BILLERICA -- Selectmen tapped Kopelman and Paige for town counsel Tuesday night, 3-2, and later unanimously ratified a contract with the firm, headquartered in Boston.

"Right now, residential development in Billerica is booming, and there's a lot of interest in development in Billerica," Mark Reich, lead partner at Kopelman and Paige, told The Sun. "I know there's concern about preserving open space and developing in an intelligent and appropriate manner."

Secretary Andrew Deslaurier and Selectman John J. Piscatelli opposed the motion to select Kopelman and Paige, questioning whether Billerica would receive adequate attention from the large firm, which represents roughly 120 municipalities.

"We should oppose this motion because when there's a call from Watertown and Billerica, you have to be honest with yourself: Which are you going to take?" said Deslaurier.

The board adjourned for executive session and returned to ratify a one-year contract with Kopelman and Paige, with a $170 hourly rate and a $108,000 all-inclusive cap providing for litigation and "all the town's needs," according to Chairman Mike Rosa.

Billerica will save $12,000 as a result, as it previously spent $120,000 on town counsel.

"It's my goal to be there whenever you need me," said Reich.

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