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Newton and National Grid agree to payment plan for backlog of permit fees

Posted by Deidre Fernandes  October 26, 2012 03:00 PM

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Newton officials and National Grid have agreed on a payment plan to settle nine years of unpaid permit fees.

Over the next few weeks, National Grid will pay the city $232,300 in street opening permit fees. The utility hopes to be current on its bills by the end of the year, said Bob Rooney, the city’s chief operating officer.

The city received its first check earlier this week, Rooney said on Friday.

National Grid had owed the city $292,000 in fees for both street opening and trench permits. But the city agreed to waive the trench fees of about $59,700 after National Grid argued that it was being charged twice for the same project, Rooney said.

Companies have to apply for these permits when they do underground utility work. Unlike other utility companies that file permits in-person with a check for the fee,

National Grid files its permits electronically, and hadn’t been paying the fee, Rooney said.

The city discovered the backlog of unpaid fees during a review of its accounts, Rooney said.

Deirdre Fernandes can be reached at deirdre.fernandes@globe.com

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