Showing posts with label fire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fire. Show all posts

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Capital Budget Subcommittee takes time reviewing details, ultimately approves what's requested (audio)

FM #933 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 933 in the series. 

This session of the radio show is the audio recording of the Franklin, MA Capital Budget Subcommittee meeting conducted on Wednesday, February 1, 2023.


All four members of the subcommittee were present: Chair Debbie Pellegri, Vice Chair Bob Dellorco, Ted Cormier-leger, Brian Chandler.  Town Administrator Jamie Hellen, Comptroller Chris Sandinni, Treasurer/Collector Kerri Bertone, and Finance Committee Chair George Conley were also present in the 3rd Floor Training Room.


This was the second meeting on the first round of capital budgeting. The first meeting was not recorded or reported on. This second meeting was well attended by members of the Fire Dept, Police Dept, and DPW whose budget items were up for discussion.

Beginning on Page 4, item #12, each line item in the meeting agenda was reviewed, some questions and discussions were more detailed and involved than others. After some clarifications on each item, they were each approved in turn by 4-0 voice votes to recommend to the Town Council. 

It was acknowledged at the beginning of the session that there was a philosophical question (raised last meeting) and continuing this meeting on some items currently on the “capital” budget that at least a couple of members of the subcommittee believe should be in the operational budget. Jamie indicated a couple of times during this session that for the regular budget discussions coming later this year, those items would be included in the operational budget to clearly show the impact.

The recording runs an hour and xx minutes, so let’s listen in. Audio file ->


Agenda document -> 

My notes via Twitter -> 


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Capital Budget Subcommittee takes time reviewing details, ultimately approves what's requested (audio)
Capital Budget Subcommittee takes time reviewing details, ultimately approves what's requested (audio)

Sunday, January 8, 2023

You can help your neighbors and the Fire Dept by Adopting a hydrant!

With the Town's Adopt-A-Hydrant program, you can select a hydrant near you to clear following a snow storm! By adopting a hydrant you can...
◼️ Assist the Fire Department in the event of an emergency by alleviating time spent searching for a clearing hydrants buried in snow.
◼️ Support your neighbors by letting DPW know if a hydrant is located near a neighbor who is unable to clear a hydrant on their property and we will label them as "high priority" on our adopt a hydrant webpage.
◼️ Earn community service hours for your community service group or as an individual.
Check out this link to learn more about our Adopt-A-Hydrant program!
Shared from Town of Franklin Instagram ->

You can help your neighbors and the Fire Dept by Adopting a hydrant!
You can help your neighbors and the Fire Dept by Adopting a hydrant! 

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Faith & Blue: car seat installations - Oct 8, 10 AM to 1 PM

Franklin Police (@franklinpolice) tweeted on Fri, Oct 07, 2022:

"Our Community Service Unit will be at the Church of Latter Day Saints for car seat installations and a first responder touch a truck tomorrow morning. 
This event is free to all but organizers are asking for donations of diapers of all sizes"

Faith & Blue: car seat installations - Oct 8, 10 AM to 1 PM
Faith & Blue: car seat installations - Oct 8, 10 AM to 1 PM

Monday, June 13, 2022

Franklin Police & Fire team up to win @HerosCupHockey benefiting Random Smile!

"Members of the @franklinpolice  and @FranklinMAfire  teamed up to participate in the @HerosCupHockey  tournament this weekend. They won the championship which also includes a donation to the @RandomSmileProj"

Shared from Twitter-> 

Franklin Police & Fire team up to win Heros Hockey Cup benefiting Random Smile!
Franklin Police & Fire team up to win @HerosCupHockey benefiting Random Smile!

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Finance Committee - Budget Hearing #2 - Public Safety & Public Works (video)

The Finance Committee meeting was broadcast, live steamed, and available via either of the cable channels (Comcast & Verizon), as well as broadcast to YouTube. The YouTube recording is now available for replay.  

YouTube link ->

My recap will be ready in a day or so. In the meantime, my Twitter notes can be found (in one PDF doc) ->

Monday, May 9, 2022

Finance Committee: Budget Hearing #2 - Public Safety & Public Works - May 11, 2022 - 6:30 PM

Finance Committee - Budget Hearing #2
May 11, 2022 - 6:30 PM 
Municipal Building – Council Chambers

1. Call to Order

2. Public Comments

3. Approval of Minutes

4. FY23 Town Administrator Operating Budget Hearing Continued...
FY23 Town Administrator Budget Materials website

a. Public Safety:
i. 210 Police Department
ii. 220 Fire Department
iii. 225 Regional Dispatch
iv. 240 Inspection Department
v. 292 Animal Control
b. Department of Public Works (DPW):
i. 422 Public Works
ii. 424 Street Lighting
iii. Enterprise Funds:
1. 450 Water
2. 440 Sewer
3. 434 Solid Waste

5. Future Agenda Items

6. Adjourn

Agenda doc with remote connection info ->

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Boston Globe: "Man charged with murdering ex-wife, setting her home on fire in Franklin"

Initial report:
"The Franklin Police Department, the State Police homicide detectives assigned to the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office, and investigators from the Office of the State Fire Marshal are currently investigating the fire in Franklin this morning and the single fatality associated with the incident.
The matter is currently being investigated as a homicide. Substantial additional information is expected to be released later this morning. Continue to follow the department’s social media pages for additional updates. There is no threat to the public at this time.
Twitter: @franklinpolice"
Boston Globe summary article: 
"In a horrific case of domestic violence, a woman was allegedly murdered in her home Friday by her ex-husband, who then set fire to the house where the victim was living with her mother and the former couple’s two teenage children, according to authorities and court records.

Brendon J. Owen, 47, is charged with murdering Shirley Branco Owen, his wife of 11 years before she filed for divorce in 2014, citing years of verbal and physical abuse, police and prosecutors said.

He was ordered held without bail at his arraignment Friday afternoon in Wrentham District Court.

“The facts of this matter are incredibly egregious,” Norfolk Assistant District Attorney Anne Yas said during the brief hearing."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

District attorney press release after hearing at Wrentham District Court.

Firefighters from several towns along with police and SWAT members converged at Grace Lane in Franklin Friday morning after a fire.MARK STOCKWELL FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE
Firefighters from several towns along with police and SWAT members converged at Grace Lane in Franklin Friday morning after a fire.MARK STOCKWELL FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

Friday, June 25, 2021

Recap: Town Council meeting - deserved recognitions made; 2 restaurant alcohol licenses approved; open meeting law complaint received and addressed

Quick Recap:
  • Two sets of recognitions: one for officer Mellor leaving to go to law school; second, for the multiple police and fire personnel from Franklin and Norfolk who responded to the Winter St fire
  • Two restaurant all alcohol licenses issued, one for Sierra Brick Over Pizza, the other for Proof to operate the second floor as a separate restaurant in the same building as Glen Pharma
  • Open meeting complaint received and acknowledged for not approving meeting minutes in the timely manner as required by law; changes being made to adjust process
  • Two transactions to help close out the FY 2021 finances, both about 200K in total and considering these are the adjustments on a over $100+ budget during a pandemic year, the Town did (and does) well managing their budget
  • Veterans Officer Dale Kurtz to retire, replacement to be hired
  • parking bylaw change referred to Planning Board for their review and decision before it comes back to the Council for 2 readings before final vote


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


Photos captured during the meeting and shared via Twitter can be found in one album

The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #schcom0608 


Agenda folder ->


Agenda doc (including connection info) ->



  • Getting ready for the Town Council meeting at 7 PM. The agenda doc can be found. #tc0623
  • Dial in info for the session can be found in the image #tc0623
  • Frongillo participating remotely, Dellorco not present in the ViceChair spot. Steve Gilmore talking of the Be The Match for Gigi, link and info shared earlier #tc0623
  • Match entries on Saturday will be entered into a drawing for tickets to a Patriots game when #12 visits this season #tc0623 Citizen commenting on the condition of the Brick School. Unipay payments fee will be waived beginning in July (hurrah!) For bank transfer
  • Paperless payments coming to more payments, fee waivers at 35 cents vs. postage at 55 cents #tc0623 per Kerri Bertone the Treasurer/Collector
  • Officer Mellor leaving Police Dept to go to law school. #tc0623
  • Plaque presented #tc0623
  • Chair Mercer lists the fire and police personnel from Franklin and elsewhere who were involved in the Winter St fire #tc0623 2 min recess to allow for in person recognitions
Annual Appointments
  • Clerk Jones reads the listing of annual appointments to boards and committees #tc0623
  • Motion to approve appointments, second, passes (Kelly also not present during break) (although both are expected some time for the meeting) #tc0623 vote via roll call 7-0-2
License approvals
  • Next up, open meeting complaint about Town Council meetings not approved timely. #tc0623 well handled with response by Town Administrator Jamie Hellen
  • "This is petty, of all the things we do, and this is the worse thing to happen?" #tc0623 "I hope Mr Higgins isn't reading my thought bubbles" "A rule is a rule, a law is a law, and we must comply." Attny Cereal recommends an authorized response (vote by council) vote ->
  • Motion and second, via roll call 7-0-2 (2 absent) EDC met last Weds, two discussions, HPP and home based business;
Legislation for action
Town Administrator's Report
  • TA report, will look at the red brick school house, was scheduled for historical tour for CPC #tc0623 job posting to replace Anne Marie Tracey was made, interviews hopefully in July. Looking to fill before Sep. Chrissy will be leaving and part of transition; Alysia ->
  • Will replace Chrissy, backfilling for Chrissy, job posted In council comments, cool story on the 2nd performance of Bright Stars during the storm Sat night. #tc0623 Chair Mercer recognizes that the police and fire personnel come out in good numbers in recognition of some ->
  • That the public may not always be aware of or see,
Executive Session
  • Motion to move to executive session (to return) via roll call 7-0-2 #tc0623
  • They're supposed to come back to open session but that's all for me tonight, catch you next time! #tc0623

Note: I did not wait for their return. Per conversation with Chair Mercer the morning after, one of the two items for the session were in fact brought to a vote, the other was held due to the 2 absent councilors (Dellorco, Kelly)


Audio recording of meeting to be available in couple of days


The Winter St heroes, Franklin police and fire along with some Norfolk personnel
The Winter St heroes, Franklin police and fire along with some Norfolk personnel

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Clothing Drive for Franklin Crossing

"Please help and share this information any question message me (Theresa Auciello Shea) or Megan Langevin or Andy Bissanti-or email the Lions, But its pretty simple we need your clothing your not using or anything made of material or cloth, even in the most poor condition, we will earn dollars so we can donate to the Families that have suffered a big loss from the fire at Franklin Crossing."

Clothing Drive for Franklin Crossing
Clothing Drive for Franklin Crossing

Friday, May 28, 2021

Recap: Town Council takes 4+ hours to review FY 2022 budget on Wednesday

Quick Recap:
  • Yup, over 4 hours for the Town Council to review, Q&A the budget; multiple questions, mostly answered, a couple carried over to Thursday's session
  • Carried over a possible move of $3,000 from Historical Commission to Historical Museum; update from School Dept on unfunded mandates, update on total school age population and where schooling (inside or out of Franklin)
  • Under the standard format, not sure the community gets the full picture of a department budget matter, they only get the phrasing of a particular councilor. To really understand a departmental budget, folks need to view the Finance Committee meetings; (it would also be good for more councilors to do so).
  • Why wouldn't the Town proceed with a pilot effort to provide a full time nurse (RN) for the community? It uses the same process (grant and collaboration with neighboring communities) that other departments (Fire and Police for example) have (and did explain also during this meeting). Yet some councilors 'don't get it'
  • Fire Dept hopeful for positive news on a SAFER grant that they submitted for which would enable the  addition of 4 more firefighter/paramedics. They would be funded by the grant for 3 years and then Town would need to pay
  • MECC received a grant to enable Mendon and Millville to join regional dispatch. The grant fund Franklin's portion for several years. Town is planning to put money aside to save for the day when the grant expires and the funding is required
  • Multiple questions around the school budget, how it continues to increase and yet the enrollment is decreasing. Chap 70 funding will provide some relief in transportation and special education circuit break costs. The Town faces a gradual increase in its own support of the schools. We (Town of Franklin) have historically underfunded the schools and are being forced by the State to eventually pay our fair share. The closing of Davis Thayer, and potentially other buildings to restructure will not provide the budget relief required to fix this structural deficit. Consider two numbers: the State calculates our per pupil expense at $14K per student; the average tax bill for a Franklin homeowner is $6-7,000. So if the homeowner/family has only one student, the Schools are already not recovering the cost for what educational benefit is provided to the family.
  • DPW losing 2 positions (previously unfilled to help manage expenses during the pandemic); have other open positions they are attempting to fulfill within the budget
  • Stormwater division created to help clearly identify all the costs associated with stormwater management. What is being done is less than that required by EPA MS4 permit. Stormwater utility fee had been on the discussion listing for this year but is is gone (for now). The Town needs to better manage the funding source for stormwater and the utility fee is a more more reasonable approach than using the current tax base. Too many don't pay their 'fair share'.
  • Back again Thursday night for the remainder of the discussion and eventual vote on the budget for FY 2022


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  #tc0526


Photos captured during the meeting and shared via Twitter can be found in one album

The agenda doc for this meeting can be found 


  • Getting ready for the Town Council meeting, and 1st of two budget hearings for FY 2022. What is in the budget? What didn't make it? What questions will be asked tonight? Listen in to find out. Connection info and live stream available ->  tc0526
  • Based upon prior sessions, the Council clerk will read the budget line items, line by line. Councilors with a question in that area can place a 'hold' and when done reading through, they'll come back and get to each line, question by question #tc0526.
  • The voting doc copy you can follow along with is in the agenda doc  #tc0526
  • Meeting opens #tc0526
  • Memorial Day service at noon on Monday, no parade however. Honor guard will visit Dean College, St Mary's cemetery, etc. that day before the service on the town Common #tc0526  2 minute recess as public hearing is posted for 7:10 PM
  • Meeting resumes after recess  #tc0526
  • Budget Subcommittee chair Kelly leads with comments thanking all the staff for their work during the pandemic. Pleased to present the budget for discussion. TA Jamie Hellen opens with his remarks also thanking the staff for the work done without skipping a beat #tc0526
  • "Putting high quality affordable services forward" very fortunate, visit the Franklin page to visit the budget page with plenty of details. #tc0526 FinCom voted unanimously approved after 4 nights of deep dives into the details. "Towns look to emulate us"
  • Council holds placed on 192, 210, 220, 300, and 422. That is Facilities, police, fire, schools and DPW. The five largest items in the budget. #tc0526
  • Holds also placed on the following: 155, technology; 164, elections; #tc0526 225, regional dispatch; 390, tri-county; 395, Norfolk Aggie; 510, Board of Health; 690, historical museum; 691, historical commission;
  • Cyber security new hire is for security split between town and schools, to oversee security, best practices, testing, etc. #tc0526 explanation on split of technology between schools and town, schools have a greater percent of usage.
  • Elections #tc0526 actually just a decrease in budget from FY 2020, thanks
  • Facilities - does the budget include reductions for the Davis Thayer facility closing? Yes. Still need some maintenance portion to keep it safe and kept up.
  • $60k for DT building maintenance on town side; teachers etc and other expenses, are on the School side.
  • #tc0526 the UVGI units came from CARES act funding (federal funds) not operational town funds. Equipment came in for school campus, library and Senior Center ->
  • So those facilities will be operational in a couple of weeks. #tc0526 UV tubes will last a year, about $90 per (not thousands, just dollars) FHS was cheapest install due to the equipment already there. Presentation coming for MSBA on UVGI ->
  • The budget last year includes bonding for facility projects at Remington/Jefferson and eventually we'll need to get to the other schools. #tc0526 Franklin is first with the UVGI, couldn't really have done it pre-COVID. None of the part-time staff have health insurance
  • Now to Police, #tc0526 Q synopsis of Certification? Self initiated process audit, on all operations, training, etc. 159 standards to be met, evaluated and documented. 15 depts certified, 257 standards for accreditation. Q personal status, going from 52 to 53 ->
  • Combination of personnel moves, replacing backfill, etc .allowed for the additional officer, including a reduction in ammunition used in fire arm training. A savings in unscheduled OT also helped with the new person. #tc0526 will need more $ next year to get 4 more
  • Shortage of ammo is real, multiple factors playing but it should start easy up over time. #tc0526 things are going well with the changes to the force. Change can be fearful, haven't really had a baseline due to COVID yet but hopefully. Succession planning is underway ->
  • Likely 6-8 over next several years, planning is underway. Collective bargaining agreements define what can be done. A lot will happen this fall and then dominoes will fall next year and later. #tc0526 trying to do accreditation within the year. Then good for 3 years
  • Q on safety equipment line, also includes onboarding and hence the adjustments. Next year will likely increase due to changes but not this year. #tc0526 Jail diversion program is doing well, in year 3 of 10 year grant, looking to see how to expand with Advocates. Police exam ->
  • Every three years, or with lateral transfers #tc0526 it is not hard for folks from elsewhere to want to be here. Would more officers help with response time? Yes. Town is growing, there is more if everything. Police have 2 drones, one used at the fire this week
  • Next up Fire Dept. #tc0526 Q what is personnel status for this FY year, 56 firefighters and at full staff this time. Ambulance transport billing, we take the avg of top 50 to ensure our rates are competitive. Safer grant pending for more firefighters, very competitive
  • Firefighters were evacuated just before the floor collapsed, shows the efficiency of the battalion chiefs. #tc0526 "you are a gift to the Community" folks don't realize how close we were to losing some folks the other day. We need another station out to serve the north ->
  • We have 2 ambulances online, wouldn't make sense to bring a 3rd on now, using the reserve unit would help without relying on mutual aid. #tc0526 I think we are in a really good place right now, high training, good equipment, it has been a group effort and a team sport
  • If we get the grant, it would cover salary/benefits for 3 years. After that would be in our budget. #tc0526 Pellegri not seen morale as high as it is now in her time. Your commitment to training has shown effects so far, thanks. ISO update, class 2 last year, with ->
  • With so many changes in 12 months, we may ask them to come back. Left a spot on the side of the engine for the cert label when we get it #tc0526
  • Mendon and Millville joined regional dispatch MECC, got a grant to cover their participation. #tc0526 amount budgeted for setting aside money to enable the future payment after the grant expires. (Brief sound interruption on one system may have been on my side issue) ->
  • Switched to live stream from Zoom session to get audio #tc0526 Taking a 5 minutes break
  • Meeting resumes, thunder still rolling around outside #tc0526
  • Q on Board of Health increase? Working to bring in a public nurse along with a community grant. There is not a separate line item for enforcement, used CARES act funding for some of that. Qs on need for RN part-time. #tc0526 we are doing a regional effort ->
  • LPN is part-time at Senior Center. Other towns have full time nurses, we don't. #tc0526  Q on historical museum vs commission and switching funds, to be researched and decided on Thursday session
  • Next up Schools, Dr Ahern #tc0526 we're about 4800 this year, decreasing over next 10 years, slightly lower than forecasted, other districts lost more students due to the pandemic. Hot real estate is due to inventory, expecting a decrease and possible baby bust ->
  • Elementary school population stabile, middle school seeing more of the decrease, also making it to the high school. Eventually FHS would operate at capacity or less ( has been over since opened) #tc0526  Attempted at a # for unfunded mandates, does have a partial ->
  • Budget continues to rise, is related to special Ed costs? No, we are doing well there. The enrollment is well distributed so we don't see that economy of scale where it could help us. Rate increase is special Ed is out of our control, circuit breaker funding may help ->
  • We are obligated to service all the students in town. #tc0526 if we lose students to other schools, do we know why? Programs cut in prior years could be not competitive vs other schools. There are 300 folks I have sought out and you don't seem to be getting to them ->
  • 75% of districts spend more than Franklin does. How do we solve that? It is dollars. More teachers,  more programs, high school could use more teachers to improve offerings we can be creative but that doesn't solve the issue. #tc0526 approx 54% if the town budget
  • To keep and retain the people we have here will cost more money. All the reforms won't change the expense side of the budget. Digital learning integrationists DLI support teachers and students and skills on digital literacy. #tc0526
  • How do we tell, explain an increase in the budget when we are closing schools and loosing teachers. Health care and transportation are increasing. We are managing expenses elsewhere. Education is being more complicated, expanded nurses, all hands on deck, escalating ->
  • Mental health concerns, we are happy to do it, our responsibility and each has expanded. #tc0526 Multiple questions around school budget, clear lack of understanding by TC. It is complex but when per pupil expense is $14k and the average property tax is $6 or 7k ->
  • There is an issue with school funding. #tc0526 Plug for Tri-county by Kelly, less students going to Norfolk Aggie, should be trying to get more there Both also have changes in leadership for the schools
  • Creation of Stormwater division shows the cost of doing business. Moved funds and personnel from other depts to accommodate. #tc0526 did remove 2 people from budget as well as the curb weed spraying. New treatment plant now online, provides capacity to pump full amount ->
  • Permitted, and operates very efficiently. The 2 positions were open and not rehired during the past year. #tc0526 clarification on the cut positions are still in the budget.  There is a level of difference between what we are obligated to do and what we are doing
  • We have been doing stormwater since 2007, some of the numbers are shifting from wherever to stormwater to better reflect the total expense. #tc0526 street lights down due to change to LEDs.  $40m in backlog of roadwork that needs to be done. Covers existing roads
  • Chapter 90 has not seen increases to keep up. Ability to compost to save? It is expensive and we don't have a space for it, it is part of a plan going forward. #tc0526 water and sewer use going up, collections have increased. Retained earnings explained. Used to ->
  • Pay cash for some expenses within the water and sewer expenses. When we talk stormwater, that has nothing to do with water or sewer. Look at the stormwater division, street sweeping, catch basin cleaning, etc. #tc0526 we run a lean ship, loosing 2 people is a big deal
  • We will continue this hearing Thursday. #tc0526 council comments underway. Live stream cut out as the TV automation cut in at 11. The Council should (could) have not gone so long. Zoom session still working
  • Motion to adjourn, passes 9-0 That's all for tonight, catch you next time #tc0526 
Dr Sara Ahern answering a question
Dr Sara Ahern answering a question

DPW Director Cantoreggi answers a question
DPW Director Cantoreggi answers a question