Section 14. The regional planning and economic development district established under the provisions of section nine shall have the following powers and duties:
(a) to adopt a corporate seal;
(b) to sue and be sued, but only to the same extent and upon the same conditions that a town may sue or be sued;
(c) to rent, lease or otherwise to acquire quarters for the housing of the commission and the staff thereof;
(d) to receive and disburse funds from any public or private sources for any district purposes.
In addition to the foregoing, the district, acting through the commission or any committees thereof, shall have the following additional powers and duties;
(e) to conduct studies of the resources, problems and needs of the district, and, on the basis of such studies, to prepare and, from time to time, revise both comprehensive regional plans and comprehensive economic development programs for the district and for such part or parts thereof as the commission may deem advisable, including recommendations for the physical, social and economic improvement of the district. Such plans and recommendations shall be adopted and may be changed or supplemented from time to time by a majority vote of the commission and shall be a public record; and to conduct feasibility and implementation studies for public facilities and programs and for public and private development projects which are consistent with and which would tend to implement the objectives and recommendations of the commission;
(f) to conduct research, surveys, analyses and compile such data, maps, charts and tables and other pertinent or necessary information for the purpose of formulating regional and subregional goals, objectives, policies, plans and programs and for project proposals related to the comprehensive physical, social and economic development and redevelopment of the resources and facilities of the district and its subdistricts;
(g) to cooperate with and to assist each city and town in the district to coordinate its planning and economic development activities with the district so as to obtain maximum benefits for the district and for each city and town from such activities;
(h) to cooperate with and to assist agencies of the commonwealth and the United States government in fulfilling the purposes and objectives of the district;
(i) to recommend appropriate action by public and private organizations and agencies to implement the recommendations prepared by the commission;
(j) to provide technical advice, assistance and guidance to cities and towns, to other public agencies and to development organizations and to private businesses in the district in implementing the objectives and recommendations of the commission, in undertaking planning and economic development programs, and in making application for federal financial assistance;
(k) to compile and maintain a system for the collection and dissemination of information and statistics relevant to the district, and to make such information available to public agencies and to private organizations and individuals engaged in activities which tend to implement the objectives and recommendations of the commission;
(l) to approve or disapprove by majority vote such plans for the development and redevelopment of the district or parts thereof, as may be laid before it. The approval or disapproval of any such plan or any such recommendation of the commission shall be advisory only; provided, however, that the commission shall have the power to exercise such approval or disapproval as a regional or metropolitan planning or development agency acting pursuant to the requirements of any publicly aided program applicable to the district or to any part thereof;
(m) to advertise and otherwise to promote the implementation of the plans and recommendations of the commission and the economic and industrial development of the district;
(n) to sponsor conferences, institutes, seminars and training programs on behalf of the district and the cities and towns therein for the purpose of developing the capabilities of commission members, commission staff, other public officials and employees and development organizations, to assist in preparing and implementing the plans and recommendations of the commission;
(o) to undertake comprehensive and special planning and economic development programs and projects for any part or parts of the district, and, for such purpose to assist intermunicipal cooperation and to delineate, establish and administer subregional district organizations as administrative subdivisions of the district and commission.
Except as otherwise prohibited by law said district and commission is further authorized to act as and to assume the duties, obligations and responsibilities of an economic development district designated pursuant to the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965.
The commission shall report annually on or before February first to the city councils and town meetings of the cities and towns in the district as to the plans and recommendations of the commission and the status thereof. The commission shall make and publish such reports as the commission shall deem appropriate for the purpose of accomplishing, promoting and explaining the objectives and recommendations of the district.
Said district may not authorize debt in anticipation of revenue to be received by the district unless the regional planning and economic development commission of said district so votes in accordance with section eight.