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State Officials Celebrate Norton's New Sewer Hookup

It took eight years, but Norton's Marina is now hooked into the Warwick sewer system.

Normally a ribbon cutting for business hookup to a sewer line wouldn’t bring out anybody, let alone state leaders and the press, but when it ends a more than eight-year odyssey and removes a potential threat to the bay, the top brass shows up.

Governor Lincoln Chafee, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedesian and state Representative Joe Trillo all congratulated Pat Norton for seeing the project through and, as Mayor Avedesian said, “Doing the right thing."

Over eight years ago, the two septic systems at the marina began to fail, forcing the marina to do pump-outs two to three times a week because there was no way to bring the septic systems up to current standards. There was also a possibility of heavy fines had there actually been an outflow into the bay.

Norton’s is one of those Warwick/East Greenwich connected businesses, located in Warwick but accessible only by going through East Greenwich. 

Because of their location on the East Greenwich line, they first sought and received approval from the town to connect to the East Greenwich system.

However after failed negotiations with a neighboring property owner, Norton’s turned to Amtrak, which ultimately granted an easement so the sewer line could run under the tracks and be connected to the Warwick sewer system.

The DEM issued an executive order to the marina, telling them the problem had to be solved.  Then, according to Norton, worked with them for a resolution.

Jay Manning of the DEM said part of the hookup cost was covered by a grant from the 2004 Bay and Watershed Restoration Fund, an environmental fund approved by voters on the heels of a huge fish kill in the bay.

Norton said if she hadn’t been able to complete the hookup it wouldn’t have put her out of business, but life would have been miserable.

Asked if it opened possibilities such as expansion, she declared emphatically that she doesn’t want to expand, but just take care of her customers and keep the bay waters clean.

A long time Rhode Island business, Norton’s opened in Newport in 1945 and moved to its current location in 1966.

Alan Clarke July 16, 2011 at 11:13 AM
Author Jerry Meyer is too nice: "However after failed negotiations with a neighboring property owner, Norton’s turned to Amtrak, which ultimately granted an easement so the sewer line could run under the tracks and be connected to the Warwick sewer system." Gee! I wonder who that neighboring property owner could be. The East Greenwich Yacht Club? Eight years?? They should be so proud of themselves! I guess this means that they will not now be able to buy the Norton property at a distressed sale. Bravo, Norton's!
Brad July 16, 2011 at 12:07 PM
The selfish behavior of the East Greenwich Yacht Club in this matter is reprehensible. They had an opportunity to do the right thing for the Bay, for boaters, for taxpayers, for neighbors and for a hard working family trying to improve their small business. Instead they actively fought the project and revealed their true character in a manner which shamefully tarnished the good name of East Greenwich.
Casper MIlquetoast July 17, 2011 at 07:18 PM
Alan - Why would the EGYC want to buy the Norton's property? It's awash in a good Nor' Easter - it would be much more of a liability than it would be worth. Brad - An unpleasant relationship between neighbors often is a two-way street. Besides, I'm just as glad that Norton's tied into the Warwick Sewer system rather than ours.
Alan Clarke July 17, 2011 at 10:08 PM
Casper - The East Greenwich Yacht Club has a voracious appetite and has bought up all the land down there as it became available. What for? More parking, yacht storage, rental property, you name it. There has been a boatyard there for 200 years, nor‘easters and all. As to where the sewage goes, EG has excess capacity and has offered it to Potowomut and parts of Cowesett, both areas adjoining the waters of Narragansett Bay. That Warwick has not taken advantage of the offer is a bit of bad on them. It was offered to Norton's years ago, but the yacht club wouldn't let them pass their land even though they offered to pave the road and make improvements. Your satisfaction with the Warwick tie-in aside, boring under the railroad to do it was not easy or necessary and a tie-in to EG might even have eased your sewer tax burden a little. All this is subject to change with the plunging economy and high gasoline prices, of course.

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