Saturday, May 8, 2010

New England Dental - 233 West Central St

Inquiring minds were wondering what is going on at the former Franklin Baptist Church on West Central St. Construction is underway, finally.

Digging into the Planning Board meeting archives, reveals that in the minutes for the Jan 25, 2010 meeting, a site plan extension was granted for one year.

One view above, second view below

By the size of the hole in the ground, there is an addition being made to the existing building.

Hurrah, more tax revenue for Franklin!

Franklin, MA

Curbside Yard Waste Collection

Franklin’s Curbside Yard Waste Collection will be held on Saturday May 15th

Be sure to have all material in paper bags, trash barrels or cardboard boxes.  

Brush must be bundled and shall not be more than 4 feet in length and 6–inches in diameter.  


Franklin, MA

Reminder: Dean College commencement - street closures

Franklin, MA – Dean College will be holding its Commencement exercises today - Saturday, May 8, 2010 on Grant Field.

As a result,  the section of Main Street between School and Emmons Street will be closed to traffic from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 1:50 p.m. (during the procession to and from the Campus Center).

In addition, School Street will be closed (School to Hillside) from 10:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Public Safety officers will be standing by at the intersection of School and Main, Garfield, Martin Ave. and Hillside to ensure emergency vehicles will have access at all times.

View Larger Map

HMEA 5K Race/Walk - May 23rd

The Horace Mann Education Associates - HMEA, Inc. is located here in Franklin, MA but their effective service delivery is to over 100 communities in MA.

HMEA has a long history of providing innovative services in school, at work, at home and in the community and now serve over 2400 children and adults with developmental disabilities. Services include: Residential, Day and Family supports, and services for children.

HMEA's Employment Programs provides people with disabilities the opportunity to pursue meaningful employment either on a full- or part-time basis. For people in the Employment Program who work part-time, HMEA encourages volunteering for community organizations, or leisure and recreation activities to supplement their day.

HMEA's Employment Programs serve people 22 years of age and older who live within the commuting distance of program locations in the following cities and towns: Bellingham, Clinton, Hopedale, Plainville and Worcester

The annual fund raiser for HMEA is the 5K Race/Walk and Family Fun Day scheduled for May 23, 2010.
SAVE THE DATE...Sunday, May 23, 2010 HMEA's 9th Annual Independence 5K Walk/Run in the Park - MARK YOUR CALENDARS and grab your sneakers to participate in this "Fun-filled Family Day fundraising event...
This event, which is hosted by our good friends at EMC2 Corporation in Franklin, MA gathers 2,000 or more people to help HMEA continue its mission to make a difference in people's lives. AND, all the money raised is returned to the many programs at HMEA, which supports 2,400 children and adults with intellectual challenges and developmental disabilities.
Once again we have Gene Lavanchy from Fox News25 and tentatively Gail Huff from WCVB-TV Channel performing hosting duties for us. And our great friends and inspiration to many, "TEAM HOYT", Dick and Rick will be on hand again this year -- plus we're pretty sure there will be a few other celebrities and mascots on hand as well!
So come on down and participate in the fun...there's raffle prizes, food, tee shirts for participants (while they last), prizes, a Kids Corner filled with games and activities, a Kids "FUN RUN" and so much more... 

In addition to working the road race registration table (and providing splits at the 2 mile mark), I have decided to help HMEA do some fund raising this year.

I love the quote from Horace Mann that they use on their History page:
"Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity"

You can help the HMEA make a difference with a donation. I have a widget in the center column of this and my other blogs, should you choose to donate an amount within your means.

I will appreciate it.
The HMEA clients you help will too!


If you would like to register for the race you can do so here

If you'd like you can contribute in one of several options directly through the HMEA website here



Lawn watering is restricted to ONE-DAY PER WEEK BY TRASH DAY.

Lawn watering not permitted between 9:00 AM thru 5:00 PM.  

No holiday delays for watering.


During the summer months, the Town experiences excessively high demands for water due to lawn watering. There have been 24-hour periods during which water consumption has been more than twice our average daily water usage for the year. Because of the tremendous increase in the demand for water and state restrictions on the amount of water that can be pumped daily, the Town of Franklin must place mandatory water conservation measures in effect for lawn watering during the summer months.

The summer Water Conservation Measures are needed to limit the daily demand on the water system in order to ensure that adequate water is available to meet the public health and safety needs of the Town. This measure is necessary to maintain the water levels in the tanks for fire protection and normal consumption use.  A total of 1-inch of water once per week from rain and watering promotes the healthiest lawns.  Non-compliance with these regulations could adversely affect public health and safety. Violators are subject to fines up to $200.

Originally posted on the Franklin, MA website here

Friday, May 7, 2010

Young Professionals Organization

"You help me, I'll help you"

Kaitlyn and Chris Pintarich of Berry Insurance found sufficient writing space to complete their survey forms.

The initial gathering for those young professionals looking for a "Chamber of Commerce" business and networking opportunity took place Thursday evening at Preservation Framer in North Attleboro.

A survey was asked of the participants to help gather information on how they would like the group to operate. An incentive to fill out the survey was provided by entering the complete surveys into a raffle.

Mixing business and social networking is a win/win. Some activities would be more enticing to a younger crowd than to the more established chamber group. Expansion to the younger group is a wise idea for the Chamber. The group will operate under the umbrella of the Chamber this year and then separately next year. Membership in the Chamber will cover both organizations this year but require a separate membership next year.

While there is the separation, there will be opportunities for connections between the two groups. One key area is in mentoring. For the young professionals looking to start their own business, obtaining advice in specific business matters.

If this sounds like something you'd like to take part in, you won't have to bend over backwards. Stay tuned to notification of future events here, on the Facebook fan page of the YPO, or contact any of the offices of the United Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Franklin, MA

Franklin Food Pantry

Some of the output from the raised garden beds put in around Franklin on Earth Day is destined for the Franklin Food Pantry.

The Food Pantry has its own raised bed. It was also installed on Earth Day. I remembered when running by this week to take a picture. (Yes, sometime if you see this tall guy running, then stop to take a picture with his phone, it might be me :-)

The Stamp Out Hunger campaign will have the postal carriers collect bags of food on their rounds Saturday May 8th and deliver them to the Franklin Food Pantry for distribution to the Franklin area families.

Prior posts on the raised garden bed project can be found here:

and here:

Franklin, MA

Finance Committee 05/06/10

The live reporting from the Finance Committee budget hearing on the Fiscal Year 2011 conducted Thursday, May 6th can be found here:

Discussion on other portions of the budget can be found here:

Franklin, MA

In the News - parking meters, Pulaski Blvd, bottle/can drive

Franklin may do away with parking meters

Bottle and can drive sponsored by Franklin High party committee

Franklin, MA

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Live reporting - animal control, Tri-County

we have a long standing relationship with Bellingham
we get use of an employee and a vehicle, we have the pound
they get busy with beavers, coyotes, deer, etc

occasionally we have a capital expense to replace the vehicle

motion to approve, passed 9-0

Tri-County is an assessment
one of eleven communities that comprise the regional
how many students come from the community determine the allocation to the community
it varies depending upon how many students we send them

They have run a tight ship up there, they can come and speak with you if needed
If our assessment is to be changed, the other communities would have to agree to it

have been able to maintain budget from time to time with cuts in materials which is one key area of their expense

what percent of the increase is the increase is students vs the overall increase in their budget
the percent of the students drove the budget

I don't have the student enrollment numbers with me
I'll have the numbers for you on Monday

question on the school committee line
like to be their supplies and expenses

motion to approve, passed 9-0

motion to adjourn

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Recreation

Ryan Jette

Nutting overview
registration fees help make this a self supporting budget

80% of the registrations done online
seasonal staff added due to the Medway expansion
additional clerical help with the

Tri-County work at Beaver St
putting in a concession stand and rest rooms with handicap access
there were old bathrooms there and when we renovated the fields, they came out
we tried to go through the public bidding process and it was way to much money
with Tri-County, we buy the parts and materials, the students do all the work
it will take a little longer to do the work but it is a win-win

Jeff says you are self-sustaining, it looks like you are making money about $16,000 this year
you have grown so large that you can use a revolving account anymore per State regulations

The relationship with Medway is going well
We are bringing their folks into ours where our don't sell out
we don't have flag football here, so we do it there

Girls lacrosse has really taken off
it is the largest program in the state
all the female sports have taken off

Flag football has actually surpassed the Pop Warner program
We have a chess club, there is something for everyone

motion to approve, passed 9-0

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Library

Felicia Oti

Nutting overview
Felicia is shared with Medway, we also provide some cleaning services to Medway
regionalization is a way to go, it takes energy and effort
Franklin is just bigger than all of our neighbors, sometimes that doesn't help
Friends of Library is very active, there is a book sale at the DPW this weekend

My budget is very small, I can take questions
Down $200,000 in four years

is it good with Medway
I see it is a great thing as a work in progress
most of the struggle is, concerned it is new, different, changed
building a relationship with the Medway Trustees
slowly and surely are coming to understand what we are trying to accomplish
they will let us know in the next month if they will continue

last year we did one book, one community
this year we did one book, two communities

how is the state minimum requirement
we are not out of line in other cuts with the Town

hours open offset the budget items to some extent
the Friends book sale can help us from a State perspective

Slow steady erosion, days open from seven now only five

closing on Friday and Saturday becomes a very busy Monday

Spoke for the library services
being utilized by the under and unemployed
Similar to the school cuts, the less advantage student get affected first, the library cuts would affect those needing access to the library databases and resources, as well as the internet access

motion to approve, passed 9-0

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - parking meters

About $10,000-15,000 revenue generated from the meters
additional amount generated from parking fines

harder to track manually than with the meters, the meters keep track

Sherlock raised an issue with the parking for the train station, commuters would take the free spots instead of the $4 charge at the MBTA lot

motion to approve, passed 9-0

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Police

Chief Williams, Kevin Ryan

Jeff Nutting overview
budget is less than prior with the proposed cuts of the three dispatchers
statistics are continuing to climb so it is getting challenge

Dispatchers are very busy people
they watch over the visitors to the station
handle the radio transmissions and calls for service
105,000 calls per year
double dispatch was 16 hours a day, 7 days a week

with the cuts, there is now a single dispatch for most of the day
in those times where there is a lot going on, you may catch the voice recording
it is not what we want but times are tough

budget has been cut over the years
we never did get to the 55 officers that at one time we were allocated

over 41,000 incidents
over 4,000 motor vehicle citations
over 400 major motor vehicle accidents
I don't have to tell you about the traffic in our town, 140 and other streets
70,000 people come through the town every day

over a $250,000 less this year than last year

Franklin demographically, we are over $500,000 less than comparable towns
We do more with less, we are lower in manpower
FBI stats show we should have 62 officers, we have 45

grants have upgraded technology so we can get things out very fast
as a result of using the technology, we have been able to make arrests in the two recent armed robberies
what we have lacked in manpower we have made up in technology

grant money from enhanced 911 system will allow us to keep another dispatcher on duty
so instead of cutting three we should have cut four

we do a lot with the money we are looking for tonight

can you tell us about the detail work around town?
Details are not reflected in this budget, this is outside of our operations and paid for by the contractors and utilities who need the service, it does give us additional feet on the street, an extra set of eyes and ears
so from a tax payer perspective, it is neutral
Well actually we make a little, not a whole lot but we do get some
what if it is a Town detail
We charge at the Town rate, not the outside rate
my son just finished the DARE program and he loved it
we love the program, we have four officers in the schools, you can't put a price tag on what we head off by getting into the relationships very early in the youth, guys are coaching football, hockey and lacrosse.

we are also loosing the parking control officer, the downtown area will not see the presence there
we will provide some coverage but it won't be the same

How about regionalization with dispatch
we have been looking at it, there are things we can do and look at that will help
MA is unique in having so many communities and local control
We are one of the largest groups in the area, I am willing to take on additional but you can see the budget
I need people to do that

What is the safety equipment needed?
we took the bullet proof vest out of the operating budget and put into to capital budget
occasionally when we get into a scuffle, something gets cut or damage

we appropriated $36,000 for safety vests for all officers

What about the Quinn bill impact
right now that is up in the air
10% to 20% above the base for earning a degree
the State has stopped paying, there are court cases reviewing this, it is a mess at the moment
an educated officer is the best one Franklin can get
less issues as a result of an educated officer? No, we don't want to go back

it is also a matter of collective bargaining, and we'll be getting into it in the next couple of months

motion to approve, passed 8-1 (Roche, dangerously low)

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Senior Center

Karen Alves

Senior Center substantially funded by volunteers and grants
service awards were recognized

Oral history project, taping seniors who are willing to tell their story
The family receives a CD with the recording

Grants amounting to $78,000 provide the funding for several personnel

One grant is a per capita grant, amount varies depending upon legislative process

Number of people over 60 will increase from 4,000 to over 7,000 in next ten years
age population has a wide range, i.e. from early sixties to over 100

There is a process now to be certified as a "Senior Center Director"
Work is underway to accomplish that, as well as get the center certified as well

Dial-a-ride saves the Town $40-50,000 a year

motion to approve, passed 9-0

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Finance Committee (Veterans)

Present: Messere, Huempfner, Cataldo, Cameron, Roche, Quinn, Goldsmith, Teixeira, Feldman
Absent: Maire, Rivera

Veterans - Bob Fahey
The processing of veterans services are unique to MA
Franklin provides the services up front, the State reimburses later at a 75% rate
veterans services are in place when all other resources for help have been exhausted

12 veterans (11 widows of veterans)
can not have more than $1,600 in assets to qualify
9 are seniors, 3 are in their fifties
Per Dept of Veterans Affairs, all applicants must apply for the other benefits offered
265 veterans and dependents receive benefits directly from the VA
$2.3 million dollars annually received as benefits

service connected disability amounts
50% $770
100% $2,673 plus amounts for wife and dependents

Chapter 115 - expended $120,000 of $150,000 allocated
Franklin receives a 75% reimbursement from the State for this service
MA is the only state with a program like this.
MA treats its veterans better than any other state in the US

in 2001, only 8 people were receiving benefits
now there are the 265 plus

motion to approve, passed 9-0

Franklin, MA

Stamp Out Hunger on Saturday, May 8th

Help to Stamp Out Hunger on Saturday, May 8th — the nation's largest annual single-day food drive!

Letter carriers in more than 10,000 communities will collect food items and deliver them to local food banks to help some of the millions of Americans, including an estimated 16.7 million children, who face hunger every day.

Simply place bags filled with nonperishable food items like canned meats, canned fish, broths, baked beans, mixed vegetables, rice and soups next to your mailbox on Saturday, May 8th.

Your Franklin letter carrier will pick up the bags and deliver them to the Franklin Food Pantry.

If you are interested in volunteering at the pantry on May 8th to help sort donations, please email or visit

Note: the picture was taken of the post card delivered with the mail this week to the Sherlock household.

Portions of this was originally posted on the Franklin, MA website here

Franklin, MA

Finance Committee - 05/06/10 - Agenda

The Finance Committee continues it annual budget hearings this evening at 6:30 PM in the Council Chambers.

On Tuesday they reviewed the budgets of the Town Clerk, Board of Health, Board of Assessors, Information Technology, Facilities, and School Department.

You can find a detail summary of the discussion here:

This evening the following departments are scheduled for review:

Department Code Page
Veterans 543 E-21
Council on Aging 541 E-11
Police/Parking Meters 210/2951 B-1, B-87
Library 610 F-1
Recreation 630 F-10

Code refers to the financial entry line for the budget
Page refers to the page of the budget book that the department can be found on

Wouldn't it be nice to have a copy of the same document that they are looking at?
I'd take a PDF version of the document if one is available.

Franklin, MA

Town Council: Franklin Recreational Advisory Board

From the Town Council meeting, Weds May 5th, reported via the video on demand archive

Present: Kelly, Jones, Vallee, Mason, Pfeffer, Zollo, Powderly
Absent: Whalen, McGann

Recreational Advisory Board
coordinates the activities of the various youth sports across Franklin
to ensure quality fields are available for safe play across the sports

1 - Youth Lacrosse

highest enrollment this year, over 200 signed up
funded entirely by registration fees
donated lacrosse sets to Beaver Pond, Charter School, and Horace Mann fields
coordinate coaching and training with FHS lacrosse players

2 - Youth Soccer

enrollment for spring about 1200, fall enrollment 1500
seven members on the Board of Directors
award $1,000 scholarships to male and female seniors for contributions to the program
soccer cleet exchange program
shared costs with other programs to repair fields; Dacey, Meadowlark, Remington
donated new nets
funded an Eagle Scout project at Dacey
funded repairs at King St fields
all field repairs were coordinated with Franklin DPW
Remington is scheduled to be fixed this fall, to be shut down for play for a year to allow for growth

3 - Youth Football

about 340 signed up now for the Fall season, with growth in the number expected to grow as the season approaches
working to get additional lights at the FHS/Horace Mann fields to add another field with lights
provide scholarships to graduating seniors
provide scholarships for families to help pay for their registrations
established Franklin Chargers charity to collect food for the Franklin Food Pantry
coordinate football clinic with Coach Sidwell at FHS
winning isn't everything, we teach
32 students graduating from FHS were all Franklin Chargers and recruited by higher institutions

4 - Youth Softball

about 650-700 girls from kindergarten through 9th grade, playing from April to end of July
supported totally by volunteers, over 220 people contribute to the execution of the program
2nd largest program in the State of MA
work closely with the Franklin DPW and the other groups
league wide clean up day, over 100 cleaned, raking leaves, etc.
installed two outfield fences, etc at Dennis Pisani Field (off Peck St)
clinics coordinated with FHS
a regional sponsor of the Pepsi Run/Pitch/Hit competition this year
award two scholarships each year to graduating FHS seniors
the scholarships will be renamed in 2011 to honor Kristin Graci

5 - Youth Baseball

program began in 1953; over 1,110 in the program this season
275 coaches for the spring, another 60 coach in the summer
can't drive by a field without seeing some kids playing, especially at this time of the year
new Parks and Recreation Dept can focus on preparing the fields in the spring
invested over $100,000 over the last three years; time and materials for field repair
the field property in Franklin needs to be kept up to avoid injuries
invested in tarps to help with the rain control so the fields don't get washed out
expenses shared with other sports, fields are used by multiple groups

"We appreciate having the space to play, we are doing our part to keep the kids on the fields and stay healthy"

Pfeffer - question to clarify on co-ed status
the programs are mostly co-ed

Zollo - I'll confirm that they are co-ed, my daughters have played multiple sports
what is the single thing the Town can do to help
Ecker - What you are doing now is what is needed with the combined
maintain the fields, let the fields breath every once in a while
otherwise, the fields end up in dirt and rocks
as long as they cut the grass and empty the trash cans
you could always have fields, we are investing in the old Putnam field, about $3,000 on the baseball field
there is space there to also put a soccer area on the Putnam space, this helps to take another field offline to rest and recover; Davis Thayer is one that needs to be rested soon
If you ever need votes, there is a good bunch of folks across the groups

Vallee - thank you, I am amazed at all the work that is done

Jones - my daughters have played soccer, it is well run, the kids enjoy themselves and look forward to the new season, thank you for all you do

Franklin, MA 

"There is some hope on the horizon"

"There's no source of local funding for road repairs in town," Mason said. The DPW will "fill potholes and make (minor) repairs... but there's no money for big repairs."
He said Franklin relies on state and federal money for repairs, and though the $900,000 would not be enough to cover all the work that needs be done, it would be a good start.
Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting said many roads need work.
"We have an incredible backlog of road issues," Nutting said, adding that old subdivisions built in the 1970s and '80s will eventually need repair. "We have to face the reality that if we don't invest in roads, what we're facing this spring (in construction) is going to be an everyday occurrence." 
Read the full article from the Town Council meeting Wednesday May 5th here

Franklin, MA

Horace Mann Middle School - Yard Sale - 5/8/10

The Horace Mann Middle School in Franklin will hold its second annual yard sale on Saturday, May 8, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the school on Oak Street. Proceeds from the sale will help fund school programs such as field trips and guest speakers.

Among the great finds awaiting bargain hunters are sporting goods, toys, bikes, antiques, furniture, lamps and books. Shoppers can browse booths by local vendors for Mother’s Day gifts including theme gift baskets, jewelry, crafts and potted plants.

The PCC will provide donuts and coffee for sale for early shoppers, and will grill up hamburgers and hotdogs for lunch. They invite residents to spend the day!

In case of rain, the sale will be moved inside the school. The sale starts promptly at 9:00; please no early birds. Anyone interested in donating an item or participating as a crafter can contact the school at (508)-541-6230.

Franklin, MA

In the News - kindergarten, Dean College

Franklin kindergarten information nights slated

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

Two Dean College students charged with attempted robbery

Franklin, MA

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Community Health Council - meeting canceled

The Community Health Council meeting that had been scheduled for May 6 at 6:30 PM has been canceled.

The Community Health Council website can be found here

Franklin, MA

quality reporting takes time

A head's up that I won't be live reporting from the Town Council meeting this evening. The New England Revolution have a compressed schedule during May due to the FIFA World Cup in June. Instead of their normal weekend games and an occasional weekday game, they are playing Weds and Sat for the whole month. Ouch, their legs will be tired. That also means I'll miss the live reporting for this week and the 19th. I'll resort to catching the meeting via the on demand video as soon as I can and reporting on what matters.

If you do attend or watch the cable broadcast and want to send along your comments, please feel free to do so.

There is a whole lot happening and your views are welcomed!

Note: Practicing some of the 'asset based thinking' I picked up this past weekend. Instead of saying "No live reporting", I could say "quality reporting takes time".

Franklin, MA

Election updates

May 11th
Absentee ballots for the special election May 11th are available at the Town Clerk's office. This election will determine fulfill the seat left vacant by Scott Brown's election to the US Senate.

Only precincts 2, 3 and 4 are eligible to vote in this special election May 11th

June 8th
The override special election will take place on June 8th. Ballots have not yet been printed and absentee ballots are not yet available for that election.

Stay tuned!

Franklin, MA

Networking Lunch - today

Looking for someone to lunch with today?

Try the Downtown Partnership Networking Lunch at Dean College!

FDP Networking Luncheon
Wednesday, May 5th at noon
Dean College - Golder Room
Campus Center
Lunch is $5.00

Franklin, MA

Tough choices

Water, the essence of life versus Downtown, where some go to live it up

1 - On May 12 you get to make a choice.

a - The EPA is holding a public information session at Tri-County to help businesses understand the new proposed requirements for treating storm water. Franklin, Bellingham and Milford are part of a pilot process that is estimated to cost $70 million dollars. The amount would be shared by businesses large and small, as well as the town governments.

b - Also that night, the plans for the Downtown Revitalization Project will be presented and open for discussion at the Franklin Municipal Bldg.

2 - On May 24th you get to make another choice between water and money

a - Monday night, the open forum on the Franklin override vote for $3 million dollars will be held at the Horace Mann/Thomas Mercer Auditorium at 7:00 PM. Members of Town Council, School Committee amongst others will be available for questions and discussion on the budget details.

b - Also that same night at the same time in the Council Chambers on the 2nd floor of the Municipal Bldg, the Charles River Watershed Association will make a presentation on a storm water management plan to reduce phosphorus from the Spruce Pond Brook sub-basin.

It is a fact that you can live longer without food than you can without water.

Clean water requires money.

In this tough economy, forcing businesses in Franklin (Bellingham, Milford) to compete at a disadvantage against the communities in the rest of the state just doesn't seem fair.

Yet the money discussion on the override is important.

Where should our priorities be?

Couldn't the calendar have been better managed to avoid a conflict?

Franklin, MA

Finance Committee 05/04/10

The second in a series of budget hearings for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 budget took place Tuesday evening, May 4th. The collection of live reporting from that meeting can be found here:

Franklin, MA

In the News - teens caught, yard sale, Senate debate

Franklin teens charged with breaking into store

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

Horace Mann Middle School plans yard sale

Senate candidates debate

Franklin, MA

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Live reporting - Facilities

Mike D'Angelo

Jeff Nutting provides an overview
transfered all facilities from Schools to the Town to consolidate
3 person maintenance staff, outsource the rest of the major work
over a million square feet to maintain, contract out for specialties

covers all the phones, utilities for all the buildings
spread incredibly thin for the work required

energy improvements have been made for the last decade
6 million dollars for school building improvements, still another 5 million to go
most of the municipal buildings were already upgraded so they are in better shape

Police station 20 year old next year

Budget is level funded but that means less money is invested into the buildings

price per therm of gas, enabled cut of the gas budget by $157,000 (15%)
helps to offset the prices of other things going up
major phone changes in the schools over the Christmas break, using the savings to pay for the Connect-CTY services
disconnected 159 lines through out the schools to save thousands of dollars a month

Can you explain the going long on the gas

Every 2-3 years we look to negotiate the contract, in cases where we did extend the contract we did make some significant savings

We bought at the low price point of oil and gas for a long term contract

the brokers take a tenth or so of a percent, it is bundled into the overall price
the brokers buy the futures, it is a fixed cost to us
hedged our bet that it wouldn't increase
once in awhile we get it right
we do this through our purchasing director

We work with the utilities to get whatever rebates we can get
National Grid kicked in to save about $1400 a year on one
If you are always doing this, you can keep your energy costs stable

maybe we don't do our best advertising this because we believe we should do this
he controls the heat and colling from his laptop

What is the increase for telephones?

We had a grant for the Connect-CTY and Connect-ED but now the grant has expired and we need to start paying for our usage, I think is a 2 year contract and two year increments

Custodian contracts are a large amount, have your looked at the outsource vs insource

Custodians do ore than custodial work, i.e. changing light bulbs, painting, etc.
Other school districts that have done that have seen increases due to still paying for the other work in addition to the cleaning. Town was outsourcing custodial and we have brought it in with part timers and do more work with less expense
The School cut 8 custodians several years ago, we'd like to get back to that at some point

There is some interchange between the organizations giving that we are understaffed

Town custodians are part-time, the School custodians are full-time labor union contract folks

could you do FTE for the custodians? so we could compare

other buildings are the smaller town buildings; King St fields has a building, the gazebo (bandstand) on the Town Common, etc.

How much was turned back from this budget last fiscal year?

About $50,000 - I don;t have the exact number but can get it for you for Thursday
There is another month of utilities encumbered but not in the year to date
There is also a lag on one bill that is paid by Solid Waste first then accounted for by us

motion to approve, passed 9-0

Monday - May 10th - 6:30 PM
Checking schedules, need two more

Thursday - May 6th - 6:30 PM

motion to adjourn, passed 9-0

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Technology

Tim Raposa

Jeff Nutting provides an overview
most of his salary is in the School Budget, most of the Town side of the budget is license fees
It has been the same number for the past several years
consulting services for technical support outside of our expertise, primarily for internet security

Where does the actual network cost sit?
In the facilities budget, coming up next

When does the savings from the phones come in?
Sometime during the next fiscal year, we are looking for cooperation from the utilities vendors and if all goes well, it will be complete during 2010
Once the fiber network is in place we can start killing off the T1 lines to save the money

We don't pay maintenance on computers or servers, we have the warranty only

Contractor has done 14 fiber installs in the past year, they know their stuff, we are confident that they know their stuff

Meetings and conferences seems to fluctuate
training and personal development, the previous DBA required some training but that training has been completed

Motion to approve, passed 9-0

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - School Committee budget

Maureen Sabolinski, Miriam Goodman, Jeff Roy

Nutting provides an intro
have enjoyed a tremendous relationship with Schools
share technology and facilities, excellent teamwork, always looking to save by doing things together

additional School Committee members present - Paula Mullen, Susan Rohrbach, Roberta Trahan

School budget shortage is $1.9M

Roy -
Budget usually increases approx. $3M
used revolving funds and stimulus money to get down to the 1.9M gap
At the last school committee meeting, discussed several items to reduce the gap with additional cuts or additional fee revenues

The proposed adjustments can be found here

No changes are proposed at Franklin High School due to the changes made last year that would survive the two years; by going from a seven period day to a six period day, 80 elective courses were dropped from the curriculum, students now have an option of only one elective (as opposed to two).

Lost over 100 teachers in the last five years, with an increase in students by 1,000 in same period, hence an increase in class sizes.

Eliminated 6 administrative positions over the past several years.

Dept of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) statistics show that Franklin spends below the State average on all eleven categories that they measure.

Special Ed director left for a slightly smaller district where they have three directors to handle the workload where we have one person to handle the workload on a larger district

Explanation on the elementary early dismissal day once a week. The students already exceed the state require hours of education, by releasing early one day, could eliminate the support positions to save three teacher positions, and still provide preparation time for the teachers

Most school districts are looking to try and increase the school day, we unfortunately are going the other direction

Middle school will see substantial class size increases

Elementary students are required to have 900 hours of education, we provide 960.
By releasing the students an hour and a half one day a week, we can save the positions outlined above and still meet the state requirements

It is very important for families to understand what is going on, we are overburdened adjusting for the need of the budget requirements; 100 teachers lost and 1,000 students gained, results in increased class sizes

Nursing salaries is a correction to bring them into alignment with the standards, this was negotiated several years ago, the contract expires this year

Roche - net minimum school spending?
Roy - the State formula that determines the minimum required by communities to provide for the educational benefits
Nutting - generally Franklin was about 15% above the minimum, that crept under 2 M this year, part of it was how the State changed the formula, if they don't change the formula, we would have to shift dollars from the Town side to the School side to meet the minimum required
Roche - if we continue down this trend, this is the wrong way to go
Nutting - part of is is their commitment to provide Chap 70, it is an economic issue and if their money is short, they will adjust to ensure that they can keep their commitment
Roche - the Long Range/Financial Planning Committee in their report has indicated that we are over reliant on state aid and need to be prepared

There seems to be a disconnect between perception and reality, with some folks saying the teachers are overpaid, there are too many administrators, etc. What is your role in explaining the situation for the override?

Members are ready to answer the questions and discuss the issues, we are available

You are probably preaching to the choir here, how are you going to reach the others?

there are some who even if the Town were burning would not want to put it out
there are 18,000 voters (actually 19,200) when you get 3,000 people this is not a true reflection of the public

there is a public forum on Monday May 24th to review the details

We will go where ever necessary to talk about the budget

What about thinking out of the box?

I think shortening the school day is a good example
I think we have been cutting so much, it is cutting down to the bone now

There have been a lot of creative things done in the last several years
Do you really feel the impact of a 7 to 6 period schedule change?
Some middle school students are seeing the impact with only one elective to choose from
We have done a lot of changes that have not been alarming, we are not pursuing this as a measure of sound bit. It has been a slow erosion over the year, sometime we have to stop

Utilizing and moving to more efficient school buildings

If our space needs we more flexible, we would love to do so, we don't have that option
If we were to close Davis Thayer, for example, and then come back in a few years to say we need a new elementary school, folks would quickly say: "What were you thinking?"

The capital plan has about 5 million dollars for improvements to non-high school buildings

Keller has 630 in a school built for 550, to think about eliminating space it just not practical

we will be looking at a re-districting to shift students from Keller to Davis Thayer, etc as there is still growth in the Keller area

Is there any increase for the salary this year?

There is only the cost of living increase from last year that was deferred last year and due this year

Most of the employees are covered by contract signed 3 years ago, those were legal obligations entered into for good faith, they took changes to their health insurance to save money and deferred their cost of living increase

What percent of staff does  is not affected by step/level?


what is the largest grade?

9th grade is 415, 8th grade is 504

Alluded to re-districting? when would that occur?

We would spend 2011 looking at it to make some recommendation to be effective for the 2011-2012 school year

Motion to approve, passed 7-2

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Planning and Community Development

Planning and Community Development
Bryan Taberner

Nutting provides an overview
Secured 200,000 grant to clean up the Nustyle building
Secured the 100,000 grant to put solar on the Parmenter School (90,000 - Town kicks in 10,000)

Open Space plan completed
Technical Review Committee
Conservation agent

down a half of a clerical person
almost 8% of total work hours, work still gets down but it gets shifted around

Beth Dahlstrom primary focus on planning and processing of planning items

Downtown improvement project is underway, requires quarterly reports
EPA and brownfields reporting
Taberner managing half time on economic development and half on grants

Cataldo- Question on how the income from grants balances the department expenses
Grant income far exceeds the department expenses, a great return on investment

Rivera - question on the economy and problems and how it reflects on the Town
Taberner - the Nustyle property will be good to get cleaned up and returned to the tax rolls, I work on the economic opportunity areas, attracts new business. Biotechnology bylaws streamlined to enhance the process to attract businesses. Marketing of Franklin area as business friendly.

Quinn - what is the status of the Downtown revitalization project?
Taberner - we have two grant, one $5 million Federal and one $1 million. A presentation is scheduled for Wednesday May 12th in the Municipal Bldg

About a total $7 and a quarter million project, downtown all the way out to the Brick School
Emmons, Dean, etc.

If all goes according to plan, the downtown would go back to two way traffic, with lights, etc.
Construction expected late 2012 or 2013

Motion to approve, passed 9-0

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Elections

Debbie Pellegri

budget is up, election workers salary is slightly increased
programming for the election, even for the override (at just one question) they charge by the line
have a special machine for the handicap, was given us but the programming for the election is expensive and it hasn't been used for the last four years.

printing service, street lists, all necessary documents required by general law
cost to do the census, $6500

Steve Sherlock had a question on whether the senior work out program was used for elections, it is not.

motion to approve, passed 9-0

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Town Clerk

Town Clerk
Debbie Pellegri

lost one full time due to retirement, switched the position to two part-time positions
which also saves on benefits

Pretty stable budget
binding of all the records, microfiche
cost of cartridges (i.e. printing)

Several years ago, took on passport processing to generate additional revenue for the Town
98% of this budget is required by law

When the Board of Health agents are not available, the Town Clerks office steps up to help cover

What other professional services are used?
The code book is kept up to date, the consulting company actually does the printing, etc. for us
It is not really a consulting company more printing and legal review

Motion to approve - $70,770
passed 9-0

Motion to approve - $44,863
passed 9-0

Motion to approve - $13,800
passed 9-0

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Board of Assessors

Board of Assessors
Kevin Doyle

Nutting provides an overview
This is a real success story of efficiency and effectiveness, online access
Bulk of budget is salary and expenses

Mapping - maintains the files to drive the maps and GIS information, needs to be updated and required by law to be updated

Abstracts - pays for cost of deeds and plans to file at the Norfolk Land Court; maintains appropriate ownership of the parcels

Office supplies - pretty constant over the years, legal forms, etc.

triennial is due for FY 2011, they came before the FINCOM recently to get additional funding to cover some outside professional services, that is not included in this budget as it is already covered

18,000 for the support contract for database and records used for all the processing as well as enhancements to the software itself

motion to approve - $280,153 for Assessors

Franklin, MA

Live reporting - Board of Health/Health Services

Board of Health/Health Services
David McKearney

notable reduction in budget
did not backfill an individual who left, will be the first department to visibly supply less services due to the shortage

Milford Nursing Services (VNA) - $20,000 provides visiting nursing services as the Town does not have a nurse on duty to make visits and file the appropriate required reports.

Prior to FY 2010, the Town had two vehicles for the department to use
Now mileage is paid for the use of personal cars in lieu of getting a full vehicle

Brutus Cantorerrgi and John Lombardi get the credit for the analysis on using smaller older cars instead of using the older re0usable police cruisers

The lost person per the budget was not part of the submittal, rather than a adjustment to be made later
Training an existing administrative person to handle some of the inspector duties
David is handling most of the inspection work during the training

Minimal expense budget, has stayed pretty stable, usually turn money back in at end of year

The H1N1 program was covered primarily by the volunteers within the Town that stepped up to provide the service in a quality manner at minimal expense (due to the volunteer efforts and donations of materials).

Nutting - the Town stepped forward to provide the volunteer effort, many thanks to all involved.

Motion to recommend budget for Board of Health
Motion to recommend budget for Health Services
both motions passed 9-0

 Franklin, MA

Live reporting - debt stabilization

Roche - question on the debt stabilization fund
Nutting - explanation of the fund's use; to help even out the annual debt amount.

(This was also covered in the Budget hearing in January 2010 )

Roche - desires to keep one pool to avoid 'found' money, would like to close the account and roll the funds into the General Stabilization account
Nutting - Council would need a 2/3 vote to take out of one and put it into the other

Roche - would like to make a recommendation to close the account
Nutting - if you do this after this year, it would simply be less work and accomplish the same thing
I'd consider putting something from it against the fire truck. It think it should be given some discussion.

Roche - withdraws motion for recommendation

 Franklin, MA