Franklin approves transfer of ball fields
A view of Christman Field on Tuesday morning. Lehighton Area School District voted Monday to transfer the fields to Franklin Township. BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS
Franklin Township has taken another step toward permanently acquiring the baseball fields used by the township’s athletic association.
The township supervisors voted 3-0 Tuesday night to approve an intermunicipal transfer with Lehighton Area School District. As part of the deal, the township will acquire Christman Field and pay the cost of subdividing the property.
The school board agreed to the transfer during their meeting last month by a two-thirds vote.
The fields are located on the property of Franklin Township Elementary School, which closed last year and remains property of the district.
The agreement means that the township and school district can now work on creating a separate parcel for the three ball fields, which will become township property.
The school and a nearby soccer field will remain property of the school district.
The cost of a subdivision review is approximately $5,000-$6,000, which will be covered entirely by the township.
Supervisors’ Chairman Jason Frey said he’s very happy that the township and athletic association will work together to provide a place for area kids to play.
The township will share maintenance duties with the athletic association, with the athletic association mowing the playing fields, and the township mowing the surrounding grounds.
“I believe it’ll stay the way it has been the last 30 years — a good relationship with them as well as us doing our part,” Frey said.
The exact terms of the agreement still need to be finalized. First, the school board and supervisors must agree on exactly where they will divide the two properties. Both sides have agreed that the district will keep the soccer field and track behind the school, and the township will get the ball fields.
Supervisor Robin Cressley said he was happy the agreement was moving forward.
“We apologize it took so long for it to happen, but some things are out of our control,” he said.