[Adopted 12-7-1971 by Ord. No. 998-71; amended in its entirety 10-19-2010 by Ord. No. 245-10]
Editor's Note: This ordinance repealed former Art. XII, Board of Public Welfare.
There is hereby created and established a Water-Wastewater Commission.
The Water-Wastewater Commission shall consist of seven members, one of whom shall be the Commissioner of Public Works then in office. All members, except for the Commissioner of Public Works, shall be appointed by the Mayor and subject to the confirmation of the City Council. The Mayor shall initially appoint two members for the term of two years, two members for the term of three years and two members for the term of four years. Thereafter each member shall be appointed for a term of four years. Members shall have relevant technical, legal or business knowledge that they might apply to the operation and conduct of the water and wastewater utilities in the City of Fitchburg. The Commission shall implement, on a consistent basis, sound technical, legal and business practices in the Water and Wastewater Divisions.
Whenever a vacancy shall occur in said Water-Wastewater Commission, it shall be filled in the same manner as provided for the regular appointment of members, except that the member so appointed shall be appointed to serve for the unexpired term only.
All members of the Water-Wastewater Commission shall serve without compensation.
The Water-Wastewater Commission shall meet as frequently and at such times and places in the City of Fitchburg as it may deem necessary for the proper exercise of its powers and discharge of its duties.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
The Water-Wastewater Commission shall elect one of its members, other than the Commissioner of Public Works, to be Chair and one of its members to be Secretary and one member to be Vice Chair.
A majority of the members of the Water-Wastewater Commission shall constitute a quorum, and a quorum shall be necessary for the transaction of any acts by the Water-Wastewater Commission.
The Water-Wastewater Commission shall keep a detailed record of all its acts and proceedings.
The Commission shall have the responsibility to study, investigate and recommend to the Mayor and City Council major capital improvements that may be necessary to the City’s water and wastewater infrastructure, including, but not limited to, treatment facilities, water distribution systems and wastewater collection systems. It shall oversee and facilitate the construction of such improvements and additions and shall inform the Mayor and City Council of requirements imposed upon the City’s water and wastewater systems by the United States or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or any agency or instrumentality thereof.
The Commission shall negotiate and execute all agreements and contracts with users of the water and wastewater facilities and for the sale of the goods and services or products that may be supplied by these departments. Such contracts may include but are not limited to: intermunicipal agreements, sale of water or wastewater products and services to commercial and industrial users outside the City of Fitchburg, timber sales, purchase or sale of watershed land. These contracts shall be submitted to the Mayor for approval and execution.
The Water-Wastewater Commission:
Shall promulgate reasonable rules and regulations for the use of the services of the water and wastewater systems and for the efficient management of the Commission and the water and wastewater systems that may be necessary to protect the City’s water and wastewater infrastructure, including, but not limited to, treatment facilities, water distribution systems and wastewater collection systems. Such rules and regulations shall include any rules and regulations as may be required by the United States, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or any agency or instrumentality thereof.
Shall have supervision and management of the water division and water systems and wastewater treatment facilities.
Shall, upon request of the Water and Wastewater Departments, make a determination as to any proposed change in the water and wastewater treatment rates, provided further that in the event the Commission approves any changes to the existing rates, the request shall, by petition, be presented to the City Council which shall have final authority to approve or disapprove same. The Commission or a representative(s) of the Commission, together with support from the Deputy Commissioners, must be present to provide justification for the change.
[Amended 9-4-2012 by Ord. No. 176-2012]
Shall have the Treasurer and Auditor set up an account for the Water-Wastewater Commission to which it shall deposit all payments received by it on the dates as received, against which receipts it shall present statements for payment incurred in the operation of the water and wastewater treatment facilities. The Commission shall insure that the City of Fitchburg set up and maintain accounts and accounting practices that are in full compliance with MGL c. 44, § 53 1/2, and the accounting practices required or recommended by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue for enterprise funds.
Shall have the power and right to discontinue the treatment and delivery of water and receiving and treatment of wastewater from any user who does not make payment of the rates as set within 30 days from the receipt of a statement for such charges.
Shall employ such engineering, clerical or other employees as it may require for the proper discharge of its powers and duties and shall fix their compensation.
Shall submit an annual written report to the City Council, with a copy to the Mayor, and more frequently if so requested by either the Mayor or City Council.
Shall review and recommend an annual budget to the Mayor and shall review revenue and expenditures of each department on a routine basis.
Shall review and make recommendations to the Mayor regarding staffing and levels of compensation to promote efficient and exceptional operation of the water and wastewater departments.
Shall have and may exercise all of the authority, powers and privileges set forth in Chapters 147 and 177 of the Code of the City of Fitchburg or any other applicable chapter or section of the Code or the statutes or regulations of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts applicable to water, water service or sewer or wastewater.
Shall assist in the development and implementation of policies and activities that promote the sound marketing and sales of water and wastewater products and services.
The Commission shall not make any expenditures for capital improvements without the prior approval of the Mayor and City Council.