Illegal dumping is cause for concern in township

By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

Residents in a local township were once again reminded of the impact illegal dumping is having on their community.

At a recent Franklin Township board meeting, Franklin County Public Health Supervisor Nathan Ralph discussed the ongoing issue with illegal dumping in the township.

“In 2019 there have been four illicit discharge sewage complaints, two of which have been abated and two of which are in enforcement,” said Ralph. “Some of the things we see commonly dumped include paint solvents, motor oil and lawn chemicals that wash off of someone’s property.”

Franklin County has several resources to report failing household sewage treatment systems, emergency spills and other water pollution complaints. Ralph encouraged everyone to visit / to learn more.

In other news, the trustees discussed the ongoing issue with a fire engine that is relatively new.

“This engine should be running for 20 years and we have not even used half of its life,” said Franklin Township Fire Chief James Welch. “We don’t have the funds to purchase another new truck right now and this one is not working property.”

The trustees agreed to allow the fire department to look into why the truck isn’t functioning properly and discuss further options at an upcoming meeting.

The trustees also discussed parking changes at Township Hall, including moving designated parking for staff.

“Parking continues to be an issue, so moving the designated staff parking will alleviate some of these issues,” said trustee John Fleshman. “I suggest the current designated staff parking on the east side of the building be moved to just west of the new police modular.”

Fleshman said moving staff parking will open up parking for the public during the day, something Fleshman said he has heard numerous complaints about.

However, township employee Robyn Watkins asked if the township planned on investing in lighting in the parking lot if they move employee parking. The trustees agreed to discuss this further and come back with next steps.

The board also discussed bringing solar panels to the township buildings.

“We are looking at a program that allows government entities to get solar panels at no cost,” said Aryeh Alex, trustee. “These panels would significantly reduce our energy bills and could save us thousands. We also could potentially sell back energy to a company if our solar panels produce more than we need.”

Alex said eventually the program could be extended to residents as well, but right now it is only for government entities.

The board agreed to examine the program further and will discuss next steps in 2020.

“This will also put us at the forefront of other townships,” Alex said. “Most communities aren’t using solar energy, so we could set an example of the benefits of using it from an economic and environmental standpoint.”

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