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  • PART III COURTS, JUDICIAL OFFICERS AND PROCEEDINGS IN CIVIL CASES
  • TITLE IV CERTAIN WRITS AND PROCEEDINGS IN SPECIAL CASES
  • CHAPTER 252 IMPROVEMENT OF LOW LAND AND SWAMPS
  • Section 6 Reclamation district; formation

Section 6. The district commissioners, in this and the ten following sections called the commissioners, after being sworn, shall call a meeting of the proprietors of the lands to be improved, by giving in such manner as the board may order, a notice to each known proprietor, signed by the commissioners and setting forth the time and place of a meeting for the purpose of organizing a reclamation district to carry out the proposed improvements and maintain the same after they are completed. The notice shall be in the form of a warrant specifying the matters upon which action is to be taken at the meeting. The chairman of the commissioners or another commissioner designated by him shall call the meeting to order and shall determine whether or not proprietors constituting a majority in interest, in either value or area, are present or represented by proxies duly executed and placed in the hands of other proprietors prior to said meeting. Lacking such a majority, the meeting shall have no power to act, but the commissioners may, in the manner above provided, call additional meetings for the same purpose. The meeting shall elect a temporary clerk, who shall be sworn, and a moderator. The moderator shall submit to the proprietors present the question of accepting sections one to fourteen B, inclusive, and of organizing a reclamation district, and if a majority of those present in person or by proxy and voting on the question, vote to accept and to organize such district the provisions of said sections shall take full effect. The vote shall be recorded and a copy thereof shall be filed with the board. The meeting may then proceed to act upon the other articles, if any, contained in the warrant. Such district shall at the same meeting elect by ballot a district clerk and a district treasurer, who may be the same person, to hold office until one year from the next succeeding annual meeting and at each annual meeting after the first a clerk and treasurer shall be elected by ballot for one year. There shall also be elected by ballot a prudential committee of three members who shall hold office, one for three years, one for two years, and one for one year, from the next succeeding annual meeting. At each annual meeting after the first a member of said committee shall be elected by ballot for three years. The aforesaid officers of the district shall hold office until their successors are elected and qualified. The district may also, at the first or any subsequent meeting, borrow for preliminary or current expenses such sums as may be necessary and may issue therefor notes payable in not more than two years from their dates. Notes issued under this provision shall be subject to the provisions of chapter forty-four and to the other requirements for district notes imposed by section ten. The proceeds of such notes shall be held by the treasurer of the district, and payments therefrom shall be made only on vouchers duly approved by a majority of the prudential committee.

Subsequent meetings of the district shall be called by the clerk at the request of the commissioners or any two or more proprietors, or, in case the clerk neglects or refuses to call a meeting when so requested such meeting may upon application by said commissioners or two or more proprietors be called upon a warrant from a justice of the peace directed to one of the applicants and requiring him to give notice of said meeting as hereinafter provided. Notices of meetings shall be given by posting copies of the warrant in two or more public places within the district or by mailing copies of said warrant to each known proprietor at least seven days before the time set for the meeting. At each meeting a moderator shall be chosen who shall have the powers of the moderator of a town meeting so far as may be necessary. The clerk shall preside at each meeting after the first until a moderator is chosen.

The officers of the district shall be sworn to the faithful performance of their duties. Any vacancy occurring in the office of clerk, treasurer, or member of the prudential committee may be filled by the district for the remainder of the unexpired term at any legal meeting called for the purpose, or in case of a vacancy in the office of clerk or treasurer or disability affecting either of said officers the prudential committee may appoint a person to fill said vacancy until an election can be held or the disability is removed. Such temporary appointee shall be sworn and shall perform the duties of the office to which he is appointed during his tenure thereof.

The prudential committee shall have charge of expenditures on account of the district for maintenance of the improvements made under sections one to fourteen B, inclusive, and shall exercise the authority conferred upon the district by law except as otherwise expressly provided, and subject to the by-laws of the district and such instructions, rules and regulations as the district may impose by its vote.

The treasurer shall give bond for the faithful performance of his official duties in a sum and with sureties approved by the prudential committee. He shall receive all money belonging to the district except as otherwise specified in this and the ten following sections and shall make payments and account for the same in accordance with the requirements of sections one to fourteen B, inclusive, and of chapter forty-four so far as applicable, under direction of the district or of the prudential committee. A temporary treasurer appointed to fill a vacancy, as above provided, shall give bond in the same manner as the treasurer.

A district organized under the provisions of this section may adopt by-laws consistent with the laws applicable to such district and subject to the approval of the board. Such by-laws may provide for proxy voting by the members at any or all meetings of the district. The district shall have such rights and powers as may be necessary and proper for operating and maintaining the improvements made by the commissioners, and for making, operating and maintaining such further improvements as may be authorized under section fourteen A. The members of the district shall be the proprietors from time to time of lands lying within its limits. No such district shall dissolve without specific authorization by the general court, which shall not be given until provision has been made for payment of the obligations of said district.