Showing posts with label FY 2015. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FY 2015. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Annual Report - 2015: Public Schools


On behalf of the students, parent, faculty and the community we are pleased to submit this report about the activities and accomplishments of the Franklin Public Schools for the 2014-2015 school year.

The school year celebrated the official opening of the New FHS on September 1, 2014. Our faculty and administration began a journey together to learn about the new high school. The technology and innovative instructional spaces would have positive impact on the educational outcomes for students. The opening of the new HS signaled the implementation of a 1-1 technology initiative and all students and staff were assigned security lanyards. New labs and instructional spaces allowed our faculty to offer innovative courses that are not available to many college students. We opened with an additional 130 students on the first day of school. September 20, 2014 marked the official opening of the building with a celebration that included the entire community. In October a sprinkler head burst at the Annie Sullivan Middle school causing that school to be closed for four days. The 2014-2015 school year was marked by one of the most challenging winters in recent memory.

Back -to- back blizzards in February, 2015 made opening schools a challenge and as the snow piled up it had to be hauled off by trucks. In spring of 2015, the Helen Keller Elementary School was awarded a pilot program for a Best Buddies program. As the first K-5 Best Buddies Program in the world we are excited to make this club a success. During the 2014-2015 academic year our students excelled scholastically, athletically, in the arts and in all extracurricular activities while making a profound impact on their community with a wide range of community service projects. We implemented EnVisions Math at the elementary level and as a district we participated in the PARCC Assessment pilot. While we had a few glitches our implementation was successful. We collected feedback from student and staff and shared the data with state education officials. Our faculty and staff are passionate in their work with our students and they are tireless in seeking new opportunities for all students. As advocates for public education, we extend our collective appreciation to the many employees and residents of the Franklin community who provide support for the Franklin Public Schools.

Vision Statement
The Franklin Public Schools will foster within its students the knowledge and skills to find and achieve satisfaction in life as productive global citizens.

Mission Statement
The Franklin Public Schools, in collaboration with the community, will cultivate each student's intellectual, social, emotional and physical potential through rigorous academic inquiry and informed problem solving skills within a safe, nurturing and respectful environment.

Core Values

  • Student Achievement

All students are entitled to academic excellence, appropriate facilities and quality materials and instruction.

  • Social / Civic Expectations

Students will become engaged, responsible citizens who respect the dignity and diversity of all individuals and cultures.


  • School Climate

Through our words and our actions, we create a culture of civility, thoughtfulness, appreciation and approachability.


  • School / Community Relationships

An active commitment among family, community and schools is vital to student learning.


  • Community Resources for Learning

We partner with all members of the community to exchange ideas, solve problems and build a comprehensive educational experience.

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The FY 2016 proposed school district budget is driven by two key factors:

Personnel Salaries and Contractual Obligations:

The FY2016 proposed budget includes funding for all known collective bargaining increases. The overall salary recommendation does not include costs for employees who are expected to be absent for the year due to an unpaid leave of absence. The net increase in personnel costs amounts to $1,072,091.

Human resources continue to be our most valuable asset as indicated by the fact that eighty-five percent of the FY2016 budget is comprised of salaries and health benefits. The remaining fifteen percent accounts for payment for students attending out-of-district placements, transportation, and other expenses, mainly supplies and contracted services.


New Positions:
Secondary Level:
The FY2016 proposed budget includes funding for four new middle school teaching positions in an effort to maintain class sizes with increasing enrollment at the middle level. A .6FTE English Language Learning specialist is included to maintain compliance with regulations to address the needs of students whose primary language is not English. One high school teacher is included to address the increase in enrollment.

Elementary Level:
Three elementary math specialists are included in the proposed FY2016 budget. Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks were revised in 2011 and we are still in the process of aligning and adjusting. The math specialists have been an integral part of this work and the work will continue for the next few years, especially as we move into next generation testing.

The adoption of enVisions math is assisting us in the implementation of the new standards. However, there is much work to be done to support teachers and students. The current math specialists have been charged with creating 4 benchmark assessments in all grades to ensure consistency across the district. These are to be used as common assessments and to supplement enVisions with real world problem solving. The benchmarks incorporate questions similar to those found on statewide testing. The assessments within enVisions are more simplistic and do not have enough rigor for our students. Creation, implementation, monitoring, and analyzing these assessments is time-consuming, but yields valuable information about the program and student progress.

This is the third year that we have been working with the workshop model in our math classes. The model is similar to what has been used successfully in literacy. This allows us to formatively assess each student and differentiate the work according to what is needed for success. Teachers have needed ongoing support from the math specialists, who have been creating and delivering high quality professional development experiences for teachers in their role as instructional coaches. The goal is that with increased capacity internally, we will reduce our need for external consultants in the future. This is the model used in literacy, but requires the math specialists to have the time to plan and develop these programs. Additional math specialists in the proposed FY2016 budget would allow for one full time equivalent position at each elementary school to build capacity.

Health Care Benefits:

For FY 2016, health care premiums were expected to increase 10.9%, $482,361. The Town and School administration and the Insurance Advisory Committee continued to explore ways to reduce health care costs while at the same time improve overall health and wellness of employees. We anticipate the need to change insurance carriers to see a smaller increase of 4.7% or $211,849. In addition, the establishment of a wellness committee has been instrumental in providing additional opportunities for all employees to improve their physical health and well-being. At this time, as Franklin’s Insurance Advisory Committee continues to work towards keeping premium increases to a minimum, the Town and its employees have obtained significant cost savings over the past several years. We are encouraged by this level of collaboration and we continue to explore additional cost containment measures.


Shared from the full and complete PDF version of the Town of Franklin Annual Report for 2015 -> http://town.franklin.ma.us/Pages/FranklinMA_Clerk/annual/2015report.pdf
Continue with the Public Schools section of the Annual Report. Page 142 picks up where this leaves off and provides a section on each of the 10 schools in the district.


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"Prior to November 1 of each year, the Town Clerk shall cause to be prepared and made available to the inhabitants of the Town an annual report for the preceding fiscal year which shall include: the annual Town budget, the reports of all Town officers, the records of all Town Council bylaw amendments and resolutions, an abstract of births, marriages and deaths, and the wages, salaries, or other compensation of all Town employees." [Added 5-2-2012 by Bylaw Amendment 12-681]

Franklin High School in the rain
Franklin High School in the rain


For additional information on the Public Schools visit their page on the Town of Franklin website:




Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Annual Report - 2015: Treasurer-Collector


Fiscal 2015 has been another very busy year in the Treasurer-Collector’s office.

The fiscal year began and ended with very low investment interest rates (MMDT – .20%). On the borrowing side, the low rates had a positive effect. In February of 2015 we refunded bonds from 2006 and 2007 for $6,920,000. The refinancing will generate total savings of $603,906 over the remaining life of the Bonds. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC was the winning bidder on the Bonds with an average interest rate of 1.931%.

Prior to the sale, Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services, a municipal credit rating agency, affirmed the Town’s AA+ bond rating. The rating agency cited the Town’s very strong economy, strong management with good financial policies, strong budgetary flexibility, very strong liquidity, very strong debt and contingent liability position and strong institutional framework as positive credit factors.

In May of 2015 we issued a 1 year Bond Anticipation Note (BAN) for $3,250,000. It included $3 million for continued FHS construction and $250,000 for Library planning and design. TD Bank was the winning bidder on the BAN with a weighted average interest cost of .3747%.

During FY 2015, $152,140 was collected in back property taxes, interest and fees. Fourteen property owners paid off all outstanding taxes and redeemed their properties out of tax title. We continue to pursue delinquent taxes through the foreclosure process and there are currently 30 properties in Land Court. Since 2001 we have foreclosed on 55 properties. Some properties will eventually be auctioned off and the rest will remain as town property.

There were 899 Municipal Lien Certificates issued by the Treasurer-Collector’s office generating revenue of $44,950. Also collected was $2,856.00 in fees for duplicate bills and files that we supplied to tax services and escrow agents. During FY15, the Treasurer-Collector’s office printed and mailed 43,632 Real Estate Tax bills; 2,140 Personal Property Tax bills; 32,821 Motor Vehicle Excise Tax bills; and 39,359 Utility bills. The following Demands were also printed and mailed; 588 Real Estate Tax, 98 Personal Property Tax, and 4,422 Motor Vehicle Excise Tax. There were 2,013 Motor Vehicle warrants issued in FY15. There were 14 Betterment releases (water, sewer and road) generating revenue of $56. We also collected $96,600 for backflow testing and $63,500 for Sprinkler/Hydrant charges.

The Treasurer also acts as the town’s parking clerk. Our deputy collector, Kelley and Ryan Associates of Hopedale, handles the billing and collection of parking tickets. During FY15 we collected $30,890 for parking violations.

I would like to thank all town departments for the timely and accurate turnover of fees to the Treasurer-Collector’s office. I also would like to thank the first-class staff of the Treasurer-Collector’s office for their continued hard work. Finally, I thank the citizens of Franklin for their continued support.

Respectfully submitted,

James P. Dacey
Treasurer-Collector

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"Prior to November 1 of each year, the Town Clerk shall cause to be prepared and made available to the inhabitants of the Town an annual report for the preceding fiscal year which shall include: the annual Town budget, the reports of all Town officers, the records of all Town Council bylaw amendments and resolutions, an abstract of births, marriages and deaths, and the wages, salaries, or other compensation of all Town employees." [Added 5-2-2012 by Bylaw Amendment 12-681]

Shared from the full and complete PDF version of the Town of Franklin Annual Report for 2015


For additional information you can visit the Treasurer-Collector's page
http://town.franklin.ma.us/Pages/FranklinMA_Treasurer/index

screen grab of online bill payment service for Franklin
screen grab of online bill payment service for Franklin


You can pay your water/sewer/trash bills online
https://unipaygold.unibank.com/Default.aspx?customerid=721

Monday, January 4, 2016

Annual Report - 2015: Board of Assessors

Annual Revaluation Update
The revaluation of all real and personal property in the Town of Franklin was completed Fall 2014 in preparation for Actual Fiscal Year 2015 3rd quarter tax bills. Following is a brief review of that achievement.

Data Collection
Thirteen 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 10 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 and abatement 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 and 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 2015 valuations.

Sales Analysis
The majority of the sales analysis was completed by September 2014, 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 and Final Approval
Any on-site and statistical reviews by the DOR took place from April to September 2014. 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 fourteen 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 and Tax Commitment
Following some discussion and a few presentations relative to single versus split tax rates, the Council approved a single tax rate at $14.84 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. 68 abatements applications were filed of 11,492 taxable accounts, or 6/10ths 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 data having been “estimated”.

Technology Improvements
In addition to our state-of-the-art software for the valuation and administration of both real and personal property, Cartographic Associates, Inc. (CAI) of Littleton, NH has continued to maintain the digital/GIS-mapping program it first developed for us in FY 2005. Following aerial photography and planimetric (physical features) mapping, CAI constructed cadastral tax maps (depicting parcels) through the use of over 5,000 plans and over 15,000 deeds. These new maps are continuously in our process of reconciliation with our property records for consistency in both parcel inventory and land area. With the support of Town Administrator Jeff Nutting and the Town Council, we have capacity in our Patriot software to link and utilize the maps with our assessment file. In addition, for the past ten years we have provided our tax maps on the web for the benefit of both the Town staff and the general public.

Appraisal and Administrative Staffing
The use of automation has minimized the former heavy burden of traditional data processing. Due to this and numerous other office improvements, the Town approved our Staff Restructuring Plan. We have adjusted our administrative support staff to Board Secretary Anne Covell who is responsible for continuing to improve our service to the public at the counter and by phone. She focuses her efforts on providing and reviewing public records, Motor Vehicle Excise Tax Commitments and Abatements, Exemption Applications, the general and specific support to the Appraisal Staff and any other assignments as required. She continues to train in various administrative duties and computer applications. We thank Anne for her efforts in 35 years of service to the Board. The Appraisers have made special efforts in the development and implementation of usable written instructions for the assessing office procedures and for MUNIS financial software applications. These instructions were developed consistent with all Mass. General Law and DOR requirements.

Appraisers
We thank Kevin W. Doyle, Director of Assessing for his diligence especially as Director beginning following his first two years here. He has overseen the completion of all our work these past fourteen fiscal years, five full revaluations and nine interim years of market adjustments. We are also pleased with the support work of Appraiser Peter Mooney since August 2004 and of Appraiser David Ruberti since July 2005. Our Director received his Massachusetts Accredited Assessor (MAA) in 1990. Within the past eight years both Appraisers completed their designation required education and experience, being granted their MAA designations and maintaining the periodic recertification required.

Town Revenue Enhancements
In addition to meeting all state requirements as well as daily office oversight, the Director and Appraisers have achieved many additional improvements to benefit the Town taxpayers. One such is the efficiencies built into the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax Commitment and Abatement processes in conjunction with the new MUNIS tax software installation. These excise taxes represent about 4.5 million dollars in locally raised annual revenue, or about 6.5% of locally raised tax revenue. We assure the citizens that like real and personal property, taxes on these are assessed and abated appropriately and uniformly for the maximum benefit of all. Registry of Motor Vehicles’ automation aided the Director and Appraisers to further enhance revenue in assessing dealer and repair plate registrations. As well, with the automation improvements of the Environmental Police, this professional staff successfully developed a new annual revenue stream in the identification and assessment of excise taxes on boats principally situated in the Town of Franklin.

On-site Periodic Property Reviews
Because we have initiated the cyclical property remeasurement and re-inspection program acceptable to the Massachusetts DOR, we continue to make various public information efforts to assure property owners have advance information about this on-going program. Briefly, please note that the purpose of these property visits is to verify that the correct data is being used in the determination of valuations to achieve “full and fair cash value” in accordance with Mass. General Law Chapter 59. The Board appreciates the general public’s cooperation in its efforts to serve all property owners in all property types to assure fair and uniform values.

Your Elected Board of Assessors
Before entering the performance of his/her duties, each Assessor upon election has taken the oath of office specific to assessors. Massachusetts General Law has provided that because the DOR Commissioner of Revenue has regulatory oversight of assessing in every city and town, the Commissioner likewise determines the training requirements for the assessors and any assistants. At this time, the Commissioner has determined Course 101, including the Classification Training Workshop, meets the minimum requirements. All three assessors have completed these and have been certified as such by the Commissioner of Revenue.

The Board looks forward to continuing education opportunities offered by the MA DOR and the professional associations, the Massachusetts Association of Assessing Officers (MAAO) and the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO). The assessors have attended
seminars and workshops to broaden and reinforce their understanding of property tax law.

In particular, the Board has focused on current and possible future tax relief and deferral options for Franklin’s elder citizens. To that goal following meetings of the Town Senior Outreach Committee, last fall the Board, its Staff and the Office of the Council on Aging continued a broad-based effort to reach seniors. This resulted in successfully providing tax relief (exemption) information to additional seniors who owned and occupied their homes.

Also, with the valued assistance of Veterans Agent Bob Fahey, special efforts were made to identify veterans and their surviving spouses entitled to state exemptions, much of it reimbursable to the Town. At the close of FY 2015, Bob retired as Veterans’ Agent; his dedication to veterans and his assistance to our Board and Staff in these matters is remembered and always appreciated.

All these efforts are consistent with the Board of Assessors commitment to meet its challenges as key Town Financial Team members to the benefit of all the citizens of the Town of Franklin.

The Board thanks John Neas for his service as a member. Regretfully, John resigned as a result of the demands on him as a new full-time assessing director for the Town of Hopkinton. The Board was fortunate to receive the interest of Franklin resident Town of Medway full-time assessing director Donna Greenwood who was appointed by the Town Council as an interim member until the Fall 2015 election. As we write, the Board of Assessors and its Staff are preparing to finalize the Real and Personal Property Appraisal files for Interim Fiscal Year 2016 subject to DOR review and Final Certification.

Respectfully submitted,

W. Ken Norman, Chairman
Christopher K. Feeley, Assessor
Donna Greenwood, Assessor
Franklin Board of Assessors

  image from Board of Assessors page on Town of Franklin website
image from Board of Assessors page on Town of Franklin website

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"Prior to November 1 of each year, the Town Clerk shall cause to be prepared and made available to the inhabitants of the Town an annual report for the preceding fiscal year which shall include: the annual Town budget, the reports of all Town officers, the records of all Town Council bylaw amendments and resolutions, an abstract of births, marriages and deaths, and the wages, salaries, or other compensation of all Town employees." [Added 5-2-2012 by Bylaw Amendment 12-681]

Shared from the full and complete PDF version of the Town of Franklin Annual Report for 2015 http://town.franklin.ma.us/Pages/FranklinMA_Clerk/annual/2015report.pdf

Additional information can be found on the Board of Assessors page


Sunday, January 3, 2016

Annual Report - 2015: Dept of Public Works (DPW)

The Department of Public Works provides a wide range of services to the residents of Franklin. It is organized into seven (7) Divisions:

  1. Administration
  2. Engineering
  3. Highway and Grounds (including Highway Maintenance and Construction, Central Motors, Snow & Ice Control, Parks, Town and School Grounds Maintenance and Forestry/Insect Control)
  4. Water (including ground water withdrawals, water treatment and distribution)
  5. Sewer
  6. Solid Waste and Recycling (including the operation of the Beaver St. Recycling Center)
  7. Street Lighting



DPW ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISION

The major functions of the Administrative Division includes developing capital projects, long range planning, intergovernmental relations and compliance, grant writing, processing various private construction permits, drain layer licenses, purchasing, budgeting, accounting and payroll, and multiple forms of utility billing.

Capital Projects
The Administrative Division, in conjunction with Engineering and the operating divisions, develop major capital projects.

• The HPP reconstruction of the downtown corridor continued throughout the year. The object of this work is to improve traffic flow through the downtown area and create an area that expands pedestrian access and is business friendly. This project will provide two-way traffic on Route 140 and will include the burying of utilities, period lighting, planters, sidewalks, brickwork, curbing and parking improvements in addition to an improved transition with Dean College.

The DPW continues to design and construct long-range projects over the next three to four years. Progress on specific capital construction projects is outlined in subsequent portions of this report.

It is important to note that many of these projects are performed by existing staff members and save significant amounts of money by avoiding the need to contract out these services. The process of planning, designing, permitting and constructing these projects is an arduous task that requires a great level of coordination and cooperation between DPW divisions and other state, municipal and federal departments.


Grant Writing

The Town received an EPA 319 grant for stormwater improvements valued at over $100,000.00 The Town received an $118,000.00 grant to improve stormwater water infiltration at various locations. The Town partnered with the Charles River Watershed Association, which received a $30,000 grant to conduct rain garden trainings for the residents of Franklin. The Town received a $20,000.00 grant to offset the cost associated with the purchase of compactors to increase the recycling rate at the Beaver Street Recycling Center.


Permits and Long Range Planning

The Town of Franklin, along with the towns of Bellingham and Milford, were the only three communities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts placed under a Residual Designation Authority (RDA) by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to mitigate phosphorus loading into the Charles River Basin. It is estimated the Town of Franklin may need to spend upwards of $135 million to implement all the measures that EPA feels would be
required to meet phosphorus reductions. DPW staff members have been working with the Towns of Bellingham and Milford, and State and Federal officials in conjunction with private land owners and business representatives to oppose this action based upon the unnecessary economic hardship it would create for the community. The EPA has acknowledged our concerns and we continue to wait for a final permit.

The Town of Franklin also continues to oppose the implementation of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II and pending Phase III Stormwater Permit for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) as required by the EPA. Phase II required the Town to highly regulate and monitor stormwater throughout the Town at a significantly increased cost. Phase III is projected to include increased regulatory requirements and cost even more. The Department will continue to refine and improve adopted regulations and practices to improve the stormwater in Franklin while minimizing the associated costs.

Long range planning is critical in the area of Public Works and must be accomplished consistently in order to ensure that the Town water, sewer and roadway infrastructure can support the needs of our residents. With the success of the 20/20 Plan, the Town Council authorized additional funding for waterline replacement and the improvement of roadways on sections of Lincoln St, East St, West St, Daniels St, Summer St, Lewis St, Crescent St, Anthony Rd, Carmine Dr., and Conlyn Ave. This work has commenced and is expected to be completed within the next two years. With that funding already allocated, the Town Council continued with additional funding for the waterline replacement and road reconstruction of the Northgate Rd neighborhood, Cleveland Ave neighborhood, Cottage St area, Squire St areas, sections of Maple St, Ruggles St area, sections of Partridge & Elm Streets, Skyline Dr. neighborhood, Oak St Extension, Marvin Ave area and the Stanford Rd area. The DPW has continued to work with both the DEP and the Massachusetts Department of Recreation and Conservation to facilitate the final closing and capping of the Beaver Street Landfill Site.

The Town of Franklin has continued to work with other area Towns and conservation groups towards insuring that regional water supplies are protected.


Solid Waste and Recycling Collection Program

The single stream automated solid waste and recycling program continues to be a very successful program in reducing costs, improving recycling rates and providing greater convenience for users. Additional landscaping improvements have been made to the Beaver St. Recycling Center to make the facility more attractive and customer friendly.


Hails and Farewells

With all the losses of the previous year, the DPW was able to hire some new employees. This included: Mr. Justin Pothier on the highway crew, Mr. Michael Ciallella on the highway crew, Mr. Scott Mathews on the grounds crew, Mr. Kevin Bariteau on the water crew and Mr. Stephen Freiberg as a new mechanic.


With gains, there are always losses

Ms. Linda Feeley, DPW office manager, a long time dedicated employee who worked for the department for over 23 years! She was an extremely talented and knowledgeable employee with a great sense of humor and smile to match that will be missed by all. Mr. David Seale, an excellent mechanic retired. Mr. Philip Vondras, a member of the grounds crew also left to pursue other ventures.


Thanks

As the Director, I owe many thanks to my entire staff as they make this whole department work and serve all residents in a timely manner. Everyone is committed to providing extraordinary service to the Town in the most cost-effective manner possible.

The Town Engineer Mr. Mike Maglio, Budget & Administration Manager Ms. Kathy Mooradd, Director of Operations Mr. Deacon Perrotta, Highway and Grounds Superintendent Mr. Carlos Rebelo, and Water and Sewer Superintendent Laurie Ruszala are all dedicated professionals that put in so much extra time and effort to make this Department a success. The Town and I are very fortunate to have such talented individuals to work with.

I would also like to thank, Paula Juarez, Sandy Wedge, and Lynne Marchand who support the Administration Division. Additionally, a big thanks to our part-time staffers Pam Vickery and Kim Leonard in the Administration Division. These individuals respond quickly and with courtesy to thousands of requests for assistance and information throughout the year.

Continued thanks go to Mr. Christopher White, the Town’s Solid Waste Coordinator. Even though his position is a part time one, he gives his heart and soul and spends much of his personal time to insure that the solid waste and recycling program is a success.

I would especially like to thank the “Crew” and the mechanics that work out of the DPW garage. These are the gentlemen that are not always seen, but provide the day-today services that are all too often taken for granted. They pump, treat and deliver safe drinking water; they care for parks and ball fields, and they maintain the roadways, repair and sustain all Town and school vehicles and handle all our waste. They are always available, day and night, and work long hours to assist in any emergency situation whether it is snow removal, water breaks, sewer backups, wind, lightning storms and flooding, among many others. They are all extremely professional and dedicated to their jobs. I cannot thank them enough.

Respectfully submitted,

Robert A. Cantoreggi II
Director of Public Works

Kathy Mooradd
Budget and Admin Manager


Note - there are additional sections on the DPW in the Annual Report. For brevity sake, I have only included this on the Administrative Division. You can find the remainder in the full report (PDF) beginning on Page 135
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"Prior to November 1 of each year, the Town Clerk shall cause to be prepared and made available to the inhabitants of the Town an annual report for the preceding fiscal year which shall include: the annual Town budget, the reports of all Town officers, the records of all Town Council bylaw amendments and resolutions, an abstract of births, marriages and deaths, and the wages, salaries, or other compensation of all Town employees." [Added 5-2-2012 by Bylaw Amendment 12-681]


Shared from the full and complete PDF version of the Town of Franklin Annual Report for 2015

DPW headquarters on Fisher St
DPW headquarters on Fisher St
Visit the DPW page for additional information across their operational units


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Annual Report - 2015: Public Library


Franklin's Community Vision

“To be a vibrant community that supports the arts, nonprofit organizations, higher education and businesses in an atmosphere that allows growth and prosperity while at the same time conserving our heritage, natural resources, and history. We will build on and celebrate our uniqueness as a
community and maintain the quality of life that is a strength and competitive advantage.”

Franklin's Public Library, 118 Main St
Franklin's Public Library, 118 Main St

Franklin Public Library Vision

Franklin Public Library strengthens the Town of Franklin’s culture of learning, innovation and engagement.

Highlights and New Services:

Facility
Plans to address code issues, renovate and expand the facility are underway. The Library is profoundly grateful for the hard work and diligence of the Building Committee.

Services:
Sunday hours have made easy, continuous and convenient access to the library possible for all Franklin residents.


Collections - The Digital Branch

Expanding access and resources beyond the physical building is a library priority. In 2015, the library added five new databases, bringing the library’s digital collection to eight. In addition to the e-book collection from Overdrive, Hoopla for e-audio books, music and movies, and genealogy and Ancestry, Franklin residents of all ages now have unlimited access, anytime, anywhere to online resources for research, education, personal growth and entertainment.


New databases

1.Rosetta Stone
With a simple log-in through the Library, Franklin residents now have the freedom to learn a new language free of charge whenever, wherever, they choose from the leading provider of online services designed to help people master a new language. The Rosetta Stone can be accessed on almost any device with a mobile app. and provides instant feedback, fun activities and expert guidance for differing learning styles or core lessens that build reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.

11. Learning Express 
Library an online test preparation database with over 800 practice tests and self paced study opportunities to help Franklin Residents achieve their educational and career goals free of charge.

Featured resources include:

1. Adult Learning Center
• Build math, grammar, writing and reading skills.

2. Become a U.S. Citizen
• Prepare for the Citizenship Exam
• Get a Green Card

3. College Center

Math Skills Review
• Algebra
• Basic Math
• Calculus
• Geometry and Measurement
• Trigonometry
• Statistics
• Logic and Reasoning
• Quantitative Comparison and Word Problems

Reading Skills Review
• Reading Comprehension
• Vocabulary and Spelling

Grammar and Writing Skills Review
• Grammar
• Writing
• Public Speaking

Science Skills Review
• Chemistry
• Biology

Prepare for Graduate School Admissions Exams
• GMAT Preparation
• GRE Preparation
• LSAT Preparation
• MAT Preparation
• PCAT Preparation

Prepare for College Placement Exams
• ACCUPLACER Preparation
• ASSET Preparation
• COMPASS Preparation
• College Placement Preparation eBooks

Prepare for the CLEP* Exams
• CLEP* Preparation

4. College Preparation Center

Prepare for Your ACT Test
• Prepare for Your ACT Test
• ACT Practice Tests

Prepare for Your SAT Test
• SAT Test Preparation Tutorial
• SAT Practice Tests

Prepare for your AP* Exam
• Practice for Your AP Exam
• AP Exam Preparation eBooks

Prepare for Your PSAT/NMSQT Test
• Practice for Your PSAT/NMSQT Test
• PSAT/NMSQT Test Preparation Prepare for Your TOEFL Test
• Practice for Your TOEFL Test College Admissions Essay Writing
• Learn to Write a College Admissions Essay

5. High School Equivalency Center

Build Your Basic Skills
• Build Your Reading Skills
• Build Your Writing Skills
• Build Your Math Skills
• Build Your Grammar Skills
• Build Your Vocabulary and Spelling Skills

Prepare for the GED® Test
• Learn About the New GED® Test
• Reasoning through Language Arts
• Mathematical Reasoning
• Science
• Social Studies

6. School Center

Elementary School
• Math Skills Improvement
• Reading Comprehension Skills Improvement

Middle School
• Math Skills Improvement
• Reading Comprehension Skills Improvement
• Writing and Grammar Skills Improvement
• Social Studies Skills Improvement
• Vocabulary and Spelling Skills Improvement
• High School Entrance Exams Preparation

High School
• Logic and Reasoning Skills Improvement
• Math Skills Improvement
• Reading Comprehension Skills Improvement
• Science Skills Improvement
• Social Studies Skills Improvement
• Statistics Skills Improvement
• Trigonometry Skills Improvement
• Vocabulary and Spelling Skills Improvement
• Writing and Grammar Skills Improvement

7. Career Center

Learn More about a Career
• Allied Health
• Caseworker
• Culinary Arts
• Firefighting
• Green Careers
• Homeland Security
• Law Enforcement
• Legal
• Nursing
• Teaching
• Career Information for Veterans

Prepare for an Entrance Exam
• Prepare for Allied Health Programs Entrance Tests
• Prepare for Nursing School Entrance Tests

Prepare for an Occupation Exam
• Allied Health
• Air Traffic Controller
• Civil Service
• Commercial Driver's License (CDL)
• Cosmetology
• Culinary Arts
• Emergency Medical Services
• Firefighting
• Homeland Security
• Law Enforcement
• Postal Worker
• Nursing
• Real Estate
• Plumbing
• Teaching

Join the Military or Become an Officer
• Prepare for the ASVAB
• Prepare for the Military Flight Aptitude Tests
• Prepare for the Officer Candidate Tests
• Prepare for the CFAT

Job Search and Workplace Skills
• Improve Your Job Search, Interviewing, and Networking Skills
• Build Your Workplace Skills

111. Reference USA
Reference USA is the premier source for consumer and business information. With access to over 24 million US businesses it is a valuable tool for students, job seekers and small business owners/entrepreneurs.

1V. Zinio - Magazine newsstand
The world's largest newsstand offering free full color to digital magazines from the library’s collection of popular titles with no holds, no checkout periods, and no limits to the number of magazines that Franklin residents can download. Zinio can be accessed on variety of devices including iPads, iPhones, Android, Macs, and the PC.

V. America’s Genealogy Bank with America’s Obituaries and Dearth Notices

This new database is now available to Franklin residents with your Minuteman Library Card, America’s Genealogy Bank provides Web-based access to nearly 241 million of United States core genealogical records from 1690 to the present day. Most of these sources are unique to this collection and are difficult to find on microfilm or in print. Through basic name search or advanced search options, genealogists can find and browse digital images of obituaries, marriage notices, birth announcements, casualty lists, military and government documents, and other essential primary sources. It also provides the full text of modern U.S. newspaper obituaries and death notices, as well as enhanced Social Security Death Index (SSDI) records. By searching more than 151 million records found in more than 4,600 historical U.S. newspapers and other sources, researchers can quickly find their ancestors in obituaries, marriage notices, birth announcements and other items.

To access databases Go to www.mln.lib.ma.us Click on Databases Enter your library card number, and select the database.

Outreach - Partnering with the Schools

Outreach efforts to the Franklin Public Schools, the Charter School and Tri-County included:
• Library visits to the schools to read, share information and meet with parents.
• School Library orientation programs and tours.
• Library card campaigns at the schools.
• Teen book discussion group.
• Sharing programming information and services with the schools.
• Regularly scheduled reading programs at the Library.
• Library's year round 'get ready for kindergarten' program.
• Free Tutoring/ homework assistance for students in grades 2-8.
• Free books for Franklin school teachers for their classrooms at the library's monthly book sales.
• Library books /digital collections developed to assist students complete assignments throughout the school year.
• Summer reading programs and lists
• Hosting the Charter School Art show for the sixth year in a row.

Programs

In FY2015, the Library offered nine powerful weekly programs designed to increase reading readiness, support school readiness, improve learning outcomes, teach technology and programming skills and create informal learning environments for tweens and teens.

In addition, three monthly clubs (Lego club, genealogy club, adult coffee and craft) transformed library visits into teachable moments and social gatherings for youngsters, families and adults.

Monthly adult programs included author visits, ghost stories, computer workshops and open computer labs.


Special thanks



  • The Franklin Library Association gift

We are very grateful to the Franklin Library Association (FLA) whose generous donation of $28,750 allowed us to expand the digital collection and purchased 15 laptops, 15 chrome books, a digital cart, a 3D printer and supplies. Their generosity provided the financial support needed to
establish Technology Talk for teens and tweens, technology workshops for adults and an open computer lab.


  • The Friends of the Franklin Library Gift

All of the 2015 Summer programming has been funded through a generous donation of $10,000 by the Friends of the Franklin Library. We are thankful for their financial support and commitment to the Library.


  • The Town Council for the FY2016 Budget

Town Council approved a 2% increase of the FY 2016 budget. Although this modest increase is $271,024 short of the $962,020 Municipal Appropriation Requirement, we are grateful for the stability and continuity it provides.


  • Digital Credit Union's $4,000 gift will significantly impact Library Services.



  • The Mom's Club of Franklin North's donation of $250 for improvements in the Children's room is welcome and inspiring.


The Library values the vision set forth by the Library Board of Directors, the continued support of the Town Council, Finance Committee, Town Administrator, the Friends, the Franklin Library, the Franklin Library Association, our hard working staff and volunteers.

Exploring additional funding revenue streams going forward

The Library Board has begun exploring the establishment of a Foundation to support the Library's capital and the operational needs

Respectfully submitted,

Felicia Oti
Library Director

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"Prior to November 1 of each year, the Town Clerk shall cause to be prepared and made available to the inhabitants of the Town an annual report for the preceding fiscal year which shall include: the annual Town budget, the reports of all Town officers, the records of all Town Council bylaw amendments and resolutions, an abstract of births, marriages and deaths, and the wages, salaries, or other compensation of all Town employees." [Added 5-2-2012 by Bylaw Amendment 12-681]


Shared from the full and complete PDF version of the Town of Franklin Annual Report for 2015



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The library expansion plans were approved after the Annual Report entry was completed

although the presentation to the Town Council occurred in April 2015

The architect document can be viewed here (PDF)

The library has its own blog where it posts upcoming events  http://franklinpl.blogspot.com/

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Annual Report - 2015: Police Department


I would be remiss if I did not thank the members of the Franklin Police Department for their fine work throughout the year. Once again, were it not for the hard work and dedication our Police Officers have for their jobs and the Franklin Community we would not be hailed as one of the Safest Places to Live in Massachusetts for the 2015 Year. This by the way is the third such distinction in as many years.

It goes without saying that you, the Community Members and Residents of Franklin play a very large part in this distinction. The phrase “voluntary compliance” comes to mind. The meaning is just that and it is a credit to all of you who live, work and travel through our Community. Town Government also plays a significant role in the designation as a “Safest City”. The decisions at the government level affect each and every one of us daily. There are those who may criticize, but the proof is in the pudding, Franklin is a fine community to live and raise your family in. We offer any number of extracurricular activities for our young people and with the most recent forming of our Opioid Abuse Coalition, Franklin has shown its willingness and concern to address the more serious issues faced by society today.


Police Station - 911 Panther Way
Police Station - 911 Panther Way

I’ve learned many things since becoming your Chief of Police. First and foremost is that there are more often than not three sides to any given story and that it is na├»ve to believe that any one person can satisfy or make everyone happy. I speak not only for myself but for my police employees as well, men and women that I work very closely with on a daily basis. We face head-on the challenges of trying to always “get it right”; something I say to you in all confidence that we do very well. To think differently of your Police Officers is a disservice.

If you have a question, complaint or misunderstanding I encourage you to call my office @ 508-440-2709 and we can have a discussion that will answer all of your questions so you may have a better understanding of the police department’s mission and position.

The dynamics of our Society have made us realize that arrest and detention is not the one and only answer for society’s ills. Don’t get me wrong because there are those incidents in which arrest and detention are the only answers, but to that end we need to listen, seek out appropriate resources for those in trouble and point them in the right direction. Policing has become much more of an “Outreach” style of profession as opposed to the old days of strictly being a Law Enforcing profession and that balance can oftentimes be very difficult. As we move forward time and experience will tell us if this approach has been a turn for the better.

I thank you all once again for a challenging and rewarding year as Chief of Police.

Respectfully submitted,

Stephan H. Semerjian
Chief of Police



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"Prior to November 1 of each year, the Town Clerk shall cause to be prepared and made available to the inhabitants of the Town an annual report for the preceding fiscal year which shall include: the annual Town budget, the reports of all Town officers, the records of all Town Council bylaw amendments and resolutions, an abstract of births, marriages and deaths, and the wages, salaries, or other compensation of all Town employees." [Added 5-2-2012 by Bylaw Amendment 12-681]


Shared from the full and complete PDF version of the Town of Franklin Annual Report for 2015


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For additional info on the Police Dept visit their page on the Town of Franklin website

Follow the Police Det on Twitter  https://twitter.com/franklinpolice



Sir Robert Peel 's Principles of Law Enforcement - 1829 (PDF)

Annual Report - 2015: Department of Planning & Community Development


The Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) maintains a professional staff that provides the Town of Franklin with a wide array of planning services. DPCD’s mission is to plan and implement comprehensive policies and initiatives that work to fulfill the land userelated goals of the people of Franklin. We make every effort to maintain the character of the community while enhancing its economic vitality.

DPCD’s activities and services include, but are not limited to, comprehensive planning economic development, subdivision plan, site plan and conservation plan review, historic preservation, downtown revitalization, zoning bylaw and subdivision regulation development, brownfields redevelopment, affordable housing, open space and wetlands preservation, public transportation, transit oriented development, and sustainable development including use of smart growth and low impact development concepts. The Department regularly identifies and sources funding for various community development projects and activities. DPCD balances its approach to these initiatives through long-term planning and public participation.

Department Personnel

The DPCD’s staffing reflects the diverse skills needed to complete the many activities and roles the Department participates. DPCD’s staff consists of the following:

  • Bryan Taberner, Director
  • Beth Wierling, Town Planner
  • George Russell, Conservation Agent
  • John Allen, Program Coordinator
  • Kathy Celorier, Conservation Secretary and Administrative Assistant


The DPCD manages an Intern Program to assist DPCD staff and other Town departments with administrative and technical assistance. The work performed by DPCD interns is extremely important to the Department’s productivity. Interns work on a wide range of community development and economic development issues.


Support of Town Boards, Commissions and Committees

DPCD personnel provide staff support to several boards, commissions and committees, including the Planning Board, Conservation Commission, Design Review Commission, Technical Review Committee, and the Town Council’s Economic Development Sub-committee. Approximately 60 to 65 percent of the Department’s total staff hours are utilized on Planning Board and Conservation Commission related issues. In addition, DPCD staff occasionally provide professional technical assistance to other public entities including Town Council, Zoning Board of Appeals, and various ad hoc committees including the Town’s Master Plan Committee.

Site Permitting and Guidance

DPCD is not a permit granting authority; its function during the permitting process is to integrate laws, regulations and plans with the Town’s goals to ensure that the best interests of the Town and its residents are served. DPCD personnel organize and attend meetings, provide technical assistance, offer professional opinions, and guide developers, businesses and residents through the Town’s various permitting processes.


Conservation

DPCD provides support to the Conservation Commission, as provided by MGL Chapter 131, Section 40. Conservation Staff, specifically the Town’s Conservation Agent, is responsible for speaking for the Conservation Commission when they are not present (see separate Conservation Commission Report). Although not a permit authority, the Conservation Agent does have limited police powers to regulate already approved Conservation Commission activities, stop unauthorized activities and to promote and develop the natural resources of Franklin and its wetlands, streams, brooks, ponds, lakes and watersheds. In addition, Conservation staff provides administrative support and reviews applications being presented to the Conservation Commission, as well as provides professional support to other Town Boards, Commissions and Departments.

Comprehensive Planning and Zoning

DPCD is responsible for traditional land-use related activities including updating the Town’s plans, and amending and creating zoning bylaws. A description of zoning and land use issues worked on by DPCD during the 2015 fiscal year is summarized below. During the 2015 fiscal year DPCD worked on amendment of several sections of Franklin’s Zoning Bylaw. This included Zoning Amendments 14-42, 14-743 and 14-744, which were needed to correct references and inconsistencies in the Town’s Zoning Bylaw. As a result of public meetings and a response to a Request for Proposals for sale and development of the Pond Street property, DPCD developed and submitted to Town Council Zoning Amendment 14-745, which added multi-family housing by special permit to the Office Zoning District. Since Town Council adopted the Town’s updated Master Plan in 2013, DPCD staff has worked towards implementation. During FY15 DPCD provided Town Council with an update summarizing the status of the Master Plan’s implementation.

The Town held a Zoning Workshop in March 2015 to review potential zoning changes, including Actions proposed within the 2013 Master Plan; issues discussed included the Neighborhood Commercial Zoning District; Senior Village Overlay District; Commercial I Zoning District; Multi-family Zoning; and Accessory Dwelling Units. DPCD was tasked with developing a zoning map amendment, which would allow multi-family housing in an
industrially zoned area along Dean Ave. A map amendment has been drafted and will be before Town Council for consideration during July 2015.

Planning and Implementation of Community Development and Economic Development Projects

Each year the DPCD works on many community and economic development initiatives. The Department develops strategies, proposes policies, bylaw changes and Town Council resolutions, manages projects, and seeks grants in efforts to balance Franklin’s community livability and its economic viability. DPCD encourages responsible community development that meets the goals and objectives of the Town’s various planning documents, and the State’s Sustainable Development and Smart Growth Principles. Some of DPCD’s more important recently completed or ongoing projects and initiatives are summarized below. Regional Planning. DPCD attends meetings and works on various regional planning issues with a variety of regional organizations, including Metropolitan Area Planning Council, the Southwest Area Planning Committee, I-495/ MetroWest Corridor Partnership, and the I-95/495 South Regional Technology Economic Target Area’s Coordinating Council. In addition, the DPCD occasionally supports the initiatives of other regional organizations including the Franklin Bellingham Rail Trail Committee, Friends of the SNETT, the MetroWest Tourism and Visitors Bureau, and a workforce development advisory committee established by Employment and Training Resources in Framingham.

Downtown Revitalization

For several years the Town of Franklin has made revitalization of Downtown Franklin a major focus and has worked to improve the Downtown in a variety of ways. The revitalization of Downtown Franklin must be carefully planned to ensure that improvements positively impact the entire community. During the 2015 fiscal year DPCD worked on several projects related to implementation of the Franklin Center Plan, which was developed in 2002 and 2003 to provide Town officials with a vision and basic strategy for revitalization of Downtown Franklin.

One component of the Franklin Center Plan is Cultural Uses. The issue of cultural economic development has been a focus for DPCD in recent years. During FY14 DPCD worked with the MetroWest Tourism and Visitors Bureau and Franklin Downtown Partnership to develop a brochure map of Downtown Franklin; the map was printed and distributed in the first quarter of FY15. 

During FY15 DPCD continued to work with the MetroWest Tourism and Visitors Bureau on a variety of cultural economic development marketing activities. In addition, DPCD provided limited assistance to the Franklin Cultural District Committee, which is a group of individuals and organizations that are attempting to create a State designated Downtown Franklin Cultural District. 

A cultural district is a specific geographical area that has a concentration of cultural facilities, activities, and assets. It needs to be walkable, easily accessible, easily identifiable to visitors and residents, and serve as a center for cultural, artistic and economic activity. The goals of a Cultural District are to encourage business and job development, attract artists and cultural enterprises, establish the district as a tourist destination, preserve and reuse historic buildings, enhance property values, and foster local cultural development.

The Town of Franklin’s Downtown Roadway and Streetscape Improvement Project is an integral part of the Town’s strategy for Downtown revitalization. The improvement project includes improvements to the traffic pattern of Route 140 in the Downtown Franklin area,
installation of interconnected traffic signals with emergency preemption system, period lighting, traffic calming devices, resetting curbs where needed, ADA compliant sidewalks, resurfacing of streets, and landscape improvements and street furniture. The Project represents a substantial public investment in the Downtown’s future and economic viability, and is expected to spur on private investment. Construction of this important multi-year project began in 2014.

early on a December morning along West Central St
early on a December morning along West Central St

During the first half of FY15, DPCD provided substantial technical assistance towards implementation the Town’s Franklin Solar Challenge. The initiative is similar to the state’s Solarize Mass program, which provides discounts to encourage residents and small business owners to install solar panels. Public meetings were held in the first quarter of FY15 to inform and educate the public. 

During the second quarter of FY15 DPCD worked with a group of residents to obtain the services of a solar panel installation contractor, SolarFlair, who began installing solar panels late in the 2014 calendar year; the more people ordering a solar panel installation the better the unit pricing. As of June 2015 SolarFlair had already signed solar panel installation contracts for well over 100 kW of capacity.

Tax Title Properties 

As in past years, DPCD again worked with other Departments assessing the Town’s Tax Title Properties. Each year recommendations are developed for a number of these properties, and DPCD submits the work to the Town Administrator and Town Council for consideration.

DPCD works regularly on a wide range of economic development projects and programs, and is one of DPCD’s top priorities, second only to providing excellent administrative and technical assistance to the Town’s boards, commissions and committees. Potential benefits to the Town from successful implementation of DPCD’s Business Retainage and Attraction Initiatives are significant. These efforts focus on increasing the value of Franklin’s commercial and industrial tax base, filling the Town’s empty and underutilized industrially zoned buildings, and attracting the right mix of companies to the community.

As part of DPCD’s efforts to market the Town of Franklin, DPCD staff develops press releases, economic development marketing brochures, and various economic development advertisements for industry periodicals. During FY15 DPCD focused much of its efforts on the life sciences/biotechnology industry. Towards the end of the fiscal year DPCD staff began working with professors and students from Dean College and the Franklin Downtown Partnership’s Executive Director on development of a marketing program for Downtown Franklin. The project includes developing a distinct Downtown Franklin "brand", marketing and graphic materials, and a related implementation strategy, in attempts to attract customers and visitors to ensure the Downtown's economic viability during the construction of the Downtown Improvement Project.

In partnership with MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Office of Business Development (MOBD), DPCD developed and manages the MassDevelopment - MOBD - Town of Franklin Business Visitation Program, which is intended to make local research and development and manufacturing companies in Franklin aware of State technical assistance programs and financial resources that can be made available to further their development, and to raise awareness of DPCD as a resource for local businesses. In addition, DPCD works regularly with MOBD, MassDevelopment, and other agencies in efforts to attract the right mix of companies to Franklin’s industrial and commercial areas.

Franklin is part of the I-495/95 South Regional Technology Economic Target Area, and as such can offer businesses looking to start up or expand in Franklin one of the most attractive incentives a Massachusetts community can offer a business, a Tax Increment Finance Agreement. 

The Town of Franklin supports the use of this local tax credit for a wide range of development projects, including projects that create a significant number of livable wage jobs for Franklin residents, support innovative technology, and result in redevelopment of empty or underutilized industrially zoned properties, or development of new facilities. Once a business negotiates a tax increment finance agreement with the Town of Franklin it may qualify for a state investment tax credit for qualifying tangible/depreciable assets, as well as other significant tax incentives.

Working towards redevelopment of town-owned properties is a regular DPCD activity, and continues to be a high priority. During FY2014 DPCD developed a Request for Expressions of Interest (REI) for future redevelopment of 150 Emmons Street, site of the former Municipal Building. The Town’s goals for this important parcel are “Redevelopment of the site into a key gateway into Downtown Franklin, which will maximize short-term and long-term benefits to the Town and its residents. 

Expressions of Interest were due during the first quarter of FY15, which influenced the development and distribution of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for sale and reuse of the property, which included demolition of the former municipal building. Proposals in response to the RFP were due during December 2014. One Proposal was received, and the Proposer/Developer began performing due diligence activities; a final Purchase and Sale agreement will likely be executed in FY16.

Also during 2015 DPCD continued to work with other Town staff, consultants, and the EPA to move forward redevelopment of the Town’s “Nu-Style” Property. The Nu-Style Property at 87 Grove Street consists of two parcels totaling 1.2 acres. The property is contaminated with a variety of hazardous materials. Demolition of the main NuStyle building was completed within FY13; demolition was required in order to access and analyze soil and water under the building to assure that the full extent of soil and water contamination is known. 

Preparing the site for redevelopment is expensive, and DPCD has sought funding and technical assistance from a variety of sources in recent years. DPCD secured EPA technical assistance to assess the quality of ground water at the Nu-Style site; several monitoring wells were drilled and two rounds of water samples were analyzed. In addition, the EPA performed indoor air quality assessment activities in an adjacent privately held building to assure contaminated soil and ground water on the Nu-Style property is not negatively impacting adjacent properties. Building II, a smaller dilapidated mill building on the back of the Nu-Style property became the focus of DPCD efforts during the second half of FY15.

DPCD will continue to undertake a wide range of community and economic development projects, programs, and planning initiatives that will keep the Town’s goals and objectives current and representative of Franklin’s needs and desires. DPCD is proud of its accomplishments and welcomes public input on all of its efforts to improve the quality of life for the residents of Franklin.

Respectfully submitted,
Department of Planning and Community Development Staff.

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"Prior to November 1 of each year, the Town Clerk shall cause to be prepared and made available to the inhabitants of the Town an annual report for the preceding fiscal year which shall include: the annual Town budget, the reports of all Town officers, the records of all Town Council bylaw amendments and resolutions, an abstract of births, marriages and deaths, and the wages, salaries, or other compensation of all Town employees." [Added 5-2-2012 by Bylaw Amendment 12-681]

Shared from the full and complete PDF version of the Town of Franklin Annual Report for 2015


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Additional info on the Dept of Planning and Community Development can be found on their webpages


  • Open Space and Recreation plan is being updated

http://town.franklin.ma.us/Pages/FranklinMA_Planning/openspaceplan


  • Pond St will likely see another RFP (and oddly not mentioned in the summary above)

http://town.franklin.ma.us/Pages/FranklinMA_Planning/pondrfp


  • The Downtown Improvement Project is scheduled to completed in 2016

http://town.franklin.ma.us/Pages/FranklinMA_Planning/dtimprovement


  • What do you find the Master Plan? the current and prior one can be found here

http://town.franklin.ma.us/Pages/FranklinMA_BComm/Masterplan