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Eminent Domain?

July 19, 2011

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The Town wants to start the cleanup but the neighbors at Stony Brook Road aren’t finished negotiating. The Town’s time crunch, dictated by the State laws on cleanups, is all about the money … fine money that is. So, apparently, because of this sword of Damocles over the throne,  hanging by the thin thread of a contractor’s hair, Eminent Domain is a possibility. Remote possibility to be sure, but hey, when you are a municipality it IS one of the arrows in your quiver. (Is that too many medieval metaphors?) As previously reported in the Lynn Item, the Town of Marblehead voted to buy Jeff Dinsmore’s house which was chemically contaminated by runoff from the old Town landfill. Oops.

“Selectmen have voted to schedule a hearing and a vote on the takings August 24. They plan to meet in executive session with the Board of Health to discuss the takings before their July 27 meeting.” [Lynn Item, 719/11, p. A8]

The Town voted to pay $1.2 million for the land at 57 Stony Brook Road, 277,000 for the clean-up and legal fees and another $970,000 for the house. Town Meeting also approved another $1.8 million for the purchase and clean-up of 56 Stony Brook (a vacant lot) and part of another house lot at 55 Stony Brook and an easement on 52 Stony Brook. The plan is to convert the properties to “public land” once the clean-up is completed.

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