Monday, April 12, 2010

FM #64 - Week ending 4/11/10

This is #64 in the series on what matters in Franklin, MA as the week ends April 11, 2010.

Time: 8 minutes, 11 seconds

MP3 File

Session Notes:

This internet radio show or podcast is number 64 in the series for Franklin Matters.

Let's take about 10 minutes to review what matters in Franklin, MA as the week ends Sunday April 11th.

In this session I'll cover the Town Council meeting on April 7th and look ahead to the School Committee  meeting on April 13th.

The Town Council meeting on April 7th was interesting on a number of fronts.

1 – Before the Council got into the money items, the Community Health Council provided an update on the teenangels and other activities that the group has been working on since it was created in 2008.

Live reporting - Community Health Council

2 – Rep Vallee and Sen Spilka were scheduled to provide a legislative update on the Chapter 70 and other state aid coming to Franklin. Due to key work at the State House, they were unable to attend. Due to their schedules they may not be able to participate until some time in May.

Jeff Nutting did take the opportunity to provide an update on current Town Budget. Effectively, with $1.8 million expected as a revenue increase within the Prop 2 ½ limits, State Aid dropping about $1.2 million, the net available ($600,000) is just about wiped out by the increase in Franklin's portion of the Tri-Country Regional assessment ($550,000).

After some discussion, the override word was broached. It will be a topic for the April 28th meeting agenda.

Live reporting - budget update

Budget workshop

Long term or 5 Year Plan

3 – Several items on the Legislation for action created conversations. One item in particular had  minimal discussion (had they already talked it out in the prior two meetings?) the Council voted 6-2 to approve the Charter Changes. Vallee was absent and Jones and Zollo voted no.

In the grand scheme of things, the real vote will come in November. Hopefully, the documentation that will be provided to the voters will be more detailed and clear about what the changes are and why the changes should be made so we can all make an informed vote.

$2 m from 'free cash” from FY 2009 was approved to spend on capital requirements. The Council also approved setting aside $100,000 to start a fund for a fire engine replacement. This is a small step towards a “real” capital budget.

  • The Town share for the Parmenter Solar Project was approved. \
  • Two transactions to fund assistance for the Board of Assessors annual real estate property evaluation were approved. 
  • The by-law amendment to simplify the process for wetlands approvals passed.

Then the sewer extension request for 148 Washington St got real interesting. In my reading of the prepared materials, the situation seemed simple enough. A property currently in tax/title hold would be purchased and then split into two single family residences. As the location is up on the high side just before i495, they were requesting to extend the sewer line 258' to provide service. Unfortunately the Town Engineer had not received some key information, this would be adding service at the wrong point in the sewer system and potentially cause a backup to the system for those residents down stream. The attorney accused the Council of extortion, then retracted the comment. The whole thing should really have been worked out better before hand. Hopefully they will have time to work out the details before it gets to the second reading on April 28th.

Thanks to Ken Norman alerting me to a meeting on the raised garden beds being constructed around Franklin on Saturday the 17th. I was able to create the report that has been a big hit this past weekend. Thanks also to Lauren Marciszyn and Amy Cornwall for their contributions to the report.

There are quite a few healthy activities this week.
What's on your plate is shown Tuesday night.
The Rail Trail committee also meets Tuesday night.
So instead of the watching or attending School Committee meeting you now have some choices.

Walk to School on Weds, Earth Day on Saturday,

You can check the calendar on Franklin Matters for details on these meetings and events. For the full schedule of Franklin Meetings, check out the town website

On the food front, Gerry's Place at Tri-County is open to the public from 10:45 AM to 12:30 and offers discounts Tue-Fri through May 28th.

If you haven't stopped by Cafe Dolce yet, congratulate BJ, Dave, and the whole gang there. This week marks the one year anniversary of their grand opening! My how time flies!

As I close this session this week, let me remind you that
If you like what I am doing here, please tell your friends and neighbors
If you don’t like something, please tell me
Thank you for listening!

For additional information, please

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission

I hope you enjoy!

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to listen to the audio recording