Franklin police to get new wheels

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The borough council voted at its July 10 meeting to approve purchase of a new Ford police vehicle.

President Dawn Fantasia explained via conference call that, according to the police department, four vehicles are currently dedicated to the patrol division with miles ranging from 9,000 to 44,000. Two administrative cars have 60,000 and 74,000 miles. The detective bureau has two cars with mileage ranging from 5,000 to 121,000.

The new vehicle would be for the patrol division for a cost of $35,345. Council member Gilbert Snyder was the only member to Vote “no.” He said he needed ave a better understanding of the proposed rotation with the existing four patrol division vehicles.

The council also voted to buy a dump truck and utility truck with combined value of $116,000K for the Department of Public Works. Mayor Michael Giordanexplained this money comes from the water and sewer budget and not from the taxpayer budget.

An ordinance canceling the Safe Routes to School Grant also passed unanimously as all council members voted against accepting the $330,000. This federal grant money was to be used for safe foot traffic, but the borough contribution would have been around $500,000 “Although heartbreaking," fantasia said, "We cannot do this project unless it is in totality.”

She cited this as a lesson learned because the grant unfortunately could only be used toward the purpose outlined in the grant and not for anything else. Specifically, the money had to be used for sidewalk replacements along the school route from Franklin Borough and the now defunct Immaculate Conception Regional School. The council promised to look into other ways to improve sidewalks in other areas that are in need.

Council addressed several residents' concerns regarding local road safety. it approved the appropriation of $493,140 and authorized the issuance of $336,000 bonds or notes of the borough for financing the appropriation.

One resident addressed council with safety issues near Main and Mill Street. Concerned with the number of accidents and near misses, she said striping needed to done. The borough is waiting for Department of Department of Transportion approval but vowed, at a minimum, to get the curbs painted immediately. Another resident asked the council to look into road marking on Wildcat Road and sink holes. Many residents also have written council complaining about road safety with all the dump trucks now on the road during the summer months. Mayor Giordano explained the trucks are not employed by the quarry and are independent contractors so he is working with the police phief to address concerns The mayor also conveyed that the quarry will remind drivers to operate safely.

A successful opening day at Franklin PondCouncil members thanked township residents for the turnout and support of opening day at Franklin Pond. 197 runners came out for the 5K run and 285 seasonal badges have been sold. Council member John Postas said, “Opening Day was a fantastic Day and is only the beginning of the community recreational activities to come.”

Mayor Giordano was especially pleased with the sense of community and thankful to members of the fire department for cooking hot-dogs and hamburgers and with Walmart for donating an air conditioner for the concession stand.

An amendment to the ordinance requiring badges to be sold only to Franklin Borough residents was approved as a temporary measure. Borough Attorney John Ursin indicated that any permanent changes would require an ordinance. Council voted to temporarily allow the sale of beach badges to residents of Hamburg and Hardyston only. A seasonal badge will cost $150 for a family of five, an individual badge $35, and day badge $10.Individuals from other towns may enjoy the beach and purchase a seasonal badge for $35 but may only attend with a Franklin resident.

Ultimately, council hopes to make Franklin Pond fund itself. Mayor Giordano explained the start-up funds came from the annual Carnival but the costs to continue pond activities should come from badge and concession sales.

Postas informed residents that other planned recreational activities include arts and crafts at the pavilion and swimming Lessons. Arts and crafts will be held July 23rd – July 27th and July 30 until Aug. 3.

Swim lessons will cost $50 and will be offered July 23 – July 27. Forms for activities will be posted to the website soon.

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