Franklin to begin regulating donation boxes

Starting next month, nonprofit and other organizations will need an annual permit to place a donation box in Franklin.

City Council Monday approved an ordinance that would regulate where donation boxes could be placed as well as maintenance requirements and when these collection boxes should be emptied.

City Manager Sonny Lewis said the there have been a number of issues with the placement and maintenance of donation boxes throughout the city. He said the regulations will help the city have better control where the boxes are placed.

“At times, these boxes gives the city a bad look,” he said. “People who donate leave things outside of the boxes and they may sit out there all weekend.”

City officials said they were also concerned about possible safety, health or fire hazards and other nuisance issues.

MORE: Franklin Council delays discussion on charter review recommendations

Organizations will need to apply for a permit that will cost $120 a year and the property owner will have to sign off on placing a donation box on their property. In addition, organizations will have keep the donation boxes in good repair, have identification and contact information of the licensed operator and regularly collect the donated items. The regulations also prohibit overflowing or over-packed items exposed to the elements.

“I think it’s a good thing,” Lewis said. “This will go a long way to clean up the city… It puts the responsibility on the owners.”

The regulations also call for an administrative penalty of $250 each time the city issues a clean-up order as well as provisions to revoke permits as well as removing and impounding the box, said Law Director Donnette Fisher.

Explore MORE: Franklin ready to promote downtown

She said organizations that currently have donation boxes will need to obtain permits, but that the cost will be pro-rated for this year.

Councilwoman Debbie Fouts, a local business owner, was pleased with the new ordinance.

“It’s about time,” she said

The new ordinance goes into effect on July 19.

About the Author