"Every winter, de-icing salts — sodium chloride, calcium chloride and magnesium chloride — battle icy roads nationwide. The effort is epic in scope: Hundreds of millions of gallons of salty substances are sprayed on roads and billions of pounds of rock salt are spread on their surfaces each year. That may lead to safer roads, but it has a real effect on the planet. In a review in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, a group of environmental scientists looked at the hazards of salts that make driving safer.De-icing salts end up in bodies of fresh water, contaminating lakes and streams and building up in wetlands. The Environmental Protection Agency’s thresholds are not high enough to protect life in freshwater, the scientists write, and “there is also an urgent need to understand how freshwater organisms respond to novel chemical cocktails generated from road salt salinization.”Then there’s drinking water."
Providing accurate and timely information about what matters in Franklin, MA since 2007. * Working in collaboration with Franklin TV and Radio (wfpr.fm) since October 2019 *
Tuesday, January 4, 2022
In our triadic water world, which will we choose
Saturday, December 11, 2021
"Residents are just going to have to be more patient this year"
Friday, December 3, 2021
Recap: Town Council sets tax rate at 14.05; hears of snow removal plans and issues
- Council Chair Tom Mercer announced the subcommittee appointments also including a vice-chair for each committee to help with scheduling. An ad-hoc subcommittee to look at the Rules and Procedures was also announced. The calendar of Council meetings for the upcoming year was formally approved
- The Council heard the presentation from Kevin Doyle and Chris Feeley then voted to approve the single tax rate at 14.05 for FY 2022
- DPW Director Cantoreggi provided the annual update on the snow removal plans. Coordination with School Superintendent and Police Chief Lynch is an early morning discussion to decide school opening status. Snow plow contractors are still in short supply and the cost of salt has increased over last year
- Town Administrator Jamie Hellen provided an update on NationalGrids work on their infrastructure to help mitigate the potential of and recovery from power outages.
As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter while I attended the meeting in the Council Chambers.
The Twitter hashtag #TC1201 can be found online The thread begins with
Photos from the event can be found in one album:
- getting ready for live reporting on the Town Council meeting coming up at 7 PM - agenda and connection info -> https://franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/agendas/town_council_agenda_dec_1_2021.pdf… #tc1201
- Chair Mercer opens meeting, reads the standard message on access, etc. #tc1201
- Council subcommittees announced, details to be added later: vice-chairs added to the subcomms to enable better subcommittee operations #tc1201 Rules and Procedures subcomm added; Pellegri to serve as member of GATRA board (replacing Dellorco)
- no citizen comments either in person or remote; #tc1201 next up, 3 mins early for public hearing - to fill in skipping to cable fund transfers https://franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/uploads/10g._peg_3rd_qrtr.pdf… motion to approve, second, passes 9-0
- next resolution -> https://franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/uploads/10h._memo_and_resolution_gifts.pdf… on gift acceptances #tc1201 motion to approve, seconded, passes 9-0 Municipal Veterans Assistance fund, folks have been generous, thanks to all contributing
- next up - public hearing on tax classification -> documentation for the hearing, rate to drop to $14.05/thousand (dropping from 14.65 due to overall real estate valuations rising) https://franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/uploads/6._tax_classification.pdf… Kevin Doyle, Assessor; Chris Feeley, Chair of Board of Assessors
- in the documentation, both the memo, overview, as well as a slide set can be used to follow along https://franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/uploads/6._tax_classification.pdf… #tc1201
- note the median value of the single family home ($470800) is exactly that, in the listing of values, this is the middle number, not the average. #tc1201
- change in local valuation of some utility infrastructure used to be net book value, now at a higher valuation process - also being used across the state for the first time; a use value #tc1201
- a shift of a $1 from the residential rate would raise the commercial industrial personal property results in an increase of $4 #tc1201
- citizen question on appraisal vs. possible sale amount, trying to figure out how this work? #tc1201 Board would have someone visit to evaluate the individual household and property.
- the Board of assessors form for an property tax evaluation https://mass.gov/files/documents/2017/09/25/form128.pdf… #tc1201
- Chandler speaks for the single tax rate given the 80/20 split we have currently - Dellorco, thanks for explaining the single tax rate, it is a question I get all the time - Jones, always believed in the single rate, less discriminatory than split #tc1201
- Jones - continues on Prop 2.5 set in 1980, inflation rate since then is closer to 3%, we have not been able to keep up with expenses. #tc1201 Frongillo would have made the point on 2.5; adds that the downtown business pay the most for the resources received
- Pellegri adds that while we (residents) could see the decrease on the taxes but see the increase reflected in other costs as the services provided by the businesses would increase to cover for their increase #tc1201
- https://franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/uploads/10a._21-74_resolution_-_tax_classification_residential_factor.pdf… #tc1201 motion to approve, seconded, passes 9-0
- franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/uploads/10b._21-75_resolution_-_tax_classification_open_space_exemption.pdf… #tc1201 motion to approve, seconded, passes 9-0
- https://franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/uploads/10c._21-76_resolution_-_tax_classification_small_business_exemption_.pdf… motion to approve, seconded, passes 9-0
- https://franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/uploads/10d._21-77_resolution_-_tax_classification_residential_property_exemption_.pdf… motion, seconded, citizen comment on reconsideration of this measure - passes 9-0
- franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/uploads/10e._21-78_resolution_-_tax_classification_senior_means_tested_exemption_.pdf… motion to approve, seconded, passes 9-0 #tc1201
- Next up, last legislation item, calendar of meetings for Town Council https://franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/uploads/10f._21-79_memo_w_backup_resolution_-_2022_tc_schedule_office_hours_fin_com_cpc_sched.pdf… #tc1201 motion to approve, seconded, passes 9-0
- next up the annual snow removal presentation https://franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/uploads/8a._presentation_-_snow_brutus.pdf… #tc1201 special night doing taxes and snow on same night Director "Brutus" Cantoreggi providing insights on the presentation doc (in link)
- goal to have road with some asphalt and less than inch of ice snow in four hours after the storm finishes #tc1201 58.5" inches last year, about $1M using 5200 tons of salt (est $100K more for salt alone this year)
- about 35 pieces of equipment on road for storm, approx. $1600/hour plus contractors at about $10K per hour of storm; contractor shortage with multiple reasons driving it #tc1201
- check out slide in the presentation on effects of all the issues outlined #tc1201
- for schools, easier to delay opening, hardest to send home early (parents/guardians aren't ready) #tc1201
- be aware of the winter storm parking ban called as needed (once upon a time, used to be all winter)
- fire hydrant clearing program https://franklinma.gov/water-sewer-division/pages/adopt-hydrant… #tc1201 volunteer to clear a hydrant in your neighborhood
- check out the top 10 complaints received during snow storms #tc1201 will use GIS records to determine where fences and irrigation systems are located, if on Town property, not allowed no compensation
- Question on doing all roads before all sidewalks? it would be another expense, more personnel and equipment would be required; consider that during the road clearing, where does the snow go? to the sidewalks, then you'd have to clear them 2 or 3 times #tc1201
- remote work actually has increased local traffic, not decreased it; DOT and other looking at the models to adjust accordingly; also did buy salt to finish out the funding last year and leave us this year with full stock to start #tc1201
- parts and breakage an issue; DPW has trucks on order from last capital that haven't arrived yet likely won't be available for this year #tc1201 CDL is a Federal license not State; hence marijuana testing is a key factor, ok local, but not Federal
- Chandler likes the change from all winter parking ban to the storm based one; also glad to hear that it is working well; Police coordination helps; usually an issue with first storm but not ones after; #tc1201
- TA Hellen, thanks to the DPW and staff or all the good work they do; thanks to the residents for your patience #tc1201
- TA Report - pole position request recently handled to help NationalGrid for the infrastructure to help detect power outages, one key piece in final phase of their committed improvements; there are have been improvements recently, hopefully noticed #tc1201
- no future agenda items around; councilor comments - Cormier-Leger, could be saving with municipal aggregation check your bill, thanks to youth hockey and DPW for the common decorations; #tc1201 plug for the FANN directory - https://franklinareanonprofitnetwork.org/p/area-non-profits.html
- Q on Red Brick School, evaluation to est/plan removal of lead paint as well as basic restorations, should be coming to CPC sometime for prioritization, may not fit some folks timelines but it is what it is #tc1201
- ability to get a contractor onsite is an issue; no matter how it is funded remains to be a problem with getting this kind of special contract services #tc1201
- Pellegri thanks to the Concerts on the Common for their work on Santa; ornaments available at Historical Museum; invite to seniors for GATRA feedback, at the Senior Center council hours 3rd Thursday at 8:30 AM #tc1201
- Open Mic night - "Love Franklin" at THE BLACK BOX on 12/08/21 link shared earlier https://franklinmatters.org/2021/12/franklin-freedom-team-announces-events.html… sign up to read
- #thinkFranklinFirst gift cards still around (never left) https://franklingiftcard.com #tc1201
- Hamblen to represent Franklin at MMA training; winter farmer market this Saturday; #tc1201 condolences to the Michigan families of the high school shooting;
- motion to enter executive session on property purchase and not to reconvene in open session passes 9-0 via roll
Audio recording of meeting to be available in couple of days
|snow removal plans and issues|
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
In the News: salt supply, traffic arrest
In Franklin, DPW Director Brutus Cantoreggi said the town is better-positioned than many of its neighbors, but he said the town’s salt supplies are still below his comfort level.
Cantoreggi said the town has two salt sheds and has been able to lend some salt to both Milford and Norfolk, but is now left with about 1,000 tons. He said the town uses about 400 to 500 tons of salt during each plowable storm.
Read the full article here: http://www.milforddailynews.com/article/20140218/NEWS/140216330/?tag=2#sthash.Ia9cbGZa.dpuf
An expired inspection sticker led police to arrest two Franklin residents, one of whom was found with more than 60 prescription pills, after a motor vehicle stop Friday on South Main Street, police said.
Read the full article here: http://www.milforddailynews.com/article/20140218/NEWS/140216343/1994/NEWS#sthash.pQ7bMOQY.dpuf
Monday, January 28, 2013
Salt on the roads
Franklin needs to walk a fine line between using salt to treat icy and snowy roads. Too much salt will harm our water. The presentation to the Town Council last Wednesday had a slide with the increase in salt from 17.4 ppm (2000) to 59.7 ppm (2012). The amount of salt in the water tripled in 12 years.
Do we have salt on the roads?
|Main St, Franklin, Fri Jan 25, 2013|
DPW presentation on winter road treatments
Water Sewer section of the Annual Report for 2012
Sunday, January 18, 2009
"you just have to do it"
Municipalities often budget low for snow and ice cleanup because, unlike with most other accounts, they can spend in the red and make up the difference later in the year.
But even in Franklin, where the Town Council had hiked its snow budget from $551,000 to $694,000, Public Works Director Brutus Cantoreggi said Thursday he was near the limit.
"I've spent about $550,000 so far," he said. "But one of my salt sheds is empty, and it costs $150,000 to fill, so I'm gone."
Plummeting fuel prices have been a boon, some public works directors said, but road salt is still proving to be a budget-buster. In Franklin, the price jumped from $54 a ton to $75 this season. That means it costs about $30,000 each time Cantoreggi sends a fleet of trucks to put down a layer of sand and salt across town.
"Labor costs are about the same. It's just the salt," he said. "It's been a very busy winter."
Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
In the News - salt prices, students organize, late bus may return
"It was worse than I expected," said Brutus Cantoreggi, Franklin's director of public works. "That's a lot, especially with everything else going up. Fuel is killing me."
Franklin is part of a 24-town consortium that locks in contract prices for road salt. Other area communities in the consortium include Medfield, Medway, Millis, Walpole, Sharon, Wrentham and Norwood. The low bid this year was from Eastern Mineral at $70.20 a ton. Eastern Mineral's bid last year was $52.68.
read the full article in the Milford Daily News here
"Carrying big bulky binders was not the answer I was looking for, and with the demands for tracking student portfolios along with the pressure from impending cuts that would increase class ratios and teaching burdens, I was intent on finding the right tools for this challenge," Bergen said. "Kids who are disorganized are disorganized as adults."
Meanwhile Productive Education LLC of Framingham was reaching out to superintendents across Massachusetts to tell them about its new Organize360 system using Document Organizing Assistant binders, or DocOA, pronounced "Doc Away." It is a three-ring binder-organizing tool for handling school papers.
Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here
Following Superintendent Wayne Ogden's announcement that the district this year does not have the money to fund the late bus, parents, administrators and Holmes Bus Service "stepped up to the plate" and found a way to continue offering the service, Roy said.
"We had a bus company (Holmes) willing to negotiate a better deal for the district, which brought the total down to a reasonable $10,000," Roy reported.
Parent Communication Councils from Franklin High School, Annie Sullivan, Remington and Horace Mann middle schools all committed to donating up to $3,300 to completely cover the cost of the late bus, Roy said.
However, the councils will be able to keep their money, he said.
"The Town Council chairman (Christopher Feeley) is very receptive to the notion of the town picking up the cost of the late bus ... There is clearly an overwhelming need for it," said Roy, adding that Feeley and Vice Chairwoman Deborah Bartlett will bring the topic to the council.
Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here