Saturday, May 19, 2012

Live reporting - Question and Answer

Deb Bartlett - love living in the town, folks are generally taking care of their space so that it looks good. For some of the property where if they are no longer being maintained and it is a concern. Is there a recourse for neighbors to get some action taken?

Beth Dalhstrom - I believe there is by-law covering abandoned properties. I can get more information on it.

Franklin Town Planner - Beth Dahlstrom

Deb B - Grove Street is an issue where NuStyle is and that is finally coming down. We rely on volunteers too much to take care of some of the public space. The Town should have the resources to maintain these spaces. It is hard for a group to try and do something like this (the trail committee for example) but they will need some resources from the Town.

Jeff Roy - thank you, assistance from the Town and in particular the blight areas. We'll look to get these comments addressed by a subcommittee.

David Dobrzynski - In driving by, the Town looks good but when walking by or running by you get a closer look, there is a lot of trash around that we can do better cleaning up for ourselves. There is a massive amount of clean up, we are citizens, we should make some effort.

I added to David's comments about the trash and recycling pickup. I  have posted here and elsewhere about picking up recycling in my walks around town. I also mentioned that I had recently heard that the app that Boston uses for smartphones was being looked at to expand to other communities. This would be something to be explored.

Tom DeRosa talking about the quality of life, i.e. additional traffic from the BIG Y for example. There are restrictions within the zoning by-laws that exist. Those should be looked at.

Bill Glynn raised a question on the mission statement and the vision where they are flawed. Are those going to be addressed before getting into the goals that could come from that?

Jeff Roy acknowledged that the committee has started looking at those very items.

Bill continues with a example on one of the goals. Let's also get into some of the whys for that goal. It is generic and sound good but what are the driving factors.

Jeff continues with an example from the subcommittee on Open Space and Recreation work

Nick Alferi, Conservation Agent, one of the goals should be to have a conservation property or Town property available within a 15 minute walk of each of the residents. There are reasons for protecting wetlands and trees. It is not just that they are home for critters and are nice to look at. They provide shade, provide cooling space, and other real factual reasons for saving trees and wetlands. It is not just a 'feel-good' thing, there are scientific reasons as well.

We are fairly close in some sections of town in other sections, we are challenged to do this. Obtaining space at the retail price is expensive but working with the owners and letting them know of the need and opportunities can get some space.

Ken Norman - Speaking for the 2-way traffic needed as part of the downtown improvement project. There were compromises made when the new fire station was built downtown and the senior center in its location.

Lauren Marcyn - expressed desire for inclusion of bike friendly spaces

Beth - provided an update on the downtown project that the plans are at 75% complete and awaiting State approval. The by-law for the 2-way streets was approved by the prior council and are ready for implementation.

Brad Feldman raised a question on our progress towards becoming a green community.

Jeff and then Beth provide an update on our progress. We were already so advanced that to get certified as a green community is underway but not there yet.

Brad expressed concern about the MBTA and its plans for the stations. Should we include something for a casino? Foxboro has turned their back apparently do we need to do anything? Should regionalization of the police, fire, etc be considered part of this? Maybe under the community services section? Can we do any bench marking against other communities?

Beth comments on the other regional efforts, MetroWest and other organizations are working in this area

David - had participated in the Economic Development Summit in April, had an interesting conversation with  a local business on the language of attracting new businesses. While we are focused on attracting new what are we doing to keep existing businesses? It was interesting to hear that mentioned, we are a regional player and competing against our neighbors. We need to balance between our existing companies and attracting the new businesses.

Tom DeRosa - How does Wrentham turn down a CVS when we don't turn down anything? I used to live in Needham,and people where leaving there because the property taxes were too high. You want to keep people in town. Can the senior taxes get capped?

Jeff - there are programs out there to help tax bills for seniors.

I endorsed checking with the Senior Center for the info on the tax abatements and tax breaks for the seniors.

Bill - We are in a water ban and have been forever. If we can't sustain our existing bases, can we even consider expanding? If you project this out to a silly conclusion could there be an odd even shower restriction?

Jeff -  we have capacity, that is not the problem. The state controls the permits and our pumping capacity.

Nick - we have shallow wells to supply out water and the state controls that. If we had surface water or another source, the bans would be different. I don't see anytime in the future where we are not going to have some type of water ban. In the winter time, there is no problem delivering water. We can supply the water but can provide it day after day.

David - If you have been following the storm water program, it is controversial. We need to recharge our ground water. This is a struggle that Franklin and every other community will face. It is not in the Town's best interest to reduce water use as it provides revenue for us.

Jeff - the plan will be used for directing and guiding the Town's actions for our future.

David - I am participating because in 1997 the plan was developed and then not adopted. I don't want to get to June 2013 and not have the Town Council not adopt the plan, not start implementing the action items.

Bill - what you said is key, if we put into the master plan that we need to recharge the water supply. That may give us the reasons for adjusting or declining a development

Beth - we committed staff in the Town, we are not working this hard not to have the Town Council accept the plan and follow the actions items

Bill - I am never a big fan of making a big decision when we are possibly making a bad decision because of some other factors (i.e the fire station and the senior center), would we make the 2-way decision if the fire station was not downtown.

The first part of the meeting is noted here

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