Showing posts with label FY 2021. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FY 2021. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Annual Report of the Franklin Historical Commission - FY 2021

Note: FY 2021 is last year (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021). The report was prepared to cover the business for the FY 2021 period. This year’s report FY 2022 (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022) is in preparation now and is normally available for distribution at the polls for the November election.

Current Members:
Mary Olsson – Chair
Phyllis Malcolm – Treasurer
Colette Ferguson, Paul Pisani, Richard Remillard, Brock Leindecker, Randy LaRosa
Associate members: Alan Earls, Kai Olsson 
FHM Archivist – Rebecca Finnigan

Like everyone else, the Historic Commission and the Franklin Historical Museum weathered the storm known as COVID-19. After our March 2020 meeting we followed state and local health orders to temporarily close the museum and hold all of our meetings remotely. We opened the new year still having all of our meetings via Zoom, and continued with our limited operating hours of just once a week on Sunday afternoons. Our occupation numbers were limited and safety regulations including masks, temperature checks and social distancing were in place. The museum also had 3 air purifiers installed to assist in the effort to make the museum a safe place to visit in these trying times.

But the year was not a loss by any stretch. In January we saw the installation of The Clara J. Foss Johnston Memorial Federal Parlor, a donation of beautiful period furnishings from Jim Johnston in honor of his mother.

The room is a tasteful addition to the museum. With the installation of the Federal Parlor at the front of the museum, the FFHM relocated and updated their museum gift shop, and have added many new Franklin related items. The gift shop is worth a visit.

The townspeople had approved the Community Preservation Act (CPA) in the November election. In a special meeting, Phyllis Malcolm was nominated to represent the commission on the CPA committee.

A collection was taken up by commission members and a donation was made to the Franklin Food Pantry in memory of long time former Historical Commission member, Alice Vendetti, who had recently passed away. February saw a new exhibit open called Prominent Women in Franklin History. The display included short biographies of Lydia Ray Pierce, Annie Ray Thayer, Alice Wiggin, Palmer Johnson, Loraine Metcalf, Barbara Smith and Stella Kehayas Jeon, among others.

Demolition Delay - In January we had our only demolition request: Steven Narducci, 484 Union Street applied for a demolition permit. The commission saw no reason to delay the request.

The Commission arranged to have a historical marker installed at the former sight of the Thomson Press Building on Dean Avenue. The marker acknowledges the building’s historical influence in town from its original use as the Snow Basset Straw Mill to its final use as a printing and manufacturing business.
In June we were finally able to resume our in-person meetings and lift all covid restrictions for hosts and visitors alike. The first opportunity to host an event since March of 2020 occurred when Cultural District broke free of the COVID cloud and sponsored a summer kickoff event entitled ARTWALK. The museum participated by hosting 3 piano performances.

July saw the grand re-opening of the museum and a return to our normal operating hours. Invitations were sent and the public was invited to join the commission on the steps of the museum for a ceremonial ribbon cutting. Welcome speakers included State Representative Jeffrey Roy, Town Administrator Jamie Hellen, James Johnson, Debra Pellegri and music was provided by Jamie Barrett.

Everyone was invited in to enjoy refreshments and see the new exhibit, Davis Thayer, a Retrospective. An exhibit that looked back on the nearly 100-year history of the building which opened as Franklin High School in 1925 and sadly this year closed its doors after service as the Davis Thayer Elementary School for many years.
In August we were able to resume our popular Second Sunday Speaker Series. The first program focused on the home of Charles Whiting of the Whiting and Davis Company. Darrin Cutler, the current owner of Whiting and Davis also gave a history of the 145-year-old company. 

Additional speakers in the coming months will include Retired NYPD Sargent and Franklin native Paul Faenza discussing his experience at Ground Zero during 9/11, in September; Author Steven Puleo, A Voyage of Mercy in October, sponsored by FFHM; Franklin Vintage Homes in November; Author and Franklin native Charles Harrington, A Contemplative Life in December; and Dennis Sardella presenting Byzantine and Russian Icons in January. The public is invited to attend these free and informative presentations on the Second Sunday of each month.

The museum is a town gem in the heart of downtown Franklin, open to the community and the public at large to experience and appreciate the history of our town. We hope you will visit soon.

The full Annual Report for 2021 can be found

The collection of Annual Reports can be found online

Annual Town Report Of The Town Clerk’s Office - FY 2021
Annual Report Of The Town of Franklin - FY 2021

Annual Report of the Franklin Fire Department - FY 2021

Note: FY 2021 is last year (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021). The report was prepared to cover the business for the FY 2021 period. This year’s report FY 2022 (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022) is in preparation now and is normally available for distribution at the polls for the November election.

The Department
The Franklin Fire Department administration is led by a Fire Chief who is assisted by an Executive Assistant. The department is divided into two divisions, operations and administration, which are each under the direction of the two Deputy Chiefs. The operations division is responsible for dispatch, emergency medical services, fire suppression and hazardous materials response. The administration division is responsible for personnel, budget, training, code compliance and coordinating the Town’s emergency preparedness.

Our Mission
The Franklin Fire Department is committed to providing the highest level of public safety services for our community. We safely protect lives and property through fire suppression, training, emergency medical and transportation services, disaster and crisis management, fire prevention and public education.

Operational Objectives
Initiating advanced life support to patients within 10 minutes of receiving the telephone call at our communications center.
To access, extricate, treat and transport trauma patients to a level one trauma medical facility within one hour of the occurrence of the injury.
Interrupt the progression of fires in structures within 10 minutes of open flame ignition.
To ensure response readiness remains greater than 70%.
Provide safety and survival skills for all school students in grade K through 5 consistent with the Student Awareness Fire Education (SAFE) initiative of the Commonwealth.
Provide continued valuable services to the senior population with home safety inspections and smoke/carbon monoxide battery replacement.
Develop a partnership with the Franklin Special Education Parents Advisory Council (SEPAC).
Provide educational opportunities for department members to ensure optimal performance and safety.
To develop and maintain “best practice” to insure personnel and citizen safety.
Ensure fire safety through timely, consistent code compliance services to all external customers.
Provide all department services in a manner that satisfies the needs of our customers.

Message from the Fire Chief
Fiscal Year 2021 was both an extremely challenging and productive year for the Franklin Fire Department. This year was highlighted with COVID response and vaccination clinics in the community, several high risk emergency incidents, grant procurement, delivery of new apparatus and the addition of four firefighters to the table of organization. There were 4723 calls for service in FY21 which is an increase of 257 calls from FY20. Some of the highlighted incidents included a large-scale apartment complex fire at Franklin Crossing Condominiums as well as a rescue of a resident of the Franklin Housing Authority at 45 Winter Street.

The Department assisted the Board of Health with hosting eight vaccination clinics in the Town which were located at Franklin High School, Franklin Senior Center and Franklin Housing Authority. A solid working relationship among the Fire Department, Department of Health, School Department, Facilities Department and Senior Center resulted in efficient clinics which was a good opportunity to improve our skills to increase our state of readiness in the future when needed. Lt. Laurie Kaye, the Department’s Infection Control Officer, was awarded the Director’s Award at the CMEMSC Annual Meeting on May 4, 2021. Lt. Kaye was recognized for being instrumental in timely education and setting up COVID protocols not only for the Franklin Fire Department but other communities in Region II. Her program became a basis of the Region II on-line program to educate many beyond Franklin.

As of July, 2021 the Department has received $310,062.96 since July 2019 in grants and generous donations.. The Department has a Grant Committee composed of department members who volunteer their time to pursue and apply for funding opportunities that can help offset department costs to the taxpayers. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) that was recently awarded allowed for every member to receive 16 hours of Rapid Intervention Training (RIT) as well as individual pump operator training. The Department continues to conduct live fire training twice a year in Milford at the Milford Fire Department burn building and all department personnel completed a Driver’s Safety course administered by the Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association (MIIA) which assists the Town with reducing insurance costs. The average amount of training per member of the Franklin Fire Department was 77 hours in FY21.

The Department received delivery of two new 2021 pumpers in May 2021 followed by the delivery of a new ambulance in June 2021. All three of these vehicles were placed in service in July 2021. Our current Engine 1 will be repurposed as a Heavy Rescue unit at Station 2 which will be equipped with specialized equipment including extrication equipment, cribbing and rope. The manpower for this vehicle will be cross manned at Station 2 by the ambulance just as the Ladder Tower is cross manned by the ambulance crew at Station 1. The Department is especially appreciative of the Town Council for approving the purchase of these new vehicles which will eliminate the increasing maintenance cost of the older vehicles.

On March 22, 2021 the Department added four additional firefighters to the Department which brings our complement from 52 to 56 for the very first time. This additional manpower is critical to meet the rising demand of our services throughout town. The Department has implemented an annual policy to adjust our ambulance transport rate with Town Council approval to keep us consistent with the average of the other communities in the Commonwealth. This annual adjustment has allowed the town the opportunity to fund the extra personnel with limited financial impact to the Town. The seven Firefighter/Paramedics that were hired during FY21 are Joshua Impey, Joshua Sables, Kristopher Smith, Brian Armstrong, Jeffrey Ward, Kent Parsons and Benjamin Angelo. All seven of these new firefighters have been great additions to the Department and we wish them a healthy and productive career. We also want to wish the best to Firefighter Brian Hagan who retired after thirty-two years of distinguished service with the Fire Department.

In fiscal year 2021 the Department responded to 4723 incidents which is an increase of 257 calls from fiscal year 2020. Several significant fires that occurred include a general alarm fire at an apartment complex at 2 Franklin Crossing Road, the Franklin Housing Authority at 32 Central Park Terrace as well as 45 Winter Street, where a resident was rescued by both fire and police crews. Fortunately, there was no loss of life or serious injuries to any of the residents involved as well as firefighters.

With the pandemic the SAFE program had to suspend many of the activities that are normally run. Instead of going into the classrooms for the SAFE program it was limited to online Google classroom sessions where our members would either use the new digital Hazard House, or read books and talk about fire safety. Visits were still able to be done in the homes of seniors to help them with their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. It was actually nicer for them because they actually had a reason to get up, move around and interact with someone while we were there. We were able to hold our annual St. Patrick’s Day luncheon in a drive thru fashion which served almost 400 corned beef dinners. Senior project went off without any glitches. We held everything remotely at the high school this year. The kids had minimal interaction at the firehouse to protect them. We had less field trips to take them on because of the pandemic, however they were able to do more on the trucks and all had a great time. One student is currently enrolled in a fire science program, one is going to school for criminal justice, and two are going into the military with hopes of becoming firefighters. I especially want to thank our SAFE Officer Doug Perro along with other members of the Department who did a great job with SAFE during an extraordinary year.

In our budget narrative we reference the three important components of an effective fire department which are well staffed, well trained and well equipped. This Department was able to make significant strides in all three categories due to the support of the Town Administrator and his staff, Town Council, Finance Committee, business community and most importantly the general public. On behalf of the members of the Franklin Fire Department I want to thank everyone for your support. It is an honor and privilege for us to serve this community.

Respectfully Submitted
James G. McLaughlin, 
Fire Chief

There is more to the Fire Dept section of the Annual Report, please visit the full report and find the Fire Dept section on page 127

The full Annual Report for 2021 can be found

The collection of Annual Reports can be found online

Annual Town Report Of The Town Clerk’s Office - FY 2021
Annual Report Of The Town of Franklin - FY 2021

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Annual Report Of The Human Resources Department - FY 2021

Note: FY 2021 is last year (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021). The report was prepared to cover the business for the FY 2021 period. This year’s report FY 2022 (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022) is in preparation now and is normally available for distribution at the polls for the November election.

When last reporting in the 2020 Annual Report, the Town had just finished contract negotiations with our seven (7) different unions. We spent some time in FY21 reorganizing these contracts and making them easier to read. Human Resources and department heads worked closely with the Department of Public Works and the Fire Department to consolidate the old contracts with the new MOUs and clean up typos and irrelevant language. We now have fresh, clean copies for 4 of the 7 contracts and are just working to do some adjustments for the Facilities Maintenance union, Police Patrol and Police Sergeants. We hope to have these completed by the end of calendar year 2021. This will be done just in time to start preparing for the new contract negotiations, since our current contracts expire on June 30, 2022!

Fiscal Year 2021 was another busy year in terms of recruiting and hiring. Between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 we hired 18 full-time employees and a number of part-time employees. New full-time employees included: Water/Sewer Superintendent Doug Martin, Assistant Town Engineer Brook Cotta, Heavy Motor Equipment Operators at the DPW (3), Water Pump Station Operator at the DPW (1), Assistant Treasurer Marina Malamud, Deputy Town Clerk Dyan Fitzgerald, 7 new Firefighters, and 3 new Police Patrol Officers.

The Town lost a lot of institutional knowledge with some high level retirements this year, but they provided a great opportunity for long term employees to step up into new roles! Karen Alves retired as the Senior Center Director at the end of August 2020 after 19 years of dedicated service.

Erin Rogers was promoted into this role and has kept the Senior Center running seamlessly. Deacon Perrotta retired from his role as Deputy Director of Operations for the DPW in September 2020 after 10 years of service to Franklin and a lifetime of public service in DPW and Water positions. We reviewed the staffing levels and funding and decided to split Deacon’s job into 2 new superintendent positions by promoting Tony Brunetta and Jake Standley. Long- term employee Megan Woodacre left her position as Deputy Director for the Recreation Department and we were able to convert some part-time positions into full-time positions to fully support Ryan Jette’s active Recreation Department.

We continue to deal with the rising cost of employee benefits, especially health insurance. The Town continues to offer three different health insurance plans and we are seeing more and more employees shift from the standard HMO plan to the High Deductible HMO plan. Over the course of the year, we continued to have virtual meetings with the Insurance Advisory Committee (IAC) to attempt to keep our insurance costs down. This past spring, Harvard Pilgrim came to us saying that we were about to face a 12% rate increase. We were able to work with our broker NFP and Harvard Pilgrim to get a final quote of 8.95%. We will continue to work with our IAC to try to keep costs down for future health care renewals.

Respectfully submitted, 

Karen M. Bratt
Human Resources Director

The full Annual Report for 2021 can be found

The collection of Annual Reports can be found online

Annual Town Report Of The Town Clerk’s Office - FY 2021
Annual Report Of The Town of Franklin - FY 2021

Monday, August 22, 2022

Annual Report Of The Recreation Department - FY 2021

Note: FY 2021 is last year (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021). The report was prepared to cover the business for the FY 2021 period. This year’s report FY 2022 (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022) is in preparation now and is normally available for distribution at the polls for the November election.

The Recreation Department is located at 275 Beaver Street, Franklin MA 02038. The Recreation Department offers Franklin residents a variety of programs and activities for youth and adults, as well as coordination of youth sports organizations field use. The department operates and schedules activities for Beaver Pond (beach and turf field), Fletcher Field, Dennis Pisani Softball Field, Henry “Ski” Faenza Tot Lot (Nason Street Tot Lot), King Street Memorial Field (including the pickleball and basketball courts), Dacey Community Field (including disk golf course), and the Meadowlark Lane fields. The department is also responsible for scheduling the use of all school athletic fields with coordination from the Franklin High School Athletics Department. Our department works closely with the various town youth sports organizations and Athletic Director, Tom Angelo and his assistant Susan Jacobson to schedule all youth sports activities around the high school team practices and games.

Chilson Beach
Chilson Beach was open from June 19-August 20, 2021 with a swim at your own risk policy. No lifeguards were on duty. However, we staffed the beach with gate guards to check for residency as the beach remains Franklin residents only. The pond was home to canoeing, kayaking, swimming, fishing, and hiking. 

For information on Chilson Beach and our water testing results, please visit: 

At the above website, residents can check the water quality and E-coli levels as we run a water quality check every week throughout the summer to make sure it is safe for swimming.

On the turf field at Beaver Pond, we continue to permit soccer, field hockey, flag football, and boy’s lacrosse. The turf field was used for the Franklin Recreation Department’s NFL Flag football program under the direction of Jack Geromini (program coordinator), Franklin Youth Soccer, and Franklin youth boys lacrosse, as well as yoga for senior citizens, tai chi, boot camp, and many other recreational activities. A portable recycled plastic walkway is on site for handicap accessibility to the water edge and playground area. The Franklin High School soccer, lacrosse and field hockey programs play all of their home games on the turf field as well. The turf field was recently resurfaced in 2017 and the field is cleaned, decompacted and tested for GMAX annually.

Recreation Programs Summer Camp
An eight week summer camp was held at King Street Memorial Field from June 29-August 22, 2020. The program hours were Monday-Friday from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm daily. Registration was limited to 50 campers due to COVID-19 restrictions. Activities included: organized games, arts and crafts, water activities, sports, and weekly field trips. The 8 weeks featured camp shirt tie dye on Tuesdays, field trips were canceled this summer, but we continued the fun having a giant slip and slide/water slide every Thursday, and Pizza day Fridays. The Franklin Summer Camp Directors this year were Jonathan Geromini and Tim Shannon. The Franklin Summer Camp staff included: Sasha Arias, Danny Angermeier, Alana Portesi, Danny Brecht, Jared Cain, Jason D’Valentine, Joe Clark, Julia DiGiacomo, Julia Hogan, Tony Calderone, Will Conley, Halle Atkinson and Kelsey MacCallum.

Pre-Season Flag Football Camp ran again under the supervision of Jack Geromini. Jack lea a 3 day camp from 9:00am-12:00 noon for all interested Flag Football Athletes to help them prepare, practice and get excited about the upcoming Fall Flag Football Season.

Youth Basketball Program
The Youth Basketball program was not able to run for the first time in over 30 years due to COVID-19. School gymnasiums were not available to the Rec. Department
Pee Wee Baseball
The Pee Wee Baseball program is an introductory baseball program for children ages 4-6 years old. It was created in 1999 by Director, Ryan Jette. The program was reduced to 150 kids in 2020 as a result of COVID-19.

Track and Field
The Recreation Department’s track and field program numbers have increased drastically. On top of offering our annual Winter Track and field program to over 75 athletes ranging from Kindergarten to Eight grade, we are now offering Spring, Summer and now Fall track programs. These running programs are coached by Stacey Federico and she also receives help from High School track athletes.

NFL Flag Football
The Recreation Department teamed up with the NFL to bring this non-contact flag football league to kids aged 6-14 years old. Program numbers saw a dip in 2020 down to 240 kids. The program was run each Tuesday & Thursday evening at the Beaver Pond Turf Field. Reversible NFL game jerseys, playbooks, belt/flag setup and access to the NFL Kids website gives kids the opportunity to follow their favorite player or team. Players learned the fundamentals of throwing, catching, running and teamwork. This program continues to be one of the best programs the Recreation Department runs and its because of our program coordinator, Jack Geromini who has been supervising this program for 19 years.
Girls Lacrosse
The girls lacrosse program has grown from 28 girls to over 150 girls. In 2020, our teams did not participate due to COVID-19. However, we typically participate in the Founders League. This league provided better competition for our growing players. There were 2 teams at the 1st-2nd grade division. There were 3 teams at the 3rd & 4th Grade division. There were 3 teams at the 5th & 6th Grade level. And there were 2 teams at the 7th & 8th Grade level. All levels play in 8 regular season games. Franklin Girls Lacrosse is one of the largest girls’ lacrosse programs in the area.
NHL Street Hockey
This summer, our street hockey program was very popular with over 110 kids and 8 NHL teams represented. We hold a skills clinic for the first four sessions to evaluate the player skills. Then, we break them up into equal teams so that games will be fair and fun for all. Teams play twice a week, Monday and Wednesday’s. Jack Geromini is the league coordinator with the help of FHS hockey team players. Our Street Hockey program participated at the new Fletcher Field rink.

Girls Field Hockey
Franklin Recreation offers girls youth field hockey in many formats throughout the year. The fall (August- October) are usually the months that the field hockey leagues We work closely with the FHS Assistant Coach, Kim Carney to coordinate clinics, field usage, games. The K-2 division, an in house program features practice sessions and some in house small sided games. The 3rd & 4th grade team will play some scrimmages/games against area teams (probably 4-6 games). The 5th & 6th and the 7th & 8th grade teams will play in the Commonwealth League with 8 games vs. surrounding towns. 100+ girls comprise eight teams for the fall Field Hockey League.

Golf Lessons
The Recreation Department expanded the golf lessons offered into the summer months, by offering a full or half day camp in the summer. The Recreation Department, in conjunction Maple Gate Country Club, offered Adult and Junior Golf instruction. The lessons covered all aspects of the game of golf (putting, chipping, bunkers, irons, and woods). Registrants met one day a week for 6 weeks to practice their skills. Lessons were offered during the summer and fall season for over 50 residents attending. Express 2 day lessons were offered over April Vacation. Participants enjoyed playing the course following the six-week lesson to see what they learned.

ArtVenture Afterschool Studios
Art instructor; Kerry LeBlanc has flourished our arts department. With over 100+ children ranging from Pre-k to Middle School have signed up to take one of the many diverse art programs. ArtVenture Afterschool Studio, Artventure Preschool Studios, Art Summer Camp. All art programs are held at the Recreation Department.

Preschool Programs
Our Preschool classes are held in the mornings from 9:00am to 11:30am. The Recreation Department has two certified preschool instructors on staff; Nicole Nesbit and Emily Dandurand. Nicole and Emily teach our First Friends programs; Exploration Station, First Friends, First Friends Lunch Bunch and More Fun with Friends. They hold class’s Monday through Thursday and yearly roughly 440 children sign up to take their programs.
Preschool Science Programs taught by Christina Tocci and Christina Burkeholder. These programs explore the environment in which we live in, the human body and much more.

Children’s Programs
Our children’s programs vary from Rocketry and Engineering classes to Girls on the Move, Home Alone Safety and Social Netiquette classes. We have a core niche of students who enjoy working with their hands during our Robotics, Robotics II, Robotic Arm and Rocketry programs. We also offer a female only running program where goal setting is the primary focus along with nutrition and running. Home alone safety and social netiquette classes teach children the ways to stay safe home alone and when they are using the internet.
Rec Gym Programs
With the addition of our new Recreation Gymnasium, we were able to implement an extremely popular sport, played by many around the United States; Pickleball. We offer this program three out of the four season inside at our new gymnasium where we have 2 full pickleball courts. During the summer months we offer pickleball outside our new courts at King Street Memorial Field. We also acquired 2 indoor batting cages for baseball training for youth baseball teams to utilize. Some other popular programs for middle school athletes that utilize the new gymnasium are volleyball, speed & strength, street hockey, tennis, indoor field hockey, to name a few.

Parks and Playgrounds
Other Recreation Department initiatives included the coordination of Eagle scout projects for trail maintenance and kiosk construction. The department coordinated the Community Gardens at King Street Park. Vendetti Motors donated a brand new playground at Beaver Pond in memory of Joe and Mary Vendetti.

King Street Memorial Park
We also worked on a capital project to renovate the King Street Memorial Park by building pickleball courts, basketball court, baseball field, scoreboard and batting cages, as well as install new components at the playground.
Disc Golf
Our Disc Golf course located at Dacey Field off of Lincoln street has become a popular destination for many out of town and even out of state players. In 2010,  Director  of  Recreation,  Ryan  Jette  and Assistant Town Engineer, Jay Mello were the energy behind the building and engineering of the Disc Golf Course. This 18 hole course is over 100 acres behind a multi-use town park. Many events take place at Dacey Field Disc Golf course to instruct and teach new players the popular growing sport.

For more information, visit: 

The full Annual Report for 2021 can be found

The collection of Annual Reports can be found online

Annual Town Report Of The Town Clerk’s Office - FY 2021
Annual Report Of The Town of Franklin - FY 2021

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Annual Report Of The Municipal Affordable Housing Trust - FY 2021

Note: FY 2021 is last year (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021). The report was prepared to cover the business for the FY 2021 period. This year’s report FY 2022 (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022) is in preparation now and is normally available for distribution at the polls for the November election.

The Franklin Municipal Affordable Housing Trust fund was established on May 18, 2005 by Bylaw Amendment 05-567. The Trust Fund can receive, hold, invest or expend funds for the rehabilitation, renovation, construction, financing or refinancing of property within the Town of Franklin making these residential properties available to low and moderate income families looking for an affordable home.

The Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) establishes the Median Income for the area annually (currently $120,800). Income limits are set at 80% of the Median Income based on household size. The “Affordable” sales price for a home is set assuming a household earning 80% of the median income can obtain a mortgage.

“Affordable” homes must have a “deed rider” attached to the deed of the home. The deed rider will preserve the resale value of the home so that it will remain as affordable in perpetuity. “Affordable“ homes must be purchased by income and asset qualified households.

Having the deed rider ensures that all the affordable units will be included on the “Subsidized Housing Inventory” (SHI). The goal is to have an affordable housing inventory of at least 10%. Franklin’s SHI is at 12%. This number allows the Town leeway to support only those developments that it feels benefit the community.

In FY2020, interest rates continued to be at historic lows and the Municipal Affordable Housing Trust processed 5 refinances and re-sold 1 home.

Progress is continuing on the Franklin Ridge senior housing project to be located off of Veterans Memorial Drive and behind Eaton Place. The project will include 60 new senior apartments that will be affordable to income and asset qualified seniors. The Trust has earmarked up to $550,000 in support of this project.

This year, as always, we look forward to pursuing innovative ways to produce affordable housing in the Town of Franklin. It is our pleasure to submit this annual report for your review.

Respectfully submitted,

Chris Vericker, Chairman 
Mary Anne Bertone 
Christopher Feeley
Jamie Hellen 
Maxine Kinhart 
Judith Pond Pfeffer

The full Annual Report for 2021 can be found

The collection of Annual Reports can be found online

Annual Town Report Of The Town Clerk’s Office - FY 2021
Annual Report Of The Town of Franklin - FY 2021

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Annual Report Of The Franklin Senior Center - FY 2021

Note: FY 2021 is last year (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021). The report was prepared to cover the business for the FY 2021 period. This year’s report FY 2022 (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022) is in preparation now and is normally available for distribution at the polls for the November election.

The Franklin Senior Center is located at 10 Daniel McCahill Street and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Center provides programs, services and activities along with outreach, information and referral to serve the needs of older adults, people with disabilities and their families. Social services assistance is available to all adult residents in Franklin.

The Senior Center offers health and wellness, nutrition, social service coordination, socialization, recreation, transportation, educational and cultural programs, a supportive day program, respite care and volunteer and intergenerational opportunities.

The Center’s mission is to enhance the independence and quality of life for Franklin’s older adults by:
Identifying the needs of this population and creating programs that meet those needs.
Offering the knowledge, tools and opportunities to promote mental, social and physical well-being.
Advocating for relevant programs and services in our community.
Serving as a community focal point for aging issues and as liaison to local, state and Federal resources for older adults.

This year, despite our building being physically closed, we were able to keep seniors engaged by continuing many of our regularly scheduled activities virtually using the Zoom platform. These activities included Discussion Group, Senior Scribblers’ Writers Group, TOPS weight-loss, Book Club, Caregiver Support Group, and our Memory Cafe. The Supportive Day Program, which remained suspended, met online for a weekly social hour. Several new programs were created exclusively for Zoom including a weekly Quarantini Social Hour, a monthly game of Name that Tune, and Franklin Matters Q&A. We also offered a variety of fitness classes including Chair Exercise, Cardio, Strength & Balance, Mindful Meditation and Zumba Gold. These programs have been described by seniors as a lifeline during a time of isolation.

We received a grant from the Metrowest Health Foundation to start our, “Alexa Program.” In an effort to reduce social isolation among older adults, Alexa devices can be given to lonely, isolated seniors to use in their homes. Alexa is a voice-activated virtual assistant that can help connect seniors with the world and act as a companion. Staff assists with device set-up, training and ongoing support.

Health & Wellness Programs
Our Wellness Program promotes Healthy Aging through programs and services provided by our Health & Wellness Nurse including the following:
Health Clinics: Our Wellness Nurse was able to resume in-person Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar, and Pulse Ox readings with safety precautions in place, and a drive-thru flu clinic was held. Podiatry and Vision Screenings remained suspended.
Fall Prevention: Our Wellness Nurse offered a Safety & Balance video to address balance and muscle strength and offer techniques to enhance safety. In May, we resumed our Home Safety Assessments to evaluate elders’ homes to determine if their risk for dangerous falls can be reduced. If needed, our volunteer installed grab bars and or adaptive devices free of charge.
Fitness: We offer several classes tailored to older adults on Zoom including Cardio, Strength and Balance, Zumba Gold, and Chair Exercise. These classes along with Chair Yoga, Tai Chi and Line Dancing resumed in- person when the building reopened in June. The Center’s Fitness Room which offers free use of equipment, including a treadmill, stepper and several stationary bikes, remained closed this year.
Support: Support Groups offered include Low Vision, Hearing Loss, Weight Loss, Fibromyalgia and Caregivers Support. The Health & Wellness Nurse also offers one-on-one consultations. These consults were continued via remote or teleconference meetings as the building remained closed.
Mental Health Counseling: The Center is part of a consortium of local Senior Centers, which provides access to timely, flexible mental health services with a licensed clinician. This enables elders who experience mental health challenges to get effective, appropriate treatment. Counseling was offered online or by telephone during the closure.
Health Education: Monthly presentations were offered by our Health & Wellness Nurse, such as Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke, Five Wishes, Positive Psychology, Skin Changes, and Healthy Sleep.

Caregiver Support
The Senior Center provided the following programs to support caregivers and their loved ones:
Supportive Day Program provides a structured, stimulating day program for frail elders, and respite for their caregivers. Participants enjoy fun activities, socialization, gentle exercise and they share a meal in our Cafe. During the closure, our Coordinator remained in contact with clients and caregivers through Zoom gatherings, reassurance calls and email blasts.
Companion Caregivers is an affordable, in-home service that provides a trained, vetted companion for frail elders and respite to their caregivers. This program remained suspended this year.
Caregivers Support Group meets biweekly and is led by two facilitators who have completed a training program with the Alzheimer’s Association. This group was offered remotely during the closure via Zoom.
Memory Café - a monthly gathering where those living with dementia and their care partners can enjoy a social event without stress and anxiety. We were able to convert this meeting into a Zoom session during the closure, which is of great benefit to caregivers whose loved ones have been homebound due to the pandemic.
Powerful Tools for Caregivers, and The Savvy Caregiver training, both 6-week, evidence-based workshops were presented via Zoom by Tri-Valley Elder Services.
Lectures on Caregiving included Assistive Technology & Apps for Family Caregivers presented by the Alzheimer’s Association via Zoom.

Outreach/Social Service Coordination
The Senior Center provides assistance in obtaining housing, employment, home care services, tax abatements, long- term care placement, prescription drug programs, as well as food stamps, fuel assistance, Mass Health, and Supplemental Security Insurance. Our Social Service Coordinators can assist Franklin’s adult residents regardless of age, and can provide home visits to homebound residents. While our building was closed, our Social Service Coordinator continued to provide assistance with food resources, mental health referrals, caregiver assistance and reassurance via telephone.

Staff was also essential in providing outreach, information and assistance to seniors in the community regarding the Covid-19 vaccine. Staff assisted in making vaccine appointments, appointment pre-registration, scheduling transportation to appointments, and referrals to the state homebound vaccination program.

The Social Services Department supports older adults through our Low Vision and Hearing Loss Support Programs which provides support, information and referral and training in new technologies. During the closure, staff used a teleconference call for the Low Vision Support Group and an Audio Book Club that meets biweekly.

The Senior Center made referrals to SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) program, which continued to provide assistance with health insurance issues over the telephone. AARP provided free income tax preparation at the Center for 70 individuals with strict safety protocols in place.

The Common Grounds Cafe, which is located inside the Center and offers breakfast and lunch daily, remained closed until the building reopened in June. Thanks to a grant from the CHNA 6 (Greater Milford Community Health Network), we were able to continue our Curbside Meal program. The Curbside Cafe, created in response to the pandemic, served a total of 4,390 freshly prepared meals curbside at the Senior Center to elders 60 years of age and older, as well as disabled residents.

Transportation is a vital element to reduce social isolation and improve the quality of life for older adults. Franklin offers accessible transit services for elders and those with disabilities through GATRA, the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority. This year, GATRA announced the start of their new on-demand service, GATRA Go United, which can be booked the same day by using an app, or by calling 1-800-698-7676.. This curb to curb service is available to all residents, regardless of age. GATRA provides out-of-town transportation for medical appointments in Boston, Providence, Framingham, Worcester and several other cities.

Cultural, Educational & Social Programs
Dr. Andrew Budson discussed his award-winning book, Seven Steps to Managing Your Memory via Zoom.
The Franklin Cultural Council sponsored 4 free outdoor concerts, featuring longtime Berklee College of Music Professors.
The Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office presented information on Scams, as well as their Yellow Dot program which provides EMTs with quick access to your medical and emergency contact information in the event of an accident.
Nantucket Ranger Allen Reinhard provided several video presentations about Nantucket followed by a live Q&A session via Zoom.
Soprano Singer Monica Spencer provided a Christmas sing-along outside in the parking lot.
Jim Johnston guided seniors virtually through a tour of the Franklin Historical Museum.
The Senior Center hosted several talks by Alan Earls, accompanied by a slideshow via zoom.
The Franklin Firefighters Association hosted a drive-thru luncheon for St. Patrick’s Day.
The Senior Center hosted A Night at the Wang, a virtual tour of the Wang Theater’s building.
Dean College offered opportunities for elders to audit several classes remotely and Dr. Jessica Pisani provided an Earth Day Lecture.

Recreational activities include: cards, board games, arts & crafts, bingo, pokeno, pool/billiards, movies, educational programs, a chorale group, and day trips. The Center also provided instruction and educational programs in the following:
Computer, Tablet & Smartphone Instruction
Italian & Spanish Conversation Group
Current Events Discussion Group
Wood Carving Instruction
Knitting & Quilting Instruction
Arts & Crafts Instruction
Writers Group – Senior Scribblers
Staged Readings/Senior Players
Book Discussion Group – The Page Turners
Cribbage Instruction
MahJong Instruction
Chess Instruction

Friends of Franklin Elders
The Friends of Franklin Elders, Inc. (FOFE) is a private, non-profit organization, which was founded to assist the Franklin Senior Center with supplemental funding for programs, services, and equipment. FOFE generously provided funding for entertainment for our social events, newsletter printing, grab bars, activity support and coffee expenses.

The Friends publish our monthly newsletter, The Franklin Connection, which is mailed directly to over 1,500 residents who request it and read online by 600 more. In partnership with the Benjamin Franklin Charter School, FOFE provided gift cards to 40 homebound elderly residents during the holiday season.

Tax Work-Off Program
Franklin offers a Tax Work-Off Program, which provides senior homeowners aged 60 and over with a credit of up to $1,200.00 off their real estate taxes for working in various town departments. The earnings are deducted from their real estate taxes, providing tax relief to elders, while supplying the town with skilled workers.

Volunteers are the backbone of the Senior Center and we are profoundly grateful for all their efforts. Volunteers offer assistance in our gift shop, café, as instructors, and in many other capacities. Unfortunately, as our building remained closed, many volunteer opportunities were lost and our annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon was again canceled. We are looking forward to welcoming back our volunteers next year and resuming our fun tradition of the Volunteer Recognition Luncheon.

Intergenerational Activities
The Franklin High School Honor Society hosted the annual Spring Fling as a drive-thru at the Senior Center this year. The students provided a delicious dinner to-go, as well as a gift bag.

The Knights of Columbus at St. Mary’s Church offered its third Pie Lottery to benefit older adults by requesting parishioners donate a pie to an elder. The parish donated 103 pies to elders at the Center who were very happy to receive them.

Some further conveniences offered at the Senior Center include:
Ben’s Bounty Gift Shop
Computer Lab
Free Medical Equipment Loans
Free Franklin Connection Newsletter
Free Use of Fitness Equipment
Low Vision devices, equipment, technology and training
Free Movies
Pool Table

In Appreciation
The Franklin Council on Aging and Senior Center staff would like to recognize the dedication of Karen Alves who retired from the position of Senior Center Director after 19 years of service. Karen was an integral part of the growth and success of the center and worked tirelessly to enrich the lives of Franklin’s elder population. We wish her all the best in her retirement.

Respectfully Submitted, 

Erin Rogers
Senior Center Director

The full Annual Report for 2021 can be found

The collection of Annual Reports can be found online

Annual Town Report Of The Town Clerk’s Office - FY 2021
Annual Report Of The Town of Franklin - FY 2021

Friday, August 19, 2022

Annual Report Of The Department Of Planning And Community Development - FY 2021

Note: FY 2021 is last year (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021). The report was prepared to cover the business for the FY 2021 period. This year’s report FY 2022 (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022) is in preparation now and is normally available for distribution at the polls for the November election.

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 use-related goals of the people of Franklin. We make every effort to maintain the character of the community while enhancing its economic, cultural and social vitality.

The DPCD’s staffing reflects the diverse skills needed to complete the many activities and roles the Department participates. DPCD’s activities and services include, but are not limited to comprehensive planning, economic development, subdivision plan, site plan and conservation plan review, open space and wetlands preservation, historic preservation, zoning by-law and subdivision regulation development, downtown revitalization, brownfields redevelopment, affordable housing, public transportation, transit oriented development, natural hazard mitigation and municipal vulnerability planning, 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. For the last two fiscal years DPCD staff has also had responsibility of operating the Town’s Passport office.

Support of Town Boards 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, the Municipal Affordable Housing Trust, and the Cultural District Committee. Approximately 60 to 65 percent of the Department’s total staff hours are utilized on Planning Board and Conservation Commission related issues. Since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic DPCD staff has needed to spend much more of available staff time on running public meetings; in efforts to ensure citizen engagement and comply with open meeting law regulations, meetings have been conducted remotely using the Zoom platform. In addition, DPCD staff provides professional technical assistance to other public entities on an as needed basis, including Town Council, Zoning Board of Appeals, Town Council’s Economic Development Sub-committee, and various ad hoc committees.
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 and Resource Protection 
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 activities previously approved by the Conservation Commission, stop unauthorized activities, and promote and protect Franklin’s natural resources, including 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 and Departments.

During FY21 DPCD Conservation staff worked on various conservation and land use related projects, including continued implementation of the DelCarte Conservation Property Master Plan; this year work included coordination of the fifth year of pond treatment. Another project overseen by the Conservation Agent because of wetlands protection issues is the Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT) tunnel at Prospect Street; the tunnel project was completed in FY21.

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 2021 fiscal year is summarized below.

Zoning Bylaw Amendments. DPCD worked on several amendments to Franklin’s Zoning Bylaw during the 2021 fiscal year. Starting in FY18 DPCD began a project to better define the Town's zoning districts by following parcel lines. Where parcels are within two or more zoning districts DPCD developed zoning map amendments to move the Zoning District line so each parcel is only in one zoning district, in most cases based on the current land use. During FY21 DPCD developed and Town Council approved three Zoning Map Amendments related to this project: 20-858, 20-861and 20-862.

DPCD developed Zoning Bylaw Amendment 21-872, which if approved would make it easier for a farmers series brewery, distillery, or winery tasting room to be approved, by eliminating the specific percentage restriction on the tasting room’s size. The tasting room would still be an accessory use to the primary brewery, distillery, or winery use. The zoning bylaw amendment is expected to be approved by Town Council early in FY22.

Franklin Center Project, Rezoning for Economic Growth & Diverse Housing Opportunities. DPCD is working on a planning/zoning study with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). The Franklin Center Project includes an extensive audit of the Town’s Zoning Bylaw as it relates to land uses and dimensional regulations in the Downtown area and adjacent neighborhoods. As part of the Project MAPC will perform substantial community outreach and engagement, which is expected to begin during the first half of FY22.

Hazard Mitigation and Climate Change Vulnerability Planning 
The Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires communities to develop, adopt, and regularly update a Hazard Mitigation Plan to be eligible for FEMA hazard mitigation grants. Franklin’s first HMP was prepared in 2010; an update was needed. During FY20 and FY21 the Town worked to update its HMP. Led by the DPCD Director, the Town’s Hazard Mitigation Working Group worked with its contractor, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, to assess and update data within the Town’s outdated 2010 HMP, including infrastructure and risk assessments, potential hazards, and Franklin’s current and potential mitigation strategies. During the first quarter of FY21 a public input process was completed, including a public hearing on July 28, 2020. The Draft HMP was then updated representing public comments received, and the Draft HMP was submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for review. FEMA completed a review of the Town’s 2020 HMP and found it met all Federal requirements, pending Town adoption. On January 6, 2021 Franklin Town Council formally adopted Franklin’s Hazard Mitigation Plan 2020 Update with passage of Resolution 21-01. Soon after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved the Town of Franklin Hazard Mitigation Plan 2020 Update effective January 22, 2021, allowing the Town to apply for FEMA mitigation grant funding through January 21, 2026. The goals and strategies within the updated HMP will be implemented over a five year period, and will be integrated into other Town plans and policies.
Housing Production Plan Update 
Over the last two years DPCD has utilized substantial staff resources to develop an update to the Town’s Chapter 40B Housing Production Plan (HPP). The HPP is a proactive strategy for planning and developing affordable housing, and includes strategies that a community uses to enable it to meet its affordable housing needs in a manner consistent with MGL Chapter 40B and related Massachusetts Department of Housing & Community Development regulations. A HPP provides a Comprehensive Housing Needs Assessment, a summary of Affordable Housing Goals, and a description of Implementation Strategies the Town will utilize to meet its goals.

During FY21 a Draft HPP was developed by DPCD with input and assistance from the Town Council Economic Development Committee, Municipal Affordable Housing Trust, Franklin Housing Authority, the Town’s Administration and staff, and the Town of Franklin’s residents. Public input on the Draft HPP, and housing issues in general, were accepted from anyone interested in providing comments during a formal Public Comment Period, which ran from May 12, 2021 to June 25, 2021. During that time DPCD attended various public meetings to present the highlights of the Draft HPP, and provide time for residents and officials to ask questions and provide input. One of the meetings, a Formal Public Hearing on the Draft HPP, was held during a Franklin Municipal Affordable Housing Trust meeting on June 2, 2021.

DPCD will use the input received to create a Final version of the Plan, and expect the Final HPP update will be adopted by the Franklin Planning Board and Town Council in the first quarter of FY22. Once adopted by the Town the HPP will be submitted to Massachusetts Department of Housing & Community Development for approval.

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.

Support of Affordable Senior Housing. DPCD worked with Franklin DWP’s Water and Sewer Superintendent to successfully apply to the Housing
Choice  Initiative  Capital  Grant  Program  for  a $201,000 grant. The funds are being used to design a new Water Booster Pumping Station and related water mains that will provide water and fire protection service for the proposed 60-Unit Franklin Ridge Senior Housing project on Veterans Memorial Drive.

Regional Planning. DPCD regularly attends meetings and works on various regional planning issues with a variety of regional organizations, including Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the Southwest Advisory Planning Committee (SWAP Committee), and the I-495/MetroWest Corridor Partnership. Franklin’s Town Planner Amy Love is currently very involved with regional planning issue as the Town’s representative to the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, and Co-chair of the SWAP Committee. 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 the Charles River Meadowlands Working Group.

Downtown Revitalization
For close to twenty years the Town has made revitalization of Downtown Franklin a major focus and has worked to improve the Downtown in a variety of ways. During the 2021 fiscal year DPCD continued to work on 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 important component of the Franklin Center Plan is Cultural Uses. The issue of Cultural Economic Development has been a focus for DPCD for more than six years, including working with the MetroWest Tourism and Visitors Bureau on a variety of cultural economic development marketing activities, preparing and distributing Cultural District marketing materials, performing outreach and educational activities, and coordinating efforts with local stakeholders. DPCD provides assistance to the Town’s Cultural District Committee in a variety of ways on a range of projects.

REVIVE Local Arts Indicators Project. DPCD and the Cultural District Committee participated in the regional REVIVE Local Arts Indicators Project implemented by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. The project focused on four Massachusetts communities with a high density of arts and culture assets, Franklin, Arlington, Beverly and Boston. REVIVE documented impacts from COVID-19 to the local creative economy, and developed strategies that municipalities can utilize to chart a path to response and recovery for local artists and arts and cultural organizations. A recent webinar, REVIVE
Local Arts Indicators Discussion, provides a project summary:

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. 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. DPCD regularly communicates with realtors, property owners and businesses to make them aware of State and Federal 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. DPCD works regularly Massachusetts Office of Business Development, MassDevelopment and other agencies in efforts to attract the right mix of companies to the Town of Franklin’s industrial and commercial areas.

DPCD will continue to undertake a wide range of community and economic development projects, programs, and planning initiatives that will keep the Town of Franklin’s goals and objectives current and representative of residents’ 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 & Community Development Staff

The full Annual Report for 2021 can be found

The collection of Annual Reports can be found online

Annual Town Report Of The Town Clerk’s Office - FY 2021
Annual Report Of The Town of Franklin - FY 2021