Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
The executive office of communities and development is hereby authorized to establish a program of grants to regional planning agencies in the commonwealth, including, but not limited to, regional planning agencies operating under the provisions of chapter forty B of the General Laws; the Cape Cod planning and economic development commission, operating under the provisions of chapter four hundred and fifty-three of the acts of nineteen hundred and sixty-five; the commissioners of the county of Franklin, operating under the provisions of chapter four hundred and twenty-five of the acts of nineteen hundred and sixty-three; the Nantucket Planning and Economic Development Commission, operating under the provisions of chapter five hundred and sixty-one of the acts of nineteen hundred and seventy-three; and the Old Colony Planning Council, operating under the provisions of chapter three hundred and thirty-two of the acts of nineteen hundred and sixty-seven. Grants shall be provided under said program, subject to appropriation, to all such regional planning agencies in the commonwealth, except the Martha's Vineyard Commission, in the following proportions: a base grant of twenty thousand dollars shall be allocated to each regional planning agency qualifying under this section, and, of the funds remaining under said program after such allocation, fifty per cent of such funds shall be distributed among such regional planning agencies in proportion to the population of the area served by each such agency, compared to the total population served by all such agencies, and the remaining fifty per cent of such funds shall be distributed among such agencies in proportion to the number of cities and towns which are members of each such agency, compared to the total number of cities and towns which are members of all such agencies; provided, however, that no grant shall exceed the amount paid by or on account of member cities and towns to a regional planning agency during the prior fiscal year. For purposes of the preceding sentence, the population of an area served by a regional planning agency shall be the population determined for such area in the most recent federal or state census. Appropriations to fund the program authorized herein shall be charged to the Local Aid Fund.
Funds received by such regional planning agencies under said program shall be used only in accordance with a plan of activities approved by the secretary of the executive office of communities and development, which may include (a) regional planning and economic development; (b) technical assistance to member cities and towns; (c) data management and provision to cities and towns and agencies of the commonwealth; (d) assessment of need for the repair and replacement of public service systems and facilities, including water supply, sewerage, waste management, treatment, and disposal, bridges, tunnels, and underpasses, including estimates of costs and priorities; and (e) intergovernmental review, including local participation as appropriate, of applications for federally supported projects, federal and state plans and major projects, environmental assessments and reviews, industrial revenue bond applications, capital expenditures of the commonwealth, and other programs subject to regional review by law, regulation, or custom. The Berkshire county, Central Massachusetts, Franklin county, and Pioneer Valley regional planning agencies shall file with said executive office and with the house and senate committees on ways and means a report including (A) an inventory of state facilities and state owned land in each community, and (B) a detailed analysis of the impact which the state facility or state owned land has upon (i) the economic condition of the member community (ii) the reduced potential for economic development available to the private sector in each member community (iii) the infrastructure needs and public service delivery needs of each member community (iv) the lost tax revenue accruing to each member community and (v) the economy of the region served by the planning agency. Said report shall be filed by December thirty-first, nineteen hundred and eighty-six. Each regional planning agency receiving such funds shall annually file with said executive office and with the house and senate committees on ways and means a report detailing the use of such funds, and the expenditure of such funds shall be subject to an annual audit by the state auditor. Prior to the receipt of any grant under this section, a regional planning agency shall certify to the executive office of communities and development that the voting membership of its governing body consists at least half of elected officials of the member local governments, or their designees, or that the elected officials of three-quarters of such member communities, or their designees, have endorsed the plan of activities of such agency.