Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, the municipal light department of the town of Reading hereby is authorized to include in annual operating expenses and recover through its electric rates voluntary, in-lieu-of-tax payments made to the towns of Reading, Wilmington, North Reading and Lynnfield. Such payments may be made during each calendar year commencing July tenth, nineteen hundred and ninety, in accordance with the following formula:
(a) the municipal light department of the town of Reading shall calculate an amount equal to two percent of its net plant, determined in accordance with the policies and decisions of the department of public utilities, as of the end of the calendar year prior to the year in which the in lieu of tax payments are to be made; and
(b) the amount calculated in clause (a) shall be appropriated by the municipal light department of the town of Reading and distributed during such year to the towns of Reading, Wilmington, North Reading and Lynnfield as in lieu of tax payments based on a pro rata allocation in accordance with the respective retail kilowatt-hour sales within each town from such prior calendar year as a percentage of said municipal light department's total retail sales within all four of the towns during such prior calendar year.
Nothing in this section shall preclude said municipal light department from earning a return of eight percent per annum on the cost of the plant in accordance with section fifty-eight of chapter one hundred and sixty-four of the General Laws, making additional voluntary in lieu of tax payments to the town of Reading from its unappropriated earned surplus, and otherwise using its earned return of up to eight percent per annum for purposes authorized by law.
SECTION 2. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, the towns of Wilmington, North Reading and Lynnfield are authorized to contract for, and shall continue to receive electric service from the municipal light department of the town of Reading for a term of up to twenty years commencing on the date of execution of such contract. Any such contract executed prior to July tenth, nineteen hundred and ninety is hereby ratified, validated and confirmed. During the term of such contract, the rights accorded to such towns under chapter one hundred and sixty-four of the General Laws and chapter three hundred and sixty-nine of the acts of nineteen hundred and eight to purchase and acquire the plant of the municipal light department of the town of Reading are hereby suspended and cannot be exercised; provided, however, that after the expiration or termination of such contract, such towns shall have the right to purchase and acquire such plant in accordance with the provisions of said chapter one hundred and sixty-four and said chapter three hundred and sixty-nine.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect as of July tenth, nineteen hundred and ninety.