Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. The town of Merrimac is hereby authorized to charge a permanent water privilege fee as established by this act. Said fee may be changed from time to time by vote of the water commissioners.
SECTION 2. Whenever a connection is made either directly or indirectly to the town water system or whenever the use of a waterline previously connected is subsequently changed as hereinafter provided, a permanent water privilege fee shall be assessed. Such fee shall be that which is in effect at the time the connection is made; or in the case of a change in use of a waterline previously connected, then the fee shall be that which is in effect at the time an application for a building permit is filed; or if no such permit is required, then the fee shall be that which is in effect at the time an occupancy permit is issued; otherwise the fee shall be that which is in effect at the time the new use begins.
SECTION 3. The permanent water privilege fee shall be at the rate of two thousand four hundred dollars per unit. The number of units to be assessed on each such connection shall be as follows:
(A) Residential use.
(1) Each single-family building connected directly to the town water main shall be assessed as one unit.
(2) Each dwelling unit in a multiple-family dwelling, whether connected to the town water main directly or indirectly and whether in one or more buildings, shall be one unit for the first dwelling unit and one-third unit for each additional dwelling unit. For the purpose of this section, multiple-family dwellings shall be deemed to include but not be limited to more than single-family residences and apartment houses, complexes, townhouses, condominiums, motels and hotels.
(3) In the case of approved subdivisions, when branch or secondary mains are installed and paid for by persons other than the town of Merrimac, each single-family dwelling connected to the town water system shall be assessed one-third unit for a period of five years from the date of the original subdivision plan approval by the planning board. Clause (1) shall apply to all connections made after the original five-year period.
(B) Other uses.
(1) For uses other than residential, there shall be an assessment of a minimum of one unit and an additional one-third unit for every ten thousand square feet of floor space or major portion thereof exceeding an initial ten thousand square feet up to a total of fifty thousand square feet of floor space, and an additional one-third unit for every twenty-five thousand square feet of floor space or major portion thereof exceeding the initial fifty thousand square feet.
(2) In the case of approved commercial or industrial subdivisions, when branch or secondary mains are installed and paid for by persons other than the town of Merrimac, the charges assessed shall be one-half of the charges described in clause (1) for a period of five years from the date of the original subdivision plan approval. Said clause (1) shall apply to all connections made after the original five-year period.
SECTION 4. The fee shall be assessed by the water commissioners of the town of Merrimac upon the estate benefitted thereby. Such assessment shall be made by filing with the board of assessors of said town a certificate designating the way on which the premises connected lie and giving the name or names of the owners of the estate for which such connection has been made and the amount of the assessment to be paid by such owner or owners. A copy or duplicate of this certificate shall, within thirty days after the filing of the same with the board of assessors, be recorded in the Essex county registry of deeds, southern district or, in the case of registered land, filed in the office of the assistant recorder for the Essex county registry district, southern district. The board of assessors of said town shall, upon receipt of such certificate, forthwith commit such assessment, with a warrant, to the tax collector of said town, who shall forthwith make a demand in writing for the payment of such assessment, and every owner shall, within three months after such demand is served upon him or upon the occupant of such estate or sent by mail to the last address of the owner known to said tax collector, pay to said tax collector the sum so assessed or charged.
SECTION 5. Except as herein provided, the provisions of the General Laws relative to the assessment, apportionment, division, reassessment, abatement and collection of water assessments, to liens thereof and to interest thereon shall apply to assessments made under this act. In applying said provisions to assessments made under this act, the notice referred to herein shall be deemed to be the demand of the tax collector. The lien for any assessment made under this act shall attach upon the recording or filing for registration of the copy or duplicate of the certificate of assessment.
SECTION 6. In addition to the fees prescribed herein, the owner shall pay the rates established from time to time for water usage and shall also pay for all service work, materials, and inspection from the main to the building or buildings serviced.
SECTION 7. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, the town of Merrimac is hereby authorized to collect water privilege fees from the users of the Merrimac water system and to establish in the town treasury a special fund in which shall be deposited said fees, which shall be kept separate from other monies, funds, and properties of said town. The principal and interest of said special fund shall be appropriated for the purpose of operating, maintaining, and improving said town water system.
SECTION 8. This act shall take effect upon its passage.