Section 25. Municipalities may join together to form a regional water and sewer district commission in the following manner:
(a) Any town by vote in town meeting duly called therefore or city by a vote of the city council and approved by the mayor, except in Plan D and Plan E cities, by vote of the city council and approved by the city manager, may create a special unpaid committee to be known as the district water and sewer planning committee, to consist of three members, to be appointed by the local appointing authority; and may appropriate for the expense of said committee such sum or sums as it may deem necessary. Regional water and sewer district planning committees from any two or more cities or towns may join together to form a regional water and sewer commission district planning board or boards. Such regional water and sewer commission district planning board shall organize forthwith upon its formation by the election of a chairman and secretary-treasurer.
(b) It shall be the duty of the regional water and sewer district commission planning board to study the advisability of establishing a regional water and sewer district commission, its organization, operation and control and of constructing, maintaining and operating such water and sewer facilities to serve the needs of such district; to estimate the construction and operating costs thereof; to investigate the methods of financing such facilities, and any other matters pertaining to the organization and operation of a regional water and sewer district commission; and to submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the selectmen of the several towns.
(c) The said regional district planning board may recommend that there shall be established a regional water and sewer district commission which may include all the cities and towns represented by its membership, or alternatively, any specified combination of such cities or towns. If the said regional district planning board so recommends, it shall submit a proposed agreement or agreements setting forth as to each alternative recommendation, if such be made, the following:—
(i) The number, composition, method of selection, and terms of office of the members of the regional district commission.
(ii) The municipalities in which, or the general area within the regional water and sewer district where, the regional water and sewer district commission shall be located.
(iii) The method of apportioning the expenses of the regional water and sewer district commission, and the method of apportioning the method of construction, including any interest and retirement of principal of any bonds or other obligations issued by the district among the several municipalities comprising the district, and the time and manner of payment of the shares of the several municipalities of any such expense.
(iv) The terms by which any municipality may be admitted to or separated from the regional water and sewer district commission.
(v) The method by which the agreement may be amended.
(vi) The detailed procedure for the preparation and adoption of an annual budget.
(vii) Any other matters, not incompatible with law, which said board may deem advisable.
(d) In the case of a town, the selectmen shall, upon receipt of the recommendation that a regional water and sewer commission district shall be formed, and of a proposed agreement therefore submitted in accordance with subsections (a) to (c), inclusive, of section twenty-four, or otherwise, in the form and with the approval required by said subsections (a) to (c), cause to be presented for determination by vote, with printed ballots at any annual or special town meeting to be held in either case within thirty days after receipt of such recommendation by said selectmen, the question of accepting the provisions of said subsections (a) to (c), inclusive, and the proposed agreement or agreements. The article in the warrant for such annual or special town meeting and the question on the printed ballots to be used at such meeting shall be in substantially the following form:
Shall the town accept the provisions of said subsections (a) to (c), inclusive, of said section twenty-four of chapter forty N of the General Laws, providing for the establishment of a regional water and sewer commission district, together with the towns of _____ and _____, etc., and the construction, maintenance and operation of a water and sewer commission by the said district in accordance with the provisions of a proposed agreement filed with the selectmen?
If majority of the voters present and voting on said questions in each of the several towns shall vote in the affirmative, and a city or several cities, if any, accept in the manner prescribed below, said subsections (a) to (c), inclusive, of said section twenty-four, shall become effective, and the proposed regional water and sewer district commission shall be deemed to be established forthwith in accordance with the terms of the agreement so adopted notwithstanding any defect or omission in the creation or organization of any regional water and sewer district planning committee or regional water and sewer district commission planning board.
In the case of a city, such acceptance shall take effect on the vote of the city council and approval of the mayor, except in the case of Plan D and Plan E cities, where approval of the city council and the city manager shall be required.
A regional water and sewer district commission established under the provisions of this section shall be a body politic and corporate and political subdivision of the commonwealth with all the powers and duties conferred by law upon such water and sewer commission, as outlined in sections seven and eight.