Northborough files court papers in dispute with Southborough

by susan on November 23, 2010

Post image for Northborough files court papers in dispute with Southborough

We knew it was coming, and earlier this month the town of Northborough followed through by filing papers with the Worcester Superior Court asking for a declaratory judgment against Southborough in the ongoing dispute between the towns over how to split debt incurred when Algonquin was remodeled a few years ago.

The core of the issue is how to equitably assess mortgage payments on Algonquin for the next 15 years or so. Southborough says the towns should use the regional agreement, which has been in place for decades. The agreement says payments should be divided based on school enrollment. But Northborough argues that state law — specifically Chapter 70B which considers socio-economic factors — trumps the regional agreement.

As you can probably guess, using the regional agreement would mean a lower assessment for Southborough, and using Chapter 70B rules would mean a lower assessment for Northborough. Hence the conflict.

The Regional School Committee tried to broker a compromise back in 2009. Northborough voters approved the compromise, but Southborough voters resounding rejected it.

“Northborough is trying to take advantage of Southborough’s willingness to fund Algonquin. They know we fund our schools well and they’re trying to stick it to us. They’re trying to steal your money, your hard-earned dollars. I am not willing to compromise on this,” Selectman Bill Boland said at the time.

When the compromise deal fell through, Northborough said its next move would be to take Southborough to court. Since then, Northborough has set aside $100K for a legal battle and Southborough $50K.

Summary motions in the civil case filed by Northborough are expected either late next month or in early January 2011.

1 mike Doyle November 23, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Could someone please tell us how much money is in dispute here? I would like to know how much of a difference these 2 opposing views would mean to Southborough voters.
Thank you.

2 dee November 23, 2010 at 4:35 PM

I live in Southborough, so I don’t even know who will profit more, but it should be split the way it was originally accessed years ago.

3 Pam November 24, 2010 at 6:31 AM

Being a person who once attended Algonquin, has a child at Algonquin, used to live in Southborough, now living in Northborough, I think that it should be based on enrollment, the way it has always been. Plenty of Northborough and Southborough residents don’t even send their children to the public high school, why should they have to pay the burden of funding the Regional High School when their children will be using it. Just my thoughts on this issue.

4 Pam November 24, 2010 at 6:32 AM

OOPS – I meant to say “when their children will NOT be using it.

Previous post:

Next post: