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Charlton's pipe dream

Clark: Craver threatened water pipe confiscation

April 08, 2010
Charlton Town Administrator Robin Craver made an "implied threat" to take Southbridge's water pipes by eminent domain, for their own use in developing a permanent water system, according to Southbridge Town Manager Christopher Clark.

Charlton Selectmen Chairman Rick Swensen denied any threat was ever made.

If Charlton proceeds with any eminent domain-taking, which Clark said would be a "hostile act," Southbridge would steadfastly resist and there would be "consequences."

The issue is part of a five-year agreement between the two towns, which has Southbridge selling 100,000 gallons of water per day to Charlton. The system provides water to homes in the areas of Stafford Street, Northside Road and Route 20 where homeowners have suffered the effects of water contamination dating back to gasoline spills during 1970s and '80s. Under the agreement, Southbridge is working with Charlton to provide water on a permanent basis.

The controversy started during a meeting in January or February, in which state Department of Environmental Protection officials, along with representatives from Southbridge and Charlton, gathered to solve leak problems troubling the connection to Harrington HealthCare's MRI facility in Charlton.

See Friday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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