Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. There is hereby established in the town of Framingham the Framingham Economic Development and Industrial Corporation, hereinafter referred to as the corporation. Said corporation shall act on behalf of said town to promote the economic revitalization of said town through the exercise of those powers set forth in chapter one hundred and twenty-one B and chapter one hundred and twenty-one C of the General Laws and such other powers and privileges as are conferred by this act.
SECTION 2. It is hereby declared that there exist in the town of Framingham, certain open, decadent and blighted areas which have been zoned for industrial and manufacturing use and constitute a serious and growing menace to the health, morals and welfare of the residents of said town; that such areas constitute an economic liability to said town and serve to arrest the sound economic growth of said town and retard the economic well being of the commonwealth; that such underutilized manufacturing and industrial space has seriously reduced the market value of surrounding residential, commercial and retail space in said town and that each reduction in value of such surrounding property threatens sources of public revenues; that redevelopment of all such substandard areas of said town and the prevention of their recurrence through whatever means are necessary to retain existing businesses and industry and to attract new businesses and industry must be undertaken in accordance with an economic development plan presented to and approved by said town; that the continuing menace posed by such economic conditions within said town deriving from such open and blighted areas, but not limited exclusively to these open and blighted areas, are beyond remedy and control of said town and cannot be dealt with through current regulatory processes or through the ordinary operations of private enterprise without the aids and remedies herein provided.
It is hereby further found and declared that there exists in said town a condition of substandard and persistent unemployment and underemployment which causes serious hardship to many families and individuals, these conditions waste valuable human resources and increase public assistance burdens, impair the security of said town's family life, impede the economic and physical development of said town and adversely affect the welfare and prosperity of the people of Framingham; that this unemployment and serious underemployment have been caused in large part by major industrial and manufacturing companies having moved from said town; that many existing industrial and manufacturing facilities within said town are obsolete and inefficient and that such underutilized or vacated facilities thereby create or further aggravate economic conditions in said town; economic conditions which have led to the deterioration of the downtown area; and further ongoing economic injury to the economy has persisted and is in need of focused redevelopment and economic development for said town as provided for herein; that manufacturing and industrial jobs provide the best opportunity for the residents of said town and at higher wage; that new or rehabilitated industrial and manufacturing sites are required to attract and house new industries and to retain existing industries; that the unaided efforts of private enterprise have not and perhaps cannot provide the necessary assistance and planning for industrial, manufacturing and supporting commercial and retail areas necessary to revitalize the economy of said town; that current development capacities of said town are inadequate to attract large employers, that the assembly of suitable parcels, the provision of adequate public services and amenities, the unavailability of private development capital and the inability of private enterprise to plan, finance and coordinate industrial and community development while maintaining a quality of life and the attractiveness of the downtown business district is evident from the commonwealth's declaration of said town of Framingham as an economic targeted area.
SECTION 3. There is hereby created a public body politic and corporate, to be known as the Framingham Economic Development and Industrial Corporation, which shall be a public instrumentality, consisting of seven members appointed by the board of selectmen of the town of Framingham: at least one member shall be experienced in financial matters, one experienced in real estate; one experienced in municipal government, two members shall be experienced in industrial development, and two members shall be appointed from the community at large. All members of the corporation shall reside or be employed in said town. Each of the seven members shall be sworn to the faithful performance of their official duties as a member of the corporation. A simple majority of the seven members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any and all business of the corporation.
Of the members of the corporation first appointed, two shall be appointed to serve for one year from the first day of July in the year of appointment, two for two years from said date and three for three years from said date. Upon the expiration of the term of office of any such member or of any subsequent member, their successor shall be appointed for a term of three years. A member shall continue in office after the expiration of his term and until a successor is appointed and qualified. Any member of the corporation may be removed by said board of selectmen for malfeasance, misfeasance or willful neglect of duty, but only after reasonable notice and public hearing, unless that same person, in writing, expressly waives the right to be so heard.
The corporation shall from time to time consult with the Industrial Development Finance Authority concerning industrial development policies and programs.
SECTION 4. The members of the corporation: shall adopt a corporate seal for the corporation and designate a custodian thereof, may from time to time appoint a member as clerk, a treasurer or other such officers of the corporation as they deem necessary and may determine their duties and compensation which shall be paid from the corporation; shall cause accurate accounts to be kept of all receipts and expenditures of the corporation; shall make an annual report of such financial affairs to the board of selectmen as of June thirtieth in a form prescribed by said board of selectmen; and shall cause an audit to be made of the books of the corporation at least once each fiscal year which is certified by public accountants and the cost shall be treated as an item of current expense for the corporation. Except as otherwise provided in this act, the corporation shall have full power to exercise care of its property and the management of its business and affairs and to sell and to convey any real estate or other property not needed for its business or affairs, by deed or other instrument sealed with the corporate seal, signed and acknowledged by a majority of the members of the corporation or in like manner to authorize such sale and conveyance by any of its officers or agents. The treasurer shall give bond for the faithful performance of his duties with a surety company authorized to do business in the commonwealth as surety, in such sum as the members of the corporation may determine, the premium therefor to be paid by the corporation.
SECTION 5. The corporation is hereby authorized to:
(a) sue and be sued in its own name and plead and be impleaded;
(b) adopt by-laws for the regulations of its affairs and to assist in the conduct of its business and to alter the same as necessary;
(c) make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary and incidental to the performance of its duties and the execution of its powers under this act and to employ consulting engineers, superintendents, managers and such other construction and accounting experts and attorneys, employees, agents and consultants as may be necessary in its judgment and to determine compensation for these services;
(d) receive and accept from any federal agency or the commonwealth or the town grants, loans or advances for, or in aid of, an economic development project or projects and to receive and accept from any source either money, property, labor or other things of value, to be held, used and applied for the purposes for which such grants, loans, advances and contributions may be made.
SECTION 6. In addition to those powers set forth in sections four and five, the corporation shall have the powers to:-
(a) determine what areas within its jurisdiction constitute decadent, substandard, or open blighted areas;
(b) prepare and execute plans for the clearance, conservation and rehabilitation of congested, substandard or blighted open areas, including plans for carrying out voluntary repair and rehabilitation of buildings and improvements, plans for the enforcement of law, codes and regulations relating to the use of land and the use occupancy of buildings and improvements, plans for the demolition and removal of buildings;
(c) clear and improve property acquired by it or the town of Framingham;
(d) prepare or cause to be prepared urban renewal plans, master or general plans, workable programs for development of the community, general neighborhood renewal plans, community renewal programs and any plans or studies required or assisted under state or federal law;
(e) engage in urban renewal or community development projects and to enforce restrictions and controls contained in any approved urban renewal or community economic development plan or any covenant or agreement contained in any contract, deed, lease by the corporation, notwithstanding that the corporation may not have title to or interest in the property to which such restrictions and controls may apply or to any neighboring property. These powers are to be exercised only after the provisions of chapter one hundred and twenty-one B of the General Laws have been complied with;
(f) act as agent of said town or to cooperate under the authority and direction of said town with the federal government in any clearance, industrial, relocation, urban renewal, rehabilitation, community development or other projects which it is authorized to undertake by and within said town;
(g) recommend to said town the acquiring of land through eminent domain subject to approval by the board of selectmen and a two-thirds vote of town meeting members, by the corporation. Such public taking shall only occur after a public hearing and shall be exercised in accordance with the provisions of chapter seventy-nine or eighty of the General Laws so long as, after due deliberation it is determined that the taking of such property is necessary for carrying out the provisions of a redevelopment plan, as provided for under chapter one hundred and twenty-one B or chapter one hundred and twenty-one C of the General Laws, or to purchase or to lease or to acquire by gift, bequest or grant, any property, real or personal, or any interest therein, found by the corporation to be necessary or reasonably required for the purposes of the corporation and to hold, sell, exchange, transfer, lease or assign such property to the corporation, to the town or other person;
(h) utilize the advantages available to the corporation to finance community development projects, to include but not be limited to, functioning as a conduit or broker for private capital to finance various projects by taking advantage of tax exempt or other favorable status available to a public agency in administering private funds from any corporation partnership or individual;
(i) undertake and provide relocation projects as provided in said chapter one hundred and twenty-one B;
(j) conduct investigations and to disseminate information relative to housing and living conditions and other material issues deemed appropriate in connection with redevelopment activities;
(k) undertake economic development project planning, to provide advisory services and provide technical assistance as may be desirable to carry out the purposes of the corporation;
(l) borrow money and, from time to time, make, accept, endorse, execute and issue bonds, debentures, promissory notes, bills of exchange and other obligations of the corporation for monies borrowed or in payment for property acquired or for any of the other purposes of the corporation and to secure the payment of such obligations by mortgage, indenture, agreement or other instrument of trust or by other lien upon, assignment of or agreement in regard to all or any part of the property, rights or privileges of the corporation.
SECTION 7. The town of Framingham shall have the following powers, subject to the provisions of chapter one hundred and twenty-one C of the General Laws, and which are expressly reserved for said town:
(a) to have, with respect to the authority, all of the powers and liabilities of a municipality with respect to authorizing or operating an agency under chapter one hundred and twenty-one B of the General Laws;
(b) to enter into agreements with the federal government upon recommendation of the corporation and upon approval of the board of selectmen relative to the acceptance or borrowing of funds for any project it determines to undertake and containing such covenants, terms and conditions as it may deem desirable;
(c) to enter into contracts to finance pollution control facilities;
(d) to borrow and invest money and issue bonds of the corporation and general revenue bonds of said town in financing economic development projects for said town;
(e) to approve at an annual or special town meeting the boundaries, and any subsequent changes thereto, or the part of said town within which the powers of the corporation to undertake urban renewal and industrial and economic development projects shall be exercised. The requirement for such approval shall not otherwise limit the corporation under chapters one hundred and twenty-one B and one hundred and twenty-one C of the General Laws under this act;
(f) to exercise all other powers delegated to said town under said chapters one hundred and twenty-one B and one hundred and twenty-one C.
SECTION 8. Notwithstanding the provisions of chapters one hundred and twenty-one A to one hundred and twenty-one C, inclusive, of the General Laws and of this act, the board of selectmen of the town and town meeting of the town of Framingham shall approve development and rehabilitation plans. This authority shall be exercised through the approval of a yearly development plan submitted to said board of selectmen and said town meeting prior to July first of each year.
SECTION 9. No redevelopment or economic development program or project shall be undertaken until:
(a) a public hearing relating to the development plan has been held by the corporation and adequate notice given for said hearing; and
(b) the plan has been approved by the board of selectmen and town meeting of the town of Framingham pursuant to section eight, except that, if after ninety days from the date of submittal to the board of selectmen, the board has not voted to approve or deny such a plan or program, the plan is deemed to have been approved.
If an economic development or redevelopment plan has been so approved by said board of selectmen and said town meeting, the corporation shall have the powers and duties imposed by this act to undertake and carry out the economic development and redevelopment plan so approved. The corporation need not be required to submit such an economic development plan so approved to the executive office of community development for approval.
SECTION 10. The real estate and tangible personal property owned by the corporation shall be deemed to be public property used for essential public and governmental purposes and shall be exempt from taxation, betterments and special assessments. The town of Framingham may however, in lieu of such taxes or betterment, that a sum be paid to said town in any year; a sum determined to be not in excess of the taxes which would have been paid based upon then calculated assessments.
Nothing in this act shall be construed to prevent the taxation of real estate so acquired by the corporation and leased by it.
SECTION 11. The corporation shall carry out programs in a manner that is in conformance with the town of Framingham building codes and zoning by-laws.
SECTION 12. Insofar as the provisions of this act are inconsistent with the provisions of any other law, general or special, excluding Framingham building and zoning codes, the provisions of this act shall be controlling.
SECTION 13. This act being necessary for the continued welfare of the town of Framingham and its inhabitants, shall be liberally construed to affect the purpose thereof.