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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


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. Chapter 407 of the acts of 1983, as amended by chapter 92 of the acts of 1997, is hereby further amended by striking out section 2 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 2. The committee may establish regulations and procedures for the assessment and collection of a fee to be paid by each town which withdraws water from the Mattapoisett river aquifer. Such fee shall be set by a two-thirds vote of the committee and shall be assessed in proportion to the quantity of water withdrawn by each town; provided, however, that such fee shall not exceed $.02 per 100 gallons; and provided further, that a two-thirds vote of the voters of town meeting of a member community shall be required to assess or modify a fee on said member community as authorized by this section. Private water withdrawals registered or permitted under the Massachusetts Water Management Act shall be assessed at the same fee as for municipalities, except that no fee shall be assessed for either registered or permitted municipal or private water withdrawals used for the purposes of agriculture as defined by section 1A of chapter 128 of the General Laws. A bill to collect such fee shall be sent by the treasurer of the committee not later than February 15 of each year and shall be based upon the pumpage from January to December, inclusive.

SECTION 2. Said chapter 407, as so amended, is hereby further amended by adding the following section:-

Section 5. The committee may issue from time to time, by a two-thirds vote of the members of the committee present and voting, bonds and notes for the purpose of assisting a town within the Mattapoisett river valley to acquire land for protection of the aquifer and for land or easement purchases, engineering or other studies and services, public education relating to water conservation plans and programs and water supply protection; provided, however, that the last installment of any issue of such notes or bonds shall be payable not more than 30 years from the date of such issue; and provided further, that written notice of the amount of the debt and of the general purposes for which it was authorized shall be provided to the board of selectmen of each member town, comprising the committee not later than 7 days after the date on which said debt was authorized by the committee and no debt shall be incurred until the expiration of 45 days from the date said debt was authorized by the committee. If, before the expiration of such period, any member town expresses disapproval by vote of a majority of the voters present and voting on the matter at a town meeting called for the purpose of expressing such disapproval, such debt shall not be incurred. In the event of any such disapproval by a member town, the committee may prepare and authorize another proposal for the incurrence of debt which may be the same as any prior proposal and shall be subject to the requirements of this section. A member town shall not be required to hold a town meeting within such 45 day period and any failure of a member town to hold a town meeting shall not constitute disapproval of the amount of the debt authorized by the committee.
The bond or notes shall be issued in the name and upon the full faith and credit of the committee. The bonds or notes shall be signed by the chairman and the treasurer of the committee, except that the chairman by a writing bearing his signature and filed in the office of the treasurer, which writing shall be open to public inspection, may authorize the treasurer to cause to be engraved or printed on the bonds or notes a facsimile of the chairman’s signature, and the facsimile signature so engraved or printed shall have the same validity and effect as the chairman’s written signature, and each issue of bonds or notes shall be a separate loan.

The committee shall be exempt from chapter 44 of the General Laws; provided, however, that sections 16 to 28, inclusive, of said chapter 44 shall apply to the committee; provided further, that said section 16 of said chapter 44 relating to the countersigning of bonds and notes and section 24 of said chapter 44 relating to the countersigning and approval of notes and the certificates of the clerk relating thereto shall not apply to the committee. The maturities of each issue of bonds and notes of the committee shall be arranged so that for each issue the amounts payable in the several years for principal and interest combined shall be as nearly equal as practicable in the opinion of the treasurer or, in the alternative, under a schedule providing for a more rapid amortization of principal. Any debt incurred by the committee shall not be subject to the limit of indebtedness prescribed in section 10 of said chapter 44.

Approved, December 1, 2010.