Township residents express concern over concert series

By Amanda Ensinger

Staff Writer

A drive-in concert series is causing issues for some Franklin Township residents. The Westland Drive-In concert series, taking place in the parking lot of the vacant Westland Mall, has been a nuisance to many in the community.

At a recent board meeting, residents voiced their concerns, saying the music is too loud and is a detriment to the area.

“We don’t want this here,” said Joy Clasom. “You can hear it from miles away. It is not helping the area but hurting it.”

Some of the trustees agreed with this sentiment, saying they live three to four miles away and can hear the music from their home.

“You are supposed to sit in your car and turn your radio to a station and hear the music,” said Franklin Township Trustee John Fleshman. “However, you can obviously hear the music from far away, which is causing a disturbance for many.”

Residents said those that live even closer to the concert site are having even bigger issues with the noise. However, the board said there is little they can do.

“Franklin Township doesn’t own this land or the mall,” Fleshman said. “They didn’t come to Franklin Township for zoning, they went to the county.”

The owners of the property are applying to become a “community entertainment district” so they can continue to host more outdoor events. The permit they were given only lasted until Nov. 8. Calls to the property owners for comment were not returned.

In other news, the board provided an update on scholarships to local students via funds from the camera ticketing program. The township announced it will no longer offer the scholarships and did not award scholarships to 2020 graduates.

“Right now, the cameras are not in place because of a court ruling that said we can’t do civil hearings anymore for these tickets,” said Mark Potts, township administrator. “If someone is ticketed, we have to have a municipal hearing and we can’t do that right now because of COVID.”

Potts said that as a result, they are not using the traffic cameras and are not issuing speeding tickets in this way. He also said with school closed last year due to COVID not enough money was raised via camera speeding tickets to give scholarships to students in 2020.

The board also gave an update on community outreach projects. This includes implementing a successful tire drive. Currently, Franklin Township has one of the highest rates of illegal dumping in the county. Illegal dumping of tires is one of the biggest issues.

Recently, the township hosted an event where people could turn in their old tires and they received 393 tires. These tires are typically dumped in woods, water streams or other areas, so properly disposing of them is important to the township. Residents were able to drop off up to 10 tires a person at the drive.

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