‘Franklin’ town ponders name change to avoid confusion

Posted: Updated:
FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP -

Residents in a Hunterdon County town say that they would like to see the name of their town changed in order to avoid confusion with several other towns in New Jersey with the same name.

Some residents in Franklin Township, Hunterdon County say that they would like to see the name of their town changed to Franklin Hills.

There are currently six towns in New Jersey named after historical figure Benjamin Franklin, with four of those towns sporting the name Franklin Township.

“There’s a Franklin in the county to our east and to our west…a lot of media doesn’t get it correct when they talk about Franklin,” says Franklin Township, Hunterdon County town historian Lora Jones.

Mayor Craig Reppman says that the Hunterdon County town has had FEMA disaster aid sent to the wrong town and that banks sometimes pay homeowners’ property taxes to the wrong town as well.

Residents will take an informal, nonbinding internet vote to see if there is enough interest to change the name of the town.

Reppman tells News 12 New Jersey that he will see how the poll turns out before deciding if any type of formal proposal should be put into place. He says that the idea seems to be more popular with people who have moved into the town recently.

Longtime residents do not seem to have as much of an issue with keeping the name Franklin Township.

“I don’t find it any more difficult to say Franklin, Hunterdon than I do Franklin Hills,” Jones says. “You’re not expanding any more breath.”

The town would not be the first town to change its name to avoid confusion. Washington Township in Mercer County changed its name to Robbinsville in 2007. There are six other towns named after Washington.

Nutley was not the town’s original name. In 1902, the town changed its name from -- you guessed it -- Franklin Township.

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