Session Law

2014

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Chapter 220 AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE COMMISSIONER OF CAPITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT AND MAINTENANCE TO CONVEY CERTAIN PARCELS OF LAND IN THE TOWN OF WESTBOROUGH

     Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to forthwith authorize the transfer of certain parcels of land to the town of Westborough, 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. Notwithstanding sections 32 to 37, inclusive, of chapter 7C of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance, may convey certain parcels of land located at the former Westborough State Hospital to the town of Westborough.  The parcels are shown as parcel 1 and parcel 5 on a draft approval not required plan dated January 2, 2014, which is on file with the division of capital asset management and maintenance. The exact location and boundaries of the parcels to be conveyed shall be determined by the commissioner after completion of a survey, in consultation with the department of youth services and the town of Westborough.  The use of the parcels to be conveyed to the town shall not be restricted to use for general municipal purposes or other specific uses; provided, however, that the town may so restrict the parcels at a later date, in accordance with any applicable general and special laws. The parcels shall be conveyed by deed without warranties or representations by the commonwealth.
     SECTION 2.  As consideration for the parcels described in section 1, the town of Westborough shall pay the commonwealth an amount equal to certain costs related to the closure of the former Westborough State Hospital including, but not limited to, the costs of removing combustible materials, disconnecting certain utilities and otherwise closing those buildings located on the parcels, routine security and other capital expenditures and operating expenses incurred by the commonwealth in preparation for or following the closure of the former state hospital, as determined by the commissioner and agreed to by the town. The town of Westborough may pay the amount so determined by the commissioner and agreed to by the town upon its purchase of the parcels described in section 1, or the town may pay the amount so determined in 10 annual payments pursuant to section 20A of chapter 58 of the General Laws. 
     SECTION 2A.  In the event that the town of Westborough sells or leases any portion of the parcels described in section 1, the net proceeds from such sale or lease as determined by the town and agreed to by the commissioner shall be allocated between the town of Westborough and the commonwealth in equal shares; provided, however, that the commissioner may agree to reduce the share of the commonwealth’s proceeds to not less than 30 per cent of net proceeds in order to provide certain incentives to the town of Westborough to sell or lease some or all of the parcels described in section 1 expeditiously or to facilitate the development of some or all of the parcels in accordance with smart growth principles promulgated from time to time by the governor and the secretary of energy and environmental affairs. In the event that the net proceeds as so determined is a negative amount, the commonwealth shall not be required to make any payments to the town of Westborough.
     SECTION 3.  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the town of Westborough shall pay for all costs and expenses of the transactions authorized in this act as determined by the commissioner including, but not limited to, the costs of any surveys, appraisals, recording fees and deed preparation related to the conveyances and for all costs, liabilities and expenses of any nature and kind related to the conveyances; provided, however, that such costs may be included for the purposes of determining the net proceeds of the town’s sale or lease of any portion of the parcels described in section 1.  Amounts paid by the town of Westborough pursuant to section 2 shall not be included for the purposes of determining the net proceeds from a sale or lease.
     SECTION 4.  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the commissioner may retain, accept or acquire by purchase, transfer, lease, eminent domain pursuant to chapter 79 of the General Laws or otherwise and may grant by deed, transfer, lease or otherwise any rights-of-way or easements in, over or beneath any parcel or portions thereof any other portions of the former Westborough State Hospital as the commissioner deems necessary and appropriate for the continued use of portions of the former Westborough State Hospital by other state agencies.
     SECTION 4A.  There shall be in the town of Westborough a State Hospital Revolving Fund for the purpose of receiving proceeds from the disposition of the Westborough State Hospital property and for funding expenses incidental to the ownership of the property. Notwithstanding section 53E½ of chapter 44 of the General Laws, the fund shall not count towards the 10 per cent aggregate limit of revolving funds and the town may make expenditures from the fund without regard to the 1 per cent limit established by clause (4) of the third paragraph of said section 53E½ of said chapter 44.
     SECTION 5.  (a) In the event that the town of Westborough does not complete a purchase of the property described in section 1 on or before June 30, 2015, then notwithstanding sections 33 to 38, inclusive, of chapter 7C of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, the commissioner may sell, lease for terms of up to 99 years, including all renewals and extensions, or otherwise grant, convey or transfer to purchasers or lessees an interest in the property described in said section 1 or portions thereof, subject to this section and on such terms and conditions that the commissioner considers appropriate. In making any such disposition pursuant to this section, the commissioner shall use appropriate competitive bidding processes and procedures. At least 30 days before the date on which bids, proposals or other offers to purchase or lease a property, or any portion thereof, are due, the commissioner shall place a notice in the central register published by the state secretary pursuant to section 20A of chapter 9 of the General Laws stating the availability of the property, the nature of the competitive bidding process and other information that the commissioner considers relevant, including the time, place and manner for the submission of bids and proposals and the opening of the bids or proposals.
     (b)  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the grantee or lessee of all or any portion of the property described in section 1 and subject to this section shall be responsible for costs and expenses including, but not limited to, costs associated with deed preparation and recording fees related to the conveyances and transfers authorized in this section as such costs may be determined by the commissioner.
     (c)  The commissioner may retain or grant rights of way or easements for access, egress, utilities and drainage across any of the parcels described in section 1 and subject to this section and across other commonwealth property contiguous to any of the parcels and the commonwealth may accept from the town or developer such rights of way or easements in roadways or across any of the parcels to be conveyed or transferred for access, egress, drainage and utilities as the commissioner considers necessary and appropriate to carry out this section.
     (d)  No agreement for the sale, lease, transfer or other disposition of the property described in section 1 and subject to this section, or any portion thereof, and no deed executed by or on behalf of the commonwealth shall be valid unless the agreement or deed contains the following certification, signed by the commissioner:
     “I, the undersigned commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance, hereby certify under penalties of perjury that I have fully complied with the relevant provisions of general and special law in connection with the property described in this document.”
     SECTION 6.  Sections 1 to 4A, inclusive, shall take effect upon their acceptance by a majority vote of the board of selectmen of the town of Westborough, but not otherwise.

Approved, August 5, 2014.