Friday, June 18, 2021

Recap: Finance Committee "unequivocally" approves Maple Hill purchase plan

Quick Recap:
  • After reviewing the Maple Hill proposal, asking some clarification questions, the Finance Committee 'unequivocally' approved of executing the right of first refusal for Option 1.
  • The Committee also approved two other financial transactions scheduled to come to the Town Council. 1 - for some transfers to fund the zoning study and 2 - utilization of some of the Fletcher funds for a bunch of recreation improvements
  • Interesting question on the housing authority and what could be done after the second fire (first at Central Park Terrace, second at Winter St). Both properties and their funding is under State control, the Town has no control.


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  #fincom0616 

  • Getting ready for the Finance Committee meeting, back in the Municipal Bldg for this meeting first time in almost forever #fincom0616
  • Chair Dowd opens meeting #fincom0616
  • Motion to accept prior meeting may 19, seconded, passes 9-0 #fincom0616
  • TA Jamie Hellen provides a recap of the proposal sharing the summary doc from the Town Council meeting last week. #fincom0616
  • 5 years ago ToF had no money for open space, had to turn down two first refusal in 2017, and now have the funding with options available to make a decision. #fincom0616
  • Multiple wins with the proposal; sold sewer beds to buy good forest, can use the 1.5m from sale as down payment, finance the balance with CPA funds of about $200k/year. #fincom0616
  • Right of first refusal applies to chap 60/61 property classifications. Owner gets a break on the tax rate each year of ownership, in return Town gets the right of first refusal with a action time of 120 days. #fincom0616
  • Q on rollback doesn't apply to Town, would apply to another purchaser if using as nonfarm. Maintenance costs would be minimal and not included in this purchase. Those potentially could be funded from future CPA projects #fincom0616 could Franklin do it's own ->
  • Emerald necklace and connect properties together. #fincom0616 with the low interest rate, it makes the town standing more flexible IF something else came along. If we did use open space funds, then what would we have?
  • #fincom0616 to "unequivocally" endorse the right of first refusal as proposed, seconded, passes 9-0
  • Proposal for debt stabilization fund, to have a target of 2% and not use more than 50% in any one time of use; simple proposal, only a target and a use cap. #fincom0616 passes 9-0
  • Fletcher fund proposed to be used for approx $90k, looking for financial support to move to the Town Council for approval. Youth sports orgs would use and benefits from these expenses, for expenses on town property #fincom0616 motion to approve, seconded, passes 9-0
  • FY 2021 budget adjustments, transfer req'd for town council approval, #fincom0616 to recommend $71k transfers in first case, and $130k for rezoning analysis. Using the capital approach for a financial perspective to allow flexibility on transactions
  • Motion to approve 2134, seconded, passes 9-0 #fincom0616 Motion to approve 2135, seconded, passes 9-0 Future agenda items housing authority is not under Town authority, nominations for Board but that all. Comm of MA is responsible
  • Motion to adjourn, passes 9-0 Staying here for the Economic Development subcommittee meeting at 7 PM. #fincom0616

Recap: Finance Committee approves Maple Hill purchase plan
Recap: Finance Committee approves Maple Hill purchase plan

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