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New Franklin to recognize outstanding citizens

NEW FRANKLIN — New Franklin City Council and residents will now have a way to honor others in the community each month with the city’s new Citizen of the Month Program.
“This allows for recommendations from Council, the mayor and the general public and we would like your input,” Councilman Barry Shaffer (Ward 2) said of the new program — the establishment of which Council unanimously approved Jan. 17.
The legislation states the program is designed to “recognize outstanding citizenship displayed by New Franklin residents who have made substantial contributions and efforts to improve the quality of life in the community.”
The program will be administered by Council on a monthly basis, as nominations permit. Nominees must live within the city limits; nominations can be made by individuals, community organizations or businesses; and honorees will be presented with a certificate at the first regular city council meeting of each month and their photo will be posted on the city website. City employees and appointed or elected officials are not eligible.
“This is a nice way of Council recognizing citizens going above and beyond and helping their community,” said Councilman Kevin Powell (at large), who introduced the legislation.
Councilman Jack Daniels (at large) added that the program can help build a better sense of community and identity for New Franklin.
“I really like this whole concept because it’s another thing Council can do to build a sense of community involvement,” he said. “A lot of people here still think they live in ‘the city of Manchester’ or if they go to Coventry schools, that they live in Coventry.”
Also at the meeting, Council approved amendments to articles 4 through 7, 11 and 14 of the New Franklin Zoning Code. The amendments include the addition of attached single family dwellings as a new land use category in R-3 and R-L zones. Mayor Paul Adamson noted the Zoning Code includes a “variety of conditions” that still must be met, and states this type of residential zoning is “intended to restrict the overcrowding of land.”
Adamson also announced the city’s receipt of a $76,475 Ohio Department of Safety grant for police body worn cameras, which will pay the entirety of a $70,000 body worn camera purchase recently approved by City Council. Adamson complimented police Chief Daniel Bickett, Capt. Brian Kreiner and Sgt. John Heimbaugh for their work applying for the grant. He also noted that only 108 of these grants were awarded in all 88 Ohio counties.
“Only four were awarded in Summit County, and New Franklin was one of those four,” Adamson said. “So this is a really nice way to start the year.”
Also at the meeting, a City Council goal setting session for 2024 was scheduled for Feb. 3 at 9 a.m. at New Franklin City Hall, 5611 Manchester Road.
Council also approved:
• an intergovernmental agreement with the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office to participate in the county’s Direct Indictment Program at a cost of $4,000 per year. According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the program streamlines the court process in felony cases and saves municipalities money by screening the cases in lieu of preliminary hearings, which require attendance by police officers. Adamson said an agreement was not signed in 2023, but the city continued to receive these services. The new agreement is for two years, retroactive to January 2023 and in effect through December 2024, with no increase in cost from the 2022 agreement;
• a data archiving agreement with Tyler Technologies, which provides computer aided dispatch (CAD) services for the city. New Franklin had continued to use Sundance Technologies for data archiving even after moving from Sundance to Tyler for CAD services. The transition of data from Sundance to Tyler will cost the city $26,000; and
• a consent agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for ODOT to replace road signs on state Route 236 from the southern corporation limit to state Route 93 with all costs paid by ODOT.
New Franklin City Council next meets Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 5611 Manchester Road. The meeting is also available for viewing on the city’s Facebook page.