Let’s chat about the County

September 21 – Franklin County Commissioner John Flannery checked in on News Talk 103.7FM to update listeners in goings-on in the county this morning.

He began with the courthouse – the full occupancy permit should be issued this week for the Franklin County Courthouse.

Flannery said, “It’s a beautiful building. It really, really is. I had this conversation with someone yesterday in regards to the courthouse. The question is do we need it? Well, no, we don’t need it. We don’t need something in Franklin County that serves 5% of the population to spend $67 million on. However I will say that they’re doing a tremendous job and it’s going to be a beautiful facility.”

Where are we on costs?

Flannery said, “Keep in mind the whole judicial project, this whole thing, for $67 million consisted of five different buildings. Of course the administration annex, that building’s finished. The one that concerns me the most is the courthouse annex, which is right now attached to the old courthouse. That area where the sheriff’s department currently resides, with the cost of construction materials right now, that’s coming in from what I understand, a little bit over budget right now. Now up to this point, everything has been on or under budget. I’m keeping a close eye on that one. Everyone knows I am. We’re going to see how that pans out and that’s the last phase, the last building of this whole project.”

The new suggestion box rolled out for Franklin County employees last week, giving them the ability to make suggestions on how to reduce costs for the county – an idea that was presented by our own Pat Ryan.

Flannery said, “That was something that you brought up and I think it’s a great idea. Me being in the business that I’m in privately, that’s something that I take for granted that I’m able to talk to staff and employees on a constant basis and get their input and those boots on the ground, they mean so much. I think when you brought it up and you said, John, why aren’t we doing this? And I said, Pat, you’re absolutely right, why aren’t we doing this? I will give kudos to the administration staff for putting together a great program that allows people to do it anonymously or in person or they can make suggestions to save our county money, any time that they have an idea.”

There have already been seven suggestions that came in and they will be reviewed by a group that includes Flannery.  

This week the county started spraying for mosquitos, so you may see some trucks in the area. Some infestations have been reported.

Additionally, Franklin County has been added to the list to be on the lookout for the Spotted Lanternfly. Residents are asked if they see a spotted lanternfly to get rid of it because they do major damage to crops and trees.  

For more info on the lanternfly, click here: https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly

Flannery reminded listeners of the upcoming election and how important it is to vote.

He said, “I think there’s a lot going on with especially borough council in Chambersburg. There’s lots of decisions they’re going to be making here in the near future that are going to affect all of us here in Chambersburg and Franklin County. I would really, really strongly advise that people learn the candidates now and be prepared on Election Day.”

In terms of Chambersburg Borough Council’s ask for $2 million from Franklin County’s ARP Act funds for the Southgate Shopping Center rehabilitation project, nothing official has been addressed yet.

Flannery said, “My personal take on what I know from it, any time government buys something and wants to do something with it, it usually costs three times as much and it never is as efficient as it would be done if it were to happen privately. So I would encourage the borough to look into partnerships, if that’s a project that they want to take on, that they look at the partnerships with professionals that do this every day and do it the right way at the right cost and not cause our taxpayers to have to pay for it. So I think anything’s doable under the right circumstances and with the right people involved, but I think what they’re looking at now, I would not support.”