Monday, April 7, 2014

Emmons Street Summary, Next Steps

For those of you who may have missed the recent Town Council meeting discussion on April 2 regarding the Emmons Street property this is a brief summary:

About 50 people attended the April 2 Town Council meeting, and more than a dozen residents, organization representatives and business owners spoke during the citizens comment period.

Several councilors then spoke before Councilor Matt Kelly made a motion to add a resolution to the April 16 Town Council meeting. The resolution, which passed unanimously, will authorize an "Expression of Interest" in which proposals will be accepted for 90 days. At the end of that period, the Economic Development Committee will make a final report to be presented at the September 3 Town Council meeting.

Questions that still need answers:
The Partnership Board of Directors recommended that the Town Council give the community time to work together to further develop ideas and research funding options.  They also asked that the Council to take the time needed to answer the following important questions:

  1. What are the specific long-term goals for this property?
  2. What is the plan for where businesses will park during the construction project?
  3. How will losing the 50 parking spaces on this property affect downtown businesses?
  4. What will the new traffic patterns be after the streetscape project and the two-way traffic pattern is implemented?
  5. What state funding is available if the town considers a cultural center and greenspace?

Drive-thru options no longer being considered
In response to the FDP’s concern that the Town Council was considering a drive-thru retail business for the property, Councilor Matt Kelly assured the community that the Council is no longer considering any drive-thru options and will not be pursuing any type of drive-thru for this property.

Next Steps for community input
Community groups who are interested in a cultural/community center and greenspace/park at the Emmons Street location are now forming a steering committee to begin formulating more specific ideas.  Anyone interested in participating can contact Denise Schultz,, who will be setting up a meeting in the near future.

The next Economic Development meeting will be April 16th at 5:30 at Town Hall.

The Milford Daily News ran this story last Wednesday -- Franklin residents:  slow down on Emmons Street parcel by Matt Tota

Steve Sherlock provided live reporting of the meeting on Franklin Matters and also posted this synopsis of the Emmons Street discussion --

The full text of Lisa Piana’s comments can be found here.