Resident wants to see a positive movement to revitalize downtown

Published 10:06 am Friday, August 8, 2014

Editor’s Note: Franklin resident Ray Smith is responding to Publisher Tony Clark’s column on Aug. 3 titled “Revitalizing downtown Franklin.”


As a property owner in downtown Franklin I would like to thank you for your interest in our city. You have some very good points that I do agree with; specifically, downtown living and the riverfront development.

Having said that, I am extremely disappointed that you were lacking factual information in your editorial and your assumption that the lack of progress is a result of the failed efforts of the DFA. This organization is staffed by 1 full-time employee and over 40 volunteers who work tirelessly to help improve the quality of life for downtown and the city as a whole.

For the past 15 years the Franklin City Council has rejected any efforts to help building owners convert the buildings to include multi-use projects, which as you know, is a much-needed step in any revitalization effort. After much continued discussion, I believe the current administration may have a more futuristic understanding to better help and support the changes needed to boost revitalization in the downtown district. Therefore, any change in the tax code and structure would definitely be a mistake at this time.

As far as ballfields are concerned, the property you are referring to is privately owned by R.W. Tyler, who has also tried to build quality housing in the downtown district (another key to revitalization), which was rejected twice in the past by city council.

So as you can see; the future of the downtown district lies in the hands of our current leadership, who I believe has the wisdom to make the right decisions for the future of downtown Franklin, if they so choose.

I would also like to see you keep this story alive and continue your efforts of bringing focus to the facts from the people who have been involved in a positive movement to revitalize the downtown district.

Ray Smith