Look ahead for Franklin County

2000: A

December 16, 1999

~ 2000 ~

Moving into the Future

- 2000: A look ahead for Washington County

- 2000: A look ahead for Hagerstown

- 2000: A look ahead for Franklin County

- 2000: A look ahead for West Virginia

By DON AINES / Staff Writer, Chambersburg

photo: KEVIN G. GILBERT / staff photographer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A $20 million reconstruction of Interstate 81, more farmland preservation and a medical mall are some projects scheduled for Franklin County in 2000.



"It's showing its age," Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokesman Greg Penny said about the 121/2- mile stretch of I-81 from Exit 8 in Scotland, Pa., to the Cumberland County line.

Next summer the state will begin tearing up the road to rebuild it from the ground up.

Penny said the project will probably be completed by the end of summer 2001.

A timetable for widening the Pa. 997 overpass and other improvements at Exit 8 has yet to be set, Penny said.

U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster, R-Pa., earlier this year announced federal highway funding for the project, but the contribution of Crown American, which owns Chambersburg Mall at the exit, has yet to be determined.

A proposed interchange off Walker Road in Chambersburg is still on hold, 14 years after federal funding was approved. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has yet to decide if it will hear an appeal by the Department of Transportation in a lawsuit filed by a Greene Township couple.

Penny said $6 million will be spent repairing six miles of U.S. 30 between Fayetteville, Pa., east to the Adams County line. He said the repaired concrete bed will be topped with "super pave," a more durable customized asphalt formulated to take into account weather and traffic conditions.

Penny said bids for widening U.S. 30 from three to five lanes between Chambersburg and Fayetteville should be opened by the end of 2000.

Part of Kriner Road, which links Pa. 316 and U.S. 11 south of Chambersburg, will be closed from spring to November while the one-lane bridge over the railroad tracks is replaced, Penny said. The project will cost $1.5 million.

The old steel bridge over the Conococheague Creek on Main Street in Fort Loudon, Pa., will also be replaced, according to Penny.

The Department of Transportation will also resurface seven miles of Pa. 997 at a cost of $1.5 million. The $1.8 million resurfacing of 4.3 miles of U.S. 11 south of Chambersburg begun this year will be completed in 2000, he said.

Farm preservation

"I predict in 2000 Franklin County will preserve more farmland than during any prior year in the program's history," G. Warren Elliott, chairman of the Board of Commissions said.

During the past decade the county purchased development rights on 21 farms totaling more than 3,000 acres, according to county figures.

Last year easements were purchased on six farms totaling 783 acres for $923,000. The price is based on the difference between the assessed value of the land for farming and its value for commercial development.

In 2000 the county will receive about $720,000 from the state's Farmland Preservation Program, plus another $1.4 million from a special appropriation passed by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

The county also has $300,000 left in its preservation fund and increased its contribution from $150,000 to $200,000 next year.

There are more than 70 farms on the preservation waiting list, according to county Senior Planner Sherri Clayton. The program aims to preserve the county's richest soils.

Clayton said agriculture is the county's biggest industry, with sales of $210 million in 1998. The county has about 1,400 farms totaling of 240,000 acres.


"Franklin County will devote considerable time and energy to meeting with and discussing with municipal officials the implementation of the county comprehensive plan," Elliott said.

The first update of the plan in 22 years, it was adopted this year. It emphasizes the preservation of farmland and open space, while directing residential and commercial development into areas already served by municipal water and sewer.

The plan recommends redevelopment of existing residential and commercial areas.

Elliott said a committee is being assembled to update the county's solid waste plan. The existing plan assigns all municipal waste to landfills near Scotland and Uptown, Pa.

Landfills outside Franklin County could be added, he said.

He said construction will begin on the Franklin County Public Safety Training Center, a $1.4 million facility to train firefighters, police and ambulance personnel.

The county and all 22 boroughs and townships have contributed money to the center and the county has applied for a $600,000 grant from the state for the project.

Summit Health CenterHealth

Summit Health, which owns Chambersburg and Waynesboro hospitals, will build the Summit Health Center on Norland Avenue in Chambersburg in 2000.

The medical mall will cost $16 million to build and $7 million to equip and house radiology and other outpatient services, along with physicians' offices.


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