Showing posts with label 2020. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2020. Show all posts

Monday, July 5, 2021

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Building Inspection Department


The Building Inspection Department is a multi-functional 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 - 780CMR 
  • Town of Franklin Code - Zoning – CH 185 
  • Mass. Electrical Code – 527 CMR
  • Mass. Plumbing & 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.- 1:00p.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 Loughlin 
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
Judy Demers
Melissa Kiriacopoulos/Zoning Tyler Paslaski

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.
FY 2020 started off with the promise of moving into online permitting and it didn’t disappoint. In short, our permit module Viewpoint was as smooth a transition as you could ask for. Our ZBA clerk Leeanne Kerwin worked with Chrissy Welton and IT to bring a much anticipated tool to the table. Leeanne moved onto a Job in the Town of Dighton and is sorely missed, as she was an outstanding employee.

Barbara Curran also a long time ZBA clerk for us retired at the beginning of the year. Barbara was as good as they get with over 20 years of service to the town. Melissa Kiriacopoulos was hired in January as ZBA clerk and has excelled as permit clerk as has Tyler Paslaski our latest hire.

Continue reading about the Building Inspection Department

Prior Annual Reports can be found online

Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  Building Inspection Department
Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  Building Inspection Department


Sunday, July 4, 2021

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Board of Assessors


Interim Revaluation
The interim revaluation of all real and personal property in the Town of Franklin was completed Fall 2019 in preparation for Actual Fiscal Year 2020 3rd quarter tax bills. Following is a brief review of that achievement.

Data Collection
Eighteen years have now passed since we installed the real estate valuation and assessment administration software developed by Patriot Properties, Inc. Because our start-up data was from a different form of valuation system and most of our data had not been refreshed in nearly ten years, it was necessary to complete a town- wide data recollection program prior to finalizing the FY 2005 valuations. Patriot Properties was hired for this task. Over the past 15 years, our appraisal staff has performed the on-going property exterior measuring and interior inspecting for all real estate classes. Such reviews are done for the Department of Revenue (DOR) required cyclical program, as well as for building permitted changes, pre-appraisal, abatement and sales verifications.

Field Review
In addition to individual property on-site review, field reviews are required periodically to check for obvious data accuracy and consistency. This drive-by review provides another level of assurance that when valuation schedules are applied, the results will be “Fair and Equitable”.

Commercial/Industrial/Apartment Valuations 
Annually there are analyses of sales data as well as income & expense market data. The Board contracted Patriot to work with our Director to establish an income approach to value for each property. All requirements of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue were met through final approval of the FY 2020 valuations.

Sales Analysis
The majority of the sales analysis was completed by September 2019, and the interpretation of sales continued through the next two stages of valuation. The town-wide program resulted in a valuation system that was applied uniformly throughout the town, while reflecting all the adjustments warranted individually and by neighborhood, to result in “Full and Fair Cash Values” as per Massachusetts General Law.

Value Generation
A system of valuation was established based on valid property sales and where applicable the income approach to value. These schedules
concluded from the market were then uniformly applied to all taxable and exempt real property.
Final Value Review
Final reviews were completed in preparation for the DOR review. These include studies of various computer- generated reports to check for value consistency, final field checks required, and for DOR documentation and its analyses.

DOR Review & Final Approval
Any on-site and statistical reviews by the DOR took place from April to September 2019. The appraisal staff provided files, generated property records, answered questions and addressed any concerns. At the conclusion of the DOR review, we were granted approval authorizing public disclosure.

Public Disclosure
The DOR approved valuations were available for disclosure to the property owners. While the administrative staff provided property record cards and general data reviews, the appraisers conducted informal hearings on valuations.

Personal Property
Business assets and those of utilities are reviewed for valuation as taxable Personal Property. For nineteen fiscal years we have engaged the specialized services of Real Estate Research Consultants (RRC) in the discovery and valuation of these accounts. These services have served us well, resulting in DOR approval and consistently defendable valuations. Also, considerable new growth has been certified annually. Additionally, the RRC Personal Property Software installed in our office has benefited us. The personal property valuation formulas are very straightforward, and the administrative capabilities have met our needs.

Classification Hearing & Tax Commitment
Following some discussion and a few presentations relative to single versus split tax rates, the Council approved a single tax rate at $14.51 per $1,000 of taxable value as calculated by the Board for all property classes. The tax commitment and mailing were timely for an actual 3rd quarter tax bill.

Abatement Reviews
Upon mailing of the tax bills and on or before the due date of the first actual bill, property owners have an opportunity to file an Abatement Application on the basis of overvaluation or misclassification. 60 abatements applications were filed of 11,681 taxable accounts, or just over 1/2 of 1%. Generally those with merit were resolved through our conducting a complete on-site exterior measuring and interior inspection. Usually a valuation discrepancy is the result of a data error or as a result of an inspection appointment not being arranged and thus the property data having been “estimated”.

Continue reading about the Board of Assessors

Prior Annual Reports can be found online

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Board of Assessors
Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Board of Assessors 

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Franklin Agricultural Commission


The Franklin Agricultural Commission was officially established in 2018 after a group of residents who were interested in promoting local agriculture organized a steering committee to find most effective way to promote and sustain our local agriculture and farms. Working with the Town Administration and Town Council the AgCom was formed with the mission to preserve, revitalize, and sustain the Franklin agricultural industry and its lands: encourage the pursuit of agriculture, promote agricultural- based economic opportunities, and protect farmland. The Agricultural Commission is a 5-person appointed commission with 2 associate members. In 2020 we welcomed new Associate Member CJ Koshivas from Fairmount Fruit Farm.

Although the Covid 19 Pandemic greatly curtailed our efforts in 2020, the AgCom has maintained an active presense in the community. We have kept our AgCom page on the Town of Franklin website up to date with information about our local farms and other initiatives. Our Facebook Page is also active in keeping the public aware of what is going on in our Franklin Farm Community.   On the Facebook page we feature videos and pictures of local farms and other agricultural events and keep the public aware of what is happening and how they can support our local agricultural community.

Early in the Pandemic we reached out to local farms to see if there was any way that we could offer them assistance. Our farm community banded together to support each other and the citizens of Franklin working to make healthy and local food easily available. Fairmount Fruit Farm brought in new local vendors and worked hard with a curbside pick up and delivery program. Local citizens were key in supporting these farms and we hope that these partnerships and local interest in farms will continue to grow stronger in the future.

The pandemic has paused the expansion of our Pollinator Pasture project, but we are ready to go when it is safe to work in groups again! With the wide and often discriminate use of pesticides in our society, bee populations have been declining. Pollinators are vital to our food supply and our Pollinator Pastures are a no spray, no mow area planted with native bee friendly plants where pollinators can feed without worry. The project has been very well received and we are excited to expand to additional sites, work with our schools on adding Pollinator Pastures to some of the school grounds, and to add a certification for private Pollinator Pastures so residents can help the bees at their homes too.

In an effort to educate the public and reduce the use of pesticides in the community we have also worked with the DPW to create an opt out list of sidewalk glyphosate spraying. We were excited to add additional properties to our original list of 180 properties that opted out of DPW glyphosate spraying. We will continue to work with the Town and DPW to find healthier and more environmentally friendly ways to keep the Town of Franklin looking nice in the coming year.
Saving our remaining Farmland and Open Space are important to the AgCom. We continue to work with the Town Administrator, members of the Town Council, SNETT, Metacomet Land Trust, and concerned citizens to find ways to conserve and preserve the open lands in Franklin. We are hopeful that the passing of the CPA will assist in this endeavor and look forward to working with the CPC committee to improve the Town of Franklin.

Members of the AgCom have been active in advocating for Agriculture both in town and statewide. We are a member of the Massachusetts Association of Agricultural Commissions (MAAC) and have attended MAAC annual meeting and Boot Camps on a variety of agriculture related issues. We have quarterly meetings with AgComs from surrounding towns and work with them to support and promote our agricultural industry regionally.

Although the Covid 19 Pandemic has made it more challenging to meet some of our goals, the Agricultural Commission is excited for the future. We have created some great programs that we will continue to build upon and grow and are grateful to have increased interest and awareness of our local farms. We have big plans and invite the citizens of Franklin to join us on our mission to keep our families and our environment healthy and to increase the visibility and viability of our local Franklin Farms and help us introduce farming to the next generation.

The full Annual Report for 2020 can be found online

Prior Annual Reports can be found online

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Agricultural Commission
Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  Agricultural Commission 

Friday, July 2, 2021

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Town Clerk's Office

The Town Clerk’s Office is dedicated to providing friendly, professional service to all citizens. I am extremely proud of how well my staff performs and responds to the demands of the office.

“The office of town clerk is probably one of the oldest in municipal government. It appears in the Bible in the Book of Acts, Chapter 19, and verse 35 written in A.D. 58. A search of other early written records would no doubt reveal other instances in which mention of this office appears. In Massachusetts, town clerk was one of the earliest offices established in colonial towns although the title itself may not appear in the earliest records. The settlers were well aware of the importance of keeping accurate written records of their agreements and actions including grants of land, regulations governing animals, the collection of taxes and the expenditure of town funds. If your town records date back to the first half of the 17th century, you will probably find that a person was given the specific duty of writing down town orders and will see many entries in the record which include the words “It is ordered by the inhabitants,” or some similar words. Indeed, in Massachusetts, the town clerk was one of the earliest offices established in colonial towns.”
The Town Clerk’s office provides Notary services as a courtesy. Residents seeking Notary Services should call the Town Clerk’s office prior to their visit to ensure that the Notary is available. The following guidelines will be followed in the provision of Notary Service: - Notary Services are available during the normal business hours and are not available in the fifteen (15) minutes prior to the time of closing. - Notary Service is provided on a first-come, first service basis. A valid government-issued photo identification is required of any resident seeking Notary Service - The document(s) CANNOT already have been signed nor dated - All signers must be present at the time of notarizing - The Notary is stating they have witnessed the document being signed. Notary Service is not available for deeds, mortgages, wills, living wills, living trusts, codicils or depositions. Certain public documents cannot be copied and notarized. For more information please visit our website.

Continue reading the Town Clerk section of the Annual Report for 2020

Prior Annual Reports can be found online

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Town Clerk's Office
Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Town Clerk's Office

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Town Administrator

The Town Administration works with the Town Council together to improve the quality of life of our residents. We are diligent in balancing the budget and keeping an eye on the Town’s future needs and maintaining its assets.

Accomplishments in FY20 include:
We continue to update our Town Budget webpage with helpful resources such as how the budget process works, operating and capital budgets, and fiscal forecasts.

A balanced operating budget was submitted to the Town Council and was approved. We have received five year Capital plans from all departments including the Water And Sewer Enterprise fund. Having long term Capital plans prevents more expensive costs down the road.

As part of our expansion of customer service we have expanded our Viewpoint Online Permitting System to the Health Department and will continue adding new applications throughout the year to make for a more convenient process.

We continue to update the Town’s website to make information easily accessible for the public. All Agendas and Minutes of all boards and committees are web-based and continuously updated. These can be found on the boards and committees’ pages on our website. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube for News and Announcement as well as visiting our website at

The Town Administration staff has worked diligently with the Board of Health to ensure the Town, our employees and residents stay safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to serve the Town and its residents while staying safe and following the guidelines and requirements set forth by the Governor of Massachusetts, DPH and the CDC.

To continue our efforts in keeping the Town informed of updates and alerts related to COVID-19 our Marketing and Communications Specialist, Anne Marie Tracey has created a user friendly Coronavirus Portal on our website and sends out important information frequently through our subscriber lists and social media.

The Town Administrative Assistant, Alecia Alleyne who has been here just a little over a year has worked with our Finance team to make sure we receive FEMA and Cares Act assistance during this pandemic. Alecia has applied for and received over $1 million of assistance for the town and anticipates another million in additional funds by year end.
Covid-19 Pandemic
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic all Town Buildings closed in mid March. However, due to our fantastic Technology staff we were able to quickly get most if not all of our staff up and running remotely. Working remote has had its challenges but we continue our efforts to improve the way we will be doing business for the unforeseeable future.

The Town Administration staff, Technology staff and Franklin TV worked together to make sure Town Council Meetings could continue and comply with Open Meeting Laws. These meetings currently are being recorded, streamed live through the website, Zoom and Cable TV.

Assistant to the Town Administrator, Chrissy Whelton and Human Resources Director, Karen Bratt worked with the towns Safety Committee, representatives from each department and MIIA representatives and earned over $50,000 in insurance premium savings and was recognized by the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) as a leader in preventing risk in the workplace through employee training programs.

Franklin “Bends the Trend” by working with the Insurance Advisory Committee (IAC) to keep insurance rate increases for employees to a minimum, The Town continues to offer a Qualified High Deductible Health Care Plan.

Franklin signed agreements with three Solar Companies for a PILOT program. Kearsarge Upper Union LLC agreed to make payments in lieu of taxes for a period of twenty consecutive fiscal years totaling $124,495.00 . Maple Street Solar 1, LLC has agreed to make payments in lieu of taxes at an annual rate of $52,800 for 20 years. Spring Street Renewables, LLC ℅ Neexamp, Inc. agreed to make payments in lieu of taxes for 20 years totaling at $1,220,302.
The Town of Franklin also worked with Nexamp to ensure that a portion of their farm be reserved for Franklin residents. On a first-come, first-served basis residents were eligible to subscribe to receive credit on their Electric bill at a special rate of 15%. Due to a high interest from Franklin residents the farm is now filled however Nexamp is still offering their standard discount rate of 12.5%.

The Town has signed five (5) Host Community Agreements with proposed marijuana establishments. A total of $300,000 in revenue generated from these establishments will be earmarked for the SAFE Coalition ($25,000) and $275,000 will be used by the public school system to address mental health and substance abuse issues amongst our students. Revenue generated by these establishments will also help to offset certain tax burdens on residents.
Town Administration, Human Resources and all Municipal Unions successfully completed collective bargaining and settled through 2022.

The Town hired a new Fire Chief, James McLaughlin in July of 2019. The Chief was a former Fire Chief from Rhode Island. We have seen some major positive changes in the department since the hire. The Town also gained a new Conservation Agent, Jennifer Delmore in May of 2019 and has seen much progress in the department over the past year.

Long time Senior Center Director Karen Alves retired in September 2020 and Assistant Director Erin Rogers was promoted to Director and will continue with offering the highest quality of services to Franklin Seniors.

Our goal is to deliver high quality customer service while keeping costs under control. There will be difficult challenges to our budget in the coming year; but you can be assured that the Town Administration and Town Council will work together to solve budgetary issues.

It is my pleasure to submit an annual report of the Town Administrator for your review, and please feel free to write, email, or stop by with any questions, concerns, or comments.

Respectfully submitted, 

Jamie Hellen,
Town Administrator

The full Annual Report for 2020 can be found online

Prior Annual Reports can be found online

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Town Administrator
Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Town Administrator 

Monday, October 19, 2020

In the News: 2020 Census is complete

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"The counting for the 2020 U.S. Census official ended last week, and now the U.S. Census Bureau will use the data it has collected to determine how many people live in each city and town in the United States.

The U.S. Census Bureau says 69.3% of households in Massachusetts self-reported their data by the deadline (11:59 Hawaiian Standard Time on Oct. 15/5:59 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Oct. 16) and another 30.6% of households were enumerated when a census taker was sent to the home or by another nonresponse followup method. People could self-report either through the internet site, by calling the Census Bureau or completing a paper census form.

“The Census Bureau creates a master address file that is used to reach out to every household in the country. This file is compiled and verified by multiple sources including state and local governments,” according to a statement from the bureau."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

How did Franklin do? The chart shows the response rate, what that will translate to in terms of population remains to be seen. For more info on the overall response rates

2020 Census is complete
2020 Census is complete


Saturday, September 26, 2020

Town of Franklin: Frequently Asked Questions - Election 2020

Find answers to frequently asked questions on the Town Clerk's website here 
Check back for updates! #election2020 #faqs
Town of Franklin: Frequently Asked Questions - Election 2020
Town of Franklin: Frequently Asked Questions - Election 2020


Monday, September 7, 2020

In the News: "Census Bureau must temporarily halt winding down operations"

 From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:  

The U.S. Census Bureau for now must stop following a plan that would have it winding down operations in order to finish the 2020 census at the end of September, according to a federal judge’s order.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, issued a temporary restraining order late Saturday against the Census Bureau and the Commerce Department, which oversees the agency. The order stops the Census Bureau from winding down operations until a court hearing is held on Sept. 17.

The once-a-decade head count of every U.S. resident helps determine how $1.5 trillion in federal funding is distributed and how many congressional seats each state gets in a process known as apportionment.

The temporary restraining order was requested by a coalition of cities, counties and civil rights groups that had sued the Census Bureau, demanding it restore its previous plan for finishing the census at the end of October, instead of using a revised plan to end operations at the end of September. The coalition had argued the earlier deadline would cause the Census Bureau to overlook minority communities in the census, leading to an inaccurate count.

For the interactive response rates for Census 2020

how many households in your community have responded online, by phone, or by mail
how many households in your community have responded online, by phone, or by mail

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Households May Receive Follow-Up Visits From 2020 Census Takers

Households May Receive Follow-Up Visits From 2020 Census Takers

Visits Serve as Quality Checks to Ensure Everyone Is Counted  

AUG. 31, 2020 — With door-to-door visits by census takers now underway, the U.S. Census Bureau is informing households that they may also receive a follow-up visit to ensure everyone is counted in the 2020 Census. So far, 64.9% of all housing units have responded online, by phone or by mail, and another 17.5% have been counted by census takers and other field data collection operations. In total, over 82.4% of all housing units throughout the nation have been accounted for in the 2020 Census as of Aug. 30. The Census Bureau is working to count the remaining households—about 1 in every 5 households across the nation.  (

Learn More

On a daily basis, the Census Bureau updates its list of households that have responded. It is possible that a locally hired census taker will still visit the address as part of the Census Bureau's quality assurance program for the 2020 Census even if a household has already responded. The public is encouraged to cooperate with census takers as they follow up.

For example, census takers are visiting households where there may be some confusion about the address. If the community's addresses recently changed or the household responded with an address that does not match the Census Bureau's address list, census takers will visit to verify the address and collect a response in person. Please respond when the census taker visits. If a census taker left a notice of their visit, you can respond online or by phone using the Census ID provided on the notice. This ID links your address to your response and ensures you are counted in the right place. The Census Bureau has rigorous methods and processes to resolve any duplicate responses.

In some cases, a second census taker may visit a household to conduct a short interview. This additional interview is one of the ways we check the quality of census takers' work.

In addition, other Census Bureau representatives continue visiting homes for ongoing surveys ( that are occurring at the same time as the 2020 Census, such as the American Community Survey ( These ongoing surveys affect only a small number of households nationwide and provide valuable information to help community leaders plan for hospitals and schools, improve emergency services, and make informed decisions about creating jobs.

Households can still respond to the 2020 Census by going online at, by phone at 844-330-2020, or by completing and mailing back the paper questionnaire they received.

No news release associated with this announcement. Tip Sheet only.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

2020 Election Collection

This will collect the information gathered for the elections of 2020. First for the Primary, September 1, and then for the general election on November 3. A special election is also scheduled for Dec 5 to fill the Town Council slot left open by Eamon Earls' resignation to go to law school. The most recent items will be on top, scroll down to find those that come earlier.
Special Election - Dec 5 (fill one Town Council seat)

Voices of Franklin: Paula & Herb Gross encourage vote for Frongillo =

Voices of Franklin: Alan Earls  - questions diversity of election =

Voices of Franklin:  Paul DeBaggis "Thoughts on the current  election" =

Milford Daily News article with candidate statements =

Town Council candidate - Greg Chiklis (audio interview) =
Elections: Voting for Military and Overseas US Citizens =
Vote tallies required to be sent to State by Nov 18 =
Town Council candidate - KP Sompally (audio interview) =

Town Council candidate - Alan R Earls (audio interview) =
Town Council candidate  - Cobi Frongillo (audio interview)

General Election - November 3

In the News: Right to Repair passes, Ranked Choice fails =
MDN article “People see the opportunity to protect the best for our town" =

Voices of Franklin: Barry Kassler responds to James Gianotti Jr on the Community Preservation Act = 

Voices of Franklin: James Gianotti Jr - "Just say NO to Question 3" =

MDN article on election processing featuring Town Clerks =

Voices of Franklin: Raymond Milici -"Have You Noticed, l Have" =

Reminder -early voting, drive through window schedule =
Voices of Franklin: Raymond D Milici for Senator Becca Rausch =

Community Preservation Act - information webinar (video) =

Town of Franklin, MA: Sample Ballots for the November 3rd election =
Community Preservation Act: Frequently Asked Questions - answered by CPAForFranklin =

State Senate Candidates Debate Oct 6, 2020 (YouTube video) =
Hold the date (Oct 15 - 7 PM) for webinar on CPA =

Franklin Community Voting Guide for November 2020 =
Official Town of Franklin business dropbox to be use for mail ballots =

Three Voices of Franklin: For the Community Preservation Act =
Secretary of the Commonwealth's voter information mailer "the red brochure" =
Milford Daily News article on communities voting on Community Preservation Act (CPA) = info to summarize Ballot Question 2 (ranked choice voting) =
Scientific American endorses a candidate for first time =

Primary - Sep 1, 2020

State controlled vote count completes after midnight =
You can help with the voters guide for November election =
Big day Saturday: Last Day to Register to vote; First day to Early Vote =
Voices of Franklin: State Rep Jeff Roy, State Rep Brian Murray "We are with Joe Kennedy" =
4th District candidates on "ranked choice"; Pelosi endorses Kennedy =
FM #333 4th District Candidates Town Hall - 8/19/20 (audio) =
Voices of Franklin: Raymond D Milici - "Kennedy Supporter! Not Anymore"  =
4th District candidate virtual Town Hall on race/racism =
Frank Falvey interviews 4th District candidates  =
Other State Officials up for Election on Primary Ballot  =
Voices of Franklin: Colin Cass on primary voting  =

Early voting schedule for Franklin voters - Sep 1 Primary =

MA legislature Senate and House candidates  =

Frank Falvey 4th District candidate interview broadcast schedule for =

US House candidate listing and web pages with their candidate info =

US Senate candidate listing and web pages with their candidate info =


2020 Election Collection
2020 Election Collection