Under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Chapter 370 of the Acts of 1891 allowed a town like Concord to "engage in the manufacture and distribution of gas and electricity." Passage required two consecutive Town Meeting votes in the affirmative by two-thirds of the voters using written or printed ballots.
Because of growing dissatisfaction with the operation and cost of gas street lights, the need for a new sewer pumping plant, and the possible economies of considering a combined electric and sewer power station, the Committees on Electric Lighting and Sewerage recommended the first of the necessary two votes. This would begin the evaluation process of forming a Town-owned electric plant.
The Town Meeting on March 30, 1896 voted in favor of the proposal. The
Town Meeting in 1897 voted in favor for the required second time but
deferred any action because of the estimated cost of more than $125,000
to construct the combined power station.