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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any special or general law to the contrary, there is hereby established in the town of Hopkinton a department of public works, hereinafter called "the department", which shall be under the supervision and control of the board of selectmen, hereinafter called the "board".

SECTION 2. Commencing on January 1, 1999, the department shall have all the powers and duties now or from time to time vested by general law or special act in the following boards, departments and offices: highway department, including highway superintendent; sewer department and water department, including the board of water and sewer commissioners; parks and recreation department, maintenance only; cemetery department, maintenance only; insect pest control superintendent; tree warden; recycling and refuse collection; and maintenance of the town buildings and grounds, including maintenance and snow removal of driveways and parking areas of school buildings, but excepting maintenance of the remainder of the properties under the control of the school department, and said boards, departments and offices shall, except to the extent set forth herein, thereupon be abolished. No contracts or liabilities then in force shall be affected by such abolishment, but the department shall in all respects be the lawful successor of the boards, departments and offices so abolished.

SECTION 3. The department shall have such additional powers with regard to the furnishing of engineering services, the collection and disposal of garbage and refuse, and the performance of such duties of any other boards, departments and offices of the town as may be reasonably related to the duties and responsibilities of a department of public works, as the town may, from time to time, by by-law or by vote of the town meeting provide, any other provisions of law to the contrary notwithstanding.

SECTION 4. The board shall have the exclusive authority to establish rates, fees and other charges for such services, programs and other public benefits as may have come within the jurisdictions of any of the boards, departments or offices which have been abolished by this act, and shall appoint and, subject to appropriation, fix the compensation of a director of public works, who shall exercise and perform, under the supervisions and direction of the board, such of the powers, rights and duties which have been transferred to the department hereunder as it may from time to time designate. The director shall be responsible for the efficient exercise and performance of such powers, rights and duties and shall hold office subject to the will of the board. The director shall be a registered professional engineer, in the discipline of civil engineering, in the commonwealth or be able to obtain the registered professional engineer certificate within a reasonable time as determined by the board of selectmen, and shall be specially fitted by education, training and experience to perform the duties of said office, and may or may not be a resident of the town. Except as otherwise set forth herein, during the director's tenure, he shall hold no elective or other appointive office, nor shall he be engaged in any other business or occupation. The director shall, subject to the approval of the board, appoint such assistants, agents and employees as the exercise and performance of his powers, rights and duties may require. The director shall keep full and complete records of the doings of his office and render to the board as often as it may require a full report of all operations under his control during the period reporting upon.

SECTION 5. The director shall establish within the department the following functions: highway; water; sewer; cemetery; maintenance; park maintenance; forestry; solid waste disposal; recycling; tree; pest control and building and ground maintenance.

SECTION 6. All persons employed by or under the supervision of the offices, boards and commissions abolished by this act shall upon January 1, 1999, be transferred to the department. All such transfers of employees shall be made without loss of pay, and without change of rating, seniority, retirement or pension rights, or any other privileges under any provision of law or by-law.

SECTION 7. All equipment owned by the town of Hopkinton and under the control of the offices, boards or commissions abolished by this act shall on January 1, 1999, be transferred to and be under the control and direction of the department.

SECTION 8. The parks and recreation commission shall continue to have responsibility for the development and acquisition of new parks and park land, the expansion or upgrade of existing parks and park land, and the scheduling and operation of recreation programs.

SECTION 9. The cemetery commissioners shall continue to determine eligibility for and the rates to be charged for burial in the town's cemeteries, and to supervise the investment and expenditure of the cemetery funds now existing or hereafter paid for the purchase of cemetery lots and maintenance agreements.

SECTION 10. The board shall appoint the director for a term of from one to three years commencing on July 1 and expiring on June 30; provided, however, that the initial term of such director shall commence on the date of appointment by the board and terminate on the next following June 30. The board may remove the director when in its judgment the public interest so requires. The director shall not be subject to the provisions of section 9A of chapter 30 or chapter 31 of the General Laws.

SECTION 11. The director shall appoint annually a tree warden who shall possess all of the duties of tree warden as specified in the General Laws. The tree warden shall be a resident of the town of Hopkinton. The director may appoint himself as the tree warden.

SECTION 12. This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved October 31, 1998.