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Franklin Township looking to lease out 80-acre farm property

FRANKLIN TWP — The township’s supervisors could potentially seek out a partner to lease out 80-acres of farmland on Prospect Road, which the township has owned since September 2023.

According to Supervisor Nathan Wulff, the township purchased the property with the intention of constructing a new public works building on the site. Butler County property records show that the township purchased the 80.24-acre property from Richard E. Price for $475,000.

“Currently, it’s unused. It is just empty ground,” Wulff said. “It was previously being used for agricultural purposes.”

At the meeting, Monday, April 15, the supervisors discussed seeking a five-year lease for the property to be used for its original purpose — as a farm. The lease would cover the entirety of the parcel, minus off-limits areas, and the township would not be responsible for making any access improvements on the property.

While the lease would provide a small infusion of cash for the project, Wulff said that is not the main reason to lease out the land.

From left, Franklin Township supervisors Joe Schubert, Nathan Wulff and Herman Bauer Jr. deliberate during a meeting Monday night, April 15. William Pitts/Butler Eagle

“It's not gonna result in a large amount of income,” Wulff said. “It's not so much about the income as it is maintenance of the property. Right now, there are open fields that, if they're not farmed, they're going to get overgrown.”

Of course, the proposed public works building would not take up the entirety of the 80-acre space. The township also is exploring the idea of donating a portion of the land to the Prospect-Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Department to build a new station.

Wulff said that the township is also in talks with the Pennsylvania Game Commission about opening up the property up for “hunting and other recreation.”

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