The town of Franklin has hired a new town manager who is a familiar face in Western North Carolina. Amie Owens was previously the assistant town manager of Waynesville. BPR spoke with Owens during her first day on the job.
“I think each town has its own challenges. I was so excited to see a manager position open in Western North Carolina because that’s pretty rare these days,” said Owens. She served as assistant town manager in Waynesville from 2016-2020 and in Altavista, Virginia from 2020 – 2021.
Owens is a native of Haywood County, North Carolina.
Like many towns across the country, the American Rescue Plan funding coming in will be one of the biggest issues in the upcoming year. North Carolina will directly receive more than $5.7 billion from the fund. Here’s more info about the funds.
“At this point it’s a matter of working with council to develop some priorities. Most of the ARP funds are allocated for infrastructure and so we do have some projects that we could look at. But there are some other things from a priority standpoint – things have been kicked down the road as far as some maintenance and upkeep for water and sewer so we need to make sure that we keep that infrastructure strong,” said Owens.
Owens has experience dealing with water and sewer infrastructure from her time in Waynesville.
The Town of Franklin serves more than 4,000 residents with an annual overall budget of $10.5 million. The town council and mayor are up for local elections on November 2nd with early voting and voting by mail available.