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Charlton forges ahead with water warrant


April 15, 2010
arrant article at the center of its dispute with Southbridge over the town's water arrangement.

Article 16 on the warrant for the Charlton's Tuesday, May 17 annual Town Meeting proposes to "see if the town will vote to transfer and appropriate a sum … to be used for possible acquisition, by purchase, eminent domain, or otherwise, of water lines located in the Town of Charlton and any related easements or other interests in real estate …"

Southbridge Town Manager Christopher Clark earlier this month said there would be "consequences" if Charlton did not remove the article. He did so after claiming Charlton Town Administrator Robin Craver, during a meeting earlier this year with the state Department of Environmental Protection and Southbridge officials, made an "implied threat" to take Southbridge's water pipes by eminent domain, which run from Route 169 to the two Massachusetts Turnpike service stops and the state police barracks, all located in Charlton. Charlton official have denied any threat was ever made.

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.

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

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