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The Franklin Board of Aldermen gathered Monday night for its monthly meeting to discuss a variety of issues that the town will be facing, ranging from water issues to rezoning to amusement ordinances. Members of the public were invited to attend and many accepted that invitation.

Brian Tripp from the consulting firm W.K. Dickson was present at the meeting to present a plan that would expand the current infrastructure and guide the town's water system to meet the demand up to and beyond 2035.

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Filing for the 2013 municipal elections in Macon and Jackson counties begins Friday, July 5, at noon and will continue until Friday, July 19, at noon.

In Macon County, between Franklin and Highlands, a total of seven elected officials are up for re-election in November.

The seats on the Franklin Town Board include the mayor seat, currently held by Joe Collins who announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election, and three aldermen seats held by Billy Mashburn, Sissy Pattillo and Bob Scott. In Franklin's last election, all seats up for election ran unopposed.

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After being forced to notify dozens of teachers that their jobs were not guaranteed in the 2013-14 school year because of a lack of funding, after a closed session during their June meeting, the Macon County Board of Education voted to begin the process of hiring those positions that are essential to the education process.

The Board of Education was originally granted $7.1 million from county commissioners for the 2013-14 school year.

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Macon County's budget for the upcoming 2013-2014 fiscal year is now official and has been released to the public via the county website. In a 3-2 vote last week, commissioners moved forward with the budget of $47,145,470.

In the weeks leading up to the vote, various department heads met with the commissioners to make pleas for more funding for a variety of upgrades in different areas like personnel, equipment, and other projects.

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Motion to allow state to manage signs voted down.

The Macon County Planning Board met for its monthly meeting last Thursday. The group gathered to discuss the county's sign ordinance that has been in place since the mid 1990s but that has been sparsely enforced over the years.

According to the county's current ordinance all signs constructed, placed, relocated or maintained require a permit with some exceptions. Government signs, signs/graphics on soft drink machines and gasoline pumps, flags or insignias of any governmental or non-profit organization that is not being used for advertisement, and warning signs are just some of the exemptions that are made in the ordinance.

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Angel Medical Center has officially joined Mission Health as a member hospital and Tuesday
morning, members of the community and officials from both AMC and Mission Health gathered
to celebrate the event. Jim Bross, President and CEO of Angel Medical Center welcomed the
crowd in attendance with a ceremonial signing of the membership papers. Ronald A. Paulus, MD,
president and CEO of Mission Health also signed as the crowd applauded the move.

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Citizens of Macon County have been anxiously watching the situation concerning the Parker Meadows property slated to become a community sports complex.

An abundance of public outcry has been heard both in opposition and support for the purchase of the property on 64W that would serve local athletes with state-of-the-art recreational facilities.

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Franklin's Planning Board met Monday afternoon to discuss several issues concerning current zoning designations of properties located in the city limits.

The first item on the agenda is the possibility of rezoning of 32 parcels of land located on Pauline Avenue. Of those parcels, 16 applications were submitted by the owners and the other 16 were submitted on behalf of the property owners by nearby landowner Richard Brady. The parcels are currently zoned as R-2 residential which would permit manufactured homes or mobile homes and the applications request that they be rezoned to R-1 residential where they would be prohibited.

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Board flip-flops on Burningtown fire tax increase

After weeks of meetings and deliberations among community members and the county commissioners, Macon County officially has a budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. In a vote of 3-2, the budget was put into place and will take effect on July 1. Commissioners Ron Haven and Paul Higdon opposed the budget as presented.

"I have to vote against this budget," said Haven. "There are just some things in it that sit heavy on my heart that I can't support."

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Electronic billboards the advertising method of choice.

The Tourism Development Authority addressed some lingering issues facing the board at Tuesday evening's meeting which served as a continuation of last week's meeting.

When considering the budget for the fiscal year that will begin on July 1, a few key components were discussed by the members at the meeting.

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