Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Public Works

The Department of Public Works provides a wide range of services to the residents of Franklin.   It is organized into seven (7) Divisions:
1. Administration
2. Engineering
3. Highway and Grounds (including Highway Maintenance and Construction, Central Motors, Snow & Ice, Parks, Town and School Grounds Maintenance and Forestry/Insect Control)
4. Water (including ground water withdrawals, water treatment and distribution)
5. Sewer
6. Solid Waste and Recycling (including the operation of the Beaver St. Recycling Center)
7. Street Lighting

The major functions of the Administrative Division includes developing capital projects, long range planning, intergovernmental relations and compliance, grant writing, processing various private construction permits and drain layer licenses, purchasing, budgeting, accounting, payroll, and multiple forms of utility billing.

Capital Projects
The Administrative Division, in conjunction with Engineering and the operating divisions, develops major capital projects.

The DPW continues to design and construct long-range projects over three to four years. Progress on specific capital construction projects is outlined in subsequent portions of this report.

It is important to note that many of these projects are performed by existing staff members which saves significant amounts of money by avoiding the need to contract out these services. The process of planning, designing, permitting, and oversite of these projects is an arduous task that requires a great level of coordination and cooperation between DPW divisions and other state, municipal and federal departments.

Grant Writing
The Town continues to implement a grant of $119,000 to develop stormwater infiltration with a private developer on Dean Ave and at other various locations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Mass DEP. We will investigate approaches for Franklin and private parties to work together to meet the permit requirements and save money for all.

The Town once again partnered with the Great American Rain Barrel Company to offer the discounted purchase of rain barrels to Franklin residents. Along with the discount, residents were eligible to receive a $50 rebate through the water conservation rebate grant.
The Town also received over $100,000.00 in recycling grants for our innovative programs at the recycling center in the proper removal and recycling of mattresses and Styrofoam to name a few.

Permits and Long Range Planning
The Town of Franklin also continues to oppose the implementation of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II and the pending Phase II Stormwater Permit for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) as required by the EPA. Phase I required the Town to highly regulate and monitor stormwater throughout the Town at a significantly increased cost. Phase II is projected to include increased regulatory requirements and cost even more. The Department will continue to refine and improve adopted regulations and practices to improve the stormwater in Franklin while minimizing the associated costs.

The Town of Franklin led a coalition of 16 other communities and challenged the EPA in Federal Court. Over the last year, the Town of Franklin has continued in mediation as directed by the Federal Court to try and work out disagreements and costs associated with the new MS4 storm water permit.

Long range planning is critical in the area of Public Works and must be accomplished consistently in order to ensure that the Town water, sewer and roadway infrastructure can support the needs of our residents. With the success of the 20/20 Plan, the Town Council authorized additional funding for waterline replacement and the improvement of roadways. Details on specific locations can be found in other parts of this report. With that funding already allocated, the Town Council continued with additional funding for the waterline replacement and road reconstruction of the Skyline Dr. neighborhood, Oak St Extension, Marvin Ave area and the Stanford Rd area. With the completion of the above mentioned projects we are looking at the next major waterlines and neighborhoods to be rehabilitated.

The DPW has continued to work with both the DEP and the Massachusetts Department of Recreation and Conservation to facilitate the final closing and capping of the Beaver Street Landfill Site.

The Town of Franklin has continued to work with other area towns and conservation groups towards ensuring that regional water supplies are protected.
The DPW is also looking at repairs/replacement of the “Beaver Street Interceptor”, the Town’s primary pipe that conveys sewer to the Charles River Pollution Control District for processing.

Continue reading the DPW section in the Annual Report in the PDF version (page 132) or the print version (#126)

Prior Annual Reports can be found online

Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  Public Works
Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  Public Works

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