Friday, June 6, 2014

Do we pay for the roads, or not that is the question...

*** The Town Council voted to put the ballot question before the voters to raise $1.5 million on a dedicated override to pay for roads and sidewalks. The dedicated override if approved, can only be used for this purpose. This is not line an 'operational' override which for the first year has a cause to rally around it, but in subsequent years the fund drop into the general fund.

road work on Uncas St
road work on Uncas St

If approved, the money raised by the vote would be voted on by the Town Council in July of 2015 to be used for repairing some roads. If the Council in subsequent years, doesn't vote the full amount or any amount, then no money would be spent on the roads. The voters could change the amount or stop the override in another vote.

The $1.5 million would likely be paired with the approx. $1M of water/sewer line repairs and $900,000 in Chapter 90 funds from the State to help make a dent in the overall backlog of repairs required by the 200 miles of roads in Franklin.

The text of the ballot question can be found here

*** The Town Council voted to fund the hiring of a project manager and architect to proceed with the Library renovations and expansion. This funding would allow for the more detail planning that a formal committee would do to eventually come back to the Council with a more detailed design and cost estimate for the work. The return would like be about this time next year.

The amount authorized was $1M. The amount would be funded within the existing debt service plan and not require any increase in taxes. The same funding method was use to provide for the Senior Center, the Fire Stations, and other significant capital expenses outside of the schools which have been covered by debt overrides (and an appropriate increase in taxes).

Franklin Public Library
Franklin Public Library
The Finance Committee meeting had a more detail overview of the project. The presentation and those notes can be found here

*** The Town Council also heard from Alan Mercer on the proposal for creation of a "Cultural District" in Franklin. There are many benefits to do so and the Council spoke in favor of the process.

revised outline of proposed Cultural Council for Franklin
revised outline of proposed Cultural Council for Franklin

My notes as captured during the meeting on Wednesday can be found here
Live reporting: Closing 
Live reporting: Legislation 
Live reporting: Cultural Council presentation 
Live reporting: Town Council - June 4

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