Friends of Hilltop works with local township


By Amanda Amsel
Staff Writer

A group dedicated to improving the Westside was granted permission from the Franklin Township trustees to help beautify the township.

At a recent board meeting, Friends of the Hilltop Operations Manager William Huffman spoke to the trustees about the importance of cleaning up the Westside and urged the trustees to pass a resolution allowing the group to assistant them in this cleanup.

“At the meeting, the trustees approved two things,” Huffman said. “They allowed us to come in and cleanup the islands on Georgesville Road, as well as help pick up trash and other debris in certain parts of the township.”

The islands the Friends of the Hilltop will be helping to clean up were created during a streetscape project between ODOT and Franklin Township. According to township trustee Tim Guyton, the islands were created to reduce serious accidents in township.

When the islands were originally built, they had a variety of landscaping, however since then they have become overgrown and not maintained.

“The islands are obviously neglected,” Guyton said. “A maintenance agreement was proposed after the start of the project by ODOT, however it should have happened prior to any work having started.”

Guyton said that while the islands belong to ODOT, it was always assumed that the township would maintain them. However, according to the Guyton, since the islands were built in 2013 they have only been maintained twice.

The Franklin Township Road Department says they were never told they needed to maintain these islands and are struggling to keep up with their other daily activities.

“We want to step in and help,” Huffman said. “The resolution just passed will allow us to take something off the road department’s plate and be great neighbors to the township.”

With complaints from residents constantly coming in about the islands, the trustees have acknowledged in public meetings that something needs to be done.

“If we can help cleanup this township and turn it into what it originally was, then it is a winning situation for us,” Huffman said. “We are more than happy to help free of charge.”

The township hopes that after the islands are cleaned, new business will flock to the area.

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