SECTION 1. It is hereby declared that there is an urgent need within the city of Pittsfield to provide a suitable, additional structure and related facilities for large public and private gatherings which are civic, cultural, athletic, commercial or entertainment in nature. These shall include facilities which will accommodate indoor and outdoor professional and amateur athletic and sporting events and training, performing arts and cultural events, entertainment, education, convention exhibitions, trade shows, large meetings and banquets. The provision of such suitable, additional facilities at reasonable cost will enhance economic growth and development within the city, increase the general welfare of the public, increase the level of employment and increase assessed commercial and residential property values.
SECTION 2. The following words as used in this act shall, unless the content or context otherwise requires, have the following meanings:
"Appointing authority", the entity authorized to appoint members to the Pittsfield Civic Authority Board.
"Authority", the body corporate public and politic to be known as the Pittsfield Civic Authority, the purpose of which shall be to acquire property for the use of a facility or facilities and to plan, design, finance, construct and maintain and operate a facility or facilities.
"Berkshire Central Labor Council", the AFL-CIO Labor Council of the Berkshires, or its successor, located in Berkshire County.
"Bonds", bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness issued under this act.
"Board", the Pittsfield Civic Authority Board established pursuant to section 4.
"Chamber of Commerce", the Chamber of Commerce of the Berkshires, or its successor, located in the county of Berkshire.
"City", the city of Pittsfield.
"City council", the city council for the city of Pittsfield.
"Director", the executive director of the Authority as prescribed in section 5.
"Facility", a multi-purpose facility consisting of one or more single or multi-purpose structures and all land and appurtenant structures designed and constructed or acquired by the Authority to provide accommodations for large public and private gatherings which are civic, cultural, athletic, commercial or entertainment in nature, including a facility which will accommodate indoor and outdoor athletic and sporting events and training, performing arts and cultural events entertainment, education, conventions, exhibitions, trade shows, large meetings and banquets and similar and related activities and ancillary facilities supportive of such activities. A facility shall be publicly owned and either publicly or privately operated and the same may be open to the public use with or without charge as provided under this act and to private use for a fee.
"Mayor", the mayor of the city of Pittsfield.
SECTION 3. The city, by majority vote of its city council, may, subject to the provisions of this act, create a body corporate to be known as the Pittsfield Civic Authority. The purpose of the Authority shall be to acquire property within the city of Pittsfield for the use of a facility or facilities, and to plan, design, finance, construct or acquire, and maintain and operate a facility or facilities. The Authority shall at all times keep full and accurate accounts of its receipts, expenditures, disbursements, assets and liabilities which shall be open at all times for inspection by the city or by any officer or duly appointed agent of the commonwealth. The Authority shall be considered a municipal entity for purposes of chapter 268A. The city, however, shall not be liable for (i) causes of action brought against the Authority for activities related to the acquisition of real property by eminent domain, or (ii) general liability relating to the operation and maintenance of a facility. The city shall also not be liable for any debt of the Authority issued as a general obligation, or for the costs of operation and maintenance of a facility.
SECTION 4. (a) The city, upon recommendation of the mayor and the approval of city council, may subject to this act, establish a Pittsfield Civic Authority Board, in this act called the Board, for the purpose of planning, designing, financing, constructing, operating and maintaining, through the Authority in this act, a facility or facilities within the city. Said Authority shall be under the management and control of the Board. The Board shall consist of nine members who have their primary residence located in Pittsfield, unless such appointment is approved by the mayor and majority vote of the city council. Three members shall be appointed by the mayor; four shall be appointed by a majority vote of the city council; one shall be appointed by the president of the Central Berkshire Chamber of Commerce through a majority vote of the board of directors of that body; and one shall be appointed by the president of the Berkshire Central Labor Council through a majority vote of the board of directors of that body. Of the three mayoral appointments, one shall be experienced with or knowledgeable about the financing or issuance of bonds and debt obligations of public entities and shall be appointed to serve for a term of five years; one shall be experienced with or knowledgeable about economic development and planning, and shall be appointed and serve for a term of four years; and one shall reside in or represent the interest of the neighborhoods which will be most directly affected by the activities of the Authority and shall be appointed and serve for a term of three years. The city council, shall by a majority vote, appoint four at-large members, two of whom shall serve for terms of four years, and two of whom shall serve terms of three years, respectively. The Chamber of Commerce and the Berkshire Central Labor Council shall each appoint one at-large member who shall each serve for a term of three years. A record of such appointments by the city shall be filed with the city clerk and thereupon be effective. The chairperson of the Board shall be elected from among the members of the Board by a majority vote of the members.
(b) At the expiration of the term of any member or upon the resignation, disqualification or death of any member, the appointing authority shall appoint a new member for an equivalent term as the member whose seat the new member is replacing. Each member whose term has expired shall serve until the qualification of a successor. A member, other than one serving a five-year term, may be reappointed for one additional consecutive term. A vacancy in the Board shall be filled through the procedures set forth in subsection (a).
(c) A member of the Board may be removed for cause for misfeasance, malfeasance or willful neglect of duty pursuant to reasonable notice to the member in question which shall include a statement of facts forming the basis for consideration of removal, unless such hearing is expressly waived by the member in question in writing. Removal for cause may be initiated by (i) any member of the city council and then confirmed by a two-thirds vote of the city council, or (ii) by two or more members of the Board and confirmed by a majority vote of the Board.
(d) The Board shall adopt by-laws, rules and regulations, which are consistent with the provision hereof or of any applicable statute or ordinance, for conducting its business and meetings and otherwise carrying out the purposes of this act. The by-laws and any amendments thereto shall be provided to the mayor and city council.
(e) Five members of the Board shall constitute a quorum and the affirmative vote of at least five members shall be necessary and shall suffice for any action taken by the Board including the adoption of by-laws, rules and regulations. The Board members shall annually in the month of April select a chairperson, vice-chairperson, and secretary, from among the membership who shall act as an executive committee.
(f) Members of the Board shall serve without compensation, but shall be allowed their reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as such members, subject to the approval of the executive committee of the Board.
(g) The Board shall annually determine the amount required for the payment of principal and interest on bonds and notes issued or to be renewed by the Authority which shall be due during the ensuing calendar year and shall also determine such other amounts as may be necessary to maintain and operate the Authority during such year, including capital outlay items the cost of which of which is not to be funded and for all other matters for which the Authority is required to raise money, and, after determining such payments and amounts, shall promptly prepare a report which shall be provided to the mayor. The Board shall retain an independent accounting firm to audit the financial records of the Authority each year. The results of that audit shall be included in the report submitted pursuant to subsection (h).
(h) The Board shall make a report each year of its activities, including complete financial statements, for the preceding year and, before February 1, shall submit a copy of the report to the state auditor and to the city council and mayor. Such report shall be made available to the public.
SECTION 5. The Board shall appoint and determine the compensation of an Authority director who shall be the chief executive officer of the Authority and shall administer the affairs and direct the work of the Authority as approved by the Board. The Board shall set forth the powers and duties of the director in its by-laws. The director may, upon approval of the Board or as otherwise provided in the Authority's by-laws, enter into agreements for professional construction services to be provided to the Authority by private contractors and may enter into project labor agreements with labor organizations for any such construction. The director shall be familiar with economic development and shall possess the education, training and experience appropriate for the position and such other qualifications as are determined by the Board.
SECTION 6. The Board shall appoint and may, at its pleasure, remove a treasurer, a clerk, and legal counsel who shall not be members of the Board. The treasurer shall give the Board a bond payable to the Authority issued by a surety company authorized to transact business within the commonwealth, and in an amount satisfactory to the Board. This bond shall be conditioned on the faithful performance of the duties of treasurer. The duties of the treasurer and the clerk shall be those usually pertaining to such offices and, in addition, such as may be from time to time prescribed by the Board. The Board may retain legal counsel for any and all appropriate purposes; provided, however, that no person or law firm may serve as legal counsel while said person or a partner, employee, or agent of said law firm serves as a member of the Board.
SECTION 7. The director, with the approval of the Board, shall from time to time appoint or employ such other persons as deemed necessary including but not limited to experts, consultants, agents, officers, clerks and other employees or independent contractors as deemed necessary and shall determine their duties. The salaries or compensation of all persons appointed or employed under authority of this section shall be determined by the Board and along with other expenses shall be paid by the Authority and shall be considered a cost of the operation and maintenance of the Authority. The Board shall establish a business office within the city, where day to day activities of the Authority shall be conducted, where plans, documents, records and other papers relating to its business, assets, and operations shall be located.
SECTION 8. Initial organization of the Board established under the provisions of section 4 shall take place within 180 days after the affirmative vote of the city council for the formation of the Authority. If the Board does not organize itself and form the Authority within 180 days, the action of the city council shall be null and void.
SECTION 9. The Authority shall possess independent authority to incur debt in the form of bonds or notes incurred in connection with a facility. This debt shall be considered the debt of the Authority, attributable to and incurred by the Authority in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, and on such additional terms and conditions as may be determined by the Authority. Nothing in this act shall be interpreted as giving rise to any liability, or other obligation on behalf of the city, the commonwealth or any agency or political subdivision of the commonwealth, exclusive of the Authority. The Authority, by vote of the Board, may issue, from time to time, general obligation serial bonds or notes to pay for the costs of capital outlays in connection with activities at real estate acquired by the Authority and in connection with the construction and operation of a facility and such other works as may be required. These shall include, but not be limited to, damages relating to land connected to a facility, and costs of demolition of existing structures on lands that may be acquired. The bonds shall be issued in amounts as the Authority, acting by and through the Board, may determine. The Authority may refund or repay any such bonds and notes to the extent allowed by applicable law. The serial bonds and notes may be callable with or without premium, shall contain terms and conditions, bear interest, and be saleable in the open market in amounts as determined by the Board.
Each issue of bonds and notes shall be payable in annual installments, the first of which shall be payable not later than two years after its date of issuance and the last of which shall be payable not more than 30 years after the date of issuance. If the Board votes to issue serial bonds or notes, they may authorize the issuance of general obligation temporary notes, in the name of the Authority, for a period of not more than two years in anticipation of the proceeds to be received from the sale of serial bonds or notes. The issuance of general obligation temporary notes shall not serve as a means by which bonds authorized by the Board may be delayed beyond the time fixed in the order authorizing such temporary bonds or notes.
For the purpose of paying the expenses of operations including, without limitation, any principal or interest due or about to become due on any serial bond or note issued by the Authority for which funds are not available, the Board in the name of the Authority may issue, from time to time, general obligation temporary notes of the Authority in anticipation of any revenues, gifts, grants or receipts from any public or private source. General obligation temporary notes in anticipation of any revenues, gifts, grants or receipts shall be payable not more than one year from their date of issue and shall not exceed in principal amount the amount of the reasonably known and measurable revenues, gifts, grants or receipts in anticipation of which they are issued. General obligation temporary notes issued under this section for a shorter period than the maximum permitted may be renewed by the issuance of other general obligation temporary notes maturing within the required period; provided, however, that the period from the date of issue of the original temporary note to the date of maturity of the renewal note shall not exceed the maximum period for which the original note may have been issued. Such temporary notes or renewal notes may be sold at discount or with interest payable at or before maturity. Notes or serial bonds authorized by this section shall be signed by the treasurer of the Board and countersigned by the chairperson of the Board and serial bonds and notes shall have the Authority's seal affixed. Section 16B of chapter 44 of the General Laws shall be applicable to such serial bonds and notes.
Bonds issued under this act shall be payable without the necessity of obtaining any other permission or approval therefor.
Bonds issued under this act shall be payable solely from the revenues and other assets of the Authority. All such bonds shall contain on the face thereof a statement to the effect that neither the full faith and credit nor the taxing power of the commonwealth or of any city or town is pledged to the payment of the principal of or interest on the bonds. Bonds issued under this act may be secured by a resolution or by a trust or security agreement between the Authority and a corporate trustee, which may be any trust company or bank having the powers of a trust company within or without the commonwealth, or by a trust or security agreement directly between the Authority and the purchasers of the bonds, and such resolution or trust or security agreement shall be in such form and executed in a manner as may be determined by the Authority. The trust, security agreement or resolution may pledge or assign, in whole or in part, the revenues from any facilities already existing or thereafter coming into existence and whether then held or thereafter acquired by the Authority, and the proceeds thereof. Such trust or security agreement or resolution may contain such provisions for protecting and enforcing the rights, security and remedies of the bondholders as may, in the discretion of the Authority, be reasonable and proper and not in violation of law. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, such agreement or resolution may include provisions defining defaults and providing for remedies in the event of default which may include the acceleration of maturities, and covenants setting forth the duties of, and limitations on the Authority in relation to the custody, safeguarding, investment and application of moneys, the issue of additional or refunding bonds, the fixing, revision and collection of fees, charges, and other revenues, the use of any surplus proceeds, the establishment of reserves, the construction and operation of a facility of the Authority, and the making and amending of contracts relating to the bonds. It shall be lawful for any bank or trust company to act as depository or trustee of the proceeds of bonds, revenues or other moneys under a trust or security agreement or resolution, and to furnish such indemnification or pledge such securities and issue such letters, lines of credit or other credit facilities as may be required by the Authority acting under this act. Any such trust or security agreement or resolution may set forth the rights and remedies of bondholders and of the trustee and may restrict the individual right of action by bondholders.
SECTION 10. Notwithstanding sections 44A to 44J, inclusive, of chapter 149 of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, the Authority may contract with one or more persons to design and to manage the construction of the multipurpose stadium, or to design and construct the same provided that the selection process by the Authority shall be in accordance with the applicable requirements of section 6 of chapter 30B of the General Laws and shall be governed by the relevant provisions of sections 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18 and 19 of said chapter 30B. This section applies only to the construction and management of said stadium and does not apply to the construction and management of any other facility.
SECTION 11. To meet the costs of design, construction, maintenance and operation of a facility authorized by this act, the Authority may file for and accept any federal and state funds, proceeds, loans, grants or financial assistance in whatever form, under any federal or state law or regulation. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the ability of the Authority to accept monetary gifts, grants or contributions from any public, private or charitable source. These shall include but not be limited to construction goods and building materials for a facility, volunteer services and any other in-kind donations directly related to a facility. All such private gifts, grants and contributions shall be recorded and held in a separate account from that holding public funds and be accounted for accordingly.
SECTION 12. The Authority, with the written consent of the property owner, may enter upon any land within the city of Pittsfield for the purposes of making engineering surveys, environmental site assessments, and any other generally accepted activities to determine site suitability for a facility. The Authority may, for the purpose of carrying out the intent of this act after a vote of the Board, and in the absence of a veto exercised by the city council, as provided in this section, purchase, lease or otherwise, temporarily occupy any lands, or take property by eminent domain under chapter 79 of the General Laws; provided, however, that the Authority shall not be authorized to acquire or take by eminent domain land currently subject to a conservation restriction, or land classified or protected under chapter 61, 61A or 61B of the General Laws.
On the day of the Authority's approval of an order of taking, the Authority shall mail notice of such action to the mayor and city council, the owner of the property, and others with an interest in the property. On or before the date which is 21 days after the date of the Authority's approval of the order of taking, the city council, upon petition of a member of the city council, and vote of a majority of its members, may vote to veto the Authority's order of taking; which shall have the effect of making such order of taking null and void. Notwithstanding section 3 of said chapter 79>, the Authority shall not record any order of taking until the passing of said 21 day period without a veto having been executed by the city council. If the Authority acquires any land under the powers granted in this section, and oil and hazardous material are present in amounts regulated under chapter 21E of the General Laws, the Authority shall be considered an eligible person as defined in said chapter 21E. The Authority is hereby authorized after a vote of the Board to acquire in the name and on behalf of the Authority, for the purposes of this act, private or public real or personal property rights above, at, or below the surface of the earth, which it deems necessary or desirable for a facility. This may be accomplished by purchase, gift, lease, bequest, devise, grant or the exercise of eminent domain under any law. Wherever possible and practicable, real property acquired under this act shall be acquired in fee simple. The Authority may, after a vote of the Board, sell, lease, exchange, physically alter, or otherwise dispose of property and property rights acquired under this act if in doing so the interest of the public will be best served and the land is no longer needed for the purposes of a facility; but in the event of such disposition, the Authority shall offer a right of first refusal to purchase to the previous owner of the property. Section 16 of chapter 30B of the General Laws shall not apply to the Authority in the conduct of activities permitted by this section. The Authority may acquire by purchase or by right of eminent domain any land, structures, water rights, easements, or real and personal property necessary or useful in the establishment, construction or maintenance of any part of a facility. The right of eminent domain, if exercised, shall be exercised by the Authority under chapter 79 of the General Laws except as otherwise provided in this section. Any contracts for acquisition by purchase shall be made by the Authority after a vote of the Board. The conveyance of any city owned land to the Authority shall occur only after a two-thirds vote in favor of such an action by the city council.
SECTION 13. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law or ordinance to the contrary, the Authority in furtherance of the purposes of this act may:
(1) maintain, operate, insure, promote, repair and improve a facility for such uses as are provided for in this act;
(2) establish rules, regulations and policies, and fix penalties for violation thereof, for the use and occupancy of a facility in accordance with the purposes provided for in this act, and revise the same from time to time. Penalties enforced or other damages recovered by judicial process or otherwise shall be collected and held in a revolving account for repayment of debt service on any bonds that have been issued, or for use in the operation and maintenance of a facility;
(3) assess, charge and collect fees, rates in rentals and other charges for admission to, or the use or occupancy of a facility or any part thereof, and for the grant of concessions therein and for the things furnished or services rendered by the Authority, whether a facility is operated directly by the Authority or under or through contract or lease with any other persons or entities. The Authority shall fix such fees, rates, rentals or other charges for admission to, or the use and occupancy of a facility under this act as in its reasonable judgment are best suited to insure maximum income to meet the expenses of the Authority as established in its annual budget as provided for in subsection (f) of section 4 and to provide such facility at reasonable cost. The Authority will have the ability to change and revise fees, rates in rental, and admission charges after notice has been given to the city council and the mayor at least 90 days before they become effective, and the Board has approved them by vote at least 45 days after such notice has been given. The fees, rates, rentals and other charges established and assessed by the Authority shall not be subject to supervision or regulation of any department, division, authority, board, bureau or agency of the commonwealth or of the city except as otherwise provided herein; and
(4) do all other things reasonable, necessary or advisable in connection with the fulfillment of the purposes of this act.
(b) Except as otherwise expressly provided in this act, all contracts made pursuant to this act shall be in accordance with section 29 of chapter 43 of the General Laws.
(c) Members of the Authority shall not be employees of the city, and chapter 31 of the General Laws shall not apply to any persons employed by the Authority.
SECTION 14. (a) The Authority may maintain and operate a facility or contract with any person or business entity, public or private, for the maintenance and operation of a facility, or any portion thereof. Any such contract shall not exceed a term of three years and shall be subject to the limitations and procedures established by section 29 of chapter 43 of the General Laws, and sections 26 to 27H, inclusive, of chapter 149 of the General Laws.
(b) Any such contract may provide for the management of advance reservations of a facility and shall be on such terms and conditions as the Authority acting by and through its Board shall deem proper. Contracts executed pursuant to this act shall be valid and binding on both parties thereto when executed by any such person and upon approval by a majority of the members of the Board. The Authority's power to execute contracts under this act may be delegated by the Board to the director for contracts in the amount of $200,000 or less, or for a term of no greater than two years.
SECTION 15. Any receipts from the operation of a facility shall be kept in a separate fund by the treasurer apart from any other money, funds, or other property of the Authority, and may be used subject to the approval of the Board for the purpose of managing, operating, promoting, maintaining, repairing and improving a facility and for the payment of bond and note indebtedness as provided in this act and for a capital reserve fund.
SECTION 16. (a) Notwithstanding any limitation on the number of licenses which may be issued under the provisions of section 17 of chapter 138 of the General Laws, the licensing authority of the city may issue to a person or entity operating a facility under a lease pursuant to clause (3) of subsection (a) of section 13 or who has been granted a concession, lease or other right of occupancy by the Authority for the sale of food and alcoholic beverages pursuant to said clause (3) or clause (4) of said subsection (a) of said section 13 a license or licenses as a common victualler to serve all alcoholic beverages to be drunk on the premises of a facility or any part thereof and section 16C of said chapter 138 shall not apply to such premises. The licensee shall not be required by said licensing board under the provisions of section 12 of said chapter 138 to have licensed premises open during any hours when there is no activity being conducted in a facility nor, unless otherwise authorized by the Authority, shall the licensee be permitted to serve food or alcoholic beverages to strangers, travelers or members of the general public who are not attending any activity then being conducted in such facility.
(b) Notwithstanding any general or special law or ordinance to the contrary, said licensing authority may issue to any person or persons operating a facility under a lease pursuant to clause (3) of subsection (a) of section 13 or who has been granted a concession by the Authority for the sale of food or beverages pursuant to clause (3) or clause (4) of said subsection (a) of said section 13 a common victualler's license for the premises of a facility or of any part thereof pursuant to section 2 of chapter 140 of the General Laws, and section 5 of said chapter 140 shall not apply to any license so issued.
(c) A license issued under this section shall not be transferable to any other person or location and such license shall be renewed annually subject to chapter 138 of the General Laws consistent with this act.
(d) A license issued under this section shall expire and be returned by the licensee to the Authority upon the termination of the licensee's lease or concession to carry out a permitted purpose under this act.
SECTION 17. This act shall take effect upon its passage.