Township keeps focus on the future

By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

At one of the first Franklin Township trustees meeting of the year, the board highlighted their success from 2016 and focused on the future of the township and cleaning up the area.

“Last year was a great year for the township,” said Don Cook, township trustee. “We met almost all of our goals for the year, got a levy passed and are moving forward with some exciting projects in 2017.”

This year, township officials plan to tear down 20 to 30 blighted properties that have been plaguing the community. They also will continue to remove junk cars from nuisance properties.

The trustees also discussed the park land the township received in 2016. Cook said taxes are still owed on the property and the township is responsible for paying them.

“We have a tax bill for $5,366 that has not been paid,” Cook said. “While we are going to try and get this paid by the Romney Group, we have to pay this if they aren’t willing to because we are the owners of the property.”

This upset trustee Ralph Horn who said this shouldn’t be the responsibility of the township.

“I think we need to wait on this. We should not be paying this,” Horn said.

The trustees agreed to pay the tax bill if they cannot get the Romney Group to pay the bill.

“If we do have to pay, keep in mind they (Romney Group) spent $7,000 to $8,000 in playground equipment, so it is a good deal,” Cook said. “This is a two and half acre park and will really benefit the residents of this township.”

The board also discussed emergency runs the fire department took in 2016, thanking the department for their service.

“In 2016 the township’s fire department took 7,789 EMS runs and 1,714 fire runs,” said Chas Adams, assistant fire chief for the Franklin Township Fire Department. “This year is proving to be just as busy with six fires and 128 cardiac arrests already.”

The fire department leaders also said they would like to offer some type of incentive to fire department staff in lieu of raises.

“We don’t have any money to offer them raises, but maybe we can do something else,” said Fire Chief Jim Welch. “If they can’t get a raise they always appreciate time off, so maybe that is an option.”

The trustees agreed with Welch that something needed to be done to keep spirits up.

“It will be a total of nine years since they have had any type of raise,” Cook said. “We agree we need do something; we just are not sure what yet.”

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