Outside Section 26
Data Current as of: 7/10/2014
Said chapter 10 is hereby further amended by adding the following section:-
Section 75. (a) There shall be established a water supply protection program to be administered by a Water Supply Protection Trust. Monies in the trust shall be deposited with the state treasurer in such a manner as to secure the highest interest rate available consistent with the safety of the trust and with the requirement that all amounts on deposit shall be available for immediate use.
(b) There shall be a board of trustees of the trust which shall consist of the executive director of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, the secretary of energy and environmental affairs or a designee, the president of the Swift River Valley Historical Society, the chairperson of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority advisory board or a designee and a member jointly selected by the North Worcester County Quabbin Anglers Association and the Quabbin Fisherman's Association.
(c) The board of trustees shall meet at least quarterly and shall serve without compensation. For the purposes of board meetings and voting, a quorum shall be comprised of 3 members. The board shall choose a chairperson by majority vote and shall make all decisions by majority vote. At a meeting held annually, the board shall review and approve the operating plan, the operating budget, the capital budgets and other aspects of the annual work plan prepared jointly by the department of conservation and recreation and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority pursuant to the interagency memorandum of understanding between the department and the authority dated April 27, 2004, as it may be amended from time to time, which memorandum and the annual work plan prepared thereunder shall provide for the watershed and water supply protection responsibilities established for the authority and department under chapter 372 of the acts of 1984 and chapters 92 and 92A 1/2 to be satisfactorily discharged. No amendment to the memorandum of understanding shall include an authorization to enter into any agreement to acquire, purchase or transfer any property, the title to which is vested in the commonwealth or is considered to be watershed property by Massachusetts law, as of July 1, 2004. The restriction in the preceding sentence shall not be construed to be inconsistent with the terms and conditions of this section as they relate to the operation and governance of the trust or any other provisions of this section.
Any provisions in the memorandum of understanding regarding the operation and governance of the trust shall be consistent with this section. In the event of an inconsistency between that memorandum of understanding and the terms and conditions of this section as they relate to the operation and governance of the trust, the terms and conditions of this section shall be dispositive.
(d) There shall be credited to the trust:
(i) all assessments against the authority established pursuant to section 11 of chapter 92A 1/2, except for amounts to be paid in trust by the authority to the division of water supply protection for application to payments in lieu of taxes pursuant to chapter 59, and against any other public or private entity by the commissioner of conservation and recreation to support the watershed and water supply activities set forth in subsection (e);
(ii) all revenues generated by the division of water supply protection required to be offset from assessments against the authority pursuant to said section 11 of said chapter 92A 1/2 shall include, but not be limited to, the sale of hydroelectricity, and recreational or permits fees and shall also include any access fees established pursuant to chapter 436 of the acts of 1990;
(iii) all revenues from the sale of wood products harvested on those watershed lands under the management of the division of water supply protection;
(iv) all payments from the authority for debt service under section 12 of said chapter 92A 1/2;
(v) all interest earned on monies in the trust; and
(vi) any gifts, grants, donations or other contributions made for the purpose of supporting the watershed and water supply activities set forth in subsection (e).
(e) Notwithstanding any general or special law or any restriction to the contrary, expenditures from the trust shall not be subject to appropriation and balances remaining at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the General Fund and expenditures from the trust shall be made only for the purposes set forth in the memorandum of understanding and annual work plan as approved by the board pursuant to subsection (c), including:
(i) the maintenance and operating costs of the division of water supply protection, pursuant to chapter 92A 1/2, including the costs of capital improvements necessary to ensure the safety and purity of the water supply and the protection of watershed lands pursuant to state and federal standards, capital costs and the costs of the purchase or leasing of vehicles and other equipment as considered necessary by the division and any other authorized charges of the division as set forth in the annual work plan's operating plan, operating budget and capital budgets prepared jointly by the department and the authority and reviewed and approved by the board of trustees pursuant to subsection (c); provided, however, that no expenditure shall be made for operating, maintenance, and capital costs of the division that were previously budgeted as expenses of the former department of environmental management that were nonreimbursable by the authority;
(ii) department salaries, staffing levels, other employee expenses, operational expenses, acquisition of capital equipment and all other expenses, as set forth in the annual work plan's operating plan, operating budget and capital budgets prepared jointly by the department and the authority and reviewed and approved by the board of trustees pursuant to subsection (c); and
(iii) debt service payments for bonds authorized by the general court for the acquisition of fee simple, development and other rights or interests in land in the areas regulated by the division if the bonds were authorized and bonded indebtedness incurred before the establishment of the trust.
(f) For the purpose of accommodating timing discrepancies between the trust's receipt of revenues and related expenditures, the trust may incur expenses and the comptroller may certify payments from the trust in anticipation of trust receipts. The board of trustees shall annually certify to the comptroller that expenditures for the previous fiscal year did not exceed related assessments and trust receipts. No expenditures from the trust shall cause the trust to be in deficiency at the close of a fiscal year.
(g) The board of trustees shall not enter into any agreement to acquire, purchase, or transfer any assets or property the title to which is vested in the commonwealth, or considered to be watershed property by Massachusetts law as of July 1, 2004. This restriction shall not be construed to be inconsistent with the terms and conditions of this section as they relate to the operation and governance of the trust or any other provision of this section.