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$190,000 Sewer Bill: Town Admin says Northborough not Late

In response to some strong words by the Marlborough mayor at a city council meeting, Northborough Town Administrator John Coderre issues a letter.

Northborough Town Administrator John Coderre stresses that the town is not late with its $190,000 payment for a sewage bill.   

Marlborough Mayor Arthur Vigeant and DPW Commissioner Ronald LaFreniere addressed the issue at the meeting, Vigeant stating, “Hopefully we can stir things up and get a check to us."

In a letter sent to Vigeant, Coderre indicated it is hardly the case, pointing to an invoice for FY2012 was received on Nov. 15, with a payment due date of Dec. 14.

"Where the confusion seems to rest," continues the letter, "is regarding the portion of the invoice that is attributable to a user/conveyance fee that the city began assessing the town in FY2010."

These user fees total $23,054, and Coderre stresses that from its initial implementation, "the town has respectfully disputed these user/conveyance fees. With regard to the disputed fees, the town is, of course, more than willing to meet with Marlborough officials at any time."

The EPA's "abrupt and unexpected decision" in early February to rescind the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, along with the associated sewer capacity expansion that is needed for both Marlborough and Northborough, is the "root cause" of the problem, wrote Coderre.

Three Northborough properties connect to the Westerly Treatment Plant in Marlborough, including Algonquin Regional High School.

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The town fully intends to pay operating charges totaling $166,234 to Marlborough by its due date, said Coderre.

"Again, for the record," continued Coderre, "I want to stress that all charges covered by the intermunicipal agreement from the city to the town are current and in good standing. We would not want any member of the City Council or the public to mistakenly believe that the town's share of the annual operating charges are actually past due. Please know that the town of Northborough values its very positive, longstanding relationship with the city of Marlborough."

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