By Amanda Ensinger
At a recent Franklin Township meeting, the board discussed clean-up efforts throughout the township, including tearing down blighted homes. Recently, the board began tearing down three homes that have plagued the community for years.
The township torn down 3519 Plainview Drive and have been working on removing several other homes in the Mon-E-Bak neighborhood. Among these houses, according to Township Administrative Assistant Melissa Schopp, is a known drug house.
“Currently we have about 20 other homes that we would like to tear down,” Schopp said. “We are also working with the Central Ohio Community Improvement Corporation (COCIC) on demolishing other homes or taking possession of them.”
Recently, the COCIC gave the township a home that they had possession of. After reviewing the property, Schopp said the township will keep the home and sell it. However, they first have to evict squatters in the home.
“We won’t be repairing the home,” Schopp said. “We simply are taking possession of it and then selling it.”
Police levy update
Franklin Township Police Chief Byron Smith said the police department will be holding several public meetings to educate the community on the five-year timed levy the police department will be asking voters to approve this May. The dates and times have yet to be determined.
The police department is asking voters to approve a 4.1-mil levy. If approved, the levy would cost taxpayers $8 per month, per $75,000 home.
Smith said residents have been supportive of the levy, so far.
“Residents understand that if this levy passes, we will be able to have three shifts again and offer them more police protection,” Smith said. “If the levy fails, then they understand we will probably have more layoffs.”
Smith said the department continues to lose state funding, so without the additional income, they will make additional cuts. While the department does not know how many cuts they would have to make, they could potentially operate reduced hours if the levy fails.