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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE TOWN OF ASHLAND TO ESTABLISH A SPECIAL REVENUE FUND FOR AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FUNDING PROGRAM.

 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1.  The town of Ashland may create an economic development funding program from which individuals or businesses may apply to borrow funds or receive grants for use on private property.

SECTION 2.  The program shall be established to provide assistance to individuals and private business to encourage and facilitate economic growth and development, including creation of jobs, improvement and enhancement of buildings and infrastructure and increasing the value of the real estate tax and general tax base.

SECTION 3.  The program shall be administered by the board of selectmen. The board of selectmen shall adopt rules and regulations, following at least 14 days’ notice and a public hearing. The rules and regulations shall establish the qualifications for receipt of a loan or grant from the program including, but not limited to: (i) eligibility thresholds; (ii) repayment terms of loans; and (iii) operations, administration and other matters necessary to implement and carry out the program.

SECTION 4.  The town of Ashland may appropriate funds to support the program and the board of selectmen may accept gifts of funds to support the program which shall be held in the Ashland Economic Development Program Fund. The town manager, with the approval of the board of selectmen, may establish subcategories within the fund for a particular purpose established pursuant to this act. Notwithstanding section 53 of chapter 44 of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, all revenues, gifts or funds received, including repayment of loan proceeds, shall be held year-to-year in the fund and all interest attributable thereto shall be credited to the fund.

SECTION 5.  The town manager, with the approval of the board of selectmen, may establish programs, by regulation, relative to sign and façade improvements, rent, utility and equipment support, leasehold improvements, operating capital, acquisition of land and buildings, new construction, building renovation, landscape and property improvements, machinery and equipment purchases and soft cost expenses related to real estate development. Except as provided for in this section, funds shall not be used for improvements to the interior of the business premises or to sidewalks or other public walkways. 

SECTION 6.  The town manager, with the approval of the board of selectmen, may award grants and issue loans to be used on private property to individuals and private businesses who qualify and are eligible in accordance with the rules and regulations of the program; provided, however that, no such grant or loan shall be made until the board of selectmen has adopted rules and regulations pursuant to section 3.

SECTION 7.  The town manager shall annually provide a report to the town which shall include, but not limited to, the amount of donations and appropriations received, the amount of grants and loans made and to whom and the balance of the funds in the program.

SECTION 8.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved, January 9, 2019.