Town of Franklin Board Newsletter
Volume 5 Issue 1 - Our Town News June 2014
From the Supervisor
By Art Willman
Is it just me or is this year starting to fly by? We have just passed the Summer Solstice and the days will once again start to become shorter. For all you "Game of Thrones" fans out there: "winter is coming."
Broadband Internet on the Distant Horizon
The first half of the year has yielded some fairly decent progress. The Broadband Survey we conducted produced some really good data. We had roughly 45% of our residents respond to the survey. This data has now been analyzed, a working business plan has been formulated, and grant applications are soon to be in the works to solicit funding to build the infrastructure necessary to bring high speed Internet access to virtually everyone in our town. This may have to be done in two or more phases but, in time, the goal is to have everyone with access to high speed Internet service. Many thanks to Dave Wolff of ADKAction.org, Dr. Diane Litynski from Paul Smith's College School of Business Management and Entrepreneur Studies, Keegan Pflumm, a student and graduate of Paul Smith's, and Legislator Barbara Rice for all her support and effort is working with the towns of Franklin and Harrietstown, and, of course, to all our residents who took the time to respond.
$200,000 HUD Grant Awarded to Town
Also this Spring we got the good news that the Town of Franklin was awarded a $200,000 CDBG block grant through HUD. This will make it possible for some folks whose homes are in need of repair to make these repairs happen. This was our third try in as many years which, I guess, was the charm.
If you recall, about three years ago we sent out post cards to every residence in town announcing our intention to apply for this funding. These cards instructed folks, who might be eligible for funding, to contact Friends of the North Country and begin the process of application so that, in the event we were successful, we would have a list with which to start.
This list also served to demonstrate a need by which the Town's eligibility and need would be assessed by those who read the application.
We repeated this process the following year and again this past year. Friends of the North Country is in the process of re-interviewing the initial applicants to see who is still in need and if they still meet the income criteria. A list will be set up on a first come first served basis and work will begin soon.
2nd Annual Founders' Day and Community Picnic Scheduled. Expanded Events
We are gearing up for our 2nd annual Founders' Day Celebration and Community Picnic. This year we will include a horseshoe tournament, trivia contest, silent auction, 50/50, two bands, and, new this year, a beer garden. This important fund raiser is sponsored by the Franklin Democratic and Republican Committees and all of the profits will be donated to the Kate Mountain Park Special Reserve Fund - a dedicated fund that is solely for improvements at our recreation park. Our ambition is to raise enough funds to build a community center which, given the limited space available in our Town Hall, is definitely needed to accommodate a larger number of participants in Town affairs.. Lauren's article will address this and other points related to our fund raising efforts. Instead, I would like to address what has become a source of confusion where fund raising events are concerned.
Divergent Fund Raising Efforts Explained
There is a difference that exists between a fund raiser that is strictly for the Park and one that is conducted by the Kate Mountain Community Recreation Association. The KMCRA is a private fund raising group that has Kate Mountain in its name, but is not affiliated with the Town. Although, at its inception, this group was started to raise funds for the Park, but its mission has been expanded.. The activities of this group are best described in their own words in a letter read to the Town Board: " KMCRA is a charitable, non-profit organization which has multiple purposes, including community service and promotion of community and recreation activities primarily in the Town of Franklin and surrounding area." What I take this to mean is that when the KMCRA conducts a fund raiser, those funds can be used for a variety of purposes. To be sure, I am not calling into question the group's validity or seriousness of purpose. I am simply pointing out that moneys raised at one of these fund raisers will not be used solely for funding a community center or improvements at the Park, although to be fair, the group does have a "Community Center Fund" largely supported by past donations from the Loon Lake Homeowners Assn.
On the other hand when folks support our Town events like our Founders' Day Celebration/Community picnic, sponsored by the Republicans and Democrats, every cent of profit goes into the Special Reserve Fund. Nothing is spent for general Town stuff or anything of the sort. So when I hear of someone who attended a KMCRA fundraiser say "I already gave to the Park," that is not the case. It is our hope that, by focusing solely on building up this Fund that we will be able to some day to put up a structure as so many other communities have done.
Saranac Lake has accomplished this with the Friends of Mount Pisgah raising funds for a new lodge and currently, the Friends of Dewey Mountain are doing the same thing for the Dewey Mountain facility. I have asked a couple of times for volunteers to start a similar group, call it Friends of Kate Mountain or something like that. To date, we have had no takers. This may be interpreted as a lack of interest or desire to become involved in our Town. I do hope I am wrong and it is just an oversight and that there are some folks out there who have enough interest and can dedicate some time, no matter how small, to helping out. This is the only way a community center will be built. I really wish there was some benefactor out there who would miraculously come forward and donate a cool $300,000 or so for the construction of a building, but it seems unlikely. The only way I can see this happening is if we all pitch in and get it done ourselves.
Future Events Promise Family Fun
For future events, Lauren has mentioned a "Punkin' Chunkin"' event on tap for this Fall. As this might be called a "Franklin Fall Fling", this event will have groups of contestants design and build catapults or trebuchets to "fling" pumpkins. This can be done for distance, accuracy, or rapid fire. This has become quite a thing around the country and I think it is time we all shared in the fun. It might also be an excellent opportunity to incorporate a food-related event such as a chili cook-off. Also, we have planned a Halloween Party, and Christmas party. All of these events can be found on our web site and our new Facebook page (thank you, Lauren).
Finally, I would call everyone's attention to the garden area next to the front steps of the Town Hall. This has become increasingly more beautiful over the years and we owe it all to Mrs. Zoe McCulley who has been unselfishly donating her time and effort to this labor of love. I would like to personally thank Zoe and I would urge each of you to express your gratitude as well for making this area so lovely and welcoming. That about does it for now. Be well.
Did Someone Say "Party"?
By Lauren LeFebvre
Never let it be said that I didn't dream BIG! Also, never let it be said that I didn't ask you for help. YOU, right there reading this thinking "Who, me? I'm too busy" or "Who, me? I have nothing to offer" or "Who, me? I don't know anyone" or "Who, me? I always help. Let someone else take over" or "Who, me? Why? No one else is stepping up". Have I missed any excuses other than "I just can't stand Lauren!"?
Right now plans are being made for Founder's Day to be held Saturday, July 26 (rain date Sunday, the 27th) at Kate Mountain Park. This is a fundraiser to build a Community Building at the park. You need it. The entire Town of Franklin needs it. Why? Wouldn't it be great to have a place for reunions, weddings, birthdays, bridal/baby showers, community dinners, etc. that weren't squeezed into the already too crowded and too small Town Hall or held hostage to the outdoor elements at Kate Mountain Park? Wouldn't it be great to have a year round youth program so kids had a place to go after school to get a snack and help with homework before their parents came home from work? This and more would be VERY doable if we only had the space.
It's time. It's been time for years. I didn't just fall off the turnip truck. I'm very well aware of this has been a town goal for many years. We needed it then and we need it even more NOW.
So, NOW, let's talk about Founder's Day. Here are the working ideas for events I'm involved in and could use help with.
1. Activities for kids-right now we're talking about inflatable toys. You know an obstacle course and (dare I say?) "Bounce House". Other ideas and or/volunteers to help out with this would be fantastic.
2. Trivia Teams-Get a team together to compete in the 1st ever Town of Franklin Trivia Contest. I went to one of these fundraisers over the winter and had the best time! Let's just say we didn't lose.
3. Get a bunch of friends together (up to eight on a team) and sign up to compete. The winning team gets cold, hard CASH!
4. Horseshoe Tournament-I'm not directly involved in this but I can help with the organizing. Get your horseshoeing friends together, sign up and then kick their butts. How can that not be fun? Winner takes home CASH!
5. Vendors-Do you make crafts? Do you have a home business? Do you represent a club? We're looking for vendors. Spend the day with us. Space is free to residents and $10 for non-residents.
6. Karaoke-I'm just throwing this out there. I think it would be fun. I don't have the equipment and I have no idea how this would work. I have learned that this is a GREAT way to embarrass friends and family and, at the same time, raise money for a good cause; thereby relieving you of all guilt by putting them on the spot. If we can pull it off this year, great, if not there's always next year.
It should go without saying that there will be delicious food, drinks, desserts (I'm thinking Root Beer Floats) and music. I'm sure volunteers and ideas are needed in those areas, too.
I'll leave you with two thoughts. First, I really am talking to YOU. Second, have you seen "Punkin' Chunkin'" on TV? If not, Google it. It's an idea for a Fall fundraiser. Let me know what you think.
Dog License Renewal Reminder
Just a quick reminder:
All dogs in the Town of Franklin are required to be licensed and leashed. If your dog's license is not current, please stop in at the Town Hall and renew your dog licenses.
Public Health authorities warn the public to:
Use caution around all wild animals, especially raccoons, skunks and foxes. Talk to children now about not approaching wildlife and to immediately tell a parent or adult if they see a wild animal.
Have pets vaccinated against rabies immediately. New York state law requires that all dogs, cats and ferrets be vaccinated by age 4 months. Vaccination is also recommended for livestock with frequent human contact.
Report all animal bites to your local health department. If follow -up on the biting animal is not possible, the person may need rabies vaccinations to prevent the disease.
Report all contact with bats, including finding a bat in the same room with a sleeping person.
Have pets spayed or neutered because that decreases undesirable behavior, like aggression and roaming, and reduces the number of unwanted animals that may not be properly cared for or regularly vaccinated.
Wear gloves before handling your pet if it has had a fight with a wild animal, and call the health department or your veterinarian for advice on what to do next.
If an unvaccinated pet comes in contact with a rabid or suspected rabid animal, the pet must be quarantined for six months or euthanized.
Vaccinated pets that come in contact with a rabid or suspected rabid animal must be given a booster rabies vaccination within five days of the contact.
Franklin County Health Department: 481-1709. After hours, call 877-410-55753 (Press 5 for on call nurse.)
Founders' Day Celebration
Kate Mountain Park, Rte. 3, Vermontville; Saturday, July 26th, 11 am till... Rain Date Sunday, July 27th
Live Music Groups: Two Bands.
- Great food
- Beer Garden
- Horseshoe Tournament
- Silent Auction; 50/50
- Trivia Contest
Keep In Touch With Your Town
We have sent this edition of the Franklin Flyer out in the mail primarily to let folks know that the newsletter is available in a variety of places and our residents should be on the lookout for upcoming editions. We have been trying to publish three to four times a year following roughly a quarterly time table, depending mostly upon whether there is a great deal of news to relate. The Franklin Flyer is available online on our website at www.townoffranklin.com and in print at the Vermontville Post Office and at our Town Hall. As a special feature, our editor Vince Pagano has offered to make an email version available as well. Just email Vince at email@example.com to request that the newsletter be emailed to you and you will be all set. Unfortunately a regular mailing is too expensive. Also, you can keep abreast of month to month happenings by attending board meetings, held on the second Wednesday of every month a 7pm or at least look up the minutes of each month's meeting online on our website or in hard copy at the Town Hall
Town Board Meetings
7 p.m. 2nd Wednesdays of the Month at the Town Hall, Vermontville
St. Paul's Food Pantry
Building behind Town Hall.
Distribution one day a month and as needed...
Make out donations to St. Paul's Food Pantry
C/o Mary Ellen Keith, 9 Tyler Rd, Vermontville, NY
55+ Club Meetings
2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the Month at the Town Hall, Vermontville. Bring "Covered Dish". Contact Donna Buckley 891-9214
Internet, smartphones with endless Apps, including digital and video cameras; Skype, e-mail, texting, Facebook, Twitter, etc. - these are the modern day vehicles of instant communication and instruments of the instant documenting of current history in the making. As a result, future generations will have immediate access to what life was like in the late 20th century and early 21st century.
But what about times past in the North Country- the life experiences of our grandparents and great grandparents? What were their lives like without indoor plumbing, central heating, dishwashers, washers and dryers, vacuum cleaners, disposable everything, TVs, cell phones, fax machines, vaccines, antibiotics, etc. ? Yes one can get some idea of past historical events and the then lifestyle by Googling; but for an appreciation of our local heritage; that is, the struggles and joys of the past generations of our local area (Town of Franklin and surrounding towns and hamlets), the best way is by the accounts and records of their descendants
In this connection, some members of the Town of Franklin 55 Plus Club are ready to share some personal accounts of their early lives and that of their predecessors via oral accounts, letters, photographs, etc. and encourage other seniors to join them in this effort. In doing so, you will be documenting precious memories that would otherwise be lost and not available for the appreciation of our younger generations.
If you are interested, please contact Vincent Pagano, Representative for the Senior Citizens of the Town of Franklin: 891-4095, firstname.lastname@example.org; 3466 County Route 26, Loon Lake, NY 12989