Showing posts with label 2016. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2016. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Annual Report 2016: Franklin Advisory Committee

"The Committee met only three times in 2015 and most of our discussions and topics were related to ongoing issues and objectives begun in the preceding years. 

Updates and status reports, often from the Town Administrator, on a multitude of ongoing endeavors, such as: 
(1) the land swap with the Commonwealth at the recycle site; 
(2) improving maintenance and enhancing the appearance of the two train stations. There have been certain remedial repairs to walkways and parking lots, but little of significance since the building was painted and roofed two years ago; 
(3) South Franklin Congregational Church. Presently the building is secured and a decision how best to proceed and appropriate use remains with the Council. This historic property, along with the Ray Memorial library and Brick School are testament to the town's significant history and deserving of our attention and support; 
(4) The "Gateway" effort has materialized and we are witnessing new construction at the old town hall site with new roadway construction and removal of the temporary classrooms at Davis Thayer. Dean College continues to provide a positive image to the area with new buildings and landscaping. At the East end of town, an upscale housing development at the former Cook's Farm site along with land acquisition from the Country Club has dramatically enhanced the area so that entering from East or West projects a positive impression to our community;

Council actions that benefited the community in which we provided opinion or input, along with the work of the Town Administrator and staff, includes certain zoning and building issues, the Pond Street RFP and subsequent award for development, attempts to bring businesses into the downtown, supporting development of the former bowladrome and car dealership site on 140 as well as the former Thompson Press site, exploration of establishing a Neighborhood Commercial Development in South Franklin, and proposing the town move to acquire the land on 140/495, which currently houses a salt barn and storage site, and has significant potential and value to the community and was, at one time, acknowledged by the state as such. Obviously, the Council, Town Administrator and staff do the work and make the important decisions.

Our role is to create and/or add to the discussion, and to that end, I am obliged to the Committee and those members of the Council, staff and administration for their support and contribution; to the many municipal employees who are second to none; and the many volunteers and residents who help make our community a special place. 

Thank you all in behalf of the Committee. 

L.P. Benedetto, Chairman


  • Paul Cheli, Vice Chair
  • Judith Pond Pfeffer Vice Chair
  • Robert Ficco
  • Bruce Hunchard
  • Andrew Bissanti (2015)
  • Robert Avakian (2015)
  • Nancy Rappa (2015)

Associate Members:

  • Joseph Halligan
  • Paul Compton
  • Rick Circone
  • Deborah Pellegri (2015)"

view of the Cook's Farm development on Norfolk side of Franklin along RT 140
view of the Cook's Farm development on Norfolk side of Franklin along RT 140

Download and read the full Annual Report for the Town of Franklin FY 2016

Prior year annual reports can be found

Monday, January 2, 2017

Annual Report 2016: Town Attorney

"The Town has an in-house attorney, Mark G. Cerel. Attorney Cerel has an office in the Town Administration offices and works three days a week.

In addition, he attends regular Council sessions and meetings of town boards and commissions on an asneeded basis. His responsibilities include providing legal advice to the Town Administrator and other town officials, review and drafting of legal documents, and representation of the town in negotiations and litigation other than labor-related matters. Having an in-house attorney has enabled town officials to obtain prompt legal review and advice; it has also expedited various town projects which require legal input.

During the past year, Attorney Cerel has continued to be successful not only in resolving actual litigation but also in resolving disputes prior to litigation on terms favorable to the Town; he has also continued to draft proposed legislation and to be involved in contract and real estate negotiations. In addition, he has continued to work with the staff to review and update the Town's zoning and general bylaws.

An in-house attorney plays an essential role in limiting the town’s legal exposure. He assists in resolving matters before they result in legal action and he provides the town with a strong legal presence that discourages people from filing frivolous lawsuits.

The Town Attorney represents the town and is only available to consult with individual residents if the Town Administrator’s prior approval is obtained."

Respectfully submitted,

Mark Cerel
Town Attorney

Franklin Municipal Building
Franklin Municipal Building

Download and read the full Annual Report for the Town of Franklin FY 2016

Prior year annual reports can be found

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Annual Report 2016: Franklin TV

Franklin TV is an IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. We operate the local access TV studios for Franklin. We produce local TV programs on three channels:
  • Franklin All Access TV - Our Public Access Channel (Comcast 8, Verizon 26).
  • Franklin Pride TV - Our Educational Channel (Comcast 96, Verizon 28).
  • Franklin Town Hall TV - Our Government Channel (Comcast 11, Verizon 29).

We are Franklin’s local TV channels on Comcast and Verizon, but we do not provide cable TV service. 

The Town of Franklin is the Local Franchise Authority (LFA) that maintains agreements with Comcast and Verizon cable TV providers.

Franklin TV’s funding comes from a 4.8% access fee on cable service that cable subscribers pay via these agreements.

Franklin TV does not rely on government taxes. Franklin TV pays a PILOT fee (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) to the Town of Franklin by agreement. We are the first nonprofit organization that pays for town services.

As an IRS 501(c)(3) charitable organization we also may receive grants and donations from contributors. 

Local Programming Produced in 2015

During our 2015 operating year we generated:
  • 217 Public Access Programs
  • 95 School/Sports Programs
  • 19 School/Civic Events Programs
  • 96 Government Meetings
  • 427 Locally Produced Programs

All of these programs were produced, recorded and edited by our staff on behalf of Franklin residents, organizations, agencies and local government. Our extensive production support reaches beyond the customary charter of other public access studios to lend equipment and provide technical training. This additional commitment of professional support enables us to provide a broader range of programs

In addition to programming, Franklin TV offers free community announcements on our Bulletin Board for all three P/E/G channels. Nonprofit organizations who wish to promote their meetings, special events and activities are welcome to contact us.

Our Studios and Offices
We have five thousand square feet that houses two video studios (a large drive-in access studio and an interview studio), two audio recording rooms, four digital video editing/effects systems, and our offices. 

We also have general purpose Community Meeting Space available – free to qualified nonprofit groups and service organizations for occasional meetings. Our facility accommodates up to 30 people.

After some years of effort, we finally succeeded in arranging for Comcast to upgrade our PEG channels connection to digital fiber. We are now connected by our own private fiber directly to the Comcast Milford Network Operations Center (NOC). This noise and distortion free connection was installed in April at a cost to us of $30,000. This digital upgrade retires the obsolete Comcast analog RF iNet link that experienced regular signal outages and interference.

Our Interview Studio
Franklin TV has two studios. Our smaller studio is an excellent facility for staging and recording interview and discussion programs. In 2015 this room was transformed with five all-digital displays that provide fully animated backgrounds. This novel approach enables us to stage more programs very efficiently, with each enjoying customized graphic set design.

In June, as part of our continuing commitment to Franklin students, Franklin TV awarded two $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors:

  • Tatyana Youssef of Franklin High
  • Emily Scannell of Tri-County High

Our congratulations and best wishes go out to them in their academic endeavors.

A Broadcasting Opportunity, WFPR-FM
In February of 2014, Franklin TV was awarded a construction permit by the FCC for a 100 Watt, noncommercial educational FM radio station. WFPR, (Franklin Public Radio) broadcasting on 102.9 FM. The FCC received 3,000 applications. Franklin.TV was among 81 Massachusetts applicants. 

Of these, 19 permits were granted, with 8 going to P/E/G studios like Franklin TV. WFPR will be an extension of Franklin TV’s services to the community and surrounding towns. Our construction permit runs to February, 2017 to allow sufficient time to properly site and construct a broadcast antenna.

FPR will also provide opportunities for local citizens to have a voice by producing their own programs or participating as volunteers to make our radio station successful as a local community resource.

Our Charter Operations
We continue to see increasing requests from various town agencies and civic organizations to provide TV coverage for local events. We cover Franklin events that are cultural or institutional in nature and of general interest.

We are always interested in training volunteers who would like to learn the craft of video production. Trained volunteers and interns work alongside our roster of free-lance and staff professionals to shoot and edit the institutional programs that we cover.

Citizen Access
Residents who produce their own access programs are the owners of these programs. As such, these producers hold their own copyright and may copy and distribute these programs freely, provided that the programs are cablecast on the Franklin system. 

Per our Public Access charter, we do not provide equipment for covering private or personal events or for purposes other than generating Access Programs to be shown over the Franklin cable system Information about our weekly programming can be found on our web site:

While visiting our website, also read our informative F.A.Q. on P/E/G TV studios, their operation, history and charter. We also recommend browsing our past newsletter archives to learn more about Franklin TV, our growth and development, and the civic events that we cover throughout the year.

Finally, in closing, “Thanks for watching!”

Respectfully submitted,

Franklin TV’s Board of Directors

Ken Norman, President
Jay Horrigan, Vice President
Wesley Rea, Treasurer
John Milot, Clerk
Anne Bergen, Nick Remissong, Rose Turco
Peter Fasciano, Executive Director

Franklin Public Access Studio, 23 Hutchinson Street
Franklin Public Access Studio, 23 Hutchinson Street

Download and read the full Annual Report for the Town of Franklin FY 2016

Prior year annual reports can be found

Annual Report 2016: Building Inspection

The Building Inspection Department is a multifunction office responsible for the construction, demolition, alteration, repair and occupancy of all residential, commercial, business and industrial uses for both existing and new construction in accordance with the Massachusetts Building Code. 

The department is responsible for the administration, interpretation and enforcement of the following codes:

  • Massachusetts State Building Code - 780  CMR
  • Town of Franklin Code - Zoning – CH 185
  • Mass. Electrical Code – 527 CMR
  • Mass. Plumbing and Gas Code – 248 CMR
  • National Fuel Gas Code – NFPA 54-2002
  • Sealer of Weights and Measure – G.L. CH 98
  • Architectural Access Board – 521 CMR

Hours of Operation
The Building Inspection Department’s hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 8:00a.m.-4:00p.m., Wednesday 8:00a.m.-6:00p.m. and Friday 8:00a.m.-

For your convenience, you may visit our website at This site contains a series of forms easily accessible and available to download. The website provides permit applications, sample plot plans, sign regulations, swimming pool instruction manuals. Shed/barn instruction manuals, zoning criteria and other information necessary to process a permit or to simply provide information to the public.

Building Department Staff
Building Commissioner/Zoning Officer:
Lloyd Brown

Inspector of Wires: Bernard Mullaney
Asst Wiring Inspector: James Laughlin
Plumbing/Gas Inspector: Richard Cornetta
Asst Plumb/Gas Inspector: Richard McCormick
Local Building Inspector: Stephen O’Neill
Sealer of Weights & Measurers
Comm. of Mass. /Div. of Standards

Staff Assistants
Barbara J. Curran
Nancy Danello/Zoning
Judy Demers

Lloyd Brown, Commissioner of Buildings, is responsible for all construction trade inspectors,municipal maintenance and supervision of all construction, zoning interpretation and determination,pre-planning and review of all subdivisions and proposed construction and improvements and general input for all other municipal departments and construction-related inquiries.

I would like to thank Nancy Danello our ZBA and Permit Clerk. Nancy accepted the position of Assistant Town Clerk in January of this year. Nancy will shine in this new position, be assured of that. Casey Thayer was hired to fill that vacant position. Casey has shown that she has what it takes to run all aspects of the Building and ZBA Clerk duties.

Building Permits
This year the Building Department issued a total of 1670 building permits and the revenues collected totaled $699,133.00

The following is a breakdown of the past years building permit activity:

  • Single Family Residence 40
  • Attached Senior Units 0
  • Commercial Building 4
  • Solar Panels 165
  • Accessory Dwelling Units 5
  • Addition(s) 32
  • Alteration(s) 1090
  • Amended Permit(s) 0
  • Deck 80
  • Swimming Pool(s) 29
  • Garage(s) 14
  • Shed(s) 4
  • Foundation(s) Only 0
  • Demolition(s) 9
  • Tent(s) 12
  • Sign(s) 53
  • Woodstove(s) 22
  • Carnival(s) 2
  • Fence 0
  • Earth Removal 0
  • Repair(s) Rehab 11
  • Sheet Metal 87

Certificates of Inspection
Inspection and certification of specified use groups shall be inspected annually in accordance with Table 110 of the Massachusetts State Building Code. This year the staff issued 137 certificates of inspection and the fees collected for the certifications amounted to $25,880.00. Certificates are issued for all public and private schools, churches, day care centers, nursing homes, funeral homes, bleachers, restaurants, alcoholic beverage establishments, multifamily dwellings (3or more units), movie theaters and other places of assembly. The Fire Department has assisted our department in assuring compliance with the Fire Prevention Code. The purpose of these inspections is to ensure the public safety and well being of the general public.

Certificates of Occupancy
The Building Inspection Department issues a certificate of occupancy in accordance with the Massachusetts State Building Code. All buildings/structures shall not be used or occupied in whole or part until a certificate of occupancy is issued. This department has issued a total of 86 certificates of occupancy and the total fees collected amounted to $5,850.00

Electrical Permits
The total number of electrical permits issued was 1276, the total fees collected and deposited amounted to $124,635.00.

Plumbing Permits
The total number of plumbing permits issued was 661, the total fees collected and deposited amounted to $65,986.00.

Gas Permits
The total number of gas permits issued was 830 and the total fees collected and deposited amounted to $47,171.00

Vacant Property Registration
The State of Massachusetts has created the Abandoned Housing Initiative, this program has helped by using measures to appoint receivers to repair and then auction the vacant properties. The Town of Franklin still requires the registration of vacant properties. The total number of permits issued was 38 and the total fees collected and deposited amounted to $1520.00

Division of Weights and Standards
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations, Division of Standards provides this service on behalf of the Town of Franklin. The Department of Weights and Measures is responsible for providing the services of testing, adjusting, sealing and handling all complaints regarding commercial weighing and measuring devices within the Town of Franklin. The department investigates consumer complaints regarding unit pricing laws; spot-checking prepackaged items for compliance with all weights and measures laws. Inspections were conducted by the State and the total fees collected and deposited amounted to $9,433.00

Total Revenues Collected: $979,608.00

Respectfully submitted,

Lloyd Brown
Commissioner of Buildings

Horace Mann Square - under construction on Emmons St
Horace Mann Square - under construction on Emmons St

Download and read the full Annual Report for the Town of Franklin FY 2016

Prior year annual reports can be found

Friday, December 30, 2016

Annual Report 2016: Town Clerk

"I respectfully submit my 1st annual report as Town Clerk of Franklin for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016.

With Franklin’s Town Clerk of 31 years retiring this year, I am honored and proud that the Office of the Town Clerk has been entrusted to me by the citizens of Franklin. My first official duty as Town Clerk was inspiring. I had the honor of swearing-in the aforementioned Town Clerk, Debbie Pellegri as a newly elected member of Franklin’s Town Council.

Equally gratifying, I had the privileged of swearing in Franklin’s new Chief of Police Thomas J. Lynch and Deputy Chief James A. Mills.

Since being elected in November, the following changes have been implemented. We now accept credit or debit card payment in the office for your
convenience. On our website ( the public may request certified copies of Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates, renew Business Certificates and dog licenses through Unipay.

The Town Clerk’s Office Staff has changed, we are dedicated to provide friendly ,professional service to all citizens. I am extremely proud of how well my staff has performed and responded to the challenges in such a short period of time. Please stop by and say hello!

Presiding over the State Primary after 3 months in office was challenging and exciting. I would like to thank all those that provided support. Especially Debbie Pellegri, Lois D’Amico, and Mona Ghiringhelli.

Welcome to our New Residents
We continue with our welcome letters to all new residents. Along with a census form, we also send voter registration applications at this time to encourage voter participation: We invite all new residents to stop by the Clerk’s office… it’s a nice way to meet their Town officials and be introduced to the Municipal Building and the many services that are offered here in Town. If you’d like voter Registration form sent to you, just call 508-520-4900 or email ( you may also register on line at (

The total population for FY 2016 Census is now 33,926.

The following are some past population figures that have been reported over the past years. This shows the rate of growth that Franklin has encountered over the past 31 years.

Year Population Year Population Year Population (As of January)


The population of Franklin seems to always go up even though the economy has had its ups and downs. There were more houses vacant and now they are beginning to become occupied. The new house market is increasing showing the residents are looking for new, along with affordable/deals on older homes. The Towns growth of senior/assisted living residents has also increased our population.

I have continued to update our records on a daily basis, adding new residents as soon as we have taken off the previous residents in that household. Our office works to record those moving into vacant properties throughout the year.

Financial Report
Money collected during FY16:

Collected/Marriage Intentions $2,775.00
Certified Copies$13,662.00
Business Certificates $5,640.00
Books $1,125.00
Dog Licenses $48,599.00
Non-Criminal Citations/Fines $3,715.00
Miscellaneous Receipts $7,085.00
Transfer stickers$3,790.00
Total Collected$86,391.00

A total of 276 businesses were opened or renewed in Franklin during 2015. We wish them the best of luck. All non-incorporate/DBA businesses, according to MGL, shall register with the Town Clerk prior to commencing business. This certificate is valid for four years at a charge of $40.00. Banks will send their customers to us before allowing them to open a business account. This helps us to keep our records updated. We follow up with telephone calls as a reminder!

Underground Storage Tanks/Hazardous Material
Underground storage of gasoline permits are the same as last year with a total of 23 and 13 hazardous material permits. No new certificates have been filed with this office by the Fire Department during 2015. 

Planning /Appeal Board Applications
All applications and decisions are permanent record and may be researched at any time through the Town Clerk’s office. Elsewhere in this report you will find our index of applicants/decisions during the year 2015.

Code of Franklin
The Town of Franklin Code Book is maintained and updated through this office, both in hard copy, computer and on the web at This book contains all the rules, regulations, by-laws and acts of the Town. The code has been helpful, not only to department managers and councilors, but also to attorneys, engineers and contractors since it contains all information relating to their daily work.

Town Clerk Directory
Our Directory of Town, State and County Officials booklet is available here in the Clerk’s office. This booklet has been a very useful tool to employers, committees, managers and residents. Other publications available in the Clerk’s office are Subdivision and Zoning Regulations and Maps, Resident Listing Books.

Record Retention Schedule
I have continued to keep our records in the best possible order as mandated through the Secretary of State’s office. All of our books are bound, microfilmed and stored in the Town Clerk’s vault each year. This is the history of Franklin and its’ residents and I take pride in maintaining a filing system that continues the safety of each volume.

Vital Records
Certified records of birth, deaths and marriage records are available through the Clerk’s office, They are copied on safety paper at a charge of $6.00 each. As a note, when you need a copy of your birth record, remember that it is always filed in the town where your mother was living at the time of your birth, the hospital community and the Office of Vital Records in Boston, MA. You can now order online on the town clerks web page through Unipay.

Dog Licensing
We have over 3,843 dogs in Franklin. Dogs are licensed mainly to be sure that they are up to date on their rabies vaccinations. Dogs should be licensed at 3 months and older. Licenses are $15.00 (altered) $20.00 (non altered) due by March 31st of each year with a late fine of $25.00 added to the tag fee after July 1st. Residents with (4) or more dogs need to acquire a kennel license through ZBA. 

I’m sure you will agree that our office is certainly a very busy one! We find so often that people will call our office first for information when needing assistance and we always welcome their calls and will try to set them in the right direction. It’s nice to know that people feel comfortable calling or visiting the Clerk’s office for assistance. 

I would like to thank my staff, Nancy Danello, Assistant Town Clerk; Michelle Marek, Assistant Election Administrator; and Susan Merullo, Administrative Assistant for their dedication and commitment. I would also like to thank the department managers and their staff for their support throughout the past year. "

Respectfully submitted, 

Teresa M. Burr 
Town Clerk / Election Administrator 
Notary Public / Justice of the Peace

Town Clerk Teresa Burr swearing two new police officers in October 2016
Town Clerk Teresa Burr swearing two new police officers in October 2016

Download and read the full Annual Report for the Town of Franklin FY 2016

Prior year annual reports can be found

Annual Report 2016: Certification – Recount Town Clerk Position


"We, Deborah L. Pellegri, Town Clerk, Anne M. Woodring, Elynor Crothers and Emergency appointment Registrar Lesley A. McCaffrey, being all members of the Board of Registrars for the Town of Franklin, do hereby certify the following acts concerning the recount of ballots on the position of Town Clerk for the Town of Franklin.

We hereby state the following:

  1. Proper documentation to call a recount of votes for the position of Town Clerk was filed by candidate Diane Padula-O’Neill. Total voted difference was 32 votes.
  2. Names were certified and a Recount of votes was scheduled for November 19, 2015.
  3. A hand count was requested.
  4. Present at the recount, other than my staff, were observers for Teresa M. Burr and Diane Padula-O’Neill. Attorney Dennis Newman represented Padula-O’Neill and James Mullen, Town Clerk Hopdale, represented Burr.
  5. The results changed by awarding 1 extra vote to Teresa Burr giving her the total number of 33 ballot difference and declared her the winner of the Town Clerk race.
  6. Total vote counts:
  • Teresa M. Burr 1114
  • Paul Cheli 472
  • Diane Padula-O’Neill 1081
  • Elizabeth Simon 978
  • Blanks 199
  • Total ballots hand counted 3844

The Registrars were asked to review 1 ballot to make the determination of voter intent. The decision was upheld by those representatives present. Everyone was in agreement.

Attested on the 20th day of November, 2015
Deborah L. Pellegri, CMC
Town Clerk/Election Administrator

Theresa M. Burr was sworn into office on November 20, 2015 by Deborah L. Pellegri, CMC, Town Clerk"

the south pond at DelCarte
the south pond at DelCarte


Download and read the full Annual Report for the Town of Franklin FY 2016

Prior year annual reports can be found