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BOSTON-In a ruling that will finally bring an end to a long standing battle between the city Mayor Thomas M. Menino and city councilor James Kelly over money developers give to the city, the Supreme Judicial Court upheld a ruling that deemed an agreement between the city and developers over linkage funds that would go to South Boston not binding.

“We conclude that the MOU [Memorandum of Understanding] is unenforceable because the elected officials and the director of the BRA [Boston Redevelopment Authority] lacked authority to enter into the purported contract,” reads the decision.

Four years ago, a number of local politicians including city councilor James M. Kelly, Thomas O’Brien, the director of the BRA, and Stephen F. Lynch, who is now a congressman, signed a deal that saw linkage fees from developments on the South Boston waterfront go to South Boston through the South Boston Betterment Trust. Linkage fees are funds that developers of large projects give to the city to compensate for the disruption their project will cause and the fees in this case would amount to tens of millions of dollars because of the massive developments proposed for that area.

After locally published reports brought the deal to light, an uproar over the agreement ensued because the fees are supposed to be distributed to the entire city. Menino stepped away from the deal over two years ago and Kelly sued to get the deal reinstated.

A Superior Court dismissed the case last year and this ruling closes the door on the case. “Because the MOU clearly violates the statutory and regulatory scheme, it is unenforceable,” reads the decision.

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