GRAFTON, Mass. — Members from the town of Grafton and the Grafton & Upton Railroad met Friday at the request of the federal court to mediate their court case. However,a brief press release sent at 4:30 p.m. from the office of the town administrator for Grafton, indicated there was little if any progress made.
“On the final day of court proceedings for the railroad case, Federal District Judge Timothy HilIman recommended that the two parties meet outside of court in a mediation setting,” said the press release. “Today, to satisfy the Judge’s request, the town administrator and the chair of the board of selectmen met with John Delli Priscolli of the Grafton and Upton Railroad.”
Both sides argued their case for a week in federal court, debating if the railroad has the right to build a propane transfer station on Westborough Road on a lot that the town has zoned as residential.
In December, Grafton filed a cease-and-desist order on the railroad, which they hope will be extended by a court ruling.
The attorney for the railroad, John A. Mavricos, has argued that federal pre-emption applies under the Interstate Commerce Act which gives it broad powers that extend to the 320,000 gallon propane station.
Ginny S. Kremer of Bowman & Penski has argued on behalf of Grafton that the railroad has not been transparent in its dealings with the town and that claiming pre-emption does not make it so.
Federal pre-emption allows only railroads, when transportation is involved, to operate outside of state and local laws.
The final argument on both sides is scheduled for 9 a.m., Feb. 11, in U.S. Federal Court. Judge Hillman has not revealed when he will make his decision.