We have a date!

It’s finally here – the official date for the two-way changeover is July 20, 2016. Here’s the official announcement from the Town:

“Dear Franklin Resident: 

This is the first announcement to the community that the traffic pattern will be changing in Downtown Franklin on July 20, 2016. The one-way traffic pattern in downtown, which many have become accustomed to, will be changing to two-way traffic. Yes that’s correct: traffic around the downtown triangle will soon become two-way! We encourage everyone to take it a little slower in their daily business to make sure you get accustomed to the new flow of traffic. 

We encourage you to follow the town website and social media (Facebook, Twitter) feeds, as well as the Town’s traditional local media channels to stay tuned for specific updates over the coming month. We are counting on you to help spread the word. 

Downtown Map. A map is attached of the new traffic routes. I encourage you to print it out, send it to friends and family and begin to spread the word. 

Future Notification. As part of the construction contract with the state, the Town will be placing electronic boards at all intersections of downtown when the traffic transitions to two-way. New lane markings will be painted around the entire downtown, as well as signage in key areas. Individual letters will also be distributed to all downtown businesses to help educate their customers of the traffic flow when exiting their business. The Town will also be doing as much publicity as possible through its own social media feeds and through traditional local media channels on this pattern change. 

Public Benefits. I also want to take this opportunity to thank the community for their patience during the recent construction in downtown. The Town is installing many public benefits, including new sidewalks, new paving, better pedestrian-friendly accommodations, and many beautification efforts to enhance the vibrancy of the downtown. The planning effort for this project has taken well over a decade and I am confident residents will enjoy the new amenities. 

If any resident has any questions, feel free to contact the Town Administrator’s Office at 508-520-4949. 

Jeff Nutting, Town Administrator

Jamie Hellen, Deputy Town Administrator”

Get ready!

It’s almost here – this weekend’s 4th of July festivities will mark the last time the downtown triangle is composed of one-way streets! All the construction for the last year and a half has been leading up to this. 

The Town and state will have plenty of signage up to help direct you once the traffic pattern changes (the exact date of the change still hasn’t been announced). In the meantime, make sure you take a look at the map above to help familiarize yourself with the new pattern so you’ll be ready when the changeover takes place.

Downtown Streetscape Update – June 23, 2016

From the office of Town Administrator Jeff Nutting, here’s the latest on the downtown construction… 

“Work Schedule for the week of June 27 to July 1. 

The Contractor will be milling for crosswalks only beginning at the intersection of Main/Pleasant St. Sunday night and Monday night. 
The Contractor is scheduled to pave Wednesday night and Thursday night. The area they plan to pave will be East Central St, the small section of West Central St and any additional area on Main St we can get to. We will be able to keep at least one lane open so there will be no major detours. 
There will be no night work Tuesday night. 

Please contact the Town Administrator’s Office at 520-4949 with any questions. We will continue to keep the public informed through our website, Twitter and Facebook.”

Downtown Streetscape Update – June 21, 2016

From the office of Town Administrator Jeff Nutting, here’s the latest on the downtown construction…

Paving has begun in downtown. The contractor will be in the reminder of this week beginning the tree and shrub plantings in downtown. The contractors will also be onsite to mill the section of Beaver Street and Union Street.

Paving is planning to resume next week, tentatively for Tuesday and Wednesday of the week of June 27, including East Central St and the rest of main.
Please be aware as you enter these intersections there may be detours throughout downtown. Signals making downtown a two-way intersection should be tentatively taking effect mid-July. 

Please contact the Town Administrator’s Office at 520-4949 with any questions. We will continue to keep the public informed through our website, Twitter and Facebook.”

Deck overhaul

Sorry I’ve been scarce this week – I’ve been working on a home improvement project while the dry weather holds. Specifically, I’ve been over at my mom’s house doing this:

We’re giving her small deck a much needed facelift with a fresh coat of paint on the spindles and trim, and a coat of Behr’s Deckover on the floor and top rail. 

So far, the project is going well and the deck is starting to look gorgeous! If you have a deck that needs an update, Deckover and similar products are worth a try, but keep in mind that this is not a one-day project by any means. This has taken nearly a week of work so far and it’s not a large area; first you need to prep the surface with a special cleaning solution, and you’ll need at least two coats of the Deckover after that. The product itself is like an extremely thick paint, so it fills in small cracks in the deck surface but it’s tough to spread and you will need a lot of it to cover much ground. We also learned that painter’s tape doesn’t really stick to it, so masking off areas of trim to get a clean finish can be difficult. We’ll just have to go back around with the white paint to touch up later! 

It’s going to look brand new once it’s done, though, and hopefully it will extend the lifespan of the deck for another few years at least so Mom can keep enjoying her river views. 

Norfolk Registry of Deeds – May Real Estate Report

Good news from Norfolk County Register O’Donnell! May was a great month for real estate in our county. Check out the Register’s report below…

“Register O’Donnell Reports Solid Real Estate Results for May

Spring roared in like a lion when it came to May real estate sales in Norfolk County, according to Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell.

The Register noted, “For the month of May, a total of 1,554 property transactions, both residential and commercial, were recorded in Norfolk County. This activity represented a 7% increase from the previous May. In addition, the total dollar volume of residential and commercial real estate transactions was $682 million, an impressive 13% increase year over year. These are encouraging numbers and point to continued momentum in the real estate market.”

Results were however mixed for lending activity. “May 2016 saw 2,814 mortgages recorded against Norfolk County property, representing a 5% increase over the previous May. However, the total dollar amount borrowed during May 2016 was actually a decrease of 5% from May 2015. While these numbers may appear contradictory, I would remind readers that this figure can be significantly impacted by just a small number of commercial loans,” stated O’Donnell.

Last month’s statistics clearly indicate that Norfolk County homeowners continue to take advantage of the Homestead Act, an important consumer tool. For the month of May, a total of 1,114 Homesteads were recorded, a 12% increase from last May. A Homestead provides limited protection against the forced sale of an individual’s primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000.

Foreclosure activity continued to be a cause of some concern during May 2016. The total number of Notices to Foreclose Mortgage recordings, the first step in the foreclosure process, came in at 84 compared to 63 in May 2015. Foreclosure deed recordings, the final step in the foreclosure process, were flat. A total of 22 foreclosure deeds were processed in May compared to 25 in May of 2015.

O’Donnell noted, “There is no question that some of this foreclosure activity stems from the economic downturn that took place between 2008 and 2009. There is also no question that some of our neighbors are facing economic hardship today. The Registry is proud to partner with Quincy Community Action Programs at (617) 479-8181 x-376 and Neighbor Works Southern Mass at (508) 598-0950 to help anyone who has received a Notice to Foreclose Mortgage from a lender. Another option for consumers is to call the Massachusetts Attorney General’s HomeCorps program at (617) 573-5333.”

Register O’Donnell concluded, “May was a solid month for real estate activity in Norfolk County. The strong eastern Massachusetts economy is clearly the driving force behind these results. While the Federal Reserve is again talking about raising interest rates in June or July, I am confident that both the real estate and lending markets will withstand this potential increase. My primary concern is that real estate inventory levels do not slip. Overall, given May’s current data, I am cautiously optimistic that the real estate market will continue on a favorable trend in Norfolk County through the summer months.”

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us at facebook.com/NorfolkDeeds or follow us on twitter.com/NorfolkDeeds.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, located at 649 High Street, Dedham, is the principal office for real property in Norfolk County. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center at (781) 461-6101, or on the web at http://www.norfolkdeeds.org.

Register William P. O’Donnell

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

email: registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org

phone: 781-234-3336

web: http://www.norfolkdeeds.org”

Downtown Streetscape Update – June 7, 2016

From the office of Town Administrator Jeff Nutting, here’s the latest on the downtown construction…

“It is now anticipated that the Two-Way Traffic system in downtown will take effect after the Fourth of July and the annual parade and festival. The Town will continue to keep residents and downtown businesses informed when a specific date has been identified. The Town will have five electronic boards and plenty of signage when the actual date takes effect. 

The construction crews plan to begin paving late this week (at night after 8:00 PM) and anticipate two days next week, the week of June 13th. 

Tomorrow, Wednesday and early Thursday of this week should have the brick sidewalks completed on the Century 21 side of the downtown sidewalks.

If anyone has a question, please feel free to reach out to the DPW Director, Brutus Cantoreggi or Town Engineer, Michael Maglio at 508-553-5500 or Jeffrey Nutting, Town Administrator at 508-520-4949.”