EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

July 18, 2013

Pomps Pond closed to non-residents, in apparent violation of federal law


According to Section 8-2 of the Federal Financial Assistance Manual governing the fund, discrimination based on the basis of residence is prohibited.

A spokeswoman for the state said the provision has no statute of limitations.

It appears the town may also be violating the federal statute in another way, as it states that “annual permit systems available to residents must also be available to nonresidents.” The way fees work at Pomps Pond is that non-residents can only purchase daily passes while residents are allowed to purchase annual passes.

Selectmen chairman Alex Vispoli said he would be looking into the matter after he was notified of the town manager’s decision by a reporter for The Eagle-Tribune.

“It has not been something that has been brought up to us at all,” he said. “We haven’t talked about it.”

He said it “seemed” reasonable to shut the pond to non-residents based on safety concerns.

“Right now I’d defer to the town manager,” he said. “He makes those kinds of decisions. But I will make some inquiries. I’ll ask the town manager if it’s something he wants to bring before the board in a couple of weeks.”

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