Saturday, July 18, 2009

MBTA Alert - Franklin/Forge Park 7/18 - 7/19

Franklin/Forge Park Commuter Rail Alerts

Because of necessary track work on the Franklin Line, passengers will be bused from Forge Park-495 to Franklin and from Franklin to Forge Park-495 on Saturday July 18th and Sunday July 19,2009.

It is anticipated that delays of up to 20 minutes may result from this necessary work. We apologize for any inconvenience that may result.

Next steps in Education Reform

Governor Deval Patrick announced two new pieces of legislation to take the next steps in education reform. This video summarizes his announcement.






To learn more about the legislation, please view the fact sheet, the Readiness Schools legislation and the Charter School "Smart Cap" legislation.

To learn more about the Commonwealth Readiness project and watch the rollout and read their final report.

Visit the original information on the Governor's page here.


Friday, July 17, 2009

How do you go from stained glass to blue grass?

How DO you go from stained glass to bluegrass?

Well, if you happened to be in Franklin on Thursday July 16th, it was pretty easy to do.

The United Regional Chamber of Commerce helped Roger Magalhaes open his new showroom for Shades IN Place at 76 Grove St, Franklin at 11:00 AM.

Roger has operated his business from his home in Hopkinton for three years and found the opportunity to showcase the work that he can do for windows here in Franklin. He also collaborates with Carol Collord and Deby Carlson to provide complete window treatments with matching furniture coverings or accessories. Roger focuses on the hardgoods and performs the installation. Carol and Deby will provide the softgoods to complete the whole treatment.


A sample of a stained glass effect window at Shades IN Place. The effect is created with a layered plastic decal carefully covering the glass. Roger explained to me that to obtain the same effect from real stained glass would cost four times as much.

Additional photos of Roger's new showroom are available online at the Shades IN Place web site here



The contingent of United Regional Chamber of Commerce members gathered around Roger (in the center with the cap) to prepare for the official ribbon ceremony.






Franklin Planning Director, Brian Taberner talks with Roger proudly holding a couple of welcome plaques from Congressman Jim McGovern's office and from Senator Karen Spilka's office.





What is the crowd gathering for at Rick's? Could it be the free single scoop ice cream cone provided compliments of Middlesex Savings Bank? or could it be the bluegrass music?






It probably was a combination of the two as folks gathered around enjoying the ice cream on a summer evening listening to the bluegrass band; Obi's Boys, get into real foot tapping music in the parking lot at Rick's.





So mark your calendar for August 20th.

Look for the Third Thursday signs outside the participating businesses and enjoy the evening in downtown Franklin! Third Thursday is a collaborative effort of the local businesses coordinated by the Franklin Downtown Partnership.

Franklin Farmers Market Noon - 6:00 PM


The Farmers Market will be open today from noon to 6:00 PM on the Town Common.

This is your weekly opportunity to help the local economy and to get quality food items.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Site prep for Walgreens continues with Four Corners Bldg gone

If you have any photos of Four Corners as it was being taken down that you would like to share, please let me know.

If you have any interior photos of Four Corners as a school building that you would like to share, please let me know.

Today - Third Thursday

TODAY

On Thursday, July 16th, the Franklin Downtown Partnership presents its monthly Third Thursday event. Hosted in July by Rick’s Restaurant and Salon Sorella, and sponsored by Middlesex Savings Bank, the event will feature Obi’s Boys performing timeless and traditional bluegrass favorites, along with ice cream, giveaways, and open houses by Franklin Downtown members.

Salon Sorella will give away free beach balls and sun awareness sample packs, and will hold a free drawing for sun-safe airbrush tanning. Artbeat, the Creativity Store, will offer free face painting and balloons from 4:30 to 6 pm, along with lemonade and cookies. Sarapaan is holding an open house at their new location next to Café Dolce, and Emma’s Quilt Cupboard & Sewing Machines will preview their broad selection of Christmas fabric, samples, and decorations.

In addition, Pretty is Pink will offer 20% off all Vera Bradley purchases along with bubbly and treats, and Jane’s Frames will host an artists’ reception featuring local artists James McCue and Robert Collins. Bob Collins will discuss the compositional elements of landscape, as well as how and why artists design landscapes while he works with acrylics on canvas. Refreshments will be served.

Franklin Downtown Partnership, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering greater vitality in the downtown commercial district and to serve as a vehicle for public policy discourse. The Partnership sees Franklin’s downtown as the heart of the community. The Partnership’s mission is to lessen the burden of local government through public improvement activities, which combat community deterioration, preserve the historic downtown character and educate the public about the architecture and history of the area. The Partnership office is located at 9 east Central Street. For more information you can contact Executive Director, Lisa Piana at (774)571-3109 or at downtown.franklin@yahoo.com

Middlesex Savings Bank, a $4.0 billion financial institution, is one of the largest independent community banks in Massachusetts. Headquartered in Natick, the bank has over 600 employees in 25 towns and offers a full range of personal and business financial services.

Town Council Mtg Smry 07/15/09

The collection of live reporting from the Town Council meeting of 7/15/09 can be found here

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Live reporting - meeting wrap-up

Zollo - can you explain what the contruction at Exit 16/King St is doing?
Nutting - this will be a $3.5 million project to widen the entrance to the industrial park, add lights to both exits, have double lanes under the bridges. You might want to take Exit 17 for some time.

Feely - provides a brief update on the school building committee in response to a request from Zollo. Bottom line, the Town could go for a debt exclusion as early as Dec 2010.

There is an agreement in principle on what the renovations would be, initial plans could be submitted in Aug 2009. Assuming these plans are accepted, then the plans would be worked to a finer detail with a project manager, etc. and re-submitted. Assuming this set of plans are accepted by the State then the Town would have 120 days to approve a debt exclusion.

My note - the operative word would be "renovations". There was no mention of a new building only renovations.

Live reporting - action items (continued)

  1. Resolution 09-50: Increase of Local Excise Tax on Hotels and Other Public Lodgings Motion to approve : 7-1 (1 no from Vallee)
  2. Resolution 09-51: Acceptance of G.L. Chapter 64L, Section 2 Authorizing Local Option Meals Excise Motion to approve : 7-1 (1 no from Vallee)
  3. Resolution 09-52: Authorization for Intermunicipal Agreement for Library Services with Town of Medway Motion to approve : 8-0
  4. Resolution 09-53 : Transfer funds for Worker Compensation Motion to approve : 8-0

Notes for #1
Vallee - this is doing the wrong thing.

Whalen - what is this money used for?
Nutting - It can be used for anything by the Town Council, it has by precedent been used for open space and capital requirements

Mason - I'd have to disagree with Vallee, we have been looking at additional revenue for a long time, the time is now.
Nutting - Cities will move quicker on this due to the town meeting process, I expect this will sweep the state.

Bartlett - have any of the hotels or restaurants complained about this?
Nutting - no

Notes for #2
Vallee - I again will speak against this, we are doing the worng thing at this time for the economy

Notes for #4
The amount of money required is correct, this is just adjusting the accounts to allow for the processing.

Live reporting - Action items

J. LEGISLATION FOR ACTION
  1. Resolution 09-48: Authorization to Hold Bonfire Motion to Approve 8-0
  2. Resolution 09-49: Appropriation: Renovation of Horace Mann Museum Motion to Approve 7-1

Notes -

Item #2
Vallee - this was approved by the Council in 2001 as part of the 20/20 plan?
Nutting - yes, that is corrected

Alan Earls, Del Arnold representing the Historical Commission. The full membership of the Historical Commission are in attendance tonight.

It is time to consider a new role for the museum. Permanent displays, rotating displays, providing a fresh experience throughout the year, no-longer a case of "been there done that".

The opportunities are almost unlimited. Partner with local groups to displays, small concerts, etc.

Centrally located, now can be a good fit with the local business community. This will require additional volunteers and training but is can and should be done.

The renovations themselves are important to the artifacts. Working with the architect worked to obtain what we need not what we would like to have to minimize costs. Improve the lighting for the displays. Additional power outlets being added to provide flexibility on the main floor.

Storage on the lower floor will remain there. Items already moved from the Washington St location. Work is underway to complete the catalog effort.

Working with Downtown Partnership to be included in the Third Thursday events currently underway.

Mason - multiple questions to clarify the condition of the artifacts
Arnold - yes, we have lost items of clothing over a hundred years old that were not properly protected, some photos have deteriorated, we would like to get into the new space to be able to provide better protection as well as get into a process of making copies and displaying the copies keeping the originals in a protected space.

Zollo - Where are we compared to other localities?
Arnold - We have a pretty good collection, maybe not the top but amongst the top.

Total project cost $710,000 including all contingencies
Bartlett - to do this completely, this is a fair request with minimal costing
It would be better to set aside the Four Corners money for the High School
I could support the $210,000 already provided

McGann - What is the cost components from the contracts?
Nutting - biggest cost is the HVAC, electrical (about $300,000) and replacing the windows

Zollo - this is small compared to the High School project, this has a learning component, not materially large enough to compare to the High School

Pfeffer - We are the home to the first public library, we are the birthplace of Horace Mann the father of education, we have said we were going to do this, not doing it to pass an override next year is not good thinking

Mason - I am in support of this project

Whalen - they are talking about apples and oranges, the scale is vastly different in dollars, the opportunity cost is vast

Feely - none of this money can be used

Bartlett - no, all others yes; motion approved 7-1

Live reporting - Planning & Community Development

Brian Taberner and Beth Dahlstrom

The presentation that was used for this portion of the meeting can be found here

Preliminary work for an update to the Master Plan
  • will put a committee together to help implement with public imput

Zoning Bylaws
  • Uses accessory to dwellings (Home occupation)
  • Signs
  • Commercial 1 Zoning District
Later in FY 2010
  • minor changes to Subdivision regulations
  • minor changes to Plan Review Bylaw
  • Exploring need for Wind Turbine and Mural bylaws
Operational guidelines
Create a community where entrepreneurs will want to settle and raise their families

Town Owned Properties

Nu-Style property
what to do next needs to be determined

Four Corners (no longer Town owned)
building demolished and construction underway for Walgreens

Pond St Property
consultant working on studies, designated as Priority Development Site (PDS) and Economic Opportunity Area (EOA)

Business attraction and retainage
highlight Franklin's community assets

Working with Downtown Partnership on the downtown plan
Bartlett - Where are we with the downtown, this has been in planning for years?
Nutting - we are waiting upon the state approval for the contract, we are hopeful that this fall the design and public process would begin

4 interns have provided over 60 hours of good work for us for free since the beginning of the year

Zollo - best case when would the downtown project be completed?
Nutting - 3 years
Taberner - 3 years is very realistic at this point, we have been doing as much as we can

Live reporting - Water Q&A

Vallee - why do you use chlorine?
Brutus - good long explanation, use to avoid potential 2 point per million, smallest amount to use, so it is constantly being run

Vallee - would you be better off replacing the asbestos pipes?
Brutus - the pipes are actually lined with asbestos, we have done that where we can.

Vallee - can you put in sidewalk when you do the road
Brutus - we don't have the funds for that, the driveway aprons kill us because of the hand work involved.

Bartlett - help me understand how this town or any town come to a reservoir or a tank?
Brutus - You need a place for a reservoir, we have a great water aquifer to pump from so the tanks make the most sense.

Bartlett - we have had some much rain this year, it is hard to explain why we still have a water restriction
Nutting - every year in perpetuity, we will have a restriction due to our permit not due to the water coming down as rain

Vallee - does the State limit us to how much we can pump?
Brutus - Yes, we are permitted to draw water, our water bans are later than most others.

Live reporting - License hearings

G. LICENSE TRANSACTIONS:
New License – The Alumni Club : motion to accept, approved 7-0, 1 absent, 1 recused (Feely)

Pledge of License - Three : motion to accept, approved 8-0


Live reporting - Water update

H. PRESENTATIONS/DISCUSSIONS
Water & Sewer Update – Brutus Cantoreggi

Water funds generated are used only for water expenses not for other operational departments in the Town. $4.9 million enterprise budget for FY 2010

Almost 1 billion gallons of water pumped last year, the year before was actually over 1 billion.

Fluoride added and a small amount of chlorine added to improve the quality of water.

In 2002 there were 126 tests were conducted. In 2008, there were 626 tests conducted, and testing expense increased from $10,000 (2002) to $55,000 in 2008.

The old permit was for 4.1 MGD, the new permit is for 3.64 MGD. (MGD = million gallons per day)

Reduced consumption (about 400,000 MGD) equates to reduced water revenue.

In the 20/20 capital plan for the water improvements there were
  • new water treatment plant
  • replaced over 15 miles of water main
  • 90% replacement of residential water meters, 100% replacement of commercial
  • renovation of existing wells

Goals/Plans for future

Continue water main replacement
  • Emmons and Main Sts (next year)
  • Sahlin Circle (next year)
  • Lincoln St (multiple phases)
Life-cycle repair and renovations for Wells 3, 7, 8
Permitting approval for Pump #12
Replacement of FIP Water Tank

Live reporting - Town Council 7/15/09

Attending: Whalen, Mason, Vallee, Bartlett, Feely, Pfeffer, McGann, Zollo
Missing: Doak

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES - none

B. ANNOUNCEMENTS - none

C. PROCLAMATIONS/RECOGNITIONS - none

D. CITIZEN COMMENTS - none

E. APPOINTMENTS - none

"biotechnology companies in general tend to offer well-paying jobs"

"It means we accept biotechnology in the community. We're trying to attract biotech in the community, because any such company will increase the assessed value of property, which means more tax revenue and jobs for the town," said Taberner.
Read the full article about Franklin's economic development efforts to attract business in the Milford Daily News here

Harvest Festival - Sunday, Sept. 20

"This is much, much bigger than the Strawberry Festival - double the size, at least." said Lisa Piana, partnership executive director. "It's an event that people now put on their calendar, and vendors start calling in March and April," to reserve booths, as the partnership tries to avoid having competing vendors, said Piana.
Read the full article about the preparations for the Harvest Festival in the Milford Daily News here

Franklin Road Projects

Be sure to check out the notice from the DPW about road work being done around town this summer. You can check the street listing here

BUSINESS AFTER HOURS AT GOLDMARK FEDERAL CREDIT UNION


BUSINESS AFTER HOURS AT GOLDMARK FEDERAL CREDIT UNION

The United Regional Chamber of Commerce has organized a Business After Hours on Tues., Aug. 11 at Goldmark Federal Credit Union, 155 Pleasant St. in Attleboro. The business networking event will run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The cost is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Register by calling 508-222-0801.

The United Regional Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit, business support organization serving the communities of Attleboro, Bellingham, Blackstone, Foxborough, Franklin, Mansfield, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, North Attleborough, Norton, Plainville, Rehoboth, Seekonk, and Wrentham.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

teacher layoff number resolved


There will be no teachers laid off except four gym teachers, all the librarians, and a data analyst, Roy said.
Read the full article about the school budget in the Milford Daily News here.

"first step in regionalizing"

Deciding which capital projects should get funded every year is "a difficult balancing act," but the museum renovation is a priority, said Councilor Stephen Whalen.
Read the full article about the agenda for the Town Council meeting in the Milford Daily News

Monday, July 13, 2009

Town Council - Agenda - 7/15/09

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES

B. ANNOUNCEMENTS

C. PROCLAMATIONS/RECOGNITIONS

D. CITIZEN COMMENTS

E. APPOINTMENTS

F, HEARINGS

G. LICENSE TRANSACTIONS:
New License – The Alumni Club
Pledge of License - Three

H. PRESENTATIONS/DISCUSSIONS
Water & Sewer Update – Brutus Cantoreggi
Planning – Bryan Taberner

I. SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS

J. LEGISLATION FOR ACTION
  1. Resolution 09-48: Authorization to Hold Bonfire
  2. Resolution 09-49: Appropriation: Renovation of Horace Mann Museum
  3. Resolution 09-50: Increase of Local Excise Tax on Hotels and Other Public Lodgings
  4. Resolution 09-51: Acceptance of G.L. Chapter 64L, Section 2 Authorizing Local Option Meals Excise
  5. Resolution 09-52: Authorization for Intermunicipal Agreement for Library Services with
  6. Resolution 09-53 : Transfer funds for Worker CompensationTown of Medway

K. TOWN ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT

L. OLD BUSINESS

M. NEW BUSINESS

N. COUNCIL COMMENTS

O. EXECUTIVE SESSION – Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required

P. ADJOURN

"people shouldn't be critical of spending capital funds on the building"

If approved by Town Council, most of the funding - $400,000 - would come from the sale of the former Four Corners School, another $50,000 would come from the Senior Center building account, and the remainder from new hotel tax revenue.

By law, all funds received by a town from the sale of capital assets, such as Four Corners, can only be used for other capital expenses, not operating expenses, officials said.

Read the full article about Franklin's efforts to renovate the museum in the Milford Daily News here


Sunday, July 12, 2009

"Forge Park as a priority development site"


"The stronger the message we send out to the business community that you can get both streamlined permitting and possibly tax incremental financing (a prerequisite for larger tax breaks from the state), the better for attracting folks," Nutting said.
Read the full article about the priority development effort in the Milford Daily News here.