Section 16: Real property; disposition or acquisition
Section 16. (a) If a governmental body duly authorized by general or special law to engage in such transaction determines that it shall rent, convey, or otherwise dispose of real property, the governmental body shall declare the property available for disposition and shall specify the restrictions, if any, that it will place on the subsequent use of the property.
(b) The governmental body shall determine the value of the property through procedures customarily accepted by the appraising profession as valid.
(c) A governmental body shall solicit proposals prior to:
(1) acquiring by purchase or rental real property or an interest therein from any person at a cost exceeding $35,000; or
(2) disposing of, by sale or rental to any person, real property or any interest therein, determined in accordance with paragraph (b) to exceed $35,000 dollars in value.
(d) The governmental body shall place an advertisement inviting the submission of proposals in a newspaper with a circulation in the locality sufficient to inform the people of the affected locality. The governmental body shall publish the advertisement at least once a week for two consecutive weeks. The last publication shall occur at least eight days preceding the day for opening proposals. The advertisement shall specify the geographical area, terms and requirements of the proposed transaction, and the time and place for the submission of proposals. In the case of the acquisition or disposition of more than twenty-five hundred square feet of real property, the governmental body shall also cause such advertisement to be published, at least thirty days before the opening of proposals, in the central register published by the state secretary pursuant to section twenty A of chapter nine.
(e) The governmental body may shorten or waive the advertising requirement if:
(1) the governmental body determines that an emergency exists and the time required to comply with the requirements would endanger the health or safety of the people or their property; provided, however, that the governmental body shall state the reasons for declaring the emergency in the central register at the earliest opportunity; or
(2) in the case of a proposed acquisition, the governmental body determines in writing that advertising will not benefit the governmental body's interest because of the unique qualities or location of the property needed. The determination shall specify the manner in which the property proposed for acquisition satisfies the unique requirements. The governmental body shall publish the determination and the reasons for the determination, along with the names of the parties having a beneficial interest in the property pursuant to section forty J of chapter seven, the location and size of the property, and the proposed purchase price or rental terms, in the central register not less than thirty days before the governmental body executes a binding agreement to acquire the property.
(f) Proposals shall be opened publicly at the time and place designated in the advertisement. The governmental body shall submit the name of the person selected as party to a real property transaction, and the amount of the transaction, to the state secretary for publication in the central register.
(g) If the governmental body decides to dispose of property at a price less than the value as determined pursuant to paragraph (b), the governmental body shall publish notice of its decision in the central register, explaining the reasons for its decision and disclosing the difference between such value and the price to be received.
(h) This section shall not apply to the rental of residential property to qualified tenants by a housing authority or a community development authority.
(i) Acquisitions or dispositions of real property or any interest therein pursuant to this section between governmental bodies and the federal government, the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions or another state or political subdivision thereof shall be subject to subsections (a), (b) and (g).