Franklin mayor unveils $17 million in 2023 city projects


About $17 million in city projects are planned in Franklin this year, with work already underway or to be later this spring and summer.

Mayor Steve Barnett released his annual list of projects last month to the city council and the public. Releasing the list has been a priority for him so both the council and the public can be aware of how the city’s money is being spent each year, he said.

Projects range from the $4.01 million Yandes Street reconstruction to a $2,000 project to finish building a brick wall at Main Street and Jefferson Street. Big or small, the projects are planned to address infrastructure in areas all over the city.

Funding for the projects comes from tax dollars, economic development income from the Redevelopment Commission and grants from state and federal agencies.

Several projects that will be completed this year are underway already. One is the Yandes Street reconstruction, a restoration project of the city’s last brick street, which is still expected to be completed this fall, Barnett said.

The $3.4 million wastewater screening building is already under construction using American Rescue Plan Act funds. The building is being built to screen out items, such as flushable wipes and feminine products, that are often flushed down toilets but cannot be processed by the city’s sewer plant.

Another ARPA building project to be started this year is the renovation of Fire Station No. 21. The $1.5 million remodeling project will upgrade HVAC and create single-occupancy sleeping rooms and an additional shower room.

Much of the remaining work this year will be road work and walkability initiatives.

Up to $2.5 million will be spent to repair streets across the city as part of the annual road maintenance program. This amount will depend on the city getting $1 million from the annual Community Crossings Matching Grant program, Barnett said. If for some reason the city does not get the full grant amount, officials would proceed with $1.5 million in work and push back work that doesn’t fit in that budget, he said.

A roundabout is planned to be built this summer at Commerce Drive and Simon Road. It is designed to ease traffic flow and improve safety at Franklin Community High School. The plan is for the roundabout to be built entirely over the summer, with work to begin after the current semester ends and before the next school year begins, Barnett said.

The $1.6 million roundabout will also have an art piece that was commissioned by the Franklin Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council. The council presented the project to the city council on Monday night.

To increase safety and walkability at Franklin College, officials are planning to build a new section of sidewalk to fill in a gap between a section of trail and sidewalk on Park Avenue and install a signalized crosswalk at Forsythe Street and Grizzly Drive, Barnett said.

To increase safety for younger students who walk to school, a pedestrian crossing is planned at Walnut Street and Herriot Street, with a section of sidewalk to be added on Herriot Street.

New sidewalk is also planned to be built on East Jefferson Street for a construction and inspection cost of about $910,0000, with the cost to the city to be knocked down by a $650,000 Indiana Department of Transportation grant. The project will add sidewalks in an area where there are none and will connect the Jefferson Meadows neighborhood to the existing city trail system.

“That’s going to be, to me, a big public safety and quality of life project. So we’re looking forward to getting that one done. We got this grant about four years ago. And it’s just now been able to happen,” Barnett said.

Several projects are planned because of expected development, including repaving on County Road 600 East, Earlywood Drive and Paul Hand Boulevard. For an expected cost of $2 million, Graham Road will also be extended using $500,000 from a developer and $650,000 from the state’s READI grant. A new stoplight entirely funded by a developer is also being installed this spring on Jim Black Road.

Two additional roundabouts will be bid this year but construction is not expected to start until 2024, Barnett said. Those are planned at Paul Hand Boulevard and Graham Road and at Earlywood Drive and Graham Road. Both are expected to cost about $2.1 million.

The westside sewer project will also begin later this year, with the first of two phases to cost about $2.29 million. The project to expand wastewater capacity for new residences being built on the westside was originally going to be built all at once, but it is now being split apart into more affordable chunks, Barnett said.

Several projects are on the mayor’s annual list for a second time because they were unable to be completed in 2022.

The Jefferson and Main street wall project, though it is almost complete, was carried over because of supply shortages, Barnett said. The Community Park court project, which involves rehabilitating the basketball court and converting the tennis court to a pickleball court, was continued because the bid was too high last year, he said. And a project to install monument signs on the South Main Street trail will have the current contract canceled and rebid because the current contractor is unresponsive, he said.

City of Franklin 2023 projects

Street paving: $2.5 million (if awarded $1 million grant)

Alley paving: $300,000

Asphalt rejuvenation/crack seal: $240,000

Concrete street repair: $75,000

Street striping: $50,000

Sidewalk replacement: $75,000

Sidewalk at Park Avenue: $10,000

Pedestrian crossing at Forsythe and Grizzly Drive: $10,000

Sidewalk, pedestrian crossing at Walnut and Herriot: $40,000

East Jefferson Street sidewalk: $910,0000 ($650,000 INDOT grant)

South Main Street Monuments: $25,000

Wall at Jefferson and Main: $2,000

Boys and Girls Club parking lot paving: $125,000

Community Park courts: $50,000

Cemetery roads: $50,000

Fire station remodel: $1.5 million (ARPA funded)

Fire vehicle replacement (4): $200,000

Jim Black Road stoplight: $0 (developer-funded)

Yandes Street: $4.01 million ($2.3 million MPO funding)

Graham Road extension: $2 million ($650,000 READI grant, $500,000 developer funding)

Commerce Drive and Simon Road roundabout: $1.6 million

Brookhaven passing blister: $125,000

Earlywood Drive paving: $100,000

County Road 600 East paving: $250,000

Paul Hand Boulevard paving: $250,000

Wastewater screening building: $3.4 million (ARPA funded)

City of Franklin 2023-2024 projects

Paul Hand Boulevard and Graham Road roundabout: $2.1 million

Earlywood Drive and Graham Road roundabout: $2.1 million

Westside sewer interceptor  phase one: $2.29 million