What’s the story with the lighted ball fields at Franklin Park?
Over the years, three different Boards of Supervisors formally considered putting lights at Franklin Park. each of these three Boards, the Barton Board (1991-1995), the Meyers Board (1996-2000), and the York Board (2004 to 2008) decided the price was too high given that there is a time restriction on the use of lights and tight county budgets gave a higher priority to such things as schools and fire stations.
Today those lighting-use restrictions remain and budgets are even tighter, necessitating laying off some county employees.
Although the text of the Master Plan for Franklin Park has no mention of lighted ball fields, and Appendix indicates that if lights are put on the ball fields, the costs would be $260,000 (not including engineering costs) in 1991 dollars.
Over the years, these costs have increased and have ranged from $750,000 to $1 million.
According to the 1995 Special exception which approved Franklin Park, any future lights on any ball fields must be turned off at 9:00 p.m. weekdays and 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. No lights are permitted on Sundays.
The present board has now approved funds for an upgraded power line leading to the ball fields and funds to light one 90-foot baseball diamond.
The funds for this project will come from leftover construction funds from Scott Jenkins Memorial Park in the Catoctin District. As it now stand, the lights on the field at Franklin Park will be installed after Scott Jenkins Memorial Park has been finished.