people to relax on Main Street.
The Main Street Program purchased the first bench several months ago to begin their campaign. The bench was purchased in memory of Wayne Tallent, owner of Tallent’s Produce, who tirelessly helped the Main Street Program over the years. Every bench is very sturdy and will be installed by the town’s maintenance department. Each bench will be given or placed in honor of someone who has/had a business in the downtown area, by family members or friends.
According to Linda Schlott, director of the Franklin Main Street Program, she was surprised to learn that the second bench will be named for her husband, Mike Schlott. “He always helped me with all of the downtown events and I appreciate that everyone thought enough of both of us to do this for us,” said Schlott. According to Schlott, family and friends came together to raise the money for the bench and surprised her with the news.
“We have been looking at projects for the design committee to beautify downtown,” said Schlott. “The benches are one aspect of the project, which will also include signs that will give downtown an updated look.”
The Main Street program has three more benches ready to order now. “This is a great way to honor a loved one and help our town at the same time,” said Bo Bryant, member of the Main Street Program.
According to Bryant, several other exciting projects are planned to benefit downtown. New signage around town including a new gateway welcome sign similar to the one on the Highlands Road will soon be put up in front of the Knights Inn just off of the Sylva Road.
Schlott explained that “way finding” signs will be put up to provide visitors with information about downtown. The banners on the light posts will also soon be replaced with a new banner with vibrant colors.