By JEAN CARTER
Citizen staff writer
The Franklin City Council was faced with trying to fix the problems at the Maple Leaf development during their meeting last week as John Hulbert, development manager, asked once again for the city to bring the roads up to standards, so they could be accepted as part of the city.
Residents of Legacy Ranch are upset things Maple Leaf developers had promised them in the beginning have come to a stand still, as the developers scramble to come up with the nearly $140,000 needed to bring the roads up to code. Until that time, the city cannot legally adopt the roads, nor can they maintain them. In addition, services such as school bus pick-up and mail delivery cannot go into the area because they are privately owned.
Hulbert explained to the council Maple Leaf is out of funds, asking that the city accept a proposal that would earmark a percentage of future funds raised by the selling of lots to be put into an escrow account just for the completion of the roads and other items on a priority list. Council members and a few concerned citizens worried the money would take too long to accumulate. Meanwhile, without maintenance, the roads will slowly deteriorate, causing more financial problems. Councilmen Todd Hawkes and Jeremy Kimpton both agreed that one option for the city would be to stop all future construction until the projects are complete, but they aren’t in favor of doing that, since it would tie the hands of developers in selling the lots.
Without an answer to the question of stopping the issuing of building permits, council told Hulbert to meet with his partners, to try to find the funds needed. A decision to cease permits by the city was tabled, with council asking input from residents.
The construction bond for the Maple Leaf Sub Division had expired without the City’s knowledge.
“If the city shuts down permits, it shuts down the project,” said Kimpton. “We don’t want to see that happen, but the bond that was set aside lapsed, and we didn’t even know until after the fact. There is no money to fall back on. We never agreed to let that bond lapse.”
Board members were sympathetic, but said they could not finance the money needed to bring the roads up to city codes.
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