Franklinton Mayor tables town park until further notice

Published 12:42 pm Monday, May 20, 2024

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For nearly three years, the Franklinton council and Mayor Route have been in negotiations regarding a new, state-of-the-art park for residents. Originally proposed by Route, the park has made slow progress as the cost and location have become contentious details in recent months, leading to heated public hearings.

The cost of the park has skyrocketed from the originally budgeted amount of $500,000 to nearly three million dollars. The town has secured a state grant worth $295,000 for the project, but at this point it is unclear if they will be able to formulate a plan fast enough to capitalize on this asset.

After Route signed a purchase agreement for playground equipment worth over $700,000 without the council’s approval, things came to a grinding halt and local representatives and citizens have put pressure on the town government to provide a concrete, financially solvent plan.

That premature purchase agreement carried a 15% cancellation penalty, and it is unclear at this point whether or not the town will be held liable for that payment, or who would pay it.


n a City Council meeting on May 14, Mayor Route advised the public that the park would be put on the back-burner so that they could focus on more pressing matters. He cited the proposed Medical District and Airport as projects that could be addressed in the interim.

He did not provide a date on which the park would be reconsidered, or details regarding the nearly $50,000 worth of donations that they have received the help pay for the project. Currently, the town budget has allotted $500,000 toward the project, and it is unclear what the plans are for this money at this time.

The council and Mayor took turns congratulating recent high-school graduates, and Route wished all mothers a happy Mother’s Day during the comment section. Route said, “I wish our graduates a bright future, stay focused. I went to the graduation, and it was beautiful.”