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Growing Economy has Pa. Township Taking Action

After nearly 12 years, the Southampton Township of Franklin County has decided to come out with a new comprehensive plan to keep up with a growing economy.
SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. - After nearly 12 years, the Southampton Township of Franklin County has decided to come out with a new comprehensive plan to keep up with a growing economy.

"When I became supervisor in 1998, we had about 1,550 people in the township," said Samuel Cressler, manager of the Southampton Township of Franklin County. "And our last census was just under 7,987 so just under 8,000. So that's why we've seen the growth coming in the last few years."

To accomodate the industrial and population growth, the township has decided to make some major changes to their transportation system.

"Our current road system was based on horse and wagon trails," said Cressler

One of the township's main transportation initiatives is to build a road to connect Route 11 to I-81. It would allow better access to the interstate, which contributes to the economic development of the area.

Another road project would give residents more recreational options.

"Michaeux State Forest is of course right next to us here in the South Mountain," said Cressler. "We've had big South Mountain initiatives. The Appalachian Trail goes through our township. We really have no access to any of that."

The township's new comprehensive plan will also include ways to strengthen their volunteer emergency services by partnering up with neighboring communities.

Township supervisors say they'll hold public hearings in the next few months about this new plan.

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