Franklin Township approves 2019 budget
● By J. Chambless
By John Chambless
The Franklin Township 2019 budget was
unanimously adopted by the Board of Supervisors on Dec. 19. The
combined budget expenditure is $2,656,382.07, with no change in real
estate taxes. The total millage rate remains at 2.495.
The overall tax rate remains the same as 2018, but since the loan for
the township park will be paid off in 2019, the distribution of funds
to the park will change from .27 mills to .20 mills, and the extra
.07 mills will go into the general fund. The board intends to
authorize some maintenance at the park, including an update of the
A resolution was adopted by a unanimous vote that specifies West Grove Fire and Ambulance Company and Avondale Fire and Ambulance Company as the township fire and ambulance providers, Medic 94 as the township’s advanced life support provider, and Harold Walls as the township’s Emergency Service Coordinator.
HARB chairman Paul Lagasse has been working with Karen Marshall of the Chester County Historic Preservation Network on ways to make the Kemblesville historic district and village more livable. Marshall suggested inviting Natasha Manbeck, an engineer with planning expertise, to come to the township to talk about traffic calming measures and possible grants. Manbeck was part of a 2009 traffic taming study for Route 896.
Residents have asked for implementation of traffic-slowing measures, as well as for a stronger police presence. Manbeck outlined how other villages used different methods of traffic taming. She said the next step for the township is to contact PennDOT and ask what they have planned for the village, then move forward with a feasibility study. Grants are available, but all require matching funds, sometimes up to 30 percent.
A referendum addressing the “dry” status of the township was also discussed. The supervisors agree that trying to allow the sale of alcohol in the townsip would be an economic benefit, but the process is daunting. Voters 18 and older who live in the township can take the petition and gather signatures from other registered voters in the township. The petition must be signed by approximately 600 registered voters, and the signatures must be gathered between Feb. 19 and March 12. The board discussed ways of getting information to the public about the issue, such as a mass mailing, utilizing the township website and starting a Facebook page. The discussion will continue at next month's supervisors meeting.
Several zoning issues were addressed. Township manager Joan McVaugh told the board that the owners of 207 Highland Drive agreed to bring their fence into compliance by the end of the year. Addressing the abandoned home at 3327 Appleton Road, McVaugh said the property owner has asked the Court of Common Pleas for a continuance, which has been granted, since he has retained a new attorney and the township zoning officer has sent another violation letter about the state of the property. An abandoned home at 206 Fox Run Road has been recommended for demolition due to its condition. The entire report can be reviewed on the township website (www.franklintownship.us).
During public comment at the end of the meeting, two residents of 121 Peacedale Road told the board they were concerned about a property next door to them, 117 Peacedale Road. It was recently sold, and an environmental company has been performing soil percolation testing, possibly in preparation for development of the property. Board chairman John Auerbach explained that the Chester County Health Department issues septic and well permits, and the township has no jurisdiction. The township cannot prevent a property owner from developing their property if they secure all the required permits. McVaugh said that she will get a wetlands map and will look at the FEMA flood plain maps to check the status of the property.