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Chester County Press

Franklin Township supervisors hear proposal for Boy Scout soap box derby

01/22/2018 01:19PM ● By J. Chambless

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

The Boy Scouts may be bringing the excitement of a soap box derby to Crossan Park in Franklin Township in May, if the event is approved by the Board of Supervisors.

At the board's Jan. 17 meeting, Craig Sims, field director for the Chester County Boy Scout Council, and Tamara Christensen, council activities director, spoke to the board regarding hosting the event, in which scouts build full-size, working vehicles and compete in a series of races. A local troop has held a small derby in the park previously, so the County Council is asking to hold the event there on May 5. Organizers expect about 300 participants. The council will provide portable restrooms, insurance coverage, supervision and all maintenance. The supervisors indicated that they are supportive of hosting the event, and will formally vote at a later date.

Ellen Kohler, from the White Clay Creek MS4 Collaboration, reported that Franklin and all surrounding townships met their stream sediment load reductions under the MS4 guidelines, except for West Grove Borough and Penn Township. The permit submissions are being reviewed, and the DEP should respond sometime in March, Kohler said, adding that although initial requirements have been met, streams are still impaired and township residents should still be working on tree planting, rain gardens and inlet maintenance.

Shane Morgan, from the White Clay Wild and Scenic organization, said there are seven projects in Franklin Township taking part in the “Catch the Rain” rain barrel effort.

The board discussed ongoing improcvements to Municipal Lane and the township building. Board members agreed that work needs to be done to improve Municipal Lane before work to improve the office can move forward. Board chairman John Auerbach said that water entered the building after a storm on Jan. 12. Supervisor Steffen Torres recommended fixing the lane early in the road program so additional plantings can begin in the spring.

During public comment at the beginning of the meeting, township resident John Frank spoke to the board about the Natural Land Trust’s plans to plant several acres of trees on Peacedale Preserve. Frank said that planting trees makes the area difficult to maintain, and may also destroy the habitat of the red-winged black bird. He suggested planting the trees in another area of the preserve.

Bernie Racey, who lives on a privately owned loop in Colonial Meadows, asked that the board consider assuming responsibility for two private roads in Colonial Meadows. Township solicitor Mark Thompson said that there is nothing in the Municipal Planning Code or the Second Class Township Code that requires the township to take over the two roads. Auerbach said there are two other subdivisions, Twin Bridges and Landenberg Highlands, also have private roads. Auerbach said he would ask the township engineer to look into how the roads in Colonial Meadows were constructed.

Updated township information is available at

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email

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