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Franklin OKs project manager for ball field

Franklin Township has named Joseph Zutcofski from Carbon Engineering as project manager for the Department of Community and Economic Development grant for the Christman ball field.

Township secretary Brenda Cressley said Zutcofski will serve as the point man.

Board Chairman Fred Kemmerer Jr. said his only concern was if there is an additional cost. At this time there is no estimated cost associated with the position.

However, he said it was the request of Retired Maj. Gen. (Marvin) Jay Barry, then he respects that request.

Last month, supervisors unanimously agreed to approve reimbursement to the Franklin Township Athletic Association for engineering fees already paid for the Christman Ballfield complex.

Also as part of the motion, the board agreed to pay all of the engineering fees in the future as it moves forward with the renovation project, at the suggestion of Supervisor Robin Cressley.

In January, Barry told supervisors that he received a call from state Sen. David Argall’s office that the state Department of Community and Economic Development grant that they applied for through the Greenways, Trails and Recreation fund was approved.

The grant is for $212,000, and there was an additional matching amount of $37,000, which brings the total received to just under $250,000 to upgrade the recreation complex.

The first grant is for Phase One, which calls for paving the roadway into the complex and curbing along the entire roadway, which is necessary because of drainage issues.

The other part of the grant includes a new parking area made of crushed stone, with room for about 100 cars.

A paved parking area will be added for handicapped accessibility, with trails that will lead from the handicapped area down to the refreshment stand.

Barry said some improvements will be made to the refreshment stand. A covered patio will be added with the purchase of eight picnic tables, with two that are certified for handicapped use.

The grant also covers some grading on the infield area on the Babe Ruth Field.

Barry said they’re going to aerate the outfield and add seed. Channels will be added to funnel some water as there’s been some runoff issues.

The Babe Ruth field will have a new backstop and four bleachers, including an ADA compliant bleacher.

Barry said $250,000 will be used to accomplish Phase One.

He said they’ve also applied for a second grant through the state Department of Community & Economic Development through the Local Share Account from Monroe County gaming funds.

The second phase will include a T-ball field in the northeast corner of the field, a playground area, and a new parking area.

The cost for the playground itself is $128,000, $130,000 for the field, and about another $25,000, so they requested a grant from DCED for $332,000.

Further projects will include a new fully-sized Little League compliant field, and a walking trail throughout.

Barry said the project was started about four years ago, prior to the pandemic.

Retired Maj. Gen. Jay Barry displays plans for Christman field. TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO