Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Use it with caution!

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I think this is a good example of a local business, doing good work, sharing what they do via email and other social media tools to create awareness and potential customers.

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Hey Steve 

If you know me well enough to remember my first name (hint: look at the end of this email) you will know that I am not afraid of working hard. But I must say that December was a little hectic - ok a lot hectic!  Between Ana's surgery (she is recovering well - thanks for asking), dealing with a  kidney stone myself and still finding time to complete 48 jobs before Christmas - it  was a bit of a stretch! Soooo, I am really looking forward to 2013 to relax a bit...

And like many of you, I make plans in January for things that I want to accomplish for the New Year. Things like losing weight, saving more for retirement and perhaps a "small" household project like finishing my basement.

And speaking of remodeling, have you ever heard of Houzz? Let me tell you before you'll click on the link: IT CAN BE ADDICTIVE! is a website for remodeling / construction / decorating ideas. It's a collection of nearly  ONE MILLION photos and it is growing daily. Click on the search box for "whatever" (basements for instance) and BANG: photos, product information and more photos to trigger your imagination.

You can save photos in your "idea" book, request information, upload a photo of a room of yours that you don't know what to do with it and ask for advice. The sky (or the clock) is the limit.

Next thing you know, with all that inspiration, you will be calling me to finish off your new project with some beautiful window treatments....

Seriously, I know hundreds of great professionals in most trades - from general contractors to lenders and even movers. I would be more than happy to provide a great connection for you or for your family or friends - in the event you cannot resist the urge for some "home improvement projects" -especially as a husband - I know!

Let me know if you have any question about Houzz or need a referral. Call me at 508-520-6700 or email me here.

As you can see, I am enjoying "my free time"...Hope you are too!
Happy New Year!

Roger Magalhaes 
(in case you forgot!)

Shades IN Place | 76 Grove St | Franklin | MA | 02038

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Live reporting - prep for budget FY 2014

Jeff providing an overview
department budget review underway, school budget due about the end of the month
should have all info except for health insurance due about mid-February
by end of Feb should have our budget ready
would still have changes at the State level depending upon what the Federal government does
I think we'll get by in FY 14 but it will be tight
FY 15 will be a huge struggle

I don't see us adding people, maybe a half person, or nobody
I don't think the School will be in for staffing increases

In the first week of Feb we should be able to give you some good numbers

How we approach OPEB will be key, we can't keep kicking the can down the street
can solve right away but need to get the game plan ready and execute
building up for 70 years, now time to address it

June 30th OPEB report by actuarial service to be shared with FinCom
asked to recalculate the OPEB accounts to incorporate the enterprise accounts

Annual Audit report due to the Council first meeting in Feb

Wellesley passed an override to fund their OPEB
We have to have a plan and fund our plan, then the State can manage our account to gain efficiencies going forward

MMA voted against report on OPEB as the report really didn't address the issues

FinCom encouraged to attend the Annual MMA meeting
Fri, Jan 25, Sat Jan 26

weather has been cooperative at the high school currently on schedule
steel should be coming in Feb assuming all the concrete is poured
contingency issue raised with unsuitable soil; in excess of $5M to the good still on overall budget
don't anticipate a lot of change orders as the school has been built a few times

Davis Thayer architect starting later this week, should have a report end of Apr/early May with an estimate

coffer dams going up at DelCarte with the good weather and low water so that is going well

working on an e-billing, put out an RFP but didn't get satisfactory responses
may get implemented for next year to get an email instead of paper bill

likely to bond half of the school next August, continuing to look at the analysis
looking to bring the school interest at 3.25 interest instead of 4.25 would save a whole lot of folks some money; as we get closer to the spring, we'll look to make that decision

re-using fencing from the high school that was taken down, will re-use it at the Beaver St facility in spring to complete the work

motion to adjourn, passed

Live reporting: Finance Committee - Jan 8, 2013

Present: Smith, Goldsmith, Dufur, Quinn, Roche, Dewsnap, Feldman, Aparo, Huempfner
Absent: none

Happy New Year!

Jeff Nutting provides some background on the capital budget process and the phased approach is being put together for this year. DPW will present tonight on their capital needs. Other departments will come forward in future meetings.

Items 2, 3 8, 110

Brutus Cantoreggi, DPW Director
Carlos Rebelo, Laurie Ruszala, Deacon Perrota
1 - $500,000 for roads for crack sealing and overlays, attempting to more preventive maintenance

Jeff mentioned completion of the town wide survey on the road condition, to fix it all would be $48M
a rating and cost estimate for every street is available

cheaper to chip seal than to overlay than to complete rebuild
do more earlier and that helps avoid the major expenses

Reducing size of road to make it easier to both reduce the storm water runoff as well as provide less maintenance requirements going forward

Some roads don't make sense to narrow it but where it does make sense, let's do it. Also helps to slow traffic down, people tend to drive slower on a narrow road

2 - vehicles
currently past life expectancy, we do buy used equipment but in this case it is used so heavily we use it so much we really need a new one. A key piece of equipment, a priority

$7500 - update and fix an older Ford truck
 - engineering staff vehicle, gotten away from re-using older police vehicles, moved to some smaller vehicles. Available for short money and provide good mileage

a trailer to move some equipment around, some funds out of highway, water and sewer for replacement of this trailer

based upon a case by case basis for each piece of equipment
saved $100,000 with a used 10-wheeler, that we should get a good number of years from
we have good mechanics and the folks respect the equipment, we do take care of them
they don't look too bad but they are just old

Water Dept
following water master plan, did East, West, etc. streets downtown this year
doing Lincoln from Brook to Daniels next year
will adjust schedule to make roads and water needs
water mains one year, street the next
Pine Circle and Highland Road done by DPW this year
other streets need to be contracted out
asbestos pipes need to be replaced as they tend to be leaky (otherwise safe)

get water line issue resolved and street paved at same time
the water rate has grown due to some of the capital work but the cost is also driven by the amount of water sold and with the efficiency and reductions in place, we are actually selling less water.

is there a way to get it done cheaper? if so, then we'll do it inhouse

Sewer Dept
muffin monster grinder to be installed at our Milliken Station
debrie clogs up the pumps to shut them down, these devices would allow the debrie to get chopped up and broken down so they won't clog the pumps
Swifters have overwhelmed the sewers, why? they can?
would reduce the maintenance from once a week to once a month

revenues really low, trying to avoid a rate increase which is already scheduled for 20% again later this year due to the Charles River plant cost

note to community on the switfers - to not through them into the sewer systems
it is not too swift to through a swifter in the sewer

$1.573,000 as total for capital plan this phase
motion to approve capital plan, seconded and approved unanimously

Water fund capital for $1,036,000
motion to approve capital plan, seconded and approved unanimously

Sewer capital for $163,000
motion to approve capital plan, seconded and approved unanimously

Franklin, MA: Finance Committee - Agenda - Jan 8, 2013

The agenda for the Finance Committee meeting Tuesday at 7:00 PM.

You can also view this document here:

Annual Report 2012: Design Review Commission

The Design Review Commission (DRC) is a committee of Citizen Volunteers that has approval authority on signage and recommendation input to the Planning Board on Site Plans and building exterior materials. It meets twice monthly and has addressed numerous projects and sign applications this past fiscal year. The Commission is currently composed of Mark Fitzgerald, Chair, Chris Baryluk, Richard Tobin, Jr., Nancy Coleman, and Anna Moses, as well as associate member, Donald Grover. Associate Adrianna Kelly resigned at the end of this fiscal year due to a move out of Franklin. Jennifer Peters, former Chair and a valued member for ten years, resigned earlier in the year due to family and work commitments and was commended for her service to the Town. James Esterbrook also stepped down due to his heavy work load and commitments to other Town committees

This past year, the Commission reviewed and addressed several Site Plans as to landscaping and lighting and exterior Building Plans as to elevations, design, colors and materials. Reviews included projects such as a new Residence Hall at Dean College, Emeritus at Franklin, a senior living facility, Ichigo Ichie Restaurant, exterior changes to Vendetti Motors, exterior changes to two Dunkin Donuts (East and West Central Street), a new building design for Wendy’s, a new Taco Bell on West Central Street and renovations to Molloy’s Gas Station.

Sign applications were reviewed, addressed and approved for approximately forty (40) businesses throughout the fiscal year. In addition, the new Sign By-Law was completed and adopted by the Franklin Town Council on March 21, 2012.

Meetings are held at the Franklin Municipal Building, 355 East Central Street, Room 205, at 7:00 p.m., on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month. Meeting times, dates and agendas are posted at the Town Clerk’s Office.

Respectfully submitted,

Mark Fitzgerald, Chair

The Design Review page on the Franklin website can be found here

Published by the Town Clerk, this comes from the 2012 Annual Report

Rail Trail Committee - Agenda - Jan 8, 2013

The Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee will hold a meeting on Tuesday, January 8, 2013.  The meeting will be held at the YMCA in Franklin and begin at 7:30 pm.

You can also view this agenda document here:

You can visit the Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee on the web at



Franklin, MA…Dean College Children's Center is sponsoring "Parent Seminar: Kindergarten, Here I Come," on Monday, February 25, 2013 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Dean College Campus Guidrey Center on Emmons Street, Franklin. Parking is at 89 West Central Street.
Dean College

The panel seminar focuses developmental aspects of a child's growth – social, cognitive, emotional, fine motor, and gross motor skills. Questions concerning "What is readiness?", "What do Kindergarten teachers expect my child to know", and "How to know if my child needs a gift of another year in preschool?" will be addressed. The panel will examine which aspects are considered by parents and educators when gauging a child's "readiness" for Kindergarten.

Parents of young children and educators are encouraged to attend. This panel seminar is interactive and those attending are encouraged to bring questions. Panel members include fabulous Kindergarten teachers from the area, with insight from educators of Dean Children's Center. Admission for the public is $10 at the door.

Dean College Children's Center is a non-profit, NAEYC accredited preschool providing children with an initial school experience that reflects current research in child development and offers a hands-on experience for Early Childhood Education students preparing for careers in education.

For more information on this educational seminar, contact us at: 508-541-1598

In the News: CD release, i495/RT 9, glass harmonica

Franklin native to release new CD on Friday

State details recommendations for I-495/Rte. 9 interchange

Glass harmonica concert planned at Franklin Historical Museum

Monday, January 7, 2013

Another #1 for Franklin

From the Neighborhood Scout:
Our research reveals the 100 safest cities in America with 25,000 or more people, based on the total number of property and violent crimes per 1,000 residents. Crimes include burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, murder, forcible rape, armed robbery, and aggravated assault. Data used for this research are 1) the number of total crimes reported to the FBI to have occurred in each city, and 2) the population of each city. See our FAQ on how we rank the safest cities in America

You can view the full listing of 100 communities to find Franklin at #1

The Franklin report can be found here

Make sure to read the Overview tab, interesting stuff!

Franklin, MA: Planning Board - Agenda - Jan 7, 2013

The published agenda for the Planning Board meeting Monday evening;

23 Hutchinson St, proposed location for Franklin TV

PlanningBoard_January07_ 2013

Among the items on the agenda are:

  • Stop and Shop gas station
  • Franklin TV
  • Hoffman Farm
  • Robin's Nest Childrens Center

Annual Report 2012: Charles River Pollution Control District

During Fiscal Year 2012, the Charles River Pollution Control District’s (District) regional advanced  wastewater treatment facility received and treated approximately 1,740 million gallons (4.8 million gallons per day) of raw wastewater, including 6.1 million gallons of septage from the District’s member and customer towns before discharge to the Charles River. The volume of waste treated was higher than the previous year due to an increase in heavy precipitation.

The District is anticipating the renewal process to begin this fall for its National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for discharge of its treated wastewater to the Charles River. Under the preliminary draft NPDES permit, the District and the Towns of Franklin, Medway, Millis, and Bellingham will have to maintain an ongoing preventive maintenance program to prevent overflows and bypasses caused by malfunctions or failures of the sewer system and an infiltration and inflow reduction program.

CDM Smith and staff from the District prepared a 20-year capital improvement plan (CIP) to improve the wastewater treatment facility to meet more stringent NPDES permitting requirements and provide a more reliable wastewater treatment facility at its current capacity.

In July 2010, the District was informed of its acceptance on the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (Mass DEP) Bureau of Resource Protection Calendar Year 2010 Intended Use List for State Revolving Funding (SRF). In order to expedite the designs and proceed with the project in a timely manner,
the CIP was divided into three phases (A, B and C).

Phase A, which is scheduled for completion this October, includes the replacement of both primary clarifier
mechanisms, addition of two screenings washer/compactors in the wet well, primary scum handling improvements, and plant lighting and security improvements.

Phase B, the capping of the on-site residuals landfill, is scheduled for completion August 2012.

Phase C, focuses on reducing phosphorus, improving the disinfection system, and extending the life of the facility for an additional 20 years. This phase is currently in the early stages of design and is expected to be
complete in late 2013 with construction starting in early 2014. A District-wide Global Information
System was developed as part of this phase to assist with infiltration and inflow reduction requirements.

The District is scheduled to fund Phases A and B with a 20-year SRF loan of approximately $3.3M for costs associated with bidding, construction, and resident engineering. Costs for planning and design which are not eligible for SRF loans will be funded by a General Obligation Bond of approximately $1.5M. The total project cost is still under review and will become more detailed as design progresses.

The District is one of seven municipal wastewater treatment plants selected by the Mass DEP to participate in a pilot program that involves energy auditing, assessments for renewable and clean energy possibilities, and
support of implementation for energy related projects. The purpose of this pilot program is to reduce the amount of energy used at municipal wastewater treatment plants by 20%, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving municipalities money. The District was granted $847,583 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to install a 20 kW solar voltaic array and two turbo style blowers. The solar
panels will produce energy onsite whereas the turbo blowers will provide oxygen to the secondary treatment system using approximately 30% less power than the existing blowers. The District is anticipating a 20%
reduction in energy costs from these energy improvements. At this time, the solar voltaic array is producing energy which is used at the treatment plant and the turbo blowers are in place.

Peter SantaCaterina retired in March of 2012. He started his career as a Maintenance Mechanic and was later promoted to Maintenance Supervisor. The District wishes Pete a great retirement and sincere thanks for
25 years of service.

The District’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget is 2.5% higher than the previous years’ budget. The District’s FY 2013 budget for operations and maintenance is $3,414,100, while the capital projects budget is $594,160. Franklin’s share of the operation and maintenance and capital projects budgets are estimated to be
$2,298,070 and $356,810, respectively.

Respectively submitted

Douglas M. Downing, Chairman (Medway)
William J. Goode, Jr., Vice-Chairman (Franklin)
Alfred H. Wahlers, Clerk, (Franklin)
Paul J. DeSimone (Medway)
Gene Guidi, (Franklin)

CRPCD Officers:
Cheri R. Cousens, P.E., Executive Director
Emma J. Catalano, Treasurer
Barbara Maffeo, Executive Secretary
Cornetta, Ficco, Simmler, & Vallee, Legal Counsel

Note: the report was prepared after the FY 2012 fiscal year completed and published in November 2012. One sentence reads "scheduled for completion this October" - refers to October 2012.

Published by the Town Clerk, this comes from the 2012 Annual Report

“The local media has been restrained and responsible"

Franklin Matters contributor, Rich Aucoin has succeeded in getting media attention to how the media is covering the MA lab scandal with this article in the Milford Daily News.

“It’s a strange case in terms of drawing analogies to because it’s not a violent crime,” Bayles said. “It’s not even so much a financial crime. And in some ways that may be why it was hard to get stuff out. I spent a lot of time thinking, ‘Who is this person?’ There was not a lot of detail about Dookhan.” 
He said that realizing the scope of the scandal presented a challenge to everyone mired in it and that showed in the coverage. 
“It was sort of a slow boil in terms of people, especially in the media, understanding the implications of the case,” he said.

Read more:

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - Jan 9, 2013

October 17, 2012

This meeting is being recorded by Franklin TV and shown on Comcast channel 11 and Verizon channel 29.This meeting may be recorded by Franklin Matters.



Library Board of Directors - Sandra Brandfonbrener


Change of Manager – T.D. Beverage Inc.

Medical Marijuana Zoning


1. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 12-695:Changes to § 185-31. Site Plan and Design Review- Remove from table - 1st Reading
2. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 12-696:Changes to § 185-20. H. Signs. Sign Approvals Remove from table - 1st Reading
3. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 12-697:Changes to § 185-45. N. Administration and Enforcement. Design Review Commission Remove from table - 1 st Reading

4. Bylaw Amendment 13-699:Amendment of Service Fee Rates: Administration- 1st Reading





Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required


The full agenda and associated documents can be found on the Franklin web site

School Tour: Parmenter

The next school on the tour of the facilities in the district comes up this Thursday, Jan 10. At 6:00 PM, the Parmenter School on Wachusett St will be open to all for a tour. The tour is conducted by Central Office School Administration, the School Principal, and members of the School Committee.

Parmenter is the only school with solar panels helping to supply their energy needs. You can check their status via this website

A couple of rain gardens were added to Parmenter as part of the Wachusett St reconstruction project. The rain gardens assist in reducing phosphorus from getting into the ground water and streams that feed into the Charles River.

Parmenter: rain garden
rain garden at Parmenter School

Come to the tour on Thursday, Jan 10th at 6:00 PM!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

"It’s a humbling honor"

The Shire Book Shop is one of the featured photos in the new Franklin Calendar and gaining some well deserved recognition with this award as noted by the Milford Daily News.
In the regular "Best 5 in New England’’ column of the January/February issue, Richard Wright observed the Union Avenue store combines the soothing atmosphere of a friend’s private library with the eclectic pleasures of a devoted bibliophile’s extensive collection. 
"After 30 years, the owners of the Shire Book Shop still offer to brew you a cup of tea, making your stroll among the 100,00 used and out-of-print books in this former mill building even more of a pleasure." 
The author of "A Vacationer’s Guide to Rural New England Bookstores," Wright noted of the Shire: "Each purchased book is carefully protected with an archival dust jacket."

Browse the book shelves and have a sit to explore the book in detail in comfort

Read more:

You can visit the Shire Book Shop on Union St (at the railroad crossing) or their website on line at