Judge Rejects Effort to Halt Sale of Fire Station Site

A Superior Court Judge Tuesday morning declined to issue an injunction that would have halted the town’s purchase of the site for the future fire station.

This ruling may clear the way for the actual purchase and sale agreement for 139 The Great Road, which was originally scheduled to be executed today.

The petition for an injunction was part of legal action initiated by 14 residents, led by abutters Carol Amick and William Moonan, contending that the town selected the site in violation of state procurement law, referred to as Chapter 30B.

Tuesday morning, Judge Cathleen Campbell determined that there were no grounds for an injunction because “I do not find any likelihood for success on the merits.”

The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Ray Miyardes, said during his presentation that final approval of the sale has been deferred until July. Miyardes told the judge that he was advised of the delay late Monday by the board of the Utah System of Higher Education.

But Town Manager Sarah Stanton said after the ruling, “My understanding is that [Utah System of Higher Education] tabled the decision given the pendency of the preliminary injunction motion.  Now that that is no longer an issue, we expect them to reschedule their meeting and promptly proceed to closing.”

Judge Campbell noted that she was assigned to the case less than 24 hours earlier, but had sufficient time to read all of the background and submissions by the two sides. She also pointed out that she has significant experience with Chapter 30B;  its intent is to prevent corruption, while the town’s process has been both public and transparent.

Her ruling followed presentations by each side. The judge said at the outset that she would allow only one speaker on each side and no rebuttal. “You get one bite of the apple.”

Miyares presented on a remote audio connection because of a recent positive test for Covid-19. Atty. Nina Pickering-Cook spoke on behalf of the town.

The only live spectators in the gallery in the Woburn courtroom were Stanton, Fire Chief David Grunes, and Charles Ticotsky, assistant to the town manager.

Mike Rosenberg can be reached at [email protected], or 781-983-1763

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