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Stimulus $$ stalled on access road?

Controversy may cost town $10M in federal aid

July 01, 2009
SOUTHBRIDGE — The prospect of getting stimulus funding for the industrial access road may be hanging by a thread because of the ongoing wetlands appeal and court case.

According to Town Manager Christopher Clark, he included a reference to the legal issues in his lengthy application for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding "for the sake of full disclosure."

"The person from the [federal] agency called with some questions," Clark said. " He said, 'I'd never admit this, but normally we don't like to entertain things of a controversial nature.'"

Clark declined to identify the person, in part because the town has several other projects on the stimulus list. But the access road was by far the largest. Clark was seeking $10 million to build the entire road rather than just phase one, which is being funded by $7.3 million from the Casella agreement, he said. The additional funds would have extended the road from phase one's end at Barefoot Road to Pleasant Street, built a water tower and installed underground electricity, plus some extra for contingency.

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage.

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