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Session Law

2008

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Chapter 419 AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE DEVELOPMENT OF A REGIONAL EDUCATION, TRAINING AND SKILLS CENTER INT HE CITY OF TAUNTON.

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. The commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance, subject to sections 40E to 40G, inclusive, and section 40J of chapter 7 of the General Laws, may sell and convey by deed a certain parcel of land located in the city of Taunton to the Taunton Development Corporation for the development of a regional education, training and skills alliance center, for the development of a life sciences center pursuant to item 7002-0015 of section 2B of chapter 130 of the acts of 2008 or for municipal industrial development purposes, in accordance with and subject to all terms, conditions, covenants, easements, reservations and restrictions established in this act or otherwise considered appropriate by the commissioner. The parcel is described in section 7.
The purchase price payable by the Taunton Development Corporation for the parcel shall be the full and fair market value of the property less any environmental clean up costs and demolition costs of existing uninhabitable buildings located upon the parcel as of the time of conveyance to the Taunton Development Corporation, as determined by the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance based on an independent appraisal. The purchase price payable by the Taunton Development Corporation for the parcel shall not be less than $1. The inspector general shall review and approve the appraisal and the review shall include a review of the methodology utilized for the appraisal. The inspector general shall prepare a report of his review and file the report with the commissioner for submission to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the house and senate chairmen of the joint committee on state administration in accordance with section 5. The Taunton Development Corporation shall pay the purchase price in full at the time of the conveyance and shall pay all costs associated with the transaction, including, without limitation the costs for the survey, the appraisals and the preparation of the deed.

SECTION 2. If the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance determines to sell the property described in section 7 to the Taunton Development Corporation, the commissioner shall not be required to comply with section 40H of chapter 7 of the General Laws, but the purchase price and other terms and conditions of the sale shall comply with section 1 and all other requirements of this act applicable thereto.

SECTION 3. Before the sale of property described in section 1, the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance shall work, in consultation with the commissioner of mental retardation, to determine what terms, conditions, covenants, easements, reservations or restrictions shall be prescribed as part of any disposition of the property. The provisions shall include, but not be limited to: proper control of the center's traffic and noise and environmental impact on the remaining residential group homes of the department of mental retardation; reservation of easements on the property for water, power, sewer and other utilities and access for the residential group homes; implementation of proper protections for the residential group homes; present water, sewer and other utility systems; and the creation of an appropriate physical barrier between the Taunton industrial park and the residential group homes to ensure the privacy and safety of employees and residents thereof. In addition, the terms of the disposition shall include the requirement that the Taunton Development Corporation shall enter into a lease with the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance, acting in consultation with the state 911 department, authorizing the state 911 department to continue to occupy the structures described as: (a) #32, Hillside Dorm, Cottage D; (b) #33, Westwood Dorm, Cottage C; and (c) #34, Meadowview Dorm Cottage B and the immediate surrounding land. The term of the lease, including any extensions, shall not exceed 5 years, and the rent shall be $1 per year. The lease shall provide that the state 911 department may terminate the lease at any time with 1 year’s notice. The lease shall further provide that the Taunton Development Corporation may, in its sole discretion with 1 year’s notice to the state 911 department, take possession of these structures and land and permit the state 911 department the option to relocate to equivalent structures and land within the parcel described in section 7 of this act, at a rent of $1 per year and for the same term and on the same terms and conditions; provided however, that if the Taunton Development Corporation elects to exercise its right to terminate the lease prior to expiration, it shall pay all costs associated with the state 911 department’s relocation.

SECTION 4. The purchase price paid pursuant to section 1 shall be deposited in the General Fund of the commonwealth.

SECTION 5. The commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance shall, 30 days before the execution of any agreement authorized by this act, or any subsequent amendment thereto, submit the agreement or amendment and a report thereon to the inspector general for his review and comment. The inspector general shall issue his review and comment within 15 days of receipt of an agreement or amendment. The commissioner shall submit the agreement and subsequent amendments thereto, the reports, and the comments of the inspector general, if any, to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the house and senate chairmen of the joint committee on state administration at least 15 days before execution.

SECTION 6. After a transfer of the property described in section 7 to the Taunton Development Corporation, its use shall be subject to covenants, easements, reservations and restrictions established in this act.

SECTION 7. The parcel referred to in section 1 shall be only so much of the remaining Dever State School core campus property as is not designated to be retained for use by the commissioner of mental retardation by documents on file with the department, which core campus is described in a Plan of Land dated July 18, 2000 prepared for the Taunton Development Corporation, project No. 10052.513, on file in the clerk's office of the city of Taunton as revised or amended and in effect at the time of the conveyance authorized in section 1. The commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance shall determine, subject to prior determination by the commissioner of mental retardation, the exact boundaries of the parcel after completion of a survey prepared by, and at the expense of the Taunton Development Corporation.

SECTION 8. If the property described in section 7 is not used for a regional education, training and skills alliance center and for municipal industrial purposes within 5 years of the effective date of this act, if the use for those purposes is abandoned at any time for a continuous period of at least 6 months, or if any other use is undertaken on the property at any time, the property shall revert to the commonwealth upon notice by the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance.

SECTION 9. (a) There shall be established an education and training collaborative to develop, in conjunction with the Taunton Development Corporation, the regional education, training and skills alliance center. The collaborative shall be managed by a board of directors which shall consist of 13 members as follows: the presidents of Bridgewater State College, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Massasoit Community College, Cape Cod Community College, Bristol Community College, Wheaton College, the Massachusetts Federation of Teachers, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, the Taunton Area Chamber of Commerce, or their respective designees; the chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth; the commissioner of mental retardation, or his designee; and the director of the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District, or his designee. The board may, by majority vote, increase its membership to include the presidents of other institutions of higher education housing their main campuses in Southeastern Massachusetts, or their designees. Members of the board of directors may vote according to the terms of the education collaborative agreement but the land and property management of the center shall be the responsibility of the Taunton Development Corporation.
(b) The written agreement which shall form the basis of the education collaborative shall set forth the purposes of the program or service, the financial terms and conditions of membership of the education collaborative, the powers and duties of the board of directors to operate and manage the education collaborative and any other matter not incompatible with law which the members deem advisable. The agreement shall be subject to the approval of the members.
(c) The board of directors of the education collaborative may establish and manage trust funds which shall be designated by an appropriate name. All monies contributed by the members and all grants or gifts from the federal government, state government, charitable foundations, private corporations or any other source shall be paid to the board of directors of the education collaborative and deposited in the funds.
(d) The board of directors of the education collaborative shall appoint a treasurer. The treasurer may, subject to the direction of the board of directors of the education collaborative, receive and disburse all monies of the trust funds without further appropriation. The treasurer shall give bond annually for the faithful performance of his duties in a form approved by the department of revenue and in a sum, not less than the amount established by the department, as shall be fixed by the board of directors. The board of directors may, in its discretion, compensate the treasurer for his services. No member of the board of directors shall be eligible to serve as treasurer of the collaborative.
(e) The treasurer of the collaborative may make appropriate investments of the monies of the trust funds consistent with section 54 of chapter 44 of the General Laws.
(f) The board of directors of the educational collaborative may borrow money, enter into long-term or short-term loan agreements or mortgages and apply for state, federal or corporate grants or contracts to obtain funds necessary to carry out the purposes for which the collaborative is established; but, the board of directors shall have first determined that the borrowing, loan or mortgage is cost-effective and in the best interests of the collaborative and its members. The borrowing, loans or mortgages shall be consistent with the written agreement and articles of incorporation, if any, of the educational collaborative and shall be consistent with standard lending practices.
(g) The board of directors of the education collaborative may employ an executive officer who shall serve under the general direction of the board and shall be responsible for the care and supervision of the education collaborative.
(h) The board of directors of the education collaborative shall be deemed to be a public employer and may employ personnel, including teachers, to carry out the purposes and functions of the education collaborative. Employees of the collaborative shall be considered employees of the commonwealth for purposes of chapter 32 of the General Laws. A person shall not be eligible for employment by the board of directors as an instructor of children with severe special needs, teacher of children with special needs, teacher, guidance counselor or school psychologist unless the person has been granted a certificate by the board of education under section 38G of chapter 71 of the General Laws or section 6 of chapter 71A of the General Laws, or an approval under the regulations promulgated by the board of education under chapter 71B or chapter 74 of the General Laws with respect to the type of position for which he seeks employment; but, nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the board of directors of the education collaborative from prescribing additional qualifications. The board of directors may, upon its request, be exempted by the board of education for any 1 school year from the requirements of this section to employ certified or approved personnel when compliance therewith would, in the opinion of the board, constitute a great hardship.
(i) The education collaborative shall be considered a public entity and may sue and be sued to the same extent as a city, town or regional school district. The education collaborative, acting through its board of directors, may enter into contracts for the purchase of supplies, materials and services, and for the purchase or leasing of land, buildings and equipment as considered necessary by the board of directors.

SECTION 10. The education and training collaborative shall file an annual report with the house and senate committees on ways and means, the joint committee on bonding, capital expenditures and state assets, the executive office for administration and finance and the executive office of health and human services by July 1 of each year concerning the progress of the Taunton Development Corporation in development of the property, relations with residents and employees of the remaining residential group homes and programs of the regional education, training and skills alliance center.

SECTION 11. (a) The commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance shall transfer care and custody of a certain parcel of land of the commonwealth to the department of mental retardation which is a portion of a parcel previously transferred to the department of environmental management, now known as the department of conservation and recreation, under section 11 of chapter 395 of the acts of 2002. The parcel to be transferred contains department of mental retardation house number 42, a program house of the former Dever state school center, and certain immediate surrounding land that shall be used to create an appropriate buffer to the home from the surrounding department of conservation and recreation land. The exact boundaries of the parcel to be transferred shall be determined by the division of capital asset management and maintenance in consultation with the department of conservation and recreation and the department of mental retardation. Transfer of the parcel shall be without consideration and shall not be subject to chapter 7 of the General Laws. The conditions set forth in section 11 of chapter 395 of the acts of 2002 shall remain in effect, as applicable.
(b) If, at any time, the parcel to be transferred under this section ceases to be used as a department of mental retardation program house, care and custody of the parcel shall revert to the department of conservation and recreation.

SECTION 12. (a) The commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance, acting in consultation with the commissioner of the department of mental retardation, may, notwithstanding section 40E to section 40I, inclusive, of chapter 7 of the General Laws and any other general or special law or rule or regulation to the contrary, convey by deed to the Taunton housing authority a certain parcel of property of commonwealth land located in the city of Taunton containing approximately 9.5± acres and shown on a plan entitled “Relocated Client Residences, Taunton Housing Authority, Paul A. Dever State School, Taunton, Massachusetts, Preliminary Site Layout” prepared by Field Engineering Co., Inc., dated October 6, 2005, on file with the division of capital asset management and maintenance. The exact boundaries and acreage of said parcel shall be determined by the commissioner of the division of capital asset management and maintenance based upon a survey.
(b) The use of the parcel shall be restricted to the development of affordable housing for persons eligible for services of the department of mental retardation. The deed or other instrument conveying the parcel to the Taunton housing authority and any subsequent deed or deeds of all or a portion of the parcel shall, without limitation, provide that if the parcel ceases to be used for that purpose, title to the parcel or to the portions of the parcel that are used in violation shall, at the election of the commonwealth, revert to the commonwealth.
(c) The consideration for the conveyance of the parcel shall be the full and fair market value of the property, taking into consideration the intended use of the land for affordable housing for persons eligible for services of the department of mental retardation as determined by the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance and subject to other conditions and restrictions as the commissioner of the division of capital asset management and maintenance, in consultation with the commissioner of the department of mental retardation, shall establish, as determined by the commissioner of the division.
(d) The Taunton Development Corporation shall pay for all expenses associated with any land survey, appraisal, title examinations, recording fees and any other expenses relating to the conveyance of the parcel to the Taunton housing authority.
(e) The parcel shall be conveyed by release deed in its existing condition without warranties or representations by the commonwealth.

Approved December 22, 2008


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