Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, but subject to the requirements of section five, and in addition to any other power conferred by law, the city of Springfield may enter into a contract for the processing, composting and disposal of sludge, produced at the Springfield Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant, or such other sludge as said city may designate from time to time, at a facility constructed, financed, operated and owned by a private party, and may lease to such party, land owned by said city upon which the facility is to be, or is constructed and operated and which is to, or does, surround said facility; provided, however, that if said city consents, pursuant to this section, to the processing, composting or disposal of sludge other than sludge produced at the Springfield Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant, the operator of the facility shall pay to said city not less than ninety per cent of any amount charged by the operator in excess of the service or other fees established by the contract for the processing, composting, or disposal of sludge produced at the Springfield Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.
SECTION 2. The contract and lease hereunder shall contain such provisions as may be deemed necessary to protect the public interest, to provide for just and equitable rates and a fair but not excessive return to the facility operator and to provide for meeting public disposal needs in preference to private needs. Such contract or lease, as the case may be, shall include but need not and shall not be limited to provisions for:
(a) the delivery of minimum amounts of sludge;
(b) the payment or performance of obligations by said city for the service provided by the facility based upon the amount of sludge delivered and to be processed or based upon unit prices or a formula agreed upon between the parties;
(c) the continuation of minimum payments, as such are determined between the parties, in the event the service to be provided by the facility is interrupted, curtailed or abandoned due to circumstances which are beyond the control of the facility operator and which render the operation of the facility physically or commercially impracticable or legally impermissible;
(d) the imposition of supplementary charges or adjustments, as agreed by the parties, to the stated payment requirements which are directly related to increased costs or decreased revenues, incurred or projected to be incurred by the facility as the result of changes in state or federal laws and regulations directly affecting the operations of the facility, except cost increases or revenue decreases resulting from changes in federal income tax laws and regulations. Any supplementary charges or adjustments shall be documented by a detailed statement accounting for the causes of the increases in costs or decreases in revenues, for which by the terms of the contract a supplementary charge or adjustment may be made and an accounting of the supplementary charges or adjustments being imposed and an evaluation of whether they are allowable under the contract and whether they have been correctly calculated;
(e) limitations on the liability of said city in connection with the operation of the facility;
(f) no assignment, mortgage, sublease, or transfer of the contract and lease except as may be required, with the approval of said city which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld, to the entities financing the facility and by such entities upon a default by the operator of the facility under the terms of the financing for the facility;
(g) no sale, mortgage, or transfer of the facility or any portion thereof, except to said city or as may be required, with the approval of said city which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld, to the entities financing the facility and by such entities upon a default by the operator of the facility under the terms of the financing thereof;
(h) that any contract for design or construction of a change to the facility that increases the capacity of the facility shall be procured by the private party owner of the facility in accordance with the provisions of section thirty-eight K of chapter seven, section thirty-nine M of chapter thirty or sections forty-four A to forty-four J, inclusive, of chapter one hundred and forty-nine of the General Laws. In the event the capacity is increased during the term of the contract, the contract may provide for adjustments in payments by said city to reflect the operating, maintenance and capital costs of the expanded facility, provided the rate of return to the facility operator shall not increase; and
(i) a term not to exceed twenty years from the date that the facility achieves commercial operations, as such term is defined in the contract, provided that the contract and lease shall terminate on the same date, and provided further that upon the termination of the contract and lease such private party shall have the option of either removing the facility from the site or transferring the facility to said city, at no cost to said city, together with all drawings, designs, diagrams, manuals, specifications and other documents of information necessary to operate the facility.
SECTION 3. The contract and lease authorized hereunder may be entered into by the appropriate officers of the city of Springfield acting pursuant to general authorization of the city council and approval by its mayor or by its acting mayor if the office of mayor is vacant at the time of execution of the lease, said contract matters not admitting of delay. The authorization for and execution of the contract and lease, if performed prior to the final passage of this act are hereby ratified, validated and confirmed, and made effective; provided, however, that they shall be in accordance with the provisions required by this act.
SECTION 4. The obligations represented by payments by the city of Springfield shall not be included in any determination of the borrowing capacity of said city under any limitation of its indebtedness. The provisions of this section are applicable whether or not said city has issued debt obligations for sludge disposal purposes.
SECTION 5. The provisions of this act and the authority granted hereunder shall be read as being in addition to and not contrary to or in derogation of chapter fifty-two of the acts of nineteen hundred and thirty-nine. The contract and lease authorized hereunder shall be for the development of a sludge composting facility and the provisions of sludge composting services, in accordance with the Request for Proposals dated September, nineteen hundred and eighty-seven, and addenda thereto issued by the city of Springfield and filed with the office of the inspector general, on land owned by said city at the Bondi's Island site of the Springfield Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant and only in so far as so limited shall not be subject to, and shall be exempt from, the provisions of section four of chapter forty, section thirty-eight K of chapter seven, section thirty-nine M of chapter thirty and sections forty-four A to forty-four J, inclusive, of chapter one hundred and forty-nine of the General Laws. The facility which is the subject of the contract and lease authorized hereunder shall be subject to the applicable provisions of chapter twenty-one and chapter eighty-three of the General Laws, but shall not be subject to the provisions of section one hundred and fifty A of chapter one hundred and eleven of the General Laws.
SECTION 6. The private party with which the city of Springfield executes a contract and lease for the sludge composting facility shall annually, by March first, submit to the state ethics commission and the inspector general a report listing each expenditure made during the previous calendar year by an official, employee or representative of the firm, including consultants or subcontractors providing services with respect to the facility, to or for the benefit of an official, employee, or representative, including consultants providing services with respect to the facility, of said city. An officer of said private party shall certify the report as complete and accurate under pains and penalties of perjury. The state ethics commission, upon finding that there has been a violation of the reporting requirement set forth in this section, may issue an order requiring the violator to pay a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars for each day of violation and may file a civil action in superior court to enforce such order. The private party and officials, employees or representatives of the firm, including consultants or subcontractors providing services with respect to the facility, shall not be required to submit the report required by this section to the state ethics commission and the inspector general for any year after the year in which the contract or lease, whichever is later, has expired.
SECTION 7. This act shall take effect upon its passage.