Town Meeting Day is right around the corner, and the residents of Franklin Carriage House need your support.
Article 2 on the Franklin Town Meeting ballot – available to all Franklin voters as a mail-in ballot – requests approval from voters to approve a $5,000 appropriation to support the payment of service fees at Franklin Carriage House. It is our hope that the voters of Franklin will see fit to support this request.
Here’s a (relatively) quick explanation of what service fees are and why we’re asking for your support at this time.
Similar to Franklin Homestead, residents at Franklin Carriage House are age 55+. However, the Carriage House offers services that aren’t provided at the Homestead, including three home-cooked meals each day, room cleaning, and laundry.
We are keenly aware that our residents live on fixed incomes, and we work hard to keep expenses as low as possible. And over the years, even with annual increases, we’ve consistently kept service fees among the lowest in the state to meet our residents’ needs. As we continue to face the financial challenges of COVID-19 and increased operating costs, it remains our goal to keep these fees as low as we can.
That’s where Franklin voters come in.
If Article 2 is approved, the $5,000 appropriation will be applied directly to Franklin Carriage House service fees. Supporting the request directly eases the potential burden faced not only by Franklin Homestead, Inc. (FHI), but also by its residents, several of whom have spent most – if not all – of their lives here in town.
That’s the impact of the appropriation on FHI and is Carriage House residents. What about taxpayers?
It looks like the approval of $5,000 would add 6 cents to your tax bill if you own a $200,000 home.
We’ve been asked few times if this request is a one-time thing or if we’ll be making the request annually. The best answer that can be given right now is that it’s likely we will make an annual request of some sort going forward.
It may or may not be for $5,000. We’d like for next year’s request to be for less, but it’s hard to say at this point, given how uncertain so many things are these days. We also hope that when Town Meeting Day rolls around next year, we’ll have appropriation requests up for consideration in Berkshire, Highgate, and Sheldon. When we receive applicants, residents of those three towns (or people with relatives from those towns) are given first preference after folks from Franklin.
If you have any questions about Article 2, we hope that you’ll get in touch with us. You can call Manager Stacy Silloway and Assistant Manager Ethan Dezotelle at 285-2944. You can also email Stacy (email@example.com) or Ethan (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Town of Franklin is also holding an informational meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Ethan will be at that meeting to address any questions about the appropriation request. For meeting login information, visit https://drive.google.com/file/d/1t8cSi7SZmH3eJ0U5AJmqlguPrhtWI6Qs/view.