WILMINGTON — The Wilmington Board of Selectmen has voted unanimously to extend its contract with Reading Municipal Light Department for an additional 10 years. The vote took place during a meeting held over videoconferencing platform on April 13, as mandated by social distancing measures.
Town Manager Jeff Hull explained that, while this extension has historically been brought forward as an article at Town Meeting, this was no longer an operational requirement. In consultation with town counsel, due to a change in general laws, the contract extension is categorized as an intermunicipal agreement, and now can be voted upon by the Board of Selectmen. Hull recommended the renewal.
“I don’t, quite frankly, think the town is going to find a better rate for electricity,” Hull said.
He noted that, in the year prior, when Town Meeting approved a $75,000 project to replace lighting at Palmer Park, RMLD staff had been “very responsive” and had provided personnel and poles to complete the project in a “timely” manner.
“It seems to me that it makes sense to authorize this extension,” Hull said.
RMLD General Manager Coleen O’Brien was present to take questions, and asked that she be invited back to give an update on ongoing projects and improvements once normal board meetings are resumed.
“I’m very proud to work for a municipal light, I think the value is outstanding,” said O’Brien.
Selectman Jonathan Eaton noted that, in the wake of a data breach at RMLD, Wilmington Director of Information Technology John O’Neil noted that RMLD addressed the situation in a satisfactory manner.
“Reading Municipal Light has handled it properly and they’re doing the best they can to protect the information of our residents and customers, in making sure that it does not happen again.”