FRANKLIN, Tenn. – While it's only a quarter of a mile long, the proposed Third Avenue extension will cost nearly five million dollars making it the most expensive stretch of road Franklin taxpayers have ever paid to pave.
The streets of downtown Franklin have a certain charm, with brick sidewalks and perfectly pruned plants. That's part of why Council Woman Margaret Martin wants to continue this feel into the 3rd avenue extension and Bicentennial Park that will run through this gravel lot.
The project planned was back in 199 and is finally moving forward 12 years later
"We have spent many years of not doing anything. We have let it drop, let it subside and now it is time to pick it up and go on with it," said Martin. "We need to be consistent with what's already been done on 3rd Avenue,"
In this case, high class consistency comes with a price. This project will cost tax payers about $300 per inch, $3,600 per foot and a total of $4.7 million to complete. Some say it's an elaborate plan that doesn't make sense.
"I would expect this is the most expensive road in the city," said Ann Peterson.
As head of budget and finance committee she'd like to see that $5 million go somewhere else, like the two parks they've bought since the project was first proposed, one of them Harlinsdale is in need of significant maintenance. Not to mention Franklin's 130 million dollar debt.
"We have 6 times as much debt as we did 10 years ago," she said. "There are always places that $4 million could be spent, it's not the question, the question is what is most important? And for our downtown we have got to keep this going,"
If council approves the gravel won't be paved with gold, but it will be the priciest pavement the city's ever seen. The Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen will vote on the bicentennial park and Third avenue extension Tuesday night at City Hall.