Monday, May 10, 2010

FM #67 - Week Ending 5/9/10

Let's take about ten minutes to review what matters in Franklin, MA as the week ends May 9, 2010.

Time: 10 minutes, 30 seconds

MP3 File

Session Notes:

This internet radio show or podcast
Number 67 in the series for Franklin Matters.

Let's take about 10 minutes to review what matters in Franklin, MA as this week comes to a close on Sunday May 9th.

In this session I'll cover the Planning Board meeting on Monday and the Finance Committee meetings on Tuesday and Thursday as they conducted their budget hearings. I missed reporting live from the  Town Council meeting on Wednesday. I did catch up to the meeting via the video on demand archive and will cover the highlights from that.  To close, I'll do a brief outlook at the week ahead

The Planning Board continued the hearing on Van Roon Chiropratic. Citizens presented a petition with 175 signatures objecting to the special permit. If approved, the special permit would increase traffic at least by 64 trips to handle the patient in/outs to the office on a road too narrow for such volume and already under pressure from the existing traffic near  intersection (RT 140).

They also continued the hearing on the Big Y although this seems closer to approval, the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting should be interesting.

The Crossways Church application for 282 Summer St was approved.

The posts with the details of the Planning Board meeting can be found here:

The Finance Committee held two budget hearings this week to get into the details of each departments requests.

The details for the Tuesday meeting can be found here

The details for the Thursday meeting can be found here:

I chimed in on the Milford Daily News website to provide details in answer to some commenters questions:

One said the Police department was overstaffed due to the presence of four officers on the i495/King St construction site. I responded:
The police working in the construction zone at the i495/King St intersection are working detail duty. They are off-police hours. They are paid by the contractor for their hours of duty. The money goes to the Town, the Town pays the police, and Franklin actually makes some money on the deal. About $16,000/per year as a net income from all the police detail per the discussion at the Finance Committee budget hearing on Thursday evening, May 6th.

Another asked about the time line for the override this year and the high school renovation project. I responded:
The override vote on June 8th will provide funds for the operating budget, the annual expenses of the daily operations for Franklin beginning July 1. The high school renovation project will generate a debt exclusion for a specific period. The dollar amount and the period remain to be determined by the State. According to Jeff Nutting's update at Town Council meeting on April 28th, the debt exclusion vote would come around Nov 2011. The construction could begin in 2013 and the actual increase in our taxes would not hit until 2015. 
According to the Financial Planning Committee or long term planning report, Franklin faces a shortage of $3m for 2011 (hence the override) a shortage of $5.5 M for 2012, a shortage of 7.0 M for 2013, a shortage of 8.3 M for 2014. So even if this override passes, yes, there could very well be more overrides in our future. 
We have spent too many years cutting. We need to increase revenues period. Some of that will be generated by the empty and underutilized industrial/commercial space. Some of that should come from the pockets of Franklin taxpayers. 

As I did catch up to completely view the Town Council meeting from Weds 5/5, I was heartened to hear the last seven minutes, especially during the Council Comments.

Chair Scott Mason addressed Council McGann's (who was absent Wednesday's meeting) comment during the prior  meeting (Apr 28th) that he (McGann) would bringing forth a presentation on Town waste. Scott requested  Jeff Nutting  to allocate time on the agenda to have this covered; “this presentation, if there is anything to it, needs to be addressed before the override.”

Councilor Vallee said "there is no waste in this town"

The meeting adjourned and as the meeting video ends Councilor Vallee  is heard to say, "If they do find anything, they won't find much I'll tell you."

I suggest that you spend a few minutes to hear the last seven minutes of the Town Council meeting yourself.  This should help to address some of the negative comments .

follow this link to the on demand video

This week will be a busy one.

Momday, the Finance Committee closes their budget hearings
Tuesday, the School Committee meets

Wednesday, provides a real opportunity to make a choice with three events running at the same time.
In the Third Floor Training Room Council Chambers, Downtown Revitalization Project
In Room 205 Financial Planning Committee
At Tri-County, EPA will hold a public hearing on storm water mitigation changes that could require the communities of Franklin, Bellingham and Milford to spend up to $70 million to reduce phosphorus in storm water before it reaches the Charles River.

I'll go with the EPA hearing at Tri-County. The Downtown project should be on cable and I can catch the replay. The Financial Planning meeting will be 'lost' but such is life and tough choices. Updated 5/10/10 - 1:30PM - Even with the correction on the location and lack of broadcast for the Downtown Project, I'll still go with the EPA meeting. Bigger dollars are involved!

What will you do this week?

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 visit

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