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Vietnam vet and volunteers help revitalize City of Franklin

Posted at 8:43 PM, Oct 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-30 08:58:00-04

FRANKLIN — Former elected official and Vietnam veteran, Skip Hebert, tells us he loves the City of Franklin so much he decided to start an initiative to revitalize the city that he always loved.

Hebert says he bagan servicing alongside volunteers by beautifying the city.

An idea came to him during the pandemic lock down, he says.

"My idea was to pressure wash, make it look cleaner, so when we could get out, it would give the appearance of being clean so people would feel safe going out and going to businesses."

Hebert would clean the entire city if he could, he says.. So far he has pressure washed the entire Main Street sidewalk strip as well as the Bayou Teche dock, and he is now painting the iron gates of the Franklin Cemetery.

"We have a lot going on here and we want people to know when they pass through here they notice the sidewalks, they're going to notice this fence, they're going to notice different things that I intend to do and anytime anyone wants to help me I'm not hard to find. You'll see me working somewhere."

On top of his initiative, officials say 30 businesses opened during the pandemic and 20 blighted properties were torn down.

Mayor of Franklin, Eugene Foulcard, says the city was granted $4.2 million through the American Rescue Plan to improve water lines, water filters, pump stations, and to address infrastructure concerns.

Foulcard also says he’s thankful for Hebert's revitalization efforts and says it's a part of making the community a better place.

"I'm eternally grateful for him and his efforts and his group of volunteers who have helped him on a number of different projects. They know we appreciate this energy in Franklin and the things that we're doing to turn things around, and we can do it a little at a time."

"This is the beginning not an ending,” Hebert said.

Hebert says he is going to revitalize the entire city if he can, welcomes more volunteers in the area, and encourages neighboring towns to do the same.

The City of Franklin took home the Revitalization Award this summer from the 94th Annual La Municipal Conference.

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