Fit Fun and Fabulous serving St. Mary Parish and its supporters pose Wednesday at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the St. Mary Parish Courthouse steps officializing the upcoming event slated for Oct. 5, downtown Franklin.

City council updated on upcoming October events

The guests at Tuesday’s Franklin City Council meeting confirmed that October will be a busy month for the city.
Diane Wiltz spoke on behalf of the Main Street Merchants Association, concerning the upcoming 19th annual Harvest Moon Festival, to be held Oct. 28, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“We are getting ready for this year’s festival,” Wiltz said, “and we want to put this in stone now, that the Harvest Moon Festival, until there is no more Franklin, Louisiana, will always be the last Saturday in October.”
Wiltz said that the MSMA wants people to be able to visit Franklin at the same time every year, and that setting an immovable date for the festival was a good way to achieve that. She also said that this year, the city can look forward to another great festival of music, food and shopping. Though, apart from the usual festivities, this year will see the return of the Halloween Mutt-strut costume contest. Festivalgoers are invited to dress their dogs in their most creative costumes to be judged, with prizes awarded at 1 p.m., at the festival. The entry fee is $10 and applications can be picked up at Korrie’s Kozy Kennels and Pet Salon, The French Door and The Lamp Lighter.
Also Tuesday, Alfreida Edwards announced that the annual National Night Out event, to foster stronger bonds between law enforcement and the communities they police, will be held Oct. 3 at Pecot Park, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. “It is a national event that is held yearly. Normally, it is held the first Tuesday of August. However, they allow southern states, such as Louisiana, to hold it on the first Tuesday in October because our weather is so warm,” explained Edwards.
The council was also addressed by Franklin Masonic Lodge 57 member Blaise Smith. In his address, Smith updated the council on the status of the repairs on the historic building, and what could be expected in months to come.
Smith said that during the six month period necessary for the bricks and their mortar to cure, the area received so much rain that it was necessary for the master bricklayer chosen for the work to take another job in a dryer area, for lack of progress available at the lodge building project.
After the bricklayer finishes the job he undertook in the interim, he is slated to return and finish the job here, on Main Street.
“We’re looking at the first or second week in October, according to him (bricklayer), if everything goes alright, he’ll come back and he’ll do the rest of the brickwork, all the way up.
“Once he’s done with that brickwork, then we’ll be able to open up the sidewalk, because the next phase is work that’s going to be done inside the building,” said Smith.
In addition to the work on the inside of the lodge building, Smith said that next year sometime, the Masons intend to refurbish the sidewalk in front of the building, as well as erect a balcony.
Director of Public Works Jeremy Smith reported to Mayor Pro-tempore Councilman Lester Levine concerning the city’s catch basins and drainage systems, in light of southern coastal Louisiana’s brush with Hurricane Harvey, in late August.
“Toys in the ditches and stuff like that, are going to flow into the pipes and cause a restriction in the pipe. That definitely causes problems,” Smith said. “We try to get them out of the ditches. But if (citizens) could keep the toys and balls and stuff out of the ditches, that would help.”
Smith cited litter as a problem in blocking storm water drainage, as well. But, according to Smith, the repeat offender for causing catch basin and drain blockage continues to be, lawn debris.
“As far as the grass and the leaves and the paper on top of the catch basins, once it rains, everything is going to flow and form a layer on top of that catch basin,” Smith said. “It’s hard for the water to get into it as quickly as it should. But, we try to clean it as much as we can and sweep the streets as much as we can as well, to try to eliminate those problems.”
Levine said, “The question then becomes, to the citizens of Franklin, ‘What can we do to make sure that doesn’t happen?’”
“Don’t blow your grass cuttings and your leaves into the street,” Smith said. “That would help out a lot. Keep your paper from the stores from floating down the street, you know. That would help us out.”
The council also approved a resolution to utilize a $10,000 allocation from St. Mary Parish council to begin work on a comprehensive study to repair the boat landing on Roseville Street.
Prior to adjournment, announcements were made that in addition to Harvest Moon and National Night out, October will see Fit Fun and Fabulous serving St. Mary Parish, downtown Oct. 5; Tour Du Teche, Oct. 7-8 at Parc Sur La Teche; and Keep St. Mary Beautiful city-wide clean-up, Oct. 14, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the Stage parking lot.

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