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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 8: Powers

Section 8. The commission shall have all the rights and powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate this chapter, including, but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the rights and powers:

(a) to adopt by-laws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business, to promulgate rules, regulations and procedures in connection with the performance of its functions and duties and to fix, enforce and collect penalties for the violation thereof;

(b) to adopt an official seal and alter the same at pleasure;

(c) to maintain an office at such place or places as it may determine;

(d) to apply for, receive, accept, administer, expend and comply with the conditions, obligations and requirements respecting any grant, gift, loan, including without limitation any grant, gift or loan from agencies of local, state and federal governments, donation or appropriation of any property or money in aid of the purposes of the commission and to accept contributions of money, property, labor or other things of value;

(e) to acquire by purchase, lease, lease-purchase, sale and leaseback, gift or devise, or to obtain options for the acquisition of, any water or water rights and any other property, real or personal, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein, in the exercise of its powers and the performance of its duties;

(f) to sell, lease, mortgage, exchange, transfer or otherwise dispose of, or to grant options for any such purposes with respect to, any water, water rights, and any other property, real or personal, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any real property transferred from the municipality to the commission pursuant to section five which is subsequently declared by the commission to be surplus property and no longer required for its operations shall not be sold or otherwise disposed of by the commission but shall be reconveyed to the municipality without consideration. If any such real property has been improved by the commission subsequent to the effective date of this chapter, the city upon reconveyance shall pay to the commission the fair market value of such improvements as determined by the commission and the municipality or by an appraiser satisfactory to both;

(g) to enter onto any land to make surveys, borings, soundings and examinations thereon, provided that said commission, notwithstanding section three, shall make reimbursements for any injury or actual damage resulting to such lands and premises caused by any act of its authorized agents or employees and shall so far as possible restore the land to the same condition as prior to making of such surveys, borings, soundings and examinations; and to acquire by eminent domain any interest in real property within the municipality in the name of the commission in accordance with the provisions of chapter seventy-nine and chapter eighty A or any alternative method provided by law; provided, however, that the commission shall not exercise the power of eminent domain without the prior approval of the legislative and executive bodies of the municipality. The commission may order the removal or relocation of any conduits, pipes, wires, poles or other property located in public ways or places, or in or upon private lands, which it deems to interfere with the laying out, construction or operation of any water or sewer project, and the proper authorities shall grant new locations for any such structure so removed or relocated, and the owner thereof may be reimbursed by the commission for the reasonable cost of such removal or relocation. Such orders, to the extent specified therein, shall be deemed a revocation of the right or license to maintain such tracks, pipes, conduits, wires, poles or other property in such public ways or places, and the private owner of any such structures in public ways or lands shall comply with any such order of the commission relating to any such structure in public ways or lands. If any such owner shall fail to comply with any such order of the commission relating to any such structure in public ways and places within a reasonable time, to be fixed in the order, the commission may discontinue and remove such tracks, conduits, pipes, wires, poles or other property, and may relocate the same, and the cost of such discontinuance, removal or relocation shall be repaid to the commission by the owner. No such discontinuance, removal or relocation shall entitle the owner of the property thus affected to any damages on account thereof, except for the reimbursement of cost provided for above. This section shall not apply to facilities on property of the commonwealth under the control of the department of highways or the metropolitan district commission or installed under licenses or permits granted by said departments, except with its approval.

(h) to purchase water in bulk or by volume and to contract for and purchase sewage disposal and treatment services from, and to sell water and provide sewage disposal and treatment services to, any person, private or public corporation or public instrumentality or municipality, including the municipality, the commonwealth and the federal government when necessary or convenient for the operation of the water works system or sewer works system;

(i) to construct, improve, extend, enlarge, maintain and repair the water works system and the sewer works system, and with respect to such work the commission shall be deemed to be a public agency for purposes of sections forty-four A to forty-four H, inclusive, of chapter one hundred and forty-nine and a commission of the municipality for purposes of sections thirty B to thirty P, inclusive, of said chapter seven and section twenty-eight of chapter forty-three, provided that no work, project or activity of the commission the total cost of which is less than two million dollars shall be subject to the provisions of said sections sixty-one to sixty-two H, inclusive, of said chapter thirty;

(j) to pledge or assign any money, fees, charges, or other revenues of the commission and any proceeds derived by the commission from the sale of property, insurance or condemnation awards;

(k) to borrow money and incur indebtedness and issue its bonds as hereinafter provided;

(l) to make contracts of every name and nature and to execute and deliver all instruments necessary or convenient for carrying out any of its purposes;

(m) to exercise the powers and privileges of, and to be subject to limitations upon towns and cities provided by the provisions of sections thirty-eight to forty-two, inclusive, of chapter forty and sections one to twenty-four, inclusive, and twenty-seven to twenty-nine, inclusive, of chapter eighty-three, insofar as such provisions may be applicable and are consistent with the provisions of this chapter; provided that any requirement in said sections or chapters for a vote by the governing body of the municipality or for a ratification of such vote by the voters of the municipality, shall be satisfied by a vote or resolution duly adopted by the commission in accordance herewith, and provided that the powers of the commission to make rules and regulations and establish penalties regarding the use of sewers shall not be limited by section ten of said chapter eighty-three;

(n) to enter into contracts and agreements with the municipality in all matters necessary, convenient or desirable for carrying out the purposes of this chapter including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, collection of revenue, data processing, and other matters of management, administration and operation;

(o) to sue and be sued and to prosecute and defend actions relating to its properties and affairs; provided that only property of the commission other than revenues pledged to the payment of bonds shall be subject to attachment or levied upon execution or otherwise;

(p) to do all things necessary, convenient or desirable for carrying out the purposes of this chapter or the powers expressly granted or necessarily implied in this chapter, including entering into agreements with other cities, towns or commissions to provide for the joint operation of public activities in accordance with section four A of chapter forty;

(q) consistent with the constitution and laws of the commonwealth, the commission shall have such other powers, including all powers pertaining to the water works system and the sewer works system held by the municipality not inconsistent herewith, as may be necessary for or incident to carrying out the foregoing powers and the accomplishment of the purposes of this chapter; provided, however, that nothing in this chapter shall impose any duty on the commission to maintain groundwater levels within or without the boundaries of the municipality.