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 town of Franklin may appropriate funds and incur debt outside the debt limit as provided in section 10 of chapter 44 of the General Laws for the purpose of removing or causing to be removed poles, overhead wires and associated overhead structures used in connection with the provision of public utilities and which are located upon, along or across public ways or on private property within the town and replacing the same with underground facilities. Any debt incurred under this act shall be repaid over a term of not more than 20 years and shall otherwise be subject to said chapter 44.
SECTION 2. A resolution or other vote of the town council appropriating funds or authorizing an increase of debt under section 1 shall specify in general terms the area in which the overhead utilities are to be removed and replaced by underground facilities and contain a finding by the town council that the project to be financed by such appropriation or incurrence of debt will improve the provision of such utilities within the town and will enhance the general quality and public welfare of the town.
SECTION 3. Sections 22A to 22I, inclusive, of chapter 166 of the General Laws shall not apply to any projects carried out by the town under this act. The town and any utility whose poles, overhead wires or associated overhead structures are to be removed and replaced by underground facilities by a project undertaken by the town under this act may enter into, and from time to time amend, an agreement under which the utility shall pay to the town in each fiscal year all or a portion of the debt service payable in such fiscal year related to a borrowing incurred by the town under this act for such project. Such agreement may contain any and all provisions as shall be consistent with this section. In addition to all other rates, charges and fees it may otherwise be authorized to impose and collect, any utility which agrees to make payments to the town under this section shall impose and collect a surcharge, in each year in which it is required to make such a payment, on each customer located in the town equal in the aggregate to the amount of such payment.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
Approved, March 3, 2010.