Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 6499

Public Act No. 05-194

AN ACT CONCERNING CERTAIN PUBLIC INVESTMENT COMMUNITIES, DISTRESSED MUNICIPALITIES AND ENTERPRISE CORRIDOR ZONES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (b) of section 4-66g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2005):

(b) The proceeds of the sale of said bonds, to the extent of the amount stated in subsection (a) of this section, shall be used by the Office of Policy and Management for a Small Town Economic Assistance Program the purpose of which shall be to provide grants-in-aid to any municipality which (1) is not economically distressed within the meaning of subsection (b) of section 32-9p, does not have an urban center in any plan adopted by the General Assembly pursuant to section 16a-30 and is not a public investment community within the meaning of subdivision (9) of subsection (a) of section 7-545, and (2) has a population, as defined in subdivision (27) of section 10-262f, under thirty thousand. Such grants shall be used for purposes for which funds would be available under section 4-66c. No municipality may receive more than five hundred thousand dollars in any one fiscal year under said program. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection and section 4-66c, a municipality that is (1) a distressed municipality within the meaning of subsection (b) of section 32-9p or a public investment community within the meaning of subdivision (9) of subsection (a) of section 7-545, and (2) otherwise eligible under this subsection for the Small Town Economic Assistance Program may elect to be eligible for said program in lieu of being eligible for financial assistance under section 4-66c, by a vote of its legislative body or, in the case of a municipality in which the legislative body is a town meeting, its board of selectmen, and submitting a written notice of such vote to the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management. Any such election shall be for the four-year period following submission of such notice to the secretary and may be extended for additional four-year periods in accordance with the same procedure for the initial election.

Sec. 2. Section 32-80 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2005):

(a) As used in this section:

(1) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development.

(2) "Public investment communities" shall have the same meaning as "public investment communities", as defined in section 7-545.

(3) "Distressed municipality" shall have the same meaning as "distressed municipality", as defined in section 32-9p.

(4) "Eligible municipality" means a municipality that is a distressed municipality and a public investment community, has a population of not more than forty thousand, has an unemployment rate that is more than the unemployment rate of the state, and for which the per capita income is less than the per capita income of the state.

(5) "Unemployment rate" means the average unemployment rate of a municipality or the state, as the case may be, as reported by the Labor Commissioner on the preceding July first for the latest available twelve-month period.

(6) "Per capita income" means the average per capita income of a municipality or the state, as the case may be, that is enumerated in the most recent (A) federal decennial census of population, or (B) current population report series issued by the United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census available on the preceding January first, whichever is most recent.

(b) (1) [The] Before the effective date of this section, the legislative bodies of three or more contiguous municipalities, each of which is a public investment community and has a population of not more than sixty thousand, and at least fifty per cent of which municipalities are located along the same interstate highway, limited access state highway or intersecting interstate or limited access state highways, may, with the approval of the commissioner, designate industrial districts in such municipalities as an enterprise corridor zone. (2) On or after the effective date of this section, the legislative bodies of two or more contiguous eligible municipalities, at least one of which is located along an interstate highway, limited access state highway or intersecting interstate or limited access state highways and is designated as a regional center in the locational guide map included in the state plan of conservation and development adopted pursuant to chapter 297, may, with the approval of the commissioner, designate such municipalities as an enterprise corridor zone.

(c) Municipalities seeking the approval of the commissioner for such designation shall execute an intermunicipal agreement specifying how they would cooperatively share in the marketing, promotion and development of the industrial districts that would comprise the enterprise corridor zones, and shall file with the commissioner a preliminary application which includes such executed agreement. Not later than sixty days after receipt of such preliminary application, the commissioner shall indicate to the municipalities, in writing, any recommendations for improving the municipalities' application. Not later than sixty days after receipt of the commissioner's written response, the municipalities shall file a final application with the commissioner.

(d) The commissioner shall approve the designation of at least two areas as enterprise corridor zones. The commissioner may remove the designation of any area he has approved as an enterprise corridor zone if such area no longer meets the criteria for such designation, provided no such designation shall be removed less than ten years [from the date of approval of such zone] after the date that such area no longer meets such criteria.

(e) Businesses located within an enterprise corridor zone shall be entitled to the same benefits, subject to the same conditions, under the general statutes for which businesses located in an enterprise zone qualify.

(f) The commissioner may adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 to carry out the purposes of this section.

Approved July 1, 2005