Showing posts with label annual report. Show all posts
Showing posts with label annual report. Show all posts

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee - Annual Report for 2021

"Another year with COVID-19 behind us. Benefits of outdoor recreation during these unprecedented times are bringing many people to the SNETT rail trail. 
We have seen many different uses of the trail throughout the year, such as walking, running, hiking, biking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, dog walking, strolling with strollers, younger kids riding their scooters or tricycles, nature watching and nature photography. 
We love to see everyone enjoying the trail! "
Read the annual report of the Rail Trail Committee
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Z2TKKaUvAchsuoX-Wluarx8mTVGpVXcO/view 

For more about the Rail Trail visit their page ->   https://www.franklinbellinghamrailtrail.org/

Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee - Annual Report for 2021
Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee - Annual Report for 2021

Thursday, October 7, 2021

FM #622 - Town Clerk Candidate Nancy Danello - 10/04/21 (audio)

 FM #622 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 622 in the series. 

This shares my conversation with candidate for Town Clerk Nancy Danello  


This is one of a series of conversations with candidates for the Franklin Election on Nov 2, 2021. I do this to provide Franklin, MA voters with accurate and timely information that they can use to cast an informed vote.  Publication of the answers or interview responses does not constitute an endorsement of this or any candidate.


We cover the candidate questions as previously developed in conjunction with the community and shared with the candidates in advance. Five of the questions are ‘general’ in nature, the sixth is specific to the role of the candidate. In this case, for the Town Clerk


Our conversation runs about 15 minutes, so let’s listen to my interview with Nancy Danello.  ** Audio file -> https://player.captivate.fm/episode/af5a4375-28f2-41cc-9de9-1f89d00d431e



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Candidate questions -> https://www.franklinmatters.org/2021/09/election-2021-candidate-interview.html 


Candidate page ->  https://www.nancydanello.us/ 



Election Collection 2021 ->  https://www.franklinmatters.org/2021/07/franklin-election-collection-2021.html 



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We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial. 


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

 

How can you help?

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

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


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

 

For additional information, please visit Franklinmatters.org/  or www.franklin.news 


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


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


I hope you enjoy!

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


Town Clerk Candidate Nancy Danello
acting Town Clerk Nancy Danello


Sunday, August 22, 2021

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Comptroller

To the Town Council and the Citizens of Franklin:

In accordance with the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws, the Annual Report of the Town Comptroller for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020 is hereby submitted. All invoices and payrolls presented during the fiscal year by various departments were examined for accuracy and legality before being submitted to the Town Administrator for approval and to the Treasurer-Collector for payment.

The reports contained herein present fairly the material aspects of the Town of Franklin's financial position and results of operations. Financial reporting is in compliance with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue's Uniform Municipal Accounting System (UMAS) and generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) as promulgated by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).

The Town’s auditing firm, Melanson, Heath & Company, found the Town’s 2019 financial statements and systems to be in good order. The audited financial statements for the year ending June 30, 2019 are included.

On a side note I’d like to thank my staff for their professionalism, dedication and commitment to excellence. Our team is truly amazing and I look forward to making many significant improvements in the coming years.

Respectfully submitted,

Christopher M. Sandini, Sr.
Finance Director/Town Comptroller 

Visit the Comptroller's page  https://www.franklinma.gov/comptroller


In particular, the most recent one can be found

Continue reading the Annual Report for 2020

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Treasurer Collector

Fiscal Year 2020 brought a lot of challenges due to COVID-19. Many operational changes had to take place in order to comply with the “new normal”. Thank goodness for the drive-up window at the municipal building. The drive-up window was also utilized so that residents could return their ballots directly to an employee.

Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services, a municipal credit rating agency, affirmed the Town’s AA+ bond rating again this fiscal year.

Standard and Poor’s stated 
“Our opinion of Franklin’s strong and balanced finances, supported by a very strong, growing, and affluent property tax base, in addition to a strong management team that maintains a number of formalized financial policies and practices. In addition, due to conservative capital-project management through the annual budget process, the town has maintained a favorable debt profile, in our view, coupled with manageable costs.”

During FY 2020, $149,000.00 was collected in back property taxes, interest and fees. Five 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 20 properties in Land Court.

There were 1,350 Municipal Lien Certificates issued by the Treasurer-Collector’s office generating revenue of $67,525.00. Also collected was $3,600.00 in fees for duplicate bills and files that we supplied to tax services and escrow agents. During FY20, the Treasurer- Collector’s office printed and mailed 11,818 Real Estate Tax bills, 694 Personal Property Tax bills, 30,653 Motor Vehicle Excise Tax bills, and 42,326 Utility bills. The following Demands were also printed and mailed, 590 Real Estate Tax, 124 Personal Property Tax, and 4,424 Motor Vehicle Excise Tax. There were 2,984 Motor Vehicle warrants issued in FY20. There were 5 Betterment releases (water, sewer and road) generating revenue of $7,587.81. We also collected $96,213.24 for backflow testing and $56,872.83 for Sprinkler/Hydrant charges.

The Treasurer also acts as the town’s parking clerk. Our deputy collector, Kelley & Ryan Associates of Hopedale, handles the billing and collection of parking tickets. During FY20 we collected $20,393.56 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 acknowledge my team, you made me believe once again that hard work and coordination can accomplish anything. I am really proud to be part of this team. Finally, I like to thank the citizens of Franklin for their kindness and support.

Respectfully submitted,

Kerri A. Bertone 
Treasurer-Collector 

Visit the Treasurer Collector on the ToF page


Continue reading the Annual Report for 2020

Prior Annual Reports can be found online

Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  Treasurer Collector
Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  Treasurer Collector 

Friday, August 20, 2021

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Franklin Public Schools

The Franklin School Committee has had a busy year. The challenges posed by a global pandemic have certainly presented unique challenges to all of us. We remain committed to supporting the Strategic Plan of the Franklin Public Schools in promoting each student’s intellectual, social, emotional and physical potential with a safe, nurturing and respectful environment.

While the committee meets in public twice a month throughout the school year, subcommittees and task forces meet regularly to do the work in service to the community. Below are listed some of the areas for focus over this past year:

The subcommittees and their functions are outlined below:
Budget: Reviews, proposes and considers matters pertaining to the school budget. Participates with the town-wide Joint Budget Subcommittee. Committed to educating the public about the budget process in an open and transparent way.
 
Community Relations/Public Schools Advocacy: Reviews, proposes and considers matters pertaining to communication with the community about school policies, issues and programs. Meets on a monthly basis throughout the community at various locations including the Harvest Festival, The Farmer’s Market, The Senior Center, The Public Library, Franklin Cable TV Station, etc. in order to share information and address citizens’ concerns. Shares information on legislative matters at the federal, state and local levels. This year the committee held its third annual legislative forum. Our state senators and state representative shared updates and answered questions from citizens.

Policy: Reviews, proposes and considers matters pertaining to policies and procedures in the Franklin Public Schools. This subcommittee also maintains the Policy Manual.

Transportation: Recommends and reviews policies regarding transportation. The subcommittee also develops bids for transportation services.
 
In addition to the work of these subcommittees, members participate on advisory councils and as liaisons to the Joint Parent Communication Councils and Mass Association of School Committees (MASC)

The responsibilities of these members are outlined below:

School Wellness Advisory Council: Establishes annual wellness goals for the district. Reviews data, conducts data collection and sponsors professional development programs for students, faculty, parents and the community. Meets monthly throughout the school year.

Parent Communication Council Liaisons: Joining the Superintendent and other central office administrators, school committee liaisons share important information relative to policies and issues before the school committee. This is another opportunity to gain feedback, insights as to the issues/ concerns of the community. Meets every month during the school year.

MASC Liaison: Advocates at the state level for issues relative to public schools.

Substance Abuse Task Force: The School Committee has supported the work of the Substance Abuse Task Force, led by Assistant Superintendent, Lucas Giguere. The purpose of this task force is to address the serious issue of substance use disorder which is so dramatically impacting our community and communities across the country, with a focus on education, treatment and prevention. School Committee representatives contribute to the work of the task force, along with members of the Franklin Police Department; State Rep. Jeff Roy; the SAFE Coalition; the Recreation Department, teachers, principals, counselors, local doctors, nurses, students and other citizens of our community.

Comprehensive Closing Study: This year the committee began a comprehensive closing study of the Davis Thayer School. The Superintendent, per our policy, recommended that this facility justified further analysis. The work will continue this fall.

Other: In line with the focus on diversity and inclusion, the committee has representation on the community-wide task force (Franklin Social and Racial Justice Task Force). In support of our focus on the social, emotional health of our students, the school committee has representation on the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Task Force on Mental Health and Substance Use.

Summer Workshop: The School Committee also meets at a one-day summer workshop with the Superintendent to provide input relative to the District Improvement Plan and to plan pertinent School Committee presentations and workshops for the following school year. Throughout the year, the School Committee works with a facilitator from MASC to strengthen our skills and effectiveness as an elected body so that we may better serve the public.

Respectfully submitted,

Anne Bergen, 
Chair, Franklin School Committee 


Continue reading the Franklin Public Schools section of the Annual Report for 2020

Prior Annual Reports can be found online

Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  Franklin Public Schools
Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  Franklin Public Schools

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Purchasing Office

GOALS
The office function involves assisting other departments to ensure the highest quality of services and supplies for the best price and in compliance with applicable procurement laws.

PURCHASING UPDATE

Over the past year, the Purchasing Office has made a concerted effort to modernize the Department while also assisting Department Heads with a number of significant projects. These projects include a continued focus on improving the Town’s overall utility based infrastructure.

PROCUREMENT CHANGES

The Purchasing Office continues to oversee the implementation of various improvements in the way vendors can access bid documentation. One of the more significant advancements is the change we made to the distribution of plans & specifications. Vendors no longer need to wait for the bid packages to be mailed, emailed, or picked in person. With the web based platform, vendors can download the entire bid package from the Town website, thus improving the accessibility of the documents while at the same time cutting municipal costs in a number of areas.

This change has been very well received, particularly by those doing business with the Town. The upgrades have also further reinforced our continued approach to modernizing the way procurement is handled.

OBJECTIVES
Promote fair, prompt and courteous consideration to all suppliers. Observe the highest ethics in all transactions and correspondence.

Respectively submitted: 

John Bugbee

Chief Procurement Officer 
Town of Franklin 


Visit the Procurement Dept. on the ToF page

Continue reading the Annual Report for 2020

Prior Annual Reports can be found online

Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  Purchasing Office
Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  Purchasing Office

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Public Works

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, 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 and drain layer licenses, purchasing, budgeting, accounting, payroll, and multiple forms of utility billing.

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

The DPW continues to design and construct long-range projects over 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 which saves significant amounts of money by avoiding the need to contract out these services. The process of planning, designing, permitting, and oversite of 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 continues to implement a grant of $119,000 to develop stormwater infiltration with a private developer on Dean Ave and at other various locations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Mass DEP. We will investigate approaches for Franklin and private parties to work together to meet the permit requirements and save money for all.

The Town once again partnered with the Great American Rain Barrel Company to offer the discounted purchase of rain barrels to Franklin residents. Along with the discount, residents were eligible to receive a $50 rebate through the water conservation rebate grant.
 
The Town also received over $100,000.00 in recycling grants for our innovative programs at the recycling center in the proper removal and recycling of mattresses and Styrofoam to name a few.

Permits and Long Range Planning
The Town of Franklin also continues to oppose the implementation of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II and the pending Phase II Stormwater Permit for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) as required by the EPA. Phase I required the Town to highly regulate and monitor stormwater throughout the Town at a significantly increased cost. Phase II 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.

The Town of Franklin led a coalition of 16 other communities and challenged the EPA in Federal Court. Over the last year, the Town of Franklin has continued in mediation as directed by the Federal Court to try and work out disagreements and costs associated with the new MS4 storm water permit.

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. Details on specific locations can be found in other parts of this report. With that funding already allocated, the Town Council continued with additional funding for the waterline replacement and road reconstruction of the Skyline Dr. neighborhood, Oak St Extension, Marvin Ave area and the Stanford Rd area. With the completion of the above mentioned projects we are looking at the next major waterlines and neighborhoods to be rehabilitated.

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 ensuring that regional water supplies are protected.
The DPW is also looking at repairs/replacement of the “Beaver Street Interceptor”, the Town’s primary pipe that conveys sewer to the Charles River Pollution Control District for processing.

Continue reading the DPW section in the Annual Report in the PDF version (page 132) or the print version (#126)  https://www.franklinma.gov/town-clerk/files/town-franklin-annual-report-2020

Prior Annual Reports can be found online


Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  Public Works
Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  Public Works

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Library

Franklin Public Library is the center of learning, knowledge, discovery, growth and entertainment for a diverse and inclusive community.

Accomplishments:
The Library had another successful year of meeting and exceeding community expectations even during the COVID-19 pandemic - thanks to the dedication and competence of the staff and the unalloyed support from the Town Administrator.

New initiatives this year, the library implemented:
○   Proctoring services to support distance learning
○   Weekly English language classes to help non-native speakers gain language proficiency.
We added three high quality databases - PressReader, Creativebug, Universal Class - to the digital collection:
PressReader provides users access to 7000 of the world’s to magazines and newspapers
Creativebug offers over 1000 video instructional classes on drawing, painting, jewelry making, baking, etc. for artists and makers of all levels.
Universal Class offers continuing education classes and certificates in more than 500 courses including mathematics, accounting, computing, web development, yoga, test preparation, and much more.

The staff responded to the rapidly evolving changes during the COVID-19 pandemic with ingenuity and innovation. They have actively pivoted to providing safe, contactless virtual services.
Curbside delivery of library materials
Virtual programming
Information literacy instruction
Book reviews & recommendations
Increased digital resources, including eBooks and audiobooks
YouTube tutorials on downloading digital resources
Summer learning programs and activities.
The community’s overwhelming response to the library’s virtual programs and services during the COVID-19 pandemic is a testament to the vital role the library continues to play in the community and how well it is fulfilling its mission.
In the five months since our transition to online programs, over 12,000 attended our virtual programs (story times, Dungeons and Dragons, Teen Advisory Board, virtual book discussion groups, to name a few) And over 13,900 participated in reader’s advisory games, book reviews, scavenger hunts, steam activities, and March madness.
Over 5,000 kids attended summer virtual programs and over 700 completed their summer reading logs.
Circulation of electronic resources increased by over 400%
Fielded over 500 e-reference queries.
Collaborated with the Town’s Marketing and Community Specialist, Franklin Radio, and Franklin Matters to promote online services, resources and programs.
We acknowledge the continued generosity of The Friends of the Franklin Public Library and the Franklin Library Association. With a $10,500 donation from the Friends, the library purchased twenty-five chromebooks to support “Girls Who Code”; expanded the ‘library of things’ and added three new museum passes.
Strategic Initiatives FY 2021
Affirm the Library as an essential center for learning, information, engagement, culture and entertainment
Continue to evolve library services and programs to best meet the needs of our diverse community.
Coordinate, collaborate and partner with various stakeholders including the Superintendent of Schools and Recreation Department to provide educational resources, new tools, activities and entertainment for families and youth..
Maintain high-quality print and digital collections
Increase marketing of virtual services and digital content
Transform the role of the library as place
Incorporate performers, artists, authors and other professionals into monthly virtual program offerings.
Digitize and provide access to high-demand historical collections.(Town of Franklin List of Residents from 1884-2017)

Support and cultivate the community’s creativity
Introduce online collaborative workspaces and maintain online databases that foster creativity, hobbies and interests.
Develop a staff prepared for the future
Work with the Town Administrator to maintain library certification and address staffing levels so the library can continue to adequately address community needs.
Provide varied continuing education opportunities to improve staff’s customer service, leadership and technology skills.

Respectfully submitted 

Felicia Oti
Director, Franklin Public Library


The full Annual Report can be found

Monday, August 16, 2021

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Police Department

The last quarter of Fiscal Year 2020 has been unlike anything Franklin residents have experienced in the last 100 years. On March 10, 2020, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts declared a state of emergency. Soon thereafter a series of directives were instituted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to reduce / prevent the spread of the virus. As a public safety agency, the Franklin Police Dept. (FPD) was obviously deemed essential, with our role in the community being so vital. 

Since it is impossible for our personnel to cut off all contact with the public, we needed to make a significant number of changes in how we conduct our law enforcement and community policing business. We essentially needed to change the way we did everything prior to COVID-19. The wearing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), the continuous cleaning of work areas / police vehicles, how we conduct roll calls, utilization of the police station, how we conduct criminal investigations and limiting our contact with the public; are but a few of the changes instituted. 

We needed to make these changes immediately while simultaneously continuing to provide essential services in the safest manner possible in an effort to keep our employees and the public we serve safe.

I’m proud to state the men and women of the Franklin Police Department displayed tremendous fortitude, dedication and professionalism throughout this ordeal. Remember how little was known about COVID-19 in late March and while most were spending time at home at the direction of contagious disease professionals, your police department personnel never stopped working. 

They embraced the challenges and changes with the utmost flexibility and continued the mission of the agency without pause or complaint, providing excellent services to the community. I know I may be a bit biased, but I sincerely believe we have some of the best and most altruistic law enforcement professionals in the business working for the Franklin Police Department.   I believe you would agree with me!

Even with all the challenges the department needed to deal with, we continued to work diligently to accomplish the goals we set for FY20. Many of our previous and current initiatives are familiar and have been discussed in past annual reports as they are multi-year projects due to the complexity involved in their implementation.

In July, 2019, the department implemented a new schedule for the Operations Division consisting of 4 days on / 4 days off - 10 hour shifts. This transition was undertaken to reduce existing operating expenses so the funds could be used to increase sworn officer personnel. 

Due to this effort, the department was able to increase the agency's sworn officer complement from 46 to 51 officers (5 officers or 10.9% increase), the first significant increase in staff in over a decade. The increased staff provided for additional patrol related coverage and allowed the agency to continue to staff the front desk of the department after the elimination of dispatch personnel when the department transitioned to the Metacomet Emergency Communications Center (MECC). Having an officer at the front desk maintains / increases our commitment to providing excellent customer service to those residents who require or prefer to receive service at the police station.

In January, 2018, the FPD in collaboration with the Medway Police Department applied for and was subsequently granted a Jail-Diversion Program (JDP) grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Law enforcement based jail diversion programs seek to redirect individuals with behavioral health disorders from the criminal justice system into treatment when appropriate and safe to do so at the point prior to arrest. In addition these programs seek to enhance public safety by identifying strategies that can be safe and effective in handling acute situations in which police are called regarding a person who is in an emotional crisis. 

The department is very pleased to announce, after an incredibly successful first year, we will retain the excellent services provided by Kallie Montagano, our full-time mental health specialist provided through the Jail Diversion Grant Program. The Town of Franklin and Town of Medway received a grant renewal for almost $100,000 to have Kallie continue to deploy to calls for service involving individuals with mental health related issues and work with them to get placed with the support they may need to live a healthy life.

The grant continues to provide for a full-time (40 hours) mental health clinician who will work directly with patrol division personnel to evaluate and recommend alternatives to arrest during incidents. During FY2020 the JDP clinician has been involved in 360 on-scene crisis interventions. The program successfully diverted nine (9) low-level offenders from the criminal justice system at an estimated cost savings of $22,680 ($2,520 per arrest event). Thirty-eight (38) individuals were diverted from unnecessary emergency department hospital admissions due to the JDP clinician being on scene to facilitate assessment and treatment recommendations at an estimated cost savings of $152,000 ($4,000 per diversion). The clinician also conducted 296 follow-up contacts with individuals referred by officers throughout the fiscal year.

The opioid epidemic and drug overdoses continue to impact communities in the United States and Franklin. The Department responded to 23 reported overdose incidents during FY20, two (2) of which were fatal. Public Safety personnel administered Narcan at 13 of the incidents. In FY19 there were 44 overdose incidents, three (3) of which were fatal. The FPD continues to collaborate with our federal, state, local and private partners (SAFE Coalition) in our efforts to provide those suffering from substance use disorders with resources, referrals, assistance and support in their efforts to get well.
 
In 2019 all Norfolk County municipal law enforcement agencies and the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office joined in collaboration to form the Norfolk County Outreach Program (NCOP). This multi-jurisdictional effort includes the real-time reporting of overdoses and the identification of at-risk individuals throughout the county through the use of a shared data management system. Follow-up visits by law enforcement officers and clinicians are conducted within 48 hours of the event to provide individuals with substance use disorder and/or their loved ones with appropriate resource information and access to treatment. 

In June, 2020, the NCOP expanded its outreach by instituting a cross jurisdictional notification system that shares data with six (6) other counties in eastern Massachusetts. This achievement truly provides the FPD with the ability to have a more complete idea and approach to identifying substance abusers in our community and offer them the services they need. FPD personnel conducted 26 follow-up visits in FY2020. Although we responded to 23 reported overdose incidents in Franklin, we received an alert that three (3) Franklin residents had an overdose event in a community outside Norfolk County. Without this initiative we may have never known about these events and would not have been able to offer these Franklin residents resources and services.

In early 2019 the department joined the The Norfolk County Police Anti-Crime Task Force, or NORPAC. The Task Force was originally established to facilitate a multi- agency approach to drug enforcement throughout the northern region of Norfolk County and includes 16 municipal police agencies. In 1996, its mission was expanded to encompass organized crime, serial crime, violent crime, crimes committed by traveling criminals, and fugitive apprehension, but Task Force detectives spend the vast majority of their time conducting drug investigations. Franklin detectives now have an exceptional resource available when investigating narcotics related crime. 

In May, 2020, with the assistance of NORPAC and other state and federal agencies, the department concluded a lengthy investigation that resulted in the execution of a search warrant and subsequent arrest of two individuals suspected of drug trafficking. Many pills confirmed by lab testing to be fentanyl, with an estimated street value of $15,000, were recovered. Approximately $100,000 in cash and other items were seized.

In September, 2019, the department initiated a Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Unit within the Operations Division. Using a proven problem-solving method known as SARA (Scanning, Analysis, Response and Assessment), POP officers would identify or be assigned to investigate repetitive calls for service and develop strategies and solutions to reduce/eliminate such problems and behaviors. The POP philosophy is to “think outside the box” in an effort to reduce crime, identify issues at their roots, and improve the quality of life of the residents affected by the problem. The unit has worked on a number of issues over the past year and has had great success solving problems.
 
The FPD continues to pursue certification and eventual accreditation through the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission. Accreditation/certification is a self-initiated evaluation process by which police departments strive to meet and maintain standards that have been established for the profession, by the profession. These carefully selected standards reflect critical areas of police management, operations and technical support activities. They cover areas such as policy development, emergency response planning, training, communications, property and evidence handling, use of force, vehicular pursuit, prisoner transportation, and holding facilities. The program not only sets standards for the law enforcement profession, but also for the delivery of police services to citizens. Members of the Accreditation Team have been working very hard and although the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a delay, we expect to conclude a mock assessment in November, 2020 and obtain certification in February, 2021.

The Police of the Annual Report is too long to share here, please continue reading the PDF version (page 124) or the print version page 118) ->  

Prior Annual Reports can be found online

Visit the Police Dept. page  https://www.franklinma.gov/police-department

Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  Police Department
Franklin Annual Report - 2020:  Police Department
 

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Planning Board

The Planning Board, as established by MGL. Ch. 41 sec.70, is responsible for “…making plans for the development of the municipality, with special reference to proper housing of its inhabitants.” The Board is charged with administering the State’s Subdivision Control Law (MGL. 41 Ch.81K) and the local subdivision rules and regulations (Chapter 300). The Board makes recommendations to the Town Council on Zoning By- Law amendments and may at its own discretion adopt new subdivision regulations. The Board is also designated as the permitting authority for various site plan and special permit submittals under the Town’s Zoning Bylaw (Ch. 185). The Board receives recommendations from the Design Review Commission on building design, elevation, and signage for commercial site plan permits, and from the Conservation Commission on wetland related issues, and works closely with the Planning & Community Development and Public Works Departments.

In FY2020, the Planning Board reviewed and issued decisions for several projects throughout the year. Some of the major projects were located on Grove Street. At 186 Grove St, a new business re-located to the site. At 176 Grove St, the Planning Board approved a 150,000 sq/ft warehouse for product distribution. Also at 162 Grove St and 164 Grove, the Planning Board received applications for Retail Marijuana. A Marijuana Cultivation site was approved at 160 Grove Street. All sites included associated paved access drive, landscaping, lighting, utilities and stormwater infrastructure.

The Planning Board reviewed and approved a 35,000 sq/ft Marijuana Cultivation building at 105 Constitution Blvd for the use of growing and processing of non-medical marijuana.

The Planning Board received a submittal for a 59-single family subdivision located at the end of Bridle Path and Kimberlee Lane. There was also approved a large scale solar farm proposed off of Maple Street in Bellingham, next to MapleGate Country Club.

In March of 2020, we found ourselves with the a new challenge, COVID-19. The Planning Board delayed public hearings for 6 weeks, to allow time to prepare for the remote Public Hearings. Once the Planning Board began remote hearings, using a Zoom platform, the Board added several additional meetings dates to accommodate the applicants. The Planning Board has continued holding meetings remotely throughout this pandemic. The Planning Board accepted six (6) Form H - Certificate of Completions. Acceptance of a Form H indicates all work has been completed according to Site Plans or Subdivision Plans previously approved by the Planning Board. The Planning Board also received (10) ten Special Permit applications including Marijuana Cultivation, and Retail Marijuana, as well as several multi-family developments. 

The table below is a summary of Planning Board Activity during the 2020 Fiscal Year.

 

Preliminary Subdivisions

Total FY 2020

1

Definitive Subdivisions

2

Definitive Subdivision Modifications

1

81-P Plans (ANR)

5

Site Plans

4

Site Plan Modifications

3

Limited Site Plan

5

Limited Site Plan Modifications

1

Special Permits

10

Street Acceptance Recommendation

8

Certificate of Completion

6

Zoning Bylaw Amendments

6

Bond Releases

3

Scenic Road Permit

1


 

 

The Planning Board held public hearings on several proposed Zoning Bylaw changes including changing where solar farms can be built and updating the Water Resource map. The Planning Board has also reviewed and recommended several zoning map amendments. The Planning Board is currently reviewing zoning districts all over Town and cleaning up the zoning map, to ensure that parcels have one zoning district. The Board continues to help property owners make the desired changes and improvements to their properties while fostering responsible growth and development in the Town of Franklin.

The Planning Board typically meets twice a month on Mondays at 7:00 PM in the Municipal Building. All Board meetings are open to the public, and are televised via Community Cable Access.

Planning Board Membership

The Planning Board consists of five members and one associate member. The associate member participates in all hearings but only votes on Special Permits if one of the members is unable to act. The Board members are elected and serve 4-year terms. 

Below is a list of current Planning Board members:
Anthony Padula, Chairman
Joseph Halligan, Vice Chairman 
William David, Clerk
Gregory Rondeau 
Rick Power

Respectfully submitted, 
Anthony Padula, Chairman


Visit the Planning Board on the Town of Franklin page to find meeting agenda and other information  https://www.franklinma.gov/planning-board

The full Annual Report can be found online: