North Reading Water Agreement

Information about the potable water agreement with North Reading.

Special Town Meeting April 4, 2018

A Special Town Meeting is scheduled for April 4, 2018 at 7:00 PM in the Collins Center at Andover High School.  There is only one article on the warrant and the purpose of the meeting is to reconsider the article related to a water agreement with North Reading that was approved with an amendment at the January 29, 2018 Special Town Meeting.

The proposed article requests authorization for the Board of Selectmen to seek a Home Rule Petition from the Massachusetts Legislature in order to enter into a 99-year agreement to supply water to Town of North Reading.  Reconsideration of this article in its original form (as shown below) is necessary to allow for the agreement to move forward with North Reading.

ARTICLE 1    Intermunicipal Agreement with the Town of North Reading for Potable Water Service

To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to enter into an Intermunicipal Agreement with the Town of North Reading for potable water for a term of up to 99 years on such terms and conditions that the Board determines are in the best interests of the Town; and further to see if the Town will authorize the Board of Selectmen to take any and all action necessary to effectuate such agreement including, but not limited to, petitioning the General Court for a special act authorizing said agreement, or take any other action relative thereto.


Since 1974 the Town of Andover has been providing potable water to the Town of North Reading.  The existing intermunicipal agreement (IMA) was set to expire on June 30, 2019 until the Boards of Selectmen in each town executed an amendment that extended the IMA until June 30, 2021.  

The Boards of Selectmen in Andover and North Reading have agreed to a summary of terms for a potential 99-year IMA.  The summary of terms approved on August 28, 2017 contains a defined rate structure, limits on how much water the Town of Andover will commit to North Reading, and language regarding a reimbursement to North Reading for costs incurred related to potentially connecting to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA).  

North Reading is pursuing two parallel paths to achieve its goal of securing a permanent water supply.  North Reading Town Meeting voters have approved an article similar to Article 1 shown above to authorize its Board of Selectmen to enter a 99-year agreement with the Town of Andover.  North Reading Town Meeting voters also approved articles necessary to connect to the MWRA and to borrow funds to construct infrastructure related to connecting to the MWRA.   North Reading Board of Selectmen have communicated to the Andover Board of Selectmen that an agreement with the conditions that were included in the amendment approved at the January Special Town Meeting would not be acceptable.  In order to move forward with an agreement, it is necessary for Andover Town Meeting voters to reconsider this article without the amendment.  

The Board of Selectmen called a one-article Special Town Meeting for April 4, 2018 to provide the community with an opportunity to make the final decision regarding whether or not to pursue this long-term agreement.  View the Special Town Meeting Warrant

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