Sunday, March 13, 2016

From the financial audit to mandatory alcohol training, the Town Council meeting covered a lot of topics

financial audit

The financial audit results were shared with the Town Council at Wednesday's meeting. The results are good overall. Part of the unfunded OPEB liability appears for the first time. The full unfunded portion will appear in Fiscal Year 2018. Franklin needs to continue to make progress developing risk plans. It also needs to prepare for new single audit requirements. Both of these actions are from the management letter. The risk planning has been underway for a couple of years and does take time to put into place.

mandatory alcohol training

There was no action yet but the discussion on requiring mandatory alcohol training will be coming to a future meeting. A few of the businesses who came did not object in principle to the concept but did have questions on timing and coverage for part time vs. full time etc. Changes will be made to be brought forward at a future meeting. The measure if approved would likely take effect Sep 1, 2016.


In action items, part of the land associated with the Nu-Style property on Grove St was declared surplus. This will lead to the sale of the land. It was mentioned in previous meetings that there is an abutter with interest in acquiring the land.

municipal aggregation

The municipal aggregation plan was approved. It will now start going through the state regulatory process with hopes of having it available for residents by the end of this year 2016. One surprise for me was that while I had expected to have to sign up for this, the plan coming out of the gate will include everyone. We can choose not to participate and later come back in. Both the leaving and returning are without penalty. The key reason for the plan will be twofold; stability in price and usually a cheaper price due to the bulk purchase.

Bylaws for first reading

Two bylaws were introduced for first reading. One to provide a process for the DPW to get into residents home to change the water meter. The process to update all meters in underway and working well for those who acknowledge the process. There are about 400 residents who have not responded to multiple notification to set up appointments for the meters to be changed. The whole process in the house takes less than 45 minutes. (I did have it done and it was quick and easy).

The second bylaw was to extend the parking restriction during snow storms to the public lots. Folks were moving their cars off the streets to these public spots and preventing snow removal from being handled.

5. Bylaw Amendment 16-755: Chapter 179, Water – 1st Reading

ACTION: The Council approved the first reading of a bylaw amendment to enforce a reasonable penalty on households that do not allow town representatives into their homes to replace old water meters with new meters that have advanced technology to register more accurate water usage. Approved 7-1 (No: Pfeffer).

6. Bylaw Amendment 16-756: Chapter 170 Vehicles and Traffic Article X Winter Storm Overnight Parking – 1st Reading

ACTION: The Council approved the first reading of a bylaw amendment to prohibit parking in public parking lots during snow emergencies. Approved 8-0.

DelCarte playground

In the Town Administrator update section, Jeff NUtting mentioned that the manufacturer of the DelCarte kids playground was out again to check on the problem. They will return at the end of April to make repairs at no cost to Franklin.

DelCarte kids playground closed until repairs are made in late April
DelCarte kids playground closed until repairs are made in late April

Franklin has continued its recent practice of summarizing the Actions Taken and posting them to the webpage

The full set of documents released for the meeting can be found here

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