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Lazo: 'This can't go on'

Without accord, water issue a pipline to litigation

April 22, 2010
Southbridge Town Council Chairman Steven Lazo is calling for an end to the recent dispute over the town's agreement to sell Charlton water.

"There has got to be a mediation here. It needs to be solved. This can't go on," he said. "I just hope that we can resolve this in a business like manner before going any further into litigation."

The issue cropped up earlier this month when Southbridge Town Manager Christopher Clark said there would be "consequences" if Charlton did not remove an article from its May 17 annual Town Meeting warrant article, that if approved, would give Charlton the right to take by eminent domain Southbridge's water pipes physically located in Charlton. It would also appropriate money "for possible acquisition, by purchase, eminent domain, or otherwise, of water lines located in the Town of Charlton…"

The pipes run from Route 169 to the both service stops on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Charlton, and to the state police barracks.

Clark also alleged that Charlton Town Administrator Robin Craver made an "implied threat" during a meeting several months ago to take the pipes by that same measure. Charlton selectmen deny she made the threat.

The article, Craver said earlier this month, is not meant to take control of all the water infrastructure in Charlton. Clark had said he believes the threat was made in attempt to gain control of future infrastructure that would allow Charlton to create its own independent water department.

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

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