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Franklin Twp. residents refuse municipal water service

Published April 18. 2012 05:01PM

A group of Franklin Township residents on Tuesday night were able to sway Franklin Township supervisors as to where grant funds will be spent.

The April township meeting opened with a public hearing to discuss the 2012 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding allocation which was conducted by Judy Borger, director of Carbon County Office of Planning and Development.

Borger began her presentation by explaining why Franklin Township is eligible for entitlement funding. She said that over the course of 10 years that Franklin Township has been awarded about $1 million.

She also noted that projects are supposed to benefit low to moderate income families.

The project that Borger had in mind was to provide municipal water service to the 30 families who live along Main Road from Wagner Street to Route 209 in Franklin Township.

She said the funding available was $67,163 for the project.

Residents in that area recently were sent questionnaire that asked for their income so that she could determine just how many of the residents met the low to moderate income guidelines.

But the residents said they did not want to have municipal water service.

Speaking up were Chrissy and Jeff Picciano and Peggy Kleintop. Jeff Picciano said that he had met with almost all of the residents on the street and presented a petition with 20 names of residents who do not want to hook on.

The Picciano said that many of the residents along the street will not qualify as low to moderate incomes and do not want to have to pay hook on fees or have their yards dug up. They also stressed that the residents are responsible homeowners and have their water treated and have spent a lot of money to have good water. They also noted that municipal water is still hard and will also have chlorine which is something they do not want.

Other residents noted that they would have to pay to fill ponds, which should not have chorine, plus they have a swimming pool, which would cost quite a bit to fill.

"We hear you," said Rod Green, chairman.

Green thanked everyone for their concerns.

Borger said that is why hearings are held to listen to people's concerns.

"We'll come up with another project," said Borger.

"We didn't know what the response would be," said Green.

In another matter, supervisors were thanked for their intervention of having the geese at the Phifer Ice Dam Park shot as a way to control their droppings at the park.

Debra Whiteman said that she was extremely upset by the close range shooting of the geese. She noted that the geese are attracted to the water and have full use of the park all winter, but as soon as the Little League games begin, there are complaints about the geese.

During the past month, Whiteman had visited the township office and had dropped off a letter asking the supervisors to consider another option besides the point blank shooting and they listened and purchase a pair of plastic swans that are anchored in the pond.

"Since the swans are there, I haven't seen a goose, not even a duck," said Whiteman.

Whiteman suggested that the township consider buying more swans so that it looks more natural because swans mate for life and are always together. She also suggested that the swans are not anchored so tightly so that there is a little play in the leads so they appear more natural.

Her last suggestion was to put up signs to prohibit the swans being vandalized.

She said she saw a group of Little Leaguers throwing rocks at the swans.

"How stupid," she said. "The reason for the swans is because of them."

She said that she did note that the coach stopped the activity, but she said not all coaches may be that vigilant.

Green said that the township wanted to get rid of the geese because of a health hazard from the droppings.

"We had an egg hunt and we don't want people to get sick," he said. "I'll take a few dead geese over a child getting sick anytime."

In other business, the board approved paying $81,985.50 for the retain wall, phase II at the base of Court Street and approved bidding for road materials to be opened at the May 15 meeting.

The township also imposed a burn ban in the township, which will be in effect until the next meeting.

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