By Amanda Amsel
The Franklin Township trustees are moving forward with a promise they made to residents at the beginning of the year to clean up the community.
At a recent meeting, the board approved tearing down two properties in the township. The properties, which are located at 3255 Dover Road and 3698 Plainview, are both vacant and have been eyesores for years.
“At the beginning of the year we said that with this new board we will start improving this township and that is what we are doing,” said Don Cook, township trustee.
These houses will mark a total of four houses that have been demolished in the township this year. By the end of the year, the township hopes to tear down at least six more homes or have them in the legal process of being torn down.
Cook has called 2016 the year of Franklin Township and vowed to clean up the community, including tearing down abandon properties, ticketing people for not cleaning up their properties and eliminating junk cars from people’s homes and the township’s streets.
“The township has been partnering with the Franklin County Land Bank on this and the COIC has paid for the cost to tear down these homes,” Cook said. “The township has done all the leg work of investigating the properties and moving it through the legal process and the COIC has paid the costs for the tear downs.”
If a property that is torn down has been ceased for back taxes, the township would become the legal owners of the property after the tear down. If the property owner still owns the torn down home the cost to tear it down is added to their property taxes.
Cook said the township hasn’t decided what they will do with the property they acquire, but hinted that they may be able to sell it to generate revenue.
“We can sell the property to the highest bidder or ask the neighbors if they want to buy it,” he said.
The township also is taking steps to remove the junks cars that are frequently seen in people’s yards and the streets throughout the township. Cook said they have already impounded several cars and are constantly writing tickets to offenders.
“We are doing things in this township that should have been done years ago,” he said. “With this new board we are all in agreement which is helping us accomplish some important things.”