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General Laws

Section 6. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, all rights, title and interest in real and personal property owned or held by an abolished county immediately before the transfer date, or owned or held by the Suffolk and Berkshire counties’ registries of deeds immediately before July 1, 1999, or, in Hampshire county, immediately before the date of transfer of certain Hampshire county functions and properties pursuant to section 1, including without limitation, all courthouses, registries of deeds, registries of probate, and all other county buildings, and the land on which they are situated and any parking facilities, fixtures and improvements located thereon or appurtenant thereto, shall be transferred to the commonwealth as of the transfer date, or on July 1, 1999 for the Suffolk and Berkshire counties’ registries of deeds, except as otherwise provided in this chapter. Such transfer and all buildings, lands, parking facilities, fixtures and improvements shall be subject to the provisions of chapter 7 and the jurisdiction of the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance as provided therein, except as otherwise provided in this chapter; and provided, however, that the buildings and land of the county courthouses so transferred shall be controlled by said commissioner on behalf of the commonwealth and shall be operated and maintained by the office of the court administrator of the trial court subject to the general superintendence of the supreme judicial court.

(b) The transfer under this section shall be effective and shall bind all persons, with or without notice, without any further action or documentation. Without derogating from the foregoing, the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance may, from time to time, execute and record and file for registration with any registry of deeds or the land court, a certificate confirming the commonwealth’s ownership of any interest in real property formerly held by an abolished county pursuant to the provisions of this section.

(c) The Hampshire council of governments is hereby authorized to retain the following property: the historic courthouse at 99 Main street in the city of Northampton, the Hampshire Care nursing facility on River Road in Leeds, and the land on which they are situated as currently platted, and the fixtures and improvements located thereon; provided, however, that the commonwealth shall assign no fewer than ten parking spaces in the Gothic Street Parking lot to the Hampshire council of governments, to be distributed at the discretion of the Hampshire council of governments; and provided, further, that in the event that said council has an aggregate equalized valuation as certified by the commissioner of revenue pursuant to section 10 of chapter 58, as of January 1, 1996, of less than 30 per cent of the total equalized valuation of municipalities in the county on such date, said property shall revert to the commonwealth. Said council shall, in consultation with the court administrator of the trial court and the commissioner of the division of asset management and maintenance, provide for the lease or rental of space in the historic courthouse now occupied by the law library for use and occupancy of the trial court law library for a period of 99 years at nominal cost, and shall allow the trial court to schedule use of the court room to the extent needed by said court up to two times the number of days used by the trial court in fiscal year 1998; and provided further that any lease agreement shall be subject to the approval of the commissioner of the division of asset management and maintenance.

(d) All rights, title and interest in real property that were held by counties for county road purposes on the date that the county was abolished, in this chapter called county roads, are hereby transferred from the commonwealth as provided in this subsection. For any abolished county that has a successor council of governments, rights, title and interest are hereby transferred to the successor council of governments. For any abolished county that has no successor council of governments title is hereby transferred to the respective towns in which the interests lie. Rights, title and interest in the following properties shall not be transferred under this subsection:—

(1) The fee interest in and to a parcel of land in the city known as the town of Agawam bounded on the east by the low water mark of the Connecticut river, on the south by land now or formerly of Kuzmierz, on the west by River road, and on the north by the extent of the holding of the abolished county, which is in the vicinity of land located across River road and now or formerly of Vanotti, all as shown on “Profile Sheets” numbers 13 to 16, inclusive, in a set of plans of the department of highways, titled “Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Highway Department, Transportation Improvement Project Connecticut River Walk and Bikeway, in the Town of Agawam,” project file number 601296, and stamped “received” by the Agawam planning board on October 26, 2000.

(2) A right of way containing approximately 0.48 acres in the town of Concord, as authorized by chapter 294 of the acts of 1947, providing public access to White pond, a great pond, in the towns of Concord and Sudbury, a great pond, along Plainsfield road.

(3) The fee interest in certain parcels of land in the city of Peabody and the towns of Middleton and Topsfield containing approximately 141 acres, taken or acquired for conservation purposes, of which approximately 34.02 acres located in the city of Peabody, approximately 97.99 acres located in the town of Middleton and approximately 9.17 acres located in the town of Topsfield, located along the Ipswich river and Norris Brook, as shown on maps of the assessor of the city of Peabody on Map 1, Lot 28 (6.4 acres); Map 1, Lot 29 (2.70 acres); Map 2, Lot 1 (9.370 acres); Map 5, Lot 1A (3.76 acres); Map 10, Lot 19 (0.35 acres); Map 10, Lot 20 (0.34 acres); Map 10, Lot 21 (0.35 acres); Map 10, Lot 22 (0.35 acres); Map 10, Lot 23 (0.35 acres); Map 10, Lot 24 (0.35 acres); Map 10, Lot 25 (0.35 acres); Map 10, Lot 26 (0.35 acres); Map 10, Lot 27 (0.35 acres); Map 10, Lot 28 (0.35 acres); Map 10, Lot 29 (0.35 acres); Map 10, Lot 30 (0.35 acres); Map 10, Lot 31 (0.69 acres); Map 10, Lot 32 (.58 acres); Map 10, Lot 33 (0.34 acres); Map 11, Lot 23 (0.35 acres); Map 16, Lot 55 (0.40 acres); Map 16, Lot 56 (0.38 acres); Map 16, Lot 57 (0.35 acres); Map 16, Lot 58 (0.35 acres); Map 16, Lot 59 (0.35 acres); Map 16, Lot 60 (0.35 acres); Map 16, Lot 61 (0.35 acres); Map 16, Lot 62 (0.35 acres); Map 16, Lot 63 (0.39 acres); Map 16, Lot 64 (0.42 acres), and on maps of the assessor of the town of Middleton on Map 8, Lot 14 (.9 acres); Map 13, Lot 36 (0.25 acres); Map 13, Lot 37 (12.9 acres); Map 13, Lot 40 (20.7 acres); Map 13, Lot 41 (11.7 acres); Map 13, Lot 44B (2.258 acres); Map 13, Lot 105 (5.53 acres); Map 13, Lot 112 (3.4 acres); Map 13, Lot 113 (2.68 acres); Map 19, Lot 23 (3.68 acres); Map 19, Lot 105 (1.22 acres); Map 26, Lot 13A (6.89 acres); Map 32, Lot 54 (10.02 acres); Map 32, Lot 55 (10.47 acres); Map 33, Lot 45 (5.4 acres), and on maps of the assessor of the town of Topsfield on Map 57, Lot 6 (8.33 acres) and Map 65, Lot 30 (0.843 acres).

(4) A right of way containing approximately 3.38 acres in the city of Springfield, as authorized by chapter 341 of the acts of 1951, providing public access to Five Mile pond, a great pond, along Boston road.

(5) A right of way containing approximately 0.45 acres in the city of Springfield, as authorized by chapter 343 of the acts of 1951, providing public access to Loon pond, a great pond, along Pasco road.

(6) A right of way containing approximately 0.06 acres in the town of Brimfield, as authorized by chapter 258 of the acts of 1948, providing public access to Little Alum pond, a great pond, along Little Alum road.

(7) A right of way containing approximately 0.014 acres in the town of Wilbraham, as authorized by chapter 253 of the acts of 1955, providing public access to Nine Mile pond, a great pond, along Pond road.

(8) A right of way containing approximately 0.30 acres in the town of Belchertown, as authorized by chapter 339 of the acts of 1954, providing public access to Metacomet lake, a great pond, along Poole road.

(9) A right of way containing approximately 1.87 acres in the town of Huntington, as authorized by chapter 254 of the acts of 1955, providing public access to Norwich lake, a great pond, along Pisgah road.

(10) Any interest in and to 2 parcels of land in the town of Wayland, containing approximately 2.2 acres and 5.9 acres respectively, shown on assessors map number 17 of the town of Wayland as “county commissioners” and bounded by Old Sudbury road, the Sudbury river, and River road.

(11) Any interest in land associated with a parking area along Farm road and a right of way, containing approximately 0.39 acres, in the town of Sherborn, as authorized by chapter 374 of the acts of 1946, providing parking and public access to Little pond, a great pond, along Farm road.

(12) A right of way containing approximately 2.30 acres in the town of Hardwick, as authorized by chapter 371 of the acts of 1958, providing public access to Hardwick pond, a great pond, along Greenwich road.

(13) A right of way containing approximately 0.36 acres in the city of Springfield, as authorized by chapter 342 of the acts of 1951, providing public access to Lake Lorraine, a great pond, along Lorimer street.

(14) The fee interest in and to a parcel of land in the town of West Boylston containing approximately 41.56 acres, located along River road at or near Quinapoxet river and the Wachusett reservoir, as shown on the West Boylston assessors map 122-1, and as described in a deed recorded at the Worcester district registry of deeds in book 2146 at page 20.

(15) The fee interest in and to a parcel of land in the town of West Boylston containing approximately 34 acres and an associated thirty-foot wide right of way running from Paul X. Tivnan drive to said parcel, shown as “Parcel D” and “30´ Right of Way” on a plan titled “Plan of Land in West Boylston, Massachusetts Owned By Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” dated November 4, 1999, and prepared by R. W. Hart Associates of Northborough.

(16) Any interest in real estate transferred by legislation enacted subsequent to the abolition of the county in which it is located and before January 1, 2007.

(e) In cases where it is unclear whether or not an interest in real estate was held for county road purposes on the date that a county was abolished, a written determination executed by the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance shall settle the matter. The determination may be recorded in the appropriate registry of deeds and shall be final and binding on all parties.

(f) Records of county roads situated within the boundaries of any abolished county are hereby transferred to the registry of deeds for the respective county or, if the abolished county has a successor council of governments, to the successor council of governments.

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