Wednesday, April 2, 2014

In the News: FY 2015 budget

The Finance Committee on Tuesday unanimously endorsed next fiscal year's $99.8 million budget, sending it along to the Town Council for a final review. 
"Thanks for all of the preparation," said committee chairwoman Susan Dewsnap, addressing Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting, treasurer/collector James Dacey and comptroller Susan Gagner. "It all went smoothly." 
The council may hold budget hearings as early as the end of the month.

Read the full article here (subscription required)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Live reporting - Finance Committee

Present: Fleming, Dowd, Conley, Smith, Dewsnap, Heumpher 
Absent: Dufour, Aparo, Quinn

Gagner, Nutting, Dacey

Bill Dowd covering to take notes for the meeting

Draft Capital plan presentation

Adjusted package from last week that was viewed by the FinCom

Saving 300,000 in free cash for snow and ice and 100,000 for whatever

take 10% of free cash and put it into OPEB, so that would be 200,000

fire truck would cost about 550-600,000

fund renovations to second floor of Senior Center to get architect work underway

field stabilization account to replace fields, will need 900,000 - 1M to replace, targeted for 2016 or 2017 at the latest

Rec Dept looking to do a 'spray park' at Fletcher Field, a fancy way to run under a sprinkler

can mitigate our share of expenses, the State will reimburse but we need to front the money
if we apply we can get the grant, all the water is recycled and treated before being reused

police looking for vehicles, radios and computers

finish parking lots with LED lighting

fire suppression system in the computer room here at the Municipal Building

$7.5M bond authorization for sewer work

multiple sources of misc revenue to the tune of about $880,000

including the Board of Assessors who released 3 years of overlay surplus in the amount of $550,000


Chief Gary McCarragher
vehicle for shift supervisors is what is being looked for to be replaced
2006 Expedition has about 60,000 miles, would be moved to fire prevention
new vehicle would be used for fire response

portable radios, some purchased last year, this will replaced the remainder

like a computer it either works or it doesn't, on a good rotation cycle
this would purchase 20, this would keep 2-3 as spares with a 7 year life cycle
not a lot of down time associated with these

EMS jackets

we replacing fire fighter clothing and if anything was left would be used on these jackets
since they received the grant for the fire fighters, they need funds for the EMS folks 

replace the more of the old remaining breathing apparatus

it is mission critical, you need to replace all at the same time
buy them train them and then used them without having to worry about them
looking to seek grants to help support the purchase
looking 350-400,000 total for all the units needed

had been a request for body armor that was cut from this version of the capital budget

can also purchase through a state bid (for the truck) and ensure how close we'll be for the bid and the stabilization amount as we go


Chief Stephen Semerjian

I think the fire chief did a credible job on the vehicle and on the radios so I thank him for that, it will save me some jabbering

three of the older and high mileage vehicles are targeted for replacement

it is a matter of safety for the guys, the mechanics will tell us when it is time to go

the dog is not in the capital budget

the dog probably trains harder than we do
currently 8 yrs old, purchase of a replacement is coming from the operating budget
rather than wait for the capital budget

30 portable radios would bring a new one for the full department with 5 spares

6-8 years life expectancy

20K for computers some desktops and two for the new cars coming in

includes 3 desktop, 2 mobile units, and 9K for the software

discussion on the recycling of the cruisers, cost of extending the older vehicles is more than using a newer car with better mileage

new cars are all 6-cylinders, so there is cost savings operationally

we'll accumulate some to auction off and do them at batch


Deacon Perrotta, Deputy of Operations

looking at purchase of a replacement for one of the sidewalk vehicles

pick up truck used by the on-call person

refurbish the truck body used by the catch basin truck cleaner

the body rots out cleaning the catch basins, replacing the body extends the life of the vehicle at a good savings

$225,000 for the Senior Center to add 30 spaces to the existing 88 parking spaces

trees cleared, doing the plans ready for when the asphalt season opens
grading and earthwork required, drainage is also required
parking needed in advance of the second floor renovation

Park road getting flooded, drainage needed to avoid flooding

55K for drainage, 30 for paving, remaining

looking to add 6 vehicle parking spots at the Police Station

land across the street at the ice rink is State owned


Beaver St interceptor turns 100 years old this year
it runs from Beaver by the train tracks up behind the Franklin Village Plaza and then to Pond St to the old sewer beds, to replace the whole thing would be multiple millions

'muffin monsters' will grind up anything, including the swifters that shouldn't be going down the drain

dual wheel utility truck, originally priced at 130K and worked with the manufacturer we can come down to



generator for the Washington St booster station
behind the old museum on Washington, provides pressure boost for the water lines from there to the end of town

meter replacement program

looking to replace 20 year old meters, loosing revenue
looking to replace 600 per year, MIU = meter interface unit, read via radio signal
meters will now do leak detection, most waste through toilet leaks
looking to replace the residential meters

commercial meters are already 

approx 3,000 calculated to be replace, would be contracted to do the replacement
phone cal or website, work with the residents, at least four contacts to schedule the visit to replace
may ultimately be a $50 fine for non-replacement

need to do 2 miles of water main replaced every year

authorization for $7.5M but design would be spent and then the pipe work would be done next spring
probably would also need a rate increase to do this

sheets to be added with proposed water main replacements for the next several years

Public Facilities

Mike D'Angelo

looking to replace generator at the police station

three major school facilities were already done, this amount would be covering the remaining public facilities exterior lighting, payback less than three years, lighting to last 7-8 years

no parts in the light to change, a solid state fixture to run 50-70,000 hours

Halon suppression system for the computer room, good coverage for the equipment being used in the room


replace 4 servers
replace the Windows XP with Windows 7 systems as XP is no longer supported

Capital budget
voting to approve capital for general operations   approved by 6-0
water   approved by 6-0
sewer   approved by 6-0
water main replacement bond for 7.5M    approved by 6-0

FY 2015 operating budget
total recommended 110,275,241
general government  9004727
public safety 9758704
education  57818453
DPW highway  4144423
human services  566930
culture recreation  1164434
debt service  7591160
benefits  9285386
liability insurance  460000

solid waste 215281 ??
sewer (fill in later)
water 4852511

all votes were 6-0 approval

looking for the library to make a presentation on Apr 16th
would come before the FinCom eventually no matter what is decided

funds remaining from the house on Beaver St, would look to transfer to take down the house on Wachusetts St (next to Fletcher field)

Thursday's meeting (Apr 3rd) would be canceled
will look to see when the Council will schedule their budget hearings

will look to balance out the money to pay the snow and ice budget

next meeting looks to be May 6th

motion to adjourn

Franklin Newcomers and Friends host 'Between the Peaks'

The Franklin Newcomers and Friends are thrilled to host two 2007 Franklin High School graduates, Jonathan Ronzio and Ethan Lee. Together with a third friend, they pursued their passions for adventure and combined them with humanitarian efforts to create Between The Peaks, a volunteerism based adventure. They've climbed numerous mountains in multiple countries and "between the peaks" they provided labor, donations and goodwill to underprivileged communities. Their website, reads like an adventure novel and details their adventure in pictures and words. They have filmed their adventure and put together a documentary film trailer that they will be presenting at numerous film festivals. 
Come meet these two outstanding men and hear their story!
Franklin Newcomers and Friends
Franklin Newcomers and Friends
Please join us on Wednesday, April 9th at 7:30 PM at "3" in Franklin. Light appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided. A cash bar is available.

The sneak peak of the film of their adventure

Wachusett St purchase

During the last Town Council meeting, the Council approved the purchase of a house on Wachusett St. The house is empty and conveniently located next the current parking lot for the baseball fields at Fletcher Field. Purchase of the house and lot will allow eventually for the expansion of the parking lot.

If you have ever been along that stretch of Wachusett near Arlington when the games are in full swing, travel is slow (or should be) to safely avoid a problem.

92 Wachusett St
92 Wachusett St

92 Wachusett St
92 Wachusett St

No specific timeline on when the lot will be added to the parking area. Given the work already on hand for the DPW, my guess would sometime perhaps during this year or next year. The key would be whether the work required would require additional funding. The amount approved covered the purchase but did not cover the demolition or site work required.

The Town Council agenda and documents for the March 19th meeting

The posts reported live during the March 19th meeting

PMC Kids 8th Annual ride - June 15th

Our 8th Annual Kids Ride will be held on Sunday, June 15th at Remington/Jefferson School in Franklin from 8am-Noon. 
Kids ages 3-14 can participate in this bike ride to raise money for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund. 
Choose your ride: 3, 6 or 10 miles. Children 6 and under can ride on our Tikes and Trikes supervised course.

Register today at

PMC Kids ride - June 15th
PMC Kids ride - June 15th

Putting for Patients - Apr 6

Need to get your mini-golf fix in? Why not help a good cause at the same time. Sunday, Apr 6 from 1:00 - 4:00 PM at the FHS Field House

Putting for Patients
Putting for Patients

note the date is wrong on this sign, it should say Apr 6
note the date is wrong on this sign, it should say Apr 6

Hockomock Area YMCA kicked off annual campaign March 27 at Gillette Stadium (photos)

Guests at the Hockomock Area YMCA's Reach Out for Youth & Families Campaign kickoff Breakfast listen to speakers sharing their Y stories
Guests at the Hockomock Area YMCA's Reach Out for Youth & Families Campaign kickoff Breakfast listen to speakers sharing their Y stories
Mimo Jaber of Wrentham, MA shows emotion as she speaks of the support that the Y's scholarship program has helped her family's life
Mimo Jaber of Wrentham, MA shows emotion as she speaks of the support that the Y's scholarship program has helped her family's life
Shelly Jacobson of Wrentham, MA was one of the morning's speakers, sharing the impact the Y has had on her own life as a summer camper.  She is now the Sports Director at the Invensys Foxboro Branch
Shelly Jacobson of Wrentham, MA was one of the morning's speakers, sharing the impact the Y has had on her own life as a summer camper.  She is now the Sports Director at the Invensys Foxboro Branch

Monday, March 31, 2014

Finance Committee - Agenda - Apr 1, 2014

The Finance Committee will meet on Tuesday night to vote on the FY 2015 budget. They completed their series of budget hearings last Thursday. With their vote, the next step would be for the notifications and schedule for the Town Council to hold their two budget hearings (likely early in May). The Council usually votes for the budget during their second meeting. The overall budget for 2015 needs to be approve before July 1, 2014 when it is needed to support the daily operations.

The agenda document can be found here:

Franklin, MA - Municipal Building
Franklin, MA - Municipal Building

Budget hearings

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#4 -

Franklin Public Schools - FY 2015 Proposed Budget

The School Committee voted to accept their proposed budget last Tuesday (Mar 25). The full budget document can be found here

You need to use at least version 9 of the Adobe Reader to view the workbook format for the budget documents.

The presentation with the highlights of the budget can be found here:

new Franklin High School under construction
new Franklin High School under construction

Franklin Schools - Last day of school update

So far this year we have had 4 snow days. Also, the Keller/Sullivan Complex was closed one day for a facilities issue. The last day of school is as follows:

  • All Schools except Keller/Sullivan: Friday June 20, 2014 - half day
  • Keller/Sullivan Complex Monday June 23, 2014 - half day

pending any other snow/emergency days of course.

Keller-Sullivan sign from July 2013
Keller-Sullivan sign from July 2013

This was shared from the Franklin Schools page here

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - Apr 2, 2014

– February 12, 2014 Regular and Executive Session- To be released

– 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.






Senator Spilka and Representative Roy
150 Emmons Street


1. Resolution 14-05: Appropriation: Fire Detail Account – Continue until May

2. Resolution 14-15: Request for Special Legislation, Re: Local Sales Tax on Sale of Medical Marijuana

3. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 14-728R: Changes to Chapter 185 – 5, Zoning Map: Industrial to Single Family III(Washington St.)-Referral to Planning Board

4. Zoning Bylaw Amendment 14-732:Changes to Chapter 185-21, Parking, Loading, and Driveway Requirements – Referral to Planning Board





– Negotiations, Litigation, Real Property, as May Be Required


The documents released with this agenda can be found here

Franklin, MA - Municipal Building
Franklin, MA - Municipal Building

Franklin Walk - Saturday, Mar 29

I did have some company for the walk Saturday morning (thank you!) and hopefully will have some more as the public walk and continues next month. The weather cooperated nicely for the walk which started on the Town Common at 8:30 AM and finished there about an hour later.

tree lined walkway on the Town Common
tree lined walkway on the Town Common
We started from the bandstand on the Common and walked by the Senior Center, Oak St/Horace Mann complex, between the new and current high school, down Panther Way to the Sculpture Park and then reversed the route to return.

bandstand on Franklin Town Common
bandstand on Franklin Town Common

About 2.5 miles in just under an hour. Conversation along the way with stops for photos here and there.

wrought iron flowers
wrought iron flowers
 One of the flowers has fallen off this work. It doesn't appear to be malicious but rather the results of a poor welding connection. The snow and wind this winter apparently loosened it.

I call this one 'five fingers'
I call this one 'five fingers'
I am curious to find out what the official name is for this piece (above).

railing shadows
railing shadows
the fence railing along the edge of the wall at the former town pool castes its shadow in the morning sun.

2 faced, or split personality?
2 faced, or split personality?
 When I was last at the park, the white of this piece against the snow was impressive. The white against the winter foliage color is stark.

the bear rages on
the bear rages on

Conversation piece: is he raging for joy or frustration/anger? I think it is for joy!

pond reflection
pond reflection
 Completing the loop around the sculpture park you come upon more pond reflections.

If you haven't been to the Sculpture Park yet, I would encourage you to stop by sometime. On Panther Way just before the Police Station. There is parking and the loop through the park is a brief and easy walk. I'd estimate about a quarter of a mile.

I'll schedule another Franklin Walk and Talk for April. We'll check the weather to see which Saturday seems most likely to provide some good weather.

Franklin Voices: Property on Corner of Emmons Street

Hello everyone -

I am writing you because, in the past, you have been kind enough to be open to information on various issues in the Town.  Currently, the Town Council is considering what to do with the old Town Hall, which now houses the Rec department, at the corner of Emmons and 140.  This building is next to Davis Thayer, Dean College and is truly the "front door" to downtown.

There are basically two options: sell the property now or wait.  The attached petition from the  Franklin Downtwon Partnership makes a compelling argument for waiting, including the need to gather community input into what ultimately sits on this important piece of land as well as considering the needs of downtown businesses during the upcoming construction.

Please read the following petition and sign it electronically if you agree with the message. This petition is necessary because at both public meetings and in news interviews, a few members of the Council have indicated that they will move forward with commercial development despite protest from the community, concerns from businesses in the downtown, and other Councilors who expressed issues with rushing into commercial development without further research.

Please take a moment to support this message to the Town Council. 

Thank you.

Tina Powderly

150 Emmons St, the building under discussion
150 Emmons St, the building under discussion

Kindergarten Registration

The Franklin Public Schools announces

April 7th       4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
April 10th      4:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Horace Mann Middle School – Cafeteria
224 Oak Street, Franklin

Children who will be 5 years-old on or before August 31, 2013 are eligible to attend kindergarten during the 2014-15 school year. 
Parents or guardians should plan to attend one of the two registration sessions, however children need not attend. 
Required forms (available 3-3-14), as well as additional information, can be found on the ECDC website  or by contacting Kelty Kelley, ECDC Principal @ 508 541-8166 or

Oak St - Horace Mann Complex
Oak St - Horace Mann Complex

In the News: Charter school expansion, Chargers football registration

State education officials this week gave the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School the green light to double its enrollment and expand its district to encompass 13 other towns. 
Among the first charter institutions to open in the state, the school won approval for two amendments allowing it to increase its enrollment by 450 pupils over the next 10 years and extend the district beyond Franklin's borders.
read the full article here (subscription required)

Registration is now for the Franklin Chargers football and cheer programs and will close April 12. 
Football and cheer paperwork is due, and football equipment fitting day will be held that day, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Franklin High School auxiliary gym. 
Attendance is required for participants. Piesco Sports will be in attendance for those who need to purchase items such as practice pants, girdles, rib shirts, etc.
read the full article here (subscription required)