Friday, November 19, 2021

Recap: Town Council hears about the waiting list and process for housing; approves FY 2022 budget reduction

Quick Recap:

  • Housing Authority, funded at State level, is limited in what they can do by funding and regulations. The list for access is long. A key part of our overall housing issue. The 60 unit senior housing at Franklin Ridge is awaiting funding. These units only make a dip into the wait list. Advocating for housing at State and Federal levels is best and only option
  • Elks Riders present their donation to veterans and recognized for such at same time
  • FY 2022 budget reduced by $454K to recognize the revenue expected won't be met. Outline of where the adjustments come from provided; on Town side some savings already recognized, Schools asked to reduce by $93K, how that will affect their $70M budget is 'minor' but would need to come from School Dept/School Committee.
  • Host Community agreement funding outlined as distributed among DPW, SAFE Coalition and Police Dept as mitigation for expected sales of cannabis products
  • Community Preservation Committee (CPC) to hold two hearings in Jan 2022 (Jan 4, and Jan 18) to solicit ideas for how the expected funds could be utilized. This listing would then be further developed by CPC and ultimately approved by Town Council before the first CPA funding is received in 4Q 2022.


As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter while I attended the meeting in the Council Chambers. 


The Twitter hashtag #TC1117 can be found online The thread begins with

Photos from the event can be found in one album: 

getting ready for the Town Council meeting #tc1117 Full agenda doc (with remote connection info)

  • Chair Mercer opens meeting with gavel and then the 'normal' statement about access via Zoom, etc. #tc1117
Citizen comments
Minutes approved
  • motion to approve minutes of Oct 20, second, passes 9-0 #tc1117
Housing authority presentation/discussion
  • next up Housing Authority presentation #tc1117 George Danelo Chair of Housing Authority; introduces Lisa Audette, Executive Director, also a couple of other board members present
  • emergency applications take priority, needs to be validated; #tc1117 listing of 7 levels of priorities, 1 other levels of preference; over 6,000 on waiting listing; time consuming to process application to validate
  • average 20 units for senior housing per year; family units don't turn frequently; lists being reviewed by State to audit process; #tc1117 process time consuming on both Authority and applicant;
  • State maintains waiting list not the local housing authority - thousands of residents on the multiple lists; local 114 for disabled, 200 families for low income housing; local hands tied - app process through site, preference and requirements set #tc1117
  • Pellegri concerned with out of town folks on list and the interjection of the State in the process; list process changes daily; #tc1117 if individual doesn't respond back to the list verification process, they lose their place in the line
  • petition legislators to change public housing regulations; #tc1117 could go via home rule petition, (which everyone would want); could check to see if general legislation has been filed - state funds source this, not Franklin funds
  • transfer within type of unit is an administrative transfer, if changing size, then the list comes into play; #tc1117 simple solution - need more housing, period. TA Hellen updates on Franklin Ridge project, permitted for 60 units, remains waiting for funding.
  • Hellen - we did identify a 3.5 acre piece of town owned land that could go for about 8 units of housing, can use the CPA funds to spec out further; #tc1117 at the end of the day, this comes down to money, takes the will of a lots of folks to get to fund it
  • Hellen - working with Habitant 4 Humanity on 2 other separate lots; #tc1117 we are doing this locally, we can't do it alone; the listing is applicants who have identified Franklin as a place to live - hence a happy problem (yet unfulfilled)
  • congregate housing while it can work, doesn't work for some and creates some problems when that comes up for someone on a list; #tc1117 6000 applicants on list for 2000 units state wide
  • How long will it take? No good answer for that Q. It depends. #tc1117 copy of 2 page memo used in this discussion will be shared later (have paper will convert post meeting)
  • Jones: what are logical viable next steps to solve this problem? #tc1117 218 units total; 165 seniors, 4 bedroom congregate, 33 family units
  • pull a listing for every vacancy; could pull 50-100 for 4 vacancies - work the list to validate status and eligibility for preference and priority; need to fill unit within 30 days; may close the list within 10 days depending upon circumstances #tc1117
  • Frongillo - how can we help? it is about land and money; age of buildings a concern, sidewalks are getting broken, (Town could help with), they apply for every grant we can get; #tc1117 average rent in a unit $450/unit, not much to work with
  • funding not enough to keep with the caring annually. #tc1117 folks can paint but must use Housing paint; Housing Authority is a state agency; CPA funds maybe the best option; need to be state or Federal sources to provide the funding
  • TA Hellen - Jan 4 and 18 Community Preservation Committee to hold hearings; Foxboro voucher process could use CPA funds but it won't increase # of units, would help with individual funding of units #tc1117

Legislation For Action

  • LEGISLATION FOR ACTION - a. Resolution 21-68: Gift Acceptance - Veterans’ Dept ($1,000), Historical Commission ($100) (Motion to Approve Resolution 21-68 - Majority Vote) - moved, seconded, passes 9-0 
  • Elks Riders present to talk about their donation #tc1117
  • Resolution 21-69: General Funds Appropriation, Transfers and Adjustments FY22
  • (Motion to Approve Resolution 21-69 - Majority Vote) #tc1117 motioned, second, passes 9-0 - this was previewed and approved by FinCom last week (7-0)
  • Resolution 21-70: Appropriation of Cannabis Fees
  • (Motion to Approve Resolution 21-70 - Majority Vote) motion, second, passes 8-0 TA Hellen spoke to parts of this during prior discussion, 2 active host community agreements $300K each; light project designed, hopeful to do spring
  • On last vote 8-0-1 recusal by Dellorco #tc1117
  • Details on FinCom vote in their meeting last week can be found… #tc1117
  • Interesting that Dellorco remained in conversation (and commented) and only before vote recused himself. #tc1117 hope that doesn't cause a problem - also raised by Councilor Cormier-Leger in the discussion before the vote
  • Resolution 21-71: Appropriation to Pay Prior Years’ Bills
  • (Motion to Approve Resolution 21-71 - ⅔ Majority Vote) motion, second, passes 9-0 - Finance Dept did talk to vendors on timing of receipt for invoices #tc1117
  • Resolution 21-72: Order of Taking Approximately Seventy (70) Acres of Unimproved Land Off
  • Maple Street (Motion to Approve Resolution 21-72 - ⅔ Majority Vote)  motion, second, passes 9-0 - formal process to ensure clear title to the Maple Hill land
  • Resolution 21-73: Acceptance of Open Space, Access and Parking Easements at Brookview Condominium Located Off Pond Street (Motion to Approve Resolution 21-73 - Majority Vote) easements for Pond St to gain access to waterfront on Mine Brook; motion, second, passes 9-0
Councilor Comments
  • TA report - nothing at this time
  • Future agenda items - all questions on FHS issues, need to be addressed via the School channels; housing items to be considered for future #tc1117 Councilor Comments - veterans lunch last week was wonderful; atta boy to Rep Roy for …
  • passage of the genocide bill; snow and ice presentation coming next meeting; kudos to all for the luncheon last week; #tc1117 Strong Towns event well attended on Monday; monthly senior office hours at Center at 8:30 AM - volunteers needed to decorate downtown Sat
  • Fairmount Farm has first Winters Farmers Market on Saturday; nice to see other communities at the Strong Towns event; it was an honor to serve the veterans last week; #tc1117 congrats to FHS performances of Mamma Mia this past weekend - 65 students in the cast
  • good luck to FHS, only public school left in D1 for football; salt price up, let Brutus know; #tc1117 happy Thanksgiving to all, we'll be back in Dec - motion to adjourn, passes 9-0

Audio recording of meeting to be available in couple of days


Veterans Services Officer Shannon Nisbett and members of the Elks Riders
Veterans Services Officer Shannon Nisbett and members of the Elks Riders

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