07/26/2013 09:02 EDT | Updated 09/25/2013 05:12 EDT

Railway mum on repaying Lac-Mégantic for $4M cleanup

The town of Lac-Mégantic is lawyering up after the railway behind the derailment ignored pleas to reimburse the $4 million spent on clean-up.

Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche said the town was forced to dig deep into its pockets when the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway didn’t front the cost of cleaning up the millions of litres of crude oil and debris from the July 6 disaster.

The town was left with few options when some of the contractors hired by the MM&A threatened to walk out because the company hadn't paid them.

The mayor sent a lawyer’s letter to the MM&A on Tuesday, asking the company reimburse the town. The letter made other demands, including a detailed cleanup management plan.

But yesterday’s 12 p.m. ET deadline for the company to reply has come and gone without a response from railway officials.

“I wish the company would behave like a good corporate citizen,” said Roy-Laroche.

She said the town cannot afford to pay for the cleanup, despite the $120 million combined aid it has received from the federal and provincial governments.