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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


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

Chapter 407 of the acts of 1983 is hereby amended by adding the following three sections:-

Section 2. The committee may establish regulations and procedures for the assessment and collection of a fee to be paid by each town which withdraws water from the Mattapoisett river aquifer. Such fee shall be assessed in proportion to the quantity of water withdrawn by each town; provided, however, that such fee shall not exceed $.01 per one hundred gallons; and provided, further, that a two-thirds vote of the committee shall be required to establish such fee; provided, further, that a two-thirds vote of the voters of town meeting of a member community shall be required to assess a fee on said member community. Registered private water withdrawals as required by the water management act shall be assessed at the same fee as for municipalities, however, no fee shall be assessed for either registered or permitted municipal or private water withdrawals used for the purposes of agriculture as defined by section 1A of chapter 128 of the General Laws. A bill to collect such fee shall be sent by the treasurer of the committee by February 15 of each year and shall be based upon the pumpage from January to December, inclusive.

Section 3. The committee shall establish a separate account to be known as the Water Supply Protection Fund. Said Fund shall consist of all monies received by the committee: (1) from the fee established under section 2; (2) from public or private sources as gifts, grants and donations; (3) from federal and state funding programs available to member towns and for which the committee is hereby authorized to apply; and (4) from any other sources authorized by law.

All monies credited under this section to said Fund shall be deposited or invested pending disbursements for purposes of water supply protection. Said Fund may be expended for the purpose of assisting a town within the Mattapoisett river valley to acquire land for protection of the aquifer and for land or easement purchases, engineering or other studies and services, public education relating to water conservation plans and programs and water supply protection. The committee may issue bonds and notes to raise funds for the purposes of water supply protection. Land purchased by the committee shall be held by the town in which the land is situated and shall be under the control of the board of selectmen of said town; provided, however, that the committee shall have, by a two-thirds vote, established the permitted use of the land in accordance with 310 CMR 22.00 and any existing local aquifer protection by-laws in accordance with said 310 CMR 22.00.

No monies shall be expended under this section without a two-thirds vote of the members of the committee present and voting. A quorum shall be 50 per cent of the members of the committee with at least one representative from each community. Checks issued by the committee shall be co-signed by the chairman and treasurer of the committee.

Section 4. In the event that the committee is dissolved, any funds which were collected shall be used to pay all existing obligations of the committee and any funds not used shall revert to member municipalities based upon the average contributions of those municipalities over the preceding five years. All deed restrictions and sanitary easements acquired through funds generated by said committee shall remain in effect.

Approved September 12, 1997.