SECTION 1: Chapter 6A of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after Section 18L the following section:-
Section 18M. Regional Public Safety Services
Any Sheriff’s Office and city or town are herewith authorized through their respective mayor or boards of selectmen to enter into a written agreement for the purpose of establishing, constructing, equipping, operating and maintaining a consolidated regional public safety communications center. For purposes of this Act, the member communities and the Sheriff shall hereinafter be known as a Regional Emergency Communications Council (“RECC”).
The written agreement shall provide for the management of a regional public safety communications center by a board of directors (“Board”) comprised of the following positions: one person appointed by each member municipality, with the Sheriff or designee serving ex officio, and representing among them fire services, police services, and a municipal chief administrative officer. Said board shall set forth the financial terms and conditions of membership in and management of the regional public safety communications center. Such Board may employ expert assistance as it deems necessary, but wherever possible shall utilize resources available among its members.
Once established, the Board shall promulgate rules and guidelines governing the terms by which another municipality may be admitted to an RECC, the method by which the agreement may be amended, the procedure for the preparation and adoption of the annual budget, procedure for securing bond funding or direct appropriations for capital needs, the staffing levels and personnel selection for the regional public safety communications center, and any other matters, not incompatible with law.
The Board shall establish and manage a fund to which all monies contributed by the cities and towns, and grants and gifts from the federal or state government or any other source shall be deposited. The Board may appoint a treasurer who may be a treasurer of one of the member municipalities. The treasurer, subject to the direction and approval of the Board shall be authorized to receive, invest and disburse all funds of the regional public safety communications center without further appropriation. The treasurer shall give bond for the faithful performance of his/her duties in a form and amount fixed by the Board.
An RECC may apply for, receive and expend, without appropriation, gifts or grant funding from the federal, state or local government as well as private grantors including but not limited to revenues from municipal 911 surcharges in member municipalities.
An RECC shall have the authority to borrow money, and enter into long- or short-term loan agreements or mortgages.
An RECC may enter into contracts for the purchase of supplies, materials and services and for the purchase or lease of land, buildings and equipment as deemed necessary.
An RECC shall be deemed a public employer and have the authority to employ personnel to carry out the purposes of the regional public safety communications center and to establish the duties, compensation and other terms and conditions of employment of personnel.
An RECC shall be deemed a public entity and shall have standing to sue or to be sued to the same extent as a city or town.
The written agreement establishing a regional public safety communications center may make a provision for the method of termination of the regional public safety communications center and may also provide procedures for the addition of new member municipalities and the assessment and collection of fees and payments associated therewith, the withdrawal of municipalities and representation of new members on the board of directors.
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