Saturday, July 4, 2020

Franklin Annual Report 2019: Finance Committee

Annual Report Of The Finance Committee: Year In Review - 2019

Our fiscal year, July 1, 2018 thru June 30, 2019, began with budget adjustments and transfers as detailed in Resolution 18-59. Primary reasons were higher than expected revenues and consolidation of departments. The committee approved unanimously a motion to recommend passage to the Town Council. We also were informed by the Town Administrator that the risk management study had been completed. No major exceptions were noted.

During the year the committee met 5 times. Four of those meetings were focused on the FY 2020 budget process, with the result being unanimous approval of a projected
$129.40M operating budget for the town. The budget allows for the town to provide services at the same level as FY 2019. Approximately $385K will be transferred from the budget stabilization account to balance the overall FY 2020 budget.

The long term financial plan continues to project financial challenges over the next several years. While our town continues to provide excellent services with little increase in resources, our reserve levels continue to be challenging. A concerning indicator is shown in the Franklin Public Schools need to draw on their reserves at an unsustainable pace. Housing units are growing and the impact on the school budget will need to be monitored on a regular basis.

A highlight of the budget was a reduction of 3% in the Police department while adding 5 additional officers to the force. Additionally, the Library budget was funded to ensure certification is retained.

I’d like to take the opportunity to thank my fellow committee members for their ongoing dedication to continued improvements and the financial well being of our town.

Respectfully submitted, 
Michael Dufour
Chairman, Franklin Finance Committee

Download your copy of the Annual Report

Franklin Annual Report 2019: Finance Committee
Franklin Annual Report 2019: Finance Committee

Budget Hearing #4 - 6/04/20

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Budget hearing #3 - 6/02/20

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Budget hearing #2 - 5/28/20

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Budget hearing #1 - 5/27/20

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"Talking the Blues" - Ana Popovic - Mar 26, 2020

Jim Derick and Todd Monjar talk the blues of Ana Popovic  (

You can listen to this show on Franklin Public Radio, anywhere via your browser or at 102.9 on the local Franklin FM radio dial.

Thursday = 11:00a/2:00p/8:00pm Talkin’ the Blues – Jim Derick
Exploring the music of the great Blues tradition

Saturday = 5:00p Talkin’ the Blues – Jim Derick
Exploring the music of the great Blues tradition

Audio file =

Friday, July 3, 2020

Franklin Annual Report 2019: Conservation Commission

From the Annual Report 2019:

Franklin Conservation Commission is responsible for promoting and protecting the Town of Franklin’s natural resources, and protecting the Town’s wetlands resources.

The Commission is comprised of seven volunteer residents appointed for three year terms by the Town Administrator. Current Commission members have diverse professional experience related to environmental science, biology, engineering, and project management. Because of their different backgrounds, each commissioner is able to offer a different perspective during the review of applications for a wetland permit that ultimately benefits Franklin.

The Department of Planning and Community Development provides administrative and technical support to the Commission.

Franklin has continuously been well represented at the annual conference of the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions each March, with Commissioners attending classes and workshops and talking with other Commissioners from across the state as well as lawyers, ecologists and engineers active in conservation.

Permitting of Work Within or Adjacent to Wetlands Resources

The majority of the Commission’s attention is directed to administering Massachusetts and Franklin wetland protection laws and regulations. Those laws and regulations require Conservation Commission permits to work in or within 100 feet of a wetland, in the 100 year flood hazard zone, or within 200 feet of a perennial stream.

During the first quarter of FY19 the Commission voted to amend Franklin Conservation Commission Regulations to allow the Conservation Agent to authorize projects that require a speedy approval due to possible threat to safety, or projects that are barely within the Conservation Commission’s jurisdiction. This new process has resulted in applicants quickly receiving permission to perform projects such as hazardous tree removal, construction of porches, decks, and patios, or gaining access through jurisdictional areas to non-jurisdiction activities without being required to attend a Conservation Commission meeting. The new regulations have resulted in a streamlined permitting process, allowing small projects to quickly move forward. During FY19 the Conservation Agent reviewed and administratively approved 16 minor buffer zone applications.

During FY19 the Conservation Commission received 50 permit applications to work within areas under their permitting jurisdiction. In addition the Commission issued Certificates of Compliance for previously permitted projects, and granted permit extensions to allow projects to finish.

Some of the more interesting project applications before the Commission during FY19 include Amego Incorporated’s Lite House Commons on Washington Street, the Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT) tunnel under Prospect Street, and two large scale solar farms.

DelCarte Conservation Area

The Commission continues to work on the DelCarte Area (aka the Franklin Reservoirs) off of Pleasant Street. There are a series of seven “structures” (six dams that had been originally used for cranberry farming and a stone wall that beavers had dammed) along Miller brook thru the 100+ acre DelCarte Area.

The Commission retained the services of ESS, Inc. to undertake an ecological study to ascertain the flora and fauna viability in the pond and develop a long term management plan. This study, completed in 2015-2016 has given the Town a comprehensive understanding of exactly “what is there” and includes a management plan to help keep the area viable as a true recreational jewel. The first two phases of the plan’s recommendations, the treatment of invasive plant species was undertaken in the spring/summer of 2017 and 2018. The Town appropriated Capital Improvement funds to help implement the next phases of this study in 2018-2019. The pond’s invasive species will again be treated throughout the summer of 2019. In addition the funds are being used to implement the ADA recommendations under the master plan developed for DelCarte. This plan, developed for the Town by Mass Audubon was presented to the Commission in the fall of 2017.

The Commission began to undertake improvements to the DelCarte Recreation Area in the late summer/early fall of 2018 to bring access to the trails and the water bodies up to ADA standards and improve the overall aesthetics of the area. This portion of the improvements was completed in the spring/summer 2019.

A concrete pad was constructed for the picnic pavilion that will be installed in the upcoming fiscal year as one of the improvements outlined in the Delcarte Property Land Management Plan.

The Commission collects application fees for all permits that come before them. These fees paid for, among other things, the studies on the DelCarte recreation area and thus allowed the Commission to truly understand the issues facing the town in maintaining this area for quality recreation.

The Commission has also initiated a comprehensive study of the beaver population and associated issues within the pond area to come up with best practices to prevent irreparable damage to the pond ecosystem and surrounding private properties. The results have been received and after being evaluated by the Commission it was decided that any action on the beaver population was cost prohibitive.

In late April, the Commission conducted its fourth annual clean-up day at the DelCarte Recreation area. The event was attended by many citizen volunteers who lent valuable assistance and manpower in helping to maintain this valuable Town resource.

Other Conservation Areas and Trails

The Commission would like to draw the attention of the Town’s residents to the many natural areas in Town, and the opportunities for passive recreation they enable:
  • The DelCarte Area, with parking off of Pleasant Street, has improved walking trails through woodlands along a series of ponds. Two canoe launches and an above-water boardwalk that completely connect the trail system have been installed;
  • The Town Forest has access off of Summer Street and trails thru woodlands and across Uncas Brook.
  • Indian Rock has good access off of both King Phillip Road and Lost Horse Trail with walking trails through woodlands near two large vernal pools and to the top of historic Indian Rock; trails in this area were improved as part of an eagle scout project;
  • The Metacomet Land Trust owns several pieces of protected land, notably the walking trails off of Bridle Path and The Lady Bug Trail near JFK school; 
  • The Franklin State Forest is accessible off of Grove Street and boasts an extensive network of walking and ORV trails;
  • The Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT) starts at Grove Street in Franklin, and goes all the way to Douglas State Forest. The Trail section from Prospect Street into Bellingham was recently reconstructed by the Mass Department of Conservation and Recreation; plans to construct a tunnel under Prospect Street have been approved.
  • Charles River Meadowlands. The expansive marsh near Interstate 495 exit #17 is the US Army Corps of Engineers Natural Valley Flood Storage Project, preserved to protect against downstream flooding in the Charles River basin. That marsh is along Mine Brook, the largest stream in town, draining about half of Franklin, starting at the extreme south end of Franklin, passing underneath Washington Street, Beaver Street, Interstate 495, Grove Street, West Central Street, I-495 again, Beech Street, and Pond Street before finally meeting the Charles River on the Medway border.
  • Significant streams in Franklin include Shepards Brook, Miller Brook, Uncas Brook and Bubbling Brook. Lake Populatic is part of the Charles River, the other navigable ponds in Franklin are Spring (Green’s) Pond, Beaver Pond, and Uncas Pond, the last two of which are listed as Great Ponds by Massachusetts DEP.

The Commission would also like Franklin’s residents to be aware of the potential tax savings of M.G. L. Chapter 61 (forest land), 61A (agricultural land) and 61B (recreational land). Such programs are designed to benefit the land owner via reducing the tax burden as well as to preserving and maintaining the quality and quantity of environmentally sensitive and natural areas within the commonwealth.

In recent years the Conservation Website has been reworked to be more user-friendly and now provides more information about filing types and procedures. The Commission has developed a series of standard operating procedures and educational snippets, which are posted on the Commission’s website, to help the citizenry understand some of the rationale behind the Commission’s operations and procedures.

Conservation Commission membership and staff underwent substantial change during FY19 with Commissioners Tara Henrichon and Angela Gelineau leaving, and Alan Wallach and Brandon Rosenberg being appointed to the Commission. In addition, Conservation Agent George Russell retired, and Jennifer Delmore came on board as the new Agent. Please visit our website for additional information:

Currently Franklin Conservation Commission consists of the following members: William Batchelor, Jeffrey Milne, Staci Dooney, Paul Harrington, Jeffrey Livingstone, Braden Rosenberg, and Alan Walloch.

Respectfully submitted, 
William Batchelor, Chair

Download your copy of the Annual Report

Franklin Annual Report 2019: Conservation Commission
Franklin Annual Report 2019: Conservation Commission

THE BLACK BOX presents Ayla Brown - July 10

THE BLACK BOX, the region’s premiere concert, theater, and event venue, has announced outdoor weekend concerts throughout the month of July in the theater’s parking lot. The shows will be presented in a one hour format with two seatings at 6:30 and 8:30 pm. Tables will be socially distanced and masks will be required when patrons enter THE BLACK BOX building to access the box office, restrooms, and bar. Table groupings will be limited to six.

Country singer Ayla Brown will take the outdoor stage on Friday, July 10 at 6:30 and 8:30 pm. This concert schedule is contingent upon Reopening Massachusetts Phase 3 beginning on July 6th. The box office for this show will open when the Phase 3 start date is officially announced by Governor Baker.
Ayla Brown - July 10
Ayla Brown - July 10

From parachuting with the Army Golden Knights jump team, lighting up the scoreboard for Boston College Basketball, or acting as a main correspondent for national news programs, Ayla Brown is no stranger to the spotlight. Most recently, she has been named as the Morning Show Co-host at Country 102.5 in Boston. Jonathan Wier and Ayla Brown can be heard weekdays from 5:30 to 9am on WKLB-FM. 

Musically, Ayla has released two full length albums Heroes & Hometowns and Let Love In both to critical acclaim and her new single, “Label,” is available on all digital platforms. Brown, an alumna of the Franklin School for the Performing Arts, was also a finalist on nationally renowned television program American Idol, and she continues to utilize her vast repertoire of talents while advancing her already successful and illustrious career.

Tickets will be available at or by calling 508-528-3370. THE BLACK BOX is located at 15 W. Central St. in downtown Franklin.

"Talking the Blues" - The Rolling Stones - a Blues Band - Jan 20, 2020

Jim Derick and Todd Monjar talk about The Rolling Stones - a Blues Band in this episode

You can listen to this show on Franklin Public Radio, anywhere via your browser or at 102.9 on the local Franklin FM radio dial.

Thursday = 11:00a/2:00p/8:00pm Talkin’ the Blues – Jim Derick
Exploring the music of the great Blues tradition

Saturday = 5:00p Talkin’ the Blues – Jim Derick
Exploring the music of the great Blues tradition

Audio file =

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Purple Heart Day - August 7, 2020

Join us for a ceremony honoring Franklin Purple Heart Recipients!

National Purple Heart Day is observed on August 7 each year. The Veterans Services Office will recognize Franklin Purple Heart recipients at a ceremony on the Town Common on Friday, August 7 at 5:30 PM prior to the Concert on the Common.

Along with 90 other Massachusetts communities, Franklin recognizes and honors recipients of the Purple Heart medal which is presented to members of the U.S. military who have been wounded or killed by enemy forces. Created by General George Washington in 1782 and reestablished by General Douglas McArthur in 1932, the Purple Heart medal is the nation's oldest military decoration. 

Please call the Franklin Veterans Services Office at: (508) 613-1315 if you or a family member (residing in Franklin) is a Purple Heart recipient and would like to be added to our database.

Purple Heart Day - August 7, 2020
Purple Heart Day - August 7, 2020

Franklin Annual Report 2019: Town Clerk

From the Annual Report for 2019

The Town Clerk’s Office is dedicated to providing friendly, professional service to all citizens. I am extremely proud of how well my staff performs and responds to the demands of the office.


The office of town clerk is probably one of the oldest in municipal government. It appears in the Bible in the Book of Acts, Chapter 19, and verse 35 written in A.D. 58. A search of other early written records would no doubt reveal other instances in which mention of this office appears. In Massachusetts, town clerk was one of the earliest offices established in colonial towns although the title itself may not appear in the earliest records. The settlers were well aware of the importance of keeping accurate written records of their agreements and actions including grants of land, regulations governing animals, the collection of taxes and the expenditure of town funds. If your town records date back to the first half of the 17th century, you will probably find that a person was given the specific duty of writing down town orders and will see many entries in the record which include the words “It is ordered by the inhabitants,” or some similar words. Indeed, in Massachusetts, the town clerk was one of the earliest offices established in colonial towns.


Our online service continues to be a success!! This has been a convenient way for the public to request and purchase birth, death and marriage certificates. This improvement has also been a great success for our dog owners who need to license a new dog or who must renew their yearly dog license. These document requests and payment options are available online anytime of the day, seven days a week. To use this service, visit the town website at and follow to the Town Clerk’s Department.


The Town Clerk’s office provides Notary services as a courtesy. Residents seeking Notary Services should call the Town Clerk’s office prior to their visit to ensure that the Notary is available. The following guidelines will be followed in the provision of Notary Service: - Notary Services are available during the normal business hours and are not available in the fifteen (15) minutes prior to the time of closing. - Notary Service is provided on a first-come, first service basis - A valid, government- issued photo identification is required of any customer seeking Notary Service - The document(s) CANNOT already have been signed nor dated - All signers must be present at the time of notarizing - The Notary is stating they have witnessed the document being signed by the individuals present - Notary Service is not available for deeds, mortgages, wills, living wills, living trusts, codicils or depositions. - Certain public documents cannot be copied and notarized. For more information, visit our website.


The total population for FY2019 Census is now 34,693. The following are some past population figures that have been reported over the past years.


Year Population (As of January)

2017 - 33,905

Find the full report online at

Department Spotlight on the Town Clerk
Franklin (MA) Population and Annual Growth percent 1981-2018
Franklin (MA) Population and Annual Growth percent 1981-2018