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Franklin Township creates building department
Franklin Township has created thier own building department, and will contract out the work to Asebrook & Co. Architecture.
The Franklin Township Board of Trustees passed a resolution establishing a building department to locally enforce Ohio State Building Codes during thier special meeting Dec. 28.
Trustees also passed an additional resolution that created a one-year contract with Asebrook to head up and enforce the building codes for local commercial buildings for the newly formed building department. They will be working as an agent for the building department, and paid on an hourly basis.
This new department was adopted to preempt an expected cut in the general fund for the township.
“I see with the new changes in leadership at the state level coming up soon, an $8 billion deficit...it could be up to 10 billion dollars,” Chairman Timothy Guyton said. “It would be worse than anyone has expected.”
According to Guyton, local government money is what seems to be at the top of the list for cuts, and the trustees are hearing their budget might be cut as much as 10 to 20 percent or more. Therefore, the township felt a need to find new sources of revenue.
“On that note, because we don’t control the local government money and because it always seems to be on the top of the list of things to cut… I see a need to find ways to create revenue for Franklin Township and keep the money local that’s going to be helpful and reduce the financial hit to our taxpayers,” Guyton said.
Currently, both Prairie and Jefferson township have installed their own building departments and have netted additional revenue over the course of two years, according to Guyton.
“And Prairie hasn’t had that much activity in their township,” Guyton said.
He added with all the speculation of a commercial boom happening around the casino site that there exist a real potential for the township to create a strong revenue stream.
Guyton said it was recommended by the Franklin Township attorney that adopting a similar department would prove a wise decision.
As of right now there is money being paid out of commercial businesses within Franklin Township, but the money is going to the State of Ohio, due to the fact that neither the township nor the county possessed building departments.
Asebrook is also the company currently in charge of Prairie and Jefferson Township’s building departments, and the suggested contractor for Franklin County if they decide to install their own building department.
The township chose to bring in a third-party, because the township lacks the expertise required to adequately perform the duties of enforcing building standards.
However, according to Guyton, the department, and the contract with Asebrook, may be cancelled at anytime if their work proves unsatisfactory.
The resolution to bring in Asebrook to head-up the building department was passed with a 3-2 vote.
Vice-Chairman Don Cook voted against the resolution, not wanting to hire a third-party without first going through a bidding process.
Guyton replied the township must request certification by Jan. 14 and the paperwork would take at least a week to file.
Additionally, he stated that their attorney does not have the knowledge or ability to do so on their behalf, which is why bringing in the third-party beforehand was pivotal for the time constraint.
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