Editor, The Era-Leader:
Residents need to be aware of proposed ordinance #1081 that was introduced at our last meeting of the Franklinton Town Council. It calls for essentially doubling the camper fees paid to the town. Currently, each property owner that offers camper spots during the Fair pays $38 per hook-up, which will increase to $75 per hook-up if this proposed ordinance is passed.
This is simply a money grab. The mayor said as much when it was introduced, that we need to get more out of the Fair. If we are to get more out of the Fair, which is beyond the context of this letter, I say look at those taking the money out of town after the Fair; the carnival and out of parish vendors. Don't overburden those local residents of Franklinton who are making the Fair possible.
In addition, the Fair brings in so many visitors to Franklinton. They buy gas, food, and more, generating local sales taxes. How can anyone logically deny that the Fair is already a financial asset for Franklinton?
I oppose this proposed ordinance because the property owners are already paying for utilities, property taxes, tapping fees, and maintaining the sites. To improve their property in the first place to allow for campers, there were building permits, licensed contractors, and inspections.
Franklinton has a wonderful reputation of being a welcoming and friendly community. If fees for campers and other Fair-related services are raised, then of course prices for those services will have to be raised. Which is not going to help our welcoming and friendly image.
The Fair is a special time of year for all of us in Franklinton. I'm committed to keeping it that way and voting NO on ordinance #1081. I ask my fellow aldermen to join with me in opposing this blatant cash grab.