Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Chapter three hundred and twenty of the acts of nineteen hundred and sixteen is hereby repealed.
SECTION 2. The town of Hanson may supply itself and its inhabitants with water for the extinguishment of fires and for domestic, manufacturing and other purposes and may sell and supply water to other communities and parties; may establish fountains and hydrants and relocate or discontinue the same; and may regulate the use of the water and fix and collect rates to be paid therefor.
SECTION 3. The town of Hanson is also authorized to purchase water from the city of Brockton and the towns of Rockland and Abington and any other sources; and to store, convey and distribute the same to its inhabitants; and the city of Brockton and the towns of Rockland and Abington and any other sources are hereby authorized to sell water to the town of Hanson. The price to be paid for water sold by the city of Brockton or by the towns of Rockland and Abington and any other sources shall be agreed upon by the water commissioners of said city and the water commissioners of the respective towns and the parties in control of such sources and, in case of a failure of the parties, to agree, the price to be paid shall be fixed by the department of public utilities.
SECTION 4. The town of Hanson is authorized to purchase or take by right of eminent domain, all pipes, conduits, mains, reservoirs and other property or works for the collection, storage, purification, conveyance or distribution of water in said town belonging to a person or corporation and to use the same for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this act. The price to be paid for such property or works so acquired, if not agreed upon by the parties, shall be submitted to a board of arbitration consisting of three members, one of whom shall be appointed by the water commissioners of the town of Hanson, one of whom shall be appointed by the person or corporation owning such property or works acquired by the town, and one of whom shall be appointed by the previous two so appointed. In the event said town or a party is aggrieved by the decision of said board, the price to be paid may be determined in the manner provided by section seven of this act for the assessment of damages for the taking of land.
SECTION 5. The town of Hanson, for the purposes of this act, may acquire by gift, purchase, eminent domain or otherwise, and hold the waters of any pond or stream or of any ground source or other sources of supply by means of driven, artesian or other wells within the limits of said town, and may acquire by gift, purchase, eminent domain or otherwise and hold all lands, rights, interests, rights of way and easements necessary for collecting, storing, purifying and preserving the water and for conveying the same to any part of said town and for aquifer and watershed protection purposes; provided, however, that no source of water supply and no lands necessary for preserving the quality of the water shall be acquired or used without obtaining the advice and approval of the department of environmental protection, if any; and, provided further, that the siting of all dams, reservoirs and wells to be used as sources of water supply hereunder shall be subject to the approval of said department. Said town may construct, upon lands acquired or held under the provisions of this act, proper dams, reservoirs, standpipes, tanks, buildings, fixtures and other structures, and may make excavations, procure and operate machinery and provide such other means and appliances and do such things as may be necessary for the establishment and maintenance of complete and effective water works; and, for such purpose, said town may construct wells and reservoirs and establish pumping works and may construct, lay and maintain aqueducts, conduits, pipes and other works under and over any land, water courses, railroads, railways and public or other ways, and along such ways in the town of Hanson, in such manner as not to obstruct the same; and, for the purpose of constructing, laying, maintaining, operating and repairing such conduits, pipes and other works and for all other purposes of this act, said town, may dig up or raise and embank any such lands, highways or other ways, in such manner as to cause the least interference to public travel on such ways, and all things done upon such ways shall be subject to the applicable rules and regulations in said town for other projects requiring street excavation. Said town shall not enter upon, construct or lay any conduits, pipes or other works within the location of any railroad corporation, except at such time and in such manner as it may agree upon with such corporation or, in case of failure so to agree, as may be approved by the department of public utilities.
SECTION 6. The title to all lands, rights or easements acquired under the provisions of this act shall vest in the town of Hanson, and the land so acquired may be managed, improved and controlled by the board of water commissioners hereinafter provided for, in such manner as they shall deem to be in the best interests of said town.
SECTION 7. The town of Hanson may enter upon any lands within said town for the purpose of making surveys, test pits and borings and may take or otherwise acquire the right to occupy temporarily any lands necessary for the construction of any work or for any other purpose authorized under the provisions of this act. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the town shall have all powers as are now or may hereafter be provided for in towns which have established a water supply pursuant to the provisions of section thirty-nine A of chapter forty of the General Laws; provided, however, that in the event of a conflict, the provisions of this act shall govern. Any person or corporation injured in his property by any taking of property of the town under this act may recover damages from said town under the provisions of chapter seventy-nine of the General Laws.
SECTION 8. The town of Hanson, for the purpose of paying the necessary expenses and liabilities incurred under the provisions of this act, may issue from time to time bonds or notes as specified by section sixteen of chapter forty-four of the General Laws. Such bonds or notes shall be payable within the periods as specified by section eight of said chapter forty-four and shall be signed by the treasurer of the town and countersigned by the board of selectmen after review and recommendation of the water commissioners.
SECTION 9. The town of Hanson shall, at the time of authorizing loans pursuant to the provisions of section seven, provide for the payment thereof in accordance with the provisions of any general or special law applicable to the issuance thereof; and when a vote to the foregoing effect has been passed, a sum which, with the income derived from water rates, will be sufficient to pay the annual expenses to operate its water works and the interest as it accrues on the bonds or notes issued as aforesaid by said town, and to make such payments on the principal as may be required under the provisions of this act, shall, without further vote, be assessed by the assessors of town, annually thereafter, in the same manner as other taxes, until the debt incurred by such loans is extinguished.
SECTION 10. Whoever willfully or wantonly corrupts, pollutes or diverts any water taken or held under the provisions of this act or injures any structure, work or property owned, held or used by the town of Hanson pursuant hereto, shall, upon conviction, be subject to the penalties provided for in section one hundred and seventy of chapter one hundred and eleven of the General Laws or any other applicable law, rule or regulation and shall forfeit and pay to said town of Hanson three times the amount of damages assessed therefor, to be recovered in an action of tort. Nothing contained herein shall serve as a limitation on the applicability of any other local, state or federal law, rule or regulation.
SECTION 11. The water system in the town of Hanson shall continue to be operated by the elected board of water commissioners originally created under chapter three hundred and twenty of the acts of nineteen hundred and sixteen, with commissioners serving terms of office of three years; provided, however, that after the effective date of this act, the present water commission shall increase its membership from three to five persons in accordance with the provisions of section two of chapter forty-one of the General Laws. All of the authority granted to said town pursuant to this act and not otherwise specifically provided for shall be vested in said water commissioners who shall be subject, to such rules and regulations as the town may impose by vote. A majority of the commissioners shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. A vacancy occurring in the board shall be filled in accordance with the provisions of section eleven of said chapter forty-one. For purposes of chapter one hundred and fifty of the General Laws, the Hanson water commission shall be considered the public employer for all employees within the Hanson water department and the Hanson water commission.
SECTION 12. The board of water commissioners shall fix just and equitable prices, rates and fees for the supply and use of water, and shall prescribe the time and manner of payment at a public meeting called for the purpose. The income of the water works shall be applied to defray all operating expenses, interest charges and payments on the principal as they accrue upon any bonds or notes issued for the purpose of the water works. If, in any fiscal year, there shall be a net surplus remaining after providing for the aforesaid charges for such fiscal year, such surplus, or so much thereof as may be necessary to reimburse the town for monies theretofore paid on account of its water department, shall be paid into the town treasury. Reimbursement of monies paid on account of the water department shall be limited to the exact amount expended, and shall not be transferred until an itemized warrant is submitted to and approved and signed by the water commissioners and shall not be unduly withheld. If in any fiscal year there shall be a net surplus remaining after providing for the aforesaid charges and for the payment of any such reimbursement in full, such surplus may be appropriated for new construction, extraordinary maintenance or repairs, as the water commissioners, with the approval of the town, may deem appropriate and, in the event that a net surplus shall remain after payment for any such new construction, extraordinary maintenance or repairs, the water rates shall be reduced proportionately. Said commissioners shall, annually or as often as the town may require, render a report upon the condition of the works under their direction and control, and an account of their doings, including an account of the receipts and expenditures. Said commissioners shall submit a budget to the annual town meeting for its approval.
SECTION 13. The board of water commissioners of the town of Hanson shall assume the duties of sewer commissioners at such time as a sewer commission may be established in said town.
SECTION 14. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, the Hanson water department shall be operated in accordance with the provisions of this act, and said Hanson water commissioners shall have all the powers enumerated herein and those necessarily implied for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this act or any law related to the operation of the water system. All approved budgets, rules and regulations, policies and procedures of the existing Hanson water commission and Hanson water department that are in force on the effective date of this act and that are not specifically or by implication repealed hereby, shall continue in full force and effect until amended or repealed, or rescinded by due course of law or until they expire by their own terms. All property prior to the effective date of this act under the ownership of and the jurisdiction of the Hanson water commission and Hanson water department shall continue under the ownership of and the jurisdiction of the Hanson water commission and the Hanson water department pursuant hereto. All official acts, contracts entered into and obligations incurred by the Hanson water commission and Hanson water department prior to the effective date of this act shall continue in full force and effect and shall be deemed transferred to the Hanson water commission and the Hanson water department operating under the provisions of this act and shall not be affected by this act. No prior act done by or in favor of the Hanson water commission and the Hanson water department shall be rendered invalid by reason of the passage of this act, it being the intent that the operation of the water system of Hanson continue in operation under the provisions of this act.
SECTION 15. This act shall take effect upon its passage.