Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. There is hereby established in the town of Southwick a department of public works, hereinafter called the department, which shall be under the jurisdiction of the board of selectmen. The department shall have all the powers and duties now vested in or exercised by any of the following departments, which are hereby renamed divisions and included within the department of public works: highway, sewer, solid waste, engineering and water. No contracts, obligations or liabilities in force on the effective date of this act shall be affected hereby, but the department shall in all respects be the successor of the departments now included as divisions in the department of public works. The tenure of the existing superintendent of streets in that office shall not be affected by this act but this position shall be under the jurisdiction of the director of public works.
SECTION 2. The board of selectmen shall appoint a director of public works, whose qualifications, powers and duties shall be determined and prescribed by said board, and who shall be responsible to said board. The director shall have authority for carrying out the policies of said board and over the operations of the department. The director shall appoint and remove such staff assistants and employees as he deems necessary, subject to available appropriations and with the approval of said board. Such staff may include a supervisor for each division. The director shall hold office subject to the will of said board. Said director shall not be subject to the provisions of section nine A of chapter thirty or chapter thirty-one of the General Laws.
SECTION 3. The board of selectmen shall be responsible for providing job descriptions and for the hiring and firing of all employees of the department of public works.
SECTION 4. There shall be no change in the status of the members of the board of water commissioners who shall continue to be elected.
SECTION 5. The board of water commissioners shall retain all of the powers and duties set forth in chapter two hundred and ninety-five of the acts of nineteen hundred and twenty-six, except as modified by the provisions of this act. The scheduling of work and the use of equipment and the day to day control of the activities of the water department shall be vested in the director of public works. The board of water commissioners shall expressly retain the power to set water rates, appropriate and vote the budget, execute contracts, determine issues relating to the extension or curtailment of water services, water quality, long-term water supply and planning and long-term maintenance of the water system. The preparation of the budget for the water department and the review of the same by the finance committee shall be vested in the director of public works, working in conjunction with the board of water commissioners. The revenues of the water and sewer departments shall be utilized only for the water and sewer departments and eminent domain taking shall be made by and in the name of the board of water commissioners.
SECTION 6. This act shall be submitted to the voters of the town of Southwick at any special or annual town meeting in the form of the following question which shall be placed on the official ballot:- "Shall an act passed by the General Court in the year nineteen hundred and ninety-one, entitled 'An Act establishing a department of public works in the town of Southwick', be accepted "
If a majority of the votes cast in answer to said question is in the affirmative, this act shall take effect, but not otherwise.