Trustees redistribute funds from speeding tickets

By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

Handheld traffic cameras have been a benefit to Franklin Township.

At a recent meeting, the board of trustees adjusted the distribution of funds from revenue generated from the traffic tickets. The adjustments include giving 59 percent of the generated funds to the police department for school safety, 2 percent to a community scholarship fund, 2 percent for community engagement and the remaining funds will go to the general fund and road department.

Since the handheld camera system has been engaged, the township has raised over $104,000 in revenue for the township. The township has written over 3,800 tickets.

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

Drivers 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. This is lower than the average speeding ticket in Ohio, which starts at about $140 and goes up with an increase in speed.

As a result of the new ticketing system, the township has been able to give away three $1,000 scholarships to local graduating seniors, donate $1,000 to Ohio Youth Development for the Havenwood Afterschool Youth Scholarship Program and $200 to Franklin Heights High School’s Special Olympics Fund.

In other news, the trustees approved a motion to allow township officials to re-negotiate a written agreement between the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the township regarding maintenance for the medians on Georgesville Road.

In 2013, the township partnered with ODOT to build the medians. Investing thousands of dollars in decorative plants, the plants quickly died because it was not the right fit for the area.

In a rush to complete the project, no maintenance agreement was ever signed by the township, therefore they had no responsibility to maintain the property. As a result, the landscaping became neglected and turned into an eyesore. ODOT also would not maintain the property without an agreement, so the property has only been mowed from time-to-time.

The trustees have been hesitant to agree to any other similar projects until this issue is resolved. Some of the projects they have been presented with, but haven’t proceeded with or have put on temporary hold include planting and treating trees on West Broad Street and landscape improvement to the I-270 interchange project.

“We already put $100,000 of taxpayer dollars into medians and the plants that were planted died because they weren’t the right plants for that area,” said John Fleshman, township trustee. “We then spent an additional $15,000 on additional plants and those died because we had no maintenance agreement. I do not want to spend any more money on projects like this until this issue is resolved.”

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