Franklin Township FAQ

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  • Cable TV

    • I'm paying much more for cable than I really want to. Are there ways I can reduce my cable bill?

      1. Review the services for which you currently pay and see if you can switch to a plan with fewer channels.  
      2. Review which equipment option and leasing program you have selected.
      3. Check to see if there are any promotions available.


    • Are there any Cable TV discounts available for low-income or senior citizens?

      Senior citizens and disabled citizens who meet the eligibility requirements of the “Pharmaceutical Assistance for the Aged and Disabled” program (“PAAD”) pursuant to P.L. 1975, c. 194 (C.30:4D-20 et seq) are eligible for a 10% discount on the Limited Basic portion of their video service. To receive this discount from Comcast of New Jersey, customers must present proof of eligibility and fill out an application.

      Call 1-877-654-5075 for more information or contact

      Comcast Revenue Assurance Department
      401 White Horse Road
      Voorhees, NJ 08043

    • Shouldn't I contact the Franklin Township Cable TV Advisory Committee when I have problems?

      The Cable Committee does not negotiate directly with service providers or the BPU on behalf of individual residents. However, the Cable Committee’s role is to monitor the service provided to residents. For this reason, it is a good reason to keep the committee informed of unresolved issues by filling out the following form:

      http://www.franklintwpnj.org/government/boards-committees/cable-tv-advisory-committee-/contact-us
    • What are the current companies providing cable TV Services to Franklin Township?

      Verizon FIOS:

      http://www22.verizon.com/residential/fiostv 

      1-800-837-4966

       

      Comcast Cable:

      www.comcast.com  

      1-800-266-2278

    • What are the terms of the New Jersey State system-wide cable television franchise agreement with Verizon?

      The franchise renewal agreement is available at: http://www.state.nj.us/bpu/pdf/boardorders/2014/20140129/1-29-14-3A.pdf

    • What benefits did Franklin Township receive from the Comcast Franchise renewal?

      A copy of Ordinance No. 4118-15, effective October 19, 2015, is on the Township website at: http://ecode360.com/documents/FR0703/public/206844024.pdf#search=4118-15.

      The ordinance included the following:

      • Free internet service to schools, fire departments, libraries and Franklin Township offices.
      • Fiber communication services between Township public buildings.
      • One-time payment of $125,000.
      • Annual franchise agreement fee, currently two (2%) percent of the gross revenues from all recurring charges in the nature of subscription fees paid by subscribers for cable television reception service.
    • What can the Township do to address resident complaints concerning poor audio quality on the Education and Government Access Channels?

      The Township can contact the providers to address the issue.

    • What can the Township do to address resident complaints regarding pricing and service offerings?

      Franklin has no control over or service offerings, as these are regulated by a combination of the NJBPU and the FCC.  However, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 14:18-3.4, upon request by the customer at no charge they must provide a complete copy of its current schedule of prices, rates, charges and services.  They are also required by that regulation to provide customers, upon request with an explanation in non-technical terms of its service packages, rates and prices to enable customers to obtain the most affordable service. 

    • What can the Township do to address resident complaints regarding your Cable Television provider’s customer service?

      Regarding poor customer service - Franklin has designated the Office of Cable Television at the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities as the complaint officer for hearing customer complaints.  The Report prepared by the Cable Television Advisory Committee (CTAC) provides a record of complaints made, type of complaint and how long it took to handle the complaint.  It is an efficient system that residents should be routinely encouraged to use to address customer service complaints

    • What can the Township do to address residents request for more channels?

      Franklin cannot dictate that companies provide more channels or certain types of channels. Residents should send their requests directly to the providers. 

    • What can the Township do to address the lack of competition in cable television providers?

      Franklin has no control over competition, its franchise agreement with Comcast is non-exclusive – which means other providers can offer services in Franklin if they so choose.

    • What if the problem is not resolved after contacting my Cable provider?

      You should contact the Office of Cable Television at the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, which can be reached at (973)648-2670 or (800)624-0331.
      Filing complaint online: http://www.state.nj.us/bpu/assistance/complaints/

    • What is the difference between Comcast Cable and Verizon FIOS?

      Cable and FIOS are two different technologies. Cable TV utilizes coax cable, whereas FIOS utilizes fiber optic cable.

      Additionally, cable service is provided through contracts with individual municipalities, whereas FIOS service is chartered by the state and operates across municipal boundaries.

    • What is the role of the Cable Television Advisory Committee?

      The primary role is to advise the Franklin Township Council on all aspects of cable and other franchise services in the Township. To this end, they survey the community about service needs, monitor providers to ensure compliance with contract/franchise requirements and state regulations, and participate in the contract/franchise process as the Council determines.

    • When will FIOS be available throughout Franklin Township?

      Verizon is in the process of establishing FIOS service in Franklin, but the mechanical aspects of the service (such as laying wire) vary by area. Thus a time frame for full service in Franklin cannot be determined at this point.  To check availability and request FIOS service follow link:

      https://www.verizon.com/foryourhome/ordering/checkavailability.aspx?type=pheonix&fromPersonalisation=y

       

      Under their agreement with the State of New Jersey, Verizon is required to provide service to 70 selected public entities in the State; New Brunswick and Princeton are two that must have 100% service. This service “bleeds” into some areas of Franklin. As Verizon continues the work in these neighboring communities, service will become available to some additional areas in Franklin. According to the Verizon representative, there are no current plans to expand into all areas in the Township. 

    • Whom should I contact if I have problems with my cable TV, IP based phone service, or cable modem based Internet service?

      You should contact your service provider.

      Verizon:         http://www22.verizon.com/residential/fiostv  1-800-837-4966
      Comcast:        www.comcast.com 1-800-266-2278

    • Why is Comcast the Franklin Township cable service provider?

      The Township Council negotiated a contract with RCN in 1999. Patriot took over from RCN in 2003, operating under the same contract. Patriot was sold to Comcast in 2007. Comcast now operates in Franklin by the same 1999 contract with RCN, which terminated in 2014. It was renewed by the Township in 2015.
  • Construction

    • How long does it take for a construction permit to be approved?

      Depending on the project, if prior approvals (Zoning, Engineering, Health etc.) are not required, a minimum of twenty (20) business days should be planned for processing applications.  If such prior approval is required, your application review may take longer.  The twenty (20) business day period begins on the date the complete construction permit application arrives at the CONSTRUCTION DEPARTMENT.  Also if, during the review of your application, it is determined that additional information is required, this may result in a longer review time.

    • How much will my construction permit cost?

      The cost of a construction permit will vary greatly. Some of the subcode fees are based on item counts while others are determined by the cost of the associated work or the size of the work. Still other scopes of work have a flat rate. There is also a minimum charge per subcode. Click here to view the building department fee schedule.
    • How will I know when my construction permit is ready?

      Once your application is approved, a Construction Office representative will contact the responsible person by phone and let them know that the permit is ready for pick-up and the cost.  Permit payments are processed Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:30 am and 2:30 pm.
    • I’m buying a home or business. Is there anything needed from the Building Department?

      While there is no certificate of occupancy needed for a residential resale, there absolutely are certain things that should be checked! Your legal representative (if you have one) or your agent should verify that there are no open permits and/or violations for the block and lot of the property you plan to purchase. This information can be requested using an Open Public Records Access (OPRA) request form which can be obtained at the Franklin Township Clerk’s Office.  If there are any open permits/violations on file, once the closing is completed you have inherited all of the outstanding matters associated with the property. The responsibility is now transferred to you as the new owner. Therefore, it is very important to have your agent verify the permit status of the block and lot that you are purchasing.

      Additionally, if you are purchasing or leasing a non-residential property, you need to apply for a Certificate of Continued Building Compliance.  You must apply whether or not you are altering the business nature of the property.  Click here for more information regarding this certificate.

    • Must I use a contractor for work done at my house?

      This question requires some explanation. Please read the following carefully! If the work you wish to have done is for a house that you own and physically reside in then there are several options.

      First, you yourself are allowed to do work on your own house. You are also allowed to have "help" doing the work as long as you are actually doing and supervising the work. This is allowed only for a single family house that you own AND reside in.

      Second, you may use a LICENSED contractor for the work that you wish to have done. Any type of work that a contractor performs on a residential house or part thereof requires the contractor to be appropriately licensed. The types of licenses that are currently available are Home Improvement Contractor's License, Electrical Contractor's License, Plumbing Contractor's License, Fire Protection Contractor's Certification, and Fire Alarm Contractor's License. It is important to note that the Home Improvement Contractor law applies to any residential type of structure or part thereof.


      Lastly, any commercial property requires that any electrical, plumbing or fire protection work be done by a licensed contractor.
    • Uniform Construction Code Changes

      Recent changes to what is considered normal maintenance pursuant to the Uniform Construction Code no longer mandate construction permits for the installation of siding for one and two family detached dwellings (except for polypropylene) and the replacement of roofs for one and two family detached dwellings. 

      It is very important to note that all siding and roof replacements for all structures located in a Historic District still require Historic Commission review and approval before the work can commence.  Below is map  showing the various districts.   To determine if you property is within an Historic District or for further information please contact via email Vincent Dominach at  or 732-873-2500 (ext. 6274)

       

      Historic District Map

       

    • What are the requirements for a Certificate of Occupancy?

      Requirements vary by project.  Please contact the Construction Office at 732-873-7283 for specific information.

    • What happens if I get caught working without a construction permit?

      A penalty of $2000 is assessed and any work done may be required to be removed.
    • What inspections do I need for my construction project?

      There are a variety of inspections required or necessary to determine if the work being done conforms to the construction code. Remember that in order to conduct these inspections in a timely manner, certain work may need to cease in order to conduct that specific inspection. Also, every effort is made to schedule your request as soon as possible however it may not be able to be scheduled for the next working day. An inspection request received after 2:30 PM will not be scheduled for the next day. Please refer to your copies of the permit technical cards to determine which inspections are required for your particular project.
    • What method of payment can I use when picking up my construction permit?

      Permits can be paid for using check or cash.  Please note if you pay with cash, exact change is required.
    • When do I need a construction permit?

      A construction permit is required for everything that is not considered an ordinary repair or maintenance. Permits are required for Finishing Basements, Decks, Raised Patios, Swimming Pools, Renovating Bathrooms & Kitchens, Water Heaters, Sheds, Gazebos, new Electrical wiring and new Plumbing installations. Click here to view additional guidelines. Please keep in mind that this list is not all inclusive and is meant to provide general information only. For more specific information please contact the Construction Office at 732-873-7283.

    • When I schedule a construction inspection can I get an appointment time?

      No. Every inspection is unique and some take longer than others. When we schedule the inspections we give you the next available day. Inspections are conducted Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:00am-3:00pm.
  • Firearms Applications

    • Do I have to be a United States citizen to apply for a New Jersey Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and/or Permit to Purchase a Handgun?

      No, however non U.S. citizens must provide a copy of their Permanent Resident Alien Card. 
    • How do I apply for a New Jersey Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and/or a Permit to Purchase a Handgun?

      Application forms for applying for a New Jersey Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and/or a Permit to purchase a Handgun can be obtained at the Franklin Township Police Department anytime or the forms can be downloaded by clicking Here

    • I am a private detective and would like to carry a handgun. What is the process?

      Information for private detectives and permits to carry a handgun are available on the New Jersey State Police 
      Firearms Information website.
    • I am a retired law enforcement officer and am interested in applying for a Retired Law Enforcement Permit to Carry a Handgun? How do I apply?

      Applications for a Retired Law Enforcement Permit to Carry a Handgun are made through the State of New 
      Jersey. More information can be obtained by visiting the New Jersey State Police Firearms Information. 
    • I am seeking employment with a non law enforcement agency or employer that requires me to obtain a New Jersey Firearms Carry Permit for work. How do I apply for a New Jersey Firearms Carry Permit?

      Applications for Permits to Carry a Handgun are made through the State of New Jersey and further information 
      can be obtained by clicking on the link for the New Jersey State Police Firearms Information.
    • I have a New Jersey Firearms Purchaser Identification Card issued by another jurisdiction other than Franklin Township (Somerset County). Am I required to get fingerprinted?

      All initial applicants for a New Jersey Firearms Purchaser Identification Card, including those applying for a 
      change of address/name, must be fingerprinted by the Franklin Township Police Department the first time the 
      applicant applies to this jurisdiction.
    • I recently received my New Jersey Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and would like to purchase a handgun from friend and/or acquaintance. Do I need a Permit to Purchase a Handgun?

      Yes. You are required to possess a valid Permit to Purchase a Handgun in order to purchase a handgun from a 
      friend and/or acquaintance. The only circumstance not requiring a Permit to Purchase a Handgun is when the 

      firearm(s) is inherited from a deceased individual.

    • My Permit to Purchase a Handgun is about to expire. Can it be renewed?

      Permits to Purchase a Handgun expire 90 days after being issued. Permits that have not been used and will 
      expire can be extended only ONCE for an additional 90 days from the original date of expiration.
    • My relative is deceased and I have inherited his firearms. Am I required to obtain a New Jersey Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and/or a Permit to Purchase a Handgun to take possession of them?

      The State of New Jersey does not require you to possess or obtain a New Jersey Firearms Purchaser 
      Identification Card and/or a Permit to Purchase a Handgun to take possession of inherited firearms; however, 
      you cannot take possession if you would be disqualified from owning or possessing firearms subject to N.J.S.A. 
      2C-58-3. We highly recommend that you voluntary register all the firearms with the State of New Jersey 
      utilizing the Voluntary Form for Firearms Registration



    • Once I submit my application for a New Jersey Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and/or Permit to Purchase a Handgun, how long will the process take?

      The application process may take several weeks. Common reasons for delayed processing times are delays in 
      receiving the required reference checks and/or State mandated background checks. The Police Department 
      works diligently to ensure that all background investigations are completed within the State mandated 30 day 
      period once the applicant’s file is complete and all the necessary background checks have been received. 
    • What is the cost for a New Jersey Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and/or a Permit to Purchase a Handgun?

      The Franklin Township Police Department charges $5.00 for a New Jersey Firearms Purchaser Identification 
      Card and $2.00 for every Permit to Purchase a Handgun. Payment is made by cash, check or money order when 
      the applicant picks up his/her New Jersey Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and/or a Permit to Purchase a 
      Handgun.
    • What is the fingerprint fee required for a New Jersey Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and/or a Permit to Purchase a Handgun?

      The State of New Jersey mandates that all applicants for a New Jersey Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and/or a Permit to Purchase a Handgun pay a fee of $60.25 for the processing of fingerprints by MorphoTrakThe fees will be paid directly to MorphoTrak when the applicant is fingerprinted. 

  • Historic Preservation Commission

    • How does a property receive historic designation?

      A property currently may receive local historic designation by recommendation of the Franklin Township Planning Board to the Franklin Township Council. To be placed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places as a site or district, an application must be submitted to the New Jersey Office of Historic Preservation for review. Once it has been entered on the State Register, the Office of Historic Preservation will forward the application to United States Department of the Interior for National Register consideration.

    • How does historic designation affect a property?

      Listing on the National and State Registers does not restrict the property owner in any way. National listing provides a degree of protection from public encroachment because all federally and some state funded or licensed projects require formal Section 106 review. Section 106 review even protects a property considered as eligible for the National Register, but not yet listed. National listing also allows owners to take advantage of two financial incentives; a 20% investment tax credit for qualified rehabilitations to income producing properties and eligibility for conservation easements, where permanent restrictions on demolition or alterations are donated to qualified non-profit organization in return for federal tax deductions.

      State listing provides protection similar to Section 106 review under New Jersey Register Encroachment Review (NJAC 7:4) for all state, county, or municipally funded or licensed projects. The State has made Historic Preservation Bond Fund matching grants and low interest loans for rehabilitation and restoration available to state, county, and local agencies and non-profit organizations with properties listed on the Register.

      Local designation offers the strongest protection of historic sites and districts. It requires the owner of a property designated a historic site or within a local historic district to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Franklin Township Historic Preservation Advisory Commission before undertaking any exterior addition,  alteration, removal or demolition.

    • Must the applicant attend the review hearing for the approval process from the Historic Preservation Advisory Commission?

      The applicant is required to appear and may also be represented an attorney or another individual who shall be authorized in writing by the applicant.
    • What happens to the application after a review hearing from the Historic Preservation Advisory Commission?

      The Commission will return to the Director of Planning or his designee either a Certificate of Appropriateness or a report detailing why a Certificate can not be issued.  If the application requires approval by other departments, Commission approval may be a condition of final approval.  For applications being reviewed by the Planning Board or the Board of Adjustment, the Commission's recommendations are advisory.
    • What is historic designation?

      Historic designation can occur on three levels.
      ► Properties may be designated locally as historic sites or within local historic districts in Franklin Township, as set forth in the Township’s Development Ordinance.
      ► Sites or districts may be listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places (list of sites and districts in Franklin Township), administered by the New Jersey Office of Historic Preservation, and
      ► Sites or districts may also be listed on the National Register of Historic Places (list of sites and districts in Franklin Township), administered by the United States Department of the Interior.
    • What is Section 106 review for a historic structure?

      Section 106 review determines the significance that government funded encroachment will have on a structure identified as historic. Section 106 review may or may not alter plans that encroach on a historic structure. 
      (For more information see http://www.achp.gov/work106.html
    • What is the Franklin Township Historic Preservation Advisory Commission?

      It is a board established by Township Ordinance made up of eleven citizen volunteers appointed by Township Council and charged with protecting Franklin Township’s historic resources and its villages’ characters. The Commission generally holds open public meetings once a month at the Franklin Township Municipal Building, 475 DeMott Lane, Somerset, NJ.
    • When does a property owner need approval from the Historic Preservation Advisory Commission?

      The property owner must obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Commission whenever they propose an exterior addition, alteration, removal or demolition to a designated historic site or a property within a local historic district that detailed in Subsection H. Application design review of demolition, removal, alteration, and new construction; certificate of appropriateness of Section 112-200 Historic Preservation Advisory Commission of Chapter 112 Land Development of the Code of the Township of Franklin, Somerset County, New Jersey.  The Commission bases its recommendations on the effect the project will have on the historic site or on the historic district. The approval of the project by the Commission is independent of and in addition to approvals required by other departments.
    • Where can I find more information on the Commission and local historic districts?

      More information can be found on related pages on this web site or by contacting the Department of Planning and Zoning or the staff in the Municipal Building.  Details on the Commission can be found in the Township's Code Book while information on Historic Districts and properties can be found on the FTHPAC Historic Districts page as well as in the Township's Master Plan.  Since most local historic districts are also on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, referring to the nomination documents which can be found in local libraries and the State Historic Preservation Office may yield more detailed information on individual districts and properties. A Certificate of Appropriateness Application can be found here
  • Municipal Ethics

    • Does Franklin Township have a local municipal ethics board?

      From 1991 to December 31, 2013, the Township of Franklin did have its own municipal ethics board.  After serious consideration, it was the consensus of the Township Council to transfer the responsibility of ethics complaints to the Local Finance Board.  An ordinance was adopted by the Township Council on December 10, 2013 that resulted in the dissolution of the board and the transfer of responsibility of ethics complaints to the Local Finance Board.
    • How are ethics hearings conducted by the Local Finance Board?

      All hearings required pursuant to the Local Government Ethics Law shall be conducted in conformity with the rules and procedures, insofar as they may be applicable, provided for hearings by a State agency in contested cases under the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.).
    • How do I file an ethics complaint?

      Every complaint alleging that a local government officer or employee, who is not regulated y a county or municipal code of ethics, has violated the Local Government Ethics Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:9-22.1 et seq., shall be in writing and signed by the complainant and submitted to: 

      Thomas H. Neff, Director
      Local Finance Board
      101 South Broad Street
      PO Box 803
      Trenton, NJ 08625
    • How long are written materials involving a complaint required to be preserved?

      All statements, complaints, requests or other written materials filed pursuant to the Local Government Ethics Law, and any rulings, opinions, judgments, transcripts or other official papers prepared pursuant to the Local Government Ethics Law shall be preserved for a period of at least five years from the date of filing or preparation, as the case may be.
    • What are the penalties for violating the Local Ethics Law?

      a.    An appointed local government officer or employee found guilty by the Local Finance Board or a county or municipal ethics board of the violation of any provision of the Local Government Ethics Law or of any code of ethics in effect pursuant to this act, shall be fined not less than $100.00 nor more than $500.00, which penalty may be collected in a summary proceeding pursuant to "the penalty enforcement law" (N.J.S.2A:58-1 et seq.). The board shall report its findings to the office or agency having the power of removal or discipline of the appointed local government officer or employee and may recommend that further disciplinary action be taken.

      b.    An elected local government officer or employee found guilty by the Local Finance Board of the violation of any provision of the Local Government Ethics Law or of any code of ethics in effect pursuant to this act, shall be fined not less than $100.00 nor more than $500.00, which penalty may be collected in a summary proceeding pursuant to “the penalty enforcement law” (N.J.S.2A:58-1et seq.).

    • What are the responsibilities of the Local Finance Board for the implementation of the Local Government Ethics Law?

      a.    To initiate, receive, hear and review complaints and hold hearings with regard to possible violations of the Local Government Ethics Law;

      b.    To issue subpoenas for the production of documents and the attendance of witnesses with respect to its investigation of any complaint or to the holding of a hearing;

      c.     To hear and determine any appeal of a decision made by a county or municipal ethics board;

      d.    To forward to the county prosecutor or the Attorney General or other governmental body any information concerning violations of the Local Government Ethics Law which may become the subject of criminal prosecution or which may warrant the institution of other legal proceedings by the Attorney General;

      e.    To render advisory opinions as to whether a given set of facts and circumstances would constitute a violation of the Local Government Ethics Law;

      f.     To enforce the provisions of the Local Government Ethics Law and to impose penalties for the violation thereof as are authorized by the Local Government Ethics Law; and 

      g.    To adopt rules and regulations pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) and to do other things as are necessary to implement the purposes of the Local Government Ethics Law.

    • What can I expect after an ethics complaint is filed?

      • The Local Finance Board, upon receipt of a signed written complaint by any person alleging that the conduct of any local government officer or employee, not regulated by a county or municipal code of ethics, is in conflict with the provisions of the Local Government Ethics Law, shall acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 30 days of receipt and initiate an investigation concerning the facts and circumstances set forth in the complaint.

         

      • The board shall make a determination as to whether the complaint is within its jurisdiction or frivolous or without any reasonable factual basis.

         

      • If the board shall conclude that the complaint is outside its jurisdiction, frivolous or without factual basis, it shall reduce that conclusion to writing and shall transmit a copy thereof to the complainant and to the local government officer or employee against whom the complaint was filed.

         

      • Otherwise the board shall notify the local government officer or employee against whom the complaint was filed of the nature of the complaint and the facts and circumstances set forth therein. The officer or employee shall have the opportunity to present the board with any statement or information concerning the complaint which he wishes.

         

      • Thereafter, if the board determines that a reasonable doubt exists as to whether the local government officer or employee is in conflict with the provisions of this act, the board shall conduct a hearing in the manner prescribed by the Local Government Ethics Law, concerning the possible violation and any other facts and circumstances which may have come to the attention of the board with respect to the conduct of the local government officer or employee.

         

      • The board shall render a decision as to whether the conduct of the officer or employee is in conflict with the provisions of the Local Government Ethics Law. This decision shall be made by no less than two-thirds of all members of the board.

         

      • If the board determines that the officer or employee is in conflict with the provisions of the Local Government Ethics Law, it may impose any penalties which it believes appropriate within the limitations of the Local Government Ethics Law.

         

      • A final decision of the board may be appealed in the same manner as any other final State agency decision.
    • What constitutes a violation of the Local Government Ethics Law?

      It is a violation of the Local Government Ethics Law if a local government officer or employee under the jurisdiction of the Local Finance Board does not comply with the following:

      a.    No local government officer or employee or member of his immediate family shall have an interest in a business organization or engage in any business, transaction, or professional activity, which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his duties in the public interest; 

      b.    No independent local authority shall, for a period of one year next subsequent to the termination of office of a member of that authority: 

      (1)  award any contract which is not publicly bid to a former member of that authority;

      (2)  allow a former member of that authority to represent, appear for or negotiate on behalf of any other party before that authority; or

      (3) employ for compensation, except pursuant to open competitive examination in accordance with Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes and the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, any former member of that authority.  The restrictions contained in this subsection shall also apply to any business organization in which the former authority member holds an interest. 

      c.     No local government officer or employee shall use or attempt to use his official position to secure unwarranted privileges or advantages for himself or others; 

      d.    No local government officer or employee shall act in his official capacity in any matter where he, a member of his immediate family, or a business organization in which he has an interest, has a direct or indirect financial or personal involvement that might reasonably be expected to impair his objectivity or independence of judgment; 

      e.    No local government officer or employee shall undertake any employment or service, whether compensated or not, which might reasonably be expected to prejudice his independence of judgment in the exercise of his official duties; 

      f.     No local government officer or employee, member of his immediate family, or business organization in which he has an interest, shall solicit or accept any gift, favor, loan, political contribution, service, promise of future employment, or other thing of value based upon an understanding that the gift, favor, loan, contribution, service, promise, or other thing of value was given or offered for the purpose of influencing him, directly or indirectly, in the discharge of his official duties. This provision shall not apply to the solicitation or acceptance of contributions to the campaign of an announced candidate for elective public office, if the local government officer has no knowledge or reason to believe that the campaign contribution, if accepted, was given with the intent to influence the local government officer in the discharge of his official duties;

      g.    No local government officer or employee shall use, or allow to be used, his public office or employment, or any information, not generally available to the members of the public, which he receives or acquires in the course of and by reason of his office or employment, for the purpose of securing financial gain for himself, any member of his immediate family, or any business organization with which he is associated;

      h.    No local government officer or employee or business organization in which he has an interest shall represent any person or party other than the local government in connection with any cause, proceeding, application or other matter pending before any agency in the local government in which he serves. This provision shall not be deemed to prohibit one local government employee from representing another local government employee where the local government agency is the employer and the representation is within the context of official labor union or similar representational responsibilities;

      i.      No local government officer shall be deemed in conflict with these provisions if, by reason of his participation in the enactment of any ordinance, resolution or other matter required to be voted upon or which is subject to executive approval or veto, no material or monetary gain accrues to him as a member of any business, profession, occupation or group, to any greater extent than any gain could reasonably be expected to accrue to any other member of such business, profession, occupation or group;

      j.     No elected local government officer shall be prohibited from making an inquiry for information on behalf of a constituent, if no fee, reward or other thing of value is promised to, given to or accepted by the officer or a member of his immediate family, whether directly or indirectly, in return therefor; and

      k.    Nothing shall prohibit any local government officer or employee, or members of his immediate family, from representing himself, or themselves, in negotiations or proceedings concerning his, or their, own interests. 

    • What is an advisory opinion and who may request an advisory opinion from the Local Finance Board?

      A local government officer or employee not regulated by a county or municipal code of ethics may request and obtain from the Local Finance Board an advisory opinion as to whether any proposed activity or conduct would in its opinion constitute a violation of the provisions of the Local Government Ethics Law. Advisory opinions of the board shall not be made public, except when the board by the vote of two-thirds of all of its members directs that the opinion be made public. Public advisory opinions shall not disclose the name of the local government officer or employee unless the board in directing that the opinion be made public so determines.
    • What is the jurisdiction of the Local Finance Board?

      The Local Finance Board in the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs shall have jurisdiction to govern and guide the conduct of local government officers or employees regarding violations of the Local Government Ethics Law who are not otherwise regulated by a county or municipal code of ethics promulgated by a county or municipal ethics board. Local government officers or employees serving a local government agency created by more than one county or municipality shall be under the jurisdiction of the board. The board in interpreting and applying the provisions of the Local Government Ethics Law shall recognize that under the principles of democracy, public officers and employees cannot and should not be expected to be without any personal interest in the decisions and policies of government; that citizens who are government officers and employees have a right to private interests of a personal, financial and economic nature; and that standards of conduct shall distinguish between those conflicts of interest which are legitimate and unavoidable in a free society and those conflicts of interest which are prejudicial and material and are, therefore, corruptive of democracy and free society.
    • What should be included in my written ethics complaint?

      Written complaints shall:

      1. State the point of the Local Government Ethics Law alleged to be violated;

         

      2. State the name(s) and title(s) of the parties involved in the action and against whom the complaint is filed; 

      3. Set forth in great detail the pertinent facts surrounding the alleged violative action;
         
      4. Indicate whether the complaint concerns the complainant in any way and what, if any, relationship the complainant has to the subject of the complaint; and

      5. Indicate any other action previously taken in an attempt to resolve the issue and indicate whether the issue is the subject of pending litigation elsewhere.

    • Who is subject to the Local Government Ethics Law?

      Any "Local government employee" which means any person, whether compensated or not, whether part-time or full-time, employed by or serving on a local government agency who is not a local government officer, but shall not mean any employee of a school district; and any  "Local government officer" which means any person whether compensated or not, whether part-time or full-time: (1) elected to any office of a local government agency; (2) serving on a local government agency which has the authority to enact ordinances, approve development applications or grant zoning variances; (3) who is a member of an independent municipal, county or regional authority; or (4) who is a managerial executive or confidential employee of a local government agency, as defined in section 3 of the "New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act," P.L.1941, c.100 (C.34:13A-3), but shall not mean any employee of a school district or member of a school board.

    • Who may file an ethics complaint?

      Any individual may file a complaint concerning alleged violations of the Local Government Ethics Law.
  • Police

    • Are the officers in the Franklin Police Department rained to perform and seek necessary medical action after using excessive force?

      Medical attention is always required when any type of injury or pain is reported or observed during any encounter or following a use of force incident.

    • Are the officers in the Franklin Police Department required to exhaust every other possible option before using excessive force?

      Officers are trained and expected to make sound judgment and exercise appropriate use of force. When an officer has to use force, they are trained to utilize reasonable force when necessary to protect citizens and themselves. Officers are instructed and trained to always utilize the minimal use of force, ranging from verbal commands, gestures, warnings, chemical or natural agent spraying and hand-to-hand methods. All use of force incidents are reviewed by supervisors and Internal Affairs.

    • Are the officers in the Franklin Police Department required to give a verbal warning to civilians before drawing their weapon or using excessive force?

      Verbal warnings are always an officer's first option prior to drawing a weapon or using force. However, each case may be handled on a case by case basis; and rely upon the officer's or citizen's level immediate danger of serious bodily injury or death.

    • Are the officers in the Franklin Police Department required to report each time they threaten to or use force on civilians?

      In all instances when physical, mechanical or deadly force is used, each officer who has employed such force must complete a report and required forms.

    • Are the officers in the Franklin Police Department thoroughly vetted to ensure that they do not have a history with abuse, racism, xenophobia, homophobia/ transphobia, or discrimination?

      In regards to background checks, thorough background checks are completed. Professional, personal and independent references are sought. Applicants are psychologically evaluated for 5 plus hours by licensed independent psychologist for all the concerns noted in the above question.

    • Are the police officers in the Franklin Police Department being trained to de-escalate altercations by using peaceful conflict resolution strategies?

      All of our officers have completed training that includes De-escalation, Special Needs/Mental Health De-escalation and Cultural Diversity. De-escalation training involves officers utilizing words and less lethal force for the majority of situations.

    • Are the police officers in the Franklin Police Department forbidden from shooting at moving vehicles?

      NJ Attorney General Guidelines restrict law enforcement officers from shooting at moving vehicles, except in extenuating circumstances, i.e. a vehicle driving directly at an officer or citizen whose life is in immediate danger.

    • Are the police officers in the Franklin Police Department forbidden from using carotid restraints (chokeholds, strangleholds, etc.) and hog-tying methods? Furthermore, are they forbidden from transporting civilians in uncomfortable positions, such as face down in a vehicle?

      • Carotid restraint techniques or 'hog-tying' methods are not methods officers are trained or authorized to perform. 

      • As per Attorney General Guidelines, New Jersey law enforcement officers are not permitted to perform chokeholds, carotid artery neck restraints, or similar tactics on any individual, except in the very limited situations when deadly force is necessary to address an imminent threat to life. Our state's police academies have long instructed recruits on the dangers of 'positional asphyxiation,' a form of asphyxia that prevents suspects from breathing adequately, including by kneeling or otherwise placing weight on a subject's neck. Police Training Commission Defensive Tactics Manual ' 5.3.2 (2009). Because these tactics create a substantial risk of death or serious bodily harm, officers who cause a subject's death or injury while performing them face potential criminal liability.

      • We properly transport all subjects in compliance with the motor vehicle safety restraints.

    • Are the police officers in the Franklin Police Department required to intervene if they witness another officer using excessive force? Will officers be reprimanded if they fail to intervene?

      In New Jersey, an officer failing to intervene if they witness another officer using excessive force is considered a criminal violation, Official Misconduct, which has a mandatory five (5) year prison sentence.

    • I have been involved in a motor vehicle crash in Franklin Township. What should I do?

      If a police report has been made.

      1. Notify your insurance company and advise them that you have been involved in a motor vehicle crash. Advise them of the location by street and town where the crash occurred.
      2. In 4 to 8 business days contact the Records Bureau, 732-873-5533 x1020 and inquire as to whether or not the report is ready to be picked up.
      3. Be aware that sometimes reports are not ready in the 4 to 8 business days. Sometimes officers may need to make corrections before the report is approved. In crashes that are of a more serious nature reports take a longer time to be completed because there is more investigation to do.

      If no police report was made.

      1. Notify your insurance company and advise them that you have been involved in a motor vehicle crash. Advise them of the location by street and town where the crash occurred.
      2. You will need to come into police headquarters and file a walk in or late report.
    • Is there a clear and enforced use-of-force continuum that details what weapons and force are acceptable in a wide variety of civilian-police interactions?

      Our police officers train in use of force techniques, internal affairs reporting as required by the New Jersey Attorney General Directives and Guidelines; and is committed to the New Jersey Attorney General's Excellence in Policing Initiative.This initiative reinforces law enforcement Professionalism, Accountability and Transparency. Keep in mind that this training is mandated by the Attorney General's Office for law enforcement agencies throughout New Jersey.' For more information, please visit the following website: (www.nj.gov/oag/excellence).

    • Is there an early intervention system enforced to correct officers who use excessive force? Additionally, how many complaints does an officer have to receive before they are reprimanded? Before they are terminated? More than three complaints are unacceptable.

      • We utilize a trigger-based early warning system for types of incidents officers' are involved or encounter. This early warning system helps us monitor our officer's behavior and allows us to evaluate each officer for any potential issues.This system tracks the type of incidents officers are involved; and requires supervisors to monitor and re-assess each officer. If necessary, officers receive the necessary re-training, assistance and/or required discipline. We work with our Human Resources Director to make final determinations on discipline and/or terminations.

      • There are no minimum requirements for the number of complaints before an officer is reprimanded, disciplined or terminated. Depending upon the violation, the officer may be disciplined after one (1) sustained violation of any of the department's policies and/or procedures.

    • What can I do, as a concerned citizen?

      Franklin Police Department is in the process of coordinating various community policing activities and programs. It is important to stay connected to the community, either by attending meetings, viewing the updates on our website and/or social media sources. Please get involved!

  • Pothole

    • How do I know if what I am reporting can be repaired as a pothole or not?

      We don’t expect everyone to be able to distinguish among pavement defects. We encourage you to report any type of pavement defect that is of concern to you, especially if it appears hazardous. If we can’t make an immediate repair, we may be able to repair it later. If needed, we will block off the area to maintain safety. 

       

      q4 q4_2

    • Is every dip, crack or break in the street considered a pothole?

      No. There are different kinds of pavement problems which require different solutions. Potholes are typically irregularly shaped holes of varying depths. Sinking pavement adjacent to a manhole or catch basin is usually a cave-in that requires reconstruction by the Public Works Department. Square or rectangular pavement problems are often failed utility cuts created when contractors dig into the street. In those cases, the Township requires contractors to fix the problem at no cost to the taxpayers. Citizens needn’t know the difference to make a report--the issue will be referred to the appropriate department. Regardless of the cause of the pavement problem, the Township is committed to fixing the problem as quickly as possible.
    • The Township says it fills potholes promptly, but the pothole is still there. What’s going on?

      There are several reasons why we may not have made the repair you requested:

      Weather conditions have created a backlog: There are seasonal variations in the amount of new potholes that are created. When there is a significant backlog, the Township will put extra crews on the job of filling potholes until the backlog is gone.

      Can’t find the pothole: Sometimes we are given insufficient information or there may be a car parked over the pothole when we arrive, hiding it from view. If we have the name and telephone number of the person who reported the pothole, we call for a better description of the location.

      Utility cuts: Some of the potholes reported are the responsibilities of other parties to fill. The agencies or private contractors who dig into the street to work on underground utilities must either repair the street pavement or pay the Township to make the final, permanent repair. If the "utility cut" is not properly repaired, the area of the excavation can sink, leaving what can appear to be a pothole. When these are reported, we may require the utility to return and correct the paving.

      Utility covers: When entrances to underground utilities become worn, the owners of the utility must repair cracked or damaged pavement around the rim.

      Railroad Tracks: The Township is not allowed to work within three feet of railroad tracks. This area must be repaired by the railroad. Repairs in the area we are responsible for within 25 feet of railroad tracks may take longer because we have to coordinate with the railroad.

      Off to the side of the road: Sometimes a pothole forms off to the side of the roadway, especially when drainage is inadequate and the area is used for parking. These areas are usually the responsibility of the adjacent property owner to maintain. When a street is fully improved, these areas include a planting strip, sidewalk, and curb. A DPW inspector can verify if the pothole is in the part of the right of way that is the responsibility of the property owner.

      Can’t be repaired as a pothole: Some defects that are reported as potholes are really some other kind of problem that can’t be repaired as a pothole. Sometimes it is a rough or rutted surface of a road that needs to be repaved or totally rebuilt from the base to the surface. Other times it is a void or sink-hole, a crumbled street edge, or pavement with layers of asphalt that have become separated (delaminated), or a long fissure or crack. Defects in these streets cannot be fixed as a pothole. While most defects can be repaired, it may take longer, and some processes, such as crack sealing are only done in the summer. If there is a safety hazard, the Township crews will set barricades around the problem area or they may close a lane.

       

      q3 q3_2

    • What causes a pothole?

      Potholes occur when street pavement cracks and breaks because of water or traffic.

      Water can get under the pavement through cracks or from the side of the road. Over time, the water can cause the material under the pavement to erode, causing the pavement to sink down and break. During the winter, the water under the pavement can freeze and expand, and then thaw and contract. This freeze/thaw cycle can cause the pavement to crack so that it deteriorates quickly under the weight of traffic, and then streets can seem to break out in potholes overnight.

      Traffic that is too heavy for the pavement’s design can result in cracks. Large volumes of traffic or heavy trucks and buses using a street not designed for this load can cause the pavement to crack and break apart. 

       

      How

    • What is the solution to potholes?

      The long-term solution to potholes is to repave or reconstruct the street. Potholes will not usually form on pavement that is in good condition, that keeps water out from under the pavement, and that is designed for the type of traffic that uses it. 
    • Where do we report when there is a pothole?

      Depends on its location:

      609-588-6212 for State roads:  Rt. 27 and Route 287

      908-541-5021 for Somerset County roads: Easton Avenue, Elizabeth Avenue, Manville Causeway, Kingston-Rocky Hill Road, Andover Road, Franklin Boulevard, Amwell Road, Bunker Hill Road, Blackwells Mills Road (Canal to River Road), Canal Road (Griggstown Causeway to Bunker Hill Road), Griggstown Causeway, South Middlebush Road, Weston Canal Road, Laurel Avenue, Old Road, Cedar Grove Lane, Land Lane, Hamilton Street, Route 518, Claremont Road

      732-249-7800 (Public Works Department) for the remaining local roads, or use the following on-line LINK, so we can repair them quickly. 

    • Which potholes get fixed first?

      The Township’s priority is arterial streets--larger streets that carry the heaviest volumes of traffic. A repair on an arterial street that carries tens of thousands of vehicles daily will take priority over a residential street that carries far fewer vehicles. However, all potholes are important to us, and every pothole reported will be fixed.

    • Why are there so many potholes in our streets?

      You can expect to see more potholes in the winter and spring, following periods of cold temperatures and rain or snow. Many streets, particularly in the outer areas of the city have a very poor underlying structure, or sub base, which reacts poorly to these conditions. The asphalt heaves upward as the water under the road and in small cracks freezes and expands.

       

      q1 q1_2

    • You filled a pothole, but a few days later, there it was again. Why don’t your repairs last longer?

      The material used to patch potholes doesn’t stick as well to the surrounding pavement when it is cold or wet, so repairs made in the winter may not last as long as on dry, warm pavement. We can’t wait for dry weather to fill potholes, however, because we must maintain safety. In late December and the beginning of January, asphalt plants are closed, and hot asphalt is not available. Instead, during these weeks, we use a “cold mix.” Pothole repairs made under adverse conditions may not last as long, but the potholes still need to be filled for reasons of safety.

      If the cause of the pothole is not corrected, such as water getting under the pavement, pothole patches may fail, or more potholes will continue to form. The long-term solution is to repave the street, and in some cases, to reconstruct the street from the ground up, and from curb to curb. Potholes are also temporary repairs. That said, some pothole repairs last longer than others. 

       

      q2 q2_2

  • Recreation

    • How do I get a park permit?

      Complete a park permit application and submit it to the Franklin Township Recreation Department. Applications can take up to 30 business days to process. Park permits reserve Franklin Township park facilities and are enforceable by law. Some park permit requests may require a Special Event, which may be obtained from the Township Clerk’s Office.

    • How do I schedule an event in Colonial Park?

      Colonial Park is a county-run park. You will need to call the Somerset County Parks Commission in order to schedule events at this location. (908) 722-1200
    • How does Recreation program registration and the lottery system work?

      Our random lottery selection process ensures that all registration requests received with postmarks of the specified mail-in date have an equal chance of enrollment. Registration forms received with postmarks other than the specified mail-in date will be processed following the lottery process on a first-come, first-serve basis (this includes any registrations received before or after the specified mail-in postmark date). MAIL-IN REGISTRATIONS ONLY will be accepted and included in our random lottery selection process only when they are received through the mail at Franklin Township Recreation, 505 DeMott Lane, PO Box 6704, Somerset, NJ 08873, with a postmark OF the specified mail-in date. Walk-in registrations will be accepted on a specified date AFTER the lottery, space permitting.

    • How much is a park permit?

      In most cases park permits are $10.00 per 4-hour block of time.

    • I am currently having financial hardship. How can I/my children still be involved in Township activities?

      Fee waivers/reductions are available to low/moderate-income families. Fees may be waived/reduced pending proper documentation. Please call the Recreation office to obtain a form at (732) 873-1991 


    • I am not a resident of Franklin. Can I rent out the park?

      Non-Township residents have full use of the park (permits notwithstanding), but only Township residents can hold park permits. 

    • I am on a waiting list for a Recreation program. How does the waiting list work?

      If you do not get into a class, you are placed on a waiting list in order of registration. If an opening becomes available in a closed program, the space will be offered to the first person on the waiting list. If that person declines or is unreachable after three attempts, the staff will then contact the next person on the list. You are simply required to forward a payment to the Recreation office. There is no need to fill out another registration form. All your information is already on file.

    • I registered for a Recreation activiity and my check was cashed but I haven’t received a call. What do I do?

      NO confirmations will be made if you get into a program. If you DO NOT get into a class, you will be notified, placed on a waiting list, and your payment will be returned.

    • When is a special event permit needed?

      A Special Event Permit or other Township approval may be needed if you can answer yes to any of the following questions. Residents should check with the Township Clerk for details. 

      • Is the event open to the public?
      • Is there an admission fee? 
      • Will the event take place on public property or roadways? (Including but not limited to Township property, buildings, and Parks.) 
      • Will alcoholic beverages be served? 
      • Does the premise possess a liquor license? 
      • Are tents or canopies proposed? 
      • Will food be served? 
      • Will food be prepared on site? 
      • Will food be warmed on site?
      • Are any open flames, fireworks, or pyrotechnics proposed?
      • Will portable lighting, power or sound Amplification devices be used? 
      • Are raffles or games of chance proposed? 
      • Are restroom facilities available? Permanent or Portable? How many?
      • Are amusements, rides, animals, show mobiles, Etc.proposed? 
      • Will signs be utilized for Advertising, Directions, Other? 

    • Where can I take the Coach’s S.A.F.E.T.Y. Clinic?

      Simply access the Rutgers University Youth Sports Research Council Web site at http://www.youthsports.rutgers.eduOn May 12, 1986, New Jersey became the first state in the nation to pass legislation, which protects volunteer athletic coaches, managers, and officials from lawsuits. Commonly referred to as the “Little League Law” (2A:62A-6 et. seq.), this legislation extends partial civil immunity to volunteers who have attended a “safety orientation and training skills program.” Please check site frequently for clinic availability updates. Site is updated as classes fill.

    • Where do I call about Independent Sports Organizations?

      The following Sports Organizations run independently of the Recreation Department and administer their own program including registration, schedules, fees and organizational structure 

      The following Sports Organizations are co-sponsored by the Recreation Department and can be reached as follows:

      • FRANKLIN TWP. WRESTLING (732) 873-1275 (732) 296-1009 www.franklinwrestlingclub.com
      • Hershey Track & Field (609) 409-6327
      • Franklin Adult Slo-Pitch Softball (609) 395-9167
  • Senior Services

    • Are there any Cable TV discounts available for low-income or senior citizens?

      Senior citizens and disabled citizens who meet the eligibility requirements of the “Pharmaceutical Assistance for the Aged and Disabled” program (“PAAD”) pursuant to P.L. 1975, c. 194 (C.30:4D-20 et seq) are eligible for a 10% discount on the Limited Basic portion of their video service. To receive this discount from Comcast of New Jersey, customers must present proof of eligibility and fill out an application.

      Call 1-877-654-5075 for more information or contact

      Comcast Revenue Assurance Department
      401 White Horse Road
      Voorhees, NJ 08043

    • HOW DO I BECOME A MEMBER OF A SENIOR CITIZENS CLUB?

      Three different seniors citizens clubs currently meet at the Community/Senior Center. You are encouraged to visit all three and then join one or all of them. Nominal dues vary per club. Each club has weekly meetings, trip calendars, social events, and guest speakers.

      The club’s schedules are as follows:

      Parkside Senior Citizens Club - Mondays at 10:00 am
      Franklin Township Senior Citizens Club - Tuesdays at 10:00 am
      Franklin Park Senior Citizens Club - Wednesdays at 1:00 pm
    • I AM NOT INTERESTED IN JOINING A SENIOR CITIZENS CLUB, SO WHAT OTHER ACTIVITIES CAN I PARTICIPATE IN AT THE CENTER?

      You may pick up a monthly Calendar for days and times at the Center or click here for more information.

      Township residents 55 and older may participate in the following activities.

      FINE ARTS:Welcomes artists of all levels. We provide supplies or you may bring your own. This course runs in eight-week sessions, and there is a small fee to take this course. 

      HEALTHY BONES: This course is sponsored by the Somerset County Office on Aging and requires a physician’s release and registration prior to starting the class. This class is an exercise program that uses weights to deter 
      osteoporosis. There is a small cost to take this course. 

      SIT AND KEEP FIT EXERCISE: This free program is offered twice a week and 

      YOGA: This very popular 13-week course is taught by certified instructor, Tom Allardice. All levels are welcome, and there is a small fee to attend this class.

      LOW IMPACT AEROBICS: Another very popular 13-week course that is taught by certified instructor, Mary Ann Carroll. All levels are welcome and there is a small fee to attend this class. 

      WALKING CLUB: Offered most months throughout the year. Walkers either meet at the local parks, or are transported to malls and other sites. Registration is required on any walking trips. Stop by the center for a monthly schedule.
      Please note that there is no walking from Mid June until the beginning of September, and then a few weeks in the winter. Annual membership fee.

      ARTS & CRAFTS: This weekly activity helps participants make small crafts that may be good for holiday gifts or decorative pieces for your home. Small fee.

      SWINGIN SINGIN SENIORS: A group of dedicated seniors who practice weekly and sing at different outside engagements throughout the year. New participants are always welcome, and no prior experience is necessary.

      THE FRANKLIN HI-STEPPERS: A group of dedicated volunteers who practice twice a week and perform all over the state of NJ.

      LINE DANCING: This group meets every week and there is no registration or fee to join. 

      BRIDGE GROUP: Meets for informal instruction and then plays using the techniques just learned. No fee or registration required. 

      BINGO: Organized by the Franklin Township Senior Citizens Club and Franklin Park Senior Citizens Club. Club members may play following the weekly club meeting. 

      TAI CHI: Under the instruction of Brian Coffey, this program is offered weekly for 8 weeks, and there is a fee due at the time of registration. 

    • I NO LONGER DRIVE SO HOW CAN I GET TO THE SENIOR CENTER?

      Somerset County offers free transportation to and from the center Mondays–Fridays.You should decide in advance what days and times you would like to visit the center and then call the Division of Transportation at 1-800-246-0527 to register. Initially, you will need to provide Transportation with some information and an emergency name and contact telephone number. Transportation is scheduled on a first come, first serve basis, and they will do their best to accommodate your needs.
    • IS THERE LUNCH SERVED AT THE CENTER?

      We do not serve lunch at the center but feel free to bring your own brown bag lunch if you are spending the day. However, lunch is served daily at the Quail Brook Senior Center at 625 New Brunswick Rd. You may call Margie O’Conner at 732-563-4213 for more information.

  • Shade Tree Commission

    • Who is responsible to replace a dead/dying tree in my development?

      Unless the tree is on township property, neither the Shade Tree Commission nor the Department of Public works (DPW) has the authority or obligation to remove or replace these trees. Instead, it is the homeowner's responsibility.

      In most cases, the trees a developer installs are guaranteed for two years from the date of installation, which is standard for most nurseries. Beyond this time and the time in which a developer's escrow is returned for completing improvements to the township's satisfaction, the responsibility for replacing trees lies with the owner of the property.

      If you cannot determine whether a specific tree is within the Township's property or right of way, you may call the Engineering Department at 732-873-2500 x6230 to obtain street right-of-way widths to assist in determining if the tree is on Township property. Your inquiry will be easier to handle if you provide your specific block and lot numbers.

  • Stormwater Management

    • How do I obtain a stormwater management permit?

      A stormwater maintenance permit along with other related documents will be mailed to the property owner or homeowner’s association with the required permit inspection fees each year.  The deadline for return will be March 30th. Questions pertaining to the permit can be directed to the Engineering Department at (732) 873-2500 Ext 6230
    • How much is the stormwater management permit fee?

      There will be a fee for each type of stormwater management structure associated with the permit. The fees range from $250 to $750 for each stormwater management device.
    • Is the stormwater maintenance permit issued one time?

      No. Each stormwater maintenance permit shall be valid for one year and must thereafter
      be annually renewed. January 1st is the deadline. A new annual permit will be mailed by the Township each year.
    • What are the penalties/repercussions for non-compliance?

      If a stormwater maintenance permittee fails renew the annual permit, submits the required self certification reports, is not in compliance with the stormwater maintenance plan, or the stormwater quality control devices are not in good working order, the Township Engineer or his designee may issue a compliance order pursuant to Section 330 setting forth a schedule for compliance. A follow-up re-inspection at the conclusion of the schedule for compliance will be completed. Each time a re-inspection is required beyond the initial follow-up re-inspection for the compliance order, a re-inspection fee may be charged to the permittee, until such time that the permittee comes into compliance. The amount of the re-inspection fee shall be established by ordinance. Any unpaid costs owed by the permittee may be charged as a lien against the property.
    • What is a stormwater maintenance permit?

      The stormwater maintenance permit is an annual permit issued by the Township of Franklin and authorizes private property owners to operate their stormwater quality treatment devices under the Township’s Stormwater Permit with the State. It further defines the user’s responsibility to properly maintain their private devices.
    • What is a stormwater maintenance plan?

      A stormwater maintenance plan consists of stormwater quality treatment devices that will
      treat stormwater runoff in conformance with Township and State requirements. The maintenance plan shall includes a schedule for when and how often maintenance of the devices shall occur. A list of any special equipment or skills required for proper maintenance and a schedule for periodic inspections to ensure proper performance between maintenance events are also be included.
    • What is a stormwater management plan?

      Regardless of when the stormwater management device was installed on the property, compliance is required. The property stormwater management plan shows details of how stormwater quality treatment devices will slow, clean, infiltrate and capture urban runoff in an effort to reduce water pollution to the Township’s receiving waters. The stormwater management plan together with the site development improvement plans shall indicate the size and location of all stormwater quality treatment devices. 
    • What is required by the program and the Township?

      Property owners that own, operate, or construct one or more stormwater quality treatment devices shall obtain an annual stormwater maintenance permit as required by the Township ordinance. In addition to obtaining a stormwater quality permit, quarterly maintenance of private stormwater treatment devices must be conducted per State and Township standards, and/or manufacture’s recommendations, to assure proper operation and functionality.
    • What is the Stormwater Maintenance Program?

      It’s intended to lessen the long-term impacts of stormwater discharges from development by ensuring that all stormwater quality devices are properly maintained.
    • What mandates the Stormwater Maintenance Program?

      The Township of Franklin is issued its stormwater permit every year from the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. This State permit requires the Township to develop a storm water maintenance program and amend its Stormwater Control Ordinance requirements for development.
    • When is the maintenance performed?

      Depending on the device, the approved maintenance plan shall reference the maintenance
      protocol. Typically, maintenance will be performed during the months of March, June, September, and December or after a recorded inch of rainfall occurs. Periodic inspection shall be performed to ensure the control measures are operating sufficiently.
    • Who can I contact for further information and details about stormwater management?

      You can contact the Engineering Department at (732) 873-2500 Ext 6230, or you can email at stormwater@twp.franklin.nj.us
    • Who can perform the maintenance?

      Depending on the size and type of device, some maintenance can be done independently by the owner or their representative. Other protocols may be specialized and require special equipment and confined space certification and should be provided by contract vendors.
    • Who enforces the program?

      The Township Engineering Department administrates and enforces the program. All stormwater maintenance permittees shall, at a minimum, quarterly submit to the Township of Franklin a maintenance report and control measure check off list demonstrating compliance with the approved stormwater maintenance plan. The maintenance report shall verify that the operating condition of the stormwater control measures are in good working order and that the stormwater maintenance plan has been executed to ensure that stormwater quality treatment devices continue to perform adequately. The Township will conduct inspections of the stormwater quality treatment devices to confirm the information filed in the self certification report. It shall be unlawful to make any false statement or representation in a self certification report submitted to the Township Engineering Department. Self-certification documents can be found in the property’s stormwater management report or obtained from the Township Engineering Department’s website.

  • Stronger Together Program

    • Are the Police encroaching on our privacy with the Stronger Together Program?

      logo stronger togetherAre the Police encroaching on our privacy?

      No. The program is one hundred percent voluntary. You may be visited regardless by officers conducting an investigative canvass if a crime occurs in the neighborhood. In addition to being asked about the specific event, you may be asked if you have cameras. You are free to decline to assist the police.

    • Are you asking us to do the job of the police with the Stronger Together Program?

      logo stronger together

      Are you asking us to do the job of the police?

      No. We are asking you to take an active part in helping make your community safer. Neighborhood Watch is a recognized crime prevention initiative that started many years ago; police asked neighbors to look out for neighbors. This is the technological extension of that program.

    • Do the Police "Take Over" or have access to the monitoring for the Stronger Together Program?

      logo stronger together

      Do the Police "Take Over" or have access to the monitoring?

      No. The cameras and the footage recorded remain your property and the police do not have access to it unless you voluntarily hand it over if it is requested. Registration with Franklin Stronger Together Program and continual involvement with it is purely voluntary. You can withdraw your registration at any time.

    • How will I share the footage from my system with the police for the Stronger Together Program?

      logo stronger together

      How will I share the footage from my system with the police?

      Specially trained officers will extract the video from your system, and retain it for evidence.

    • Is it easy to enroll int he Stronger Together Program?

      logo stronger togetherIs it easy to enroll?

      Yes. The form to register is very user friendly, and can be completed online in a matter of minutes. Just visit, https://franklintwp.seamlessdocs.com/f/strongertogether. A writable form will appear. Complete the entire form, and hit the submit button. It's that simple.

    • What can I expect after I register with the Stronger Together Program?

      logo stronger togetherWhat can I expect after I register?

      Upon registration, you will receive a personal visit from a Franklin Township Police Officer to verify the enrollment information. Additionally, the officer will discuss important details about the program, make suggestions on camera placement, and can also conduct a site security survey. Upon completion of this process, you will receive a program decal that should be placed in a visible area on your home.

    • Why do I need a decal for the Stronger Together Program?

      logo stronger together

      Why do I need a decal?

      The decal alerts people to the presence of security cameras, and helps to serve as a deterrent to criminals. The benefits extend beyond the home to include the community. Criminals are less likely to strike if they know they are on video, which increases the chance of being identified.

    • Why do the police want the Stronger Together Program?

      logo stronger togetherWhy do the police want the Stronger Together Program?

      The objective of the program is primarily to build a database of camera locations in our community. Adding a security camera to your property is an excellent crime prevention tool. Crime prevention is everyone's responsibility. The presence of cameras is a deterrent to crime. Allowing the police quick access to potential recordings of crimes in progress is a way for citizens to help make our communities safer for everyone.

    • Will anyone be able to see the database for the Stronger Together Program?

      logo stronger togetherWill anyone be able to see the database?

      No. The list of registered properties is kept confidential and only the police will have access to it. When a crime occurs, officers can locate the scene on a crime map, and instantly see which residences have security video that may be of use.

    • Will I be contacted a lot because of this Stronger Together Program?

      logo stronger together

      Will I be contacted a lot because of this?

      Initially, you will be contacted by a police officer to verify the accuracy of the information on your application. At that time, you will receive a program decal, and the officer will answer any additional questions that you may have about the program. After that, you will only be contacted if an incident occurs in your neighborhood and police think your security cameras may have recorded
      something relevant.

  • Use of Force-Police

    • Are the officers in the Franklin Police Department rained to perform and seek necessary medical action after using excessive force?

      Medical attention is always required when any type of injury or pain is reported or observed during any encounter or following a use of force incident.

    • Are the officers in the Franklin Police Department required to exhaust every other possible option before using excessive force?

      Officers are trained and expected to make sound judgment and exercise appropriate use of force. When an officer has to use force, they are trained to utilize reasonable force when necessary to protect citizens and themselves. Officers are instructed and trained to always utilize the minimal use of force, ranging from verbal commands, gestures, warnings, chemical or natural agent spraying and hand-to-hand methods. All use of force incidents are reviewed by supervisors and Internal Affairs.

    • Are the officers in the Franklin Police Department required to give a verbal warning to civilians before drawing their weapon or using excessive force?

      Verbal warnings are always an officer's first option prior to drawing a weapon or using force. However, each case may be handled on a case by case basis; and rely upon the officer's or citizen's level immediate danger of serious bodily injury or death.

    • Are the officers in the Franklin Police Department required to report each time they threaten to or use force on civilians?

      In all instances when physical, mechanical or deadly force is used, each officer who has employed such force must complete a report and required forms.

    • Are the officers in the Franklin Police Department thoroughly vetted to ensure that they do not have a history with abuse, racism, xenophobia, homophobia/ transphobia, or discrimination?

      In regards to background checks, thorough background checks are completed. Professional, personal and independent references are sought. Applicants are psychologically evaluated for 5 plus hours by licensed independent psychologist for all the concerns noted in the above question.

    • Are the police officers in the Franklin Police Department being trained to de-escalate altercations by using peaceful conflict resolution strategies?

      All of our officers have completed training that includes De-escalation, Special Needs/Mental Health De-escalation and Cultural Diversity. De-escalation training involves officers utilizing words and less lethal force for the majority of situations.

    • Are the police officers in the Franklin Police Department forbidden from shooting at moving vehicles?

      NJ Attorney General Guidelines restrict law enforcement officers from shooting at moving vehicles, except in extenuating circumstances, i.e. a vehicle driving directly at an officer or citizen whose life is in immediate danger.

    • Are the police officers in the Franklin Police Department forbidden from using carotid restraints (chokeholds, strangleholds, etc.) and hog-tying methods? Furthermore, are they forbidden from transporting civilians in uncomfortable positions, such as face down in a vehicle?

      • Carotid restraint techniques or 'hog-tying' methods are not methods officers are trained or authorized to perform. 

      • As per Attorney General Guidelines, New Jersey law enforcement officers are not permitted to perform chokeholds, carotid artery neck restraints, or similar tactics on any individual, except in the very limited situations when deadly force is necessary to address an imminent threat to life. Our state's police academies have long instructed recruits on the dangers of 'positional asphyxiation,' a form of asphyxia that prevents suspects from breathing adequately, including by kneeling or otherwise placing weight on a subject's neck. Police Training Commission Defensive Tactics Manual ' 5.3.2 (2009). Because these tactics create a substantial risk of death or serious bodily harm, officers who cause a subject's death or injury while performing them face potential criminal liability.

      • We properly transport all subjects in compliance with the motor vehicle safety restraints.

    • Are the police officers in the Franklin Police Department required to intervene if they witness another officer using excessive force? Will officers be reprimanded if they fail to intervene?

      In New Jersey, an officer failing to intervene if they witness another officer using excessive force is considered a criminal violation, Official Misconduct, which has a mandatory five (5) year prison sentence.

    • Is there a clear and enforced use-of-force continuum that details what weapons and force are acceptable in a wide variety of civilian-police interactions?

      Our police officers train in use of force techniques, internal affairs reporting as required by the New Jersey Attorney General Directives and Guidelines; and is committed to the New Jersey Attorney General's Excellence in Policing Initiative.This initiative reinforces law enforcement Professionalism, Accountability and Transparency. Keep in mind that this training is mandated by the Attorney General's Office for law enforcement agencies throughout New Jersey.' For more information, please visit the following website: (www.nj.gov/oag/excellence).

    • Is there an early intervention system enforced to correct officers who use excessive force? Additionally, how many complaints does an officer have to receive before they are reprimanded? Before they are terminated? More than three complaints are unacceptable.

      • We utilize a trigger-based early warning system for types of incidents officers' are involved or encounter. This early warning system helps us monitor our officer's behavior and allows us to evaluate each officer for any potential issues.This system tracks the type of incidents officers are involved; and requires supervisors to monitor and re-assess each officer. If necessary, officers receive the necessary re-training, assistance and/or required discipline. We work with our Human Resources Director to make final determinations on discipline and/or terminations.

      • There are no minimum requirements for the number of complaints before an officer is reprimanded, disciplined or terminated. Depending upon the violation, the officer may be disciplined after one (1) sustained violation of any of the department's policies and/or procedures.

    • What can I do, as a concerned citizen?

      Franklin Police Department is in the process of coordinating various community policing activities and programs. It is important to stay connected to the community, either by attending meetings, viewing the updates on our website and/or social media sources. Please get involved!

  • Voting and Elections

    • Are the Somerset County voting machines suitable for handicapped individuals?

      Yes.  The AVC Advantage is completely wheelchair accessible with no election officer intervention.
    • As a poll worker, what time do I have to report for work on Election Day?

      Poll workers must be at their assigned location at 5:15 am to prepare for the opening of the polls at 6:00 am for the primary and general elections.  Poll workers must be at their assigned location at 1:15 pm to prepare for the opening of the polls at 2:00 pm for the school board elections.
    • As a poll worker, will I get a lunch and/or dinner break?

      Each poll worker is entitled to one (1) one-hour break between the hours of 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm.
    • Can a voter application be mailed to my residence?

      The application can be downloaded here. If you do not have printer capabilities to download the form from, you can email your address to the Board of Elections and request an application be sent to your home.

    • Can I register my child to vote who is attending college?

      You can forward the application to your child’s college address, but your child must complete the application, as his/her original signature is required.
    • Do I have to be trained to be a poll worker?

      Yes.  Every poll worker must attend a training class once every two years to be eligible for full pay.
    • Do I need to bring ID with me to register to vote?

      If you register in person at the Board of Elections office, you do not need to show identification.  If you are registering by mail, you must include your driver’s license number or the last four digits of your social security number on the form.
    • How are recorded votes stored?

    • How are the voting machines tested?

      Diagnostic testing occurs automatically every time the machine is turned on.  Continual background testing verifies correct system operation and data integrity.  Logic and Accuracy tests are performed prior to the current election and a record is placed in storage.  Operator logs document all system activity during the pre-election, election and post-election cycle.
    • How can I find my polling location?

      You can find your polling location on our website and on the lower left hand corner of your sample ballot.
    • How can I register to vote?

      You can obtain an application from the Somerset County’s website (Board of Election’s page); from the Township Clerk’s Office or from the Board of Election Office.  Return the form completed.
    • How do I become a poll worker?

      You must fill out an application and return it the Board of Elections Office.  You may either download a poll worker application from the Somerset County website or email your request complete with your address to the Board of Elections and an application will be mailed to your home.
    • How do I change or declare a political party affiliation?

      You may download the party affiliation card here or email your address to the Board of Elections and request a party affiliation card be sent to your home.  Complete and sign the form and return it to the Board of Elections.

    • How long are the polls open for voting on Election Day?

      General and Primary Election:  6 am to 8 pm
    • If I do not include the appropriate ID with my mailed in voter registration, will I still be able to vote?

      Yes.  When you go to the polls on Election Day, your signature block in the poll book will have been flagged with **ID REQUIRED**.  Upon showing the poll worker the appropriate ID, you will be permitted to vote on the voting machine.  If proper ID is not shown, you will still be permitted to vote by Provisional Ballot.  You must them provide the proper ID to the Board of Elections within 48 hours of Election Day or your ballot will not be counted.
    • In the event of a power outage can the voting machines still operate?

      Yes.  A built-in 16+ hour battery provides uninterrupted use of the AVC Advantage.  Power switches from AC to DC automatically in the event of a power failure.
    • What do I do if I’ve been assigned to work a poll but something comes up last minute that prohibits me from working?

      Please notify the Board of Elections as soon as possible so that a replacement poll worker may be found.
    • What type of voting machine is used in Somerset County?

      Somerset County uses the AVC Advantage, a direct recording, electronic (DRE) voting machine manufactured by Sequoia Pacific.  The AVC Advantage is easy to use and offers the highest level of accuracy and security.
    • When voting, can I write in a candidate not shown on the ballot?

      Yes.  The AVC voting machine has a write-in keyboard that allows a voter to enter the name of a personal choice candidate.
    • When voting, how can I confirm the selection I made on the voting machine?

      The visual message display in the keyboard confirms the selection that you have made.
  • Water Utility

    • I have a question about my drinking water, who should I call?

      We will be glad to answer your questions related to your drinking water.  Please call us at 732-249-7800, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 7:00 AM and 3:00 PM.

    • My water bill shows an unusual high usage, what should I do?

      When you receive an unusual high water bill, it is a high possibility that you have a toilet valve leak or leak from one of your faucets.  Check your toilet, to make sure there is no leak.  To help you identify the toilet leak, put a dye pill in the toilet tank and see if the dye color gets in the toilet bowl without any flush.  To help you identify the toilet leak, we have dye pills available for pick up from the DPW office located at 40 Churchill Avenue in Franklin Township. 

      You can also determine leaks by reading your water meter when no one is in the home for a period of time.  Write down the meter reading before you leave the house and compare the meter reading after you come back.  If the meter readings are significantly different, you may have a leak.  Please consult with your plumber to repair the leak.

    • What do I do when I receive a door tag from the Water Utility?

      Call the Water Utility at 732-249-7800 as soon as possible to setup an appointment.

    • What is a curb stops? How should I protect them?

      Curb stop is an underground valve which is located between water main and your water meter.  The curb stop can be operated by using a special key through the opening of a cast iron device called “curb box”.  The curb box is typically located between the sidewalk and curb or on your front lawn.  The curb box usually has a 4” round iron cap which prevents debris dropping into it. 

      A working curb stop/curb box is important for reliable water service.  If you notice your curb box cap is missing, please contact Franklin Township Water at 732-249-7800 M-F 7am-3pm, so that we can have the curb box repaired before further damage occurs.

    • What should I do when a Boiling Water Advisory is issued?

      Please follow the boiling water guidelines to bring the water to “rolling boil” for 1 minute before drinking it.  Please contact Somerset County Health Department for more details 

      Health Page

    • What should I do when Franklin Township Water Utility staff requests to enter my residence?

      All Franklin Township Water Utility service staff wear uniforms which has a Franklin Township logo and they carry a Franklin Township employee photo ID.  You can ask them to put on shoe covers before entering your house.  As always, if you have any doubt or questions, simply call 732-249-7800 one of our representatives will confirm the appointment for you.

    • What should I do when I receive a door tag from Franklin Township Water Utility?

      We leave a door tag when we attempt to get in touch with you.  So, please call us back when you notice a door tag at your door.  We typically leave a door tag when we need to get into your house to work on the water meter.  Please call us at 732-249-7800 as soon as possible to make an appointment with us whenever you receive a door tag from us.  When you have an appointment, make sure you are available at the appointment time.  If you cannot keep your appointment, please call us as soon as possible so that our service personnel can help other customers.

    • What should I do when the Boiling Water Advisory is removed?

      Turn on your tap slowly and run the cold water until the sputtering stops. Flush water pipe by running the water until it is clear.  Also, check the faucet screens for trapped particles. Remove the screens and clean out any particles. Put the screens back on the faucet.  Begin with the faucet that is highest up in your home or building and then open the other faucets one at a time moving from the highest floor to the lowest.

      Water dispensers and ice makers are connected to your water line. You need to flush and clean them.  Follow the directions in the owner's manual or:

      1. Throw out ice
      2. Flush the water dispenser for 3 to 5 minutes
      3. Run the ice maker for 1 hour
      4. Throw out all the ice
      5. Wash and sanitize bin areas
      6. Change the filter cartridges. Some units need disinfecting. Follow the directions in the unit's owner's manual.

    • Where does my drinking water come from? What is the source of my drinking water?

      Franklin Township does not have any water treatment facilities.  We buy treated water from our bulk suppliers.  Currently, our bulk suppliers are City of New Brunswick Water Department, New Jersey American Water Company and South Brunswick Township Water Department.

    • Who owns the water meter?

      When you establish the water service, you pay for the water meter.  Therefore, the water meter is your property. 

      When you request to temporary shutoff your water service, Franklin Township Water Utility will shut off the water service and remove the meter.  The removed meter will be given to you to keep in a heated and safe location.  When you request to have the water service turned back on, you should provide us with the water meter.  If the meter is damaged or lost, you will need to pay for another meter before the water service can be turned on.  Please note that the shutoff service is free of charge and the charge for service turn-on is $75 each time.


    • Who should I call when I have a water emergency outside of your office hour?

      Franklin Township Water Utility Department operates 24/7.  If you have any water emergency outside of our regular office hour (7:00 to 3:00 PM, M-F), please contact Franklin Township Police Department at 732-873-5533 and one of our stand-by crew will respond to your call promptly.

    • Why did I receive a notice from Franklin Township Water Department indicating the replacement of my water meter?

      Water meters do get old and become slow and inaccurate overtime.  Franklin Township Water Department has a meter replacement program which replaces meters in our entire system every 10 to 15 years.  To help us complete our work efficiently, please call us at 732-249-7800 to make an appointment as soon as possible whenever you receive a water replacement notice.

    • Why do I smell sewage in my drinking water?

      Many times, the sewage smell is from your sink drain.  To give a test, simply take a clean glass and fill it with cold tap water.  Take this glass of water to a room that does not have any sink or drain, for example, your living room.  Smell the glass of water again; the sewage smell should no longer exist.  If you still smell sewage in the water, please call us immediately.