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 any general or special law, rule or regulation to the contrary, the Charlton water and sewer commission in this act called the “board” or “water and sewer commission”, and which in this act shall mean any other board or officer having charge of the repair and maintenance of public water supply pipes in the town of Charlton, may allow land abutting upon a public or private way in which a public water supply pipe has been laid to be connected with that water supply pipe, but shall not be obligated to allow these connections, except with respect to requests for connections for residential use, for which a water betterment has been assessed.
SECTION 2. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law, rule or regulation to the contrary, no owner of land connected to the public water supply 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 water connection, but shall not be obliged to do so if due to reconstruction, enlargement, alteration or renovation of an existing structure or expansion, change or alteration of an existing use, the water flow for the improvements upon the land served by the existing connection would increase above the existing water flow. No permit under this section shall be required for the reconstruction, enlargement, alteration, or renovation 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 Water System Capital Improvement Fund in this act called the “Water Fund”. The purpose of the Water Fund is to provide the revenue for the increase of capacity of the system to supply water. The Water Fund shall be maintained by the treasurer of the town of Charlton, and expenditures from the fund shall be made subject to appropriation initiated by the Charlton water and sewer commission and approved by a majority vote of the town meeting.
SECTION 4. Payments to the Water Fund shall be made by applicants for connection to the public water supply, 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 commissioners shall assess a water improvement fee for all connections to the public water supply or increased use of existing connections, including those which will generate a water flow in excess of the water flow contemplated for the relevant property at the time of assessment of a betterment assessment or privilege fee upon the relevant property, if any.
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 water flow. The water improvement fee assessed shall be proportionate to the total estimated cost to the town of designing, constructing, reconstructing or expanding capacity of the water works serving the Charlton water system, wells, well fields, storage tanks, pumping stations and related facilities, to handle an incremental amount of water 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 water improvement fee assessed under this act, upon other property owners for such improvements.
SECTION 5. All water improvement fees collected shall be deposited into the Water Fund. Monies deposited into the Water 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 fund. The treasurer of the town of Charlton may invest monies in the special accounts, and the income and interest accruing shall inure to the benefit of the special accounts.
SECTION 6. Additional appropriations may be made by a majority vote of town meeting into the Water 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 water works, pumping station and facilities, and to pledge any and all such sums of money in the Water Fund with the approval of the town meeting for any matching grants for engineering, construction and rehabilitation of water works, pumping stations and facilities.
SECTION 8. The town accountant shall file jointly with the water and sewer commission and the treasurer, a written report relative to the Water Fund. The report shall be made within 120 days after the books of account are closed for each fiscal year.
Approved November 20, 2007.