FLANAGAN: Hey mayoral candidates? What’s your position on Manchester Reservoir access

Ron Churchill, Kevin Dumas, Paul Heroux and Jose Lemus — and anyone who might unexpectedly join you in the field of candidates for mayor of Attleboro — what’s your position on public access to Manchester Reservoir, the city’s biggest drinking water source?
Yet city ordinance forbids use of it for any passive recreation other than fishing.
The rules for Scituate Reservoir, which supplies water for most of Rhode Island’s population, include a ban on fishing.
In April 2014, Mayor Dumas asked the city council to do just that by amending the fishing-only ordinance to also allow passive recreation.
“I think we’re probably pretty close,” he told staff writer George Rhodes in May 2015.
This three-year span on the ordinance proposal is only a small slice of the time that Manchester access has been a controversy at city hall.
The council may well vote in favor of allowing passive recreation at Manchester, lifting a ban that has been widely ignored since it was first put on the books.
But little satisfaction will come if it does not also provide for public access to the reservoir in the form of allowing parking somewhere — somewhere other than Beagle Club Road.
If it were, someone already would have a place to develop an alternative parking area.
If I never let you know you were the best, Elsie, then shame on me.

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