Showing posts with label conservation commission. Show all posts
Showing posts with label conservation commission. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Franklin, MA Town Council Meeting - Wednesday, September 15, 2021 - Three Part Audio Segments

FM #605-606-607 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, numbers 605-606-607 in the series. 


This shares the three part audio segments of the Franklin, MA Town Council meeting held on Wednesday, September 15, 2021. 


The meeting was conducted in a hybrid format: members of the Town Council and Town Administration personnel, the Police retirement and promotion individuals, along with their guest and family members were in the Council Chambers, some members of the public participated in person, some via the Zoom conference bridge, all to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.


I’ve split the just about two hours and forty-five minutes ( 2:45 total elapsed time) into three (3) logical segments:

  • First (#605) - covers the opening, citizen comments, Police retirement and promotions. The break after the police ceremonies was excluded from this audio.  (~40 mins)

  • Second (#606) - covers three appointments, one license transaction and the SAFE Coalition presentation by Jennifer Knight-Levine (~ 58 minutes) 

  • Third (#607) - covers the DelCarte invasive species update by Conservation Agent Jennifer Delmore, Legislation for Action, Council Comments and meeting close. (~ 58 minutes)

The show notes contain links to the meeting agenda. Let’s listen to this segment of the Town Council meeting of Sep 15, 2021


Part 1 (#605) -> https://player.captivate.fm/episode/5563727f-a24f-4aa8-b4e2-9901951bd693



Part 2 (#606) -> https://player.captivate.fm/episode/ab9ec365-5692-4151-883f-04fe5e8014cd



Part 3 (#607) -> https://player.captivate.fm/episode/c0a7f4f2-5afb-4d2d-9daf-64422c92b1f1



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Agenda document 

https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/agendas/09-15-2021_town_council_agenda.pdf 


My notes from the meeting  -> 

https://www.franklinmatters.org/2021/09/recap-introduction-retirement-promotion.html 


Town Council Quarterbacking session (a short recap with Council Chair Tom Mercer) -> 

https://www.franklinmatters.org/2021/09/fm604-town-council-quarterbacking.html 

--------------

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 www.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!


------------------


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

 

Slide from the SAFE Coalition presentation by Jennifer Knight-LevineSAFE Coalition presentation by Jennifer Knight-Levine
Slide from the SAFE Coalition presentation by Jennifer Knight-Levine

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Franklin Conservation Commission

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE CONSERVATION COMMISSION

Franklin Conservation Commission is responsible for promoting and protecting the Town of Franklin’s natural resources, and protecting the Town’s wetlands resources.

The Commission is comprised of seven volunteer residents appointed for three year terms by the Town Administrator. Current Commission members have diverse professional experience related to environmental science, biology, engineering, and project management. Because of their different backgrounds, each commissioner is able to offer a different perspective during the review of applications for a wetland permit that ultimately benefits Franklin.

Franklin has continuously been represented at the annual conference of the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions each March, with Commissioners attending classes and workshops and talking with other Commissioners from across the state as well as lawyers, ecologists and engineers active in conservation.

The Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) provides administrative and technical support to the Commission.

Permitting of Work Within or Adjacent to Wetlands Resources
The majority of the Commission’s attention is directed to administering Massachusetts and Franklin wetland protection laws and regulations. Those laws and regulations require Conservation Commission permits to work in or within 100 feet of a wetland, in the 100 year flood hazard zone, or within 200 feet of a perennial stream.

During the first quarter of FY20 the Commission voted to accept fast tracking NOI/ANRAD peer review consultant services as recommended by the Conservation Agent and DPCD. This change has helped move big projects along the permitting process more quickly.

During FY20 the Conservation Agent reviewed and administratively approved 15 minor buffer zone applications.

During FY20 the Conservation Commission received 46 permit applications to work within areas under their permitting jurisdiction. In addition the Commission issued Certificates of Compliance for previously permitted projects, and granted permit extensions to allow projects to finish. The table below is a summary of Conservation Commission activity during the 2020 Fiscal Year.

Some of the more interesting project applications before the Commission during FY20 include construction of a marijuana cultivation and production facility at 160 Grove Street and the Town’s projects off Meadowlark Lane and Griffin Road to improve water quality and reduce pollutant loading in the Chicken Brook-Charles River sub-watershed.

DelCarte Conservation Area 
The Commission continues to work on the DelCarte Area (aka the Franklin Reservoirs) off of Pleasant Street. There are a series of seven “structures” (six dams that had been originally used for cranberry farming and a stone wall that beavers had dammed) along Miller brook thru the 100+ acre DelCarte Area.
 
The Commission retained the services of ESS, Inc. to undertake an ecological study to ascertain the flora and fauna viability in the pond and develop a long term management plan. This study, completed in 2015-2016 has given the Town a comprehensive understanding of exactly “what is there” and includes a management plan to help keep the area viable as a true recreational jewel. The first two phases of the plan’s recommendations, the treatment of invasive plant species, was undertaken in the spring/summer of 2017-2019. The Town appropriated Capital Improvement funds to help implement the next phases of this study in 2019-2020. The pond’s invasive species were treated again throughout the summer of 2020.

In addition the funds are being used to implement the ADA recommendations under the master plan developed for DelCarte. This plan, developed for the Town by Mass Audubon was presented to the Commission in the fall of 2017. The Commission began to undertake improvements to the DelCarte Recreation Area in the late summer/early fall of 2018 to bring access to the trails and the water bodies up to ADA standards and improve the overall aesthetics of the area. This portion of the improvements was completed in the spring/summer 2019.

Continue reading the report from the Conservation Commission

Prior Annual Reports can be found online

Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Franklin Conservation Commission
Franklin Annual Report - 2020: Franklin Conservation Commission

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Recap of Town Council meeting Mar 3, 2021 - train station discussed, appt to ConComm approved, ambulance fees approved

Quick Recap:
  • appointment to Conservation Commission approved, all committees/board now with full compliment of appointments
  • Erin Rogers of Senior Center talks about the tax work off programs available from the State and from Franklin
  • discussion on the condition and future of the downtown MBTA train station and exercise in futility. parking an issue downtown, apparently due to zoning changes made that can be/should be reviewed again
  • vaccine not available for local clinic per State, teachers were added to eligibility as of Mar 11, 2021


Photos captured during the meeting and shared via Twitter can be found in one album  https://photos.app.goo.gl/gN3Z5Y2wUxdXqBNa6

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As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting in real-time via the virtual session.

The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #TC0303

  • Real time reporting about to begin for Town Council meeting #tc0303 https://www.franklinma.gov/town-council/agenda/march-3-town-council-agenda 
  • Meeting opens, Chair runs thru the standard protocol statement on meeting conduct #edc0303 a small group at opening.
  • #edc0303 meeting is announced for phone callers  One (member) remote, other 8 in Chambers
  • #tc0303 (yup, 2nd time tonight used prior meeting to tag a tweet, oops) no citizen comments
  • Motion to approve Jan 3 minutes, second, Chandler announces that the minutes are in great order, compliments to Judy L for doing them. Passes 9-0 via roll call. Motion on Feb 17 minutes
  • Second, passes via roll call 9-0, #edc0303 appointment to conservation commission, Bissanti recuses, motion and second, after tonight, all vacancies are now full. Passes 8-0-1 1 recused (Bissanti)
  • No hearings, no license transactions; moving to presentations, Erin Rogers from Senior Center on the tax work off program, if taxes are more than 10% of income, if renter and taxes more than 25% of income. Need to file with state, meet income guidelines. #tc0303
  • #tc0303 anything we can do to help residents with their taxes, talk to their accountants and to the senior center for the form. If people qualify for this, they should also apply for the DPW for a credit against the water, sewer, etc. Storm water if it comes, may would need to
  • Suggestion for something on the webpage for assistance available. #tc0303 clarification, you can do both it is not double dipping. State program is one and there is also the Franklin program.
  • Other than web page, send elsewhere (i.e. newsletter) as some seniors don't go to the website. #tc0303 legal ads we spend 40K annually with Milford Daily News, also appearing as PSA with Franklin TV. http://Ma.gov webpage takes you right to DOR page and info
  • #TC0303 moving to downtown Franklin MBTA station and parking lot. Was on evaluation and goals, a paper trail was included in the meeting docs. Kudos to Frank Falvey who has been a persistent advocate for addressing this item see page 17 https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/agendas/3-3-21_town_council_agenda.pdf 
  • Maps of the station from package  #tc0303
  • Continuing discussion on the station, a frustrating situation. This is a T issue and with pandemic they are in lots of trouble with revenue. #tc0303
  • They are extending the line double track and going around the station. Also would need to take care of the bridge
  • If you're in for a penny, you're in for more than a pound. #tc0303 we offered to but it from them, and they turned us down. Zoning changes recently increased parking requirements downtown and there is no space available. "This like beating a dead horse"
  • #tc0303 lighting is brutal, and the bike racks are always full, can't they add some?
  • Best opportunity may be the transit oriented development the Legislation that was recently passed called for.
  • Let's think of the downtown and consider changing the zoning when the guidance Jamie mentions comes out. #tc0303 
  • Budget meeting 3/17 at 6 PM, EDC just met tonight. Some things coming to council for consideration. Draft of business guide reviewed. Coming soon
  • Moving to legislation for action, second reading https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/mai/files/10a._als_bls_web.pdf #tc0303 for ambulance service fee adjustments for this year.  Motion and second, vote via roll call (BLS basic life support, ALS advanced life support.) 9-0
  • #tc0303 next up Quarterly PEG funds, the flow through of cable fees to Franklin TV per MGL, as an approved transaction  https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/mai/files/10b._peg_-_web.pdf motion, second, passes via roll call 9-0 (Bissanti not going to yell at cable tonight)
  • #tc0303 St Patrick's day serving dinner to seniors via the curbside cafe. Make reservations! Phase IV part 1 the library will be opening March 22, incredible innovation, popular curbside pickup; COVID school staff eligible as of Mar 11, schedule via portal
  • No local clinic anytime soon, legislative delegates advocated but we're not getting supply. #tc0303 insufficient doses available in March to meet requirements. Per Gov Baker's press release. Happy to answer questions.
  • Moving on. #tc0303 consensus on addressing downtown zoning now
  • Kudos to the sports teams, great work! Great to hear of the town's work on a national podcast. Buses moved from former Kegan space to use King St until the Panther Way property is ready, helping the schools
  • Yesterday was Franklin's birthday, and it wasn't noticed. 3/2 is the birthday. 243 years young. 
  • Agendas and packets for CPC will be online #tc0303 excited that the library will be open. Don't let the guard down, we are almost there.
  • Thanks to the community for doing what it takes, numbers are down, keep it that way. #tc0303 motion to adjourn, second, passes 9-0 
  • That is all for tonight, thanks for following, catch you next time!

train station discussed
train station discussed

Friday, January 22, 2021

FM #441 Jen Delmore - Conservation Agent - 01/13/21 (audio)

FM #441 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 441 in the series.

This session of the radio show shares my conversation with Conservation Agent Jen Delmore. We had our conversation via conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

Links to the key topics covered here are included in the show notes. The recording runs about 36 minutes, so let’s listen to my conversation with Jen Delmore.

Audio file =  https://player.captivate.fm/episode/fe003ca7-7e2a-456f-baf2-b9facd1bba62


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Conservation Forms  https://www.franklinma.gov/conservation/pages/filing-instructions-forms-and-fees

DelCarte Reports and Plan  https://www.franklinma.gov/conservation/pages/delcarte-conservation-area

Conservation Home owners 101  https://www.franklinma.gov/conservation/pages/homeowners-101

Conservation Regulations and bylaws  https://www.franklinma.gov/conservation/pages/regulations-and-bylaws  

-------------

We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm).

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/ 

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!

------------------

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

DelCarte, on a January morning 2020
DelCarte, on a January morning 2020

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Town Council Meeting Recap - Oct 7, 2020

Quick Recap:
  • CPA promoted during Citizens Comments
  • Two more sets of lot line clean ups approved by Council; sewer extension approved for single family residence
  • Citizen comment via landline phone added later as broadcast of number did not allow time to dial and address a comment. Question was effectively following up on a study of the DPW workforce and why there were so much turnover (and recently acknowledged 5 openings being filled). Study is being worked not received yet.
  • Presentation and discussion on Planning and Community Development Dept, which includes work by Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Design Review, Technical Review and Conservation Commission (see agenda doc for link to presentation)
  • Meeting broadcast was interrupted with loss of sound just as they moved into the Legislation for action section. Apparently, the laptop in the Chamber lost connection and no audio was broadcast either live stream or Zoom (it controlled the Zoom session). Did return approximately 20 minutes later with some disconnected audio, then it seemed to synch properly to close out the meeting
  • Light for intersection of Grove and Washington coming (yah!), plans for rework all along Grove St talked of, timeline TBD.
  • Study of South Meeting House received and to be posted to web site
  • Drought status is worsening
Photos captured during the meeting and shared via Twitter cen be found in the album https://photos.app.goo.gl/4c91qnWNXfmPKigi8
 
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As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting in real-time via the virtual session.
 
The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #tc1007
 
  • Getting ready for the next meeting; Town Council up at 7 PM, agenda and connection info in doc here https://franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/agendas/10-07-2020_town_council_meeting_agenda.pdf… #tc1007
  • Multiple options to watch/listen to meeting; Comcast channel 11 or Verizon channel 29, also live streamed from town of Franklin page  https://franklinma.gov/home/pages/live-meetings-stream… as well as the Zoom info in doc linked earlier #tc1007  oh, and you can call in via phone as well!
  • #tc1007 Meeting opens
  • Citizen comments used by two Franklin folks to talk about the Community Preservation Act on the November ballot as ballot question #3. Webinar coming Oct 15 at 7 PM send email to cpa4franklin@gmail.com or visit http://cpaforfranklin.org for info #tc1007
  • Opening 2 hearings for lot line changes more in the series of clean up. #tc1007 parcels were in multiple zones and being moved to a single zone. No material impact to current owners (had my own lot line cleaned up previously)
  • Clarification questions on reading the map and which way the zone changes would go. One question was for a lot not part of this set of changes #tc1007 only changes the lots split, if lots weren't split not part of the change. Q on mixing changes, attorney approves this use case
  • #tc1007 single family house with failing septic, had been here previously (Sep) looking for a private extension for the one house; hearings closed
  • Reopening citizen comments for one who dialed via phone but couldn't do so fast enough to get into that section of the meeting. Comment on the study of the DPW mentioned previously: 5 open positions. Will the study be available?  #tc1007
  • Bryan Taberner of Planning and Community development here to do  presentation on their work #tc1007
  • Support conservation and planning issues, #tc1007 Planning Board elected positions
  • Lots of variety in applications submitted #tc1007
  • Q to clarify some of the categories
  • Q on who does the inspection of these plans and approvals, contracted with Beta to do so. #tc1007 Beta's report comes back thru channels for decision. Q on bond holding process re: enforcement for subdivision yes, site plan no
  • Attny Cerel comments on the covenant process for the subdivisions, various methods of surety (cash, etc) #tc1007 pros, cons and things change overtime with the market place
  • There are a few problem areas that remain unresolved. #tc1007 Jen Delmore, conservation agent takes this part of the presentation
  • #tc1007 clarification on types of work covered and required for ConCom
  • ConCom has an open position, looking for a volunteer. Design review commission support provided by dept. Covers all sign requirements. #tc1007 makes recommendations to Planning Board
  • #tc1007 Q when dealing with a franchise (Wendy's, etc) how do they handle them? Are their hands tied? Attny Cerel to weigh in on this in absence of others who may be out due to power outages around this evening
  • Comprehensive planning, zoning bylaws, master plan review should be started in 2023 for approval in 2025 or so. Hazardous plan in review with MA before going to FEMA, will ultimately require Town Council endorsement #tc1007
  • #tc1007 (just photos)
  • SNETT trail tunnel almost complete, 'complete streets' project coming #tc1007  use of TIFs is great, three used so far Hamilton, Cold chain, and Tegra Medical... https://franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/mai/files/a._planning_and_conservation_presentation_web.pdf
  • Detail doc on master plan updates https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/mai/files/masterplan_update_materials.pdf
  • #tc1007
  • Oops, just lost audio from meeting on both live stream and Zoom session #tc1007  (08:15 PM)
  • Meeting continues so they are not aware of our no sound status #tc1007
  • FYI the chamber lost connection and are working on it. #tc1007 (08:25 PM)
  • 5 minutes recess called #tc1007
  • They're back albeit with gaps in the audio more than a normal voice pause, phrases being missed. Oh well. We'll do what we can #tc1007  (08:33 PM)
  • Picking up with the authorization for fixing the intersection at Grove/Washington Sts (yah!) #tc1007 revenue from the cannabis companies coming would help to pay for this work, check the details in memo https://franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/mai/files/resolution_20-59_borrowing_authorization_-_washington_and_grove_streets_0.pdf
  • Did apply for MassWorks grant for repaving of Grove St up to Kenwood Circle, need to get this and other pieces together to do the work in 2021. #tc1007
  • Still in drought and additional measures coming to help conserve water supply. #tc1007 museum may open before election. Should get an update each meeting.
  • We are in a drought, it could get really serious, forecast doesn't show help coming soon. #tc1007
  • Could we talk with Nationalgrid again, power outages are becoming frequent? #tc1007
  • Comments DPW study is being worked coming shortly, been worked. Flag policy reached tonight for 9/11 .
  • Museum holiday Ornaments for sale this weekend, drive by purchase at museum. Fund raiser for museum #tc1007 3 families affected by the fire on Peck/Winter st a stubborn blaze to fight
  • Compliments for fire department and response from local community
  • FEF fund raising via many smaller events as the basketball game can't be played #tc1007 SAFE Coalition busy as addiction is increasing during covid-19
  • Executive session to be entered and not return to open session #tc1007 motion passed 8-0, redo vote via roll call. Still 8-0

 

Town Administrator Jamie Hellen with an update during the Town Council meeting
Town Administrator Jamie Hellen with an update during the Town Council meeting

Monday, August 24, 2020

Conservation Commission - Public Hearing - Aug 27

Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 131, s.40 (The Wetlands Act) Franklin Conservation Commission will hold a Remote Public Hearing on Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 7:01 PM on a Notice of Intent filed by Joseph Halligan of Franklin, MA for the construction of a residential condo building and retail building with associated parking lot, storm water structures, and grading within the 100 ft. buffer zone to vegetated wetlands and impacting bylaw jurisdictional ditch and isolated wetlands.

The project is located at 340 East Central Street, Map 285 Lot 09.

The hearing will provide an open forum for the discussion. This meeting will be done remotely via the “ZOOM” platform. Residents can visit the Town Website (Franklinma.gov) and click on the Town Calendar for up to date information on how to access the meeting.

To access the records and files for this project, please email jdelmore@franklinma.gov

Any person or organization so wishing will be afforded an opportunity to be heard. The hearing location is accessible to persons with physical disabilities. If you require a translator or accommodations for a hearing impairment, contact the Conservation Department at the Municipal Building or by calling (508) 520-4929 or emailing 
jdelmore@franklinma.gov

Bill Batchelor 
Chairman



Conservation Commission - Public Hearing - Aug 27
Conservation Commission - Public Hearing - Aug 27


Friday, July 3, 2020

Franklin Annual Report 2019: Conservation Commission

From the Annual Report 2019:

Franklin Conservation Commission is responsible for promoting and protecting the Town of Franklin’s natural resources, and protecting the Town’s wetlands resources.

The Commission is comprised of seven volunteer residents appointed for three year terms by the Town Administrator. Current Commission members have diverse professional experience related to environmental science, biology, engineering, and project management. Because of their different backgrounds, each commissioner is able to offer a different perspective during the review of applications for a wetland permit that ultimately benefits Franklin.

The Department of Planning and Community Development provides administrative and technical support to the Commission.

Franklin has continuously been well represented at the annual conference of the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions each March, with Commissioners attending classes and workshops and talking with other Commissioners from across the state as well as lawyers, ecologists and engineers active in conservation.

Permitting of Work Within or Adjacent to Wetlands Resources

The majority of the Commission’s attention is directed to administering Massachusetts and Franklin wetland protection laws and regulations. Those laws and regulations require Conservation Commission permits to work in or within 100 feet of a wetland, in the 100 year flood hazard zone, or within 200 feet of a perennial stream.

During the first quarter of FY19 the Commission voted to amend Franklin Conservation Commission Regulations to allow the Conservation Agent to authorize projects that require a speedy approval due to possible threat to safety, or projects that are barely within the Conservation Commission’s jurisdiction. This new process has resulted in applicants quickly receiving permission to perform projects such as hazardous tree removal, construction of porches, decks, and patios, or gaining access through jurisdictional areas to non-jurisdiction activities without being required to attend a Conservation Commission meeting. The new regulations have resulted in a streamlined permitting process, allowing small projects to quickly move forward. During FY19 the Conservation Agent reviewed and administratively approved 16 minor buffer zone applications.

During FY19 the Conservation Commission received 50 permit applications to work within areas under their permitting jurisdiction. In addition the Commission issued Certificates of Compliance for previously permitted projects, and granted permit extensions to allow projects to finish.

Some of the more interesting project applications before the Commission during FY19 include Amego Incorporated’s Lite House Commons on Washington Street, the Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT) tunnel under Prospect Street, and two large scale solar farms.

DelCarte Conservation Area

The Commission continues to work on the DelCarte Area (aka the Franklin Reservoirs) off of Pleasant Street. There are a series of seven “structures” (six dams that had been originally used for cranberry farming and a stone wall that beavers had dammed) along Miller brook thru the 100+ acre DelCarte Area.

The Commission retained the services of ESS, Inc. to undertake an ecological study to ascertain the flora and fauna viability in the pond and develop a long term management plan. This study, completed in 2015-2016 has given the Town a comprehensive understanding of exactly “what is there” and includes a management plan to help keep the area viable as a true recreational jewel. The first two phases of the plan’s recommendations, the treatment of invasive plant species was undertaken in the spring/summer of 2017 and 2018. The Town appropriated Capital Improvement funds to help implement the next phases of this study in 2018-2019. The pond’s invasive species will again be treated throughout the summer of 2019. In addition the funds are being used to implement the ADA recommendations under the master plan developed for DelCarte. This plan, developed for the Town by Mass Audubon was presented to the Commission in the fall of 2017.

The Commission began to undertake improvements to the DelCarte Recreation Area in the late summer/early fall of 2018 to bring access to the trails and the water bodies up to ADA standards and improve the overall aesthetics of the area. This portion of the improvements was completed in the spring/summer 2019.

A concrete pad was constructed for the picnic pavilion that will be installed in the upcoming fiscal year as one of the improvements outlined in the Delcarte Property Land Management Plan.

The Commission collects application fees for all permits that come before them. These fees paid for, among other things, the studies on the DelCarte recreation area and thus allowed the Commission to truly understand the issues facing the town in maintaining this area for quality recreation.

The Commission has also initiated a comprehensive study of the beaver population and associated issues within the pond area to come up with best practices to prevent irreparable damage to the pond ecosystem and surrounding private properties. The results have been received and after being evaluated by the Commission it was decided that any action on the beaver population was cost prohibitive.

In late April, the Commission conducted its fourth annual clean-up day at the DelCarte Recreation area. The event was attended by many citizen volunteers who lent valuable assistance and manpower in helping to maintain this valuable Town resource.

Other Conservation Areas and Trails

The Commission would like to draw the attention of the Town’s residents to the many natural areas in Town, and the opportunities for passive recreation they enable:
  • The DelCarte Area, with parking off of Pleasant Street, has improved walking trails through woodlands along a series of ponds. Two canoe launches and an above-water boardwalk that completely connect the trail system have been installed;
  • The Town Forest has access off of Summer Street and trails thru woodlands and across Uncas Brook.
  • Indian Rock has good access off of both King Phillip Road and Lost Horse Trail with walking trails through woodlands near two large vernal pools and to the top of historic Indian Rock; trails in this area were improved as part of an eagle scout project;
  • The Metacomet Land Trust owns several pieces of protected land, notably the walking trails off of Bridle Path and The Lady Bug Trail near JFK school; 
  • The Franklin State Forest is accessible off of Grove Street and boasts an extensive network of walking and ORV trails;
  • The Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT) starts at Grove Street in Franklin, and goes all the way to Douglas State Forest. The Trail section from Prospect Street into Bellingham was recently reconstructed by the Mass Department of Conservation and Recreation; plans to construct a tunnel under Prospect Street have been approved.
  • Charles River Meadowlands. The expansive marsh near Interstate 495 exit #17 is the US Army Corps of Engineers Natural Valley Flood Storage Project, preserved to protect against downstream flooding in the Charles River basin. That marsh is along Mine Brook, the largest stream in town, draining about half of Franklin, starting at the extreme south end of Franklin, passing underneath Washington Street, Beaver Street, Interstate 495, Grove Street, West Central Street, I-495 again, Beech Street, and Pond Street before finally meeting the Charles River on the Medway border.
  • Significant streams in Franklin include Shepards Brook, Miller Brook, Uncas Brook and Bubbling Brook. Lake Populatic is part of the Charles River, the other navigable ponds in Franklin are Spring (Green’s) Pond, Beaver Pond, and Uncas Pond, the last two of which are listed as Great Ponds by Massachusetts DEP.

The Commission would also like Franklin’s residents to be aware of the potential tax savings of M.G. L. Chapter 61 (forest land), 61A (agricultural land) and 61B (recreational land). Such programs are designed to benefit the land owner via reducing the tax burden as well as to preserving and maintaining the quality and quantity of environmentally sensitive and natural areas within the commonwealth.

In recent years the Conservation Website has been reworked to be more user-friendly and now provides more information about filing types and procedures. The Commission has developed a series of standard operating procedures and educational snippets, which are posted on the Commission’s website, to help the citizenry understand some of the rationale behind the Commission’s operations and procedures.

Conservation Commission membership and staff underwent substantial change during FY19 with Commissioners Tara Henrichon and Angela Gelineau leaving, and Alan Wallach and Brandon Rosenberg being appointed to the Commission. In addition, Conservation Agent George Russell retired, and Jennifer Delmore came on board as the new Agent. Please visit our website for additional information: www.franklinma.gov/conservation.

Currently Franklin Conservation Commission consists of the following members: William Batchelor, Jeffrey Milne, Staci Dooney, Paul Harrington, Jeffrey Livingstone, Braden Rosenberg, and Alan Walloch.

Respectfully submitted, 
William Batchelor, Chair


Download your copy of the Annual Report
https://www.franklinma.gov/town-clerk/files/town-franklin-annual-report-2019

Franklin Annual Report 2019: Conservation Commission
Franklin Annual Report 2019: Conservation Commission

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Pantherbook: "Toxic Turf at Beaver Pond?"

Via Pantherbook:
"Have you ever played on the field at Beaver Pond in Franklin, MA? Many kids have. Little do they know, discarded turf from the field has been decomposing in the pond’s wetlands for over two years."
Continue reading the Pantherbook article online
https://franklinpanthers.us/top-stories/2019/12/11/toxic-turf-at-beaver-pond/

The Pantherbook posting was prescient as the Boston Globe published this:
"Amid growing concerns about toxic chemicals in the water supply, state regulators Friday announced significant new limits on the human-made compounds in drinking water and approved new requirements ordering polluters to clean up contaminated soil and ground water. 
The long-awaited rules come as environmental officials acknowledge that the per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals, known as PFAS, have been found in a growing number of communities across the state. 
The chemicals, which have been linked to cancer, low infant birth weights, and a range of diseases, have been found so far in 28 of 37 municipal water systems that have provided test results to the state Department of Environmental Protection, officials said this week. Of those, 12 found that the amounts exceed the proposed standards for drinking water."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/12/13/massachusetts-issues-new-standards-for-forever-chemicals-water-supply/dz25i9Sk92QfiDl5TeSJFL/story.html

And as an update to the previously shared listing on the "turf issue":

What we know:


What we don’t know:


  • What happened to the Conservation Commission mitigation measures from when the field was first installed (in 2004?)?
  • Where was the old carpet and bags of unused infill taken?
  • What will the Federal agencies do with PFAS and the recent revelations (if anything)?


bags of the acrylic coated infill ready for install at FHS in August 2017
new turf carpet being installed at Beaver St field in 2017
new turf carpet being installed at Beaver St field in August 2017

Saturday, June 15, 2019

“No one wants it but the town doesn’t seem to care about that"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Plans for a new cell tower are causing a stir in Franklin. 
Homeowners near the proposed site of the 116-foot tower, on Edwards Street, say the project will hurt property values and pose a safety risk. They’re also accusing a town official of unethical behavior. 
“It’s going to be an eyesore. My house value is going to go down,” said Christine Maguire. “And even the thought of it possibly being a health hazard is bothersome to me.” 
Vertex Tower Assets, LLC, needed special permission from the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals to build in Maguire’s neighborhood, which is not zoned for the 116-foot tower. At a public hearing in early May, and over the protests of a few residents, according to meeting minutes, the board granted that approval."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
https://www.milforddailynews.com/entertainment/20190614/cell-tower-angers-franklin-neighborhood

Where is the cell tower to be located?




With the Police Station so close, why couldn't the Town get the additional revenue?


Thursday, May 23, 2019

Conservation Commission - Agenda - May 23, 2019

Two public hearings are scheduled to open at the Conservation Commission meeting Thursday, May 23, 2019.

Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 131, s.40 (The Wetlands Act) a Public Hearing will be held on Thursday, May 23, 2019, at 7:05 PM in the Training Room, 3rd Floor, of the Franklin Municipal Building, 355 East Central Street, Franklin, MA on a Notice of Intent filed by Grillo Builders of Franklin, MA to construct a single family residence with garage and driveway in the buffer zone of bordering vegetated wetlands.

This project is located on Map 340 Lot 14 at 907 Washington Street.

https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/franklinma/files/agendas/907_washington_street_-_public_hearing_notice.pdf


Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 131, s.40 (The Wetlands Act) a Public Hearing will be held on Thursday, May 23, 2019, at 7:00 PM in the Training Room, 3rd Floor, of the Franklin Municipal Building, 355 East Central Street, Franklin, MA to Amend the Order of Conditions filed by Kari Ann Darragh-Daley and Thomas Daley of Franklin, MA for a proposed addition.

This project is located at 6 Alexandria Drive.

https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/franklinma/files/agendas/6_alexandria_-_public_hearing_notice.pdf


The full agenda for the Conservation Commission can be found online
https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/franklinma/files/agendas/may_23_2019.pdf

DelCarte in the fall of 2018
DelCarte in the fall of 2018