Council tables resolution to rescind opposition to Burrillville power plant

Council tables resolution to rescind opposition to Burrillville power plant

SCITUATE – With members of the community and surrounding areas present, the Scituate Town Council last Thursday decided to table a resolution to rescind a December 2016 resolution opposing the proposed Burrillville power plant..

Council President John Mahoney said the decision to rescind the resolution cannot be made until issues surrounding a current lawsuit from Burrillville are settled.

Developer Invenergy has proposed a $1 billion power plant in Burrillville, drawing sharp opposition from residents across the state.

The town of Burrillville and the Conservation Law Foundation are suing Invenergy for buying water from the town of Johnston to use at their proposed power plant. The water would be bought by Johnston from Providence Water, based out of Scituate, and then resold to Invenergy.

According to attorney Wyatt Brochu, Scituate and several other towns are involved in the lawsuit as a named defendant and indispensible party. He said the lawsuit is regarding an interpretation of a state statute concerning water resale.

During the March 15 council meeting, Mahoney said Scituate is part of the lawsuit due to the fact that Scituate purchases water from the Kent County Water Supply for a few homes in Hope.

“I’m very concerned by costs and the amount of resources that the town of Scituate has to absorb due to the town now being defendants in this case,” he said during the meeting.

The cost to the town, Mahoney said, would be due to sending attorneys to the hearings and processing paperwork from the litigation.

“We truly don’t know how long this process will take, we don’t know how much money the town of Scituate will have to spend in this lawsuit,” he said.

He said he would like to avoid any legal ramifications a resolution would bring as a result of the lawsuit.

The newly proposed resolution said the prior letter of opposition was made during a lame-duck Town Council, and former councilors should have deferred action to the incoming Town Council, who replaced Republican representatives with the “Independent Men.”

“This resolution was not intended to take position for or against the power plant. This resolution was passed during a lame-duck session two days after we were elected to office. I personally do not feel this resolution was vetted as completely as it should have, as we do with everything we put before the council,” Mahoney said.

The council voted unanimously to table the item. Mahoney said, at the advice of the solicitors, that the issue would be discussed in closed session.

Though no public comment was allowed, a member of the audience said “thank you,” and walked out of the meeting after the decision to table.

“I take personal responsibility for this being on the agenda,” Mahoney said. “I buy pencils with erasers on them, I make mistakes.”


Mahoney's mistakes have cost the Town of Scituate irreversible damages already.

This is not the first time Mahoney has had to table an Agenda item. Mahoney's fly-by-the -seat -of -your-pants leadership style has cost the Town of Scituate unnecessary financial consequences. The taxpayers of Scituate will pay for these mistakes for years to come.

This resolution could also be a way for the Independent Men to obtain campaign contributions from proponents of the power plant. One only needs to look at the " Puppy Mill" to see the impact of political donations.

These Independent Men are not the representatives of the people in Scituate .
They represent themselves and their personal agendas.

Why is Scituate the only Town that was considering rescinding the resolution?
32 other cities and towns stood in unity against this power plant along with the Attorney General of RI.
I hope the residents of Scituate are not paying their legal council to study a frivolous lawsuit. The mistake was proposing this action in the first place by the Independent Men. This unnecessary case study is sure to be an added expense to the taxpayers of Scituate.