Sunday, March 3, 2019

Franklin Annual Report - 2018: Department of Public Works

The Department of Public Works provides a wide range of services to the residents of Franklin. It is organized into seven (7) Divisions:
1. Administration
2. Engineering
3. Highway and Grounds (including Highway Maintenance and Construction, Central Motors, Snow & Ice Control, Parks, Town and School Grounds Maintenance and Forestry/Insect Control)
4. Water (including ground water withdrawals, water treatment and distribution)
5. Sewer
6. Solid Waste and Recycling (including the operation of the Beaver St. Recycling Center)
7. Street Lighting

The major functions of the Administrative Division includes developing capital projects, long range planning, intergovernmental relations and compliance, grant writing, processing various private construction permits, drain layer licenses, purchasing, budgeting, accounting and payroll, and multiple forms of utility billing.

Capital Projects
The Administrative Division, in conjunction with Engineering and the operating divisions, develop major capital projects.

The DPW continues to design and construct long-range projects over the next three to four years. Progress on specific capital construction projects is outlined in subsequent portions of this report. It is important to note that many of these projects are performed by existing staff members and saves significant amounts of money by avoiding the need to contract out these services. The process of planning, designing, permitting and oversight of these projects is an arduous task that requires a great level of coordination and cooperation between DPW divisions and other state, municipal and federal departments.

Grant Writing
The Town received a grant of $124,000 to improve stormwater infiltration at various locations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Mass DEP to look at approaches for Franklin, Medway and Milford to work together to meet the permit requirements and save money. The Town partnered with the Great American Rain Barrel Company to offer the discounted purchase of rain barrels to Franklin residents. Along with the discount, residents were eligible to receive a $50 rebate through the water conservation rebate grant.

Permits and Long Range Planning
The Town of Franklin also continues to oppose the implementation of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II and pending Phase II Stormwater Permit for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) as required by the EPA. Phase II required the Town to highly regulate and monitor stormwater throughout the Town at a significantly increased cost. Phase II is projected to include increased regulatory requirements and cost even more. The Department will continue to refine and improve adopted regulations and practices to improve the stormwater in Franklin while minimizing the associated costs.

The Town of Franklin led a coalition of 16 other communities and challenged EPA in Federal Court. Over the last year, the Town of Franklin has been in mediation as directed by the Federal Court to try and work out disagreements and costs associated with the new MS4 stormwater permit.

Long range planning is critical in the area of Public Works and must be accomplished consistently in order to ensure that the Town water, sewer and roadway infrastructure can support the needs of our residents. With the success of the 20/20 Plan, the Town Council authorized additional funding for waterline replacement and the improvement of roadways. Details on specific locations can be found in other parts of this report. 

With that funding already allocated, the Town Council continued with additional funding for the waterline replacement and road reconstruction of the Northgate Rd neighborhood, Cleveland Ave neighborhood, Cottage St area, Squire St areas, sections of Maple St, Ruggles St area, sections of Partridge & Elm Streets, Skyline Dr. neighborhood, Oak St Extension, Marvin Ave area and the Stanford Rd area. With the completion of the above mentioned projects we are looking at the next major waterlines and neighborhoods to be rehabilitated.

The DPW has continued to work with both the DEP and the Massachusetts Department of Recreation and Conservation to facilitate the final closing and capping of the Beaver Street Landfill Site.

The Town of Franklin has continued to work with other area Towns and conservation groups towards insuring that regional water supplies are protected.

Solid Waste and Recycling Collection Program
The single stream automated solid waste and recycling program continues to be a very successful program in reducing costs, improving recycling rates and providing greater convenience for users. Additional landscaping improvements have been made to the Beaver St. Recycling Center to make the facility more attractive and customer friendly.

Hails and Farewells
Mr. “Buddy” Lowell, a long time dedicated employee who worked for the Water/ Sewer Department retired last year. He was an extremely valuable member of our team and will be missed! Ms. Amy Blakesley from our Admin Dept and Mr Joshua Shaw from our Highway Dept moved on to pursue new positions. With losses there are also gains! 

The DPW was able to hire some new employees. These included: Ms. Roseanne Szczepanowksi in the Administration Dept., Mr. Kevin Parslow and Mr Loretto Gobbi in the Highway Dept., Mr. James Henchy in the Park & Tree Dept., and Mr. Charles Woodman in the Water Dept.

As the Director, I owe many thanks to my entire staff as they make this whole department work and serve all residents in a timely manner. Everyone is committed to providing extraordinary service to the Town in the most cost-effective manner possible.

The Town Engineer Mr. Mike Maglio, Budget & Administration Manager Ms. Kathy Mooradd, Director of Operations Mr. Deacon Perrotta, Highway and Grounds Superintendent Mr. Carlos Rebelo, Water and Sewer Superintendent Laurie Ruszala, Assistant Town Engineer Jay Mello and GIS Coordinator Kate Sjoberg are all dedicated professionals that put in so much extra time and effort to make this Department a success. The Town and I are very fortunate to have such talented individuals to work with.

I would also like to thank, Paula Juarez, Pam Vickery, Lynne Marchand, Jamie Sharpe and Roseanne Szczepanowski who support the Administration Division. These individuals respond quickly and with courtesy to thousands of requests for assistance and information throughout the year. Continued thanks go to Mr. Christopher White, the Town’s Solid Waste Coordinator. Even though his position is a part time one, he gives his heart and soul and spends much of his personal time to insure that the solid waste and recycling program is a success.

Ms. Jen Gouthro has done a wonderful job at the Beaver Street Recycling Center.

I would especially like to thank the “Crew” and the mechanics that work out of the DPW garage. These are the gentlemen that are not always seen, but provide the day-to-day services that are all too often taken for granted. They pump, treat and deliver safe drinking water; they care for parks and ball fields, and they maintain the roadways, repair and sustain all Town and school vehicles and handle all our waste. 

They are always available, day and night, and work long hours to assist in any emergency situation whether it is snow removal, water breaks, sewer backups, wind, lightning storms and flooding, among many others. They are all extremely professional and dedicated to their jobs. I cannot thank them enough.

Respectfully submitted,

Robert A. Cantoreggi II
Director of Public Works

Kathy Mooradd
Budget & Admin Manager
“Gettin’ It Done”

There are additional details in the DPW that cover the 7 sections of the overall operations that were too long to copy here yet well worth reading. I recommend getting a print copy of the report or viewing the PDF to continue reading about all the DPW accomplishes. (page 140 of the print, page 151 of the PDF)

You can read the full Annual Report for 2018 online

The archive of prior year annual reports

Franklin Annual Report - 2018: Department of Public Works
Franklin Annual Report - 2018: Department of Public Works

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