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General Laws

Section 7. Cities and towns may incur debt, within the limit of indebtedness prescribed in section ten, for the purposes hereinafter set forth, and payable within the periods hereinafter specified or, except for clauses (3C), (11), (16), (18), (19), (21) and (22), within such longer period not to exceed 30 years based upon the maximum useful life of the public work, improvement or asset being financed, as determined in accordance with guidelines established by the division of local services within the department of revenue:

(1) For the construction or reconstruction of surface drains, sewers, sewerage systems and sewage treatment and disposal facilities, thirty years.

(1A) For the lining by cement or metal of sewers constructed for sanitary and surface drainage purposes and for sewage disposal, ten years.

(2) For acquiring land for public parks or playgrounds or public domain under chapter forty-five, thirty years; but no indebtedness incurred for public domain shall exceed one half of one per cent of the equalized valuation of the city or town.

(2A) For the construction of an artificial ice-skating rink for which refrigeration equipment is required on land owned by the city or town, fifteen years.

(2B) For the construction of an outdoor swimming pool on land owned by the city or town, fifteen years.

(3) For acquiring land, or interests in land, for any purpose for which a city or town is or may hereafter be authorized to acquire land or interests therein, not otherwise specifically provided for; for the construction of buildings which cities or towns are or may hereafter be authorized to construct, or for additions to such buildings where such additions increase the floor space of said buildings, including the cost of original equipment and furnishings of said buildings or additions, twenty years.

(3A) For remodeling, reconstructing or making extraordinary repairs to public buildings owned by the city or town, including original equipment and landscaping, paving and other site improvements incidental or directly related to such remodeling, reconstruction or repair, for a term not exceeding 20 years.

(3B) For energy conservation, alternative energy or renewable energy improvements to public buildings or facilities owned or leased by the city or town, or on property owned or leased by the city or town, 20 years.

(3C) For a revolving loan fund established under section 53E3/4; to assist in the development of renewable energy and energy conservation projects on privately-held buildings, property or facilities within the city or town, 20 years.

(4) For the construction or reconstruction of bridges of stone or concrete or of iron superstructure, twenty years.

(5) For the original construction of public ways or the extension or widening thereof, including land damages and the cost of pavement and sidewalks laid at the time of said construction, or for the construction of stone, block, brick, cement concrete, bituminous concrete, bituminous macadam or other permanent pavement of similar lasting character, or for the original construction and surfacing or the resurfacing with such pavement of municipally owned and operated off-street parking areas, under specifications approved by the department of highways, ten years.

(6) For macadam pavement or other road material, or for the resurfacing with such pavement or other road material of municipally owned or operated off-street parking areas, under specifications approved by the department of highways, or for the construction of sidewalks of brick, bituminous concrete, stone or concrete, five years.

(7) For the construction of walls or dikes for the protection of highways or property, ten years.

(8) For the purchase of land for cemetery purposes, ten years.

(9) For the cost of equipment, 5 years.

(9A) For the remodeling, reconstruction or rehabilitation of existing firefighting apparatus and heavy equipment including, but not limited to, front-end loaders, road graders, sidewalk plows and motorized sweepers; five years.

(10) For connecting dwellings or other buildings with common sewers, when the cost is to be assessed in whole or in part on the abutting property owners, five years.

(11) For the payment of final judgments, one year.

[There is no clause (12).]

(13) In Boston, for acquiring fire or police boats, fifteen years.

(14) For traffic signal, or public lighting installations, fire alarm or police communication installations and for the purpose of extending and improving such installations, ten years.

(15) In Boston, for the original construction, or the extension or widening, with permanent pavement of lasting character conforming to specifications approved by the state department of highways and under the direction of the board of park commissioners of the city of Boston, of ways, other than public ways, within or bounding on or connecting with any public park in said city, including land damages and the cost of pavement and sidewalks laid at the time of said construction, or for the construction of such ways with stone, block, brick, cement concrete, bituminous concrete, bituminous macadam or other permanent pavement of similar lasting character under specifications approved by said department of highways, ten years.

(16) For the payment of premiums for fire insurance contracts or policies covering a period of five years, four years.

(17) For improvements made under section twenty-nine of chapter ninety-one and for the construction or reconstruction of public wharves, ten years.

(17A) For dredging of tidal and nontidal rivers and streams, harbors, channels and tidewaters, 10 years.

(18) For the payment of charges incurred under contracts authorized by section four of chapter forty for the expert appraisal of taxable property or for the preparation of assessors maps, including charges for aerial mapping in connection with the preparation of such maps, ten years.

(19) For the payment of charges incurred under contracts authorized by section four D of chapter forty, but only for such contracts as are for purposes comparable to the purposes for which loans may be authorized under the provisions of this section. Each authorized issue shall constitute a separate loan, and such loans shall be subject to the conditions of the applicable clauses of this section.

(20) For developing land for burial purposes and for constructing paths and avenues and embellishing the grounds in said developed areas in a cemetery owned by the city or town, five years. The proceeds from the sale of the exclusive rights of burials in any of the lots in such cemetery shall be kept separate from other funds and be appropriated for the payment of any indebtedness incurred for such developments, notwithstanding the provisions of section fifteen of chapter one hundred and fourteen.

(21) For the cost of architectural services for plans and specifications for any proposed building for which a city, town or district is authorized to borrow, or for the cost of architectural services for plans and specifications for additions to buildings owned by a city, town, or district where such additions increase the floor space of said buildings, five years if issued before any other debt relating to said buildings or additions is authorized, otherwise the period fixed by law for such other debt relating to said building or additions; provided, however, that at the time the loan is issued the city, town or district owns the land on which the proposed building or additions would be constructed.

(22) For the cost of engineering or architectural services for plans and specifications for any project not defined in clause (21) for which a city, town or district is authorized to borrow, five years if issued before any other debt relating to said project is authorized, otherwise the period fixed by law for such other debt relating to said project.

(23) For the construction of municipal tennis courts, including platform tennis courts and the acquisition of land and the construction of buildings therefor, including the original equipment and furnishing of said buildings, fifteen years.

[There is no clause (24).]

(25) For the construction of municipal outdoor recreational and athletic facilities, including the acquisition and development of land and the construction and reconstruction of facilities; fifteen years.

(26) For energy audits as defined in section three of chapter twenty-five A, if authorized separately from debt for energy conservation or alternative energy projects; five years.

(27) For the undertaking of projects for the preservation and restoration of publicly-owned freshwater lakes and great ponds in accordance with the provisions of section thirty-seven A of chapter twenty-one.

(28) For the development, design, purchase and installation of computer hardware, other data processing equipment and computer assisted integrated financial management and accounting systems; ten years.

(29) For the development, design, purchase of computer software incident to the purchase, installation and operation of computer hardware and other data processing equipment and computer assisted integrated financial management and accounting systems; five years.

(30) For installation, repair or replacement of exposed structural or miscellaneous steel, which has been treated with the hot-dip galvanizing process; three years.

(31) For the purpose of removing asbestos from municipally owned buildings; ten years.

(32) For the cost of cleaning up or preventing pollution caused by existing or closed municipal facilities not referenced in clause (21) of section 8, including cleanup or prevention activities taken pursuant to chapter 21E or chapter 21H, 10 years; provided, however, that no indebtedness shall be incurred hereunder until plans relating to the project shall have been submitted to and approved by the department of environmental protection.

(33) For the construction or reconstruction of seawalls, riprap, revetments, breakwaters, bulkheads, jetties and groins, stairways, ramps and other related structures, 20 years.

(34) For any other public work, improvement or asset not specified in this section, with a maximum useful life of at least 5 years, determined as provided in this paragraph, 5 years.

Debts may be authorized under this section only by a two-thirds vote.

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