News

Apr 19, 2017

SETTLEMENT OF WASTEWATER INTER-JURISDICTIONAL AGREEMENT DISPUTE


Woonsocket City Council President, Daniel M. Gendron, and North Smithfield Town Council President, John A. Beauregard, issued a joint news release today stating “The City of Woonsocket and the Town of North Smithfield reached an amicable settlement to the unfortunate dispute between the communities over a wastewater inter-jurisdictional agreement (“IJA”)”.

Category: News Room
Posted by: Craig

SETTLEMENT OF WASTEWATER INTER-JURISDICTIONAL AGREEMENT DISPUTE

April 18, 2017
Woonsocket City Council President, Daniel M. Gendron, and North Smithfield Town Council President, John A. Beauregard, issued a joint news release today stating “The City of Woonsocket and the Town of North Smithfield reached an amicable settlement to the unfortunate dispute between the communities over a wastewater inter-jurisdictional agreement (“IJA”)”.

North Smithfield, along with Blackstone, MA and portions of Bellingham, MA, have their wastewater treated at Woonsocket’s wastewater treatment facility and the IJAs govern the terms of the treatment. Due to recent facility upgrades, the City required new agreements. Blackstone and Bellingham signed the new agreements, however, North Smithfield refused, resulting in the issue being put before R.I. Superior Court Judge Richard Licht, who was set to take action on the matter in late April.

Gendron and Beauregard said “After several years of disagreement that was sometimes the subject of
unfortunate rhetoric, officials from both communities held a series of informal meetings that led
to an agreement that settles all outstanding issues to the satisfaction of both communities,
including those before the R.I. Superior Court.”

According to Gendron, the settlement reflects the good relationship that actually exists between
Woonsocket and their neighbors in North Smithfield, saying that, after he and Mayor Lisa
Baldelli-Hunt met informally with Beauregard and North Smithfield’s Administrator Gary Ezovski, it
became clear that the dispute was overblown and easily remedied.

The two Councilmen said a second meeting, arranged by Woonsocket Public Works Director Steven
D’Agostino, was held between Gendron, Woonsocket Councilman James Cournoyer, D’Agostino, Beauregard
and North Smithfield Councilman Thomas McGee wherein the final details of the agreement were
hammered out.

Beauregard went on to say “the agreement is fair and equitable to both sides, but more importantly
demonstrates the solid and productive relationship that exists between the two neighbors.” Gendron
said “Councilmen Beauregard and McGee, along with Administrator Ezovski, brought a refreshing and
pragmatic approach to the discussions that allowed us to get past an unfortunate chapter that was
not reflective of the longstanding healthy relationship that
exists between our communities.”

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The settlement, in part, calls for North Smithfield to pay Woonsocket all amounts owed relative
to the IJA’s Host Fee going back to fiscal year 2014, net of any amounts previously paid. In
addition, Woonsocket agreed to waive all interest on the past due amounts, in conjunction with
other mutual concessions to effectuate a fair and equitable settlement of all disputes including
the pending litigation in R.I. Superior court.

Gendron and Beauregard thanked the Administrations and Councils of both communities for coming
together to finally resolve this issue so that all parties can move forward and direct their
attention to more pressing matters.