Saturday, August 13, 2016

Franklin Senior Center - closed Tues-Weds

From the Franklin Senior Center:
"Due to ongoing construction on our building we will be closing the Center on Tuesday, Aug. 16 and Wednesday, Aug. 17. 
We will reopen for all programming on Thursday, Aug. 18.

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may cause."
Silvertones Concert on Friday Aug 19th
Silvertones Concert on Friday Aug 19th

This was shared from the Franklin webpage

For additional information on the Senior Center and all its programs

American Legion Edward L. Grant Post 75 meets Monday Sep 12

The American Legion Edward L. Grant Post 75 will meet at 7 p.m. on the first Monday of each month at the Franklin Access TV Studio, 23 Hutchinson St.

All local veterans are welcome to attend. For information:

When Monday is a holiday, the meeting will be on the following Monday. Hence, Monday, Sep 12 is the next meeting

American Legion Edward L. Grant Post 75
American Legion Edward L. Grant Post 75

In the News: drug kiosk success, drought conditions continue

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"The drug take-back kiosk in the lobby of the police station has taken in thousands of pounds of drugs in its four-year existence, and local law enforcement officers are hoping to continue that success. 
Deputy Chief James Mill said, as of Aug. 8, the box has aided in the disposal of 3,900 pounds of drugs. 
"The program started in 2012, when District Attorney Michael Morrissey got grants and was able to secure drug take-back containers at several Norfolk County departments," Mill said. "When it started, we were just seeing the onset of the opioid crisis."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Franklin Police Dept photo
Franklin Police Dept photo

"For many families, the summer heat means backyard barbecues with plates filled to the brim with grilled burgers, hot dogs, potato salad and, of course, some fresh farm-picked corn-on-the-cob. But if you're enjoying a side of corn with your dinner this month, make sure to savor it because it's one ear that survived the brutal drought savaging local farmers. 
Jim Geoghegan, owner of Sunshine Farm in Sherborn, estimates he lost between 30 and 40 percent of all the crops he planted this year. While some crops came in fine, like strawberries and summer squash, others such as raspberries and corn have been hit hard by the lack of water. As many as four acres of corn have been left dried out, he said. 
While the farm has enough supplies for its on-site store, wholesale shipments "were the first to go" and pick-your-own fruit days have been limited. Geoghegan said his produce revenue for July was down between 10 and 15 percent."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Friday, August 12, 2016

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA Area: FRI 8/12/16 - THU 8/18/16

FRIDAY 8/12/16
10:30am   Liquid Nitrogen Demonstration @ Franklin Public Library
12-6pm   Franklin Farmers Market @ The Town Common
6-11pm   Feast of St. Rocco 

SATURDAY 8/13/16
11am-11pm   Feast of St. Rocco

SUNDAY 8/14/16
12-9pm   Feast of St. Rocco

MONDAY 8/15/16
9am   PokeWalk on the SNETT. Meet at Grove Street trailhead.
4:30-7pm   Open House @ Drama Kids Metro West (19 Dean Ave., Franklin)

TUESDAY 8/16/16
10:30am   Legos and Giant Games @ Franklin Public Library
2:30-3:30pm   Barn Babies Traveling Petting Zoo @ 118 Main Street Parking Lot
4:30-7pm   Open House @ Drama Kids Metro West (19 Dean Ave., Franklin)
6pm   First time college student workshop (for parents and students), free - info here

4-6pm   Franklin Rain Garden Tour. Please sign up. Space is limited.
6pm   Concerts on the Common: Matt Zajak & Partner. Children’s program: Elaine Kessler, Storyteller
8:15pm   Movies in the Park @ Choate Park in Medway

THURSDAY 8/18/16
10:30am   Family Storytime @ Franklin Public Library
3pm   Memory Cafe at Franklin Senior Center
6:30pm   Art Night Uncorked @ Franklin Art Center

For all the Town of Franklin Public Meetings click HERE.

For event details click HERE.

*If you have any suggestions or events for the calendar, please email

Attention Students: Open Call for Verizon Innovative Learning App Challenge Submissions Now Open to Franklin Residents

Verizon Issues Call to Massachusetts Students for the Best Problem-Solving App Ideas

Fifth Annual Verizon Innovative Learning App Challenge Opens for New Submissions;
Deadline is November 18

Fifth Annual Verizon Innovative Learning App Challenge
Fifth Annual Verizon Innovative Learning App Challenge

WHAT: The Verizon Innovative Learning app challenge – the no-coding-skills-needed contest that gives middle and high school students a chance to bring their problem-solving app ideas to life – is now accepting new app ideas for the 2016-2017 competition.

Winning student teams will be chosen from each state, earning a $5,000 grant for their school or organization and free tablets for each team member. Then the Best In State teams will compete for the ultimate prizes: an additional $15,000 for their organizations, and chance to turn their app ideas into real, working smartphone apps that will be made available for download.

Now in its fifth year, thousands of students across the U.S. have participated in the app challenge - gathering teams, dreaming up ideas, and creating concepts for mobile apps that could solve problems in their schools and communities.

Past winners have been featured at the White House Science Fair and even gone on to sell their completed apps for cash.

Students can submit ideas from Aug. 1 - Nov. 18, 2016, and the winners will be named in January and February 2017.

For more information on how to register for the Verizon Innovative Learning app challenge, or to download the completed apps, visit Follow us on Twitter (@VerizonGiving) and Facebook (

WHY: The app challenge, part of Verizon Innovative Learning, was developed to give all students, regardless of their technology experience or access to technology, a chance to make a difference, and to help spark their interest in STEM subjects and careers.

Over the past 10 years, for example, STEM jobs have grown three times faster than other jobs. STEM jobs are expected to grow by 1 million by 2022 to a total of more than 9 million jobs.

The app challenge provides hands-on, experiential learning that can equip students with the in-demand skills of the future and empower them to envision brighter futures for themselves as business owners, app inventors, coders, technology professionals and more.

The 2016-17 Verizon Innovative Learning app challenge is open for new submission August 1 – November 18, 2016.

Town Council - Actions Taken - August 10, 2016

The official record of Actions Taken by the Town Council at Wednesday's meeting was posted on Thursday. As mentioned here previously, this is a marked improvement in the process. We still wait for the official minutes to see what the discussions were but the recorded votes are no readily available.

In summary

  • the Council recognized Frankl Liotta for his contributions to Franklin as part of the Elks
  • the newest detective and sergeant were sworn in, and the Police Dept re-established the practice of giving badge #1 to the longest serving officer
  • Police Chief Thomas Lynch also provided an update on his first 6 weeks in charge
  • the Council approved all the bylaws before them making changes to the site plan process, introducing the new parking plan for downtown (including removal of the parking meters), and approval of the open space and recreation plan

In the Council comments section Debbie Pellegri raised two objections: one to the hiring of an outside deputy Treasurer Collector (bypassing an internal candidate that 'was qualified') and to the disconnect created by the School Committee where they authorized salary increases of 2,2.5 and 3% over the next three years which is more than what the Town had settled for with the other unions.

The Actions Taken can be found in this PDF:

You can also find the Action Taken on the Franklin webpage

My complete set of notes taken live during the meeting can be found here

Officer Fiorio getting his badge #1 pinned by his wife
Officer Fiorio getting his badge #1 pinned by his wife

Detective MacLain and Sargent Zimmerman getting their new badges pinned by family members
Detective MacLain and Sargent Zimmerman getting their new badges pinned by family members

Asst Town Clerk Danello swears in Detective MacLean and Sargent Zimmerman
Asst Town Clerk Danello swears in Detective MacLean and Sargent Zimmerman

Town Council Chair Matt Kelly recognizes Frank Liotta for his long service
Town Council Chair Matt Kelly recognizes Frank Liotta for his long service

In the News: parking plan approved by Town Council, school improvement plan approved by School Committee

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"The Town Council gave its final approval this week to three new traffic bylaws - including one that eliminates parking meters from downtown. 
The council considered the bylaws at its Wednesday night meeting, though it had already approved a first reading of the regulations at a previous session. Town officials had proposed the changes as the area nears the end of a two-year roadwork project. 
There was dissension about the removal of the meters, as councilors had said they did not wish to lose the revenue they provided. 
Chairman Matthew Kelly read a letter from the Franklin Downtown Partnership, though, that espoused the move. It said local merchants agreed that the area was better without the meters, and that it fit with the charm of the new road design."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

new greenery added downtown
new greenery added downtown

"The School Committee this week approved a district improvement plan, though committee members asked for more communication on progress toward goals.
The committee discussed the matter at its Tuesday night meeting.
Superintendent Maureen Sabolinski said the new plan compares where the district is with where it wishes to be and includes steps to move toward that goal. 
Among the goals, said Sabolinski, are nurturing a safe, supportive and collaborative environment; focusing on curriculum instruction and feedback from student assessments; and helping student develop the skills - social and career-oriented - to help them achieve success. 
One objective, Sabolinski said, involved refining the professional culture in the schools. She said the district wanted to take a collaborative approach in improving instruction, adding that educator-to-educator feedback was an especially powerful tool in doing so."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Dean College Children's Center Hosts Open House, August 31, 2016

Dean Children's Center will host an Exploration Open House on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Parents of children 2 years old to 6 years are encouraged to bring their child to explore the school and learn about our program. Applications are being accepted for 5-day morning, 2-day morning, 3-day morning preschool programs or 4-day Pre-K program.
Innovative and progressive, the school is NAEYC accredited and well known in the community for an inspiring preschool experience. Dean Children's Center is a lab school for ECE majors, with teachers-in-training alongside credentialed teachers. The center has a very professional and caring environment for children to learn through exploration.

The school uses a developmental approach to education which reflects current research in child development and peer conflict resolution. We are a regional resource to parents and educators on peer conflict resolution in young children and our lab school is a demonstration site for best practices in early education of children.

Dean College Children's Center is located at 144 School Street in Franklin. Parking is at 89 West Central Street. For more information, visit or call 508-541-1598.

Funding for Workforce Training in MA -- and a Promising Opportunity

MassBudget reports show spending and an opportunity to leverage federal funds

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

Funding for Workforce Training in Massachusetts -
and a Promising Opportunity

Workforce training gives people the skills they need to get good jobs and support their families. These programs are also important to our Commonwealth more broadly, since we rely on well-educated, highly-skilled workers to sustain our state's high-wage economy.

Despite the evidence that workforce training gives people the skills they need to succeed, state funding for workforce training has fallen over time, down 30 percent between Fiscal Years 2001 and 2017, as indicated below. MassBudget's new paper Investing in People: Workforce Training in the Massachusetts State Budget analyzes these long-term trends while also walking users through our interactive on-line Jobs & Workforce Budget tool. Together these resources describe each workforce training program funded by the state, show funding histories, and highlight broader trends across programs that provide similar supports. The Jobs & Workforce Budget also provides highlights from this year's state budget.

Through recent work, state officials and leaders from the workforce training community have recognized the SNAP Employment and Training program as one important opportunity to help offset some of these long-term cuts. To describe this promising opportunity to support training for people eligible for SNAP (formerly called food stamps), MassBudget is also releasing The SNAP Employment and Training Program: Opportunities to Expand Work Supports for Low-Income People in Massachusetts. The SNAP Employment and Training program funds workforce training and related supports like transportation and childcare for people receiving training.  Federal funds can reimburse 50 percent of state and local spending and can be used both to expand services and to offset some existing state costs.

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

BOSTON, MA 02108
Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 15 Court Square, Suite 700, Boston, MA 02108

Sent by in collaboration with
Constant Contact

"We want to improve communication with our residents"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Police Chief Thomas Lynch updated the Town Council on department activities since he assumed leadership earlier this summer. 
Since Lynch was sworn in at a late June council meeting, there has been a whirlwind of activity, he said. 
"We've been meeting with all our staff regularly," he said. "We had a department-wide meeting - that was the second in my 20 years with the department - and, after that, we had a cookout." 
Lynch said there had been good feedback from department members."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Asst Town Clerk Danello swears in Detective MacLean and Sargent Zimmerman
Asst Town Clerk Danello swears in Detective MacLean and Sargent Zimmerman

family members place the new badges on Detective MacLean and Sargent Zimmerman
family members place the new badges on Detective MacLean and Sargent Zimmerman

Patrolman Paul Fiorio gets badge #1 as the longest serving officer
Patrolman Paul Fiorio gets badge #1 as the longest serving officer

In the News: Budd to Supreme Judicial Court, FHS experience week

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"The Governor's Council on Wednesday confirmed Kimberly Budd to a seat on the Supreme Judicial Court. 
Budd has served as a Superior Court judge since 2009 and had been overseeing all criminal courts in Middlesex County. 
Budd on Wednesday is the third of Gov. Charlie Baker's nominees to the state's highest court to be confirmed unanimously in recent weeks. 
"She has been a law and order judge on the Superior Court, and she will continue to be a law and order judge on the Massachusetts Supreme Court," Councilor Jennie Caissie said"

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"More than 350 incoming are getting their first glimpse of life at Franklin High School this week.
The school is running its ninth annual "High School Experience" program, a multi-day introductory event. 
"It acclimates students to the school," said Kristin Cerce, the director of the program. "They get to meet their teachers and their peer mentors; they get a tour of the building; and they get a taste of high school academics." 
They also get their Google Chromebooks, she said, bringing them into the school's 1:1 technology initiative."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Franklin High School
Franklin High School

Climate Emergency Coalition looks for petition signatures

I am a volunteer with Climate Emergency Coalition (CEC).

Please help Declare a Climate State of Emergency-

With the presidential nominating conventions over, what we do next is crucial. Thanks to Bernie's historic, heroic efforts, recognition of the climate change emergency and the need for a mobilization response is solidly planted in the Democratic Party platform. But, we must not permit it to languish there. We need far more than the promise of a climate summit in the first 100 days of the next Administration. Please Sign the petition—help bring the climate emergency into the public discourse, so we can take effective action.

Over 5400 signatures thus far—let's keep the ball rolling!

Thank you,


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Live reporting: Council meeting closing

6 more weeks of work, 
water trough coming back to center island
lots of things remain to do

water ban still underway
use has dropped with ban and diligence has been good

comment on ambulance response to nursing homes
one facility has obtained a private ambulance for non-emergency responses
would alleviate the demand from our resources

charter review discussion scheduled for next meeting

Pellegri - deputy treasurer collector decision questioned
are not the appointing authority but questions on what role they should have

2 - recent raises by the School Dept
school folks getting 2, 2.5 and 3, but the municipal folks are not getting that
would love to get the contracts re-opened but not sure if that can be done

Padula - 
parking meter issue, hopeful that the signs are not burdensome
if the meters are unpleasing, to be replaced by ugly signs??

thanks for getting the chief on the ambulance alternatives

caskets mistakenly delivered downtown

disappointed in outside hires when inside folks are available
congratulations to the Police officers for their promotions and for their good work

it's a bad hire and that is one of the reasons why I want the charter change

the School Committee makes the contract decision, it is totally theirs
the Town Administrator has hiring responbsilities
the Council should be part of the process but not directly involved

expressed concerns to the School Committee about the choice they made
all employees work hard, we are proud of what you do
the decision to alter what was done is their issue


motion to adjourn, accepted

Live reporting: Open Space plan and Legislation


Resolution 16-51: Endorsement of 2016 Open Space and Recreation Plan
Bryan Taberner, Director Planing and Community Development

Note the plan can be found online,%202016/TC%20Submittal.pdf

Conservation Commission developed and update to the plan
goals similar to Master Plan of 2013
Council looked to endorse the plan so it can be submitted to the State

question on the 15 recommendations from a MA official
the updates and others were included in this version

acceptance of plan allows the Town to apply for grants

  • add the Town Council to the acknowledgments
  • geographical survey for historic purposes
  • page 5-8, lists the public open space that is protected
  • over 35 open space locations on the following pages

important to take care of preserving open space

acceptance of 20 acres of land near the Sullivan School coming forward as a donation



1. Resolution 16-51: Endorsement of 2016 Open Space and Recreation Plan
motion to accept, seconded, passed 8-0

2. Zoning Bylaw Amendment: 16-762: Amendment to Chapter 185, Section 31 Site Plan and Design Review- 2nd Reading (Motion to adopt Zoning Bylaw Amendment 16-762 – Roll Call Vote – 2/3 Vote – (6))
motion to accept, seconded, passed 8-0 (via roll call)
effective updates language to current language

3. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 16-764R: Amendment to Chapter 185, Section 31, Site Plan and Design Review- 2nd Reading (Motion to adopt Bylaw Amendment 16-764R - Roll Call Vote 2/3 Vote (6))
motion to accept, seconded, passed 8-0 (via roll call)

4. Bylaw Amendment 16-765: Amendment to Chapter 170, Vehicles and Traffic, Article III, Traffic Signs, Signals, Markings and Zones, §170-10 Authority of Highway Foreman and §170-12 Interference Prohibited, Violations and Penalties. – 2nd Reading ( Motion to adopt Bylaw Amendment 16-765 – Roll Call Vote – Majority Vote of Full Council (5))

motion to accept, seconded, passed 8-0 (via roll call)

5. Bylaw Amendment 16-766: Amendment to Chapter 170, Vehicles and Traffic, at Article IV, Stopping, Standing and Parking, §170-15 Parking Prohibitions and Limitations and §170—17 “Resident Only” Parking – 2nd Reading (Motion to adopt Bylaw Amendment 16-766 – Roll Call Vote – Majority Vote of the Full Council (5))

motion to accept, seconded, passed 8-0 (via roll call)

provides for 2 hour parking enforced from 6:00 AM to 2:00 PM
effects from the Town Common to Summer St

lots of signs to be posted

6. Bylaw Amendment 16-767: Amendment to Chapter 170, Vehicles and Traffic at Article V, Parking Meter Zones, §170-19 Establishment and §170-20 Additional Regulations; Violations and Penalties – 2nd Reading (Motion to adopt Bylaw Amendment 16-767 – Roll Call Vote – Majority Vote of the Full Council (5))

motion to accept, seconded, passed 6-2 (via roll call) (Pellegri and Padula voted no)

letter from Downtown Partnership on parking changes since the meters have been removed

bylaw would eliminate the meters, would need to purchase new ones to handle credit cards and coins

Live reporting: Town Council - Wednesday, Aug 10, 2016

Present: Pellegri, Padula, Mercer, Vallee, Kelly, Pfeffer, Dellorco, Jones
Absent: Bissanti

– July 13, 2016
motion to approve, seconded, passed 8-0

– This meeting is being recorded by Franklin TV and shown on Comcast channel 11 and Verizon channel 29. This meeting may also be recorded by others.

Proclamation for Frank Liotta
recognition for long time Franklin resident and major contributor to the Franklin Elks

Town Council Chair Matt Kelly recognizes Frank Liotta for his long service
Town Council Chair Matt Kelly recognizes Frank Liotta for his long service

– Citizens are welcome to express their views for up to five minutes on a matter that is not on the Agenda. The Council will not engage in a dialogue or comment on a matter raised during Citizen Comments. The Town Council will give remarks appropriate consideration and may ask the Town Administrator to review the matter.

no comments


Board of Registrars
- Jeannette Gianotti
- Christine Manns
- Helen Reebenacker
motion to approve appointment, seconded passed 8-0
Election Workers
- Listing not available (broken link)
motion to approve appointment, seconded passed 8-0

Zoning Board of Appeals - Associate
- Ian Luke
motion to approve appointment, seconded passed 8-0

– Swearing in of Police Officers
Eric J Zimmeran, promoted to Sargent
Joseph F McLain, promoted to Detective

Paul Fiorio,  longest serving policemen, wears badge #1

Asst Town Clerk Danello swears in Detective MacLean and Sargent Zimmerman
Asst Town Clerk Danello swears in Detective MacLean and Sargent Zimmerman

family members place the new badges on Detective MacLean and Sargent Zimmerman
family members place the new badges on Detective MacLean and Sargent Zimmerman

Patrolman Paul Fiorio gets badge #1 as the longest serving officer
Patrolman Paul Fiorio gets badge #1 as the longest serving officer

Chief Thomas Lynch
provides an update to the Council

recognition of Police Dept has seen many forms
a small group of families came down as well
it means a lot to the officers

last 6 weeks it has been a whirlwind of activity
department meeting, cook-out behind station

mission, value and vision statements created (see website)

5 Sargents signed up for lieutenants exam

entry police officer exam scheduled for Nov 5th
graduation soon, budgeted level of 47
one position open with retirement of Chief Semerjian
may be able to bring a transfer on in mid-September

improve communications with residents
establish relationship with local print media

increased used of social media

increase hours available to obtain fire arms permits
use of internet to schedule appointments

creation of domestic violence unit

reconstruction of evidence room
regional communications underway

multiple comments thanking the Chief and the department for great work

Rides and food booths for St Rocco's open Thursday, Aug 11 for the 38th Annual event

The rides and food booths for the 38th Annual Feast of St Rocco's open Thursday, August 11 and run through Sunday, August 14, 2016.

Ride and Food booth Schedule

overall ride and food booth schedule for 8/11 through 8/14
overall ride and food booth schedule for 8/11 through 8/14

Entertainment Schedule

2016 Entertainment Schedule
2016 Entertainment Schedule
Additional info on the schedule can be found on the St Mary's Parish webpage

15 Years Strong: The Franklin Downtown Partnership Works Toward Vision of Revitalized Downtown Center

Franklin Downtown Partnership celebrates
Franklin Downtown Partnership celebrates!
It began with a few business owners, some community leaders, a town employee, and several Franklin residents who wanted to revitalize downtown Franklin’s development, help recreate the town center as a destination, and help stimulate economic growth.

Fifteen years, three new mixed-use buildings, 25 beautification days, three greenspace areas, new benches, new trash barrels, one bronze statue, nearly 40 events and downtown strolls, one Streetscape and Roadway Improvement plan, and 200 members later, the Franklin Downtown Partnership is planning even more collaborations and improvements in the heart of Franklin. 

“It’s truly all about the word ‘Partnership.’ Our goal has always been to stimulate economic growth by bringing community groups, the town, businesses and residents together and putting ideas to work that improve our downtown,” says Lisa Piana, FDP Executive Director. 

“We’ve worked on impactful projects behind the scenes; things that have cultural, beautification and historical importance and improve the quality of life in town.”

East Central Street furniture building, 2005.

Over time, many people have forgotten the 
dilapidated furniture store building on East Central Street, which is now the home of The Cake Bar, Maguro House and Dean College student housing. Others have forgotten the abandoned rental car lot on West Central Street across from THE BLACK BOX and Mac City. That location is now commuter parking and greenspace.

Franklin Commons building, East Central Street, 2015.

Strawberry Stroll, 2007, West Central Street greenspace.

Projects like these illustrate the non-profit Partnership’s mission – to stimulate economic development; to bring residents, business owners, and community leaders together; to encourage cooperation; and to provide leadership for the purpose of revitalizing downtown Franklin. 

“We started with the main belief that a strong, thriving downtown is the heart and soul of Franklin. Interestingly, we have a lot of members who are not downtown businesses who understand that. The connections we create make the difference. It has taken all of these people coming together over the past 15 years that make the Partnership work,” says Jane Curran, a founding FDP board member. 

In 2001, the group started with only eight members. By 2015 the organization had grown to nearly 200 member businesses, groups and residents. Many of those have been members for more than 10 years. In the past 15 years the FDP has had a hand in at least 25 projects (see related article). 

“In that time I’ve seen the organization grow to 200 members, and I’m very proud of the way we work cohesively together on to these important projects,” says Nicole Fortier, FDP President for the past 12 1/2 years.  “Positive changes require great ideas, countless volunteer hours, and, often times, funding and support from our town council and state representatives, and we’ve been very successful in leading these collaborations.”

Franklin Town Administrator Jeff Nutting says in 2001 the Town Council made the revitalization of the town center a priority and began working with the FDP. According to Nutting, the Partnership has played an important role in the overall economic development of Franklin. 

A flurry of new building on East Central and Summer streets, greenspace installations, downtown gateway signs, and creation of a statue in front of the Historical Museum in the early 2000s slowed when the U.S. economy struggled beginning in 2007. The Partnership continued to hold seasonal events downtown as a way for the community to socialize and to draw interest to the area. The group also solicited members’ ideas and opinions about the Roadway and Streetscape Improvement project. 

Park and statue at Franklin Historical Museum

When road construction is completed in late summer, downtown Franklin will be safer for pedestrians and have a more welcoming appearance. 

“During construction our main focus is on supporting the businesses that are downtown today. We currently meet with town officials every two weeks to keep members up to date. We are planning another progressive dinner and new ways to bring people into the center of town,” says Lisa Piana. 

The group is also making a strategic plan for life after two-way traffic and working on aesthetic improvements, including banners for the light poles. Organizers are busy planning the annual events as well. 

The Partnership’s Strawberry Stroll will happen June 9, the October Stroll will be October 6 and the Holiday Stroll is set for December 1. The group is lining up networking events and guest speaker presentations, and will also lend support to the Franklin Cultural District Committee’s Summer Arts Festival in July. 
Volunteers, Senator Spilka at Summer Street ribbon cutting ceremony.

(L to R) Jim Vallee, Jeff Nutting, Jane Curran, Lisa Piana
with gateway signage downtown Franklin.
The Partnership and the Town of Franklin both agree that the finished downtown project will attract more private investment to the area.

“A vibrant downtown is a core value of a community. People identify with a nice downtown, one that’s an attractive place to socialize, dine out, and do business. An improved downtown improves rents, and improved rents improve the town’s bottom line,” says Town Administrator Nutting.  

“We’ll still have challenges,” he continues. “Parking is one we’re continually working on; it’s a problem faced by every downtown. The future of Franklin is about redevelopment of old warehouses and manufacturing space, and upgrading buildings downtown. We just have to keep going. People still need a social network, service needs, unique places to shop. The challenge is finding the right mix of businesses that will do well in downtown Franklin, and the Partnership can help us do that.”

 According to Fortier, when the streetscape project is completed this summer and traffic flow is improved, the downtown will be much closer to what the Partnership envisioned many years ago. 

“We’ll be able to feel the change in downtown Franklin,” says Fortier. “As an organization, the Partnership will continue to drive foot traffic to the center of town and invite interesting and unique businesses and restaurants to move here. We’re not done.”

The Partnership invites residents and business owners to participate in discussions about what they would like to see in their downtown. The group relies on sponsorship, membership dues and donations to fund events and oversee projects. Resident memberships are $25, and business memberships start as low as $100.  

  • This was shared from the Franklin Downtown Partnership webpage here

Note: by way of disclosure, I hold a resident membership with the Franklin Downtown Partnership.