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News General

Mayor urges caution when giving to private businesses.

On Monday the Franklin Tourism Development Authority held its monthly meeting at the Franklin town hall to discuss potential funding opportunities for some previously proposed projects coming to the area. One in particular drew lengthy discussion among the board members. Last month, Paul Garner, general manager of the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts approached the board to ask for $15,000 to go towards advertising for events at the facility.

Board member and Franklin town manager Summer Woodard informed the members that the county's Tourism Development Commission had approved a matching grant of $15,000 last week.

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Shortly before 8 p.m. election results started to roll into the lower level of the Macon County Courthouse at the board of elections office. With candidates patiently waiting with their friends and family, and the news media anxious to report results to the public, one by one Macon County’s precincts began delivering results.

While the official election results won’t be available for a couple of days, the unofficial results were tallied and proclaimed some incumbents victorious, as well as named a few new faces to open seats.

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Principals and administrators trying to fill the gap.

Early each morning, most days before the sun comes up, school bus drivers around the county brave the elements to take the community’s young residents to and from school, ensuring that they get to school safe in the mornings and get home safe in the evenings. While some routes take three to six hours a day, the average route for a bus driver in Macon County is about four hours.

North Carolina has long since battled bus driver wages, finding it hard to keep fulltime bus drivers in the districts, when they are technically considered part-time employees based on hours worked. The state’s bus driver debate is as divisive as ever and in Macon County, has resulted in buses at Franklin High School having to be parked due to the lack of drivers.

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With about 25 months left on the county’s current landfill lifespan, Macon County commissioners voted during the October meeting to move forward with allowing the solid waste department to purchase two parcels of land totaling $1.5 million.

As an enterprise agency, the funds to purchase the property will come from the solid waste department, and not from the county budget. Chris Stahl, the county’s solid waste director, informed commissioners that by purchasing the property now to complete the expansion, more than 40 years will be added to the life expectancy and save the county $36 million in operating costs over that time.

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