Adirondack Town Of Franklin
Adirondack Town Of Franklin

Town of Franklin Board Newsletter

The Franklin Flyer Our Town News - FEBRUARY 2022



As 2021 ended, so did the terms of Councilman Don Hamm and Councilman Tom Bartiss. Councilman Hamm served 3 terms with love and dedication to the town he grew up in. His expertise and knowledge in building, machinery and planning were an asset to the board making many decisions. His many stories and history of years past is epic. Did any of you know that the old plow that sits in front of the highway garage was on a town plow truck driven by Mac Bushey back in the day? Councilman Bartiss served 2 terms with love and dedication in our town that he settled in over 20 years ago. His expertise and knowledge in forestry, planning and broadband added to the board making many decisions.

We thank you both and we are forever grateful for your time and commitment to the Town of Franklin.


Rachelle Waters (Council member) - I moved to Vermontville with my family nearly five years ago from the Seattle area. My professional background is in technical writing and non-profit communications. I have more than 20 years of experience securing grant funding and private donations for causes that are near and dear to my heart.

As a mom of four school-age boys, I'm focused on strengthening our youth programs and building up local recreation opportunities. I'll also join the ongoing effort to connect all our families to high-speed internet.

Gail Huston (Council member) - I am looking forward to serving the town of which I've been a resident since 2004. I have lived in this area since 1996, raised my son here and have developed deep loving ties with the community. My background includes 17 years at Trudeau Institute as a Senior Research Associate and 7 years as Head Cheesemaker at Asgaard Farm & Dairy.

Thank you, Town of Franklin voters, for electing us to serve on the town council. We're excited to join the team and can't wait to get started on these projects and more in the coming years. Here's to the Town of Franklin!

Ralph Etienne (Historian) - Years ago, while walking down a dirt road, I noticed a flat tier of land at the base of a hill. It was overgrown with spindly shrubs and shadowed by large pines. Every time I walked by I'd think, "That's too even to be natural." Finally one day, I scampered up the bank and investigated. A withered lilac bush was hidden in the shrubs and just beyond was a stone foundation—an old homestead.

I've lived in the town of Franklin since September, 1979. I've seen lots of people come and go; I've watched the landscape change as nature reclaims old farms and the golf course. When encountering a long rock pile I think, "Who did all that work?" When hiking I sometimes wonder if indigenous hunters or herbalists walked the same mountain ridgeline. Who danced and drank in that rotting roadhouse bar?

History is also today. Little events, daily lives, create change. When asked to consider being historian, I gee-hawed a long time. I thought about approaches to the task. I finally decided that, yeah, I'll scuffle up some banks and dig around in the underbrush and see what I might find.

Thanks to Franklin County Legislator, Lindy Ellis, we have a few kits available at the Town Hall. If you need a kit, please contact Lauren or Dot (5180891-2189 to arrange pickup. Kits are also available at the Saranac Lake Free Library. Did you know that every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 4 free at-home test kits from the Federal Government? To order your tests go to or call 1-800-232-0233.

Jacques and his crews have been busy this winter, trying to keep up with all that Mother Nature has thrown at us. Please remember to give them space and patience, they are out there working so that we can get to work, recreation and life.

Another year of dealing with COVID-19 has kept us on our toes. We continue to provide food to 70-100 families in our area monthly and on an emergency basis.

Despite the challenges, we have been blessed with some amazing donors to which we are very grateful. We couldn't do this without you!

The day after we give out food, we start restocking shelves and thinking about what to order. We don't always get what we order so having a backup plan is essential. Our volunteers clean the pantry, stock the shelves, rotate stock, shovel the snow, take out garbage, order food, pick up food, make up the order sheet, email it, text it, Facebook it and call to get the orders for the next give out day.

Volunteers tackle the job of packing the many boxes starting a few days before the actual date. It's a monumental task and one that gets repeated month after month. We try our best to give everyone just what they've asked for but sometimes supplies just don't allow it.

On ‘The Day', they are busy finishing up boxes and getting them ready to go out the door. As cars line up, the inside of the pantry is buzzing with activity. Double checking the orders and adding perishables at the last minute takes a lot of time. They take pride in what they are doing. Each box is looked at many times by different volunteers trying to avoid mistakes.

We have people standing outside all afternoon to load boxes into cars and send everyone on their way. This happens in all weather. We can even hear a laugh or two despite the conditions outside.

Without our dedicated volunteers, the pantry wouldn't happen. I am eternally grateful for the ‘crew' we have and appreciate all their efforts to help our neighbors. So the next time you happen to see one of them, smile and say thank you. It means the world to us and they appreciate a kind word of thanks.

A friendly reminder, please stay in your cars at pick up and please wear a mask.

If you would like to be added to our order email list, please contact us: Sara 518-651-5757 or Shirley 518-891-3119. We are here to help.

There is some big planning going on for the Kate Mountain Park Youth Program and community. The town has received ARRA money and we are putting it toward water and sewer at the park. The board decided it is time to put the youth in our community first with these funds. We are in the process of planning a building with 2 bathrooms and a kitchen. The youth program has been using port-a-potties for years. This is not acceptable especially since the onset of COVID. The children will now have proper running water and sewer. The playground is also getting new equipment. We are so excited to expand the playground and give the children new playsets. There will be playsets for all ages to challenge their bodies and improving motor skills. Playgrounds are all about fun. Outdoor play also boosts social development and better health for children.

The beginning of May we will be breaking ground for the building. The playground equipment will also be in by the end of May. It will be ready in time for the Youth Program that starts on July 5th and runs through August 12th.

The town and county of Franklin have many state forest preserve and conservation easement lands and waters that offer public access for many forms of year round outdoor recreation. The town of Franklin applied for and was granted a 50% matching grant from Franklin County's "Explore Adirondack Frontier” program. The goal of the program is to better inform residents and visitors of the publicly accessible facilities and activities within the town.

The information will be provided on two kiosks, one at the Vermontville town hall and one at the town's Kate Mt. Park, and be posted on the town's website and Facebook page. Information is to be displayed on a scaled map, with roads, boundaries of state and conservation easement properties, name of areas, public access points, links for detailed information on activities and rules, and suggestions on safe use and protection of the resources.

Two local businesses have been contracted to digitize the information and to build the kiosks. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of June 2022. Look for the products of this project and plan to explore new areas for outdoor recreation right here in the town of Franklin!

Our board members are working tirelessly with Franklin County to help get broadband for all in our town. A new comer, Starlink, is a satellite service engineered by SpaceX that is starting to show up in our area. We are aware of several Town of Franklin residents that have opted for this service and are pleased with it. There is an upfront fee and a monthly service charge. For additional information and/or to sign up, go to:

Franklin County is helping to expand broadband access for all community members. Please consider filling out this survey to help identify areas with limited or no broadband access. Link for survey: Don't have internet? Free Paper survey, call 855-NYBBMAP


United Way of the Adirondacks has reached out to us to let the community know due to the extremely cold winter, they are here to help you. If you are experiencing frozen pipes or sewer, furnace and heating problems or in need of winter clothing to call 518-563-0028. They will offer any assistance you need.


Happy Camping RV, received support from Franklin County Economic Development Corp. and the Center for Business in Transition, a program of the Adirondack North Country Association, an independent economic development agency in Saranac Lake.

Max and Veronica Nason, the new owners of Happy Camping RV, had worked at the RV dealer for six years when they learned of the opportunity to purchase the business. "Going through the usual avenues to secure funding to buy was a huge challenge. We are younger and no banks wanted to take us on with a reasonable offer that would put us in a good position… They saw our vision to not only purchase the business, but also to build a new service garage and expand. They worked hard to help us secure the funding we needed."


The New York State Governor's Youth Council (Youth Council) is made up of 62 young people ages 13-21, one representing each county to be selected. Members virtually meet with their regional peers and Regional Representative at least twice monthly. In addition, members participate with statewide peers at youth led events. Members work on policy issues outlined in the attached document and have the opportunity to present their research/recommendations to their peers as well as State officials. Select policy proposals and recommendations will be sent to the Governor for review. The Youth Council provides an effective way to engage youth in state government and creates a platform for their voices to be heard by policymakers. This is an incredible opportunity for New York's youth to represent their county on a statewide level! Members of the Youth Council will offer their solutions to key issues facing young people in NYS to the Governor and other policymakers, including how to have better outreach and communication strategies to young people. Youth voice is recognized through this initiative; if you would like your voice heard apply today!

The application will be submitted to a county selection committee comprised of individuals that represent, support or provide youth services. Each county will look to advance the top three candidates to the State selection committee for review. The State selection committee will appoint ONE youth per county to the NYS Governor's Youth Council.

If you or a youth you know are interested in this opportunity, please contact Dot Brown at for additional information and an application to apply.

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Town of Franklin
P.O. Box 209, Route 3, Vermontville, NY 12989  ·  Tel: 518-891-2189  ·  Fax: 518-891-6389  ·
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