The Mayor’s Corner

All in all the Village of Franklin is in good shape fiscally, functioning within its means, and it is keeping up with the day to day demands typically faced by a micro-municipality.

State of the Village


Even before the onset of the covid pandemic, Franklin Village was seeing an increase in property sales. In the last two years however, this phenomena has become much more active. Not only are there young families moving in to the village, but the business section is seeing a significant rebirth.

In this past year, Interior Designer Meg Lavalette purchased the brick building complex owned by Tim and Jan Mulroy on one side and Neil Rochmis on the other. Meg hopes to have a restaurant, a retail space and possibly a brew pub in operation after renovations are completed. The vintage clothing and antique shop, The Squires Tankard has moved from that location to 318 Center Street in the Village.

In the business section a new restaurant, Yokel was opened in August of last year in the old Dawn’s Deli, and has already become popular for locals and visitors as well. Yokel joins antique shop and designer studio Kabinett and Kammer, Bea’s Restaurant, the popular Tulip and Rose restaurant and Burgins Auto Repair (which is under new ownership).

Down the street Two Brothers Restaurant has taken advantage of the newly relaxed liquor laws and is now serving wine and beer. Blue Farm Antiques grows in popularity as the quality of its inventory spreads across the region. We’re also fortunate to have Rich’s Autobody in the community performing top quality work. Two other village businesses Classic Cuts by Sarah and the very unique Botanical Treasures should be mentioned as well.


One of the most gratifying observations that I’ve made regards the significant increase in foot traffic that is taking place in the village. Even in the coldest part of winter, residents are getting up early and walking the sidewalks (when clear). To me, this is one of the signs of a healthy community. For a small village, Franklin has ample walking opportunities on decent but aging sidewalks. We have limited funds to replace decaying flagstone and concrete walks but have attempted to do what we can with what we’ve got. We’re planning to complete the removal and replacement of the old flagstones within the next five years, and have made arrangements with a stone company to purchase and remove these stones as we go along.

The village is also in the process of writing a grant for funding to improve the edible walking trail in the park. We are also in the planning stage of developing a trail along the Ouleout Creek and another trail on Village property between the Otego Street bridge and the village sheds.

Last year, in order to improve lighting and to reduce costs, the Village Board contracted with NYSEG to replace all of the street light bulbs with LED bulbs. This has already reduced the village’s electric bills and has made it safer to take evening strolls.

It was made known to the village board that Center Street is too narrow to accommodate parking on both sides, It was of special concern that fire trucks and emergency vehicles might have difficulty getting through, especially under winter conditions when cars were pushed out from the curbs because of snowbanks. To address this, the village put up signage to restrict on-street parking to the east side of the street.

Three years ago the village discovered after a property dispute that property at the end of Water Street at the turn-around was unclaimed and untaxed. After a lengthy search the village was able to locate a relative of the original owner and who was not aware that they were now the owner (and thus 60 years in arrears). The Village, in order to have control of the turnabout, purchased and surveyed the property. Because the property was not on the tax rolls before the purchase, there was no impact on the tax levy by transferring ownership to the village.

The Village and Town Recreation Committee was faced with a major challenge two years ago when it was discovered that the swimming pool had developed a leak underneath the pool. The pool was shut down for the remainder of the summer and a contractor was hired to repair the damaged pipes. This proved to be very expensive and much of the “rainy day” funding held in contingency was used up in order to get the pool in proper shape for last summer’s swimming season. The Recreation Committee will be doing fundraising again this year to start replenishing the fund. We are in need of volunteers for our recreation committee and would welcome members of any age to pitch in.

Three years ago the Village Board decided that the reservoir which consists of a 19th century barn-like structure covering two cells surrounded by laid up stone was in need of replacement. One of the cells had developed a significant leak, the roof was in need of repair, and there was concern that though unlikely, some misguided person could light the building on fire, leaving the entire village with no potable water. The Village contracted with a planning and development firm to apply for funding for a Community Development Block Grant. This past fall after a couple of tries, we were successful and have been awarded funding to build a steel silo-like structure to contain the village water supply. Construction will begin later this summer with a completion date toward the end of 2023. The Village will be using funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to serve as local match for the almost $800,000 project.

Quality of Life

In the fall of 2020 the Village of Franklin was approached by the Delaware County Soil and Water to see if the Village would be interested in developing a “riparian buffer” on village property skirting the Ouleout Creek near the Otego Road bridge. A riparian buffer is a plantation of a variety of tree saplings and shrubs intended to retain soil during floods and to assist in filtering ground water as it passes into the creek and eventually the Susquehanna Water Basin. The Village contacted Franklin Central School and the Franklin Rotary Club to assist in planting the saplings. In the fall of 2021 an environmental class and honor students from FCS and Rotary members assisted Soil and Water workers in planting 189 saplings. In April we will be planting a similar number of saplings but this time we will be following a landscape design prepared by a landscaping professional.

People walking on Main Street may have noticed that several of the stately old but dying maple trees have been cut down and removed during the last few years. The all-volunteer village tree committee continues to replace these trees with low growing varieties that will not grow into the power lines above. Last fall 15 trees were planted in the village.

One concern that has not been properly addressed is the chronic speeding problem within the village, especially on Main Street. We have contacted the county sheriff’s office several times about this. They have set up speed monitoring devices and have placed patrol cars within the village to catch violators, but this has only had limited success. Some residents have taken upon themselves to put signs on the medians in front of their houses to remind drivers to slow down. This may have had as much success as anything to discourage unsafe driving. No doubt this subject will come up in future Village Board meetings.

We are planning to work with the Rotary Club to host at least one meet-and-greet activity this summer, similar to the ice cream social that we had last year. We also encourage residents to avail themselves of the Railroad Museum, the Library and our wonderful theater, the Franklin Stage Company.

All in all the Village of Franklin is in good shape fiscally, functioning within its means, and it is keeping up with the day to day demands typically faced by a micro-municipality. As always we welcome input from our village residents. Together we will retain the good qualities that were passed down by prior generations and will improve upon those things that are needed to be adjusted to make way for future generations.

Originally published in the Spring 2022 issue of the New Franklin Register