Saturday, January 2, 2010

Franklin, MA: Health Dept.

Mission Statement
The Franklin Health Department is charged with protecting the public health and well being of the community, in accordance with federal, state and local public health laws and regulations. To fulfill this responsibility, the Franklin Health Department administers a comprehensive inspection program.


Inspections
The following list identifies the primary components of the department’s inspection program, and the total number of inspections and re-inspections conducted for each component.


* Food Service/Retail Food Inspection………330
* Title V Septic System Plan Review and Installation/Repair Field Inspection, Total Applications…………………………………23
6 New, 17 Repairs, 8 Minor Repairs and Approximately 145 Field Inspections Conducted.
* Chapter II Housing Code Inspection/Reinspections…………………………………..56
* Public Health Nuisance/Odor/Noise Complaint Investigation…………………….28
* Semi-Public Pool/Spa Testing/Inspection and Public Beach Testing……………………48
* Inspection and Licensing of Children’s Recreational Camps………………………….10
* Tanning Salon Inspection..…………………...8
* Manicure/Pedicure Establishment………….. 36


Communicable Disease
As mandated by the State Department of Public Health, health departments must report, investigate and track all communicable disease occurrences in their jurisdictions. The Franklin Health Department has a contract with the Milford Area Visiting Nurses to investigate and follow up reportable communicable diseases that occur in the community.


The following list depicts the reportable illness activity for fiscal year 2008-2009 in number of official cases:
Campylobacter…………………………………..4
Hepatitis A………………………………………0
Hepatitis B………………………………………3
Hepatitis C………………………………………9
Lyme Disease…………………………………..41
Meningitis……………………………………….3
Streptococcus Pneumonia……………………….2
E. Coli…………………………………………...2
Ehrlichiosis………………………………………1
Giardiasis………………………………………...3
Salmonella Enteritis……………………………..3
Bacterial Infection, Avium, Vibrio……………...2
Encephalitis…………………………………….. 1
Cryptosporidiosis………………………………..1
Legionellosis…………………………………….1
Pulmonary TB…………………………………...4
Chicken Pox……………………………………..1
Pertussis……………………………………….…8
Influenza A………………………………………1
Influenza B………………………………………4
Dog Bites……………………………………….10
Cat Bites…………………………………………5
Bat Bites…………………………………………0
H1N1…………………………………………….1
Shigellosis……………………………………….3
TB related………………………………………..3
Streptococcus Pneumoniae………………………1
Yersinia…………………………………………..1


From the 2009 Town of Franklin Annual Report. This is available in a printed version at the Municipal Building or online at the Town website here.

Franklin, MA: Housing Authority


BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
The following Officers were duly elected at the annual organizational meeting of the Franklin Housing Authority held on April 6, 2009.


George A. Danello, Chairman
Christopher K. Feeley, Vice Chairperson
Peter L. Brunelli, Treasurer
Mark A. Teehan, Assistant Treasurer
John R. Padula, Commissioner


FHA STAFF
Lisa M. Collins, Executive Director
Diane Lamoureux, Administrative Assistant
Melva Jackson, Office Clerk
Michael Gilligan, Maintenance Supervisor
William Pizzi, Laborer
Frank McAvoy, Groundskeeper
Anne Ayotte, Service Coordinator



Modernization of the Franklin Housing Authority


The office of the Franklin Housing Authority was renovated to become compliant with the ADA regulation. This project was partially funded by the Department of Community Development and balance was withdrawn from the restricted reserves from the FHA. The great benefit of the renovation is that applicants and residents who are wheelchair or walker dependant are now able to enter the office. Previously, the office was not wheelchair friendly. The sacrifice made to the building to allow this upgrade was the removal of the laundry facilities from the building. Residents who wish to do their laundry on site must now go to one of the FHA’s three other locations. 


FHA Property


The Franklin Housing Authority manages 161 units of State Aided Elderly/Disabled Housing, 33 units of low income Family Housing and an 8-unit Group Home. Additionally, the Housing Authority is responsible for a four bedroom congregate facility. This program provides a shared living environment for its residents who maintain private bedrooms. Congregate housing was established for residents who are self-reliant, however may need limited support. Also, Franklin Housing Authority owns two single family homes in town. These two properties are reserved for lease to low-income families and affords these families the opportunity to reside in a residential neighborhood.


Additionally, Franklin Housing Authority has been awarded $1,250,000 for the development of an additional Chapter 689 housing facility. Chapter 689 housing is reserved for mentally challenged adults and will be overseen by the Department of Mental Retardation. We have secured a suitable site for this development on Plain Street. Further the designer; Winter Street Architects has been approved and has begun the design phase of this development. This development has been approved through the Town of Franklin Zoning Board of Appeals and the Design Commission. Currently, we are experiencing some delays but hope to begin construction in 2010.




Special Events Noted with Appreciation


Saint Mary’s Parish Youth Organization treated FHA residents to an indoor picnic during the summer. Volunteers and youths along with the pastor spread smiles and good cheer to all. Rotary Club members served their annual spaghetti dinner to FHA residents and area seniors complete with all the fixings. Commissioner John Padula was the head Chef and also provided some entertainment. Rotary members cooked, served, entertained and picked up after. Rotarians always comment that the smiles and the kind words of appreciation received make their time and efforts very rewarding. Students and teachers from the Remington/Jefferson schools, with help and support from the Franklin Police Department and parents of students, provided Christmas gifts for Franklin Housing Authority’s young family members through a Secret Santa program for the ninth year running. This group provides gifts along with Christmas spirit that may otherwise be lost. One Franklin family provided a Franklin Housing Authority low-income family with a wonderful Christmas of gifts specifically selected for the family members. The spirit of the holiday was overwhelming for this family. 


Special Thanks


The Board of Commissioners, Staff and Residents of the Franklin Housing Authority wish to express their thanks and appreciation to the following: 


The Clergy, a continuous support and comfort in the time of need and always.


Franklin Senior Association Members:
Mary Chambers, Vice President
Doris Mattison, Treasurer
Betty Picard, Secretary
Beverly Carroll, Sunshine Club 
Evelyn Mucciarone, Member at Large 


This Association plans pizza parties, holiday gatherings, morning coffee and donuts, card parties and many more events for the enjoyment of all Franklin Seniors. 


Chairman Christopher K. Feeley and all of the Franklin Town Council Members, Town Administrator, Jeffrey Nutting and his staff for their continued support and assistance.


Council on Aging, Veterans Agent, SHINE Program and Food Pantry for assisting residents with health care concerns and working with the Authority to recognize needs and provide activities, nourishment and specialized services. 


Franklin Police Department, Chief Williams and Deputy Chief Semerjian for continuous concern, attention and response to the needs of the Authority and its Residents.


Franklin Fire and Rescue, Chief Gary McCarraher and his department are always professional and respectful.


Franklin TRIAD Committee along with the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Michael Bollotti and his staff for assisting in identifying the safety concerns of Franklin seniors and planning aggressive strategies to enhance the quality of life of older Franklin residents and for the “Are You OK?” program.


Senator Karen Spilka, Senator Scott Brown, Representative James Vallee and U.S. Representative James McGovern for their relentless support of the Housing Programs and Bills with the best interest of our residents at heart.


Boy Scout Troop 126. Under the leadership of Bill Murphy, Eagle Scout Candidates have worked on their community service projects at the Franklin Housing Authority. Many thanks to Troop 126 for thinking of us while planning your Eagle Scout Projects and best wishes to all Eagle Scouts for a successful future.


Through the years, the community and the housing authority are finding ways to improve the quality of life for our area seniors and low income families. With the support of the Commissioners and the community the Franklin Housing Authority continues to be a great community living opportunity.


Respectfully submitted,
Lisa M. Collins, PHM, Executive Director

From the 2009 Town of Franklin Annual Report. This is available in a printed version at the Municipal Building or online at the Town website here.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

letter h nAntucket p21 letter P Y

n31 typewriter key letter E letter W

Letter Y letter E A R

Wishing all the best to all Franklin residents for 2010!





Meeting Summaries - 2009

Meeting Summaries - 2009



Meeting Summaries - 2008

Meeting Summaries - 2008



Thursday, December 31, 2009

Franklin, MA: Fire Prevention

This was another busy year for Fire Prevention. The annual inspection of the all Liquor License holders, 17 Schools, Day Care facilities, Summer Camps and Multifamily houses along with the daily inspections of homes for resale and new construction, service calls, telephone inquiries, LP gas tanks inspection, oil burner inspection, oil tank removals and plans review is almost too much to be handled by one person.

With this increase of service, I feel that this officer is not making an effective attempt at a fire prevention program. In some cases, the property or business owners do not take code violations seriously enough, which requires many return inspections. When I have to return more than once a year it puts the residents of Franklin in harm’s way, and takes away from my other duties. I recommend that the Town adopt a Non-Criminal Fire Code Violation Notice Ticket Books and a fine fee structure. This would allow the department the ability to fine the more serious offenders.

I have increased the number of commercial business inspections along with helping businesses to formulate evacuation plans for their employees. In turn, this has shown an increase in the number of requests for conducted fire drills by this department in occupied business facilities. It is a good sign that employers are concerned with the safety of their employees.

Over the past year I have attended many classes dealing with the changes in the State Building Code, structures and system, evaluating performance based designs and plans review.

I would like to thank the Building Commissioner David Roche, Gus Brown and their staff for their assistance over the past year. Thank you, also, to the dedicated men and women of this department for their assistance in helping me to perform my duties during the past year.

Code compliance and Inspections
Captain Stephen Parchesky, CFI

Bold for my emphasis

From the 2009 Town of Franklin Annual Report. This is available in a printed version at the Municipal Building or online at the Town website here.


Franklin, MA: Fire Department

The Franklin Fire Department is divided into two divisions: Operations and Maintenance, which is the larges and responsible for dispatch, emergency medical services, fire suppression and hazardous materials response. Administration and Support Services is responsible for personnel, budget and finance, training, code compliance and coordinating the Town’s emergency preparedness.

Our Mission

The mission of the Franklin Fire Department is to:
…Have a positive impact in the lives of citizens and visitors of Franklin in their time of crisis by providing compassionate, contemporary, community driven services.
…Safeguard human life from the perils of fire, sudden illness, injury or other emergency medical condition, natural and man-made disasters as well as preserve the environment and property from ensuing destruction.
… Be responsible for a safe, productive and pleasant work environment for our employees, and provide them opportunities to gain new skills and advance their personal career goals.

Operational Objectives
  • Initiating advanced life support to patients within 8 minutes of receiving the telephone call at our communications center.
  • To access, extricate, treat and transport and transport trauma patients to a level one trauma medical facility within one hour of the occurrence of the injury.
  • Interrupt the progression of fires in structures within 8 minutes of open flame ignition.
  • To insure response readiness remains greater than 70%.
  • Provide safety and survival skills for all school students in grade K through 5 consistent with the Student Awareness Fire Education (SAFE) initiative of the Commonwealth.
  • Provide educational opportunities for department members to insure optimal performance and safety.
  • To develop and maintain “best practice” to insure personnel and citizen safety.
  • Insure fire safety through timely, consistent code compliance services to all external customers.
  • Provide all department services in a manner that satisfies the needs of our customers.

Message from the Fire Chief

This year marked a year of continued growth of the department to meet the ever increasing needs of the community. This year saw the leaving of a few employees to pursue different career paths. This included Dispatchers Seth Hagerty and Jeff Quinlan as well as Firefighter Paramedics Ted Flanagan and Andy Joseph. We thank them for their efforts in making the department strong and wish them the best of luck on their future endeavors. Due to the looming budget climate neither Firefighter paramedic position will be replaced. This year also saw the retirement of Virginia “Ginny” McLaughlin. Ginny worked for the Town for more than 20 years working for the DPW and Board of Health and completed her career with the Town in the Fire Department. Her presence in our administrative office will be greatly missed and we wish her health and happiness in her retirement.

This year the department responded to more than 3,400 emergency responses – a decrease of about .4% from last year. This reduction in emergency responses followed the decline in the economy in general and is a typical reaction to downturns in the economy. We thankfully saw a minor reduction (1 less) in fires occurring in occupied buildings.

Additionally, the wet spring and early summer seasons provided a substantial decrease in the number of outside fires normally experienced within the Town In addition to emergency response, the department also continued to expand its fire prevention education activities, providing safety and survival education to the most vulnerable population to fire – our children and seniors. Through the dedicated efforts of SAFE Officer Robert Donovan, the department continued to educate over 100 children per month as well as attend various activities at the Senior Center. Firefighters Tom Carlucci and Keith Darling provide dedicated assistance in completing this important service to our citizens.

The department has also continued to develop our system of regular continuing education for fire-rescue services. Under the Direction of Captain Jim Klich, department members complete a total of over 1,000 hours of continuing fire education as well as over 1,200 hours of emergency medical service training. These regular ongoing classes are augmented by various specialty training attended by members.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the members of the Fire Department and their families for their dedicated efforts in serving the citizens of Franklin. The past several years have been challenging due to the decreasing amount of resources available to provide an increasing demand for services. Throughout this time, department members have continued to strive to provide the best services possible. We should all be proud of their efforts and grateful for such a dedicated and skilled workforce.

Respectfully Submitted,
Gary B. McCarraher, Fire Chief

From the 2009 Town of Franklin Annual Report. This is available in a printed version at the Municipal Building or online at the Town website here.

For additional detail on the Fire Dept, check out their reports found here

For additional information on each fire station and the equipment operating from there, check this link

For answers to the "Frequently Asked Questions" check this link.


Franklin, MA: Finance Committee

Year in Review

Change is inevitable. In a progressive country change is constant. Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister spoke those words in 1867. They ring true in Franklin today. On behalf of the Franklin Finance Committee, it is my pleasure to submit our annual report.

Our fiscal year, which started July 1, 2008, saw much in the way of change. We started the year with three openings on the committee. We were, once again, fortunate to have more volunteers than openings available. We added three very sharp members, Tina Powderly, Juan Rivera & Robert Teixeria. I count myself fortunate to have worked along side all those who served on the committee.

During the year the committee met eleven times. Five of those meetings were focused on the fiscal 2010 budget. We continue to encourage folks to be involved in the budgeting process. And while the council chambers are not overflowing we are encouraged by the questions and emails from interested parties.

Budget Process Changes


There were many unanticipated changes in the budget process this year. Franklin is fortunate to receive nearly forty percent of our funding from state sources, however, delays at the state level can complicate planning at the local level. Changes at the state level can dictate changes at the local level.

The Governor proposed changes in lottery distributions that were additionally changed by the legislators. Legislators proposed and passed several new taxes, all the while delaying any firm estimate of revenue to the town until well into June.

The economy also continues to change. Many residents as well as businesses and municipalities are directly impacted in an economic downturn. So we all continue to squeeze expenses and be creative with ways to maintain services or raise revenues.

Some things that remain constant are limited resources available to provide desired services, committed employees and volunteers willing to serve and Franklin continuing to be a desirable community in which to live.

Financial Planning


Members of the Finance Committee, along with members of Town Council, School Committee and citizens, continue to project and forecast future needs. This process continues to be a moving target, largely due to changes at the State level, however we will continue to reach out, inform residents and receive input from all as the process evolves.

Expect Change

In closing I implore you not only to expect change, but embrace change. I am confident there will be new & different residents who get involved. I am certain there will be budget challenges next fiscal year. I am also convinced that through dialog and debate between elected officials, employees, volunteers and residents changes will be made that continue to serve the best interests of our town.

Respectfully Submitted,
Jim Roche
Chairman, Franklin Finance Committee
Brett Feldman, Vice Chairman
Phyllis Messere, Clerk
Rebecca Cameron
Mark Cataldo
Jack Caulfield
Pat Goldsmith
Craig Maire
Tina Powderly (elected to Town Council on Nov 3, 2009)
Juan Rivera
Robert Teixeira
From the 2009 Town of Franklin Annual Report. This is available in a printed version at the Municipal Building or online at the Town website here.


Note: I would quibble with the statement above that there were "many unanticipated changes in the budget process this year". In the process itself, no. In the dollars that flowed through the process, yes. The amount of money from State and Federal funding was quite fluid this year. The process itself did not change. The Town Administrator and the department heads prepared their budgets, presented them to the Finance Committee for review and approval before the Town Council reviewed and approved the budget for 2010.

For the notes of the Finance Committee meetings reported upon by me, check here:


For the notes of the Financial Planning Committee reported upon by me, check here:


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Franklin, MA: Design Review Commission

The Design Review Commission (DRC) has had numerous projects come before them this year. The Commission is currently composed of Jennifer Peters, Chair; Lenley Rafuse, Vice-Chair; Richard Tobin, Jr., Jill Bedoya and James Esterbrook, as well as associate members, Mark Fitzgerald and Robin Stamp.

This past year, the Commission reviewed several Site Plans as to landscaping and lighting and Building Plans as to elevations, colors and materials, including, the Franklin Housing Authority's Plain Street facility; renovations to the 12-36 East Central Street block; Walgreen's Pharmacy; the landscaping and lighting added to the area between 12-36 East Central Street and Summer Street. Signage and awnings were reviewed and approved for many additional locations, including the above, as well as Rockland Trust, Daddario's Hardware and many more throughout the year.

Work on the Town's new sign by-law has been in progress throughout the year and hopefully will be presented to the Town Council prior to the year end.

Meetings are held at the Franklin Municipal Building, Room 205, 355 East Central Street, at 7:00 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month. Meeting times and dates are posted at the Town Clerk’s Office. Meetings are usually less than an hour and a half in length.

Respectfully submitted,
Jennifer Peters, Chair
Design Review Commission


From the 2009 Town of Franklin Annual Report. This is available in a printed version at the Municipal Building or online at the Town website here.



Franklin, MA: Cultural Council

The Franklin Cultural Council is part of a network of 329 Local Cultural Councils serving all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. The Local Cultural Council program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, sciences and humanities every year. The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the
Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, which then allocates funds to each community. We are a volunteer board that believes that the arts, science, and humanities have the power to build a healthier and more vital community in Franklin.

Grants

The Franklin Cultural Council reviewed proposals from artists, organizations, schools, and organizations for arts, humanities, and interpretive science projects. The FY2009 grant awards totaling $10,550 were awarded to twenty-five projects that best provided a public benefit to Franklin residents including the Franklin Art Association, Family Concert Series, Senior Citizen Musical Show,
LiveArts, Concerts on the Common and many more. Various awards to the Franklin Schools were made so that children could enjoy performances by artists such as the Hampstead Players for a production of Prince Caspian, Steps Off Broadway, as well as educational programs including Journey Back in Time’s, “Pioneer Living” Program. The Franklin Cultural Council has also been generously funded by the Town of Franklin in the amount of $2,000. For a complete list of the artists funded this year, please visit our web site at: http://franklinma.virtualtownhall.net/Pages/FranklinMA_BComm/cultural.

If you are interested in applying for a grant from the Franklin Cultural Council, all information and forms are available at www.massculturalcouncil.org. You may also pick up a grant application at the Municipal Building or the Franklin Public Library. Deadline is October 15, 2009 for an application to be submitted to Franklin Cultural Council, PMB 284, 279 East Central Street, Franklin, MA 02038.

Membership

Membership on the Council is open to all Franklin residents that are interested in working for the cultural enrichment of Franklin. Meetings are held monthly (second Monday of the month) from September to June. We welcome and need new members. Please contact Sue Sheridan at 508-533-1917 or email at  FranklinCulture@hotmail.com or P.O. Box 284, 279 East Central St., Franklin, MA 02038 1917 if you are interested in serving in this vital community volunteer activity.

Council members for 2008-09: Amy Kessler Welsh and Nathaniel Packard, Co-Chairs, Jodi Kanadanian, Treasurer, Sue Sheridan, Membership, Kim Rezendes, Secretary, Claire Griffin and Kathy Stankard.


From the 2009 Town of Franklin Annual Report. This is available in a printed version at the Municipal Building or online at the Town website here.



Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Franklin, MA: DelCarte Conservation Area

The Conservation Commission continued their on-going effort to address deficiencies with the DelCarte Conservation Area dam system (known as the Franklin Reservoir). This area was donated to the Town and offers a network of walking trails along a number of ponds and wooded areas.

The Commission chose PARE Corporation from Foxboro, MA, to conduct a review of the DelCarte Conservation Area, specifically the condition of seven structures in the area. PARE completed their initial Study and presented their findings to the Commission in late 2008. Following the Commission’s review of PARE’s findings, it was determined that an additional phase to the Study, which would focus on three potential repairs options, would be required in order for the Town to determine the most beneficial approach to addressing deficiencies at the Site, while taking into consideration both the environmental sensitivity of the Site and cost to implement the repairs. The Commission anticipates PARE to complete the next phase of the Study and present their findings by end of calendar year 2009.

Update: As 2009 is closing, the update is really more likely to come before the Town Council during Jan-Feb-Mar 2010.

Where is the Delcorte property?
You can find it on Google Maps referenced as the "Franklin Reservoirs"


View Larger Map


Franklin, MA: In house Attorney - Mark G Cerel

The Town has an in-house attorney, Mark G. Cerel. Attorney Cerel has an office in the Town Administration offices and works three days a week. In addition, he attends regular Council sessions and meetings of town boards and commissions on an as-needed basis. His responsibilities include providing legal advice to the Town Administrator and other town officials, review and drafting of legal documents, and representation of the town in negotiations and litigation other than labor-related matters. Having an in-house attorney has enabled town officials to obtain prompt legal review and advice; it has also expedited various town projects which require legal input.

During the past year, Attorney Cerel has continued to be successful not only in resolving actual litigation but also in resolving disputes prior to litigation on terms favorable to the Town; he has also continued to draft proposed legislation and to be involved in contract and real estate negotiations. In addition, he has continued to work with the staff to review and update the Town's zoning and general bylaws.

An in-house attorney plays an essential role in limiting the town’s legal exposure. He assists in resolving matters before they result in legal action and he provides the town with a strong legal presence that discourages people from filing frivolous lawsuits.

The Town Attorney represents the town and is only available to consult with individual residents if the Town Administrator’s prior approval is obtained.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark Cerel
Town Attorney


From the 2009 Town of Franklin Annual Report. This is available in a printed version at the Municipal Building or online at the Town website here.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Four Corners remembered

The Walgreens has made great progress finishing construction and getting ready to open (April, is what I recall but it could be sooner by the looks of it?).


Out front on the triangle of "public space" that they will maintain, there is a historic marker with information on the Four Corners School which stood on the grounds.





A close up of the marker shows this:



When you go by the corner some time, stop and read the history of Four Corners School.


Year end activities

As 2009 winds down and we get ready for 2010, I'll spend sometime making adjustments to the site. For example, the meeting summaries for 2009 will move from the center column to the far right column. There will be a new box for the 2010 meeting summaries in the center column.

I will continue to feature items from the 2009 Annual Report while I work on my review of 2009. Each month will appear as it is ready.

I have some other changes I want to make to the web site to help make it easy to use. I'll announce those as they appear. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to drop me a line and let me know.

In the meantime, I anticipate overall activities will be light here. I will be sending time enjoying the holidays with family and friends. I trust you will take advantage of the time to do so with your circles.

Enjoy!