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'There is another way with RMV'

Senior center move talk causes stir

April 11, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — Former state Rep. Mark Carron dropped a bit of a bombshell last week when he told about 50 seniors gathered for their regular luncheon at the Casaubon Senior Center that the property owners at Big Bunny Plaza would welcome the Registry of Motor Vehicles back for the very deal it is seeking — a rent-free space.

In return, the owners would want forgiveness of a $300,000 loan taken out years ago when they outfitted a space in the plaza specifically for the RMV.

"From conversations with the Big Bunny property owners," said Carron with microphone in hand last Monday in a video recording of the luncheon, "if the loan is forgiven, they would allow the registry to occupy that space rent-free. Then we're back in the place we were fitted for."

His remarks appeared to surprise most of those in attendance, including Town Manager Christopher Clark, who admitted later in the week to being caught off guard by the announcement.

"Yeah," he said when asked if Carron's revelation blindsided him. "I wasn't aware the state had done loan forgiveness. What he told me is they have the ability [to do that]."

It would require, Carron said by phone last Friday, an act of special legislation, something he does not see being done.

"[State Rep.] Geraldo Alicea has basically said there's no money," said Carron of the sophomore lawmaker who has made the fight to return the former registry office from the Mass Pike in Charlton back to town one of the biggest issues as he prepares for a re-election bid in November.

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

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