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NO. 1. AN ACT RELATING TO THE BRATTLEBORO RETREAT.

(H.80)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. FINDINGS

(a) The Brattleboro Retreat is a not-for-profit behavioral health center for psychiatric and addictive illnesses. The Brattleboro Retreat has provided behavioral health services to Vermont patients since it received its charter from the general assembly by No. 46 of the Acts of the 1834 Session. As used in this act, "Retreat" means the Brattleboro Retreat.

(b) Between 1835 and 1843, the general assembly appropriated sums in the aggregate amount of $21,000.00 to fund start-up costs of the Retreat. Between 1900 and 1909, the general assembly appropriated sums in the aggregate amount of $14,000.00 to fund repairs.

(c) Acts of the general assembly subsequent to 1834 have required that the Retreatís real property be held as security for repayment of state appropriations in the event that the Retreat sold its real property and ceased to provide behavioral health services.

(d) The fixtures and improvements that the state helped to finance through the appropriations referenced in subsection (b) of this section are now fully depreciated.

(e) The Retreat has used nonstate resources, including charitable donations, bequests, and other sums that the Retreat independently raised, to provide millions of dollars of mental health care to Vermont residents who could not otherwise afford to pay for their care.

(f) Maintaining the stateís security interest in the Retreatís real property is unnecessary to serve the stateís purposes. By releasing the stateís security interest in the Retreatís real property and relinquishing any restrictions it imposed upon the sale of that property, the state will aid the Retreat in fulfilling its mission. Helping the Retreat to fulfill its mission will benefit the citizens of the state and promote the general welfare.

(g) The Retreat has entered into a purchase and sale agreement to sell the so-called Retreat Farm to the Windham Foundation, a Vermont not-for-profit corporation. The mission of the Windham Foundation is to restore buildings, to provide financial support for education and private charities, and to develop projects that will benefit the general welfare of the state and its citizens.

(h) Perpetual conservation easements and historic preservation conditions will be placed on the Retreat Farm to ensure that it remains viable for agricultural use. By acquiring the Retreat Farm, the Windham Foundation will preserve the scenery of the surrounding area, maintain the productivity of the historic Retreat Farm, and contribute to the quality of life for the citizens of the state. The proposed sale of the Retreat Farm to the Windham Foundation is in the best interests of the Retreat, the cit izens of Brattleboro, and the state of Vermont.

Sec. 2. REAL PROPERTY OWNED BY THE RETREAT

(a) The general assembly repeals and removes all restrictions placed on the Retreatís ability to sell, transfer, or convey any of its real property, including, but not limited to, any restriction imposed by No. 40 of the Acts of the 1840 Session, No. 39 of the Acts of the 1843 Session, No. 149 of the Acts of the 1902 Session, No. 320 of the Acts of the 1908 Session, and No. 160 of the Acts of the 1943 Session.

(b) Notwithstanding any prior act of the general assembly, the state shall have no lien, mortgage, or other security interest in the real property of the Retreat.

(c) Notwithstanding any prior act of the general assembly, the Retreat may sell, transfer, or convey any of its real property without the consent of the general assembly. Included in this authority to sell, transfer, or convey is the authority to sell the Retreat Farm to the Windham Foundation.

(d) Any sale, transfer, or conveyance of real property by the Retreat that occurred prior to the date of this actís passage is ratified as if the sale, transfer, or conveyance had been authorized by the general assembly at the time of sale.

(e) Nothing in this act shall be construed to alter or deprive the Retreat of its status as a charitable, not-for-profit institution.

Sec. 3. EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect from passage and shall apply retroactively to January 1, 1961.

Approved: February 28, 2001