Franklin Local Minutes – June 2014

Franklin Local Meeting • June 24, 2014 • Tulip & Rose Restaurant, Franklin

Present:  Brian Brock, Andy and Carla Nordstrom, Aron and Manette Berlinger, Carole and Gene Marner, Bryan and Betsy Babcock, Vicki Davis, Helen McLean, Bill Gruber, Marjorie Kellogg, Hank Stahler, Jane Couch, Shirley Furguseon, Ellen Curtis, Trish Tyrell, Sondra, Tom, Wendy.  Quorum established, introductions made.

Secretary’s Report:

May meeting minutes were reviewed.  Marjorie moved to accept the minutes with corrections:  Jane Couch (not Jane Carr) was present, under Chamber of Commerce- it is “Franklin Walking Tour”, not Franklin Walking Trail, and under Town Board- Brian reported that “one of the two” pipeline routes had changed somewhat.  Gene 2nd motion, motion carried.  Brian reported that ad checks and subscriptions have arrived in the mail.

Treasurer’s Report:

Ellen reported that the NFR was holding it’s own, and this edition’s printing was paid for with ads sold.  Ellen reported that the Farmers’ Market was also holding it’s own with 12 vendors paid through the season.  The posters are selling well.

Handsome Brook Farm:

Betsy and Bryan reported on their Blueberry Farm and Barn.  “U-pick” will be available to the community.  The Barn is progressing.  They are opening a licensed kitchen to be used at low cost to persons who want to use it.  They also plan to have it be a sort of community area to hold events.  Betsy and Bryan are open to ideas, and proposed a possible future Annual Blueberry Festival.  They are working on a grant to install geothermal heating system, as at this time, the facility will operate approximately 6 months of the year.

Franklin Town Board:

Brian reported that Mark Laing is talking with the Constitution Pipeline people, and that Mark had reported they had submitted a draft agreement (approximately 3-4 pages) to the Town, which will be reviewed and significantly revised by the Town.  Discussion was held regarding encouraging the Town to seek an ordinance, as an agreement is not enforceable.   This will be suggested to the Town Board members to see their interest in pursuing.  The next Town Board meeting is July 1st.  There will be a NYS DOT open house on June 25th at the Town Shed regarding the round-a-bout proposed at the 357/28 intersection in North Franklin.

Chamber of Commerce:

Brian reported that Mary Beth Silano, County CofC, discussed benefits of dual membership and/or sole membership with County CofC during last meeting.  Also, a presentation about a one-call phone notification system was given.  Efforts will be concentrated on developing the Franklin CofC.

Small Town in Mass Society:

Brian reported that this published study discussed some small town phenomenon, observed in the 50’s, that can still be witnessed today here in Franklin that may help explain some of the dynamics that we currently have in the Franklin Community (i.e.- large landowners/farmers monopolizing local government).  This book is available through the 4-Library system, only one edition is available.  Brian is ordering a personal copy of the book and will be returning it to the library soon.

NFR: 

Marjorie reported that lots of ads were sold and this issue was being expanded to 20 pages.  A few additions could be used to fill a couple “holes” in the layout.  It was suggested someone write about the new addition to village Memorial Park.  Marjorie stated that they papers will continue to be mailed as they have been.  Marjorie has applied for the NYS tax refund from the past 2 years while FL was waiting for it’s 501 (c) 3.

Farmers’ Market:

Carole expressed some concern in that it seemed that there were fewer people attending the market.  Gene suggested marketing strategies.  A suggestion was made to look into acceptance of WIC and/or EBT benefits.  Consensus was that EBT was too complicated, and that there was only one current vendor that accepted WIC checks.  It was suggested that the vendor accepting WIC be noted in the email announcement of the market.  Suggestions were made about having child friendly and/or diverse entertainment available at the market to draw more people. Discussion was also had that the first and last month of the market tend to be slow, but that attendance has picked up in between.  It was suggested to track this information to see if lack of attendees is a natural lull, or perhaps a deeper issue.  Carla suggested reaching out to Mayor Tom Briggs about discussing sustainability, farmers markets, etc-at the Train Museum, School, Churches.  Trish will contact Tom to see if he would be interested in attending FL meetings and/or actively supporting projects.

Electric Co-Op:

Tom is a current member of the Delaware Electric Co-Op, out of Delhi, which has 5.2K members throughout Delaware County.  Tom noted that there are only 4 co-ops in NYS, with Delaware County’s being the 2nd largest.  Tom stated that a recent policy change to not allowing net metering from alternative energy is of significant concern to himself and many other co-op members, as it seriously limits ability and/or financial incentive to move to alternative/renewable energy such as solar power.  At this time, Tom reports that there are only 17 homes on the co-op that have alternative energy.  It was suggested that Tom write an article for this NFR edition to get the word out, inform people about the situation, encourage member participation in monthly meetings, and help get the policy changed so that co-op members benefit.

Next Meeting:

July 22, 2014, 7pm at Barlow’s in Treadwell (pending confirmation)