Residents voicing concerns over proposed Franklin Twp. park

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - Residents in Franklin Township are speaking out about a proposed park in their community.

They expressed concerns about the safety of the children who will play in the park in the 800 block of Union Road because of criminal activity and sex offenders they said live in the area.

"I would not let my children... my grandchildren come over here and play and I live 20 steps away," resident Carol Osborne said.

Osborne has lived at her home for more than a decade and said this area is no place for children to come play.

"There's a lot of suspected drug abuse in this area. Neighbors talk about finding needles in their yards," she said.

In an email, Franklin Township Administrator Traci Stivers said, "We believe that improving a single lot in this Franklin Township neighborhood will have a positive effect on the community as a whole. It's impossible to fix everything wrong with our world, but we can start with this small parcel of land!"

The proposed park comes by way of the once condemned property being donated to the township.

Officials got grant money to demolish the old home and have arranged for another grant to fund the park's construction, but for some the cost isn't the biggest concern.

"The other issue is that anybody could sit in this park and there's a lot of sex offenders in this area. So because it's public land, anybody can come sit here," Osborne said.

The Ohio Attorney General's numbers show 17 sex offenders live within a mile of the proposed park property.

Other residents on social media also expressed concerns about the cost of maintaining the property.

"As far as cost is concerned, whether this property is a vacant lot or a pocket park, Franklin Township will maintain it. Rather than just being a burden on the taxpayer, why not make it something that can be beneficial to the taxpayer and improve the property values, aesthetics and health of those in the neighborhood? This park will serve as a catalyst to making this a great area to live in. While we are sure it won't be an overnight transformation, it is the first stepping stone on a path of many," Stivers said in the email.

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