Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Downtown Project: Update #40 - July 26, 2016

Today (Tuesday, July 26, 2016) the traffic has opened to two-way in Downtown Franklin. Thank you to everyone for their patience and working to provide a safe flow of traffic in downtown.

However, there is still work to be done. The project will continue through the next couple months with odds and ends to complete, including installation of benches, bike racks, trash barrels, decorations, banners, American flags, finishing the crosswalks, planters, trees and much more.

Please contact the Town Administrator's Office at 520-4949 with any questions. We will continue to keep the public informed through our website, Twitter and Facebook.

working on the entrance to the fire station on West Central St
working on the entrance to the fire station on West Central St

This update can also be found on the official Town of Franklin webpage

New law requires posting of legal notices online

Today Governor Charles Baker signed into law H1566, An Act relative to electronic publication of certain legal notices. The bill was filed by Representative Jeffrey N. Roy (D-Franklin) in January 2015 and was enacted by the House and Senate last week.

The new law requires that all legal notices must now appear, not only in a newspaper's print publication, but also on the newspaper's website and on a statewide website that may be maintained as a repository for such notices

"As you know, print media subscriptions are at an all-time low, but readership of newspapers is at all-time high because of the availability online," noted Roy. "This new law will capitalize on online readership and increase access to information, including public records, documents and hearing notices. It encourages civic engagement and it will revolutionize access to public notices, long left to the back pages of newsprint in small fonts and unattractive layouts."

"Publishing legal notices online is a common sense move in our modern digital age. This new law will enhance transparency and make sure public information is accessible to residents across the Commonwealth," said Senator Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland).

This increased access will be accomplished at no additional cost to any government entity. The Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association (MNPA), on behalf of the state's newspapers, will bear the cost of launching, operating and maintaining this statewide website. In fact, the MNPA just recently launched the new Public Notice Massachusetts website, which can be found at, and a number of newspapers have already started uploading notices to the site.

The new MNPA site is based on a legal-notices platform developed in Illinois and in use in a number of states, including New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It will give users access to all public notices from all newspapers in the state. In addition, it features a smart search capability that will allow users to receive daily updates relative to legal notices that respond to user delineated search terms.

"The Illinois site has been a great success and the new MNPA site will be a welcome addition to the Massachusetts landscape," added Roy. "Indeed, public notices inform citizens of the everyday activities of government. From government spending to developing new policies, it is important for people to be informed of actions taken by public officials that affect citizens' everyday lives. Without public notices, citizens cannot properly and adequately make informed decisions."

"Legal notices are an essential means by which citizens are kept informed about the actions of their state and local governments and courts," said Robert J. Ambrogi, MNPA executive director. "The newspapers of Massachusetts are committed to ensuring the broadest-possible access to these notices, both in print and online. We appreciate the efforts of Rep. Roy to make this possible."

The new law will take effect in 180 days.

the top level MPNA webpage
the top level MPNA webpage
screen grab of a quick search for "Franklin" open meetings
screen grab of a quick search for "Franklin" open meetings

In the News: more affordable senior housing, dance center offers camps

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"The Town Council this month took a step that could lead to more affordable housing for seniors. 
The council - at its July 13 meeting - unanimously voted to convey about 17 acres off Panther Way to the town's Affordable Housing Trust Committee. 
Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting said 22 acres was originally given to the town by the School Committee about 15 years ago. The town went on to provide five of those acres for the construction of the housing for the elderly development Eaton Place. 
Nutting said that there was the potential for another 50 or 60 units of senior housing at the site. He said, if the project goes forward, those units could be bigger than the existing ones at Eaton Place."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Patti Eisenhauer Dance Center, 31 Hayward St., will offer a Princess/Pirate Camp and Intensive Dance Camp from Aug. 1 to 5. 
The Princess/Pirate Camp is offered for ages 2 to 6 from 10 a.m. to noon. The fee for the camp is $95 and includes crafts, games, dress-up and dancing. 
The Intensive Dance Camp is offered for ages 5 to 18. For ages 5 to 10, the camp runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The fee for this camp is $175 and includes intensive dance instruction in jazz, tap, hip-hop, contemporary and tumbling. The more advanced students attend from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will receive intensive dance instruction in jazz, tap, hip-hop, contemporary, improv and tumbling. The fee for the advanced intensive is $325."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Get the tri-fold brochure with all the Cultural Festival info

The tri-fold brochure is available for download and to print on your own now. Copies will be available at all the events this week.

On Wednesday, July 27, the Cultural Festival opens at the Town Common and then shifts to THE BLACK BOX.

On Thursday, July 28, the Historical Museum and the Town Common share events.

On Friday, July 29, the events are spread among the high school, the Town Common, and the Sculpture Park.

On the final day, Saturday, July 30, all the events will be held inside and outside (under a tent) at THE BLACK BOX.

Come on down to sample all the cultural arts Franklin offers!

Or download and print from here

  • Get updates on the 2nd Annual Cultural Festival on the webpage

  • or follow Facebook

Mandatory Water Ban Effective Monday July 25, 2016

In recent weeks, the Town has experienced excessively high demands for water due to outdoor water use, while water supplies are extremely low due to drought conditions.  As a result, a full water ban has become necessary to ensure that adequate water is available to meet the public health and safety needs of the Town of Franklin.  This measure is necessary to maintain the water levels in the tanks for fire protection and normal consumption.  

The following water uses are NOT allowed:
• irrigation of lawns and landscaping via sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems;
• washing of vehicles, except in a commercial car wash or as necessary for operator safety; and
• washing of exterior building surfaces, parking lots, driveways or sidewalks, except as necessary to apply surface treatments such as paint, preservatives, stucco, pavement or cement.

The following water uses are allowed:
• watering gardens, flowers and ornamental plants by means of a hand-held hose.

Non-compliance with these regulations could adversely affect public health and safety. Violators are subject to fines up to $200.       

Private irrigation wells are not required to follow the water ban, however, please remember that irrigation wells are taking water from the same aquifer as Franklin's drinking water wells, so please water wisely!  

mandatory water ban now in effect for Franklin, MA
mandatory water ban now in effect for Franklin, MA

In the News: Troop 126 pioneers, water ban imposed, 2-way traffic arrives today

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Scouts from Troop 126 in Franklin recently participated in a Pioneering Weekend, where they put their camping and lashing skills to work. 
The Scouts constructed two towers using nothing but rope and wooden poles and used the towers for a game of capture the flag. In addition, several members of the Troop constructed a 25-foot flagpole on which they raised an American flag."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"DPW Director Robert "Brutus" Cantoreggi said this is the latest step in an effort to conserve water. The town had been on a water restriction - in which residents were allowed to water their laws one day a week - and DPW employees had been patrolling for violations after seeing spikes in usage. 
"Since we started enforcement a couple of weeks ago, peak demand has gone down," he said. "This drought, though, has caused our aquifer to go down to the point that - even if it started raining every day - it would take a while for it to recover." 
The town is limited, Cantoreggi said, because it must draw water from the ground - it does not have a reservoir at hand."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

water ban imposed effective July 25, 2016 until further notice
water ban imposed effective July 25, 2016 until further notice

"After a week-long delay, the downtown is changing to two-way traffic Tuesday morning. 
The change - one of the final steps in a two-year streetscape project - is set to take place at 5 a.m., said Deputy Town Administrator Jamie Hellen. 
"We should be having additional officers there to make sure everyone's going the right way down the roads," he said. "Traffic will probably be a little slower than usual as people are getting acclimated."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Are you confused by the shared lane markings (SLM) or 'sharrows" now appearing on Franklin roads?

Get used to recognizing these, we are likely to see more of them.

"Shared Lane Markings (SLMs), or “sharrows,” are road markings used to indicate a shared lane environment for bicycles and automobiles. Among other benefits shared lane markings reinforce the legitimacy of bicycle traffic on the street, recommend proper bicyclist positioning, and may be configured to offer directional and wayfinding guidance. 
the bicycle markings seem to be causing some confusion for drivers
the bicycle markings seem to be causing some confusion for drivers

The shared lane marking is a pavement marking with a variety of uses to support a complete bikeway network; it is not a facility type and should not be considered a substitute for bike lanes, cycle tracks, or other separation treatments where these types of facilities are otherwise warranted or space permits. The MUTCD outlines guidance for shared lane markings in section 9C.07."

  • Continue reading the article

"On November 7, 2015, the 80th birthday of the MUTCD, and throughout the year when you see an easy-to-read sign, a bright edgeline marking on a foggy night, the countdown timer at a crosswalk, or a well-placed bike lane, take a moment to reflect on the eighty years of progress and innovation that the MUTCD embodies. This progress has resulted in safer, more efficient travel on our Nation's roads. 
Over the years, the MUTCD has unknowingly become the traveler's best friend and silent companion, guiding us on our way along the streets, bikeways, back roads, and highways. As the direct means of communication with the traveler, traffic control devices speak to us softly, yet effectively and authoritatively. From glass “cat’s-eye” reflectors to glass beads to microprismatic sheeting, nighttime sign visibility has advanced significantly. Active devices at rail crossings save lives by giving us a positive message about train traffic. And countdown timers on pedestrian signals help us cross a busy street. 
So the next time you hit the pavement, the path, or the pedals, you can be sure that the MUTCD, through our dedicated professionals who make complex decisions on what devices to install, will help you get where you want to go safely, efficiently, and comfortably! The MUTCD…it's all about you!"

Monday, July 25, 2016

Franklin Historical Commission schedules historical meeting

The Franklin Historical Commission will host a reception for area Historical Commissions on Sunday afternoon, August 7th. 
Commission members from Wrentham, Norfolk, Medway, Bellingham, Millis, Foxboro, Plainville and Blackstone have been invited to participate in a meet and greet reception and the Franklin Historical Museum. 
In appreciation of our shared goal of preserving the history and culture of our respective New England Towns, we organized this reception with the purpose of expanding the spirit of cooperation. 
The afternoon will consist of introductions, informal conversation and an opportunity to get to know one another. We hope to get to share ideas, successes, challenges, goals and establish a network of support for our respective museums. Cake and coffee will be served.
Franklin Historical Museum
Franklin Historical Museum

Find out more about the Franklin Historical Museum online

or on Facebook

Reminder: Traffic patterns change downtown on Tuesday

After several months of construction to prepare, the traffic patterns downtown will change from one way for sections of Main St, Emmons St, and West Central to two way.

My walk downtown Sunday night shows there is still work that remains to be done. Crosswalks remain to be coated with polymer, the trees remain to be planted and the fire station entrance is only half done. 

The roadway striping appears complete and the signals all seem to be operational. The change over seems ready to go.

West Central in front of Dean College and Davis Thayer School
West Central in front of Dean College and Davis Thayer School

crosswalk at East Central and Summer St remains to be filled in
crosswalk at East Central and Summer St remains to be filled in

The fire station entrance has been half done
The fire station entrance has been half done

Be aware of the change in traffic on Tuesday and stay alert for continuing construction downtown. We're not done yet!

  • Related posts on the traffic change

"I think we got to a really good outcome"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"The school district has reached agreements with its secretaries, van drivers and cafeteria workers, putting those employees under contract for the next three years. 
The School Committee signed those contracts at its meeting last week. Each of the pacts will run until June 2019. 
Committee Chairman Kevin O'Malley briefly discussed the negotiation process. 
"We met with people who are indispensable to who we are as a district," he said. "We have, after negotiation, come to some agreements that we are now prepared to sign."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

summer wishes on the Parmenter School sign
summer wishes on the Parmenter School sign

Register O'Donnell Highlights Registry Customer Service Center

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

Register O'Donnell Highlights Registry Customer Service Center

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell reminds consumers if they have a question or concern about a land document related issue, the answer is just a phone call away by dialing the Registry's Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101. The department is open Monday through Friday from 8:30AM to 4:30PM.

"The Customer Service Center is a one-stop consumer shop," said O'Donnell. "It provides homeowners and real estate professionals alike with detailed information about a wealth of land document related issues. These subjects include questions you might have about confirming current ownership of a particular property, and verifying to see if a discharge of a property's mortgage has been filed after the loan has been paid off. We are glad to help, whether you come through the doors of the Registry or call us by phone."

Register O'Donnell further noted, "The department can also inform customers about the cost of filing land documents. Also, upon a customer's request, whether by visiting us here at the Registry or by direct mail request, we can provide copies of documents for a fee of $1.00 per page, plus an additional $1.00 per document to cover postage cost. The Registry only accepts cash or check for payment. In addition, Customer Service Center staff are happy to answer questions about the Homestead Act, which provides limited protection against the forced sale of a homeowner's primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000," noted Register O'Donnell.

Register O'Donnell went on to say, "For many, trying to decipher information on land documents can be a very frustrating experience. Our trained customer service staff are well versed in all areas of land document research. By utilizing our state-of-the-art land document research system, which is also available to members of the public via, we can get people the answers to their property questions."

Notary services are also offered by the Customer Service Center. "All staff members are notary publics. We are more than glad to notarize any land document provided the person requesting the service appears before us and presents satisfactory proof of identification by showing either their driver's license or passport," said O'Donnell.

In conclusion, the Register stated, "Providing first-class customer service is a core objective of the Registry's mission to serve the public. The residents of Norfolk County deserve nothing less than a positive experience when interacting with us. The bottom line is: We are glad to be of service to you."

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us at or follow us on

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, located at 649 High Street, Dedham, is the principal office for real property in Norfolk County. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101, or on the web at

Register William P. O'Donnell
Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

phone: 781-234-3336
Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, 649 High Street, Dedham,, MA 02026-1831

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

#shopFranklin - Hillside Nursery

Sarah Mabardy, the chief instigator behind #shopFranklin, has started a Franklin TV series to highlight the local businesses of Franklin. In this episode Sarah talks with Chris Depoto of Hillside Nursery. We find out how Hillside started with chickens and the development of i495 brought about the relocation to their current Washington St store. 

"#shopFranklin - supporting small business speaks with Chris Depoto of Hillside Nurseries. Hillside Nurseries has been in Franklin for three generations and is a true independently owned local family business. 
Specializing in landscape/hardscape design, retail plant selections and custom floral design - Hillside has been serving the Franklin community with knowledgeable and personalized service."

#ShopFranklin can be found on Facebook

and on the web at


In the News: Pokemon Go, golf tournament, MetroWest jobs a reverse commute

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Aspiring Pokémon masters were out in force in the town common Saturday afternoon. 
The Franklin Federated Church, which sits just opposite that grassy expanse, set up some amenities for Pokémon Go players on its front lawn. Volunteers underneath a small tent offered water, some frozen treats and a recharging station to the trainers. 
Pokémon Go, a smartphone app in which players seek the eponymous creatures in the area that surrounds them, has been downloaded millions of times and has become a bona fide cultural phenomenon."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"A golf tournament to benefit the S.A.F.E. Coalition will take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 22 at the Franklin Country Club, 672 E. Central St. 
The tournament will support the outreach programs of the S.A.F.E. Coalition in Franklin, Medway, Milford and surrounding communities in Norfolk and Worcester Counties. It will include a barbecue lunch and awards."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"While many commuters rely on the train to go from homes in MetroWest to jobs in Boston, Chris Walsh and Cathal Dodd take it the other way. 
Lured by the availability of a website-related job, Walsh, 29, said he’s happy to commute out from Boston to the suburbs. 
“I actually don’t mind the commute,” he said, as he waited on a recent afternoon at the Framingham commuter rail station for a train home to Boston. 
He said he has found a higher-paying job in MetroWest than closer to the city."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Airbnb taxes

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

Should Hotel Taxes Cover Short-Term Rentals Through Services Like Airbnb?
A new factsheet from MassBudget examines how several states across the country have changed their rules to extend room-occupancy taxes levied at hotels to include short-term rentals made through Airbnb and similar companies.
Airbnb and Taxes: What Other States are Doing and How Much Revenue Might Be Raised in Massachusetts examines how 11 other states apply short-term rental taxes to bookings made through platforms like Airbnb. The factsheet explains the current exemption for short-term residential rentals and how taxing these bookings would work. It explains recent research on how rentals booked through companies such as Airbnb can compete with traditional short-term accommodations like hotels. It also presents data on people and businesses renting out through Airbnb full-time and with multiple units. It examines how much revenue the room occupancy tax currently generates and Massachusetts Department of Revenue estimates of the additional revenue that would be raised with new rules extending the tax to short-term residential rentals.
You can read the new fact sheet (HERE).

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.


BOSTON, MA 02108
Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 15 Court Square, Suite 700, Boston, MA 02108

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MassBudget - Airbnb taxes
MassBudget - Airbnb taxes

Senator Ross: Summer 2016 State House Update

Senator Richard J. Ross, State House Update, Summer 2016

View this email in your browser
State Senator Richard J. Ross (R-Wrentham) proudly serving the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District.

State House
Room 419
Boston, MA 02133

Ph: 617-722-1555
Fax: 617-722-1054
Dear Friends,

The summer is in full swing, yet the legislature is still at work on the FY17 budget. These are uncertain times, but please know that I am working hard to make sure we craft a budget that addresses our most important needs, while protecting your hard earned tax dollars.

Please read my newsletter for recent pertinent updates and what to expect in the coming months.


A big portion of the summer involved working to finalize the fiscal year 2017 state budget. In the midst of annual budget debate, Governor Baker filed a precautionary budget to cover July spending. The governor signed the $5.3 billion, one-month spending bill in order to allow the state to maintain its services as the annual budget was not expected to be on time.

Throughout the finalization of the budget, the conference committee was aiming to address the issue that revenues next fiscal year could be below estimates. At the end of June, the Legislature enacted a $39.146 billion state budget for FY 17 that invested in areas related to local aid, education, children's health and safety, housing, health and human services, workforce training and economic development. The budget also included $139.2M in total funding to fight the opioid epidemic in support of substance abuse education, prevention and treatment programs.

With tax revenues down sharply, serious decreases in funding were necessary. On July 8th, Governor Baker signed a $38.92 billion annual budget which cut $256 million in spending from the plan approved originally by the Legislature. The budget signed by Governor Baker only increases spending over the current fiscal year by 1.3 percent. In the newly signed budget, the governor hopes to allocate money towards local aid, education, Medicaid and pensions.

As your senator, I have worked to maintain the programs and services you hold dear while being certain to balance our state budget and maintain long term fiscal responsibility.

The newsletter was shortened for publication here, view the full newsletter here