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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE SOMERVILLE MUNICIPAL JOB CREATION AND RETENTION TRUST.

     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. (a) There shall be a Somerville Municipal Job Creation and Retention Trust to assist in the creation and maintenance of employment opportunities within the city of Somerville for the citizens of the city of Somerville. There shall be deposited into the fund, all job creation and retention linkage fees and no such fee shall be paid to the city’s general treasury or used as general revenues subject to section 53 of chapter 44 of the General Laws. The fund shall be administered by a board of trustees to create and retain jobs within the city of Somerville for the citizens of the city of Somerville in accordance with the trust and this act.
     (b)  There shall be a board of trustees which shall include not less than 5 and not more than 9 trustees including, ex officio, the mayor of the city of Somerville or a designee and the president of the board of aldermen or a designee. Those members of the board who are not serving in an ex officio capacity shall be appointed by the mayor, subject to confirmation by the board of aldermen, and shall be designated as public agents for purposes of the constitution of the commonwealth.
     (c)  For the purposes of this act, the board may:
          (i)  receive and accept personal property by gift, grant, devise or transfer from any federal, state or local governmental body or other public entity or from any person, trust, corporation or other private entity including, without limitation, funds or other personal property tendered to the trust in connection with any Somerville ordinance;
          (ii)  retain personal property including, without limitation, personal property that is un-invested and investments that yield no income;
          (iii)  make grants for trust purposes upon such terms as the board deems advisable;
          (iv)  make loans for trust purposes upon such terms of repayment or otherwise as the board deems advisable and extend the time for payment of any obligation of the trust;
          (v)  sell, exchange or transfer personal property of the trust for such consideration and upon such terms as to credit or otherwise as the board deems advisable;
          (vi)  execute, acknowledge and deliver assignments, transfers, pledges, contracts, promissory notes, releases and other instruments, sealed or unsealed, necessary, proper or incidental to any transaction involving trust assets in which the board engages for the accomplishment of the purposes of the trust;
          (vii)  employ advisors and agents including, without limitation, accountants and appraisers and delegate to such persons or firms such ministerial or discretionary powers as the board deems necessary;
          (viii)  pay reasonable compensation to all advisors and agents, including reasonable compensation for the cost of city of Somerville staff time devoted to trust matters, and  apportion such compensation between income and principal as the board deems advisable;
          (ix)  apportion receipts and charges between income and principal as the board deems advisable;
          (x)  exercise all powers and rights, including proxies and powers of attorney, necessary and proper in connection with the ownership of any securities held as part of the trust personal property;
          (xi)  compromise, arbitrate, defend, enforce, release, settle or otherwise adjust claims in favor of or against the trust and accept any personal property, either in total or in partial satisfaction of any indebtedness or other obligation; and
          (xii)  exercise any other powers necessary to further the trust purposes.
     (d)  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, all money paid to the trust by public or private contributions or in accordance with a Somerville zoning ordinance, including any delinquent payments collected as a municipal charges lien pursuant to chapter 252 of the acts of 1996, shall be paid directly into the trust and such money shall not have to be appropriated or accepted and approved into the trust. General revenues appropriated into the trust shall become trust property and, to be expended, these funds shall not require further appropriation. All money remaining in the trust at the end of a fiscal year, whether or not expended by the board within 1 year after the date they were appropriated into the trust, shall remain trust property. The board of trustees shall annually report to the board of aldermen the total amount of receipts and expenditures for the fund for the prior fiscal year and for the current fiscal year through December 31, or such later date as the board of aldermen may, by vote determine, together with such other information as the board of aldermen may by vote require. The board of aldermen shall review annually the funds in the trust and expenditures from the trust to provide oversight for the purposes of creating and retaining jobs within the city of Somerville for citizens of the city of Somerville.
     (e)  For the purposes of chapter 258 of the General Laws, the trust shall be a public employer and the members of the board shall be public employees.
     (f)  For the purposes of chapter 268A of the General Laws, the trust shall be deemed a municipal agency and the trustees’ special municipal employees.
     (g)  For the purposes of the open meeting law, the trust shall be a public body.
     (h)  The trust shall be exempt from chapters 59 and 62 of the General Laws and from any other laws relative to the payment of taxes based upon or measured by personal property or income      imposed by the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof.
     (i)  The books and records of the trust shall be audited annually by an independent auditor in accordance with accepted accounting practices.
     (j)  The declaration of trust, which shall establish and control the trust, pursuant to this act, shall be filed in the office of the Somerville city clerk.
     (k)  For the purposes of chapter 30B of the General Laws, the trust shall be a board of the city.
     SECTION 2.  (a) The city of Somerville may, by ordinance, require the payment of a job creation and retention linkage fee for any project that (1) requires zoning relief, including without limitation, a special permit, special permit with site plan review, a variance or site plan approval; and (2) contains a single use or combination of uses exceeding a square foot threshold to be determined from time to time by the board of aldermen. The ordinance shall specify the dollar amount of the linkage fee; the method by which it shall be increased from time to time; and the types of uses to which it shall apply.
     SECTION 3.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved, August 9, 2016