City of Franklin Enters Deal with Firm for Sale of Properties

The City of Franklin is entering into a year-long contract with CivicSource, a company that specializes in selling tax adjudicated properties.
The resolution empowering Franklin Mayor Raymond Harris to execute a contract to such effect was passed Tuesday night at the council meeting.
Ronnie Harris, director of business development for CivicSource, explained that his company will execute the reclamation of owed back taxes on properties in Franklin which have been abandoned or the owners are delinquent. He said they will do this by locating the titleholders of such properties, or if not, by selling the properties at auction, if such properties qualify to be sold.
The fee for those services, Ronnie Harris said they will not collect from the city, rather from the price of the sold properties, the remainder of which proceeds belong to Franklin. If the properties do not go to auction or get sold through other means, Franklin will recoup the taxes that are owed and have remained unpaid.
Ronnie Harris said they are able to provide this service through securing title insurance on the properties that they sell. This, they say, is the difference between an abandoned property becoming an unsafe, financial and civic blight, or being afforded a second life through the surety that comes with title insurance, and so, new ownership.
In short, he said Franklin benefits in either regard. If the property owner is found and wishes to retain the property, then Franklin will reclaim the delinquent taxes and penalties. However, if the titleholder cannot be located or wishes to be free of the property, Franklin receives the proceeds of the sale, less CivicSource’s $5,000 fee, and may begin to collect the owed property taxes on the property anew.
Mayor Harris stated that he thought the partnership was a good one; and before the resolution was put to a council vote, it received the advocacy of Franklin City Attorney Russell J. Cremaldi.
In addition to the contract with CivicSource, the city’s Christmas parade contest and Christmas lighting contest winners were announced.
The recipients of first place residence awards were announced by district:
A: Gretchen Brennan
B: Edwin Bonin
C: Robin Ecuers
D: Audrey Depass.
The winner of the first place award for business lights was: Franklin Glass and Mirror, and the winner of first place in the golf cart lighting contest was the Franklin Rotary.
In other news, Alan Offner, with Foley and Judell, L.L.P, discussed with the council, the status of funding for the city’s sewer plant renovation project.
Offner said that 30 percent of the cost for the project will be covered by the parish, and that the rest, according to Reid Miller with Miller Engineers, is expected to come to $2,285,000. The project is expected to be underway by late March or early April.
Lastly, Pastor Allen R. Randle Sr. of Lighthouse Missionary Baptist Church, introduced the council to his invention, The Swing Thing.
Randle demonstrated the operation of the baseball training aid by modeling it, and passed one around for inspection.
He announced that he will be offering an hour-long clinic in the correct operation and benefits of the training aid, Thursday at Caffrey Park from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.


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