Thursday, July 21, 2022

Recap: Town Council recognizes 100th birthday, FHS Unified Basketball team, grants TIF for Plansee, approves 6 contracts

Quick recap:
  • Margaret (Peg) Simpson was recognized for her 100th birthday. The FHS Unified Basketball Team was recognized for the Special Olympics Gold medal
  • The elections workers for the Sept primary and November election were approved. Early voting will be available the week before the Sept 6 State primary. All voting will be held at Franklin High School. The Council also approved resolutions approving for the police security coverage and other election details per recent legislation
  • The Elks Riders presented a donation of $1000 for Veterans Services
  • The Old South Meeting house expression of interest results were reviewed. The Council consensus was to proceed with an RFP for residential use with covenants to keep the property affordable, maintain the historical exterior and give priority to Franklin residents. The Town will prepare such paperwork to bring back to the Council for approval before putting it as a public offering
  • After a contested discussion, the Council approved tax increment financing (TIF) for Plansee USA LLC to expand their current location. Lack of understanding of the process and purpose of the TIF incentive apparently drove the discussion. The TIF financing is limited to specific industrial zones but the Council can expand it if they chose to do so. Vote was 7-2 for the TIF
  • The process of accepting the Davis Thayer School was formally started by the Council. The deed paperwork will proceed. Eventually a committee will be selected to determine the best use of the site
  • A "friendly 40b" application process was developed by the Town and presented to the Council for their review and understanding
  • The five year fiscal forecast was not yet ready for sharing but given the current inflation effects, it is anticipated that the FY 2023 budget will be difficult to complete as funded. An example was touted as the SNETT trail work put out to bid was expected to be in the $200K arena, the bids received back ranged from $300K to 800K. Stay tuned, we'll help to keep an eye on this inflation effect during the year as it could have major implications for future budgets
  • The Council entered executive session to discuss the status of contract negotiations and returned to open session to approve 6 contracts. Apparently with an increase of 2.5% which highlights that the School Committee's approval of 4% increases for the teachers contract is an issue to be worked as things progress
My full set of notes via Twitter from the meeting ->

Photos from the meeting can be found in one album ->

The Franklin TV recording of the meeting ->

Margaret (Peg) Simpson and Councilor Melanie Hamblen
Margaret (Peg) Simpson and Councilor Melanie Hamblen

Council Chair Tom Mercer and the FHS Unified Basketball team and coaches
Council Chair Tom Mercer and the FHS Unified Basketball team and coaches

Veterans Officer Shannon Nisbett with the Elks Riders accepting the donation
Veterans Officer Shannon Nisbett with the Elks Riders accepting the donation

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