Monday, January 5, 2009

In the News: repair shops, 2010 budget, space heaters

Car shops and parts places are among the few businesses experiencing growth in the recession, as consumers try to save money by keeping their cars longer, said Jon Hurst, president of the Massachusetts Retailers Association.

"I will vouch for that!" said Adam Dauley, assistant manager at AutoZone on Rte. 140 in Franklin.

"We've had a good 50 percent increase in sales in the last few months. Sales have been unbelievable," he said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

"If it doesn't go up, never mind being cut, we're in trouble," Nutting said.

Franklin gets 37.5 percent of its revenue from state aid; this year, that is $33 million of the town's general fund, he said.

"We're vulnerable to fluctuations in state aid. Other communities are too, but not nearly (as much)," Nutting said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

"They can be very innocuous, but as we saw Dec. 12, it can be fatal," said Franklin Fire Chief Gary McCarraher.

On Dec. 12, Franklin resident Bruce Barck, 62, was killed in a fire ignited in his kitchen by a space heater placed too close to "tons of combustible materials," McCarraher said.

Keeping combustible materials away from space heaters is "vastly important," he said.

The number one recommendation from McCarraher and fire officials in Milford and Bellingham: read, follow and keep the manufacturer's instructions. "Like everything, you've got to read the instructions and use (space heaters) judiciously," said McCarraher.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Town Council - Agenda 1/7/09

January 7, 2009 7:00 PM

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – November 19, 2008, December 3, 2008, December 10, 2008,
and December 17, 2008 Regular & Executive Session





. Cottage Street Pub & Grill, Inc. – Pledge of License
. Franklin Lodge #2136 BPOE., Inc. – Change of Manager
. Applebee’s Northeast, Inc. – Change of Manager



1. Resolution 09-01: Acceptance of Grant of Easement and Water Booster Pump Station





O. EXECUTIVE SESSION – Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required


As posted on the Town website

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Long term planning

Two area communities that saw voters turn down requests for tax increases last year are crafting long-term plans that, officials hope, will clearly lay out their town's financial future.

Franklin and Ashland have both created committees with the task of developing three-year budget forecasts, and assessing ways to reduce expenses and increase revenues.

Read the full article in the Boston Globe West section here

The meeting notes and live reports for the Financial Planning Committee can be found in the 2008 Meeting Summary along the right column of Franklin Matters

"The solar-powered spotlight will save the town"

Posted Jan 02, 2009 @ 11:24 PM


Driving past the King Street ball field one afternoon, Army Airborne veteran and DPW Director Brutus Cantoreggi noticed something awry - a flagpole missing its American flag.

Not only was the flag missing, but so were the lights that should be illuminating it at night, he said.

"When you display an American flag, it's supposed to be lit at all times" though the town couldn't afford to pay for a lighting system at the field, Cantoreggi said.

"As a veteran, I do like to see all American flags illuminated," Cantoreggi said.

So he secured a U.S. flag and a $6,000 grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative for a solar-powered light, which the Department of Public Works installed last week, he said.

Franklin was one of the first 20 communities in the state to apply for and receive such a grant, he added.

"We get the best of both worlds. We get to light the flag, which is the right thing to do, and it doesn't cost anything," Cantoreggi said.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

"It's not as difficult as I thought it would be"

FRANKLIN - Joyce Walsh, 77, never took an interest in art, though her daughter, Roseanne Walsh, is an art teacher at Remington Middle School.

She said she was just too busy to ever experiment with it.

"I took a lot of comfort in the fact (Roseanne) was so creative," said Walsh.

But this fall, when high school students offered a special course in watercolor painting at the Senior Center, Walsh decided to give it a go, she said.

"This is my first attempt at any kind of painting. I wanted to see if maybe I did have some talent that didn't emerge after 77 years, maybe I could still make it grow," she said, chuckling.

Read the full article in the Franklin Gazette here

In the news: libraries are busy, regionalization to save costs

Libraries have also become hubs for public internet access, as they provide Web service and the computers needed to use it.

And the most attractive part about libraries in a rotten economy: They're cheap, if not outright free.

Celeste Bruno, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, said about 2 million more books and other materials were borrowed from libraries in the 2007-2008 fiscal year than in the previous year. About 54 million items were borrowed that year, she said, plus about 2.2 million people participated in library programs during that time.

"This is a big surge," said Bruno.

Circulation rates are up in local towns in the past few months: Milford is up 30 percent, Franklin by 21 percent, Medway by 16 percent and Millis by 18 percent, she said. But as the demand rises, already thin library budgets could get strained even more with the likelihood of more than $2 billion in state budget cuts.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

The two towns are talking about sharing some services, such as merging transfer stations each community operates in the area. Sudbury capped its dump years ago, and Wayland recently began that process for its own landfill.

But if the two towns worked together, O'Brien said there's a possibility of other projects, such as erecting a solar power panel farm on that wide-open space.

It could generate electricity for municipal buildings in both communities, plus the towns could tap the landfills for methane gas as another energy source, he said. Such a project could save on energy costs and set a standard for the future.

"There is a tremendous savings opportunity for the community. But if we do it right, it's a potential model site for the rest of the commonwealth," said O'Brien.

As cities and towns face ever-tightening local budgets, municipal officials are looking across town lines at the potential of sharing services and splitting the costs with neighboring communities.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Franklin Housing Authority

Amongst the information provided in the 2008 Annual Report is that the Franklin Housing Authority manages 161 units of State Aided Elderly/Disabled Housing, 33 units of low income Family Housing and an 8 unit Group Home. Additionally, the Housing Authority is responsble for an four bedroom congregate facility. This program provides a shared living environment for its residents who maintain private bedrooms. Congragate housing was established for residents who are self-reliant, however may need limited support.

The Franklin Housing Authority owns two single family homes. These properties are reserved for lease to low-income families and affords these families the opporotunity to reside in a residential neigborhood.

The Housing Authority was awarded $1.2 million for the development of an additional Chapter 689 housing facility. Chapter 689 housing is reserved for mentally challenged adults and will be overseen by the Department of Mental Retardation. A suitable site for this development has been secured on Plain Street. Construction was expected to begin in late 2008 according to the Annual Report.

The Franklin Housing Authority can be found on the Town website here or by navigating from the Boards & Commissions link on the Home page.

If you have not picked up your hard copy of the report at Town Hall, you can try to view it online here:

Coverage of the Franklin Housing Authority begins on Page 93.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Franklin Recreation registrations

Register for children’s programs in Franklin
By GateHouse Media, Inc.

The Franklin Recreation Department is taking registrations for Sports For
Tots, SQUISH, Jumping Gymnastics, Tumbling Two’s, and Get that Body Movin’ with
Ms. Susie.

Sports For Tots Program, Carpe Diem turf field at Aubuchon Hardware,
Cottage Street, for ages 3 ½-5 years, Tuesdays, Jan. 6 to Feb. 10, 1 to 2 p.m.;

SQUISH, a sensory exploration class for toddlers, for children ages 30
months to 4 years old, Fridays, Jan. 9 to Feb. 6, 9 to 10 a.m.; $55.

Jumping Gymnastics, for children ages 30 months to 4 years old, Wednesdays,
Jan. 7 to Feb. 4, 10 to 10:45 a.m.; $55.

Tumbling Two’s, for children mobile to 2 ½ years old, Wednesdays, Jan. 7 to
Feb. 4, 9 to 9:45 a.m.; $55.

Get That Body Movin’ with Ms. Susie, for 18 months to 4 years old, Mondays,
Jan. 5 to Feb. 2, 9 to 9:45 a.m.; $55.

Register in the recreation department, 150 Emmons St., or online at and click on the link that says "Online
Registration." Call the office at 508-520-4909 for information.


Franklin Recreation offers winter programs

By GateHouse Media, Inc.

The Franklin Recreation Department is still taking registrations for winter programs, some of which include Bon A Petite, Boston Top Secret Science for preschoolers and Ms. Amy’s Art classes.

Bon A Petite — Call all budding chefs! This drop off cooking class, especially designed for 3 1/2- to 5-year-olds, is an opportunity to create delicious snacks and recipes. Participants will stir, measure, bake and cook a different project every class. Taught by two certified teachers, a book and craft will compliment each food activity. The class will be held Mondays, Jan. 5 to Feb. 2, from 1 to 2 p.m. The cost is $75.

Boston Top Secret Science (Preschoolers) — The students enrolled in this course will be exposed to a variety of scientific topics through exciting experiments and beautiful children’s literature. Children will examine the effects of water on polymers, sun’s heat and light by making our own kaleidoscopes. Dive into a new topic each week with these thrilling experiments that will be sure to mold the minds of these young learners into future scientists.

Make and take home projects and experience three to five different hands-on science experiments each week. All materials are included in course fee. The class will be held Thursdays, Jan. 8 to 29, from 10 to 10:45 a.m. The cost is $50.

Ms. Amy’s Art classes — Ms. Amy brings her art classes to Franklin Recreation. It’s time to get messy! Come and explore the many different ways to paint. Your child will get a painter’s education on how to use a paintbrush, create color, and make their paintings come to life with shape and texture. Bring a smock or wear paint clothes. The class will be held Wednesdays, Jan. 28 to March 11, (there will be no class Feb. 18) and Thursdays, Jan. 29 to March 12, (there will be no class Feb. 20) from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. The cost is $55.

Drawing From Life — If your child has an interest in drawing then come and join us for some fun. Each week we will look at a real object and learn how to draw it. Your child will learn about how shapes create drawings and will use shading and color to bring their drawings to life. This class will be held Tuesdays, Jan. 27 to March 10, from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. There will be no class held on Feb. 17. The class is for children 7 to 12 years old. The cost is $55.

Register in the recreation department, 150 Emmons St., or online at and click on the link that says "Online Registration." Call the office at 508-520-4909 for information.

Franklin Historical Commission

Amongst the information provided in the 2008 Annual Report is one and a half pages on the Historical Commission. Did you know

A web page on the Town's newly redesigned web site describes the purpose and functions of the Historical Commission. You can find that page here or navigate from the Boards & Commissions link on the Town home page.

The most exciting business the Historical Commision has underway is the move of the museum to the renovated Senior Center/old Town Hall. Moving the museum downtown will make it more accessible to all. The larger space will enable display of key artifacts such as
  • 1912 pump organ
  • 1890 Trowbridge piano
  • Red Brick School scrapbooks
  • a hand crank Victrola
  • Horace Mann documentation
  • items from the Civil War, World War I and World War II
Students at Tri-County Vocational built some display cabinets for the museum artifacts.

Work remains to continue the renovation of the 150+ year old building to bring it into compliance with current museum standards for appropriate heat, light and humidity exposure.

Once opened sometime later in 2009, the museum should continue to operate with free admission and due to the generous volunteer support offer extended visiting hours.

If you have not picked up your hard copy of the report at Town Hall, you can try to view it online here:

Coverage of the Franklin Historical Commission begin on page 91.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"We've got a tough road ahead of us"

Aid to towns and cities could be on the chopping block in a second round of midyear state budget cuts that local officials were grimly expecting, but have little capacity to absorb.

Gov. Deval Patrick announced yesterday he will ask the Legislature for expanded authority to cut the state budget because tax collections may drop another $1 billion below projections.

This comes just two months after declining tax revenues triggered $1.4 billion in cuts that included state layoffs, but steered clear of the local aid that fuels municipal departments and schools.

Patrick said yesterday, however, local aid is now on the table.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

Meeting notes archive for 2008



The collection of meeting notes for calendar year 2008 (scroll down to find 2009)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"being respectful and kind to others"

The MetroWest Daily News
Posted Dec 29, 2008 @ 11:04 PM

It's all about relationships. And rising to a challenge.

As a community resource officer in Franklin, Patrolman Dan MacLean's job includes talking to senior citizens about identity theft, and helping students stay on the straight and narrow.

"The most rewarding aspects of my job are the relationships that I have developed within these groups."

MacLean has another role in the community. The former assistant coach for the Franklin High School football and wrestling teams became head football coach at Tri-County three years ago.

"I believe being a police officer and coach is an advantage on a number of fronts. While acting in the capacity of a coach, I have the ability to challenge the students on and off the fields, both in athletics and academically. This also allows me to develop relationships and a degree of trust with the student population."

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

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"They're losing a lot on their investments"

Posted Dec 29, 2008 @ 10:57 PM

Winter weather is causing a soggy new headache for towns and cities working to keep foreclosed homes from becoming safety hazards: water pipes that freeze and burst in empty houses.

In Franklin, burst pipes damaged two foreclosed condominiums in the Forge Hill area, Building Commissioner David Roche said.

"This house had about six inches of water in the basement," Roche said. "Unless you get that stuff out of there - the wet sheet rock, the wet rugs and everything - mold will start growing."

Municipal officials say when these problems spring up, they usually happen in homes partway through the foreclosure process, or taken over by far-away or financially troubled mortgage companies.

The residents have left, and power and heat are shut off. But the water is still on, and pipes and water heaters have not been drained. They freeze when temperatures drop, sometimes bursting the pipes as the ice expands, and the water flows out freely when they thaw.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Mercury Thermometer Exchange

Did you know that you could use the Mercury Thermometer Exchange at Town Hall?

The program takes place daily in the Board of Health office. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Wednesday 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Friday 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

Your glass mercury fever thermometer will be exchanged for a new digital thermometer.

Mercury is a metallic element commonly found in glass fever thermometers. Mercury is a neurotoxin in low doses and is released into the environment can potentially cause harm to the environment and to human health.

You can confirm this on the Town Board of Health web page here

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