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, there is hereby established in the town of Dartmouth an Agricultural Preservation Trust Fund for the purpose of preserving existing productive agricultural lands and supporting and revitalizing the agricultural industry of the town. The trust fund account shall be maintained as a separate account by the town treasurer. All receipts, revenues, gifts and funds from all activities of the town of Dartmouth Agricultural Preservation Trust Council, hereinafter called the council, shall be deposited in the account. The treasurer may invest the funds in said account in the manner authorized by sections 54 and 55 of chapter 44 of the General Laws. Any interest earned therein shall be credited to and become a part of the separate account.
SECTION 2. The council as established by Dartmouth town meeting shall submit its recommendations for acquisitions and appropriation to the board of selectmen and the finance committee for their consideration, recommendation and approval. Upon receipt of such approval, the council shall have the following powers and duties in carrying out the purposes of the fund:
(a) to purchase development rights to preserve the agricultural use of existing agricultural lands;
(b) to exercise the town's right of first refusal under chapter 61A of the General Laws;
(c) to foster and promote activities that are in the interest of preserving agricultural land and revitalizing the agricultural industry in the town of Dartmouth; and
(d) to enter into agreements for the purposes set out herein which may include the payment of funds for consideration in support of those agreements; but any agreements and payments shall be subject to and contingent upon the approval of the board of selectmen and the finance committee.
SECTION 3. In exercising its powers and duties the council, with the approval of the board of selectmen and the finance committee, shall have the powers as set out under section 8C of chapter 40 of the General Laws with respect to the acquisition of land and buildings, the acquisition of interests in land and the expenditures of funds.
SECTION 4. If the council determines that land or interest in land are no longer in use or preserved for agricultural purposes, such land or interest in land shall be transferred to conservation purposes as if acquired by the conservation commission in the same manner as set out in section 8C of chapter 40 of the General Laws.
SECTION 5. Any further appropriation by town meeting for the council for the purposes set out herein shall be by two-thirds vote.