Franklin Township supervisors grapple with winter costs
By John Chambless
The winter weather has stretched township budgets all over the region, and at the Feb. 15 meeting of the Franklin Township Board of Supervisors, the cost of salt and snow removal was a topic of discussion.
The board recommended that funds be transferred from the township's capital account to supplement the general fund until township tax revenue is received. Chairman John Auerbach suggested that due to the severe weather, the township will wait before determining the 2014 road improvement program, after damage from this winter can be determined.
The January treasurer’s report was approved, with general fund disbursements and transfers of $138,346.81; the park and recreation fund with disbursements of $4,910.32; the open space fund with disbursements of $81,725.08; emergency services fund with disbursements of $429.99; fire hydrant fund with disbursements of $399.30, leaving a balance in all funds totaling $705,097.06.
David Philipp, board member of the Franklin Sportsman's Association, provided the association’s final report for the 2013-2014 hunting season, which closed on Jan. 25. The total harvest this season was 17 deer. The proposed projects for 2014 are four road cleanups on Chesterville and Creek roads, straightening of trees and removal of dead trees at Goodwin Preserve, painting the inside of the township’s equipment trailer, and several projects at Crossan Park.
The board, based on the recommendation of the township solicitor, authorized the release of the Heritage Building Group’s financial security for the Wyndemere Subdivision in the amount of $1,082,731.50. The Heritage Building Group is no longer the owner of the Wyndemere property. The chairman’s motion was unanimously approved.
John Coldiron, a principal of Municipal Solutions Inc., a building inspection and zoning enforcement firm, made a presentation to the board, outlining his services and costs. The board discussed the township's current engineering firm and building inspector, and agreed that a set of guidelines should be developed and given to all township consultants, outlining expectations in dealing with residents.
The board unanimously appointed Auerbach and township manager Joan McVaugh as public information officers to deal with the media and inform the public during an emergency. The appointments are a requirement of the township’s emergency operations plan. With this appointment, the township’s plan can be finalized and submitted to the county.
In an issue related to the winter weather, the board discussed the township’s need for additional salt storage. Due to the lack of space in the shed at the township building, only enough material for one large storm can be stored, raising issues of shortages and higher costs to have additional salt trucked in. The board will begin determining the best size and style of storage building.