Are utilities in state or business’ ROW

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — The Town of Naples is involved in a challenge regarding whose rights-of-way the Naples Fire Department’s underwater pipes are located in: the state’s ROW or that of a private business.

“It is an issue about utilities — if they are in or out of the state’s rights-of-way,” according to Naples Town Manager John Hawley.

“The dispute is whether [a section of] the water line is in the state’s ROW or over private property,” Hawley said.

The fire suppression water pipe “is owned by the municipality,” Hawley said.

The fire suppression waterlines were installed during the Causeway renovation and bridge replacement project.

“What is trying to be determined is where the state’s ROW exists on the Causeway,” Hawley said.

“All I can tell you is it has been legally challenged to the town,” he said.

On Monday, the Naples Board of Selectmen went into executive session for a second time regarding this matter, the ROW status of the waterlines.

“There is the legality of the water line,” Hawley said.

For the time being, the issue “is still in negotiating phase” and it is “most likely” that the private business and the selectmen will sit down again and try to negotiate in executive session, Hawley said.

On Nov. 26, the board of selectmen met in executive session to discuss the ROW matter. At the time, the question was whether it that might require legal action or could be worked out through negotiations, according to Hawley.

That initial executive session on the ROW issue occurred during the meeting, rather than at the end. It was listed on the agenda. At the time, the selectmen were deciding if legal action was required.

“Whether it can be resolved out of court or in court — that has yet to be determined,” Hawley said.

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