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April 16, 2024 Clear | 45°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 63: Duties of municipality and its officers; violations; penalties

Section 63. A town manufacturing or selling gas or electricity for lighting shall keep records of its work and doings at its manufacturing station, and in respect to its distributing plant, as may be required by the department. It shall install and maintain apparatus, satisfactory to the department, for the measurement and recording of the output of gas and electricity, and shall sell the same by meter to private consumers when required by the department, and, if required by it, shall measure all gas or electricity consumed by the town. The books, accounts and returns shall be made and kept in a form prescribed by the department, and the accounts shall be closed annually on the last day of the fiscal year of such town, and a balance sheet of that date shall be taken therefrom and included in the return to the department. The mayor, selectmen or municipal light board and manager shall, at any time, on request, submit said books and accounts to the inspection of the department and furnish any statement or information required by it relative to the condition, management and operation of said business. The department shall, in its annual report, describe the operation of the several municipal plants with such detail as may be necessary to disclose the financial condition and results of each plant; and shall state what towns, if any, operating a plant have failed to comply with this chapter, and what towns, if any, are selling gas or electricity with the approval of the department at less than cost. The mayor, or selectmen, or municipal light board, if any, shall annually, on or before such date as the department fixes, make a return to the department, for the preceding fiscal year, signed and sworn to by the mayor, or by a majority of the selectmen or municipal light board, if any, and by the manager, stating the financial condition of said business, the amount of authorized and existing indebtedness, a statement of income and expenses in such detail as the department may require, and a list of its salaried officers and the salary paid to each. The mayor, the selectmen or the municipal light board may direct any additional returns to be made at such time and in such detail as he or they may order. Any officer of a town manufacturing or selling gas or electricity for lighting who, being required by this section to make an annual return to the department, neglects to make such annual return shall, for the first fifteen days or portion thereof during which such neglect continues, forfeit five dollars a day; for the second fifteen days or any portion thereof, ten dollars a day; and for each day thereafter not more than fifteen dollars a day. Any such officer who unreasonably refuses or neglects to make such return shall, in addition thereto, forfeit not more than five hundred dollars. If a return is defective or appears to be erroneous, the department shall notify the officer to amend it within fifteen days. Any such officer who neglects to amend said return within the time specified, when notified to do so, shall forfeit fifteen dollars for each day during which such neglect continues. All forfeitures incurred under this section may be recovered by an information in equity brought in the supreme judicial court by the attorney general, at the relation of the department, and when so recovered shall be paid to the commonwealth.