Thursday, December 18, 2014

In the News: Emmons St, Library Building committee

A local developer eyeing the town property on the corner of Emmons Street has objected to the idea of limiting the kind of businesses that could set up shop there. 
Roger Calarese, the developer behind the Franklin Village Mall, submitted a proposal to raze the current building at 150 Emmons St. and replace it with a 5,300-square-foot commercial property with a drive-through. 
But the Franklin Downtown Partnership, a consortium of local businesses, opposes the prospect of a restaurant and drive-through, such as a coffee shop.
Because of its location at the entrance to the downtown, the property has been the subject of debate. And most of the suggestions for how the town should develop the property have come from downtown business owners, who see it as a "gateway" to the area.

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Franklin Public Library
Franklin Public Library

A building committee was created Wednesday to oversee the $6.6 million library expansion. 
Committee members must consider the building’s recognizable exterior, inspired by ancient Greek architecture, as they plan out a 6,000-square-foot, two-story addition, to include a community room, coffee shop and young adult wing. 
The town has enough debt capacity to borrow the money for the project – up to 3½ percent of its revenue is reserved annually for general fund debt, helping foot the bill for most capital improvements to the recreational fields and municipal buildings. 
Three town councilors were appointed to the committee, Matthew Kelley, Thomas Mercer and Judith Pond Pfeffer, along with members of the library's Board of Directors and residents with experience in budgeting for large projects.
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