Residents of East Franklin Township will face no real estate tax increase in keeping with the 2023 general fund budget adopted this week by the municipality’s board of supervisors.
Action to approve the spending plan, which carries a millage rate of 5.75 mills, was followed by the board’s move to adopt the township’s sewage operating fund, with no increase in sewage rates for Adrian, Cowansville, Tarrtown and Fox Hollow.
latest plans for making
On the heels of a recent analysis of the safety of the U.S. Route 422 and Glade Run Road intersection in the township, supervisors offered details on official determinations made that were included in a report completed by a third-party entity, as a result of the study.
“Increased signage, not only signage, but a lot bigger signage. They’re going to paint arrows on the road for turning (slowly) one way or the other. (They’re also talking about) using the (Pennsylvania) State Police to site down there to try to catch speeders, LED lights. They suggested putting brighter LED lights there, the lights there now aren’t as bright,” Supervisor Board Vice Chairman Dan Goldinger said.
“They also want to put a tractor sign there for the tractors that cross the highway. Later on, if that doesn’t do any good, they suggested maybe rough surface prior to the intersection, so people would slow down going over that. (A) linking light (is also being considered). Overhead signage from one side all the way over to the other side — this is maybe later down the road. Also, (under consideration is the) increase the blend lanes from when you turn right to give you more area before you merge into the traffic.”
According to the board, enhancements are being planned with the aim of increasing safety at the site, which officials who conducted the analysis conveyed to the board is primarily unsafe due to the fact that the vast majority of drivers passing through are speeding.
During the board’s October meeting, township board of supervisors Chairman Barry Peters affirmed 85% of the motorists are committing that violation.
The focus on the safety of the intersection has been an ongoing concern for 15-year-old township resident Gracie Elosser.
Since a deadly accident on July 3, 2021, at the intersection that led to the death of Kenneth Robert Shaffer, 60, who was killed in a motorcycle accident after hitting a truck along U.S. Route 422, Elosser has been routinely attending township meetings discussing her opinion that the intersection is a danger to drivers.
Goldinger said a final report by the third-party agency, with suggestions to the township, the state department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) to make the intersection as safe as possible, is due in roughly six weeks.
“The (SPC) has a certain amount of funding so that’ll help pay for some of (the suggested enhancements),” Supervisor David Stewart said. “(The township) will have to pay for some, and then PennDOT will have to pay for some, and then the SPC will have to pay for some, depending on what they want to do.”
- During the report of township Zoning Officer Greg McKelvey, he noted that of five permits executed the prior month one was for exterior signage for the Richard G. Laube Cancer Center at ACMH Hospital.
“That project appears to be in its final stages,” he said.
McKelvey also announced he will be leaving his position of approximately six years as township zoning officer, effective Dec. 31.
“I very much have enjoyed my time working with the township. Those of you who have known me better know I’m cutting down to just one job moving forward. Thanks for all of your cooperation over the years,” he said.
Board members praised McKelvey for his work in the post.
“We’d like to thank you for your service,” Supervisor David Stewart said.
- Township police department Officer Steve Guelich shared with the board that he and officials from several other local police departments conducted a Toys for Tots drive at Walmart in Hilltop Plaza.
“We stuffed multiple cruisers full of toys, a truckload full of bicycles, and anybody that wants to get a toy for anyone in Armstrong County can contact Toys for Tots, and they’ll deliver it to them,” Guelich said. “It was a real nice a event — a really good turnout, even though it got really cold.”
Additional meeting action
In additional meeting action, supervisors unanimously voted to:
- Hire Larry Richardson as a part-time zoning officer, at $21.25 per hour, effective Nov. 28;
- Hire a part-time road crew employee, at $21.05 per hour, effective Nov. 28;
- Adopt a resolution declaring the township’s intent to follow the schedules and procedures for the disposition of records, as set forth in the municipal records manual, in accordance with Act 428 of 1968, as each individual act of disposition shall be approved by resolution of the governing body of the municipality. That move primarily addresses all park and recreation records pertaining to the rental of the West Hills Community Park throughout the span of time from 2008-18;
- Authorize the purchase of a Ferris ISX2200Z ZTR mower for $8,765;
- Authorize the purchase of two 2023 Ford F600 gasoline chassis 4x4 SD regular cab 145-inch WB DRW XL (F6L) for $60,092, from FMC Dealer/Ford, through the COSTARS program;
- Authorize the purchase of upfit package (aluminum dump body — 9 feet in length — by Super City Mfg) at a quoted price of $49,990, which includes hydraulics, plow and backup camera, to bring the total price of the dump truck with upfit packages to $110,082.
- During the meeting’s public comment period, Jake Martin, one of the chiefs of West Hills Emergency Services (WHES), requested that the board consider issuing approximately $70,000 set aside for WHES by the township for WHES’ new building.
“That’s so we can combine that with our $100,000 in our savings account, so we can put it (all) into a CD (certificate of deposit), toward the new building, if possible,” Martin said.
Goldinger said the board could not authorize such a move at this week’s meeting but it can add the item for consideration to an agenda for the board’s next meeting.
The next meeting of East Franklin Township’s board of supervisors will take place at 6 p.m. Dec. 22 at the township municipal building, located at 106 Cherry Orchard Ave., Kittanning, PA 16201.