Monday, January 11, 2010

FM #53 Week Ending 1/10/2010

This is what matters as the week ends Jan 10, 2010 in Franklin, MA. The session covers the Town Council and two items of importance from it's meeting on January 6th.

Time: 7 minutes, 56 seconds

MP3 File

Session notes:

This internet radio show or podcast is number 53 in the series for Franklin Matters.

Take about ten minutes to keep current with what matters in Franklin, MA as the week ends January 10, 2010

In this session I’ll cover the Town Council meeting of January 6, 2010

Two items of importance occurred during the meeting.

First, Brian Taberner, Director, Planning and Community Development, came before the Council to preview some bylaw changes that will be coming up at the next meeting. The bylaw changes have to do with the welcome mat that Franklin is creating for biotechnology firms to consider relocating here to conduct their business. There were bylaw changes made last year that have helped put Franklin near the top of the pile of MA communities. In an analysis of what it would take to move up the listing, one item sticks out. Franklin currently requires a potential biotech company to obtain a special permit from the Town Council. This is over and over all the normal planing board, health dept, fire dept, etc reviews required. He is proposing that this requirement be removed. He is also making some minor modifications to the zoning map itself. The changes would add about 11 parcels in the industrial park and remove one parcel that recently was obtained by State to add to the Town Forest. The formal discussion to approve these changes will come before the council in future meetings. As these are bylaw changes, they require two readings before final approval.

Second, the big snow storm that hit Franklin the weekend of Dec 19/20 dropping 14-18 inches created problems for students walking to school as the sidewalks were not cleared. Robert “Brutus” Cantoreggi reviewed the snow storm planning details and what the Town is currently capable of providing. With the current priority listing as follows:
  1. the roads
  2. town buildings and schools
  3. sidewalks and downtown

With storms delivering under six inches of snow, the DPW can clear the sidewalks within a day after the plowing stops.
With storms delivery more than six inches of snow, the DPW will take two-three days after the plowing stops to clear the sidewalks.

This is due to resource constraints. One, equipment to clear the sidewalk. Even if we had money to purchase additional (approx. 120,000 per unit) would that be an effective use of our funds since we would only use them once or twice a year? Consider that this amount would effectively fund two teachers and some supplies or books.

Two, even with the equipment and additional manpower available, you can't start the sidewalks until the roads are complete. Otherwise, you'd end up messing up the sidewalk when the plows went by on the road. Don't believe this? What happens at the end of your driveway? How do you keep that clear with the plows going by multiple times on the roads?
Finally, Franklin has this issue due to the overall budget problems we face. Should we plow the roads less well? Should we accept the way it is? All good questions that should lead to a good discussion.

There is a quick poll set up on this question this week. You can see and respond to the poll on the front page of Franklin Matters.

Looking ahead this week, the School Committee meets on Tuesday, Jan 12th.

As I close this session this week, let me remind you that
  • If you like what I am doing, please tell your neighbors
  • If you don’t like something, please tell me
Thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com
The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission

I hope you enjoy!

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to the website to listen to the audio version.

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