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 section 3 of chapter 83 of the General Laws or any general or special law, rule or regulation to the contrary, the town of Charlton board of water and sewer commissioners, in this act called the “board” or “water and sewer commission”, and which in this act shall also mean any other board or officer having charge of the repair and maintenance of sewers in the town of Charlton, may, in its discretion, allow buildings upon land abutting upon a public or private way in which a common sewer has been laid to be connected with that sewer, but shall not be obligated to allow these connections, except with respect to requests for connections for residential use for which a sewer betterment has been assessed, which shall be permitted in accordance with section 3 of chapter 83 of the General Laws. In exercising its discretion under this section, the commission shall consider matters involving the capacities and capabilities of the town’s wastewater treatment plant, sewage and other infrastructure and equipment, and the desirability of prioritizing connections for commercial and residential properties within the original planned service area, as well as those with on-site septic systems that are in failure or at risk of failing.
SECTION 2. No owner of land connected to the common sewer shall reconstruct, enlarge, alter or renovate an existing structure on that land or expand, change or alter an existing use of that land without a permit from the board. The board may permit continued use of an existing sewer connection, but shall not be obligated to do so. No permit under this section shall be required for the reconstruction, change or alteration of existing single or two-family residential structures if the reconstruction, enlargement, alteration or renovation will not change the use of the property or increase the number of living units in the existing structure.
SECTION 3. Notwithstanding any general or special law, rule or regulation to the contrary, the town of Charlton may establish a special account to be known as the town of Charlton Sewer System Capital Improvement Fund in this act called the Sewer Fund. The purpose of the Sewer Fund is to provide revenue for the increase of capacity of the system and to remedy and prevent any and all forms of infiltration or inflow from groundwater and other sources of flow or leakage into the system. The Sewer Fund shall be maintained by the treasurer of the town of Charlton, and expenditures therefrom shall be made subject to appropriation initiated by the water and sewer commission and approved by a majority vote of the town meeting.
SECTION 4. Payments to the Sewer Fund shall be made by applicants for connection to the common sewer, pursuant to section 1, and those applicants required to obtain a permit for increased use of existing connections, pursuant to section 2. The water and sewer commission shall assess a sewer improvement fee for all connections to the common sewer or increased use of existing connections, including those which will generate a sewage design flow in excess of the sewage design flow contemplated for the relevant property at the time of assessment of a betterment assessment or privilege fee upon the relevant property, if any, including, without limitation, the betterment assessment made on or about August 22, 2003.
The amount of these payments from private sources shall be as determined by a schedule of fees to be set by the water and sewer commission. The schedule shall provide for the method of determining the amount of each payment from applicants based upon their anticipated sewage flow. The sewer improvement fee assessed shall be proportionate to the total estimated cost to the town of designing, constructing, reconstructing, reducing infiltration or inflow or expanding capacity of the wastewater treatment plant serving the Charlton sewer system, pumping stations and related facilities, to handle an incremental amount of wastewater equal to the excess flow to be generated by the property or by the increase in use of the property and shall be proportionate to the betterments and privilege fees previously assessed, or the sewer improvement fee assessed under this act, upon other property owners for such improvements.
SECTION 5. All sewer improvement fees collected shall be deposited into the Sewer Fund. Monies deposited into the Sewer Fund shall be used only for the purposes set forth in this act, as may be determined by the board. The board may accept grants or gifts for deposit into the Sewer Fund. The treasurer of the town of Charlton may invest monies in the Sewer Fund, and the income and interest accruing shall inure to the benefit of the Sewer Fund.
SECTION 6. Additional appropriations may be made by a majority vote of town meeting into the Sewer Fund for the purposes set forth in this act.
SECTION 7. The water and sewer commission may make applications for available state and federal government grants for the engineering, construction and rehabilitation of wastewater treatment works, pumping stations and facilities, and to pledge any and all such sums of money in the Sewer Fund with the approval of the town meeting for any such matching grants for such purposes.
SECTION 8. The town accountant shall file jointly with the water and sewer commission and the treasurer, a written report relative to the Sewer Fund. The report shall be made within 120 days after the books of account are closed for each fiscal year.
Approved November 20, 2007.