County Approves Lease Agreement with Town for Gazebo

At their recent monthly meeting, the Macon County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the lease agreement between the county and the Town of Franklin for the downtown property known as the “county square” including the gazebo. The county’s lease agreement with the town deeds the site to the town for a term of thirty years, 10 years longer than the prior agreement which expired at the beginning of the month.

The new lease agreement began on May 1, 2018 and will expire at midnight on May 30, 2048 or upon 180 days’ written notice of termination delivered by either the county or the town. In the new lease agreement, the terms of the notice of termination is longer than the prior deed which required a 30-day notice.

In partial consideration for its acquisition of rights to use the leased property, the town agrees to pay the county rent in the amount of $1.00 annually.

According to the lease agreement, the leased property shall be used by the town as a public entertainment center for such events as “Pickin’ on the Square” and other similar projects as well as for other public purposes. The “county square” and the gazebo are the gathering point for entertainment and festivals sponsored by the town throughout the year. As stated in the lease agreement, the use or consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on the leased property.

As a part of the agreement, the town is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the leased property. The town is also required to continually maintain customary insurance on the leased property.

In the proposed budget the town is reviewing for the upcoming fiscal year, Town Manager Summer Woodard has included funds to replace the roof on the gazebo. As there are few options to look at when replacing the current cedar shakes on the gazebo, the town will consider metal, shingles or cedar shakes to replace the roof on the gazebo. If approved the town budget will allocate $10,000 for the replacement of the gazebo roof.

The town has also has budgeted $23,000 for a portable restroom trailer in the proposed budget. The town has utilized the restrooms located in the Macon County Courthouse for several years and due to security concerns the restrooms located in the courthouse will no longer be open to the public on the weekends. Therefore, the town must look at alternative options for “Pickin’ on the Square” that is held every weekend from May to October along with numerous other town sponsored festivals and events on the “county square” and gazebo.