Trustees review funding options for community improvements

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By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

The Franklin Township board of trustees discussed issues facing the township and how those issues could be addressed.

“One of our biggest issues is lack of funds to raise revenue for improvements to the community,” said Aryeh Alex, Franklin Township trustee. “We don’t have funds to build sidewalks or make business corridors more pedestrian friendly.”

The trustees said they are depending on grants to make improvements to the community. This includes the recent grant the township received to rebuild Lincoln Park Court, Nationwide Boulevard and Westport Road and add sidewalks to the area. All of these updates are located within the Havenwoods Apartments community and will help residents better access school buses and COTA buses.

The total cost for this project is $2.1 million and the grant the township received is for just over $2 million, leaving some funding the township would need to cover.

“If we could restore the local government fund or more easily be able to setup a JEDZ, we would be able to afford more important improvements,” Alex said.

Trustee John Fleshman said the reduction of the local government fund has had an impact on the community.

“When you lose $1 million, you can’t get that back,” he said.

Alex added that raising the gas tax could be a good first step in improving the roadways in the township, something Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has proposed increasing by 18 cents per gallon.

Besides focusing on improvements to the community, the board also discussed their plans for the sale of additional property acquired by the township. These properties were acquired as result of delinquent taxes, homes being abandoned or deemed blighted.

The township has sold five properties and have received approximately $112,000. They still have about two to three properties they will be selling.

“Some of the properties are empty pieces of land that we would like to see developed,” Fleshman said. “We would love to see new builds on these properties that would spur economic development instead of someone buying the property and using it store junk cars.”

The trustees said they are communicating with regional builders and others who might have an interest in investing in the properties.

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