AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE MANAGEMENT AND OPERATION OF THE WALLACE CIVIC CENTER AND PLANETARIUM IN THE CITY OF FITCHBURG.
Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to provide forthwith for the management and operation of the civic center and planetarium in the city of Fitchburg, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.
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. To provide for certain unanticipated obligations of the commonwealth, to provide for an alteration of purpose for current appropriations and to meet certain requirements of law, the sum set forth in this section is hereby appropriated from the General Fund unless specifically designated otherwise in this section for the several purposes and subject to the conditions specified in this section and subject to the laws regulating the disbursement of public funds for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008. This sum shall be in addition to any amounts previously appropriated and made available for the purposes of those items.
7110-0101 For the costs incurred by Fitchburg State College associated with the management, maintenance and operation of the George R. Wallace civic center and the Alice G. Wallace planetarium pursuant to this act; provided, that the college may expend revenues in an amount not to exceed $1,000,000 from the revenue received by the college or the division from fees and other revenues associated with the management, maintenance and operation of the George R. Wallace, Jr. Civic Center and the Alice G. Wallace Planetarium, Inc.; and provided further, that notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary and for the purpose of accommodating timing discrepancies between the receipt of revenues and related expenditures, the college may incur expenses and the comptroller may certify for payment the amounts not to exceed the lower of this authorization or the most recent revenue estimate, as reported in the state accounting system........................................ $1,000,000
SECTION 2. As used in this act the following terms shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:-
“Board”, the board of trustees of Fitchburg State College or a person duly authorized to act on behalf of the board.
“City”, the city of Fitchburg.
“Civic center”, the George R. Wallace, Jr. Civic Center and the Alice G. Wallace Planetarium, Inc. including all buildings and facilities that are a part thereof or appurtenant thereto and further including the parcel of land described in section 3.
“College”, Fitchburg State College.
“Commissioner”, the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance, acting on behalf of the college.
“Division”, the division of capital asset management and maintenance.
SECTION 3. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the division, acting on behalf of the college, may lease from the city the parcel of land, together with any improvements thereon, described in section 1 of chapter 437 of the acts of 1969. The lease shall be: (i) for a term of 99 years; (ii) contingent on the payment of $1; and (iii) contingent on the execution of, and be coterminous with, the lease between the commonwealth and the board of trustees of the Wallace Civic Center as authorized in item 7004-0097 of section 2E of chapter 122 of the acts of 2006.
SECTION 4. (a) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the college shall, upon the execution of the lease between the division and the city pursuant to section 3, be responsible for the management, maintenance and operation of the civic center including, but not limited to, the following: (i) establishing fees, charges and assessments pertaining to the use of the civic center; (ii) establishing rules and regulations for the use of the civic center or access thereto; (iii) establishing the priority and schedule of uses of the civic center; (iv) entering into agreements with vendors, concessionaires, management companies and other persons or entities, public or private, for the provision of goods or services in connection with the management, maintenance and operation of the civic center; and (v) adopting rules and regulations necessary or appropriate for the management, maintenance and operation of the civic center.
(b) Nothing in this section shall prohibit the college, whether pursuant to any management or other agreement or lease made pursuant to this act, from conferring on any other party to the agreement or lease its authorities under this act, including its authority to collect, apply and expend any revenues from the management, maintenance and operation of the civic center, and to do so upon terms and subject to requirements or limitations as it may deem necessary or appropriate.
SECTION 5. (a) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, all revenue or other consideration paid to or received by the college or the division in connection with the management, maintenance and operation of the civic center, whether pursuant to a management or other agreement, a lease made pursuant to this act or otherwise, shall be deposited into the retained revenue account established in section 1 for the management, maintenance and operation of the civic center. The board may expend moneys from the retained revenue account to reimburse the college and the division, as may be appropriate, for costs incurred, whether before or after the effective date of this act, in connection with the management, maintenance and operation of the civic center.
(b) Any balance remaining in the retained revenue account at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the General Fund and may be expended by the board without further appropriation. The retained revenue account shall be audited biennially by the state auditor.
SECTION 6. (a) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the commissioner, at the request of the college and using a competitive proposal process the commissioner deems necessary or appropriate, may lease for a term in each case not to exceed 25 years all or any portion of the civic center so as to provide for the continued use, operation, maintenance, repair and improvement of the civic center on such terms as the commissioner, in consultation with the college, shall determine, subject only to the requirements of this act.
(b) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the leases shall be on terms acceptable to the commissioner after consultation with the college and shall provide that the lessee shall manage, operate, improve, repair and maintain all or a portion of the civic center. A lease requiring capital improvements to be made to any portion of the civic center shall include a description of the required capital improvements and, at a minimum, performance specifications. A lease may provide that any benefits to the commonwealth and the costs of improvements and repairs made to the civic center by the lessee may be taken into account as part of the consideration for the lease. All consideration received by the college or the division from a lease shall be payable into the retained revenue account established in section 1 and shall be held, applied and expended in accordance with the terms thereof. A lease shall require the lessee to carry comprehensive general liability insurance naming the commonwealth as a co-insured, indemnifying the commonwealth, the division, the board and the college against all personal injury or property damage at the civic center.
(c) The lessee shall bear all costs deemed necessary or appropriate by the commissioner for the transaction including, without limitation, all costs for legal work, surveys, title examinations and the preparation of plans and specifications.
(d) The commissioner, in connection with the making of a lease, shall solicit proposals through a request for proposals which shall include key contractual terms and conditions to be incorporated into the lease including, but not limited to: (i) a comprehensive list of all rinks or other facilities operated by the responsive bidder or offeror in the preceding 4 years; (ii) other facilities management or experience of the responsive bidder or offeror; (iii) other skating or hockey management experience of the responsive bidder or offeror; (iv) proposed reasonable rates that will ensure continued public access; (v) required financial audits; (vi) policies to encourage use of the rink by persons of all races and nationalities; and (vii) safety and security plans.
(e) No general or special law or rule or regulation relating to the advertising, bidding or awarding of contracts, to the procurement of services or to the construction and design of improvements shall be applicable to the selected offeror that is awarded a contract or lease pursuant to this section.
SECTION 7. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, neither a lessee with a lease made pursuant to section 5 nor a person occupying the whole or a portion of the civic center pursuant to an agreement with the board shall be assessed a tax upon the whole or portion of the real or personal property that constitutes the civic center.
Approved August 8, 2007.