Outside Section 104
Data Current as of: 6/22/2009
Notwithstanding sections 40E to 40K, inclusive, and sections 52 to 55, inclusive, of chapter 7 of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, the division of capital asset management and maintenance, on behalf of and in consultation with the department of conservation and recreation, may using such competitive proposal process as the division deems necessary or appropriate, lease and enter into other agreements, for terms not to exceed 25 years, with 1 or more operators, for the Blue Hills observatory and science center in the town of Canton so as to provide for the continued use, operation, maintenance, repair and improvement of such state-owned recreational facility together with the land and appurtenances associated thereto.
There shall be an option for renewal or extension for operations and maintenance services not exceeding an additional 5 years. Such renewal or extension shall be at the discretion of the division of capital asset management and maintenance in accordance with the original contract terms and conditions or contract terms and conditions more favorable to the commonwealth. All leases shall contain a provision that requires the lessee to carry comprehensive general liability insurance with the commonwealth named as a co-insured, protecting the commonwealth against all personal injury or property damage within the observatory or on the land of the observatory during the term of the lease.
Such lease and other agreements shall be on terms acceptable to the commissioner of the division of capital asset management and maintenance after consultation with the commissioner of the department of conservation and recreation, and, notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, shall provide for the lessee to manage, operate, improve, repair and maintain the property. Any such lease or other arrangement requiring capital improvements to be made to any buildings or surface areas shall include a description of the required capital improvements and, at a minimum, performance specifications. Such lease and other agreement shall provide that any benefits to the commonwealth and the costs of improvements and repairs made to the properties provided by the lessee shall be taken into account as part of the consideration for such leases or other agreements. All consideration received from the leases or other agreements shall be payable to the department of conservation and recreation for deposit into the General Fund.
(b) The division of capital asset management and maintenance, in consultation with and on behalf of the department of conservation and recreation, shall solicit proposals through a request for proposals which shall include key contractual terms and conditions to be incorporated into the contract, including but not limited to (1) a comprehensive list of all recreational facilities operated by the responsive bidder or offeror in the last 4 years, (2) other facilities management or experience of the responsive bidder or offeror, (3) a residential discount program, (4) reservation policies, (5) proposed reasonable rates that will ensure continued public access, (6) required financial audits, (7) policies to encourage use of the observatory by persons of all races and nationalities, (8) safety and security plans, (9) seasonal opening and closing dates, and (10) hours of operation.
The division, in consultation with the department, when evaluating proposals that are otherwise comparable, shall prefer any proposal submitted by the town of Canton, or by a non-profit organization in the town of Canton; provided, however, that the proposal complies with the guidelines outlined above.
(c) It shall be a mandatory term of any request for proposals issued by the commissioner and of any contract entered into by the commonwealth with any party regarding the subject matter of this section that any party which has entered into a contract pursuant to this section with the commonwealth shall require, in order to maintain stable and productive labor relations and to avoid interruption of the operation of the observatory and to preserve the safety and environmental conditions of the observatory, that all employees currently working on the operation and maintenance of the observatory be offered employment by any party entering into a contract pursuant to this section. Upon the execution of any agreements authorized by this section, the department of conservation and recreation shall reassign or relocate those employees who do not accept employment with the lessor, to comparable positions within the department subject to applicable collective bargaining agreements.
(d) The provisions of any general or special law or rule or regulation relating to the advertising, bidding or award of contracts, to the procurement of services or to the construction and design of improvements shall not be applicable to any selected offeror which is awarded a contract pursuant to this section, except as provided in this section.
(e) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the inspector general shall review and approve a lease executed pursuant to this section and the review shall include an examination of the methodology utilized for establishing a lease price. Within 30 days of receiving the lease, the inspector general shall prepare a report of his review and file the report with the commissioner of the division of capital asset management and maintenance. Within 15 days of receiving the inspector general's report, the commissioner shall submit such report to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on bonding, capital expenditures and state assets not later than 15 days before the execution of any agreement or other document relating to the lease.
(f) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, lessor shall be responsible for all costs and expenses, including but not limited to, costs associated with any engineering, surveys, appraisals, and deed preparation related to the transfers and conveyances authorized pursuant to this section as such costs may be determined by the commissioner of the division of capital asset management and maintenance. Upon conveyance of the parcel, the lessor shall be solely responsible for all costs, liabilities and expenses of any nature and kind for the development, maintenance, use and operation of the parcel.
(g) The division and the department shall report on the results of any requests for proposals and subsequent lease executed as a result of this section. The report shall include, but not be limited to, the following: the time required to conduct the request for proposals process; the quality and characteristics of the bids received in response to the request; the criteria used to identify successful bidders; the dates of any executed leases; any service changes resulting from executed leases; any increase or decrease in the length of the season of operations for the observatory; the capital improvements that have been completed, are under construction or are planned for construction; and the monetary results of any executed leases. The report shall be submitted to the clerks of the house and senate and to the house and senate committees on ways and means no later than February 1, 2009.