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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2117         FILED ON: 1/17/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 816

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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PRESENTED BY:

William M. Straus

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to dam repair, removal and replacement.

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PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

William M. Straus

10th Bristol


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2117        FILED ON: 1/17/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 816

By Mr. Straus of Mattapoisett, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 816) of William M. Straus relative to dam repair, removal and replacement environmental concerns.  Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. 

 

[SIMILAR MATTER FILED IN PREVIOUS SESSION
SEE HOUSE, NO. 265 OF 2011-2012.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

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In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

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An Act relative to dam repair, removal and replacement.
 

              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. Chapter 40 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following section:

              Section 61.

              (a)     Any city or town which accepts the provisions of this section may elect to acquire by gift, purchase, eminent domain or otherwise, any dam, as defined by section 44 of chapter 253 of the General Laws, located within the town, including any real property appurtenant thereto, if such dam and any appurtenant real property is not at the time of such acquisition owned or held in trust by the commonwealth. In connection with such an acquisition the town may, subject to appropriation, repair, reconstruct and make improvements to a town-owned dam as may be necessary, in the judgment of the board of selectmen, or the town council, each manager in a city having a Plan D or Plan E form of charter or the mayor, with the approval of the city council or board of aldermen in any other city, to maintain, repair or improve such dam, and to accept and expend grants or gifts for such purposes in accordance with section 53A of chapter 44 upon approval of the board of selectmen without further appropriation.

              (b)     Upon a two-thirds vote of the voters present and voting at a meeting duly called, the municipality or public authority may borrow funds for the purposes authorized in this section.   Any such borrowing shall be repaid within 40 years of its date of issue, and shall be outside the limit of indebtedness prescribed in section 10 of chapter 44. Except as provided in this act, any borrowing pursuant hereto shall be subject to the r equirements of said chapter 44.

              (c)     Any dam owned by the municipality or public authority shall constitute public improvements for purposes of chapter 80 and, subject to the approval of the town, the selectmen, or the town council, each manager in a city having a Plan D or Plan E form of charter or the mayor, with the approval of the city council or board of aldermen in any other city,   may assess betterments to pay any and all costs, of or relating to, acquiring, owning, maintaining or improving any such dam. Such betterments may be assessed upon properties benefiting from the acquisition, ownership, repair, maintenance or improvement of such a dam and in such amounts as the authorized board or official shall determine.     Except as otherwise provided by this act, any betterment so assessed shall be subject to said chapter 80.     Any betterment assessed pursuant to this act may be apportioned for a maximum term of 40 years.

              (d)     Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the municipality or public authority shall have no liability for or related to the presence, release or threat of release of oil or any hazardous material with respect to any dam or dams acquired by the town in accordance with section that occurred prior to the date any such dam or dams were acquired by the town.

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