Saturday, July 29, 2023

Preliminary Five-Year Fiscal Forecast Budget Model for the Joint Budget Subcommittee - Aug 2, 2023

To: Joint Budget Subcommittee 

From: Jamie Hellen, Town Administrator
Amy Frigulietti, Deputy Town Administrator

Re: Preliminary Five-Year Fiscal Forecast Budget Model

Attached is the latest five-year fiscal forecast for Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25) through Fiscal Year 2029 (FY29). This is a preliminary model based on a series of assumptions outlined below. These assumptions are based on Proposition 2 ½, trends, market conditions and a couple strategic initiatives (mainly capital facility and infrastructure costs).

This forecast is only intended to be a guideline for strategic budget development and discussion. It is important to emphasize that if the Town has further needs for bond rating evaluations, items will need to be cut out of the budget in order to demonstrate to the ratings agencies a solvent, balanced budget.

The current FY24 Budget baseline is highlighted in light yellow. The five-year forecast is highlighted in light blue. The sections highlighted in light green will be the center of the discussion at the meeting and represent the most challenging areas in the next five years.

Revenue assumptions

The model makes the following revenue assumptions:

New Growth - The model assumes $1,100,000 in annual New Growth revenue from year to year. Town policy is to use a ten-year aggregate average for annual new growth calculations. While this number will fluctuate, the town has seen a drop in private sector and residential homeowner property improvement investments in recent years. There is a lot of risk in the marketplace due to supply chain uncertainty, high interest rates, inflation, and increasing costs. The model assumes an increase in New Growth. In FY24, New Growth revenue is expected to decline. FY25 could see a similar decline.

For those interested in reading analysis about the Massachusetts economy, please take a look at the UMass Donahue Institutes’ MassBenchmarks series here. This publication represents a coalition of economic experts, including our state's most preeminent financial and academic  
institutions, who publish their independent analysis of the Massachusetts economy.

Tax Levy - The anticipated tax levy growth increases by 2.5% per year. Staff anticipates a reduction in the tax levy of approximately $630,000 over the next five years, due to debt exclusions “sunsetting” off the tax rolls as projects are paid off.

Local Receipts - The model assumes a 2% growth in local receipts per year.

State Aid - The model assumes a 1% growth in state aid per year. Education aid from the state has been well documented by the town for a decade. The public should not expect a large infusion of state education aid in the foreseeable future.

Other Revenues - The model assumes a 2.5% increase in indirects per year. The model assumes a 2% increase in state assessments per year.

Expenses Assumptions

The model makes the following expenditure assumptions:

Assumes a 2.5% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for all municipal personnel line items each year for five years. Please note most union contracts, including FEA, Police, Fire, DPW, Custodian, and Library expire Summer of 2025. A 2.5% increase is modeled to stay within the tax levy.

The Franklin Public School district budget increases 2.5% per year, or approximately $1.8 to $2 million per year.

All municipal expense budgets increase 2.5% per year.

Norfolk County Retirement System budget assumes a rate of growth at 5% and health care costs are projected at 7%.

A full year assessment of $1.5 million for regional dispatch in FY25 and a rate of growth of 2.5% each year thereafter.

Tri-County Vocational School building project estimated assessment of $2.1 annually for 30 years at an interest rate of 4.25%. The Town will have to consider funding this project through a debt exclusion vote at the ballot. A debt exclusion will increase taxes for citizens over the next 30 years in order to pay for the new school building. Tri-County is entering the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) process now and a districtwide authorizing vote (on the project, not the financing) is scheduled for October 24, 2023. The financial forecast illustrates in the light green section an increase of almost $2.1 million in FY27 for this building and a 2.5% increase in the following years. Given the construction and planning processes, this will likely not be the funding schedule. However,it is important to put this project in the model as a placeholder to illustrate costs as well as competing demands. It is important to note that if a debt exclusion is not passed or another financing mechanism is not found, the town will see structural cuts of about $2.1 million in FY27 and beyond.

Includes anticipated borrowing for projects that were authorized by the Town Council in 2020, which includes the Washington Street sidewalk ($3 million), High School improvements ($2.5 million, including visitor bleachers), Remington-Jefferson remodel ($4 million), and recycling center ($4 million). These project estimates will need reauthorization to accommodate for a 25% increase in costs from the original 2020 authorization. Of note, these numbers are preliminary and could be greater, once finalized. Staff anticipated a 4+% interest rate for these projects, even with our AAA Bond Rating.

There is also $1 million authorized to borrow for the Parmenter School’s mechanical upgrades. This is NOT included in the model. A review of the costs to rehabilitate Parmenter needs to be explored at a deeper level, as Parmenter will need a new roof, mechanicals, and other improvements. If Parmenter is to maintain its use as a school for the foreseeable future (meaning 20-30 years), then the community should expect a complete upgrade of approximately $5 million. The Town will need to borrow for this project as well.

It is also important to reference that our staff capacity may not be able to coordinate this number of capital projects in such a short time. Also, the debt and interest line items have quickly decreased the last two fiscal years due to sunsetting debt exclusions and other borrowing coming off the books. The community is going to have to make some judicious decisons and prioritize projects in the coming years.

Includes the borrowing for the Fire Department ladder truck, authorized earlier in the year.

What does this model NOT include?

A short list of items that have been discussed publicly in some variation (not in this order):

Costs associated with the Police Station and Davis-Thayer Building. These projects will each cost tens of millions of dollars and will certainly require debt exclusion votes of the public to raise taxes (and then sunset).

Additional strategic investments toward Franklin Public Schools.

Additional public infrastructure costs for roads, sidewalks, parking lots, trails, and green energy commitments.

$500,000-$1,000,000 in additional annual capital needs that have been requested to be put into the operating budget as annual operating costs, such as public safety protection gear, equipment, fleet, vehicles, and school curriculum.

Funding relative to an increasing demand and reliance on technology. Whether it's cyber security, computers for students and/or employees, the proper recruitment and retention of exceptional technology staff, or required fiber and equipment upgrades, technology is a necessary cost driver. This is an area of significant underfunding, and the Town has not invested nearly enough in what is needed to build a sustainable technology environment.

New investments in social services, regional transportation investments, personnel, clean energy, or any of the other requests the community may have.

Off-budget accounts, such as utilities and community preservation.
Where do we go from here?

The community has several choices to address public school finance:

1. The municipal and school departments must live within the means of 2.5% revenue and expenditure growth. Ultimately, this presents challenging choices, but is the most sustainable option at the current time.

2. Work toward an override ballot question to permanently raise property taxes to pay for a defined set of service investments.

3. Shift resources from the municipal departments to the Franklin Public School Department.

4. Redesign the service delivery of the School Department. In other words, the District will reevaluate what services it offers, what is required, and what are the projections moving forward with cost drivers. One exercise that would prove valuable for the Franklin Public School District is to create a five to ten year strategic financial plan that addresses the balancing and shifting needs in public education with considerations given to the district's declining enrollment.

The model, as shown, illustrates a significant structural deficit in FY26 and beyond. FY25 also shows a deficit, but appears manageable, due to healthy local receipts and stable new growth. Barring any unforeseen global circumstance, FY25 will likely be manageable.

The community has a flood of expensive projects and competing demands coming up in a very challenging market to borrow money. The Town does not have any unused tax levy capacity, and has rebuilt its reserves to a baseline level in order to obtain a AAA Bond rating. Town and School reserves should not be withdrawn. While it may feel like a rainy day, it is not. The future likely holds more turbulent waters given the geopolitical state of our world.

The Town of Franklin (and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) currently enjoys some of the best overall quality of life in the United States. As demonstrated again this month, it is rated as one of the safest communities in the country against violent crime. The community has an elite school district with exceptional teachers and educators, incredible special education services, championship athletics, and diverse extracurricular and recreational opportunities, a vibrant and jam-packed senior center, and a public library that is second to none. The community has worked hard to rebuild its most critical infrastructure over the past 2 decades to ensure quality and clean drinking water, great roads and sidewalks, exceptional parks and grounds, and to ensure the community has plenty of sewer capacity for the next several generations; hopefully another 100 years! The Town has preserved over 200 acres of open space in the last two years and has been awarded the highest bond rating at AAA for incredible financial management for the first time in the Town’s history.

The community enjoys a healthy, strong and supportive social fabric with events for all ages, economic classes and tastes. The Town has a robust diversity of retail shopping, restaurants, basic needs, social services support, and amenities. Franklin also enjoys a government that shows its citizens that it can act in compromise, humility and a dedicated focus on decisions that enhance the quality of life in the community. While many very difficult decisions will be here for the rest of the decade, we also think it is important that the community recognizes, and does not take for granted, the current state of the town.

The numbers to support this narrative along with the remainder of the package released for the August 2 meeting can be found ->

Preliminary Five-Year Fiscal Forecast Budget Model for the Joint Budget Subcommittee - Aug 2, 2023
Preliminary Five-Year Fiscal Forecast Budget Model for the Joint Budget Subcommittee - Aug 2, 2023

Veterans Coffee Social scheduled for Wednesday - August 2, 2023 - 10 AM

Come to the Franklin Senior Center Café and enjoy coffee and with other veterans. In honor of National Purple Heart Day, we will recognize several Franklin Purple Heart recipients at this Social.

Refreshments will be provided by our wonderful friends at Starbucks!

All Veterans Are Welcome!

Veterans Coffee Social scheduled for Wednesday - August 2, 2023 - 10 AM
Veterans Coffee Social scheduled for Wednesday - August 2, 2023 - 10 AM

Volunteer for the Hockomock Area YMCA 8th Annual Backpack Drive - sign up now!

Hockomock Area YMCA (@HockomockYMCA) tweeted on Fri, Jul 28, 2023:
"Meet new friends and be part of something bigger than yourself! Sign up today as a volunteer in our 8th annual backpack drive. 
The children you help through this project will be filled with hope, joy, and excitement as they start the school year. "

Volunteer for the Hockomock Area YMCA 8th Annual Backpack Drive - sign up now!
Volunteer for the Hockomock Area YMCA 8th Annual Backpack Drive - sign up now!

Tick borne disease creates meat allergy; raises need for reminders on tick bite prevention steps

"Up to 450,000 Americans may have been affected by a potentially life-threatening red meat allergy caused by ticks as many doctors remain unaware of what it is or how to treat it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In new reports released on Thursday, the CDC found that between 96,000 and 450,000 Americans since 2010 may have been affected by alpha-gal syndrome. The syndrome, also known as a red meat allergy or tick-bite meat allergy, stems from alpha-gal, a sugar molecule not naturally present in humans. Instead, it is found in meat including pork, beef, rabbit, lamb and venison, as well as products made from mammals including gelatin and milk products.

“Because the diagnosis of alpha-gal syndrome requires a positive diagnostic test and a clinical exam, and some individuals with alpha-gal syndrome may not get tested, it is estimated that as many as 450,000 people might have been affected by AGS in the United States,” the CDC said, adding. “Of those aware of AGS, knowledge about diagnosis and management is low.”
Continue reading at The Guardian (subscription maybe required) ->

Other news outlet's provide coverage as well

Original report from CDC ->

Franklin's Health Director Cathleen Liberty talks about ticks and insect borne diseases in this podcast ->

From 2017 to 2021, there was an annual increase in positive AGS test results across the country, the CDC report said. Photograph: Jason Ondreicka/Alamy
From 2017 to 2021, there was an annual increase in positive AGS test results across the country, the CDC report said. Photograph: Jason Ondreicka/Alamy

MA budget to the Governor next week finally, maybe??

"After weeks of negotiations and two stopgap spending bills, state House and Senate Democrats announced Friday afternoon that they finally reached an agreement on the state budget for the fiscal year that started July 1.

While they did not announce any details, budget leaders said they are confident they will be able to vote on the budget on Monday.

“Our respective teams are actively engaged in ironing out the details and working diligently to finalize the agreement,” Senator Michael J. Rodrigues and Representative Aaron Michlewitz, who serve as budget leaders in their respective chambers, said in a statement. “We are confident that the Conference Committee Report will be filed in the coming days, ensuring that both the House and Senate will take up the report on Monday in formal session.”
Continue reading the Boston Globe article (subscription may be required)

Michael J. Rodrigues, the Senate Ways and Means Chair, speaks to reporters in the Massachusetts State House on August 1, 2022.CARLIN STIEHL FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE
Michael J. Rodrigues, the Senate Ways and Means Chair, speaks to reporters in the Massachusetts State House on August 1, 2022.CARLIN STIEHL FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

How to spot and avoid post-disaster scams in the Northeast

By Colleen Tressler

As recovery efforts continue in areas of the Northeast hit hard by devastating flooding, scammers aren't far behind. Your tragedy is an opportunity for them, and they'll try to take advantage. If one of the recent storms damaged your home, you might get offers to do things like help you clean up debris or get financial help. The offer might even seem to come from a government official. But how do you know what's real?


How to spot and avoid post-disaster scams in the Northeast
How to spot and avoid post-disaster scams in the Northeast


Friday, July 28, 2023

Franklin's Event Outlook: July 28, 2023 to August 3, 2023

The weather canceled movie night last week and it is now scheduled for Friday night. Let's see if the weather holds so folks can watch "Finding Nemo". Birchwood Bakery adds music on their outdoor patio (also weather permitting) on some Saturdays starting this week with Patrick Durkin scheduled to perform.

Friday, July 28

1:00pm - Talewise: Science Heroes  (Franklin Public Library)

2:00pm - Franklin Farmers Market (Franklin Town Common)

3:00pm - Vai's Thai (food truck) (Franklin Town Common)

3:30pm - It's a "J" Thing (live music) (Franklin Town Common)

4:30pm - Sons of Sam Pizza (food truck) (67 Degrees Brewery)

5:30pm - Matt Zajack (live music) (67 Degrees Brewery)

6:00pm - Jamie Barrett (live music) (La Cantina Winery)

6:00pm - FSPA & Electric Youth (live music) (Franklin Town Common)

8:00pm - Movie night - "Finding Nemo" (Franklin Town Common)

Saturday, July 29

10:00am - Franklin Historical Museum (always free)

1:00pm - JoeDs Wings (food truck) (67 Degrees Brewery)

4:00pm - The Fourtet (live music) (La Cantina Winery)

4:00pm - The Gilligans (live music) (67 Degrees Brewery)

5:00pm - Patrick Durkin (live music) (Birchwood Bakery & Kitchen)

Sunday, July 30

10:00am - FUSF Service "Prayer as a Portal" (First Universalist Society of Franklin)

1:00pm - Franklin Historical Museum (always free)

Monday, July 31

1:00pm - Harry Potter Party (Franklin Public Library)

6:00pm - Movie Monday “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” (Franklin Public Library)

Wednesday, August 2

10:00am - Veteran’s Coffee Social (monthly event)  (Franklin Senior Center)

1:00pm - Senior Scribblers (writing group)  (Franklin Senior Center)

Thursday, August 3

6:30pm - Franklin LGBTQ Alliance - monthly meeting (Franklin Public Library)


The Franklin Art Association Art Gallery remains open during business hours at Escape into Fiction (Main St, Franklin)

Find the full Community event calendar

The Cultural calendar displays only the cultural events

If you have an event to add to the calendar, you can use the form to submit it for publication:

The Town meeting calendar is found
The School district calendar is found 

Franklin's Event Outlook: July 28, 2023 to August 3, 2023
Franklin's Event Outlook: July 28, 2023 to August 3, 2023

Sunday's service at FUSF: Prayer as a Portal - July 30

The description for this coming Sunday's lay-led summer service "Prayer as a Portal" at the First Universalist Society of Franklin (FUSF).

Prayer as a Portal - July 30
Prayer as a Portal - July 30
Duncan Sings-Alone and Cilla Cogan
"What is prayer if not a question to the universe? What is a portal if not a doorway to an answer?

Duncan and Cilla take a different and brief look at the experience of prayer and how it impacts the individual and the sense of community. A portal entails a direction both inner and outer."

The service is set for 10:00 AM on Sunday, July 30 at the First Universalist Society in Franklin (FUSF), at 262 Chestnut Street. 

FUSF is a Unitarian Universalist LGBTQIA+ Welcoming Congregation. 

For more information about the FUSF, please visit our website: or call the Office at 508-528-5348. 

August 6: Sangha and Mindfulness 
August 13: Respect for all living things
August 20: Trees: Bridges to Spirit  
August 27: Everyday Spiritual Practices

School Committee approves "Comprehensive School Facility Planning" effort (audio)

The School Committee met on Tuesday, July 25, 2023 as scheduled and completed business without student updates (school vacation) or any presentations (summer time) with a brief Executive Session and the total was within an hour. A rare but worthy accomplishment.

  • Getting ready to report on the School Committee meeting at 7 PM follow along with the agenda #schcom0726
  • Chair Spencer opens meeting, gets right to the Supt Giguere report on the activity this summer. Administrator pretreat the day after school ended to close and reflect on the past school year. #schcom0725 retreat next week, 3 days, asst and principals together
  • Planning and strategic planning key topic, to be held at Dean College; MSAA executive institute for Lucas, Paula & Tina at the Cape recently, how to move from striving to thriving, budget development also a key topic #schcom0725
  • Elementary literacy materials arrived, being distributed to the schools, 30 openings currently but a moving # as candidates are in process, HS experience, new teacher orientation, professional development before schools starts, report and dates coming in writing
  • Clarification q, 2 asst principals open at this time. No presentations, now discussion action items
  • Space Needs & Facilities Assessment Sub Committee - I recommend that the School Committee dissolve the Space Needs & Facilities Assessment Sub Committee as detailed motion to approve, second, passes 7-0
  • School Facilities Master Planning Subcommittee - I recommend that the School Committee establish a School Facilities Master Planning Subcommittee as detailed motion to approve, second, Amended to be Comprehensive School Facility Planning Subcmte, passes 7-0; Second vote to pass formation of committee as amended, passes 7-0
  • Off-site/retreat working on an overall calendar for meetings and subcommittee meetings to make them as predictable as possible, likely ready in a couple of weeks #schcom0725
  • Consent agenda recommended to be approved, moved, second, passes 7-0
  • Order for Committee comments, Callaghan advises participating in Joint Budget Subcmte meeting Aug 2
  • Motion to executive session, to return to open meeting, second, passes 7-0 via roll call We will hang out for this one, not supposed to be a long session. Stay tuned!
  • Ok, about to return to open session
  • Called back to order, motion to adjourn, via roll call passes 7-0 That's all for tonight catch you next time!
My notes captured via Twitter can also be downloaded in one PDF ->

Franklin TV video replay ->

Playing Dead scheduled to perform at THE BLACK BOX - Aug 11

Playing Dead is a Grateful Dead tribute featuring former members of Dark Star Orchestra, Slipknot!, and Uncle John's Band. Their marathon sets feature music and jams from the entire Grateful Dead catalog. 

Playing Dead faithfully recreates the experience of a live Grateful Dead concert. The music of The Grateful Dead is a complex stew of different styles of music including rock, blues, jazz, folk, bluegrass and more. Their improvisational style and large repertoire guaranteed that every musical performance would be unique. 

Every Playing Dead show is equally unique featuring different set lists each night and exciting improvisational jams. Playing Dead has been entertaining audiences in New England for over 20 years!

Band Members
Vic DeRobertis – Lead Guitar & Vocals
Jim Harris – Rhythm Guitar & Vocals
Mark Munzer – Keyboards & Vocals
Dave Olson – Bass & Vocals
Brian Epstein – Drums

Tickets available online or by calling the box office ->

Veterans' Council Meeting for August 2023 - Aug 17 at 7 PM

August 2023 Veterans' Council Meeting

All Franklin residents are invited!

The Franklin Veterans' Council will meet on Thursday, August 17, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. at the Franklin Senior Center.

All Franklin residents (Vets and non-Vets) who are interested in Veterans' events and activities are invited.

Council meetings held from January through May also include the Memorial Day Parade Committee. Volunteers for this committee are always needed and welcome!

Shared from ->

on a hot day, trying to think cool thoughts
on a hot day, trying to think cool thoughts

SSA: The ADA Benefits All People, Not Just “Americans with Disabilities”

"July 26, 2023, marks the 33rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

This landmark civil rights law protects millions of people with disabilities across the country.

The Access Board is celebrating accessible design features encountered in everyday life that benefit everyone, not just those with disabilities. Read on to learn more!"
Continue reading how the Americans with Disabilities Act benefits all of us

SSA: The ADA Benefits All People, Not Just “Americans with Disabilities”
SSA: The ADA Benefits All People, Not Just “Americans with Disabilities”

Franklin Health Dept: Wellness Update on Group B Strep

July is Group B Strep Awareness Month. 
Group B Strep can be transmitted during birth. Babies may have long-term problems, such as deafness and developmental disabilities, due to having GBS disease. 
Get tested & take preventive measures. Learn more:
Franklin Health Dept: Wellness Update on Group B Strep
Franklin Health Dept: Wellness Update on Group B Strep


Franklin TV and schedule for Friday, July 28, 2023

  • or 102.9 on the FM dial = Friday

9:00a/12:00p /6:00p Chapters – Jim Derick  Insightful, life-affirming stories and interviews

10:00a/1:00p/7:00p Music to Lift the Spirit - Jim Derick & Frank Falvey

11:00a/2:00p/8:00pm Senior Story Hour – Senior Center Scribblers Group

  • Franklin All Access TV - Our Public Access Channel (Comcast 8, Verizon 26) = FRIDAY

7:30 am     Commonwealth Heroines
9:00 am         Frank Presents: James Ginley
11:00 am Senior Connection: Public Health
12:00 pm Brook'n'Cookin': Peppers
12:30 pm Drink Responsibly: Flat Breads
1:00 pm     Physician Focus: Oral Health
1:30 pm     Pizzapalooza: Healthy Pizza Crusts
2:00 pm New England Candlepins: Summer 2018 Show 5
3:00 pm Winning Ways with the MIAA: Shaun Hart Pt 2
3:30 pm     Riffing on Main Street: Catherine Kennedy
4:30 pm     Second Sunday Speaker Series: Mary Olsson
8:30 pm 4th of July 2023: Backyard Swagger

  • Franklin Pride TV - Our Educational Channel (Comcast 96, Verizon 28) = FRIDAY

7:00 am     Public School Concert: MICCA Showcase Pt. 1 03-14-18
8:30 am     It Takes A Village: Community College
10:30 am FHS Varsity Softball: v North Attleboro 04-24-23
12:30 pm Universe of Adolescent Sleep
1:30 pm     FHS Chamber Music 2023
3:00 pm FHS Boys Varsity Lacrosse: v Longmeadow 04-28-23
8:30 pm Critical Conversations: Student Wellbeing

  • Franklin Town Hall TV - Our Government Channel (Comcast 11, Verizon 29) =  FRIDAY

8:00 am Zoning Board of Appeals: 07-20-23
2:00 pm Zoning Board of Appeals: 07-20-23

Get this week's program guide for Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( online   

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Franklin Police ask residents to respond to the "Community Survey on Public Safety & Law Enforcement"

The Franklin, MA Police Department (FPD) invites you to take this "Community Survey on Public Safety & Law Enforcement." It will take approximately five minutes of your time and is completely confidential.

Your participation will help the police department improve its services, processes, and reputation.

The survey is designed for a law enforcement agency to gather opinions and experiences from members of its community. The survey assesses five key components that involve the FPD
  • Community involvement
  • Safety
  • Procedural Justice
  • Performance
  • Contact and satisfaction
You may come into contact with multiple law enforcement agencies, but please answer the questions thinking only about the Franklin, Massachusetts Police Department.

Please indicate your response to each item by selecting the appropriate answer based on your feelings, opinions, and experiences. You may skip any survey items you do not feel comfortable responding to or know how to answer, but we encourage you to respond to as many items.

All about the Town of Franklin Sewer Services - part 3 of 3 (audio)

FM #1028 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 1028 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares my conversation with Doug Martin, Franklin’s Water and Sewer Superintendent and Jake Standly, the Assistant Water/Sewer Superintendent. 

We had our conversation in the Franklin Public Radio studios on Hutchinson St. This is one of three in a series exploring the status and operations of the Franklin’s Water & Sewer Division. During 2021, we did a 3-part series on the water supply. With the Beaver St interceptor project starting later this year, we decided to cover the sewer side of the business. A little more dirty talk although we do start out with some updates on water.

Part 1 - approx. 25 minutes

  • PFAS - the EPA is looking to update their regulation

    • Mitigation of PFAS for Well 7 is costly and starting later this year

    • If the proposed regulations go through, it will be more costly as "60% of our water sources are currently above that (proposed) threshold"

    • Likely water rate increase coming in a future year (TBD)

  • New diagram shows lines of responsibility for water (and sewer) between Town and property owners

  • What to flush or not flush (3 p's - poop, pee & (toilet) paper)

Part 1 ->

Part 2 - approx. 42 minutes

  • We get into the core of the sewer system, historical design (or lack thereof)

  • Beaver St interceptor, construction overview and project plan

  • System capacity (both water & sewer), annual conservation measures

  • Oct 14 - Touch a Truck, hydrant painting, snow plow naming contest, and reveal of communication plan for the Beaver St construction project

Part 3 - approx. 27 minutes

  • We get to the sewer budget and rate increases approved for FY 2024, FY 2025, FY 2026

  • Review of the projects being completed or being worked, and planned for near term

    • Sahlin circle (final touches)

    • Monterrey Dr off Pleasant St (Jan/Feb - awaiting pump delivery)

    • Phase 7 lining - this summer

    • next level of I&I study

    • asset mgt grant

    • easement clearing & mapping

  • Good things about the community cooperation

  • Last but not least mention of the lead service connections (not supposed to be many)

The final section includes a budget recap which summaries as the following:

  • $500K for expenses, 

  • approx. $1M for personnel

  • $3.4M for Charles River flow and assessment

  • $1M for project debt and interest payments

The show notes include links to the Franklin water & sewer division page 

Let’s listen to this part of my conversation with Doug and Jake and learn all about Franklin’s sewer services. Audio Part 3 ->


Water Sewer Division -

Water Smart program ->

Leak or Blockage diagram of lines of responsibility between Town and property owners for water and sewer service

Consumer Confidence Reports -> archive   =

Charles River Pollution Control   and 

Charles River Update to Town Council begins at 57:50 in the Franklin TV meeting video for May 3, 2023  ->

Beaver St interceptor update to Town Council begins at 1:36:30  in the same meeting video

The most recent PFAS update to Town Council begins at 1:52:56 in the same meeting video


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( 

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.


How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors

  • If you don't like something here, please let me know

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.


For additional information, please visit  or 

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!


You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"