Taxes will remain the same for Franklin residents in 2006 and township roads will be repaved.

"The budget for 2006 has no tax increase over 2005," Franklin Mayor Dick Whipple said.

The proposed expenditures for 2006 total $2,931,940, up about 23 percent from $2,385,500 in 2005, he said.

According to Whipple, the township has been saving money for road improvements and to replace the skateboard facilities in Crossan Park, and has enough funding for the projects. This accounts for the added expenditures, he said.

About $500,000 of the $546,440 increase in the budget expenditures has been earmarked for much-needed road improvements, Whipple said. However, exactly how much will be used for paving roads will not be known until the end of winter, as snow plowing is part of the same line item in the budget.

In the meantime township officials plan to advertise for bids for the paving later this month, he said.

Another $110,000 will be used to replace the skateboard facilities in Crossan Park, he said.

Salaries and benefits, which add up to $220,000, make up the largest expenses, he said.

Another $30,000 is being set aside to upgrade the heating and cooling system in the township building and replace drafty windows, he said.

While some may argue that constructing a new building would be more cost effective, he said, the township cannot afford the several million dollars it would cost.

"It's going to be a number of years before the township can contemplate (constructing) a new municipal building," he said.

"Very careful consideration was given at the end of 2004 when the tax rate needed to be increased," he said. "The tax rate was set to recognize what the current costs were in Franklin."

Those costs took into consideration the township's comprehensive plan, which, at the request of residents, calls for maintaining the rural nature of the township, Whipple said. That means careful managed growth, which entails a great deal of input from attorneys and engineers, he said.

"In 2004, it was decided to set the tax rate to recognize the cost involved to do that," he said.

On the revenue side, real estate taxes are projected to bring $882,500, earned income tax should amount to $315,000, and the real estate transfer tax is expected to total $200,000, he said.

These are the three largest revenue sources for the township, Whipple said.

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