Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of section fifty-three or fifty-three G of chapter forty-four of the General Laws, the conservation commission of the town of Dedham may provide by rule promulgated hereunder for the imposition of reasonable fees for the employment of outside consultants and may deposit such fees in a special account.
(b) Such regulation shall provide for an administrative appeal from the selection of the outside consultant to the board of selectmen. The grounds for such an appeal shall be limited to claims that the consultant selected has a conflict of interest or does not possess the minimum, required qualifications. The minimum qualifications shall consist either of an educational degree in or related to the field at issue or three or more years of practice in the field at issue or a related field. The required time limits for action upon an application by the permit granting board shall be extended by the duration of the administrative appeal. If no decision is made by said board of selectmen within one month following the filing of the appeal, the selection made by the permit granting authority shall stand. Such an administrative appeal shall not preclude further judicial review, if otherwise permitted by law.
(c) Any such account shall be established by the treasurer and shall be kept separate and apart from other monies. Said special account, including accrued interest, if any, shall be expended at the direction of the conservation commission without further appropriation; provided, however, that such funds are to be expended by it only in connection with carrying out its responsibilities under the law. Any excess amount in the account attributable to a specific project, including any accrued interest, at the completion of said project shall be repaid to the applicant or to the applicant's successor in interest and a final report of said account shall be made available to the applicant or to the applicant's successor in interest.
(d) The town treasurer shall submit annually a report of said special account to the board of selectmen and town administrator for their review. Said report shall be published in the town annual report. Said town treasurer shall submit annually a copy of said report to the director of the bureau of accounts.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon its passage.