By Amanda Ensinger
The Franklin Township Trustees are looking for ways to revitalize the area.
At a recent meeting, the board gave residents an update on their attempt to solidify a Joint Economic District (JEDD) with Grandview.
“We are back to square one (for a JEDD) since Columbus kicked us to the curb,” said James Welch, Franklin Township fire chief. “We are concentrating on the Westland Mall area and will be holding a meeting with Grandview to discuss a JEDD with them. Once we have this kicked off we will explain more of this to all of you.”
Franklin Township previously tried to establish a JEDD in the Westland Mall area, but their contract was rejected by the city of Columbus.
“Columbus said thanks, but no thanks,” said Ralph Horn, Franklin Township trustee at the time. “For right now we are done with the JEDD.”
According to township leadership, for years the township had believed that they had an agreement with Columbus to setup a JEDD had until Dec. 31, 2017. However, when the township submitted their contract they found out that the agreement was an understanding in good faith and there was no guarantee that Columbus would agree to setup a JEDD.
Township officials are now examining opportunities with Grandview to setup a JEDD in the same area.
In other news, the trustees also discussed a grant they are pursuing with the Department of Homeland Security.
“There are Homeland Security funds we can get for the police department, including funds for more radios and even to hire more officers,” said John Fleshman, township trustee. “All we have to do is have Chief Smith attend their meetings. I also probably will attend because I have found that there is a lot of money left on the table.”
Several residents also gave updates on community gardens that will be offered to community members this summer. Among those gardens is the Broadlawn Community Garden and the Franklin County International Garden.
The Broadlawn Community Garden will be located at 125 Florence Avenue and will be managed by Friends of the Hilltop.
“We recently were awarded a grant for $1,300 for the community garden,” said Tim Chaney, township resident. “We received about 65 percent of what we needed, so we are looking at other opportunities to raise the additional funds.”
Chaney said a few ways they are looking to raise the funds include having a raffle, as well as raising money from the local businesses and community members. The goal is to raise an additional $700.
“I’m going to donate $100 toward this goal and am challenging each of the trustees to donate $100 as well,” Chaney said. “While we were awarded supplies, this extra money is important toward achieving our goal.”
The money for the garden will be used to build a fence, purchase seeds and plants and other garden materials that the organization wasn’t awarded.
Organizers of the Franklin County International Harvest Garden also gave residents an update on the community garden they will be offering this year.
“Our garden will be open from April 21 through Nov. 1 and plot applications are being accepted until April 20,” said Beth Miglin, garden coordinator. “We are so excited to hear about these organizations redeveloping the land and offering healthy vegetables for the community. We hope residents will take advantage of these opportunities and apply for a garden plot.”
To apply for a garden plot in the Broadlawn Community Garden, visit www.franklin-township.com.
To learn more about the Franklin County International Harvest Garden, visit www.facebook.com/InternationalHarvestGarden.