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  • Acts
  • 1997
  • Chapter 138 AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE TOWN OF PLYMOUTH TO ENTER INTO CONTRACTS FOR THE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE, LEASE OR SALE AND MODIFICATION OF THE WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT, SEWERS AND PUMP STATIONS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:


SECTION 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, the town of Plymouth may enter into contracts for the lease or sale, operation and maintenance, financing, design and construction of modifications and installation of new equipment and systems at the wastewater treatment plant, sewers and pump stations to ensure adequate services and to ensure the ability of said town's wastewater treatment plant, sewers and pump stations to operate in full compliance with all applicable requirements of federal, state and local laws; provided, however, that such contracts shall not be subject to the competitive bid requirements set forth in sections 38A$#189; to 38 O, inclusive, of chapter 7, section 39M of chapter 30 or sections 44A to 44M, inclusive, of chapter 149 of the General Laws; provided further, that each such contract shall be awarded pursuant to the provisions of chapter 30B of the General Laws except for clause (3) of subsection (b), clause (3) of subsection (e) and subsection (g) of section 6 and sections 13 and 16.

The requests for proposals for such contracts shall specify the method for comparing proposals to determine the proposal offering the lowest overall cost to said town including, but not limited to, all capital financing, operating and maintenance costs. If said town awards a contract to an offeror who did not submit the proposal offering the lowest overall cost, said town shall explain the reason for the award in writing.

SECTION 2. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, contracts awarded pursuant to section 1 may provide for a term not exceeding 20 years and an option for renewal or extension of operations and maintenance services for one additional term not exceeding five years. The renewal or extension shall be at the sole discretion of the town of Plymouth in accordance with the original contract terms and conditions or contract terms and conditions more favorable to and acceptable to said town. Contracts entered into pursuant to this act may provide that, subject to a majority vote of the town meeting, said town shall not be exempt from liability for payment of the costs to finance, permit, design and construct modifications or install new equipment and systems at the wastewater treatment plant, sewers and pump stations necessary to ensure the ability of said wastewater treatment plant, sewers and pump stations to operate in full compliance with all applicable requirements of federal, state and local laws; provided, however, that such costs shall be amortized over a period that is no longer than the useful life of such modifications, equipment and systems. Said town's payment obligations for all operations and maintenance services shall be conditioned on the contractor's performance of such services in accordance with all contractual terms.

(b) Contracts entered into pursuant to this act may provide for such activities as may be deemed necessary to carry out the purposes authorized herein including, but not limited to, equipment, facility or land sale or lease, equipment installation and replacement, performance testing and operation, studies, design and engineering work, construction work, ordinary repairs and maintenance and the furnishing of all related material, supplies and services required for the wastewater treatment plant, sewers and pump stations and the management, operation, maintenance and repair of and improvements to said town's wastewater treatment plant, sewers and related pump stations.

SECTION 3. The town manager of the town of Plymouth shall solicit proposals through requests for proposals which shall include those items in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (b) of section 6 of chapter 30B of the General Laws and proposed key contractual terms and conditions to be incorporated into the contract, some of which may be deemed mandatory or nonnegotiable; provided, however, that the requests for proposals may request proposals or offer options for fulfillment of other contractual terms and such other matters as may be determined by said town.

SECTION 4. The town manager of the town of Plymouth shall make a preliminary determination of the most advantageous proposal from a responsible and responsive offeror taking into consideration price, estimated life-cycle costs and other evaluation criteria set forth in the request for proposals. Said town manager may negotiate all terms of the contract not deemed mandatory or nonnegotiable with such offeror. If, after negotiation with such offeror, said town manager determines that it is in said town's best interests, said town manager may determine the next most advantageous proposal from a responsible and responsive offeror taking into consideration price, estimated life-cycle costs and other evaluation criteria set forth in the request for proposals and may negotiate all terms of the contract not deemed mandatory or nonnegotiable with such offeror. Said town manager shall award the contract to the most advantageous proposal from a responsible and responsive offeror taking into consideration price, estimated life-cycle costs, the evaluation criteria set forth in the request for proposals and the terms of the negotiated contract. Subject to the approval of the board of selectmen and, with respect to any contract in excess of five years, the authorization of the town meeting, said town manager shall award the contract by written notice to the selected offeror within the time for acceptance specified in the request for proposals. Such award shall be subject to sections 5 and 6. The parties may extend the time for acceptance by mutual agreement.

SECTION 5. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this act, it shall be a mandatory term of any request for proposals issued by the town of Plymouth and of any contract entered into by said town with any party regarding the subject matter of this act that any party which has entered into a contract pursuant to the terms of this act with said town shall require, in order to maintain stable and productive labor relations and to avoid interruption of the operation of the plant and to preserve the health, safety and environmental conditions of residents of said town and surrounding communities, that all employees working on the operation and maintenance of the wastewater treatment plant, sewers and pump stations be offered employment by any party entering into a contract with said town for the operation and maintenance of said facilities and that any such party entering into a contract with said town, shall adopt all terms and conditions of employment provided by the last applicable labor agreement negotiated between the labor organization representing said employees and the applicable employer who has most recently employed said employees prior to entering into any contract pursuant to this act; provided, however, that any party entering into such contract with said town pursuant to this act shall pay all of said employees not less than the sum of applicable wages paid to said employees by the previous employer. Any such party entering into such contract with said town shall negotiate a successor agreement with the last applicable labor organization representing said employees prior to the expiration of the existing contract. Such parties shall agree to meet its legal obligations with regard to any labor organization representing employees engaged in the operation and maintenance of the wastewater treatment plant, sewers, and pump stations described herein. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, any party entering into such contract with said town shall provide all employees of said town working on the operation and maintenance of the wastewater treatment plant, sewers and pump stations with all of the rights and benefits, including retirement and pension benefits, that are at least equal to said employees' benefits provided by said town. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this act, any proposal not complying with the above terms shall be disqualified from consideration.

SECTION 6. Subject to the provisions of this act, any contract awarded hereunder shall be subject to such terms and conditions as the town manager and the board of selectmen of the town of Plymouth shall determine to be in the best interests of said town and shall be authorized by a majority vote of said board of selectmen. Any such contract shall provide that, prior to the construction of modifications or installation of equipment and systems, said town shall cause a qualified wastewater engineer to independently review and approve plans and specifications for such modifications, equipment and systems. Such contract shall further provide that prior to said town's acceptance of any modifications, equipment or systems, including work undertaken pursuant to section 8 and estimated to cost more than $100,000, said town shall cause a qualified wastewater engineer to inspect such modifications, equipment and systems and certify that the construction or installation has been completed in accordance with the approved plans and specifications.

SECTION 7. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law or rule or regulation to the contrary, the department of environmental protection may issue project approval certificates with respect to the contract procured by the town of Plymouth for wastewater treatment facility improvements and any design and construction services included in such contract shall be eligible for assistance under the water pollution abatement trust established by section 2 of chapter 29C of the General Laws.

SECTION 8. The provisions of any general or special law or rule or regulation relating to the advertising, bidding or award of contracts, to the procurement of services or to the construction and design of improvements shall not be applicable to any selected offeror which is awarded a contract pursuant to this act, except as provided in this section. The construction of any new capital improvement or any renovation, modernization, installation or replacement work estimated to cost more than $100,000, not specifically included in the initial contract for the lease or sale, operation and maintenance, design and construction of the wastewater plant, sewers and pump stations, shall be procured on the basis of advertised sealed bids; provided, however, that bids need not be solicited if the contractor causes such construction, renovation, modernization, installation or replacement work to be completed without direct or indirect reimbursement from the town of Plymouth or other adjustment to the fees or costs paid by said town including, but not limited to, any adjustment to sewer rates paid by said town's residents or businesses. Bids shall be based on detailed plans and specifications and the contract shall be awarded to the lowest responsible and eligible bidder. The contractor may act as an agent of said town in the solicitation of bids for the construction of any new capital improvement or for any renovation, modernization, installation or replacement work pursuant to this section; provided, however, that said town shall cause a qualified wastewater engineer to independently assess the need for such capital improvement, renovation, modernization, installation or replacement work and to review and approve the contractor's proposed plans and specifications prior to advertising for bids. Based on the recommendations of the qualified wastewater engineer, said town may approve, modify or reject the contractor's proposed plans and specifications. Any contract awarded pursuant to this act shall provide that, in the event that said town does not approve the contractor's proposed plans and specifications pursuant to this section, said town or the contractor may terminate the contract under the terms and conditions of such contract.

SECTION 9. All contracts or subcontracts for new construction, renovation, modernization, improvement or capital improvements to the town of Plymouth's wastewater treatment plant including, but not limited to, all treatment facilities and pump stations shall be awarded only to persons or entities whose bids or proposals are subject to such persons or entities being signatory to a project labor agreement with the appropriate labor organizations which shall include an obligation for such labor organizations and its constituent members not to strike with respect to the work on such construction project and which shall also establish uniform work rules and schedules for the project. Such project agreement shall be entered into in order to facilitate the timely and efficient completion of the construction of such improvements and to make available a ready and adequate supply of highly trained, skilled craft workers who shall provide a negotiated commitment to assure labor stability and labor peace over the life of this project. The applicable entity responsible for any construction, renovation, modernization, improvement or capital improvement to said town's wastewater plant and pump stations shall designate a general contractor, project manager or similar construction firm which is familiar in the negotiation and administration of project labor agreements to manage and oversee the construction of the project, including the development and implementation of labor relations policies for the project, and to instruct such general contractor, project manager or other construction firm to negotiate a mutually agreeable project labor agreement covering the above described work.

SECTION 10. This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved November 6, 1997.