AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE SANDWICH WATER DISTRICT.
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 1 of chapter 280 of the acts of 1947 is hereby amended by inserting after the word "themselves", in line 30, the following words:- and others.
SECTION 2. Section 2 of said chapter 280, as most recently amended by section 2 of chapter 587 of the acts of 1989, is hereby further amended by striking out the first sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:- For the purposes aforesaid, the district, acting by and through its board of water commissioners, may contract with any municipality, acting through its water department, or with any water company, or with any water district, for the purchase or sale of whatever water may be required, authority to furnish or purchase the same being hereby granted, and may take by eminent domain under chapter 79 or chapter 80A of the General Laws, or acquire by lease, purchase or otherwise, and hold, the waters, or any portion thereof, of any pond, spring or stream, or of any ground sources of supply by means of driven, artesian or other wells, within the town of Sandwich not already appropriated for the purposes of a public water supply, and the water and flowage rights connected with any such water sources, and for said purposes may take as aforesaid, or acquire by purchase or otherwise, and hold, all lands, rights of way, and other easements necessary for collecting, storing, holding, purifying and preserving the purity of the water and for conveying the same to any part of said district or any municipality water company or water district and may contract for, or acquire by deed of easement or in fee temporary or permanent easements and fee simple interests in land in the towns of Sandwich, Bourne and Mashpee for the purposes of construction, operation and maintenance on such land of water storage tanks, water distribution systems, access roads and other necessary appurtenances, provided, that no source of water supply or lands necessary for preserving the quality of the water shall be so taken or used without first obtaining the advice and approval of the department of environmental protection, and that the location and arrangement of all dams, reservoirs, springs, wells, pumping purification, and filtration plants and such other works as may be necessary in carrying out this act shall be subject to the approval of said department.
SECTION 3. Said section 2 of said chapter 280, as amended by said section 2 of said chapter 587, is hereby further amended by striking out, in lines 50 and 51, the words "selectmen of the town of Sandwich" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- of the appropriate governmental agency of the respective towns in which such lands, highways or other ways are located.
SECTION 4. Said section 2 of said chapter 280, as amended by said section 2 of said chapter 587, is hereby further amended by adding the following sentence:- The district, acting by and through its board of water commissioners, hereinafter provided for, may from time to time, sell, lease or otherwise dispose of such of the property of the district as shall, in the opinion of its board of water commissioners, be no longer useful in the conduct of the affairs of the district, and, in general, may do all things necessary, convenient or desirable for carrying out the purpose of this act or the powers expressly granted or necessary implied by this act.
SECTION 5. Said chapter 280 is hereby further amended by striking out section 4 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 4. For the purposes of paying the necessary expenses and liabilities incurred under this act, other than expenses of maintenance and operation, the district may borrow from time to time such sums as may be necessary, not exceeding, in the aggregate, 50 million dollars, and may issue bonds or notes therefore, which shall bear on their face the words, Sandwich Water District Loan, Act of 1947. Each authorized issue shall constitute a separate loan, and such loans shall be payable in not more than 40 years from their dates. The district may borrow from time to time such sums as may be necessary for the purposes of this act in anticipation of revenue. Indebtedness incurred under this act shall, except as otherwise provided herein, be subject to the provisions of chapter 44 of the General Laws pertaining to such districts.
SECTION 6. Section 5 of said chapter 280 is hereby amended by inserting before the first sentence the following 2 sentences:- Each such borrowing and each such issue of bonds or notes shall constitute a separate loan, shall be authorized by the affirmative vote of not less than 2/3 of those present at an annual or special meeting of the district, and shall be upon the full faith and credit of the district. All bonds or notes issued under this act shall be obligatory upon the district and its inhabitants and the property within the limits of the district according to the tenor and purport thereof.
SECTION 7. Section 6 of said chapter 280 is hereby amended by inserting after the word "improved", in line 2, the following words:- , held, disposed of.
SECTION 8. Section 7 of said chapter 280 is hereby amended by inserting before the first sentence the following sentence:- If for any reason the revenues and available funds of the district, including revenues from prices, fees, charges and rates for the use of water as provided herein, shall not be sufficient to pay the full cost of development and operation of the district, the district shall have the power by vote at a district meeting duly called by the water commissioners, to raise and appropriate by a district tax sufficient funds to pay the full cost of development or operation of the district.
SECTION 9. Said section 7 of said chapter 280 is hereby further amended by adding the following sentence:- The manner of collection of district taxes shall be identical to the manner of collection of town taxes, including all provisions for the collection and enforcement of collection by liens, tax takings and foreclosures.
SECTION 10. Section 9 of said chapter 280 is hereby amended by inserting after the word "district", in line 25, the following words:- provided, however, that for the district's fiscal years commencing on and after July 1, 2005, the district's clerk and treasurer, as well as such other officers and employees not specifically provided for in this act, as the board of water commissioners may deem necessary and proper, shall instead be appointed by the board of water commissioners, each for such term and for such compensation as the board of water commissioners may determine.
SECTION 11. Section 10 of said chapter 280 is hereby amended by inserting after the word "construction", in lines 9 and 11, the following words:- or systems development costs.
SECTION 12. Said section 10 of said chapter 280 is hereby further amended by striking out, in lines 11 and 12, the words "the water rates shall be reduced proportionately" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- it shall be applied to pay costs of operation of the district for the succeeding fiscal year.
SECTION 13. Said section 10 of said chapter 280 is hereby further amended by adding the following paragraph:-
The district may charge a one time systems development charge to those applicants seeing to connect into the water supply system, which funds shall be kept by the district treasurer in a separate account to be appropriated by a district meeting and applied, as needed, for the cost of acquisition or development of new well fields, storage and distribution systems, and the purchase of all related materials, equipment, labor, work and all other items associated therewith which will contribute to the betterment of the waterworks system. Anything set forth in this section to the contrary notwithstanding, if there should be a net surplus remaining at the end of any fiscal year after the payment of all costs of operation, such net surplus may be appropriated by a district meeting for systems development costs as recommended by the board of water commissioners; and in the absence of any such recommendation, shall be applied to pay costs of operation for the district for the succeeding fiscal year. Any systems development charge funds held in a separate systems development charge funds account so established by the district are to be excluded in the determination of net surplus. The district may, for the purposes of creating a stabilization fund, appropriate in any fiscal year an amount not exceeding 10 per cent of the amount raised in the preceding fiscal year by taxation of real estate. Any interest accruing shall be added to and become a part of the fund. The stabilization fund may be appropriated at an annual meeting by a 2/3 vote for any purposes for which the district would be authorized to borrow money. The district assessors, which for purposes hereof shall be the assessors of the town of Sandwich, may create an overlay fund by adding the amount to be assessed in accordance with section 25 of chapter 59 of the General Laws. The district may, by a vote at a district meeting, provide for the levy of special assessments to meet the whole or part of the cost thereafter incurred of laying pipes in public and private ways for the conveyance or distribution of water to its inhabitants in accordance with the provisions of sections 42G, 42H and 42I of chapter 40 of the General Laws.
SECTION 14. Section 13 of said chapter 280 is hereby amended by striking out, in line 6, the words "the owners of such real estate, or a major portion" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- a majority of the owners.
SECTION 15. Said section 13 of said chapter 280 is hereby further amended by adding the following sentence:- If the district acquires land within the town of Sandwich by purchase, gift, transfer or eminent domain, the district clerk shall, within 10 days thereafter, file with the town clerk of the town of Sandwich an attested copy of the instrument of acquisition and thereupon the real estate shall become part of the district and shall be held under this act in the same manner and to the same extent as the real estate described in section 1.