Saturday, June 12, 2021

Recap: Town Council - on Maple Hill 'right of first refusal' recommendation is to purchase

Quick Summary:
  • Three options were outlined for the Maple Hill 'right of first refusal' Franklin has 120 days to make. The first option to use the proceeds from the Pond St sale (former sewer treatment plant) ($1.6M) and to use the Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds to finance the remaining $3M.
  • No decision was made at the Town Council meeting. The Town Council does have final approval but they can not make the unilateral decision. There are two more public hearings; the Finance Committee (6/16) and the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) (6/17). The CPC needs to make the formal recommendation to use the CPA funds for the Town Council to approve. Assuming the CPC does make the recommendation, the measure would come back to the Town Council likely at their July meeting for approval.

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  #schcom0309
Photos captured during the meeting, shared via Twitter can be found in one album

The proposal summary and details on the 'right of first refusal' can be found in this document

  • Getting ready for the Town Council meeting at 7 PM agenda doc has connection information #tc0609
  • In person meeting participation opens June 15, Zoom will be available as well as the live stream and cable broadcasts #tc0609
  • Justin Bates speaks to PFAS report from recent water quality report. While # within guidelines, it is concerning and should be investigated for further mitigation. #tc0609
  • Electric Youth in the Chambers for their 'almost' annual performance before heading off to Europe for their 2 week tour. #tc0609 (almost as the pandemic cut the trip last year)
  • Performing a capella #tc0609
  • Motion to approve minutes for Apr 7, passes 9-0; motion on mins for Apr 14, passes 9-0; for May 5, passes 9-0; motion for May 19, passes 9-0 #tc0609
  • Proclamation in recognition of FHS donation for veterans walkway bricks along with the pedestals for each of the 45 #tc0609 Proclamation in recognition of Mr Wright for his action during the fire at Franklin Crossing
  • Shifting order of action items to address license transactions before the public hearing. #tc0609 La Cantina proposal to combine their licenses. Really just a paperwork item per ABCC motion to approve, seconded, passes 9-0
  • La Cantina second transaction for the 19h, (first was 19c). Motion to approve, passes 9-0. #tc0609 Table & Vine change of Manager, etc. Motion to approve, seconded passes 9-0
  • Chapter 61 right of first refusal public hearing opens. First of 3 hearings on this matter, #tc9609
  • Presentation copy to be shared Thursday on town website. Meeting of the 3 hearings #tc0609
  • Town land in green Metacomet in yellow on this map #tc0609
  • Purchase proposal options #tc0609
  • Additional details on the finances #tc0609
  • Debt exclusion could be an option (like a school building) #tc0609
  • If right is refused, the project would continue with development of housing overtime per schedule shown #tc0609
  • Final slide on recommendation #tc0609 councilors asking clarification questions before getting to the public side of questions/comments. With this proposal CPC recommendation would be required to get TC approval
  • Interested in finding the $1.5m from Pond St sale where it was in the financial reports? May not have been in report due to whatever accounting may have applied. #tc0609 councilors generally speaking for the proposal option 1
  • Attny Doherty speaking first as he had registered to do so; for the proposal, good planning and good timing to do so. #tc0609
  • Negative comment about the Planning Board reflects a misunderstanding of their role in the process. They are restricted to address a proposal to fit within the bylaws. The Council is in a good position as they have some money to say yes. Hasn't always been the case #tc0609
  • Unfortunately the Council seems to be passing the buck to the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) which is by process; they (CPC) do need to make a recommendation for this proposal. The CPC is a new group but in my read of them are likely to recommend #tc0609
  • Residents all speaking for this proposal thus far; vernal pools a treasure, the open space has trails which has been used #tc0609 Public hearing closes EDC meets next week
  • Moving to legislation for action, capital plan second round #tc0609 FinCom voted to recommend, motion to approve, seconded, discussion on clarification of police station site analysis; passes 9-0
  • #tc0609 inter-municipal agreement to provide water supply for a single residence from Bellingham Motion to approve, second, passes 9-0
  • Gift for veterans services, for walkway bricks as noted by proclamation done earlier in meeting, motion, veterans officer D Kurtz provides details second, passes 9-0
  • PEG funds transfer from ToF to Franklin TV, as per quarterly procedure; motion to approve, second passes 9-0 Pellegri still wants lower rates for consumers (can't be done by local authorities)
  • Sewer bylaw for second reading #tc0609 motion to approve, second, passes 9-0 via roll call
  • Zoning bylaw definitions update for tasting room, motion to move to second reading, second, planning board recommends by a 4-1 vote; had been 25% per manufacturing alignment, passes 9-0
  • Saturday, 9-12 open house at water treatment plant, also will be a smaller version of a Touch the Truck expo at the same time. Tests for PFAS are mandated quarterly, does do required testing, not found an excess of levels. #tc0609
  • Req for SchComm to come and define the Davis Thayer timeline for town control per Pellegri. #tc0609 Kudos for farmers Market and new layout. EDC business listening sessions were good, thanks to Melanie for that. Exit #s now 41 and 43. EDC meeting 6/17 ArtWALK this weekend
  • Pellegri also adds historical museum is hosting musical performances on Saturday as well as part of ArtWALK. #tc0609 Jones will need to replace Anne Marie Tracey, DT hosting a gathering for the closing for families. Remember to block Church st for Memorial Day service
  • Motion to adjourn, passes 9-0 That's all for tonight, catch you next time!

Audio file to be available in couple of days 

Maple Hill 'right of first refusal' recommendation is to purchase
Maple Hill 'right of first refusal' recommendation is to purchase


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