Changing course, judge tells owners of Johnson’s Pond to refill it

West Bay

COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) ─ After previously telling the owners of Johnson’s Pond they could continue to lower the water levels to prevent potential flooding ahead of the storm, a judge has ordered them to refill it to spillway, according to Coventry officials.

The judge making this new ruling after having a conference with the town and the attorney for the pond’s owners, Soscia Holdings, LLC Friday afternoon.

Soscia’s attorney, Patrick Dougherty, telling 12 News residents can expect the water level to rise.

Dougherty says the judge has given the dam’s gatekeeper discretion when it comes to the pond’s water levels.

The town filed an emergency motion in court earlier this week after learning the Soscia’s, who own the water-flow rights and the pond’s dam, planned on lowering the water levels by roughly two feet.

Dougherty claimed the reason for this is to prevent potential flooding brought on by the impending storm and protect the pond’s high-hazard dam.

Initially, the judge opted to allow the owners to continue dropping the water levels, but only by 18 feet below spillway, which was six inches less than originally planned.

Coventry Town Solicitor Nick Gorham previously told 12 News lowering the water levels could have devastating impacts on the pond.

Both parties will have another conference with the judge Monday.

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