SECTION 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, there is hereby established in the town of Templeton, a water department, under the jurisdiction of the Templeton municipal lighting plant. Upon the effective date of this act the Templeton municipal lighting plant shall be known as the Templeton municipal lighting and water plant, shall have all powers contained in chapter 164 of the General Laws and otherwise, and all powers and duties now and from time to time vested by general or special law and by by-law in the water department of said town; and the department of water under the jurisdiction of the selectmen is hereby abolished. The books of accounts of the light plant and water plant shall be kept separate and the water plant shall operate as an enterprise fund until changed by law.
SECTION 2. The manager of the Templeton municipal lighting and water plant shall exercise and perform such of the powers, rights and duties transferred under section 1 of this act and those contained in chapter 164 of the General Laws and otherwise as may from time to time be designated. Said manager shall be specifically fitted by education, training and experience to perform the duties of his office and need not be a resident of the town during his tenure of office. Said manager shall be responsible for the efficient exercise and performance of such powers, rights and duties.
During his tenure, said manager shall hold no other elective or appointive office nor engage in any other business or occupation. Said manager shall appoint such assistants, agents and employees as the exercise and performance of his powers, rights and duties may require. Said manager shall render to the board of selectmen, as often as they may require, a full report of all operations under his control during the period reported upon, and annually, and from time to time as required by said board of selectmen, shall make a synopsis of such reports for publication and shall keep said board of selectmen advised as to the needs of the town within the scope of his duties; and shall annually, not less than 120 days prior to the expiration of the fiscal year of said town, furnish to said board of selectmen a detailed estimate in writing of the appropriations required during the next succeeding fiscal year for the proper exercise and performance of all said rights and duties. The permanent employees of the department of water under the jurisdiction of said board of selectmen of the town of Templeton abolished by this act shall be transferred to and become employees of the Templeton municipal lighting and water plant and every employee so transferred who immediately before such transfer was subject to section 9A of chapter 30 of the General Laws or to chapter 31 of the General Laws under a permanent appointment and who has served a probationary period shall continue to serve subject to the provisions of said section 9A of said chapter 30 or said chapter 31 as the case may be, whether or not thereafter reclassified, and shall retain all rights to holidays, sick leave and vacations in effect on the effective date of this act.
SECTION 3. This act shall be submitted to the voters of the town of Templeton for acceptance at the annual town election in the year 2000 or any other election, in the form of the following question, which shall be placed on the official ballot to be used for the election of town officers at said election:
"Shall an act passed by the General Court in the year 2000 entitled 'An Act relative to the water and light departments of the town of Templeton', be accepted?"
If a majority of the votes cast in answer to this question is in the affirmative, this act shall take effect 120 days following the vote, but not otherwise.
SECTION 4. Section 3 of this act shall take effect upon its passage.