Last year, Eastleigh Farm was told to build a well or pay a water bill. The farm chose to build a private well and disconnect from the Town of Framingham water supply.
But this week, the private well at Eastleigh Farm was disconnected and Framingham Department of Public Works re-activated a connection to the town's water to the farm, said Framingham Town Manager Bob Halpin.
Halpin told Framingham Selectmen Tuesday night an account has been established in owner Doug Stephan's name and he will be receive his first water/sewer bill in April.
Halpin told Selectmen Stephan indicated that he might want to supply a limited amount of the property with well water in the future.
"Mr. Stephan understands that he is being metered and invoiced at the rates in existence for any water used," said Halpin.
"The well does not meet the total needs of the farm," explained Halpin.
Eastleigh Farm has never paid for its water. One report in 2012, estimated the farm used 6,000 gallons of water per day.
The Framingham Board of Selectmen approved the gist of a plan crafted by Town Manager Bob Halpin that gave Eastleigh Farm until Nov. 1 2012 to install a well and take itself off of the municipal water supply. The compromise agreed to deferred payment of town water bills until a well was installed.
The situation had been simmering since 2010 when the town first installed a water meter at the farm.
For decades, the farm had received free water thanks to handshake agreements that gave the town easements to run town-owned water pipes across the farm’s pastures.
When the town got around to billing the farm for water in spring 2012, it caused a split in the community.
Advocates of preserving the farm took the position that Eastleigh Farm is an asset to the town and should be given some consideration, especially in these dire economic times for all farms. Others contended that everyone who consumes town water should pay.