Chairman Horst Declares That Franklin Is Not a Sanctuary County – Franklin County Commissioners’ Meeting Recap

CHAMBERSBURG – Today’s Franklin County Commissioners’ meeting began with a statement by Chairman Dean Horst regarding the issue of sanctuary cities and counties. Horst emphasized the fact that Franklin County is not a sanctuary county, despite being previously labeled as such by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) due to a data error. It accordingly does not have any laws, ordinances, or policies that obstruct immigration enforcement, and it does not abide illegal immigrants. The Center for Immigration Studies still erroneously designates Franklin as a sanctuary county. Horst insisted that the Board is working to correct this, stating, “We believe in the rule of law and order, and every person is expected to abide by the law, including those who seek to be residents or citizens of our county.” 

After a period of public comment, as well as the approval of both the vouchers and the minutes for their meeting on Feb. 28, the commissioners reviewed various Board actions. These included the following:

  1. A contract proposed by the Department of Aging will allow for seniors in need of prescriptions to receive the medication at their homes. Delivery to consumers within a 20-mile radius is free of charge, and the County will cover delivery fees for those outside of that radius. The consumer is still responsible for the co-payment of medications. 
  1. Change Order #018 for the Franklin County Courthouse Annex Project includes adding window film at frame F17 on the fourth floor at a cost of about $1,000. This will be added to provide privacy for the individuals who will be using that office space. 
  1. An application to the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency in the amount of $201,020 for the period of Oct. 1, 2024 – Sept. 30, 2026 will cover wages, benefits, travel, and needed supplies for a contracted social worker in the Franklin County Public Defender’s office. This will allow for informal assessments and connections to services that clients may seek outside of the court-hearing process, such as housing or behavioral health utilities.
  1. The 2023 County Annual HazMat Report given to the Department of Emergency Services by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) provided the data needed to create the statewide annual report to the General Assembly regarding the activity and cost required for implementing the Hazardous Material Response Fund (HMRF) grant. This funding will be used to create emergency plans, as well as to purchase response equipment, training, and exercises. 
  1. An application to the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency in the amount of $2,000 will help pay for a facilitator to guide the Criminal Justice Advisory Board through a strategic planning process. This three-year plan will allow the Board to coordinate services and access funding. 
  1. An agreement between the County of Franklin and NRG Building Services, INC will allow the latter to provide maintenance service to the Schneider Electric DDS Control System and JACE Network for the period of July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2029 at a cost of $50,100. This will allow adequate heating, air conditioning, and ventilation. The cost will be paid from the general fund. 

All Board actions were approved. 

The meeting concluded with a presentation conducted primarily by Executive Director Rochelle Mays of Tender Hearted Services, which provides care staff and resources to individuals with intellectual disabilities. Mays read off multiple client testimonies and professed her wish that all voices continue to be treated with equal value in Franklin County. Following her presentation, the commissioners approved a proclamation to designate March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.