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Town Officials to Meet with National Grid, DPU Wednesday

Foxborough officials are holding a "small meeting" with National Grid and DPU to discuss the issue with the union loop after its failure during Hurricane Sandy caused mass power outages in town for the third time in one year.

Several Foxborough town officials are sitting down with National Grid and the Department of Public Utilities Wednesday to discuss issues with the town's powersource - the union loop.

"It’s a small meeting with the president of National Grid, Marcy Reed and DPU," said Foxborough Board of Selectmen chair James DeVellis at Tuesday's BOS meeting.

In addition to DeVellis, Foxborough Board of Selectmen vice chair Mark Sullivan, Town Manager Kevin Paicos and Foxborough Fire Chief Roger Hatfield are expected to attend Wednesday's meeting. 

"Basically [we are meeting] to discuss what is happening with the union loop and how we can work together to address the issue," DeVellis said.

The union loop is the powersource that has failed during Tropical Storm Irene, last October's snowstorm and Hurricane Sandy just last month. The union loop's inability to hold up during these storms has caused three mass power outages in Foxborough over the past year.

Officials expressed their frustrations with National Grid at an emergency Board of Selectmen meeting in October after it was reported the union loop had failed again during Hurricane Sandy, leading to 75 percent of the town to be without power and Foxborough Schools to close for two days.

Those frustrations turned into a formal complaint against National Grid two weeks ago when selectmen voted to task Town Counsel Richard Gelerman with drafting a formal letter of complaint against National Grid to DPU.

During that meeting, DeVellis reported he had invited National Grid president Marcy Reed customer service manager Bob Russell and Foxborough liaison Tom Coughlin to the Nov. 13 meeting but the utility company "respectfully" declined.

Reed, according to DeVellis, said a private meeting between National Grid and the town would be more productive because the two sides can “speak freely with the cameras off.”

That private meeting is scheduled to take place Wednesday.

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