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  • Acts
  • 2000
  • Chapter 12 AN ACT RELATIVE TO MUNICIPAL LIGHTING PLANTS.

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. Section 8 of chapter 44 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 1998 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out clauses (8) and (8A) and inserting in place thereof the following two clauses:-

(8) For establishing, purchasing, extending, or enlarging a gas or electric lighting plant, a community antenna television system, whether or not operated by a gas or electric lighting plant, or a telecommunications system operated by a municipal lighting plant, 20 years; but the outstanding indebtedness so incurred shall not exceed in a town 5 per cent and in a city 2.5 per cent of the equalized valuation of such town or city; provided, however, that the emergency finance board, established under section 47 of chapter 10, may authorize a city to incur indebtedness under this clause in excess of 2.5 per cent but not in excess of 5 per cent of the equalized valuation of such city, and may authorize a town to incur indebtedness under this clause in excess of 5 per cent but not in excess of 10 per cent of the equalized valuation of such town.

(8A) For remodeling, reconstructing, or making extraordinary repairs to a gas or electric lighting plant, a community antenna television system, or a telecommunications system operated by a municipal lighting plant, when approved by the emergency finance board, established under section 47 of chapter 10, for such number of years not exceeding ten, as said board shall fix; provided, however, that the indebtedness incurred under this clause shall be included in the limit of indebtedness for gas and electric lighting plants, community antenna television systems or telecommunications systems that are operated by municipal lighting plants, as set forth in clause (8). Each city or town seeking approval by said board of a loan under this clause shall submit to it all plans and other information considered by the board to be necessary for a determination of the probable extended use of such plant, community television antenna system or telecommunications system likely to result from such remodeling, reconstruction, or repair, and in considering approval under this clause of a requested loan and the terms thereof, special consideration shall be given to such determination.

SECTION 2. Section 12 of chapter 159 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "commonwealth", in line 5, the following words:- , except when such services are provided by a municipal lighting plant or cooperative public corporation which provides telecommunications services pursuant to section 47E of chapter 164,.

SECTION 3. Paragraph (d) of said section 12 of said chapter 159, as so appearing, is hereby amended by addingthe following sentence:- The provision of such services by a telecommunications system established and operated pursuant to section 47E of chapter 164 shall be subject to this chapter with respect to customer billing notification and termination, filing of tariffs, interconnection agreements, number pooling and filing of annual reports, to the same extent as privately owned and operated telecommunications systems.

SECTION 4. Chapter 164 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 47D the following section:-

Section 47E. A municipal lighting plant or a cooperative public corporation and any municipal lighting plant member thereof, established pursuant to this chapter or any general or special law may construct, purchase or lease, and maintain such facilities as may be necessary for the distribution or the operation of a telecommunications system for municipal use or for the use of its customers. Such municipal lighting plant may incur debt for such facilities by a vote taken in the manner prescribed pursuant to section 8 of chapter 44. Such cooperative may incur debt for such facilities pursuant to the provisions of section 47C. Such facilities may include suitable land, structure, machinery, other apparatus and appliances for operating a telecommunications system. Such cooperative or municipal lighting plant, which is engaged in the business of operating a telecommunications system, may, as a part of such business, if an appropriation is made therefor, rent, lease, or sell for cash or credit at prevailing retail prices, install and service, within the territory served by such business, merchandise, equipment, utensils and chattels of any description which are incidental or auxiliary to the operation of said telecommunications system or the use of its customers or are necessary or expedient in the protection or management of its property used in such business. Wherever apt, the provisions of this chapter and chapter 44, which apply to the operation and maintenance of a municipal lighting plant, shall apply also to the operation and maintenance of such telecommunications system.

SECTION 5. Section 1 of chapter 166 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 1998 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:- For the purposes of sections 1 to 10, inclusive, the word "company" shall not include a municipal lighting plant or cooperative which operates a telecommunications system pursuant to section 47E of chapter 164.

SECTION 6. Section 11 of said chapter 166, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the last sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:- The word "company" in this section and in section 12 shall include every person, partnership, association, corporation and municipal lighting plant or cooperative authorized pursuant to section 47E of chapter 164 to engage in the business of the transmission of intelligence by electricity.

SECTION 7. Section 13 of said chapter 166, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:- For the purposes of sections 13 to 15D, inclusive, the word "person" or "company" shall include a municipal lighting plant or cooperative which operates a telecommunications system pursuant to section 47E of chapter 164.

SECTION 8. The definition of "Common carrier" in subsection (a) of section 15E of said chapter 166, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:- For the purposes of this section, the term shall also include a municipal lighting plant or cooperative which operates a telecommunications system pursuant to section 47E of chapter 164.

SECTION 8A. Section 21 of said chapter 166, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:- This section shall apply to a municipal lighting plant or cooperative that operates a telecommunications system outside the limits of its service territory pursuant to section 47E of chapter 164, but only for construction that is outside its service territory.

SECTION 8B. The first paragraph of section 25A of said chapter 166, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the definition of "Licensee" and inserting in place thereof the following definition:-

"Licensee", means any person, firm or corporation other than a utility, which is authorized to construct lines or cables upon, along, under and across the public ways. For the purposes of this section, the term shall also include a municipal lighting plant or cooperative that operates a telecommunications system outside the limits of its service territory pursuant to section 47E of chapter 164, but only for those attachments that are outside its service territory.

SECTION 9. Section 1 of chapter 258 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word "plant", in line 55, the following words:- , a municipal lighting plant or cooperative which operates a telecommunications system pursuant to section 47E of chapter 164.

Approved January 28, 2000.