Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the North East Solid Waste committee, an unincorporated association of a city and several towns who are parties to contracts with Signal Environmental Systems, Inc., a solid waste disposal and resource recovery facility, located in the town of North Andover is hereby constituted a body politic and corporate to be known as the North East Solid Waste Committee hereinafter referred to as the committee. Said committee shall be a public instrumentality and the exercise of its powers shall be deemed to be the performance of an essential governmental function. Each member municipality is hereinafter referred to as a contract community.
SECTION 2. (a) There shall be an advisory board, hereinafter referred to as the board, to the committee consisting of one representative of each contract community. Said representative shall be appointed for a term of two years, in a city by the mayor and in each town by the board of selectmen, or, in the event the general appointing authority does not rest with the board of selectmen in a particular town, by the executive officer or body specifically vested with such appointing authority. Said representative may be an elected or appointed official of the contract community. One or more alternate representatives may be designated and may cast the community's vote in the absence of a regular designated representative. Said representatives and alternates shall serve without compensation but may be reimbursed by the board for all reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. Each representative or alternate, in the performance of his duties on the committee and the board, shall have the same immunities and privileges he would have in the exercise of the same or similar duties within his respective city or town. Each representative or alternate shall serve for his appointed term and until a successor is qualified. A representative and alternate representative may be reappointed and may serve an unlimited number of terms. In the case of a vacancy, a new representative or alternate representative shall be appointed within sixty days in the same manner as above and shall serve for the unexpired portion of the term.
(b) Said board shall elect from among its members a chairman, vice chairman and treasurer, for a period of two years and until their successors are qualified.
SECTION 3. The powers of the committee acting through the board shall be as follows:
(a) to adopt, revise and amend bylaws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business; provided, that existing bylaws of the unincorporated association shall continue in effect, except that in instances where provisions of this act and provisions of existing bylaws are in conflict, provisions of this act shall govern;
(b) to adopt an official seal and alter the same at its pleasure;
(c) to maintain an office at such place or places as it may determine;
(d) to sue and be sued, but only to the same extent and upon the same conditions that a city or town may be sued;
(e) to submit an annual report to each member city and towns, containing a detailed financial statement;
(f) to adopt an annual operating budget;
(g) to request, apply for, contract for, administer, expend, disburse, and comply with any conditions and requirements respecting any funds, payment, gift, bequest, grant, donation, loan or appropriation of any property or money, whether derived directly or indirectly from the operation of the facility, from a contract community, from any person, corporation, association, public authority, or agency or subdivision of the federal or state governments, or from any other source public or private;
(h) to create committees, including an executive committee, consisting of any number of its member representatives, to exercise whichever powers and carry out whichever responsibilities it shall choose to delegate, all as defined in its bylaws;
(i) to hire, retain, contract for or otherwise provide for administrative employees, including but not limited to an employee to serve as the contract community representative, and such other providers of accounting, management, legal, financial and other professional services, as may be required for the exercise of the powers, purposes and functions prescribed herein or in contractual agreements heretofore or hereafter arrived at between the committee, the board or the contract communities and other parties.
(j) to establish reasonable salaries and benefits for its employees, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, to contract to the extent permitted by and in accordance with applicable requirements of the United States Internal Revenue Code, with any of its employees (i) to defer a portion of the employee's compensation and to invest such amounts under a deferred compensation program, and (ii) to make contributions from amounts otherwise payable as an employee's current compensation to an individual retirement account, hereinafter referred to as IRA. Investments of deferred compensation may be made in a life insurance of annuity contract, mutual fund or bank investment trust and investment of IRA amounts may be made in the foregoing or in other investments authorized by the Internal Revenue Code.
(k) to obtain insurance and to enter into agreements of indemnification;
(l) to maintain and encourage the fullest cooperation among contract communities and render them all possible assistance in planning and implementing improvements in the means of collecting, reducing, transporting, treating and disposing of solid waste and in the construction, alteration, expansion, operation and maintenance of regional solid waste facilities, including but not limited to transfer stations, landfills, incinerators, composting plants, recycling facilities, and resource recovery and electric generating plants including the facility;
(m) to conduct research, analyses and studies for and provide technical advice, assistance and guidance to any one or more contract communities, non-member cities or towns, public authorities or agencies or subdivisions of the federal or state governments, in connection with and in furtherance of the purposes of the committee;
(n) to set the terms by which other cities or towns may participate in the business of or be admitted to membership on the committee; provided, that such terms shall be in accord with section four of this act;
(o) to appear on its own behalf before other public bodies, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the courts of the commonwealth and of the United States, in all matters relating to its powers, purposes and functions; and
(p) to make and execute all contracts, agreements and other instruments and to do all things necessary, convenient or desirable for the exercise of the powers, purposes and functions prescribed herein or in contractual agreements heretofore arrived at between the committee, the board of the contract communities and other parties.
SECTION 4. Nothing in this act shall terminate, amend or impair existing contractual agreements between the committee, the board or the contract communities and other parties.