Pitching in to help the community

By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

At a recent Franklin Township meeting, the board discussed things the township is doing to help those suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Among the things we are doing is helping pass out 20 to 30 sacked lunches on Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” said Mark Potts, administrator for Franklin Township. “We are working with Southeast Behavioral Healthcare on this project and the lunches are open to anyone, regardless of income.”

The lunches include deli sandwiches, apples and other essentials people need to have a wholesome lunch. It is passed out at Central Point, which is located at the intersection of Brown Road and Central Avenue.

“We pass out lunches from noon to 1 p.m. and will also provide Narcan if people need it when they come up for a lunch,” Potts said. “We are getting a lot of homeless people, as well as others who just need a lunch during these tough times.”

The township also continues to work with Central Baptist Church to offer monthly produce to help those in need. The food distribution event takes places once a month on the second Saturday of every month at the church from 10 a.m. to noon.

Related to the township operations during COVID-19, Potts said it continues to be business as usual.

“We are continuing to work on road projects while practicing social distancing and the police and fire department continue to go on runs,” he said. “We do have a new fiscal officer who started at the beginning of April and she is busy setting up her new office. We are trying to limit how much staff come into the office and if they are able to work from home, we are encouraging them to do so.”

The township is having its bi-weekly board meetings via Zoom conference calls so the trustees can work from home as well, Potts added. Potts said this will continue until the stay at home order has been lifted and the board can meet regularly again.

During the last meeting, the board approved administrative leave for staff who would be exposed or contract COVID-19, allowing them to have paid time off work without having to use their vacation or sick time.

“Trustee (Ralph) Horn wanted some regulations around this, so the board agreed to give employees up to 30 days administrative leave and an additional 30 days if they would need it,” Potts said.

Potts added that the additional 30 days would need to be approved by the board first before the employees could take it.

Potts said it is up to each jurisdiction in Ohio on if they want employees to use vacation or sick time if they are in contact with COVID-19.

Potts added that if an employee feels better and is isolated for 14 days after being exposed or contracting COVID-19, they can come back to work earlier and do not have to take the initial 30 days they are allowed to take.

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