AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE TOWN OF BILLERICA TO ESTABLISH A BILLERICA WATER CONSERVATION FUND.
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 or rule or regulation to the contrary, the town of Billerica may establish a Billerica Water Conservation Fund. The purpose of the fund shall be to provide revenue for the funding of water management and conservation initiatives by the town, including the design, construction and implementation of measures to conserve water and assure the efficient operation of the town's public water supply system and to provide public education relating to water conservation plans and programs, consistent with the water conservation policy of the town of Billerica. The fund shall be maintained by the treasurer of the town and may be deposited in a suitable banking institution doing business in the commonwealth or invested by the treasurer as provided herein. Expenditures from the fund shall be made subject to appropriation initiated by the board of selectmen upon the recommendation of the director of public works and the town manager of the town and approved by the voters at a town meeting.
SECTION 2. Payments to the fund shall be made by applicants for permits to connect to the public water supply system of the town of Billerica who are constructing or erecting new or expanded buildings or otherwise developing land for industrial, commercial and residential uses. The method and amount of the payments from the applicants or developers shall be determined by a schedule of fees to be established by the board of selectmen upon recommendation by the director of public works, as provided in the water conservation policy of the town of Billerica. The schedule of fees shall provide the method for determining the amount of each payment from the applicants or developers based upon their anticipated water use for each type of proposed development.
SECTION 3. In addition to the aforementioned fees, monies may also be deposited into the fund from gifts, grants and donations received from public or private sources, from federal and state funding programs available to the town and from any other source authorized by law. Further, appropriations may be made into the fund, from time to time, by the town of Billerica to provide additional funds for the aforesaid water conservation and management purposes.
SECTION 4. The treasurer of the town of Billerica may invest monies deposited in the fund and the interest accruing shall inure to the benefit of the fund. The fund shall be maintained in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and shall be audited annually and the cost of each audit shall be charged to the fund.
SECTION 5. The director of public works of the town of Billerica, with the approval of the town manager, may make applications for available state and federal government grants for the design, construction, management, conservation and rehabilitation of public water supply facilities and pledge any sums of money in the fund, with the approval of the board of selectmen and the town meeting, for any matching grants for the design, construction, management, conservation and rehabilitation activities.
SECTION 6. The town accountant shall file jointly with the board of selectmen, the town manager, the treasurer, the finance committee and the bureau of accounts, a written report relative to the fund under this act. The report shall be made within 120 days after the books of account are closed for each fiscal year and shall include a financial statement relating to the operation, maintenance and expenditures made under the fund. The board of selectmen may review and comment on the report and file the review with the state auditor.