Franklin Township supervisors discuss salt shed and signage
The Franklin Township board of supervisors discussed several large issues at their March 19 meeting, including the salt storage facility that will be needed by the township.
Salt for roadways is currently stored at the township building, in a storage space that is open on one side. It can hold about 200 tons of salt, but this year's harsh weather depleted that supply.
The board members discussed building a larger facility to hold at least 800 tons. Since last meeting, several members of the board and township staff visited New London Township’s salt shed and the PennDOT storage shed in Oxford. Chairman John Auerbach said that board members, staff members, Historical Arthicectural Review Board members and the public will have input in any decision made on the storage facility.
Auerbach reviewed the history of the intersection of routes 896 and 841, which has been problematic for decades. Four-way stop signs have been in place there since April 2012 after a tragic accident. According to supervisor David Snyder, only two accidents have taken place there since the signs were installed.
Initially, the stop signs were a temporary measure until the township could get a grant for an automated traffic light, a solution suggested by a PennDOT traffic study. The township has now been awarded the grant, but further studies have pointed out another danger at the intersection. Traffic stopped at a red light on Route 896 south would be on the other side of a small hill, invisible to drivers coming up behind them.
After an extended discussion between the supervisors and the public, it was determined that installing a traffic light, without fixing the crest of the hill and installing left turn lanes, would be dangerous. That project is part of a larger Route 896 Corridor Improvement Plan. The consensus of the group was that the four-way stop signs are working and should be kept.
Ralph Oliver, chairman of the planning commission, reported that the commission has recently discussed a North Creek Nursery Sketch Plan; a conditional use application for the former Happy Harry’s building, which is being considered as a veterinary hospital; and developing a simplified approach to the area's Stormwater Ordinance.
Resident Paul Herb was elected as tax collector. He will appoint Berkheimer to collect the township’s real estate tax. For this, the elected tax collector can collect $500. Herb has chosen to forego this payment and the board thanked him.
Auerbach motioned, seconded by supervisor Eric Brindle, that Nan Latimer be appointed to a four-year term on the Historical Commission. The motion passed, with supervisor Penny Schenk voting no, and supervisor Snyder abstaining.
Auerbach made a motion to renew the Franklin Sportsman’s Association hunting license for the 2014-2015 hunting season. This motion was unanimously approved. Auerbach said that the FSA has 35 members, and has been hunting in the preserves for four years without incident.
The board discussed the large amount of anti-skid material on the roads due to winter storms, and they agreed to have Yardworks street sweep the township subdivisions. This will remove about 80 percent of the anti-skid material, which the township will be able to use again next year.