Published in the November 17, 2016 edition
By BOB TUROSZ
NORTH READING — Following up on two major actions by Town Meeting this year, the Selectmen have voted to approve and file Home Rule Petitions with the Legislature to allow the town to join the MWRA water district and rescind Civil Service for Police Department hiring and promotions.
Both votes were unanimous, 5–0. Back in June, Town Meeting voted 94 to 21 to join the MWRA district for the purposes of water supply by 2019. If approved by the Legislature the MWRA water system will be extended into North Reading.
And at Town Meeting last month, the voters approved an article to rescind Civil Service for police department new hires and promotions. If approved by the Legislature, the bill will allow the town to conduct its own hiring, promotional and disciplinary appeals without being subject to the intervention of the state Civil Service Commission.
After being passed by the Legislature, both bills must be signed by the governor.
In other business, the board approved legal bills for August totaling $8,329 and $13,215 for September.
Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto reported the Department of Public Works has submitted and application to the state Department of Transportation to reconstruct the Park Street bridge over Martins Brook under the Small Bridge Capital Program and a corresponding request has been submitted to the Capital Improvement Planning Committee. He thanked State Rep. Brad Jones Jr. for his advocacy for this project at the state level.
The MWRA recently identified North Reading for its “proactive” approach to address water supply challenges prior to the onset of this year’s drought, which still technically continues, Gilleberto said.