Thursday, September 20, 2012

Real time reporting: Town Council highlights

Via the cable feed, I managed to catch the Town Council meeting Wednesday night missing only the first 30 minutes. As it turns out, I would have been better off in the room but that is usually why I do go to the meetings. It is so much better to be in the room than watching remotely. The Dept of Health section of the meeting is recapped here. Other key points of the meeting are as follows:

NationalGrid had a meeting with Jeff Roy, Jeff Nutting and others to review their progress. We will not see a major upgrade to their infrastructure, it is not in their budget unfortunately. We will continue to see work removing tree limbs from the power lines. In some cases, they may need to replace poles and put the lines above the tree limbs. They will look more closely at the data on our 'reported' frequent outages and see if the data confirms that the situation is getting worse or is it due to our 'perception'. (side note - if they were really attentive, they should have already had this data and made it available. To the extent that they haven't done this, they could be afraid of what it would show.)

The bids for the new high school will be opened in the Council chambers next Tuesday. There was acknowledgement from Dean College and others that the athletic fields at Dean would be used in the period during the construction of the new Franklin High although work remains to be done to confirm the specific schedules.

Kudos for the professionalism and quick work of the Fire Dept to put out the King St fire were mentioned by Jeff Nutting and several councilors. According to Andy Bissanti, Robert Catalano (the home owner) will be getting back into the house soon. The reason the tower truck did not show up in response to the fire and instead units from Wrentham and Bellingham did was two-fold. One, as mentioned in a number of presentations by Fire Chief McCarragher, 44% of the calls to action for the Fire Dept come when one unit is already out on a call. They are staffed for two calls, and did not have the additional staff to use the tower. Additional staff were being called in but there is a time delay in the calling out before the staff arrives. This is something Franklin will continue to live with under these budget conditions. Council Chair Vallee says health and safety should be number 1 and no one disagrees with that but there are only so many dollars to go around. Every department is doing more with less.

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