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Improvements coming to Franklin Township parks thanks to Eagle Scouts

09/26/2017 01:03PM ● Published by J. Chambless

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

At the Sept. 20 meeting of the Franklin Township Board of Supervisors, two future Eagle Scouts proposed projects that were enthusiastically approved by the board.

For his Eagle Scout project, Austin Gaydos, a junior at Avon Grove High School, will construct a boardwalk in the wet area of the Crossan Park trail, behind the lower pavilion. This addition will complete a loop in the lower trail. The board unanimously authorized assistance in an amount up to $500 toward the project.

For his Eagle Scout project, Jacob Shuster, a junior at Avon Grove Charter School, presented his project to build eight to ten bat houses and place them in the park and preserves. The board will help him decide on placement of the houses, and unanimously voted to contribute up to $500 toward the project.

The board discussed the Hess Mill Bridge, a timber bridge built in 1973. PennDOT inspects this bridge annually and has lowered the weight limit. The board is considering two options -- a pre-made concrete bridge similar to one that New London Township recently installed on West Avondale Road, or rebuilding the timber bridge.

If the concrete bridge is installed, it will be long-lasting and there would be no weight restriction. The township could install timber on the sides to make it more aesthetically pleasing. Alternate engineer Ron Ragan estimated the cost of a concrete bridge would be about $350,000. The township also received an estimate of $250,000 for a timber-built bridge.

Hess Mill Road is a low-volume road, so the Chester County Conservation District will evaluate the bridge and determine whether the township would be eligible for any grant money toward the project. PennDOT has advised Township Manager Joan McVaugh that Rep. John Lawrence might be able to add the bridge to the Bridge Bill so that state and federal funds could be available in the future.

The board unanimously enacted an ordinance authorizing a three-way stop intersection at Franklin and Peacedale roads. This will involve removing the “except for right turn” on the Peacedale Road West stop sign and adding a stop sign at Peacedale Road East. The scrub brush was also cleared at the triangle to improve sight distance.

The board also approved amendments to an ordinance covering wireless communications facilities that establish standards for the placement, construction and maintenance of tower and non-tower communication facilities within public rights-of-way.

The board voted to authorize West Grove Fire Company EMS to be the primary contact for 911 when a backup ambulance is necessary, and Medic 94 to be the primary contact for 911 when an advanced life support backup is necessary. Harold Walls, the township’s Emergency Management Coordinator, gave some background on the resolution. In nearly all cases, he said, the Chester County 911 system is able to locate EMS companies within the county to respond to emergencies. But if all Chester County emergency service vehicles are in use, and there is still a need for additional backup, only the Fire Chief has the ability to communicate via radio with neighboring counties, such as Cecil County and New Castle County. In Franklin Township, sometimes the closest companies are in Delaware or Maryland. The County 911 system has to communicate with EMS companies located out of the state via a land line. Passing this resolution allows for the West Grove Fire Chief to use his radio to call for additional backup.

The equipment and materials yard near the township building will soon be screened by trees purchased from Clark’s Nursery. The board authorized the purchase at a cost not to exceed $2,727.

Jim German, of the Franklin Sportsman's Association, gave the first report of the hunting season. The group has a full enrollment of 35 members. Archery season began on Sept. 16 and closes on Nov. 25. It reopens on Dec. 26 and closes on Jan. 27. Shotgun season opens on Nov. 27 and closes on Dec. 9. It reopens on Dec. 26 and closes on Jan. 27. Members completed several community services projects from June through September, including road cleanup on Chesterville and Creek roads, and maintenance of the grassy area around the entrance to Banffshire, including include mowing and weeding.

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email jchambless@chestercounty.com.

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