COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
To either of the Constables of East Bridgewater, in said County of Plymouth,
In the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you are hereby directed to
notify and warn the inhabitants of the Town of East Bridgewater qualified to vote in
Elections and Town Affairs to meet at the
GORDON W. MITCHELL MIDDLE SCHOOL
in said Town on
MONDAY EVENING, November 5, 2007, 7:00 p.m.
Then and there to act on the following articles, to wit:
Article 1 - To see whether or not the Town Meeting will vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to file with the Great and General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts a so-called Home Rule Petition in a form suitable to achieve the purpose of creating a Sewer District within the Town of East Bridgewater and in a form similar to the following:
“AN ACT ESTABLISHING A SEWER DISTRICT IN THE TOWN OF EAST BRIDGEWATER.
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 inhabitants of the Town of East Bridgewater, liable to taxation in said town and residing within the area served by the East Bridgewater Sewer District, bounded and described as follows: all parcels located within the Map entitled “Figure 5-1, Proposed Sewer Areas, February 2006 from the East Bridgewater Final Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan, prepared by Weston & Sampson, dated February 2006, and on file with the East Bridgewater Town Clerk, as said Map is further defined by a parcel listing entitled “East Bridgewater Sewer District Parcel Listing, dated October 2007 prepared by Weston & Sampson”, also on file with the East Bridgewater Town Clerk.
SECTION 2. The purpose of this Act is to authorize the creation, establishment and operation of the East Bridgewater Sewer District. The sewer district, if approved, shall be responsible for all financial obligations incurred on behalf of the district, it being the intent of this Act that the Town of East Bridgewater, as a corporate entity, shall have no financial obligation for the operation of this district other than the obligation to pay betterment assessments as authorized under section 9 of this Act and for paying fees for sewer services as authorized by section 12 of this Act. For the purposes of aforesaid, the district, acting by and through its board of sewer commissioners hereinafter provided for, may contract with any municipality, acting through its sewer department, authority to furnish same being
herby granted, and may take by eminent domain under chapter 79 or chapter 80A of the General Laws, or acquire by lease, purchase or otherwise, and hold land, or any portion thereof, within the town of East Bridgewater and not already appropriated for particular public purpose; and for said purposes may take as aforesaid, or acquire by purchase or otherwise, and hold, all lands, rights of way and other easements necessary for collection, storing, holding, processing, purifying sewage and disposing of effluent and for conveying the same to any part of the district and for any other purpose consistent with the provisions of this Act. The district may construct and maintain on the lands acquired and held under this act proper tanks, pumps, buildings, treatment units, fixtures and other structures including also the establishment and maintenance of a collection system and treatment facility, and may make excavations, procure and operate machinery and provide such other means and
appliances, and do such other things as may be necessary for the establishment and maintenance of complete and effective sewage collection, treatment and disposal system; and for that purpose may construct pipelines and establish pumping works, and may construct, lay, acquire and maintain conduits, pipes and other works under or over any land, water courses, railroad, railways and public or other ways, and along such ways, in said town, in such manner as not unnecessarily to obstruct the same; and for the purpose of constructing, laying, maintaining, operating and repairing such conduits, pipes and other works, and for all proper purposes of this Act, the district may dig up or raise and embank any such lands, highways or other ways in such manner as to cause hindrance to public travel on such ways; provided, that the manner in which all things are done upon any such way(s) shall be subject to the direction of the selectmen in the town of East Bridgewater, or their designee.
The district may enter upon any private or public land for the purpose of making surveys, test wells or pits and borings, and may take or otherwise acquire the right to occupy temporarily any lands necessary for the construction of any work or for any other purpose authorized by this Act. Existing structures and buildable lots within the district shall be allowed one sewer connection. Any subdivision plan filed with the East Bridgewater Planning Board on or after November 1, 2007, all or part of which seeks to subdivide land within the district, shall only be entitled to one connection for the entire subdivision. No lot, which is not buildable without a sewer connection shall be eligible to connect to the sewer system. The Board of Sewer Commissioners shall have all power and authority generally conferred upon a town for the purpose of completing and maintaining a sewer system.
SECTION 3. Any person sustaining damages to their property by any taking under this act or any other thing done under authority thereof may recover such damages from the district subject to and pursuant to Chapter 79 or chapter 80A of the General Laws.
SECTION 4. The commissioners of the district shall have the authority to enter into contracts whereby a third party shall provide any or all of the management, operation and/or maintenance required to effectuate the purpose of this Act. Included in this authorization the commissioners may enter into so-called design, build and operate contracts as well as all other types and form of contracts generally allowable for cities and towns in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It shall be within the discretion of the commissioners to establish a term of contract for a period of time not to exceed twenty years for any such contract. The commissioners shall have all authority and powers traditionally vested in municipal corporations in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in order to effectuate the
purposes of this Act.
SECTION 5. For the purpose of paying the necessary expenses and liabilities incurred under this act, other than expenses of maintenance and operation, the district may borrow, in addition to amounts authorized by Chapter 44 of the General Laws, an amount or amounts from time to time as may be necessary to fulfill the purposes of this Act, and may issue bonds or notes therefore, which shall bear on their face the words “East Bridgewater Sewer District Loan Act of 2007”. Each authorized issue shall constitute a separate loan, and such loans shall be payable in not more than 30 years from their dates of issuance. Indebtedness incurred under this act shall be subject to the provisions of said chapter 44 pertaining to such districts.
SECTION 6. The district shall, at the time of authorizing said loan or loans, provide for the payment thereof in accordance with section 5 of this Act; and, when a vote to that effect has been passed, a sum which, with the income derived from sewer rates, assessments, betterments, privilege fees and any other available sources of public or private revenue, will be sufficient to pay the annual expenses of operating its sewer works and the interest as it accrues on the bonds or notes issued as aforesaid by the district, and to make such payments on the principal as may be required under this act, shall without further vote be assessed upon the district by the assessors of said town of East Bridgewater annually thereafter until the debt incurred by said loan or loans is extinguished.
SECTION 7. Any land taken or acquired under this Act shall be managed, improved and controlled by the board of sewer commissioners hereinafter provided for, in such manner as they shall deem for the best interest of the district. All authority vested in said board by this section shall be subject to the provisions of this Act.
SECTION 8. The Board of Selectmen of the Town of East Bridgewater is hereby authorized to approve and/or grant easements to the District, and subject to the approval of Town Meeting, transfer ownership of Town owned land or property to the District.
SECTION 9. Whenever a tax is duly voted by the district for the purposes of this act, the clerk shall send a certified copy of the vote to the assessors of said town, who shall assess the same on property within the district in the same manner in all respects in which town taxes are required by law to be assessed; provided, that no estate shall be subject to any tax assessed on account of the sewer system under this act if, in the judgment of the board of sewer commissioners hereinafter provided for, after a hearing, due notice whereof shall have been given, such property is so situated that it will receive no advantage(s) from the said sewer system, or if such property is so situated that the buildings thereon, or the buildings that might be constructed thereon, could not be supplied with sewer service from
said system in any ordinary or reasonable manner; but all other properties in the district shall be deemed to be benefited and shall be subject to such tax. A certified list of the properties exempt from taxation under the provisions of this section shall annually be sent by said board of sewer commissioners to said assessors, at the same time at which the clerk shall send a certified copy of the vote as aforesaid. The assessment shall be committed to the town collector, who shall collect said tax in the manner provided by law for the collection of town taxes, and shall deposit the proceeds thereof with the district treasurer for the use and benefit of the district. The district may collect interest on overdue taxes in the manner in which interest is authorized to be collected on town taxes.
The Board of Sewer Commissioners shall, upon the application of the owner of real property, which meets the following qualifications and has been assessed for a sewer betterment, enter into a deferral and recovery agreement on behalf of the district. In order to qualify the deferral agreement, the property shall have a Title V sewerage system, which has been installed or upgraded within five years prior to the effective date of this Act.
The deferral agreement shall: (a) provide the deferral period, which shall not exceed ten years; (b) provide that the deferral agreement shall terminate and the assessment shall be due before the agreed term if title to the property is conveyed, the Title V system is determined by the Board to be a failed system, or the property is connected to the sewer; (c) provide that the property owner shall pay interest annually upon the assessment from the time it was made, at the actual District borrowing rate; and (d) include the written approval of any joint owner or mortgagee on the property.
The deferral agreement shall be recorded in the Registry of Deeds, and shall constitute a lien upon the real estate. Nothing in this Act shall prohibit the District from requiring the connection of any property to the sewer line in order to protect the public health or welfare.
SECTION 10. The Chairman of the Board of Selectmen shall preside at any meeting of the District before the acceptance of this Act until a board is chosen and sworn, and the Chairman of the Board of Selectmen shall preside until a moderator or other member of the Board of Selectmen so designated by the Chairman is chosen. At any meeting held hereunder prior to the acceptance of this Act by the District, after the choice of a moderator for the meeting, the question of the acceptance of this Act shall be submitted to the voters of the District at a District meeting, and if it is accepted by a majority of the voters present and voting thereon it shall thereupon take effect, and the meeting may then proceed to act on the other articles in the warrant. The warrant for the first meeting of the District
whereby the acceptance of this Act shall be voted upon by the District, shall also include articles on procedures and by-laws for the operation of the District, but shall not otherwise include any other business. District meetings conducted after the initial meeting shall be conducted in accordance with the procedure adopted by the District. Should the District fail to approve a procedure for either calling and conducting a meeting, then the Chairman of the Board of Selectmen may call for a meeting of the District at any time upon not less than fourteen days’ written notice, which shall include publication in at least one newspaper of general circulation. After the qualification of a majority of the Sewer Commissioners, meetings of the District shall be called by warrant under their hands, unless some other method be provided by by--law or vote of the District. For the purpose of this Act, individuals who reside within the District and are
registered voters in the Town shall be allowed to vote at District meetings.
SECTION 11. The Board of Sewer Commissioners shall be comprised of five members. One member shall be a member of the East Bridgewater Board of Selectmen who shall be appointed and/or reappointed on an annual basis by the Board of Selectmen. One member shall be appointed by the Board of Selectmen from amongst interested candidates who reside within the district. The Board shall endeavor to appoint a candidate who by experience and/or expertise possesses technical knowledge related to the services provided by the district. This member shall be appointed and or reappointed annually for a one-year term.
Three members of the Board who reside in the District shall be elected by the voters of the District. The length of term for the first election shall be as follows and shall be determined during the first election by the highest vote getter receiving the three year term, the second highest vote getter receiving the two year term and the third highest vote getter receiving the one year term:
One member elected for a one-year term
One member elected for a two-year term
One member elected for a three-year term
Following the first election, each subsequent election shall be of the purpose of filling a three-year term.
SECTION 12. Said board of sewer commissioners shall fix just and equitable prices and rates for the use of the sewer, and shall prescribe the time and manner of payment. The income of the sewer works shall be appropriated to defray all operating expenses, interest charges and payments on the principal as they shall accrue upon any bonds or notes issued under authority of this act. If there should be a net surplus remaining after providing for the aforesaid charges, it may be appropriated for such future new construction as said sewer commissioners may recommend, and in case a surplus should remain after payment for such new construction, the sewer rates may be reduced proportionately. If in any year there should be a deficit of revenue, the sewer commissioners shall in the following year fix the rate so
as to meet such deficit together with the estimated operating costs including interest and debt. Said sewer commissioners shall annually, and as often as the district may require, render a report upon the condition of the works under their charge, and an account of their doings, including an account of receipts and expenditures. Any property owner in the district who constructs a home or any other building at some point after the establishment of the district shall be required to pay a “privilege” fee to the district. Said fee shall be based on an amount as determined by the then in effect rules and regulations of the commissioners.
SECTION 13. Any resident of the district shall have the right, subject to reasonable rules and regulations of the Board of Commissioners, to defer participation in the sewer district for a period of ten years commencing from the date of installation of a working Title V system, provided that the system is properly functioning, and was installed prior to the effective date of this Act. Subject to the rules and Regulations of the District, the District may vote to authorize deferrals of greater than ten (10) years, provided that the owners’ Title V system remains operational during the extended deferral period, and all other provisions of this Section are complied with. In order to comply with this provision, a property owner who has deferred participation must have the system inspected at
least every 4 years. Any deferral approved in accordance with this section shall not impact all property owners obligation to pay betterment assessments authorized by Section 9 of this Act.
SECTION 14. The district may adopt by-laws, prescribing by whom and how meetings of the district may be called, notified, and conducted; and, upon the application of ten or more legal voters in the district, meetings may also be called by warrant as provided in Section 10. The district may also establish rules and regulations for the management of its sewer works, not inconsistent with this act or with any other provision of law, and may choose such other officers not provided for in this act as it may deem necessary or proper.
SECTION 15. At any time after the system has been operating for two years, or 50% of available capacity is being used, property owners not located within the district may petition the sewer commissioners for inclusion in the system. In order for any such petition to be valid, it must be signed by a minimum of two thirds (2/3) of the property owners which would be affected by the petition. The commissioners shall consider any such petition at a future meeting. In order for such a petition to be approved, the commissioners, by at least a four-fifths (4/5) majority, must find that the system has the necessary excess capacity and that any such connection would not adversely impact the system. Any such approval shall be subject to any and all conditions the commissioners, in their sole
discretion, place on the approval. Decisions made by the commissioners shall be final and binding and not subject to any appeal.
SECTION 16. This act shall take full effect upon its acceptance by a majority vote of the individuals who own property within the district and who are of voting age in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at a district meeting called, in accordance with section 10 within four years after its passage.
SECTION 17. This act shall take effect upon its passage.”
Or take any other action relative thereto.
Request of the Wastewater Study Committee
And you are directed to serve this Warrant by posting an attested copy thereof in at least five public places in the Town including at least one copy in each precinct within the Town and one copy in the Town Hall not later than fourteen days prior to the commencement of said meeting.
Given under our hands and seal this 16th day of October in the year of our Lord, two thousand and seven.
Selectmen of the Town of East Bridgewater