FT needs new salt barn

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Last year, the Franklin Township Trustees received a deal on road salt in exchange for ordering more than they usually buy. The weight of the extra salt caused the walls of the salt barn to bow.

“We tried to save money so that we had the salt in case we needed it,” Trustee Cheryl Schrack said.

The salt barn consists of two cinderblock walls attached to the back of the township’s road garage.

Watkins Construction bid $8,775 to replace the leaky roof. In addition, they provided a quote to replace items including the walls, footer and a portion of the floor, Trustee Tim Guyton said.

After a fire destroyed their salt barn, Prairie Township built a free-standing structure for a cost of $110,000. Franklin Township Trustees acknowledged that situation and do not want to pay that much.

“In my opinion, (that price is) completely out of our league,” Guyton said.  “Personally the roof doesn’t bother me, yes I want to get the holes fixed, but the walls bother me.”

In addition to repairs to the salt barn, the township needs to fix the concrete apron in front of the fire station on Frank Road.

A few years ago, to accommodate a new water line, the area in front of the fire station needed excavated. Once the water line was set, the hole was filled with pea gravel then covered in concrete.

The tiny gravel was unstable and the concrete sank under the weight of the fire trucks.

No contractor would guarantee that new concrete would not also settle.

“Because the entire bid cost of this project is under $2,500 and we have spent way too much time of ours plus so much time of the bidding contractors, we have agreed to go back to the original thought, which was to have the work done in-house by our road department,” said Guyton. “The reason is their labor hours are already accounted for, so the whole project will cost us additional material. This cost is estimated at around $400. It is our belief that once we get the pea gravel out, we will fill and compact the area with the proper fill of 46D limestone, compact, place wire and/or re-bar, and pour the new concrete, we will have no additional problems.”

The new concrete would be quick-drying, but the process would still require a few days. In the meantime, the Franklin County Engineers’ office will provide metal plates across which the fire department may drive.

“Our workload isn’t heavy, but we need to get on it pretty quickly,” Schrack said. “It makes sense to go ahead and let our crew do the work.”

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