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Franklin County officials begin 'Vision 2020' series

April 02, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. -- The Franklin County (Pa.) Commissioners on Thursday hosted their first meeting in the "Vision 2020" series to plan for the county's future.

The commissioners joined county staff in talking about services and how they could change in the next decade. The meeting was held at the South Potomac Street fire hall in Waynesboro, and county officials said they hope to schedule Vision 2020 meetings in several towns this year.

Fewer than 10 people not connected to government boards and commissions attended.

"A lot of people are down on government right now ... and we think we have a very positive story to tell about the services we provide," said David Keller, chairman of the county commissioners.

Much of the presentation concerned preliminary plans for a new judicial center estimated to cost $40 million. A site for that center has not been decided.

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"Whatever we build, wherever we build, it has to have expandability," County Administrator John Hart said.

Other judicial center considerations are security, adjacent parking, several secure entrances and 50-foot setbacks, county officials said.

Waynesboro area representatives told the commissioners their community would benefit from relocating some county services or opening a satellite office.

"The people who need the services sometimes can't drive to Chambersburg," said K. Marilyn Smith, a Waynesboro Area School Board member who works with nonprofit organization Communities That Care.

Fayetteville, Pa., resident Len Lindenmeyer told the commissioners he supports starting a community college in Franklin County. The county needs a moderate-cost option for higher education, he said.

"Franklin County would have a far greater ability to attract new employers, particularly in high-tech areas," Lindenmeyer said.

Various groups of constituents will be surveyed to develop guiding principles in planning for Vision 2020, Hart said.

Hart said Thursday's meeting reminded him of one held in Waynesboro in the mid-1980s.

"It's been a while, too long, so we're back," he said.

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