Pembroke Loses Lawsuit Against Allenstown's Sewer Dept.
On Jan. 20, 2017, Judge Diane M. Nicolosi decided in favor of Allenstown, essentially denying Pembroke from any access to profits from Allenstown's Waste Water Treatment Facility (WWTF). The suit appears to have been tried in September and October 2016.
The judge published the following conclusion:
"For the reasons stated, the court declares that Allenstown is allowed to spend excess septage revenues however it sees fit pursuant to 2006 IMA §3.06, and Pembroke is not entitled to a portion of the increased capacity resulting from the BioMag Project. All submitted findings of facts and/or rulings of law consistent with this order are GRANTED and all inconsistent DENIED."
The issue stemmed from a ruling by the NH Department of Environmental Services (DES) in August 2005 that the facility (WWTF) was near full capacity and the towns had to cease giving out new sewer connection permits. The sewer commissions of both towns came up with a new Inter-Municipal Agreement (IMA) in November 2006 as they worked to solve the problem. The IMA contained the following important paragraph.
Paragraph 3.06. "Revenue received from septage permits and fees by Allenstown shall be used to help offset the costs of septage processing. Any excess revenues may be used to offset the cost of operation and maintenance of the WWTF and/or the upgrade expansion of the WWTF."
After several failed attempts to negotiate improvements, Allenstown learned about a new technology called the BioMag Project and asked Pembroke to pay for half the total cost of $1,550,000. Pembroke refused to put a warrant article before its voters. Allenstown was able to apply for a federal grant for half the cost and, in a special town meeting in June 2009, Allenstown voters approved a warrant article for the other half.
Thus Pembroke was facing a double whammy: they would not be sharing in the profits from the septage hauler business and they would not get a share of the increased capacity resulting from the BioMag Project. Their solution: file a lawsuit.
Now that they have lost the suit, they decided to waste more Pembroke tax dollars on an appeal.
What You Can Do
Thank your Allenstown Sewer Commissioners and their attorney for a job well done.
You might also contact the Pembroke Sewer Commissioners and give them a big New York "Fuggeeeetaboutit!"