Saturday, April 10, 2021

Recap: Town Council meeting - Apr 7, 2021 - capital budget approved, streets accepted, DPW presentation, complete streets policy

Quick Recap:

  • Public hearing on street acceptances for four streets, two of which were in the 'normal' process timing and were approved. Two were part of the backlog, coming through on a revised process and not approved as they lacked Planning Board approval. The full process will be needed for these two so they'll come back for approval some time TBD
  • Enlightening and fact filled presentation by DPW on their operations.
  • Lengthy set of legislation for action. The capital budget (previously approved by FinComm and Capital Budget subcommittees) a set of separate actions all passed
  • The stormwater bylaw technical adjustments were finally approved after once again being challenged as something nefarious to force the stormwater fee into operation (no, this item has nothing to do with the fee itself. That is scheduled for discussion during the budget hearings and likely will be a long and challenging discussion.)
  • The food truck permit for private property was approved (yahoo!)

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.

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

The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #tc0407 

  • Town Council meeting coming up, real time reporting for this about to begin. Follow along with the agenda here #tc0407  Connection info in doc
  • Meeting opens, #tc0407 20+ on Zoom to open with.
  • 2 councilors not present (Pellegri and Kelly), Hamblen remote via Zoom. #tc0407 citizen comments, none tonight Approval of minutes of Mar 17, second, passes 7-0 via roll call 
  • A little early for public hearing to start. Subcommittee reports: capital budget did meet …
  • Budget meeting april 12, 5:30 Joint budget Subcommittee EDC just met earlier tonight, talked about the ladybug trail, discussed the business guide as developed, #edc0407 Community planning grant and other items to be covered in next meeting
Public hearing
  • Public hearing on street acceptance opens:… #tc0407 next set of non-accepted streets (over 100 to be done) Town Administrator Jamie Hellen provides overview
  • Bissanti questioning why these 'newer' ones are coming in where others could be here and aren't. These are in the regular process and currently being done - others lack plans and/or data and require more work. #tc0407 general process assumes acceptance unless a special item
  • #tc0407 street acceptance does chap 90 funding, pavement management plan, $40m backlog of those to bring up to quality. If we did not accept, legally we wouldn't need to clear snow etc. That is a safety issue and a systemic issue on overall funding and priority
  • #tc0407 laws are written in favor of developers and also Municipal entities are not able to add fees for road acceptance to recover funds. Chap 90 is the only revenue we gain on roads. We have a legal obligation to accept (assuming I special items)
  • Q on gas tax funding roads, it goes to the Commonwealth, the allotment we get is Chap 90. Hotel tax is a local option revenue collected through the State then to us, mostly appropriated to roads, this year due to pandemic and decline in hotel occupancy #tc0407
  • Moving to Brandywine and Charles Drive for the acceptance process. #tc0407 Attny Cerel provides some background on the acceptance process for subdivisions which weren't covered in the original legislation. Planning Board didn't recommend to accept hence can't proceed tonight
  • #tc0407 Brandywine et al had not been originally thru planning board so they did not want to recommend. Public hearing closes. Moving to DPW presentation, doc to be added later.
DPW presentation
  • Slides on overview #tc0407
  • 60 acres of playing fields to manage and take care of #tc0407 35 flags maintained; 102 trash, recycling barrel sets;
  • 1813 signs in town, street line striping along with parking lots, 30 traffic lights, 328 crosswalks in Town; central motors for all town vehicles 167 road vehicles with registration #tc0407
  • #tc0407 grew from 1200 customers to over 3,000 at the recycling center, Beaver St.
  • #tc0407 with 23 lift stations, some refuse gets lifted 7 times before it gets to where it needs to, would have been nice to have a master plan for sewer; elevated tanks to provide water pressure dropped from 3.1 to 2.6 million gallons due to water conservation measures
  • #tc0407 second water treatment plant (off Grove St) coming online later this year.
  • #tc0407 it is cost efficient to do much of the vehicle maintenance inhouse some stuff does make sense to send out, however we are 1st responders and would need to get a truck or police car turned around quickly
  • DPW "the work they do touches everyone in Town". They are short staffed and doing more with what they have. #tc0407 you give us the money, we get to spend it. Could add fencing to create a small dog zone at the dog park.
  • Trash vs recycling mix is bad if over a 10% mix (bad in with the good), audit just done and we came in low at 7% #tc0407
Legislation for Action
Town Administrator report
  • That is the end of the Legislation for tonight, first aggregation report posted to Town page, we are saving money. #tc407 
  • May 5th passport renewals will resume at municipal bldg.  Verizon is exercising option to remain in Franklin. $200k grant for affordable senior housing
  • Continue the TA report: fire dept grant - $188k popup store grant for downtown for this summer partner with Wrentham, citizen discount one page guide posted to Town page (and shared) #tc0407  Town opening more likely after Memorial Day. Still under capacity limits ..
  • Likely to look at some reservation system. #tc0407  Comments: Dean returned request to pay for vehicle as a "pilot" payment. Disappointed. Police reform had great conversation, girl up at high school also had good conversation. Scam attempt today. Stay vigilant.
  • ... homeless feedback/info coming from Bissanti (from webinar he attended)
  • #tc0407 thanks to Franklin fire for their burn session, quite informative. Thanks to the staff for the beginning of the capital program. A grueling task. Motion to adjourn, second, passes 7-0 (2 absent)
  • That's all for tonight, catch you next time! #tc0407


one page of the DPW overview on Central Motors
one page of the DPW overview on Central Motors

No comments:

Post a Comment