Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - 8/18/10

The Town Council is scheduled to meet this evening at 7:00 PM.

The agenda is not yet available on the Franklin, MA website.

Under the new Open Meeting rules, it is likely posted on a window at the Municipal Bldg.

Updated: 8/18/10 the agenda was added to the website sometime today, hurrah!

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – July 21, 2010

B. ANNOUNCEMENTS -Meetings of the Town Council are Recorded



Public Land Use Committee - Timothy O'Toole





1. Resolution 10-46: Appropriation – Repaving a Portion of Washington Street
2. Resolution 10-47: Appropriation – Spring Street Culvert





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


Want to help with the Long Range Financial Planning?

The Long Range Financial Planning Committee is considering expansion of the Committee by two members. The Committee meets approximately 8-10 times per year and is tasked with looking at the 3-5 year financial picture of the Town. 

Anyone interested in being considered for the Committee may email a letter of interest to the Town Administrator at or fax a copy to 508-520-4903. 

Letters of interest will be  accepted until August 30th. 

This was posted to the Franklin website here:

The committee is currently composed of three Town Council, and two each from the School Committee, Finance Committee and general public. By adding two more citizens, this should help broaden the representation for the citizens.

Current members

Town Council: Scott Mason, Shannon Zollo, Steve Whalen
School Committee: Susan Rohrbach, Roberta Trahan
Finance Committee: Jim Roche (Vice-Chair), Rebecca Cameron
Citizens: Doug Hardesty (Chair), Deb Bartlett

Franklin, MA

"a natural stormwater-filtration system"

He said the town is indirectly contributing $98,000 to the project - which comes from in-house labor from the engineering and highway departments.
He said town laborers can't devote all their time to the projects, so they'll take longer to complete.
"The whole idea of the grant was not to spend town money," he said. "That's the whole idea: to use as much in-house resources as possible."

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here:

Franklin adding to detention pond

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

Franklin, MA

Dean College: President's Cup Golf Tournament

The 14th annual Dean College President’s Cup Golf Tournament is scheduled for Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at the New England Country Club, Bellingham, MA.

Check-in, registration and breakfast begins at 8 a.m. The tournament begins with a shotgun start and scramble format at 9 a.m., and concludes with a luncheon and awards at 2 p.m.

For more information or to register, please contact the Dean College Office of alumni relations at 1-888-711-3326, or go online to

Franklin, MA

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

FYI - Boston Subway users

In order to collect data on the behavior of airborne contaminants, the study involves releasing non-toxic, inert, odorless gas and particle tracers into the subway system. Particle and gas concentrations will be sampled in more than 20 stations and in subway cars across the MBTA subway system.  The deliberate release of chemical or biological agents is of primary concern, but the study also helps researchers understand airflow for smoke or unintentional spills of chemicals or fuels.  This research can be used by the MBTA in developing evacuation, ventilation, and other incident response plans. 

Read more here

Franklin, MA

Franklin, MA: Underground Utilities - survey

The facts:
  1. The Downtown Revitalization Project is funded by state and federal grants. It is not funded by local taxpayer money.  The grant funds are restricted to use in the Downtown District.
  2. Electric wiring near the bridge and that related to street lights along Main St will be going underground regardless as part of the streetscape work in the Downtown District.
  3. The additional stretch of utility wiring that is being considered for putting the utility wires underground is outside the Downtown District according to the grant funding. This area is from the bridge along East Central to approximately Simons Furniture store. This stretch is proposed to be paid for by surcharge fees from the utility companies and paid by their customers (ultimately those of us in Franklin).
  4. The ESTIMATED fees for the average residential customer would be a total surcharge of approximately $65-75. Because multiple companies are involved (electric, and two cable), the specific details on the timing of the surcharge remain to be worked out. The companies would spread the surcharge amount out over time to minimize the effect on an individual utility bill. We would see the minor increase in both the electric and cable bills. The surcharges are finite and will end after being paid in full.  
  5. Putting the utilities underground now is drastically cheaper than normal due to the proposed road construction.  If the utilities aren’t put underground now, it likely will not be considered until the next major road repair of the area (ideally decades from now).

The area already covered by the grant money is shown on the map in the light green. The area in question is shown in pink.

Additional information on the project can be found here:

The Downtown Improvement Project review meeting held on May 12 was broadcast and recorded for review here:

The poll question can be found in the center column on the top of the Franklin Matters web page. The question asks "Would you pay approx. $70 to put the utilities underground?" and takes a Yes or No answer.

Feel free to leave a comment here or send me an email.  The Town Council email addresses can be found on the Franklin web page here:

My thanks to Tina Powderly for help in crafting this posting.

Updated 8/29/10
The survey results were Yes - 22, No - 44.

"should be done to benefit the aesthetics of downtown"

... the recession creates obstacles, Nutting said.
"In the present, we're in a different situation. We have to look at it differently," he said. "We want to make sure we do our due diligence and give citizens and business owners the opportunity to come in and ask questions and have their voices be heard before we make any kind of decision."
But the decision has to be made relatively soon, as downtown construction to widen sidewalks, raise crosswalks, reroute traffic and other improvements are planned to begin next year.
"We have a bylaw in town that says when we re-pave a road, we can't reopen it for five years," Mason said. "We either do it during reconstruction or forget about it."

Franklin council to discuss placing utility lines underground

Franklin, MA

In the News - accident, Chronicle, Chilson Beach

DA identifies woman who died on I-495

WCVB's 'Chronicle' coming to Franklin on Wednesday

Franklin, MA

Monday, August 16, 2010

Franklin, MA: Trash/Recycle Survey Results

As promised, the full set of results from the recent Trash and Recycle survey are contained within the links here. I have provided three reports to access the data.
  1. The full and complete set containing the Ref#, the Overall answer (Yes or No), and the comments for both questions. Note: if the comment field is blank, there was nothing submitted. Both comment sections were optional. The Yes/No question was mandatory.
  2. The set of answers for the question: "What DO you like about the process?"
  3. The set of answers for the question: "What DON'T you like about the process?"

You can access these files directly here:
  1. The full and complete set
  2. The DO answers
  3. The DON'T answers

You can also read them on the web via Scribd here:

And finally to make it easy to read, the document with the full results is here:

FM Trash/Recycle Survey Results Full 100816

In case you missed it, the quick summary was posted here:

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to view the document on Franklin Matters.

Franklin, MA: high school field advertising

One source of additional revenue for school athletics that has been approved is advertising in the high school field house. The program was successfully piloted and expanded to include similar banners for the outside athletic field. These banners are posted along the fence on the "home" side of the stands.

Go Franklin!

Franklin, MA

In the News - Latin options

Franklin schools look to modern Latin method

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

Franklin, MA

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Native Plants of Franklin

Greetings Franklin! Were any of you able to identify last week's mystery plant?

This is a closeup of goldenrod, which is in bloom now in fields everywhere. There are many kinds of goldenrod, or Solidago L., and they are difficult to tell apart, but all of them are native to North America.

Goldenrod has a reputation for causing allergies. However, this is unfair and incorrect. The real culprit for sneezing right now is ragweed, which is also in bloom. Goldenrod has heavy pollen grans that fall quickly to the ground. The plant relies on insects to carry the pollen from one flower to another. Ragweed, on the other hand, has lightweight pollen which is small enough to float around on the wind.

Goldenrod is perennial that grows in dramatic clusters. It attracts many insects. If you aren't a fan of insects in your yard, consider them to be bird food. All birds, especially baby birds, require insects in their diet.

And here is next week's puzzler, being visited by a hummingbird:

Hint: it's another common flower that is in bloom and feeding hummingbirds right now. Post your answers in the comments section, and have fun!

Franklin, MA

Trash/Recycle Survey - results

The survey results are in. The question was:
Overall - is the curbside trash/recycle process better than before?
69 answered Yes, 17 answered No.

Thank you all for participating. 86 total responses!

The complete set of results and comments will be posted Monday.

Franklin, MA

In the News - tiramisu, St Rocco's

Woman's tiramisu cookie named tops in Franklin contest

from The Milford Daily News News RSS 

Family fun at Feast of St. Rocco

Franklin, MA

No Gatorade shower for winners!

One of the traditions for winning football teams is to douse the coach with the handy bucket of Gatorade.

Don't look for this to happen in Franklin, at least not on the artificial surface at the FHS' Pisini Field. The sign posted below reads:

The operative words:
This facility is for the use of town residents. to protect this field the following are prohibited: 
  • sports drinks, soda, alcohol, coffee, or any other beverage other than water.

Oh, and while the pressbox advertises the field name as Pisini Field, why does this sign only say "Franklin High School Oak Street Field"?

Franklin, MA