Friday, January 8, 2021

Town Council meeting - Jan 6, 2021 - recap

Quick Recap:
  • The Hazard Mitigation Plan was presented, discussed and ultimately approved unanimously by the Town Council. This sets objectives for mitigation of natural events (i.e. flooding) to be worked
  • Authorization of funding was approved for the Beaver St interceptor project by an 8-1 vote. The cost will be $25M plus financing costs approx 2-3M, exact amounts to be determined by the final planning and funding applications made over the next two years. Sewer rates will rise for 2023. This is not paid for by real estate taxes only sewer usage fees.
  • Several gifts were acknowledged as received, the largest of which was from J Vendetti ($45K) to be used to upgrade the playground at Beaver Pond.
  • Planning underway to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to first responders at the FHS gym in collaboration with Bellingham, Millis, Medway and Milford. This is pilot process for further distribution as more vaccine and additional waves of eligible folks are identified.

Photos captured during the meeting and shared via Twitter can be found in one album

As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting in real-time via the virtual session.
The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #tc0106

Hazard mitigation plan
  • Planning director Bryan Taverner provides the overview following a presentation doc
  • . #tc0106
  • Not an emergency response plan, already have that. This is to identify the hazards and what can be done to prepare to avoid them (i.e. avoid drainage issues). #tc0106
  • Public meetings in Mar and Jul incorporated review and comments, submitted to MEMA and then FEMA for their review and comments, now needs the Council to approve the plan #tc0106 #9 & 10 were added to the prior plan
  • #tc0106 adoption does provide for opportunity for grants to assist with the mitigation project efforts. FHS gym was designed as a shelter, the generator from the old FHS will be installed at Parmenter. Could also relocate that one elsewhere.
  • Appropriation was made for an additional generator and it is going to bid soon for use at the municipal building. #tc0106 the session with Bellingham was good in planning for this, can we do more of them? Q from Hamblen Jamie acknowledges Q and will look into
  • #tc0106 Q on how climate was incorporated into the planning. MAPC did the number crunching with FEMA input and software. FEMA has been behind on climate forecasting, does that matter? In some details perhaps, we have work to do. Fire chief is our emergency response lead
  • MEMA actually coordinates the evacuation plan and coincidentally they have a location here so we will have some coverage and local planning involved. #tc0106 moving to subcommittee reports, capital no, budget no, EDC next week Jan 13
Legislation for action
  • Legislation for action: #tc0106 motion, seconded, passes via roll call (Hamblen remote) 9-0
  • Kelly tells story of Plymouth, MA, of their sewer problem, Town needed to borrow $48m to fix their break. Imagine if there is a break, 2/3 of the town couldn't flush. And if it did get to Mine Brook, add cost for cleanup. #tc0106 now is the time to do this
  • #tc0106 it is not about not having the money, it is a bond, we can do this. Everybody needs this. Everybody uses this. If you can't jump on the bandwagon I don't know what your missing. Now Bissanti is raising an issue, wants to know where we are going to get the money
  • Bissanti; now is not the time, can do this cheaper. #tc0106 it is lousy timing. (Sorry, doesn't understand the timing) (oh and he has done some engineering for options (sleaving)) Jones, Kelly said it well. This is the best time to borrow (confirmed as Yes).
  • Oh, and after raising these issues then Bissanti says we can't change his mind. Other key item is timeline, next 2 years is "planning" before shovel hits ground. Pandemic should be done in 2 years. #tc0106
  • #tc0106 it is a good thing for us to do and it will be something nice to do for the time. Q what taxes will pay for it? Not really taxes, it is a sewer rate, get the final design and can't really get to some thing real, it is two years away. The borrowing #s are good
  • Sewer rates will go up, we don't know what. No tax rate increase for this at all. #tc0106 relining reduces the pipe hence capacity and that doesn't buy us much. The pipe is already at capacity, so the project will also increase the capacity.
  • #tc0106 would cost half as much for the band-aid. And may still have a problem. Route along 140 to bore and minimize the disruption. Hamblen agrees with Kelly. Does have Q on draw down schedule. MBTA, DEP, EPA, etc want this as much as we do, their eyes will be on it too
  • #tc0106 Kelly we could get a bond rate lower than we sit here now, if we do wait the costs will be more, and if we do nothing, it will certainly cost more. 2/3 of the town and business can open cause we can't flush! Bond capacity is not like a special assessment.
  • You could have an 840 credit score and we are at 839, if we tried to do this in a hurry, it would cost more than this plan full manner outlined. #tc0106 he appreciates the opportunity to rant tonight. Bissanti fears this $25m could grow to be $35m. Let's not fly 1st class
  • #tc0106 what is the cost of not doing it? Possibly double or triple. It is the right time, we have been talking of this for years. Motion on the floor to be voted via roll call, passes 8-1 (Bissanti no)
  • #tc0106 motion to accept gift to fire dept, seconded passes 9-0 via roll call motion to accept gift to police dept, seconded passes 9-0 via roll call
  • motion to accept gift to recreation dept for playground at Beaver Pond seconded, passes 9-0 acknowledges Joe Vendetti donation of $45,000! "Sometimes we should be making bigger things of these"
Town Administrator report
  • Town Administrator report, application for Community Preservation Committee is out, land swap is almost ready for the land near the SNETT trail, DPW will be doing the work. #tc0106 COVID case count 91 today down from last week. I am sick of red green yellow
  • Opening vaccine clinic for first responders comes next week. A critical thing to focus on, working with five other towns to coordinate this. Location at FHS is good. An excellent trial run for phase 2 in preparation for broader distribution. #tc0106 target Jan 13
  • Bellingham, Milford, Millis, Medway and Franklin are together in this. #tc0106 phase 2 will be individuals with two high risk categories, or over age of 75 (could be one of the two). Guidelines are changing daily for this stat tuned. Excited to get this train moving
  • Prepared for mini medical center at FHS gym, to triage individuals, prepare for all contingencies. #tc0106 we need as many as possible to get this vaccine. In the gym today visualization of the process started raising spirits of those involved
  • #tc0106 lots of details and logistics underway. No mandate on vaccinations yet, will be getting an acknowledgement that you got vaccinated. To go places, i.e. international travel it may be a requirement. That is a separate issue, let's get these started
  • #tc0106 Maplegate question. Dec 11 permit filed, twenty day appeal period, sometime then a purchase could be presented to the town for review. Once received, it is a 120 days once received to address.
Council comments and closing
  • #tc0106 Chandler "we were actually able to work out that they are saving money on the electric bill" Frongillo shout out on the #thinkfranklinfirst gift cards, well done. Motion to adjourn, second, passes 9-0 roll call


timeline for Beaver St interceptor project
timeline for Beaver St interceptor project

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