Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 1331

January Session, 2005

 

LCO No. 4597

 

*04597_______FIN*

Referred to Committee on Finance, Revenue and Bonding

 

Introduced by:

 

(FIN)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING THE ORGANIZATION AND OPERATION OF SPECIAL TAXING DISTRICTS.

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

Section 1. Section 7-324 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2005):

(a) For the purposes of sections 7-324 to 7-329, inclusive, as amended by this act, (1) "district" means any fire district, sewer district, fire and sewer district, lighting district, village, beach or improvement association and any other district or association, except a school district, wholly within a town and having the power to make appropriations or to levy taxes; (2) "voters" means persons eligible to vote pursuant to section 7-6, except when the territorial limits of the district include one or more remediation projects, "voters" shall include holders of record of taxable interests in real property within such district; (3) "remediation project" shall have the same meaning as in subsection (ii) of section 32-23d; and (4) "qualified green building and sustainable design project" shall have the same meaning as in 26 USC 142.

(b) All districts established prior to May 29, 1957, under the provisions of the general statutes or by special act shall be continued; provided any such district may be dissolved or consolidated with the government of any town, city or borough of which it is a part in accordance with the provisions of the general statutes or may, by a two-thirds vote of those voters present at a district meeting, elect to be governed by the provisions of sections 7-324 to 7-329, inclusive, as amended by this act, in lieu of the provisions of any general or special act under which such district was established or operated. Notwithstanding any of the provisions of sections 7-324 to 7-329, inclusive, as amended by this act, a district established prior to May 29, 1957, and electing to be governed by said sections shall not be required to adopt the form of organization provided for in said sections but may continue its existing form of organization and nevertheless have and exercise the powers and duties granted to districts in said sections and in such event the officers of such district shall have and may exercise the powers and duties granted to district officers in said sections.

Sec. 2. Subsection (a) of section 7-325 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2005):

(a) Upon the petition of fifteen or more voters [, as defined by section 7-6,] of any town, specifying the limits of a proposed district for any or all of the purposes set forth in section 7-326, as amended by this act, the selectmen of such town shall call a meeting of the voters residing within, or owning taxable interests in real property within, such specified limits to act upon such petition, which meeting shall be held at such place within such town and such hour as the selectmen designate, within thirty days after such petition has been received by such selectmen. Such limits shall contain only contiguous property, except any proposed district which is proposed to be established only to plan, lay out, acquire, construct, reconstruct, repair, maintain, operate and regulate the use of a community water system or to construct and maintain drains and sewers or both and which does not exercise any of the other powers enumerated in section 7-326, as amended by this act, may contain noncontiguous properties if the properties proposed to be included are, or are to be, served by a common water or sewer main. Such meeting shall be called by publication of a written notice of the same, signed by the selectmen, at least fourteen days before the time fixed for such meeting in two successive issues of some newspaper published or circulated in such town. Not later than twenty-four hours before such meeting, (1) two hundred or more voters or ten per cent of the total number of voters, whichever is less, may petition the selectmen in writing for a referendum, or (2) the selectmen in their discretion may order a referendum, on the sole question of whether the proposed district should be established. Any such referendum shall be held not less than seven nor more than fourteen days after the receipt of such petition or the date of such order, on a day to be set by the selectmen for a vote by paper ballots or by a "yes" or "no" vote on the voting machines, during the hours between twelve o'clock noon and eight o'clock p.m.; except that any town may, by vote of its selectmen, provide for an earlier hour for opening the polls but not earlier than six o'clock a.m., notwithstanding the provisions of any special act to the contrary. If two-thirds of the voters casting votes in such referendum vote in favor of establishing the proposed district, the selectmen shall reconvene such meeting not later than seven days after the day on which the referendum is held. Upon approval of the petition for the proposed district by two-thirds of the voters present at such meeting, or if a referendum is held, upon the reconvening of such meeting after the referendum, the voters may name the district and, upon the vote of a majority of such voters, choose necessary officers therefor to hold office until the first annual meeting thereof; and the district shall, upon the filing of the first report required pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, thereupon be a body corporate and politic and have the powers, not inconsistent with the general statutes, in relation to the objects for which it was established, that are necessary for the accomplishment of such objects, including the power to lay and collect taxes. The clerk of such district shall cause its name and a description of its territorial limits and of any additions that may be made thereto to be recorded in the land records of each town in which such district is located.

Sec. 3. Section 7-325 of the general statutes is amended by adding subsections (e) and (f) as follows (Effective October 1, 2005):

(NEW) (e) Any tenant in common of any freehold interest in real property shall have a vote equal to the fraction of such tenant in common's ownership of such interest. Any joint tenant of any freehold interest in real property shall vote as if each such tenant owned an equal fractional share of such real property. A corporation shall have its vote cast by the chief executive officer of such corporation or such officer's designee. Any entity that is not a corporation shall have its vote cast by a person authorized by such entity to cast its vote. No owner shall have more than one vote.

(NEW) (f) No holder of record of a taxable interest in real property shall be precluded from participating in any district meeting or referendum because of the form of entity that holds such interest, whether such holder of record is (1) a corporation, partnership, unincorporated association, trustee, fiduciary, guardian, conservator or other form of entity, or any combination thereof, or (2) an individual who holds interests jointly or in common with another individual or individuals, or with any one or more of the foregoing.

Sec. 4. Section 7-326 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2005):

At such meeting, the voters may establish a district for any or all of the following purposes: To extinguish fires, to light streets, to plant and care for shade and ornamental trees, to construct and maintain roads, sidewalks, crosswalks, drains and sewers, to appoint and employ watchmen or police officers, to acquire, construct, maintain and regulate the use of recreational facilities, to plan, lay out, acquire, construct, reconstruct, repair, maintain, supervise and manage a flood or erosion control system, to plan, lay out, acquire, construct, maintain, operate and regulate the use of a community water system, to plan, lay out, acquire, construct, maintain, operate and regulate the use of a qualified green building and sustainable design project, to collect garbage, ashes and all other refuse matter in any portion of such district and provide for the disposal of such matter, to establish a zoning commission and a zoning board of appeals or a planning commission, or both, by adoption of chapter 124 or chapter 126, excluding section 8-29, or both chapters, as the case may be, which commissions or board shall be dissolved upon adoption by the town of subdivision or zoning regulations by the town planning or zoning commission; and to adopt building regulations, which regulations shall be superseded upon adoption by the town of building regulations. Any district may contract with a town, city, borough or other district for carrying out any of the purposes for which such district was established.

Sec. 5. Subsection (a) of section 7-327 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2005):

(a) (1) At the meeting called for the purpose of establishing a district, as provided in section 7-325, as amended by this act, the voters shall, by ordinance, fix the date of the annual meeting of the voters for the election of district officers and transaction of such other business as may properly come before such annual meeting. At the organization meeting of the district, the voters shall elect from their number a president, vice president, five directors, a clerk and a treasurer to serve until the first annual meeting for the election of officers and thereafter such officers shall be elected annually. Not fewer than fifteen voters of the district shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at the organization meeting of the district; and if fifteen voters are not present at such meeting, the selectmen may adjourn such meeting from time to time, until at least fifteen voters are present. Special meetings of the district may be called on the application of ten per cent of the total number of [persons qualified to vote in the meeting of a] voters of such district or twenty of the voters of such district, whichever is less, or by the president or any three directors upon giving notice as hereinafter provided. Any special meeting called on the application of the voters shall be held within twenty-one days after receiving such application. Notice of the holding of the annual meeting and all special meetings shall be given by publication of a notice of such meetings in a newspaper having a general circulation in such district at least ten days before the day of such meetings, signed by the president or any three directors, which notice shall designate the time and place of such meetings and the business to be transacted thereat. Two hundred or more persons or ten per cent of the total number of [persons qualified to vote in the meeting of a] voters of such district, whichever is less, may petition the clerk of such district, in writing, at least twenty-four hours prior to any such meeting, requesting that any item or items on the call of such meeting be submitted to the [persons qualified to vote in such meeting] voters not less than seven nor more than fourteen days thereafter, on a day to be set by the district meeting or, if the district meeting does not set a date, by the board of directors, for a vote by paper ballots or by a "yes" or "no" vote on the voting machines, during the hours between twelve o'clock noon and eight o'clock p.m., except that any district may, by vote of its board of directors, provide for an earlier hour for opening the polls but not earlier than six o'clock a.m. The paper ballots or voting machine ballot labels, as the case may be, shall be provided by the clerk. When such a petition has been filed with the clerk, the president, after completion of other business and after reasonable discussion shall adjourn such meeting and order such vote on such item or items in accordance with the petition; and any item so voted may be rescinded in the same manner. The clerk shall phrase such item or items in a form suitable for printing on such paper ballots or ballot labels. Not fewer than fifteen voters of the district shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of the district; and if fifteen voters are not present at such meeting, the president of the district or, in his absence, the vice president may adjourn such meeting from time to time, until at least fifteen voters are present; and all meetings of the district where a quorum is present may be adjourned from time to time by a vote of a majority of the voters voting on the question. At any annual or special meeting, the voters may, by a majority vote of those present, discontinue any purposes for which the district is established or undertake any additional purpose or purposes enumerated in section 7-326, as amended by this act.

(2) When the territorial limits of the district include one or more remediation projects, the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection shall apply, except: (A) A quorum for the transaction of business at the organization meeting of such district shall be either fifteen voters of such district or a majority of the holders of record of taxable interests in real property within such district, as long as the assessments of such holders of record constitute more than one-half of the total of assessments for all taxable interests in real property within such district. If fifteen voters or a majority of the holders of record of taxable interests in real property within such district are not present at such meeting or the assessments of such holders of record constitute less than one-half of the total of assessments for all taxable interests in real property within such district, the selectmen may adjourn such meeting, from time to time, until at least fifteen voters or a majority of the holders of record of taxable interests in real property within such district are present and the assessments of such holders of record constitute more than one-half of the total of assessments for all taxable interests in real property within such district; and (B) for the transaction of business at any meeting of such district, a quorum shall be either fifteen voters of the district or a majority of the holders of record of taxable interests in real property within such district, as long as the assessments for such holder of record constitute more than one-half of the total of assessments for all taxable interests in real property within such district. If fifteen voters or a majority of the holders of record of taxable interests in real property within such district are not present at such meeting or the assessments of such holders of record constitute less than one-half of the total of assessments for all taxable interests in real property within such district, the president of the district or, in such president's absence, the vice president may adjourn such meeting, from time to time, until at least fifteen voters or a majority of the holders of record of taxable interests in real property within such district are present and the assessments of such holders of record constitute more than one-half of the total of assessments for all taxable interests in real property within such district.

Sec. 6. Section 7-327a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2005):

In any case in which an action for a vote by the voters of a district is to be initiated by the petition of such voters, in addition to such other requirements as the general statutes or any special act may impose, such petition shall be on a form prescribed or approved by the clerk of such district, and each page of such petition shall contain a statement, signed under penalties of false statement, by the person who circulated the same, setting forth such circulator's name and address, and stating that each person whose name appears on said page signed the same in person in the presence of such circulator, that the circulator either knows each such signer or that the signer satisfactorily identified himself to the circulator and that all the signatures on said page were obtained not earlier than six months prior to the filing of said petition. Any page of a petition which does not contain such a statement by the circulator shall be invalid. Any circulator who makes a false statement in the statement hereinbefore provided shall be subject to the penalty provided for false statement. No petition shall be valid for any action for a vote by the voters at any regular or special district meeting unless such petition shall be circulated by a [person resident] voter or a person residing or eligible to vote in such district.

Sec. 7. Section 7-329 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2005):

Whenever the officers of such district vote to terminate its corporate existence and whenever a petition signed by ten per cent of the total [number of persons qualified to vote in the meeting] voters of such district or twenty of the voters of such district, whichever is less, applying for a special meeting to vote on the termination of the district is received by the clerk, the clerk shall call a special meeting of the voters residing or owning taxable interests in real property within such district, the notice of which shall be signed by the officers thereof, by advertising the same in the same manner as is provided in section 7-325, as amended by this act. Not later than twenty-four hours before any such meeting, two hundred or more voters or ten per cent of the total number of voters, whichever is less, may petition the clerk of the district, in writing, that a referendum on the question of whether the district should be terminated be held in the manner provided in section 7-327, as amended by this act. If, at such meeting, a two-thirds majority of the voters present vote to terminate the corporate existence of the district, or, if a referendum is held, two-thirds of the voters casting votes in such referendum vote to terminate the corporate existence of the district, the officers shall proceed to terminate the affairs of such district. The district shall pay all outstanding indebtedness and turn over the balance of the assets of such district to the town in which the district is located, if the legislative body of the town authorizes such action. No district shall be terminated under this section until all of its outstanding indebtedness is paid unless the legislative body of the town in which the district is located agrees in writing to assume such indebtedness. On completion of the duties of the officers of such district, the clerk shall cause a certificate of the vote of such meeting to be recorded in the land records of the town in which the district is located and the clerk shall notify the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management.

Sec. 8. (Effective October 1, 2005) (a) Upon the filing of the first report and the recording on the land records required by subsection (c) of this section, there shall be declared to exist within the town of East Lyme, the County of New London and the state of Connecticut, the Darrow Pond Infrastructure Improvement District, a body politic and corporate, hereinafter referred to as the "district", and deemed to be created pursuant to section 7-325 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, consisting of the parcel of land shown on a map entitled "Map Showing Parcels A B & C located on Mostowy Road East Lyme Connecticut", and bounded and described by J. Robert Pfanner & Associates, P.C..

(b) The purpose of the district shall be to enhance its community development for the benefit of its residents, property owners, tenants and their employees and the citizens of the town of East Lyme by acquiring, laying, constructing, maintaining, improving and operating storm drainage systems, sewers, water systems, roads, bridges, culverts, tunnels, streets, sidewalks, lighting, parking, including garages, parks and recreational facilities, open space in the district and in the town of East Lyme, fiber optic and telecommunication systems and other utility and infrastructure improvements including environmental mitigation, all as herein referred to as the "improvements", whether located within the district or outside the district. It is hereby found and declared that said purposes are public purposes and that the district will be performing an essential government function in the exercise of its powers under this section.

(c) (1) A board of directors, hereinafter referred to as the "board", consisting of five members, shall exercise the powers conferred by this section. The board shall not be subject to the supervision of the town of East Lyme or any board, department, commission or agency of the town of East Lyme or of the state of Connecticut except to the extent and in the manner provided in this section. The members of the board initially shall be appointed by the first selectman of the town of East Lyme, four members on the recommendation of the initial property owner or owners of the district. After the town of East Lyme has approved the number of residential units which may be created in the district and following the conveyance of at least thirty-three per cent of such residential units, the board shall call a meeting of the voters of the district to elect from their number a member of the board to be appointed by the first selectman to fill the vacancy of a member whose term will expire on the next succeeding June thirtieth. Following the conveyance of at least seventy per cent of the residential units which may be created in the district, the board shall call a meeting of the voters of the district to elect from their number a member of the board to be appointed by the first selectman to fill the vacancy of a member whose term will expire on the next succeeding June thirtieth so that two members of the board will then have been elected by the voters. Thereafter, after the initial property owner or owners have informed the first selectman, in writing, that they will no longer make recommendations as to the members of the board or the conveyance of ninety per cent of the residential units which may be created in the district, whichever occurs first, the members of the board shall be elected at the annual meeting of the voters of the district by the voters of the district from their number in accordance with the bylaws of the district and the provisions of subsection (a) of section 7-327 and section 7-327a of the general statutes, as amended by this act, shall apply to the calling of and conduct of meetings and referenda of the district. For purposes of this section, "voter" means any citizen of the United States of the age of eighteen years or older, who, jointly or severally, is liable to the district for taxes assessed against such voter's real property of not less than one thousand dollars on the last completed grand list of the district.

(2) Of the members first appointed, two members shall serve for a term expiring on June thirtieth in the year following the appointment, two members shall serve for a term expiring on June thirtieth in the second year following the appointment, and one member shall serve for a term expiring on June thirtieth in the third year following the appointment. Thereafter, successors shall be appointed or elected for a three-year term, or in the case of a vacancy, the first selectman shall appoint a member to fill a vacancy, for the unexpired term. Any member may be eligible for reappointment. Three members of the board shall constitute a quorum and the affirmative vote of three members shall be necessary to exercise any of the powers enumerated in section 4 of this act. No vacancy in the membership of the board shall impair the right of a quorum to exercise the powers of the board. Any action by the board shall take effect immediately unless otherwise provided and need not be published or posted.

(3) The initial meeting of the board shall be not later than thirty days following the appointment of the initial board. At the initial meeting, the board shall adopt bylaws, fix the date for the annual meeting and elect from its members a president, vice-president, treasurer and clerk all of whom shall serve for like terms. The duties and responsibilities of the district officers shall be as provided in subsection (b) of section 7-327 of the general statutes, and in the bylaws.

(4) Following the initial meeting of the board, the clerk of the district shall file its first report with the town clerk and cause the district's name and a description of the territorial limits of the district to be recorded on the land records.

(d) The territorial limits of the district shall constitute a special taxing district and shall have all the powers and obligations granted to districts organized under section 7-325 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, including the power to lay and collect taxes and the powers and obligations granted under this section. Notwithstanding the provisions of any statute, special act, local law or charter, the board, acting for and on behalf of the district, shall have all the rights and powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes of this section, including, but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the following rights and powers to:

(1) Adopt bylaws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business, to promulgate rules, regulations and procedures in connection with the performance of its functions and duties, and consistent with the powers conferred by this section and with other applicable provisions of the general statutes;

(2) Adopt an official seal and alter the same at its pleasure;

(3) Apply for, receive, accept, administer, expend and comply with the conditions, obligations and requirements respecting any grant or gift, including any grant or gift from agencies of federal, state or local government, donation or appropriation of any property or money in aid of the purposes of the district and to accept contributions of money, property, labor or other things of value;

(4) Acquire by purchase, lease, lease-purchase, sale and lease-back, gift or devise, and to obtain options for the acquisition of, any property, real or personal, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein, in the exercise of its powers and the performance of its duties, provided the district may only acquire real estate or any interest therein pursuant to this subsection, within the boundaries of the district, except that the district may acquire real estate or any interest therein outside the boundaries of the district if such acquisition is necessary or convenient in the judgment of the board for the acquisition, construction, maintenance and operation of the improvements within the district;

(5) Sell, lease, mortgage, exchange, transfer or otherwise dispose of, or to grant options for any such purposes with respect to, any property, real or personal, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein;

(6) Construct, improve, extend, equip, enlarge, rehabilitate, maintain and repair the improvements within and for the benefit of the district; to acquire existing or construct the improvements under or over any roads, public ways or parking areas, and to enter upon any private land within the district for the purposes of making surveys, borings, soundings or examinations thereof, designing and laying out the improvements and maintaining and repairing the same. All applicable general statutes protecting public health, welfare and safety shall be applicable;

(7) Grant, pledge or assign any money, fees, charges, receipts, taxes or other revenues of the district and any proceeds derived by the district;

(8) Borrow money and incur indebtedness and issue bonds or notes and pledge the credit of the district for such general or special purposes and to the extent as is authorized by this section;

(9) Enter into contracts, including, but not limited to, contracts with the town of East Lyme, the state of Connecticut, cities, towns or other political subdivisions, nonprofit and for profit corporations and private and public utilities and be contracted with, in all matters necessary, convenient or desirable for carrying out the purposes of this section including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the acquisition of existing improvements, including utilities, open space or infrastructure outside the district but benefiting the district or the town of East Lyme, collection of revenue, and other matters of management, administration and operation; to make other contracts of every name and nature; and to authenticate, execute and deliver all instruments necessary or convenient for carrying out any of its purposes;

(10) Sue and be sued and institute, prosecute, maintain and defend any action or proceeding in any court of competent jurisdiction all as permitted or provided for pursuant to the general statutes or Connecticut law applicable to municipalities;

(11) Invest any funds not required for the immediate use of the district in the manner and to the extent permitted under the general statutes for the investment of such funds by the treasurer of a town or district;

(12) Employ assistants, agents, employees and persons, including legal counsel, financial advisors, and other consultants and experts considered necessary or convenient in the board's judgment, and to define their duties and fix their compensation;

(13) Establish and maintain a budget system;

(14) Assess, levy and collect taxes for general or special purposes on all property which may be lawfully taxed by a district organized pursuant to section 7-325 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and as provided in this section, and regulate the mode of assessment and collection of taxes and assessments not otherwise provided for in amounts necessary to carry out the purposes for which the district is formed as described in this section;

(15) Assess, levy and collect benefit assessments upon the land and buildings in the district which, in its judgment, is benefited by the improvements;

(16) Make appropriations for the purposes provided for in this section and to pay its debts; and

(17) Do all things necessary, convenient or desirable for carrying out the purposes of this section or the powers expressly granted or necessarily implied in this section.

(e) (1) The district may fix, revise, charge, collect, abate and forgive reasonable taxes, fees, rents and benefit assessments, and other charges for the cost of the improvements, financing costs, operating expenses and other services and commodities furnished or supplied to the real property in the district in accordance with the applicable provisions of the general statutes which apply to districts established under section 7-325 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and this section and in the manner prescribed by the district, provided if such general statutes require a vote of the voters of the district, the board shall act as such voters until the board is entirely elected by the voters of the district. Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, the district may pay the entire cost of any improvements, including the costs of financing such improvements, capitalized interest and the funding of any reserve funds necessary to secure such financing or the debt service of bonds or notes issued to finance such costs, from taxes, fees, rents, benefit assessments or other revenues and may assess, levy and collect said taxes, fees, rents or benefit assessments concurrently with the issuance of bonds, notes or other obligations to finance such improvements based on the estimated cost of the improvements or the completion or acquisition of the improvements. The board may establish and determine the circumstances under which the taxes, fees, rents, benefit assessments and other charges, may be increased, if at all, as a consequence of delinquency or default by the owner of that parcel or any other parcel within the district.

(2) The assessor or assessors of the town of East Lyme shall separate the property within the district from the other property in the town and shall annually furnish the clerk of the district with a copy of the grand list of all property in the district after it has been completed by the board of assessment appeals of the town. If the legislative body of the town elects, pursuant to section 12-62a or 12-62c of the general statutes, to defer all or any part of the amount of the increase in the assessed value of real property in the year a revaluation becomes effective and in any succeeding year in which such deferment is allowed, the grand list furnished to the clerk of the district for each such year shall reflect assessments based upon such deferment. When the district has fixed the tax rate, the clerk shall prepare a rate bill, apportioning to each owner of property such owner's proportionate share of the taxes, which rate bill, when prepared, shall be delivered to the treasurer; and the district and the treasurer of said district shall have the same power as towns and collectors of taxes to collect and enforce payment of such taxes, and such taxes when laid shall be a lien upon the property in the same manner as town taxes. The assessor or board of assessment appeals shall promptly forward to the clerk of the district any certificate of correction or notice of any other lawful change to the grand list of the district. The district clerk shall, not later than ten days after receipt of any such certificate or notice, forward a copy thereof to the treasurer, and the assessment of the property for which such certificate or notice was issued and the rate bill relating thereto shall be corrected accordingly.

(3) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, whenever the district constructs, improves, extends, equips, rehabilitates, repairs, acquires or provides a grant for any improvements or finances, the cost of such improvements, such proportion of the cost or estimated cost of the improvements and financing thereof as determined by the district, may be assessed by the district, herein referred to as "benefit assessments", in the manner prescribed by such district, upon the property benefited by such improvements and the balance of such costs shall be paid from the general funds of the district. The district may provide for the payment of such benefit assessments in annual installments, not exceeding thirty and may forgive such benefit assessments in any single year without causing the remainder of installments of benefit assessments to be forgiven. Benefit assessments to buildings or structures constructed or expanded after the initial benefit assessment may be assessed as if the new or expanded buildings or structures had existed at the time of the original benefit assessment. It is hereby determined that the provision of open space whether within the district or in the town of East Lyme is a benefit to all the property in the district.

(4) In order to provide for the collection and enforcement of its taxes, fees, rents, benefit assessments and other charges, the district is hereby granted all the powers and privileges with respect thereto as districts organized pursuant to section 7-325 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and as held by the town of East Lyme or as otherwise provided in this section. Such taxes, fees, rents or benefit assessments, if not paid when due, shall constitute a lien upon the premises served and a charge against the owners thereof, which lien and charge shall bear interest at the same rate as delinquent property taxes. Each such lien may be continued, recorded and released in the manner provided for property tax liens and shall take precedence over all other liens or encumbrances except a lien for taxes of the town of East Lyme. Each such lien may be continued, recorded and released in the manner provided for property tax liens.

(5) All moneys received by the board on behalf of the district shall be paid to the treasurer. After such time as the board is entirely elected by the voters of the district, no contract or obligation which involves an expenditure in the amount of (A) ten thousand dollars or more where the grand list is less than or equal to twenty million dollars, or (B) twenty thousand dollars or more where the grand list is greater than twenty million dollars, in any one year shall be made by the board, unless the same is specially authorized by a vote of the district.

(6) The budget, taxes, fees, rents, benefit assessments and any other charges of the district of general application shall be adopted and revised by the board at least annually no more than thirty days before the beginning of the fiscal year in accordance with the procedures to be established by the board and at a meeting called by the board assuring that interested persons are afforded notice and an opportunity to be heard. The board shall hold at least one public hearing on its schedule of fees, rates, rents, benefit assessments and other charges or any revision thereof before adoption, notice of which shall be delivered to the first selectman of the town of East Lyme and be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the town of East Lyme at least ten days in advance of the hearing. No later than the date of the publication, the board shall make available to the public and deliver to the first selectman of the town of East Lyme the proposed schedule of fees, rates, rents, benefit assessments and other charges. The procedures regarding public hearing and appeal provided by section 7-250 of the general statutes, shall apply for all benefit assessments made by the district except that the board shall be substituted for the water pollution control authority. Should the benefit assessments be assessed and levied prior to the acquisition or construction of the improvements, then the amount of the benefit assessments shall be adjusted to reflect the actual cost of the improvements including all financing costs once the improvements have been completed should the actual cost be greater than or less than the estimated costs. Benefit assessments shall be due and payable at such times as is fixed by the board, provided the district shall give notice of such due date not less than thirty days prior to such due date by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the town of East Lyme and by mailing such notice to the owners of the property assessed at their last-known address.

(7) The taxes, fees, rents, benefit assessments and other charges established by the board in accordance with this section shall be fixed and adjusted with respect to the aggregate thereof, so as to provide revenues at least sufficient (A) to pay the current expenses of the district, (B) to pay the principal of premium, if any, and interest on bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness issued by the district under this section as the same becomes due and payable, (C) to create and maintain such reasonable reserves as may be reasonably required by any trust agreement or resolution securing bonds, (D) to provide funds for paying the cost of necessary repairs, replacements and renewals of the improvements and the infrastructure system or systems of the district; and (E) to pay or provide for any amounts that the board may be obligated to pay or provide for by law or contract, including any resolution or contract with or for the benefit of the holders of its bonds and notes.

(f) (1) Whenever the district has authorized the acquisition or construction of the improvements or has made an appropriation therefore, the district may authorize the issuance of up to thirty million dollars of bonds, notes or other obligations to finance the cost of the improvements, the creation and maintenance of reserves required to sell the bonds, notes or obligations and the cost of issuance of the bonds, notes or obligations. The bonds, notes or other obligations may be secured as to both principal or interest by (A) the full faith and credit of the district, (B) fees, revenues or benefit assessments, or (C) a combination of subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this subdivision. Such bonds, notes or obligations shall be authorized by resolution of the board. The district is authorized to secure such bonds by the full faith and credit of the district or by a pledge of or lien on all or part of its revenues, fees or benefit assessments. The bonds of each issue shall be dated, shall bear interest at the rates and shall mature at the time or times not exceeding thirty years from their date or dates, as determined by the board, and may be redeemable before maturity, at the option of the board, at the price or prices and under the terms and conditions fixed by the board before the issuance of the bonds. The board shall determine the form of the bonds, and the manner of execution of the bonds, and shall fix the denomination of the bonds and the place or places of payment of principal and interest, which may be at any bank or trust company within the state of Connecticut and other locations as designated by the board. In case any officer whose signature or a facsimile of whose signature shall appear on any bonds or coupons shall cease to be an officer before the delivery of the bonds, the signature or facsimile shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes the same as if the officer had remained in office until the delivery. The bonds shall be issued in registered form. The district may sell the bonds in a manner and for a price, either at public or private sale, as it may determine to be for the best interests of the district.

(2) The board is hereby authorized and may provide by resolution for the issuance of refunding bonds of the district for the purpose of refunding any bonds then outstanding and issued under the provisions of this section, including the payment of any redemption premium thereon on any interest accrued or to accrue to the date of redemption of the bonds and the cost of issuance of such bonds.

(3) While any bonds or notes issued by the district remain outstanding, the powers, duties or existence of the district shall not be diminished or impaired in any way that will affect adversely the interests and rights of the holders of the bonds or notes. Bonds or notes issued under this section, unless otherwise authorized by law, shall not be considered to constitute a debt of the state of Connecticut or the town of East Lyme, or a pledge of the faith and credit of the state of Connecticut or of the town of East Lyme, but the bonds or notes shall be payable solely by the district or as special obligations payable from particular district revenues. Any bonds or notes issued by the district shall contain on their face a statement to the effect that neither the state of Connecticut nor the town of East Lyme shall be obliged to pay the principal of or the interest thereon, and that neither the faith and credit nor taxing power of the state of Connecticut or of the town of East Lyme is pledged to the payment of the bonds or notes. All bonds or notes issued under this section shall have and are hereby declared to have all the qualities and incidents of negotiable instruments, as defined in section 42a-3-104 of the general statutes.

(g) (1) The board may authorize that the bonds be secured by a trust agreement by and between the district and a corporate trustee, which may be any trust company or bank having the powers of a trust company within the state of Connecticut. The trust agreement may pledge or assign the revenues. Either the resolution providing for the issuance of bonds or the trust agreement may contain provisions for protecting and enforcing the rights and remedies of the bondholders as may be reasonable and proper and not in violation of law, including without limiting the generality of the foregoing provisions defining defaults and providing for remedies in the event thereof, which may include the acceleration of maturities, and covenants setting forth the duties of and limitations on the district in relation to the acquisition, construction, improvement, enlargement, alteration, equipping, furnishing, maintenance, operation, rehabilitation, demolition, repair, insurance and disposition of property, the custody, safeguarding, investment and application of moneys, the use of any surplus bond or note proceeds and the establishment of reserves. The resolution or trust agreement may also contain covenants by the board in relation to, among other things: (A) The establishment, revision and collection of fees, rates, assessments, rents and charges for services of facilities furnished or supplied by the district as shall provide revenues sufficient with other revenues of the district, if any, to pay (i) the cost of maintaining, repairing and operating the district utilities and infrastructure and of making renewals and replacements in connection therewith, (ii) the principal of and the interest on the bonds or notes as the same shall become due and payable, (iii) payments in lieu of taxes and benefit assessments, and (iv) reserves; (B) the purpose for which the proceeds of the sale of the bonds or notes will be applied and the use and disposition thereof; (C) the use and disposition of the gross revenues of the district from the district utilities and infrastructure, any additions thereto and extensions and improvements thereof, including the creation and maintenance of funds for working capital and for renewals and replacements to the district utilities and infrastructure; (D) the amount, if any, of additional bonds or notes payable from the revenues of the district and the limitations, terms and conditions on which the additional bonds or notes may be issued; and (E) the operation, maintenance, management, accounting and auditing of the utilities and district infrastructure and of the income and revenues of the district.

(2) It shall be lawful for any bank or trust company incorporated under the laws of the state of Connecticut to act as depository of the proceeds of the bonds or of revenues, and to furnish such indemnifying bonds or to pledge securities as required by the board. The trust agreement may set forth the rights and remedies of the bondholders and of the trustees, and may restrict the individual right of action by bondholders as is customary in trust agreements or trust indentures securing bonds and debentures. In addition to the foregoing, the trust agreement may contain other provisions, as the board considers reasonable and proper for the security of the bondholders. All expenses incurred in carrying out the trust agreement may be treated as a part of the cost of the operation of the district. The pledge by any trust agreement or resolution shall be valid and binding from time to time when the pledge is made; the revenues or other moneys so pledged and then held or thereafter received by the board shall immediately be subject to the lien of the pledge without any physical delivery thereof or further act; and the lien of the pledge shall be valid and binding as against all parties having claims of any kind in tort, contract or otherwise against the board, irrespective of whether the parties have notice thereof. Notwithstanding any provision of the Uniform Commercial Code, neither this subsection, the resolution nor any trust agreement by which a pledge is created need be filed or recorded except in the records of the board, and no filing need be made under section 42a-3-106 of the general statutes.

(h) The board is hereby authorized and may provide by resolution for the issuance from time to time, of notes of the district in anticipation of grants for the cost of the improvements or in anticipation of bonds to be issued pursuant to this section. The notes shall be authorized, issued, sold and secured in the same manner as bonds, and shall otherwise be subject to this section. The notes shall mature at the time or times as provided by the resolution of the board and may be renewed from time to time; but the notes and renewals thereof shall mature on or before five years from their date of issuance.

(i) In addition to other security provided in this subsection, or otherwise by law, bonds, notes or obligations issued by the district under this section may be secured, in whole or in part, by a letter of credit, bond insurance policy, liquidity facility or other credit facility for the purpose of providing funds for payments in respect of bonds, notes or other obligations required by the holder thereof to be redeemed or repurchased prior to maturity or for providing additional security for the bonds, notes or other obligations. In connection therewith, the district may enter into reimbursement agreements, remarketing agreements, standby bond purchase agreements and any other necessary or appropriate agreements. The board may pledge or assign any of its revenues as security for the reimbursement by the district to the issuers or providers of the letters of credit, bond insurance policies, liquidity facilities or other credit facilities of any payments made under the letters of credit, bond insurance policies, liquidity facilities or other credit facilities.

(j) The district shall have the power out of any funds available therefor to purchase its bonds or notes. The district may hold, pledge, cancel or resell the bonds or notes, subject to and in accordance with agreements with bondholders.

(k) All moneys received pursuant to this section, whether as proceeds from the issue of bonds or notes, or as revenue or otherwise, shall be considered trust funds to be held and applied solely as provided in this section.

(l) Bonds or notes issued under this section are hereby made securities in which all public officers and public bodies of the state of Connecticut and its political subdivisions, all insurance companies, trust companies, banking associations, investment companies, executors, administrators, trustees and other fiduciaries may properly and legally invest funds, including capital in their control and belonging to them; and such bonds shall be securities which may properly and legally be deposited with and received by any state or municipal officer or any agency or political subdivision of the state of Connecticut for any purpose for which the deposit of bonds or notes of the state of Connecticut is now or may hereafter be authorized by law.

(m) Any holder of bonds or notes issued under this section, and a trustee, except to the extent the rights herein given may be restricted by the trust agreement, may, either at law or in equity, by suit, action, mandamus or other proceeding, protect and enforce all rights under the laws of the state of Connecticut or granted hereunder or under the trust agreement, and may enforce and compel the performance of all duties required by this section or by the trust agreement, to be performed by the district or by any officer thereof.

(n) Bonds or notes may be issued under this section without obtaining the consent of any department, division, commission, board, bureau or agency of the state of Connecticut or the town of East Lyme, and without any proceedings or the happening of any other conditions or things than those proceedings, conditions or things that are specifically required thereof by this section, and the validity of and security for any bonds or notes issued by the district shall not be affected by the existence or nonexistence of the consent or other proceeding conditions, or things.

(o) The district and all its receipts, revenues, income and real and personal property shall be exempt from taxation and benefit assessments and the district shall not be required to pay any tax, excise or assessment to or from the state of Connecticut or any of its political subdivisions. The principal and interest on bonds or notes issued by the district shall be free from taxation at all times, except for estate and gift, franchise and excise taxes, imposed by the state of Connecticut or any political subdivision thereof, provided nothing in this section shall act to limit or restrict the ability of the state of Connecticut or the town of East Lyme to tax the individuals and companies, or their real or personal property or any person living or business operating within the boundaries of the district.

(p) The board shall at all times keep accounts of its receipts, expenditures, disbursements, assets and liabilities, which shall be open to inspection by a duly appointed officer or duly appointed agent or the state of Connecticut or the town of East Lyme. The fiscal year of the district shall begin on July first and end on the following June thirtieth or as otherwise established by section 7-327 of the general statutes, as amended by this act. The district shall be subject to an audit of its accounts in the manner provided in the general statutes.

(q) The district may make representations and agreements for the benefit of the holders of the district's bonds and notes or other obligations to provide secondary market disclosure information. The board or an officer authorized by the board may make the representations and agreements on behalf of the district or may delegate the authority to any other officer or employee of the district. The agreement may include (1) covenants to provide secondary market disclosure information, (2) arrangements for such information to be provided with the assistance of a paying agent, trustee, dissemination or other agent, and (3) remedies for breach of such agreements, which remedies may be limited to specific performance.

(r) (1) This section shall be deemed to provide an additional, alternative and complete method of accomplishing the purposes of this section and exercising the powers authorized hereby and shall be deemed and construed to be supplemental and additional to, and not in derogation of, powers conferred upon the board by law and particularly by sections 7-324 to 7-329, inclusive, of the general statutes, as amended by this act, provided insofar as the proceedings of this section are inconsistent with any general statutes or special act, administrative order or regulation, or any resolution or ordinance of the town of East Lyme, this section shall be controlling. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, no resolution or ordinance of the town of East Lyme requiring ratification by the board of selectmen or the voters of the town of East Lyme of certain bond issues shall apply to the issuance of bonds or notes of the district pursuant to this section.

(2) Except as specifically provided in this section, all other statutes, ordinances, resolutions, rules and regulations of the state of Connecticut and the town of East Lyme shall be applicable to the property, residents and businesses located in the district. Nothing in this section shall in any way obligate the town of East Lyme to pay any costs for the acquisition, construction, equipping or operation and administration of the improvements located within the district except as may be agreed to in any intermunicipal agreements executed by the town of East Lyme and the district.

(s) At the option of the town of East Lyme by vote of the board of selectmen, the district shall be merged into the town of East Lyme after the bonds, notes or other obligations authorized by this section are no longer outstanding and any property which is owned by the district shall be distributed to the town of East Lyme.

(t) This section being necessary for the welfare of the town of East Lyme and its inhabitants shall be liberally construed to affect the purposes hereof.

Sec. 9. (Effective October 1, 2005) (a) Upon the filing of the first report and the recording on the land records required by subsection (c) of this section, there shall be declared to exist within the town of New Milford, the County of Litchfield and the state of Connecticut, the Dunham Farm Infrastructure Improvement District, a body politic and corporate, hereinafter referred to as the "district", and deemed to be created pursuant to section 7-325 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, consisting of the parcel of land of 163.848 acres, 7,137,200 square feet, more or less as shown and designated on a certain map entitled "Map Prepared for Carl M. Dunham, Jr., Candlewood Mountain Road, New Milford, Connecticut May 4, 2004, 1"=200'" and bounded and described by C. James Osborne, Jr., L.S.

(b) The purpose of the district shall be to enhance its community development for the benefit of its residents, property owners, tenants and their employees and the citizens of the town of New Milford by acquiring, laying, constructing, maintaining, improving and operating storm drainage systems, sewers, water systems, roads, bridges, culverts, tunnels, streets, sidewalks, lighting, parking, including garages, parks and recreational facilities, open space in the district and in the town of New Milford, fiber optic and telecommunication systems and other utility and infrastructure improvements including environmental mitigation, all as herein referred to as the "improvements", whether located within the district or outside the district. It is hereby found and declared that said purposes are public purposes and that the district will be performing an essential government function in the exercise of its powers under this section.

(c) (1) A board of directors, hereinafter referred to as the "board", consisting of five members, shall exercise the powers conferred by this section. The board shall not be subject to the supervision of the town of New Milford or any board, department, commission or agency of the town of New Milford or of the state of Connecticut except to the extent and in the manner provided in this section. The members of the board initially shall be appointed by the mayor of the town of New Milford, four members on the recommendation of the initial property owner or owners of the district. After the town of New Milford has approved the number of residential units which may be created in the district and following the conveyance of at least thirty-three per cent of such residential units, the board shall call a meeting of the voters of the district to elect from their number a member of the board to be appointed by the mayor to fill the vacancy of a member whose term will expire on the next succeeding June thirtieth. Following the conveyance of at least seventy per cent of the residential units which may be created in the district, the board shall call a meeting of the voters of the district to elect from their number a member of the board to be appointed by the mayor to fill the vacancy of a member whose term will expire on the next succeeding June thirtieth so that two members of the board will then have been elected by the voters. Thereafter, after the initial property owner or owners have informed the mayor, in writing, that they will no longer make recommendations as to the members of the board or the conveyance of ninety per cent of the residential units which may be created in the district, whichever occurs first, the members of the board shall be elected at the annual meeting of the voters of the district by the voters of the district from their number in accordance with the bylaws of the district and the provisions of subsection (a) of section 7-327 and section 7-327a of the general statutes, as amended by this act, shall apply to the calling of and conduct of meetings and referenda of the district. For purposes of this section, "voter" means any citizen of the United States of the age of eighteen years or older, who, jointly or severally, is liable to the district for taxes assessed against such voter's real property of not less than one thousand dollars on the last completed grand list of the district.

(2) Of the members first appointed, two members shall serve for a term expiring on June thirtieth in the year following the appointment, two members shall serve for a term expiring on June thirtieth in the second year following the appointment, and one member shall serve for a term expiring on June thirtieth in the third year following the appointment. Thereafter, successors shall be appointed or elected for a three-year term, or in the case of a vacancy, the mayor shall appoint a member to fill a vacancy, for the unexpired term. Any member may be eligible for reappointment. Three members of the board shall constitute a quorum and the affirmative vote of three members shall be necessary to exercise any of the powers enumerated in subsection (d) of this section. No vacancy in the membership of the board shall impair the right of a quorum to exercise the powers of the board. Any action by the board shall take effect immediately unless otherwise provided and need not be published or posted.

(3) The initial meeting of the board shall be not later than thirty days following the appointment of the initial board. At the initial meeting, the board shall adopt bylaws, fix the date for the annual meeting and elect from its members a president, vice-president, treasurer and clerk all of whom shall serve for like terms. The duties and responsibilities of the district officers shall be as provided in subsection (b) of section 7-327 of the general statutes, and in the bylaws.

(4) Following the initial meeting of the board, the clerk of the district shall file its first report with the town clerk and cause the district's name and a description of the territorial limits of the district to be recorded on the land records.

(d) The territorial limits of the district shall constitute a special taxing district and shall have all the powers and obligations granted to districts organized under section 7-325 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, including the power to lay and collect taxes and the powers and obligations granted under this section. Notwithstanding the provisions of any statute, special act, local law or charter, the board, acting for and on behalf of the district, shall have all the rights and powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes of this section, including, but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the following rights and powers to:

(1) Adopt bylaws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business, to promulgate rules, regulations and procedures in connection with the performance of its functions and duties, and consistent with the powers conferred by this section and with other applicable provisions of the general statutes;

(2) Adopt an official seal and alter the same at its pleasure;

(3) Apply for, receive, accept, administer, expend and comply with the conditions, obligations and requirements respecting any grant or gift, including any grant or gift from agencies of federal, state or local government, donation or appropriation of any property or money in aid of the purposes of the district and to accept contributions of money, property, labor or other things of value;

(4) Acquire by purchase, lease, lease-purchase, sale and lease-back, gift or devise, and to obtain options for the acquisition of, any property, real or personal, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein, in the exercise of its powers and the performance of its duties, provided the district may only acquire real estate or any interest therein pursuant to this subdivision, within the boundaries of the district, except that the district may acquire real estate or any interest therein outside the boundaries of the district if such acquisition is necessary or convenient in the judgment of the board for the acquisition, construction, maintenance and operation of the improvements within the district;

(5) Sell, lease, mortgage, exchange, transfer or otherwise dispose of, or to grant options for any such purposes with respect to, any property, real or personal, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein;

(6) Construct, improve, extend, equip, enlarge, rehabilitate, maintain and repair the improvements within and for the benefit of the district; to acquire existing or construct the improvements under or over any roads, public ways or parking areas, and to enter upon any private land within the district for the purposes of making surveys, borings, soundings or examinations thereof, designing and laying out the improvements and maintaining and repairing the same. All applicable general statutes protecting public health, welfare and safety shall be applicable;

(7) Grant, pledge or assign any money, fees, charges, receipts, taxes or other revenues of the district and any proceeds derived by the district;

(8) Borrow money and incur indebtedness and issue bonds or notes and pledge the credit of the district for such general or special purposes and to the extent as is authorized by this section;

(9) Enter into contracts, including, but not limited to, contracts with the town of New Milford, the state of Connecticut, cities, towns or other political subdivisions, nonprofit and for profit corporations and private and public utilities and be contracted with, in all matters necessary, convenient or desirable for carrying out the purposes of this section including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the acquisition of existing improvements, including utilities, open space or infrastructure outside the district but benefiting the district or the town of New Milford, collection of revenue, and other matters of management, administration and operation; to make other contracts of every name and nature; and to authenticate, execute and deliver all instruments necessary or convenient for carrying out any of its purposes;

(10) Sue and be sued and institute, prosecute, maintain and defend any action or proceeding in any court of competent jurisdiction all as permitted or provided for pursuant to the general statutes or Connecticut law applicable to municipalities;

(11) Invest any funds not required for the immediate use of the district in the manner and to the extent permitted under the general statutes for the investment of such funds by the treasurer of a town or district;

(12) Employ assistants, agents, employees and persons, including legal counsel, financial advisors, and other consultants and experts considered necessary or convenient in the board's judgment, and to define their duties and fix their compensation;

(13) Establish and maintain a budget system;

(14) Assess, levy and collect taxes for general or special purposes on all property which may be lawfully taxed by a district organized pursuant to section 7-325 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and as provided in this section, and regulate the mode of assessment and collection of taxes and assessments not otherwise provided for in amounts necessary to carry out the purposes for which the district is formed as described in this section;

(15) Assess, levy and collect benefit assessments upon the land and buildings in the district which, in its judgment, is benefited by the improvements;

(16) Make appropriations for the purposes provided for in this section and to pay its debts;

(17) Do all things necessary, convenient or desirable for carrying out the purposes of this section or the powers expressly granted or necessarily implied in this section.

(e) (1) The district may fix, revise, charge, collect, abate and forgive reasonable taxes, fees, rents and benefit assessments, and other charges for the cost of the improvements, financing costs, operating expenses and other services and commodities furnished or supplied to the real property in the district in accordance with the applicable provisions of the general statutes which apply to districts established under section 7-325 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and this section and in the manner prescribed by the district, provided if such general statutes require a vote of the voters of the district, the board shall act as such voters until the board is entirely elected by the voters of the district. Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, the district may pay the entire cost of any improvements, including the costs of financing such improvements, capitalized interest and the funding of any reserve funds necessary to secure such financing or the debt service of bonds or notes issued to finance such costs, from taxes, fees, rents, benefit assessments or other revenues and may assess, levy and collect said taxes, fees, rents or benefit assessments concurrently with the issuance of bonds, notes or other obligations to finance such improvements based on the estimated cost of the improvements or the completion or acquisition of the improvements. The board may establish and determine the circumstances under which the taxes, fees, rents, benefit assessments and other charges, may be increased, if at all, as a consequence of delinquency or default by the owner of that parcel or any other parcel within the district.

(2) The assessor or assessors of the town of New Milford shall separate the property within the district from the other property in the town and shall annually furnish the clerk of the district with a copy of the grand list of all property in the district after it has been completed by the board of assessment appeals of the town. If the legislative body of the town elects, pursuant to section 12-62a or 12-62c of the general statutes, to defer all or any part of the amount of the increase in the assessed value of real property in the year a revaluation becomes effective and in any succeeding year in which such deferment is allowed, the grand list furnished to the clerk of the district for each such year shall reflect assessments based upon such deferment. When the district has fixed the tax rate, the clerk shall prepare a rate bill, apportioning to each owner of property such owner's proportionate share of the taxes, which rate bill, when prepared, shall be delivered to the treasurer; and the district and the treasurer of said district shall have the same power as towns and collectors of taxes to collect and enforce payment of such taxes, and such taxes when laid shall be a lien upon the property in the same manner as town taxes. The assessor or board of assessment appeals shall promptly forward to the clerk of the district any certificate of correction or notice of any other lawful change to the grand list of the district. The district clerk shall, not later than ten days after receipt of any such certificate or notice, forward a copy thereof to the treasurer, and the assessment of the property for which such certificate or notice was issued and the rate bill relating thereto shall be corrected accordingly.

(3) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, whenever the district constructs, improves, extends, equips, rehabilitates, repairs, acquires or provides a grant for any improvements or finances, the cost of such improvements, such proportion of the cost or estimated cost of the improvements and financing thereof as determined by the district, may be assessed by the district, herein referred to as "benefit assessments", in the manner prescribed by such district, upon the property benefited by such improvements and the balance of such costs shall be paid from the general funds of the district. The district may provide for the payment of such benefit assessments in annual installments, not exceeding thirty and may forgive such benefit assessments in any single year without causing the remainder of installments of benefit assessments to be forgiven. Benefit assessments to buildings or structures constructed or expanded after the initial benefit assessment may be assessed as if the new or expanded buildings or structures had existed at the time of the original benefit assessment. It is hereby determined that the provision of open space whether within the district or in the town of New Milford is a benefit to all the property in the district.

(4) In order to provide for the collection and enforcement of its taxes, fees, rents, benefit assessments and other charges, the district is hereby granted all the powers and privileges with respect thereto as districts organized pursuant to section 7-325 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and as held by the town of New Milford or as otherwise provided in this section. Such taxes, fees, rents or benefit assessments, if not paid when due, shall constitute a lien upon the premises served and a charge against the owners thereof, which lien and charge shall bear interest at the same rate as delinquent property taxes. Each such lien may be continued, recorded and released in the manner provided for property tax liens and shall take precedence over all other liens or encumbrances except a lien for taxes of the town of New Milford. Each such lien may be continued, recorded and released in the manner provided for property tax liens.

(5) All moneys received by the board on behalf of the district shall be paid to the treasurer. After such time as the board is entirely elected by the voters of the district, no contract or obligation which involves an expenditure in the amount of (A) ten thousand dollars or more where the grand list is less than or equal to twenty million dollars, or (B) twenty thousand dollars or more where the grand list is greater than twenty million dollars, in any one year shall be made by the board, unless the same is specially authorized by a vote of the district.

(6) The budget, taxes, fees, rents, benefit assessments and any other charges of the district of general application shall be adopted and revised by the board at least annually no more than thirty days before the beginning of the fiscal year in accordance with the procedures to be established by the board and at a meeting called by the board assuring that interested persons are afforded notice and an opportunity to be heard. The board shall hold at least one public hearing on its schedule of fees, rates, rents, benefit assessments and other charges or any revision thereof before adoption, notice of which shall be delivered to the mayor and town council of the town of New Milford and be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the town of New Milford at least ten days in advance of the hearing. No later than the date of the publication, the board shall make available to the public and deliver to the mayor and the council of the town of New Milford the proposed schedule of fees, rates, rents, benefit assessments and other charges. The procedures regarding public hearing and appeal provided by section 7-250 of the general statutes, shall apply for all benefit assessments made by the district except that the board shall be substituted for the water pollution control authority. Should the benefit assessments be assessed and levied prior to the acquisition or construction of the improvements, then the amount of the benefit assessments shall be adjusted to reflect the actual cost of the improvements including all financing costs once the improvements have been completed should the actual cost be greater than or less than the estimated costs. Benefit assessments shall be due and payable at such times as is fixed by the board, provided the district shall give notice of such due date not less than thirty days prior to such due date by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the town of New Milford and by mailing such notice to the owners of the property assessed at their last-known address.

(7) The taxes, fees, rents, benefit assessments and other charges established by the board in accordance with this section shall be fixed and adjusted with respect to the aggregate thereof so as to provide revenues at least sufficient (A) to pay the current expenses of the district, (B) to pay the principal of premium, if any, and interest on bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness issued by the district under this section as the same becomes due and payable, (C) to create and maintain such reasonable reserves as may be reasonably required by any trust agreement or resolution securing bonds, (D) to provide funds for paying the cost of necessary repairs, replacements and renewals of the improvements and the infrastructure system or systems of the district; and (E) to pay or provide for any amounts that the board may be obligated to pay or provide for by law or contract, including any resolution or contract with or for the benefit of the holders of its bonds and notes.

(f) (1) Whenever the district has authorized the acquisition or construction of the improvements or has made an appropriation therefore, the district may authorize the issuance of up to thirty million dollars of bonds, notes or other obligations to finance the cost of the improvements, the creation and maintenance of reserves required to sell the bonds, notes or obligations and the cost of issuance of the bonds, notes or obligations. The bonds, notes or other obligations may be secured as to both principal or interest by (A) the full faith and credit of the district, (B) fees, revenues or benefit assessments, or (C) a combination of subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this subdivision. Such bonds, notes or obligations shall be authorized by resolution of the board. The district is authorized to secure such bonds by the full faith and credit of the district or by a pledge of or lien on all or part of its revenues, fees or benefit assessments. The bonds of each issue shall be dated, shall bear interest at the rates and shall mature at the time or times not exceeding thirty years from their date or dates, as determined by the board, and may be redeemable before maturity, at the option of the board, at the price or prices and under the terms and conditions fixed by the board before the issuance of the bonds. The board shall determine the form of the bonds, and the manner of execution of the bonds, and shall fix the denomination of the bonds and the place or places of payment of principal and interest, which may be at any bank or trust company within the state of Connecticut and other locations as designated by the board. In case any officer whose signature or a facsimile of whose signature shall appear on any bonds or coupons shall cease to be an officer before the delivery of the bonds, the signature or facsimile shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes the same as if the officer had remained in office until the delivery. The bonds shall be issued in registered form. The district may sell the bonds in a manner and for a price, either at public or private sale, as it may determine to be for the best interests of the district.

(2) The board is hereby authorized and may provide by resolution for the issuance of refunding bonds of the district for the purpose of refunding any bonds then outstanding and issued under the provisions of this section, including the payment of any redemption premium thereon on any interest accrued or to accrue to the date of redemption of the bonds and the cost of issuance of such bonds.

(3) While any bonds or notes issued by the district remain outstanding, the powers, duties or existence of the district shall not be diminished or impaired in any way that will affect adversely the interests and rights of the holders of the bonds or notes. Bonds or notes issued under this section, unless otherwise authorized by law, shall not be considered to constitute a debt of the state of Connecticut or the town of New Milford, or a pledge of the faith and credit of the state of Connecticut or of the town of New Milford, but the bonds or notes shall be payable solely by the district or as special obligations payable from particular district revenues. Any bonds or notes issued by the district shall contain on their face a statement to the effect that neither the state of Connecticut nor the town of New Milford shall be obliged to pay the principal of or the interest thereon, and that neither the faith and credit nor taxing power of the state of Connecticut or of the town of New Milford is pledged to the payment of the bonds or notes. All bonds or notes issued under this section shall have and are hereby declared to have all the qualities and incidents of negotiable instruments, as defined in section 42a-3-104 of the general statutes.

(g) (1) The board may authorize that the bonds be secured by a trust agreement by and between the district and a corporate trustee, which may be any trust company or bank having the powers of a trust company within the state of Connecticut. The trust agreement may pledge or assign the revenues. Either the resolution providing for the issuance of bonds or the trust agreement may contain provisions for protecting and enforcing the rights and remedies of the bondholders as may be reasonable and proper and not in violation of law, including without limiting the generality of the foregoing provisions defining defaults and providing for remedies in the event thereof, which may include the acceleration of maturities, and covenants setting forth the duties of and limitations on the district in relation to the acquisition, construction, improvement, enlargement, alteration, equipping, furnishing, maintenance, operation, rehabilitation, demolition, repair, insurance and disposition of property, the custody, safeguarding, investment and application of moneys, the use of any surplus bond or note proceeds and the establishment of reserves. The resolution or trust agreement may also contain covenants by the board in relation to, among other things: (A) the establishment, revision and collection of fees, rates, assessments, rents and charges for services of facilities furnished or supplied by the district as shall provide revenues sufficient with other revenues of the district, if any, to pay (i) the cost of maintaining, repairing and operating the district utilities and infrastructure and of making renewals and replacements in connection therewith, (ii) the principal of and the interest on the bonds or notes as the same shall become due and payable, (iii) payments in lieu of taxes and benefit assessments, and (iv) reserves; (B) the purpose for which the proceeds of the sale of the bonds or notes will be applied and the use and disposition thereof; (C) the use and disposition of the gross revenues of the district from the district utilities and infrastructure, any additions thereto and extensions and improvements thereof, including the creation and maintenance of funds for working capital and for renewals and replacements to the district utilities and infrastructure; (D) the amount, if any, of additional bonds or notes payable from the revenues of the district and the limitations, terms and conditions on which the additional bonds or notes may be issued; and (E) the operation, maintenance, management, accounting and auditing of the utilities and district infrastructure and of the income and revenues of the district.

(2) It shall be lawful for any bank or trust company incorporated under the laws of the state of Connecticut to act as depository of the proceeds of the bonds or of revenues, and to furnish such indemnifying bonds or to pledge securities as required by the board. The trust agreement may set forth the rights and remedies of the bondholders and of the trustees, and may restrict the individual right of action by bondholders as is customary in trust agreements or trust indentures securing bonds and debentures. In addition to the foregoing, the trust agreement may contain other provisions, as the board considers reasonable and proper for the security of the bondholders. All expenses incurred in carrying out the trust agreement may be treated as a part of the cost of the operation of the district. The pledge by any trust agreement or resolution shall be valid and binding from time to time when the pledge is made; the revenues or other moneys so pledged and then held or thereafter received by the board shall immediately be subject to the lien of the pledge without any physical delivery thereof or further act; and the lien of the pledge shall be valid and binding as against all parties having claims of any kind in tort, contract or otherwise against the board, irrespective of whether the parties have notice thereof. Notwithstanding any provision of the Uniform Commercial Code, neither this subsection, the resolution nor any trust agreement by which a pledge is created need be filed or recorded except in the records of the board, and no filing need be made under section 42a-3-106 of the general statutes.

(h) The board is hereby authorized and may provide by resolution for the issuance from time to time, of notes of the district in anticipation of grants for the cost of the improvements or in anticipation of bonds to be issued pursuant to this section. The notes shall be authorized, issued, sold and secured in the same manner as bonds, and shall otherwise be subject to this section. The notes shall mature at the time or times as provided by the resolution of the board and may be renewed from time to time; but the notes and renewals thereof shall mature on or before five years from their date of issuance.

(i) In addition to other security provided in this subsection, or otherwise by law, bonds, notes or obligations issued by the district under this section may be secured, in whole or in part, by a letter of credit, bond insurance policy, liquidity facility or other credit facility for the purpose of providing funds for payments in respect of bonds, notes or other obligations required by the holder thereof to be redeemed or repurchased prior to maturity or for providing additional security for the bonds, notes or other obligations. In connection therewith, the district may enter into reimbursement agreements, remarketing agreements, standby bond purchase agreements and any other necessary or appropriate agreements. The board may pledge or assign any of its revenues as security for the reimbursement by the district to the issuers or providers of the letters of credit, bond insurance policies, liquidity facilities or other credit facilities of any payments made under the letters of credit, bond insurance policies, liquidity facilities or other credit facilities.

(j) The district shall have the power out of any funds available therefor to purchase its bonds or notes. The district may hold, pledge, cancel or resell the bonds or notes, subject to and in accordance with agreements with bondholders.

(k) All moneys received pursuant to this section, whether as proceeds from the issue of bonds or notes, or as revenue or otherwise, shall be considered trust funds to be held and applied solely as provided in this section.

(l) Bonds or notes issued under this section are hereby made securities in which all public officers and public bodies of the state of Connecticut and its political subdivisions, all insurance companies, trust companies, banking associations, investment companies, executors, administrators, trustees and other fiduciaries may properly and legally invest funds, including capital in their control and belonging to them; and such bonds shall be securities which may properly and legally be deposited with and received by any state or municipal officer or any agency or political subdivision of the state of Connecticut for any purpose for which the deposit of bonds or notes of the state of Connecticut is now or may hereafter be authorized by law.

(m) Any holder of bonds or notes issued under this section, and a trustee, except to the extent the rights herein given may be restricted by the trust agreement, may, either at law or in equity, by suit, action, mandamus or other proceeding, protect and enforce all rights under the laws of the state of Connecticut or granted hereunder or under the trust agreement, and may enforce and compel the performance of all duties required by this section or by the trust agreement, to be performed by the district or by any officer thereof.

(n) Bonds or notes may be issued under this section without obtaining the consent of any department, division, commission, board, bureau or agency of the state of Connecticut or the town of New Milford, and without any proceedings or the happening of any other conditions or things than those proceedings, conditions or things that are specifically required thereof by this section, and the validity of and security for any bonds or notes issued by the district shall not be affected by the existence or nonexistence of the consent or other proceeding conditions, or things.

(o) The district and all its receipts, revenues, income and real and personal property shall be exempt from taxation and benefit assessments and the district shall not be required to pay any tax, excise or assessment to or from the state of Connecticut or any of its political subdivisions. The principal and interest on bonds or notes issued by the district shall be free from taxation at all times, except for estate and gift, franchise and excise taxes, imposed by the state of Connecticut or any political subdivision thereof, provided nothing in this section shall act to limit or restrict the ability of the state of Connecticut or the town of New Milford to tax the individuals and companies, or their real or personal property or any person living or business operating within the boundaries of the district.

(p) The board shall at all times keep accounts of its receipts, expenditures, disbursements, assets and liabilities, which shall be open to inspection by a duly appointed officer or duly appointed agent or the state of Connecticut or the town of New Milford. The fiscal year of the district shall begin on July first and end on the following June thirtieth or as otherwise established by section 7-327 of the general statutes, as amended by this act. The district shall be subject to an audit of its accounts in the manner provided in the general statutes.

(q) The district may make representations and agreements for the benefit of the holders of the district's bonds and notes or other obligations to provide secondary market disclosure information. The board or an officer authorized by the board may make the representations and agreements on behalf of the district or may delegate the authority to any other officer or employee of the district. The agreement may include (1) covenants to provide secondary market disclosure information, (2) arrangements for such information to be provided with the assistance of a paying agent, trustee, dissemination or other agent, and (3) remedies for breach of such agreements, which remedies may be limited to specific performance.

(r) (1) This section shall be deemed to provide an additional, alternative and complete method of accomplishing the purposes of this section and exercising the powers authorized hereby and shall be deemed and construed to be supplemental and additional to, and not in derogation of, powers conferred upon the board by law and particularly by sections 7-324 to 7-329, inclusive, of the general statutes, as amended by this act; provided insofar as the proceedings of this section are inconsistent with any general statute or special act, administrative order or regulation, or any resolution or ordinance of the town of New Milford, this section shall be controlling. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, no resolution or ordinance of the town of New Milford requiring ratification by the mayor and town council or the voters of the town of New Milford of certain bond issues shall apply to the issuance of bonds or notes of the district pursuant to this section.

(2) Except as specifically provided in this section, all other statutes, ordinances, resolutions, rules and regulations of the state of Connecticut and the town of New Milford shall be applicable to the property, residents and businesses located in the district. Nothing in this section shall in any way obligate the town of New Milford to pay any costs for the acquisition, construction, equipping or operation and administration of the improvements located within the district except as may be agreed to in any intermunicipal agreements executed by the town of New Milford and the district.

(s) At the option of the town of New Milford by vote of the town council, the district shall be merged into the town of New Milford after the bonds, notes or other obligations authorized by this section are no longer outstanding and any property which is owned by the district shall be distributed to the town of New Milford.

(t) This section being necessary for the welfare of the town of New Milford and its inhabitants shall be liberally construed to affect the purposes hereof.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2005

7-324

Sec. 2

October 1, 2005

7-325(a)

Sec. 3

October 1, 2005

7-325

Sec. 4

October 1, 2005

7-326

Sec. 5

October 1, 2005

7-327(a)

Sec. 6

October 1, 2005

7-327a

Sec. 7

October 1, 2005

7-329

Sec. 8

October 1, 2005

New section

Sec. 9

October 1, 2005

New section

Statement of Purpose:

To change the definition of "voters" for purposes of special districts containing remediation projects, so that non-resident landowners may participate in votes in such districts, to allow special districts to issue bonds for green building projects, and to allow the formation of special districts in New Milford and East Lyme.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]