Section 2XXX. There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a separate fund to be known as the District Local Technical Assistance Fund. Amounts credited to the fund shall be administered by the division of local services within the department of revenue which shall determine that the funds are used for activities consistent with the purpose of this section and the Massachusetts management and accounting reporting system. The amounts shall be used, without further appropriation, solely for the administration and implementation of this section.
The fund shall be a separate and expendable trust fund administered by the division of local services within the department of revenue. There shall be credited to the fund, revenue from appropriations or other monies authorized by the general court and specifically designated to be credited to the fund and investment income earned on the fund’s assets, and all other sources. Money remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the General Fund, and shall be allocated to the regional planning agencies the following fiscal year under the formula established in the third paragraph.
One hundred per cent of the monies deposited in the district local technical assistance fund, but not more than $2,800,000 in the aggregate in any fiscal year, shall be used by the department of housing and community development to provide grants to regional planning agencies for technical assistance to municipalities and to develop a state-wide permitting model. The department shall grant each regional planning district created under chapter 40B or by special act a fixed base allocation of $150,000, except that the metropolitan area planning council shall receive a base allocation of $200,000, the Martha’s Vineyard commission shall receive a full annual allocation of $100,000, and the Nantucket Planning and Economic Development Commission shall receive an annual allocation of $50,000. One-half of the remainder of the annual disbursement of net cash proceeds to the department of housing and community development for technical assistance grants under this section shall be allocated among said entities based on the percentage of the commonwealth’s population served by each entity, with the other half allocated based on the percentage of the commonwealth’s communities served by each entity. Each regional planning agency receiving the funds shall provide matching resources of not less than 10 per cent, no more than 1/2 of which may be in-kind services, and shall annually file with the department of housing and community development, the house and senate committees on ways and means and constituent local governments a report detailing their expenses and program activities.
Technical assistance services funded by these grants shall be provided at the request of a municipality in any subject within regional planning expertise, including but not limited to: zoning and permitting; economic development; land use planning, conservation planning, and water resources; municipal management; public safety planning and emergency response; transportation; data management, information technology, geographic information systems, statistical trends and modeling; and other land use and smart growth issues.