Township uses funds from speeding tickets for student scholarships

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By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

Several Westside students received a little help from a local township as they continue their education. At a recent Franklin Township board meeting, three students were awarded with scholarships from the township.

Westland High School students Mumino Pemba and Wesley Estep received scholarships for $1,000 each, as well as Franklin Heights student Len Thang. All three students plan to attend The Ohio State University in the fall.

The scholarships were funded through the new handheld camera system the township introduced in late 2018. According to township leadership, the handheld camera system allows township police to more efficiently enforce speed limits in the region and reduce traffic accidents. Using the handheld cameras, deputies have been positioned at high traffic areas were there has been increased speeding and accidents.

The handheld camera system is used by one officer during the school hours, which is peak speeding time, according to Franklin Township Police Chief Byron Smith.

Residents are ticketed for going 10 miles per hour or more over the speed limit. Each speeding ticket is priced at a flat $100 fee, according to Smith.

To date, the township has written more than 3,800 tickets and collected over $104,000 in revenue for the township. These funds are being broken up and distributed to the general fund, road department, police department and the scholarship fund.

“Sixty percent of the received fines goes to the police department. This money helps with equipment and manpower to address the other major complaint we have (drugs),” Smith said. “Ten percent of the money is diverted to roads, two percent of the money received is put away for the scholarship fund for graduating seniors and 28 percent of the money received goes to the general fund to be used for community projects.”

“We are very excited to be able to offer these scholarships to graduating seniors from the region,” said Franklin Township trustee John Fleshman. “We are thrilled that we can help further these student’s education, while also helping reduce speeding and traffic accidents in the school zones in the township.”

Also, at the meeting, the trustees approved a new logo for the township. The township had invited residents and non-residents to submit a logo for the township that embodied the tagline “Franklin Township, past, present and future.”

The winning logo was created by Robert McElheny of Prairie Township. The logo McElheny created includes the Briggs family home. The Briggs family was one of the first settlers in the region and embodies the township.

“This was a great logo and includes everything we were looking for,” Fleshman said. “This will look great on our signage and further help define our township.”

Trustee Aryeh Alex added that a new logo for the township is an investment in the future.

“This is an investment in the children of this township and our future,” Alex said. “It also is another positive thing we are doing to enhance the township.”

As a result of creating the winning design, McElheny will received $250 from the township. He will see his logo on various signage throughout the township, including the township meeting hall.

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