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Marquette Avenue extension likely to be funded in 2013

City budget approval expected Tuesday

Nov. 6, 2012

Franklin - It's only a block long, but the extension of Marquette Avenue has been a matter of public debate for decades. Residents have long argued that the extra block would dramatically improve safety near Pleasant View Elementary School.

The $80,000 project is finally slated to happen, with money allocated in the proposed 2013 municipal budget.

The Common Council is expected to vote on the budget, including the road extension. Tuesday.

Widespread support

The city proposes extending Marquette Avenue from 48th to 49th Street, saying it will make it easier for emergency vehicles to get to Pleasant View.

The $80,000 price tag will fund the purchase of needed property and construction of the roadway.

Mayor Tom Taylor read a list of extension proponents at a hearing Monday, and several audience members spoke in favor of the move..

Longtime city resident Casper Green said that even though he does not live in the immediate area, he feels the lack of roadway is a detriment because of traffic problems.

"With the amount of traffic there, I would think that some child is going to get hurt," Green said. "I can tell you that if that was my child, grandchild or great grandchild who was hurt, I would be madder than a wet hen."

Alderman Kristen Wilhelm, whose district includes the school and proposed road, said concerns have been voiced for years. She said she advocated for funding the road.

"It was a concern when my daughter was 5 and a student at Pleasant View," Wilhelm said. "She is 21 now, and I'm sure there were complaints earlier than that."

Plan for the road

City Engineer Jack Bennett said the road extension would be built as an interim road classified as rural, meaning it would be 20 to 22 feet wide, made of asphalt and have ditches on both sides.

"This would be an interim road, which can last a long time," Bennett said, noting that it could be replaced with an urban-categorized road, widened to 40 feet with curbs. That road most likely eventually would be extended to 51st Street, he said.

BUDGET PROPOSAL

SPENDING: $32.3 million

LEVY: $20.5 million

MIL RATE: $5.78 per $1,000 of assessed value, a slight decrease from this year's $5.80 per $1,000 of assessed value

WHAT IT MEANS: The owner of a $250,000 home would be taxed $1,445 by the city next year.

THE DETAILS: While the city's nonunion workers would receive a 1 percent pay increase in January and another 1 percent increase in July, their health premium contributions would increase from 10 percent to 12 percent and their contributions to the retirement plan would increase from 4.2 percent to 5 percent. Union contracts are expected to be negotiated by the end of the year.

Director of Administration Mark Luberda said the city is focused on maintaining current service levels while decreasing costs. He noted that one of the challenges is a yet-to-be determined state aid. At this point, he said, the city anticipates losing $26,000 in transportation funds and $159,000 in expenditure restraint funds.

Next step

WHAT: Common Council vote on 2013 budget proposal

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: Franklin City Hall, 9229 W. Loomis Road

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