Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. All of the inhabitants of the town of Monson, liable to taxation in said town and residing therein, shall constitute a fire, rescue, and ambulance protection district and are hereby made a body corporate by the name of the Monson Fire, Rescue, and Ambulance Protection district, hereinafter called the district, for the purpose of supplying themselves with fire, rescue, and ambulance equipment and apparatus and facilities for the extinguishment of fires, for rescuing, and for the provision of ambulance service, with the power to establish fire ponds and hydrants in areas not served by the municipal water supply system and to relocate and discontinue same, and to establish any and all fees, and for the purpose of assessing and raising taxes and fees as provided herein for the payment of such services and for defraying the necessary expenses of carrying out the business of the district, subject to all General Laws now or hereafter in force relating to such districts, except as otherwise provided herein. The district, through its prudential committee, shall have power to prosecute and defend all actions relating to its property and affairs.
SECTION 2. For the purposes aforesaid, the district, acting by and through its prudential committee, as hereinafter provided for, may contract with any municipality, or with any water district, for whatever water may be required, and is hereby authorized to furnish the same; and it may also contract with any municipality or any fire district for fire protection or for ambulance service.
SECTION 3. For the purpose of paying the necessary expenses and liabilities incurred under this act, other than expenses of maintenance and operations, the district may, in addition to any other authority to borrow under the General Laws, borrow from time to time such sums as may be necessary, not exceeding, in the aggregate, the debt limit authorized by section ten of chapter forty-four of the General Laws but not more than two hundred thousand dollars, and may issue bonds or notes therefore, which shall bear on their face the words, Monson Fire, Rescue, and Ambulance District Loan, Act of 1990. Each authorized issue shall constitute a separate loan, and such loans shall be payable in not more than ten years or the maximum statutory term provided from their dates, whichever is shorter. Indebtedness incurred under this act shall be subject to the provisions of said chapter forty-four pertaining to such districts.
SECTION 4. The district shall, at the time of authorizing said loan or loans, provide for the payment thereof in accordance with section three; and when a vote to that effect has been passed, a sum which shall be sufficient to pay the annual interest as it accrues of the bonds or notes issued as aforesaid by the district, and to make such payments on the principal as may be required under this act, shall without further vote be assessed upon the district by the assessors of said town of Monson annually thereafter until the debt incurred by said loan or loans is extinguished.
SECTION 5. Whenever a tax is duly voted by the district for the purpose of this act, the clerk shall send a certified copy of the vote to the assessors of said town, who shall assess the same on property within the district in the same manner in all respects in which town taxes are required by law to be assessed. The assessment shall be committed to the town collector, who shall collect said tax in the manner provided by law for the collection of town taxes, and shall deposit the proceeds thereof with the treasurer of the district for the use and benefit of the district. The district may collect interest on overdue taxes in the manner in which interest is authorized to be collected on town taxes.
SECTION 6. Any meeting of the voters of the town of Monson to be held prior to the acceptance and approval of this act, and any meeting of the voters of the district to be held prior to the qualification of a majority of the prudential committee, shall be called, on petition of ten or more legal voters therein, by a warrant from the selectmen of said town, or from a constable, directed to one of the petitioners, requiring him to give notice of the meeting by posting copies of the warrant in two or more public places in the district fourteen days at least before the time of the meeting. Such constable or one of the members of the board of selectmen shall preside at such organizational meeting only. At any meeting held hereunder prior to the acceptance and approval of this act, the question of the acceptance of this act shall be submitted to the voters, and if it is accepted by a majority of the voters present and voting thereon, it shall thereupon take effect, and the meeting may then proceed to act on the other articles in the warrant. After the qualification of a majority of the prudential committee, meetings of the district shall be called by warrant under their hands, unless some other method be provided by by-law or vote of the district.
SECTION 7. The district shall, after the acceptance of this act as aforesaid, elect by ballot, either at the same meeting at which this act shall have been accepted, or thereafter at an annual meeting or at a special meeting called for the purpose, three persons, inhabitants of and voters in the district, to hold office, one until the expiration of three years, one until the expiration of two years, and one until the expiration of one year, from the day of the next succeeding annual district meeting, to constitute a prudential committee; and at every annual district meeting following such next succeeding annual district meeting one such committeeman shall be elected by ballot for the expiring term for a term of three years. The date of the next annual meeting shall be fixed by by-law or by vote of the prudential committee, but in no event shall it be later than fifteen months subsequent to the date on which the said committee was first elected. All of the authority granted to the district by this act, except sections three and four, and not otherwise specifically provided for, shall be vested in said committee which shall be subject, however, to such instructions, rules, and regulations as the district may by vote impose. At the meeting at which said committee is first elected and at each annual district meeting held thereafter, the district shall elect by ballot, each for a term of one year, a clerk, a treasurer, and a moderator of the district. The treasurer shall give bond to the district in such an amount as may be approved by said committee and with a surety company authorized to transact business in the commonwealth as surety. A majority of said committee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Any vacancy occurring in said committee from any cause may be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term by the district at any legal meeting called for the purpose. No money shall be drawn from the treasury of the district except upon a written order of said committee or a majority of them, consistent with appropriations voted at annual or special district meetings.
SECTION 8. Said committee shall annually, and as often as the district may require, render a report upon the condition of the work under their charge, and an account of their doings, including an account of receipts and expenditures.
SECTION 9. The district may adopt by-laws, prescribing by whom meetings of the district may be called and conducted, and to whom notice must be given; upon the application of ten or more legal voters in the district, meeting may also be called by warrant as provided in section six. The district may also establish rules and regulations for the management of the district, not inconsistent with this act or with any other provision of law, and may choose such other officials not provided for in this act as it may deem necessary or proper. Such by-laws may be amended from time to time at a duly convened meeting of the district called for such purpose.
SECTION 10. The district shall have all of the rights of fire districts contained in chapter forty-eight of the General Laws not inconsistent with this act.
SECTION 11. This act shall take full effect upon its acceptance by a majority vote of the voters of the town of Monson present and voting thereon, by the use of a checklist, at district meeting called in accordance with section six, within four months after its passage.
SECTION 12. Upon acceptance as provided in section eleven, if such acceptance occurs prior to December thirty-first, nineteen hundred and ninety, the prudential committee is authorized to certify to the assessors of the town of Monson, the existence of the district and to authorize assessment of taxes upon property owners within the district, as of January first of nineteen hundred and ninety, for the fiscal year commencing July first, nineteen hundred and ninety and ending with July first nineteen hundred and ninety-one and to include such assessment on bills sent to taxpayers by the said town and its tax collector as required by law.