Franklin Township supervisors have adopted an ordinance that authorizes reimbursement to the Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company for the cost of materials and services.
The ordinance, passed by a 3-0 vote, takes effect on Feb. 23.
The ordinance comes at the request of Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company captain Justin Smith. In December 2013, Smith requested that the supervisors allow the fire company to hire a third-party contractor to help in the collection of fees for emergency services. Under the ordinance, people would not be billed directly; rather, their insurance companies would be billed if the cost of emergency service were covered. None of the money will go to the firefighters, as they will remain volunteers.
According to the fire company's January report, 155 volunteers responded to 17 calls during the month. The 2013 yearly report indicated 1,819 volunteers responded to 162 calls totaling nearly 130 hours of service.
In a related matter, the supervisors passed a motion approving the fire company's 2014 planned activity list for worker's compensation insurance.
On the subject of winter maintenance, supervisor Paul Kocher stated that the township is in the early planning stages of a new ordinance regulating residential snow plowing, and the supervisors will be looking at similar ordinances in other municipalities to determine the best course of action. Kocher explained that safety concerns have arisen as a result of snow being plowed from private property into the streets.
The board approved a bid from Superior Plus Energy Services in the amount of $36,320 for 10,000 gallons of low-sulfur diesel fuel and $21,849 for 6,000 gallons of heating oil. The board received no bids for 10,000 gallons of 87-octane gasoline and passed a motion to re-bid.
Supervisors voted down an ordinance that would have given them approval powers over uses of zoning districts for purposes neither specifically permitted nor specifically denied by the zoning ordinance. In expressing his dissent, Supervisor Paul Kocher said, "I think you're circumventing the system if you pass it."
Supervisor Rob Green supported Kocher's statements saying, "We don't feel we should have the power to do that. That's why we have a zoning board."
In other matters, the supervisors appointed David Hawk as representative for the Franklin Lions Club to the Franklin Township Advisory Recreation and Parks board. He will replace Arthur Berger and have a term ending in 2016.