This past week, we have explored the City of Franklin Park Master Draft Plan. First, we took a look at what Franklin residents want in parks, what new parks Franklin residents might expect to see, plans for the Franklin Cowboys departure from Jim Warren Park, and the goals of parks plan for Franklin. Today,we will look at how City of Franklin plans to fund the capital improvement plan.
There are several types of funding sources for the capital improvement planning for the parks.
There are a variety of potential funding sources for the capital improvement plan. The following is a summary of these sources:
• City funds
• Park Land Dedication fund • Hotel-Motel Tax
• Adequate Facilities Tax
• Capital fund
• Bond issue
- Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Local Parks and Recreation Fund Grants
- Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Enhancement Grants
- Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Program (CMAQ) Grants
- Historic Grants
Other Sources of Funding
• Friends of Franklin Parks
• Franklin’s Charge
• Williamson County
Park Land Dedication Fund
As of May 2015, the Park Land Dedication fund balance was $2,491,967. No funds have been expended since that date. It is expected that approximately $2,000,000 in additional
fees will be placed in this fund in 2016 as a result of a new developments, bringing the total to $4,491,967. The amounts accruing to this fund each year are totally dependent on new housing starts. Therefore, it is difficult to predict the amount of additional funds that may be available during the remainder of the planning period.
The total budget for expenditures from the 2015 tax fund is $3,100,577, of which $810,000 is budgeted for parks. Allocation of funding for parks is done annually at the discretion the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
Adequate Facilities Tax
The amount of money in this fund is totally dependent on the amount of commercial development that occurs each year in the city. In 2014, the city collected $2,457,833 from this source. No money from this fund has gone to parks since the early 2000s.
The availability of bond funds to pay for land acquisition and development of parks is dependent on the City’s available bonding capacity and priorities for those funds as set by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
Local Park and Recreation Fund Grants
This grant funding is administered by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. The money comes from a fee placed on real estate transfers across the state. The grants are typically awarded annually and are a 50/50 match. The maximum grant amount is $250,000. If awarded a grant, the project has to be completed and the grant closed out before another grant will be awarded. Therefore, receipt of a grant can only be anticipated a minimum of every two years.
Tennessee Department of Transportation Enhancement Grants
The primary means of grant funding for trail projects across the state is Enhancement Grants through Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). These grants fund trail projects that have an alternative transportation component. According to TDOT, the maximum grant amount is typically $1 million. TDOT will fund multiphase projects so funding can be obtained while a previous grant-funded project is not fully complete. These grants come with a lot of bureaucracy and costs. The environmental clearance, right-of-way certification, and plans review and approval processes are particularly cumbersome and time-consuming. In addition, TDOT requires Construction Engineering and Inspection services to be provided during construction of the projects. This can add 10% or more to the cost of the project. A grant award every two years under this program would be optimistic.
Congestion Mitigation air Quality Program (CMaQ)
Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Program (CMAQ) grants are administered through the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. The purpose of the CMAQ program is to fund transportation projects or programs that will contribute to attainment or maintenance of the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for ozone, carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter (PM). The CMAQ program supports two important goals of the Department of
Transportation: improving air quality and relieving congestion. While these goals are not new elements of the program, they are strengthened in a new provision added to the CMAQ statute by SAFETEA-LU, establishing priority consideration for cost-effective emission reduction and congestion mitigation activities when using CMAQ funding.
Friends of Franklin Parks
This 501(c)(3) friends organization raises funds to support the Franklin Parks Department. They are currently funding the construction of the equestrian arena at Harlinsdale and could be expected to contribute to other projects in the future.
This and other preservation organizations have been very instrumental in raising funds and obtaining grants to acquire land, and preserve and develop battlefield land in Franklin. Their most recent efforts include the preservation of the Carter’s Hill Battlefield Park.
With the help from Franklin’s Charge and other preservation groups, grants have been obtained in the past from a number of historic and battlefield preservation organizations.
There is a possibility for partnering with Williamson County to jointly fund recreation projects in the future. Williamson County has historically partnered with municipalities in the County for this purpose and may, therefore, have funding assistance available.
On August 18, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. a special BOMA Work session has been scheduled with Dr. Crompton, a published scholar in the history of parks and recreation, and tourism, to discuss the proposed Parkland Dedication Ordinance. The ordinance will and the new Parks Master Plan will set the vision for the city’s parks services in the years ahead. The Parkland Dedication meeting will be held in the City Hall Boardroom.More City of Franklin Parks Stories