Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. The conservation commission of the town of Palmer is hereby authorized to:
(a) establish a comprehensive written management plan for all real and personal property under its care, custody and control and to amend same from time to time. Said plan shall describe the manner in which said property may be used, developed, leased, restricted or made or kept available for recreational and conservation use;
(b) operate, maintain and manage said property and to sell forest and agricultural products derived therefrom to the extent described in said plan, consistent with its mandates pursuant to the provisions of section eight C of chapter forty of the General Laws;
(c) enter into contracts to carry out the provisions of this act; provided, however, that said contracts shall not be subject to the provisions of chapter thirty B of the General Laws.
SECTION 2. Said commission is hereby authorized to establish and promulgate standards of operation and performance criteria for all work done in connection with said property which may include, but not be limited to, restrictions on the nature and kind of work performed, the manner and method pursuant to which such work is performed, restrictions on performance of work according to season or other conditions, methods of stream crossings, repair of stone walls, the use of oil or other toxic or harmful material on its property or in connection therewith, imposition of hold harmless requirements on those with whom it contracts. Said commission may require any person performing labor or services to maintain liability insurance and performance bonds. Any standards adopted by said commission may be incorporated into contracts said commission enters into.
SECTION 3. Notwithstanding the provisions of sections fifty-three and fifty-three A of chapter forty-four of the General Laws, any income received from the sale or lease of forest agricultural products by said commission shall be deposited in a special fund with the town treasurer who shall be the custodian thereof; provided, however, that the total income received from such sale or lease shall not exceed ten thousand dollars in any fiscal year. Said treasurer may invest and deposit said funds in the same manner and with the same limitations as provided in section eight C of chapter forty of the General Laws and any income derived therefrom shall be credited to said special fund. Said funds shall be available to the commission, without further appropriation, to maintain and improve property under its control, to purchase and acquire real property or interests therein, including restrictions affecting land use, and for any other purpose for which the commission may expend funds under the provisions of said section eight C or any other general or special law. Such purposes may include, but not be limited to:
(a) land surveys, recording fees and costs, plant and wildlife surveys, marking of trees or areas for cutting management surveys and mapping;
(b) improvements to its property, including trail establishment or improvement, parking, road improvements, trash, rubbish and garbage pickup, improvements to the environmental quality of its property, protection and development of wildlife and plant habitats, protection and development of soils and restoration of historic sites; and
(c) the purchase of legal and other professional or consulting services.
SECTION 4. Said commission may receive gifts of funds from any source and appropriation from the town of Palmer for deposit into said special fund.
SECTION 5. The town accountant shall annually audit said special fund and submit a copy thereof to the board of selectmen. Said audit shall be published in the annual report of said town.
SECTION 6. This act is intended to expand and not limit the powers and authority of said commission and shall not be construed to limit or deny said commission any rights, powers or authority otherwise granted by any general or special law or by-law.
SECTION 7. This act shall take effect upon its passage.