On April 4, 1898, Town Meeting voters finally decided to take control of
Concord’s electric service, voting to establish a Light Plant governed
by a three-member Light Board of local citizens. Richard S. Barrett was
chosen to chair the new board, which also included William Wheeler and
Prescott Keyes. A Sewer Commission was also established at the same
time. The Light Board Chairman was given an annual stipend of $75, while
Board members each received $15 per year.
First priority was
street lighting, and voters quickly met twice to consider "burying" the
necessary wires. They finally decided on July 23, 1898 to support an
overhead system of wires because it was less expensive. Before the
summer was over, a $35,000 bond issue was sold to raise funds to build a
combination power house and sewer station, today known as the Red Brick
Building located on Keyes Road.
In 1899, the Boston firm of Stone and Webster was hired to engineer and
construct the power plant. Later that year, Charles S. Davis, formerly
with the Boston and Maine Railroad, was named the Plant’s first manager.
At that time, both "commercial and domestic" customers were receiving
some electriTown for lighting, but only from dusk until dawn.