Download this document in MS Word format


AutoFill Template

NO. 121.  AN ACT RELATING TO CAPITAL CONSTRUCTION, STATE BONDING, AND THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS.

(H.767)

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

Sec. 1a.  SHORT TITLE; CONTENTS

(a)  Short title.  This act may be referred to as the 2004 Capital Construction Bill or the 2004 Capital Construction Act.

(b)  Contents of act. 

* * * Appropriations * * *

Sec. 1b.  STATE BUILDINGS
(1)
               Burlington, Cherry Street Garages, repairs                         700,000

(2)               Montpelier, 133 State Street, renovations                          3,900,000

(3)               Statewide, major maintenance                                            4,625,000

(4)               Statewide, ADA compliance                                              200,000

(5)               Statewide, contingency                                                      500,000

(6)               Statewide, building re-use                                                  100,000

(7)               Statewide, planning                                                            25,000

(8)               Statewide, energy retrofits (Sec. 29)                                  800,000

(9)               Statewide, consolidated office/archival space                     15,000

(10)        Statewide, downtown redevelopment                                     50,000

(11)        Statehouse, first floor restoration                                             100,000

Sec. 2.  TAXES

               Digital orthophotographic quadrangle mapping                        150,000

Sec. 3.  HUMAN SERVICES

(a)          VT State Hospital, renovations                                               550,000

(b)               Dale II modifications                                                          150,000

(c)          Dialysis in NE Kingdom                                                         485,000

Sec. 4.  JUDICIARY

               Rutland Courthouse                                                    4,420,000

Sec. 5.  COMMERCE AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

(a)          Statewide, major maintenance at historic sites                         125,000

(b)     (1)     Historic preservation grants                                                            150,000

(b)(2)      Historic barns and agricultural buildings grants                         90,000

(c)          Statewide, underwater preserves                                            25,000

(d)               Statewide, unmarked burials fund                                                   10,000

(e)          Morrill Homestead, match federal grant                      78,000

(f)           Coolidge House, sprinklers                                                     100,000

(g)           Lake Champlain Walleye Association                                     40,000

(h)          Lake Champlain International                                                 12,500

(i)           Vermont Outdoor Guide Organization                                    22,500

(j)           Kent Tavern                                                                           50,000

(k)               Cultural facilities grant program                                          50,000

(l)           Colodny building                                                                    30,000

(m)(1)     Wildlife viewing                                                                      25,000

(m)(2)     Ecotourism, Audubon Vermont                                              25,000

(n)          Property assessment fund (Sec. 49) Rails to Rivers     125,000

(o)               Creative Economy; broadband development                      200,000

(p)               Hydro Authority (Secs. 101-103)                                                  500,000

Sec. 6.  EDUCATION

(a)          School construction aid; energy management program 4,000,000

(b)               Southeastern Vermont Technical Center                             750,000

(c)          Austine School                                                                       375,000

(d)               Vocational center equipment                                              400,000

Sec. 7.  UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT

               Joseph E. Hills Agricultural Sciences Building                          2,600,000

Sec. 8.    VERMONT STATE COLLEGES

(a)          Major maintenance                                                                 943,547.65

(b)           Johnson State College, heating/power plant design ($20,000 appropriation included within subsection (a) appropriation)

Sec. 9.  ELECTRONIC DOCUMENT STORAGE

               Pilot project                                                                           50,000

Sec. 10.  NATURAL RESOURCES

(a)          Water pollution and drinking water grants and loans; Barton Village; stormwater                                                            6,653,660

(b)               Clean and clear; phosphorus treatment and wetlands          1,250,000

(c)          Dams, maintenance, repair, and construction                           300,000

(d)               Forests, parks and recreation, federal forest plan study       100,000

(e)           Forests, parks and recreation, maintenance and cabin construction                                                                                                                             300,000

(f)           Green Mountain Club, Long Trail                                           75,000

(g)          Fish and wildlife, Kehoe conservation camp                            250,000

(h)          Fish and wildlife, Ed Weed fish culture station                         250,000

(i)           Catamount Trail                                                                     15,000

(j)           Ruffed Grouse Society, management plans                              40,000

(k)           Forests, parks and recreation, road construction and timberstand improvement                                                             35,000

(l)(1)       Fish and wildlife, consulting forester services                           15,000

(l)(2)       Fish and wildlife, successional wildlife openings                       25,000

(m)         Fish and wildlife, aquatic nuisance signage (Sec. 67)   5,000

(n)          Curtis Pond dam                                                                    20,000

(o)               St. Albans, “State Dock” planning                                                  15,000

(p)               Fish and wildlife, ecological assessments                            25,000

(q)               Fish and wildlife, species recovery planning                        25,000

Sec. 11.  MILITARY

(a)          Camp Johnson, life safety repairs and maintenance      100,000

(b)               Battle of the Wilderness monument                                    20,000

(c)          Lake Champlain navy memorial                                              20,000

Sec. 12.  VERMONT HISTORICAL SOCIETY

     Vermont history center and Pavilion Building, restoration    250,000

Sec. 13.  PUBLIC SAFETY

(a)          Addison County, state police station                           500,000

(b)               St. Albans, state police station, property purchase              225,000

(c)          Bethel/Royalton, state police station                            600,000

Sec. 14.  CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND FIRE SERVICE TRAINING COUNCILS

(a)          Pittsford Training Academy; repairs                            20,000

(b)               Fire Service Training Council, equipment                            350,000

Sec. 15.  AGRICULTURE

               Nonpoint pollution reduction, best management practices        900,000

Sec. 16.  VERMONT RURAL FIRE PROTECTION

               Dry hydrant program                                                              75,000

Sec. 17.  RECREATIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES

               Recreational and educational facilities grant program 300,000

Sec. 18.  VERMONT PUBLIC TELEVISION

               Federally mandated conversion to digital                     225,000

Sec. 19.  REALLOCATIONS FROM PRIOR ACTS

Sec. 20.  BONDING AUTHORIZATION

* * * Managing this Act * * *

Sec.  21.  Reallocation and transfers among subsections

Sec. 22.  Authority of departments to receive grants


* * * Buildings and General Services * * *

Sec. 23.  Authority to use 2004 funds for prior projects

Sec. 24.  Transfer of environmental analyst position to department of buildings and general services

Sec. 25.  Names McFarland State Office Building

Sec. 26.  Property transactions:  (a) St. Albans; (b) National Life; (c) Gosse Court Armory

Sec. 27.  Performance contracting

Sec. 28.  State house expansion planning

Sec. 29.  Waterbury window project

Sec. 30.  Westmore public access area named for Howard Taylor

Sec. 31.  Park and ride facilities

Sec. 32.  Study:  Computer waste management

Sec. 33.  Capitol complex thermal energy

Sec. 34.  Colocation of health and forensic laboratories

Secs. 35-36.  Out-of-state oil and gas resources

Sec. 37.  Study:  High performance design in schools and state buildings

Secs. 38-46.  Resource management program

* * * Judiciary * * *

Secs. 47-48.  Capital borrowing by assistant judges

* * * Commerce and Community Development * * *

Secs. 49-50.  Property assessment funds; brownfields; labor and industry -- building codes

Sec. 51.  Computer sales tax holiday

* * * Education; School Construction * * *

Sec. 52.  School construction aid

Sec. 53.  Priority of three technical center projects receiving 100% state aid

Sec. 54.  School construction aid for consolidation

Sec. 55.  School construction aid for Hannaford Career Center

Sec. 56.  School construction aid for Champlain Valley Union High School

Secs. 57-58.  Performance contracting in schools

Sec. 59.  School construction aid for renewable energy increased to 90%

* * * UVM and State Colleges * * *

Sec. 60.  State Colleges authorized to borrow capital funds

Sec. 61.  Study:  Future funding of UVM and state colleges

* * * Natural Resources * * *

Sec. 62.  Authorizes conveyances of state land

Secs. 63-65.  Loans for water supply projects; disadvantaged communities

Sec. 66.  Unsafe dam revolving loan fund established

Secs. 67-70.  Aquatic nuisance control notification

Sec. 71.  Wastewater; subdivision permitting; grandfathering

Sec. 72.  Peterson dam

Sec. 73.  Dufresne dam

Sec. 74.  Woodford parking lot

Sec. 75.  Agriculture; Act 250

Sec. 76.  Equines; Act 250

Sec. 77.  Study:  Phosphorus

* * * Veterans’ Home * * *

Secs. 78-81.  Codifies session law and current practice regarding home

* * * Public Safety * * *

Secs. 82-83.  Intermunicipal and interstate police services

Sec. 84.  International Emergency Management Assistance Compact

Sec. 85.  Study:  Criminal justice training

Sec. 86.  St. Albans, Vermont state police facility

* * * Agriculture, Food and Markets * * *

Sec. 87.  Agency roles regarding forest pests

Sec. 88.  Agricultural plastic; taxation

* * * VEDA * * *

Sec. 89.  Definition of “resident” for agricultural loans

Sec. 90.  Direct mortgage loans

Sec. 91.  Renewable energy included within authority’s charge

* * * Corrections * * *

Sec. 92.  Use of D-1 Wing

* * * Fire Service; Fees * * *

Sec. 93.  Study:  Fees related to automobile accidents

* * * Energy Infrastructure * * *

Secs. 94-100.  Rockingham’s authority to acquire power facilities

Secs. 101-103.  Creation of Vermont Hydro-Electric Power Authority

* * * Effective Date * * *

Sec. 104.  Effective date

* * * Capital Appropriations * * *

Sec. 1b.  STATE BUILDINGS

The sum of $11,015,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services, and the commissioner is authorized to direct funds appropriated in this section to the projects contained in this section; however, no project shall be canceled unless the chairs of the house and senate committees on institutions are notified before that action is taken.  The individual appropriations in this section are estimates only.

(1)  Burlington, Cherry Street garages, repairs, Phase II:  (700,000)

(2)  Montpelier, 133 State Street, renovations, Phase II:  (3,900,000)

(3)  Statewide, major maintenance:                                              (4,625,000)

(4)  Statewide, Americans with Disabilities Act, accessibility to public buildings:                                                                            (200,000)

(5)  Statewide, contingency fund:                                                 (500,000)

(6)  Statewide, building reuse:                                                      (100,000)

(7)  Statewide, planning:                                                              (25,000)

(8)  Statewide, energy retrofits, including replacement of windows and installation of energy measuring devices, pursuant to Sec. 29 of this act:                                                                                                                                                (800,000)

(9)  Statewide, consolidated office/archival space, study:  (15,000)

(10)  Statewide, downtown redevelopment funds for pre-planning and development of sprinkler systems, life safety and accessibility improvements, and façade renovations for public spaces within public and privately-owned buildings:                                                                          (50,000)

(11)  Statewide, State House, first floor restoration of committee rooms; phase III:                                                                            (100,000)

(Total appropriation – Section 1b                                                     $11,015,000)

Sec. 2.  TAXES

The sum of $150,000 is appropriated to the department of taxes for digital orthophotographic quadrangle mapping.

(Total appropriation – Section 2                                                            $150,000)

Sec. 3.  HUMAN SERVICES

(a)  Vermont state hospital.

(1)  The sum of $550,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services for the Vermont state hospital, to address urgent needs on an expedited basis.  The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to select an architect and contractor of his or her choosing to perform the work outlined in this subdivision, including the following:

(A)  To create two specialized acute stabilization units, one each to be attached to the Brooks 1 Unit and the Brooks 2 Unit.

(B)  To soundproof four existing seclusion rooms.

(2)  Upon completion of the specialized units required by subdivision (1) of this subsection, and to the extent funding is available from the appropriations made in this subsection, the commissioner of buildings and general services, in consultation with the commissioner of developmental and mental health services and the staff of the Vermont state hospital, shall use existing space to create a “quiet room” on both the Brooks 1 and the Brooks 2 Units to be used as an alternative to the existing seclusion rooms. 

(b)  The sum of $150,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of human services, department of corrections, for modification of existing space to be used as a secure mental health unit and a secure medical unit for women incarcerated in the Dale II facility. 

(c)  The sum of $485,000 is appropriated to the Vermont Economic Development Authority for the North Country Hospital in Newport to assist with the creation of a nine-station hemodialysis center within the hospital.  The North Country Hospital shall repay to the state the total amount appropriated in this subsection, without interest, in 20 equal annual payments commencing one year after the funds are received.  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the Vermont Economic Development Authority is authorized to prepare and to execute on behalf of the state any documents necessary to make and secure this loan.  No portion of this appropriation shall be disbursed until evidence is provided to the executive director of the Vermont Economic Development Authority that sufficient additional federal, community, or other nonstate funds are available for the completion of this project and that a certificate of need has been obtained from the department of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration.

(Total appropriation – Section 3                                                $1,185,000)

Sec. 4.  JUDICIARY

The sum of $4,420,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the judiciary to complete construction of the Rutland courthouse.

(Total appropriation – Section 4                                                $4,420,000)

Sec. 5.  COMMERCE AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

(a)  The sum of $125,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of commerce and community development for major maintenance at historic sites statewide; provided such maintenance shall be under the supervision of the department of buildings and general services.

(b)  The following sums are appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development, division for historic preservation, for:

(1)  Historic preservation grants:                                      150,000

(2)  Historic barns and agricultural buildings grants:           90,000

(c)  The sum of $25,000 is appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development for underwater preserves. 

(d)  The sum of $10,000 is appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development for the unmarked burials fund established in Sec. 57 of No. 149 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002). 

(e)  The sum of $78,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of commerce and community development as the state match for a federal transportation enhancement grant to construct a visitor/education center at the Justin Morrill homestead in Strafford; provided that no portion of this appropriation shall be disbursed until evidence is provided to the department that the federal funds have been awarded.  The agency is authorized to use sums appropriated in Sec. 4(a)(3) of No. 63 of the Acts of 2003 for aspects of the Justin Morrill project for which enhancement grants are not available.

(f)  The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of commerce and community development as the state match for a federal Save America’s Treasures grant for installation of a sprinkler system at the Calvin Coolidge homestead in Plymouth Notch; provided that no portion of this appropriation shall be disbursed until evidence is provided to the department that the federal funds have been awarded.

(g)  The sum of $40,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Lake Champlain Walleye Association, Inc. to assist with building a pond for the purpose of raising walleye fry to fingerlings; provided that no part of this appropriation shall be used to pay salaries.  On or before January 15, 2005, the association shall file a written report with the house and senate committees on institutions detailing the manner in which this appropriation has been expended.  The department of fish and wildlife shall provide the same committees with a report on the prime bodies of water for walleye restoration, including an evaluation of the feasibility of Pauline, Amherst, Rescue, and Echo Lakes in the towns of Plymouth and Ludlow for such restoration.

(h)  The sum of $12,500 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for Lake Champlain International, Inc. for marketing; provided that no part of this appropriation shall be used to pay salaries.  On or before January 15, 2005, Lake Champlain International, Inc. shall file a written report with the house and senate committees on institutions detailing the manner in which this appropriation has been expended.

(i)  The sum of $22,500 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont Outdoor Guide Association, for statewide outdoor recreational and nature-based tourism opportunities; provided that no part of this appropriation shall be used to pay salaries.  On or before January 15, 2005, the association shall file a written report with the house and senate committees on institutions detailing the manner in which this appropriation has been expended. 

(j)  The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the agency of commerce and community development for continuing restoration of the Kent Tavern in Calais.

(k)  The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development, division for historic preservation, for the cultural facilities competitive grant program, to be administered by the Vermont Arts Council and made available on a one‑for-one matching basis with funds raised from nonstate sources; no such grant shall be available for a project receiving funding from any other appropriation of this act.  No portion of this appropriation shall be used to pay salaries.  The appropriation shall be awarded on a competitive basis.  In recommending grant awards, a review panel shall give priority consideration to applicants who demonstrate greater financial need or are in underserved areas of the state. 

(l)  The sum of $30,000.00 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont state housing authority (“VSHA”) for the Housing Foundation, Inc. (“HFI”) to renovate space in the Colodny Building in White River Junction, owned by HFI and managed by VSHA, to provide greater access to elderly residents and to renovate underutilized space. 

(m)  The following sums are appropriated for the purpose of promoting wildlife ecotourism in the state:

(1)  The sum of $25,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources, department of fish and wildlife, to assist with the development of wildlife viewing opportunities on state-owned lands. 

(2)  The sum of $25,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for Audubon Vermont, a state program of the National Audubon Society, to assist with improvements to the Green Mountain Audubon Center.  On or before January 15, 2005, Audubon Vermont shall file a written report with the house and senate committees on institutions detailing the manner in which this appropriation has been expended.

(n)  The sum of $125,000 is appropriated to the property assessment fund to carry out the purposes of Sec. 49 of this act; provided that, of this appropriation, the sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Windsor Improvement Corporation to assist with planning and development in connection with the Rails to Rivers Project, which project may include purchase of the Cone Blanchard property and the economic development of surrounding parcels. 

(o)  Broadband development; competitive program.

(1)  The sum of $200,000 is appropriated to the agency of commerce and community development to award up to five grants of up to $50,000 each to broadband projects as required by this subsection, competitively selected by a committee comprised of the secretary of commerce and community development, the commissioner of information and innovation, the commissioner of buildings and general services, or their designees, and the executive directors of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, the Vermont Council on Rural Development, and the Vermont Broadband Council, or their designees.

(2)  The committee shall select up to five communities to develop and implement broadband demonstration projects from among those communities that do not currently have, are not likely to be able to financially afford, and are not otherwise expected to receive this service.  The communities selected shall represent different regions of the state and at least one of the selected communities shall be in rural Rutland County and one in the Northeast Kingdom.  Administrative support shall be provided by the agency of commerce and community affairs.  The committee shall strive to select projects in communities that:

(A)  Include a designated downtown, new town center, or village center within the proposed service area.

(B)  Offer private sector partnership possibilities.

(C)  Have no or limited access to broadband services.

(3)  Each selected project shall strive to:

(A)  Provide broadband service to the last mile of the municipality and offer access to service to every member of that municipality.

(B)  Provide a minimum of five years of service.

(C)  Offer a maximum price for the original service provided under the contract, which shall remain fixed for the duration of the contract.

(D)  Have a speed of delivery which shall be at least two megabits per second.

(4)  The selection of a provider shall be made by the municipality with technical assistance from the Vermont Broadband Council based on the following competitive issues:

(A)  Price per connection.

(B)  Ownership of the infrastructure by the municipality at the termination of the contract.

(C)  Number of people served and population density of the area served.

(D)  Innovative solutions for providing this service to areas determined not to be economical.

(E)  Cost to the consumer of any new construction, equipment, or facility required for the connection.

(5)  The department of information and innovation shall make available to communities. to the extent permitted by contract, the services and prices available to the state. 

(p)  The sum of $500,000.00 is appropriated to the Vermont hydroelectric power authority (“VHPA”), and the board of directors or manager of the VHPA is authorized to direct funds appropriated in this section to activities supporting the purposes for which the VHPA is created.  Additional funds may be appropriated, contingent on emergency board approval, for use by the VHPA.  Any funds appropriated and not expended in the current fiscal year shall carry over into the succeeding fiscal year.  If the VHPA is not established in the 2004 legislative session, this appropriation shall be subject to reallocation by the general assembly in a future capital appropriations act.

(Total appropriation – Section 5                                                        $1,658,000)

Sec. 6.  EDUCATION

(a)  The sum of $4,000,000 is appropriated to the department of education for state aid for school construction projects pursuant to section 3448 of Title 16; of the amount appropriated in this subsection, the department of education may use up to $40,000 to contract with the School Energy Management Program of the Vermont Superintendents Association to assist the department with the administration of energy-related school construction projects. 

(b)  The sum of $750,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Brattleboro Union High School District #6 for the Windham Regional Career Center (Southeastern Vermont Career Education Center). 

(c)  The sum of $375,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Austine School for ongoing renovations to Holton Hall.

(d)  The sum of $400,000 is appropriated to the department of education for regional technical education centers and comprehensive high schools to assist with the purchase of educational program equipment, to be distributed in equal amounts to each center and high school with no local matching funds required.

(Total appropriation – Section 6                                                $5,525,000)

Sec. 7.  UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT

The sum of $2,600,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the University of Vermont for the second phase of funding for replacement of space in the Joseph E. Hills Agricultural Science Building

(Total appropriation – Section 7                                                $2,600,000)

Sec. 8.  VERMONT STATE COLLEGES

(a)  The sum of $943,547.65 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont state colleges for major facility maintenance.

(b)  Of the sum appropriated in subsection (a) of this section, up to $20,000 may be used by the Vermont State Colleges to begin preliminary siting, sizing, design, and engineering of a combined heating and power plant for the Johnson State College campus and, if feasible, to serve portions of the surrounding community through a district heating model.  In undertaking this work, the Vermont State Colleges may contract with the Biomass Energy Resource Center and shall consult with the Town of Johnson.  The Vermont State Colleges shall provide a progress report to the house and senate committees on institutions on or before January 15, 2005. 

(Total appropriation – Section 8                                                $943,547.65)

Sec. 9.  ELECTRONIC DOCUMENT STORAGE; PILOT PROJECT

(a)  In consultation with the commissioner of information and innovation, the state archivist, municipal clerks, and the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, the commissioner of buildings and general services shall develop and implement a pilot project designed to create a coordinated municipal filing system appropriate to the needs of all Vermont municipalities, regardless of the municipality’s volume of land transactions.  The pilot project shall include the conversion of paper documents to electronic format, which conversion shall be designed to ensure compatibility with any state electronic document storage system that may be developed in the future.  The electronic version of documents created under the pilot project shall be excluded from the definition of “public record” or “public document” in 1 V.S.A. § 317(b) until the general assembly amends the section to address the new format.  The project shall include protocols to protect against the disclosure of personal identifying information, such as Social Security numbers.

(b)  The commissioner of buildings and general services, in consultation with the state archivist, shall select up to four municipalities to participate with the Town of Colchester in the pilot project.  In choosing the other participants, consideration shall be given to actual office workflow, public access and other legal issues, and existing municipal record retention schedules; they shall be chosen to represent high and low levels of recording activity from different regions of the state.

(c)  The commissioner of buildings and general services, in consultation with the state archivist, shall arrange for the state to provide temporary paper document storage for the municipalities selected to participate in the pilot project.

(d)  A committee comprised of the state archivist, the commissioner of buildings and general services, and four members to be selected by the commissioner upon receiving nominations from the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, the Vermont Town and City Management Association, and the Vermont Municipal Clerks and Treasurers Association, is created to monitor and evaluate implementation of the pilot project and to recommend any necessary or advisable statutory changes.  The commissioner of buildings and general services, or the commissioner’s designee, shall be the chair.  The first meeting shall be convened on or before July 2, 2004.

(e)  On or before January 15, 2005, the committee created in subsection (d) of this section shall submit to the senate committee on government operations, the house committee on local government, and the house and senate committees on institutions a written report regarding implementation of the pilot project and recommendations, in the form of draft legislation, for statewide implementation of a coordinated municipal filing system.  The report shall include, to the extent possible, detailed cost estimates for statewide implementation.

(f)  The sum of $50,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the purposes set forth in this section, including preparation of surveys, performance of preliminary research, preparation of specifications related to scanning, preparation of a report, and purchase of necessary computer hardware and document management software.

(Total appropriation – Section 9                                                            $50,000)

Sec. 10.  NATURAL RESOURCES

(a)  The sum of $6,653,660 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for water pollution grants and the state match for the pollution control and public drinking water supply program state revolving fund loans, all in accordance with chapter 55 of Title 10 and chapter 120 of Title 24; provided that $50,000 of this appropriation shall be used to pay a portion of the unanticipated costs incurred by the Village of Barton in connection with its wastewater treatment plant; and further provided that up to $120,000 of this appropriation may be used to fund the completion and implementation of total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) and water quality remediation plans required by subdivision 1264(f)(3) of Title 10 for the stormwater impaired waters of the state.

(b)  The sum of $1,250,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the clean and clear program, including the construction of phosphorus treatment facilities to serve Richford, Troy, and Jay and the acquisition and restoration of wetlands in the Champlain Valley.  

(c)  The sum of $300,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for maintenance, repair, and reconstruction of state-owned dams.

(d)  The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the department of forests, parks and recreation to hire one or more consultants, as needed, to conduct an objective review of assessments (“Assessments”) performed by or for the U.S. Forest Service in connection with revising the forest plan for the Green Mountain National Forest, as follows:

(1)  The agency shall select and contract with any consultant authorized by this subsection pursuant to existing state bidding and contracting practices.

(2)  The consultant or consultants may review the following Assessments:

(A)  Socio-Economic Assessment.

(B)  GIS Biodiversity Assessment.

(C)  Species Viability Evaluation.

(D)  Roadless Area Inventory and Wilderness Evaluation, and the related Roads Analysis Process.

(E)  Any other Assessment as determined by the agency.

(3)  The reviews authorized by subdivision (2) of this subsection shall be conducted to ensure that the reviewed Assessments:

(A)  Are comprehensive; and

(B)  Represent the myriad interests of the citizens of the state, including recreation, management of timber resources, the forest products industry, wildlife management and habitats, conservation, ecological concerns, and public use and access. 

(4)  The reviews authorized by subdivision (2) of this subsection may be relied upon by the agency to participate in the federal revision process, including the preparation and presentation of a proposed alternative Revised Forest Plan for the Green Mountain National Forest representing the interests of the citizens of the state, including those listed in subdivision (3)(B) of this subsection.

(5)  The reviews authorized by subdivision (2) of this subsection shall be available to the public on the department’s website and by request, pursuant to the existing state long range management planning process.

(6)  Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the agency’s authority to use existing state resources to review the Assessments.

(7)  On or before January 15, 2005, the agency shall file a written report with the house and senate committees on institutions and on natural resources and energy and with the house committee on fish, wildlife, and water resources detailing its activities and recommendations, if any, in connection with this subsection. 

(e)  The sum of $300,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources, department of forests, parks and recreation for major maintenance and for construction of one- and two-room cabins at state parks and recreation areas; provided that no more than $80,000 of this appropriation shall be used in connection with the cabins and that no more than 23 cabins shall be constructed; and further provided that Sec. 8(a)(4) of No. 149 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002) is amended by striking the following:  “; provided this appropriation shall constitute a 50/50 match with federal Land and Water Conservation Fund appropriations; provided construction costs shall not exceed $15,000 per cabin; and provided the department shall actively pursue a proposal to enter into an agreement with the St. Johnsbury Academy to construct the cabins”. 

(f)  The sum of $75,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the Green Mountain Club, Inc. for the procurement, in fee simple or by easement, of properties along the Long Trail. 

(g)  The sum of $250,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the department of fish and wildlife for continued foundation and exterior construction of a dining hall and education center at the Kehoe conservation camp in Castleton.

(h)  The sum of $250,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the department of fish and wildlife for emergency repairs at the Ed Weed fish culture station; provided that these repairs shall be directed by the department of buildings and general services.

(i)  The sum of $15,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the Catamount Trail Association for the procurement of easements along the Catamount Trail.

(j)  The sum of $40,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources, department of fish and wildlife, for the Ruffed Grouse Society to continue the process of implementing management plans for the state’s wildlife management areas in cooperation with the department of fish and wildlife.  On or before January 15, 2005, the society shall file a written report with the house and senate committees on institutions detailing the manner in which this appropriation has been expended. 

(k)  The sum of $35,000 is appropriated as a one-time appropriation to the agency of natural resources, department of forests, parks and recreation for road construction supervision and timber stand improvement. 

(l)  The following sums are appropriated as a one-time appropriation to the agency of natural resources for the department of fish and wildlife for:

(1)  Consulting forester services necessary to expedite timber harvesting and habitat management in the state’s wildlife management areas:                 15,000

(2)  Creation and enhancement of early successional herbaceous openings for wildlife:                                                         25,000

(m)  The sum of $5,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the department of fish and wildlife for the purpose of providing the signs required by Sec. 67 of this act.

(n)  Curtis Pond. 

(1)  The state of Vermont through the department of forests, parks and recreation owns property on the southern end of Curtis Pond in the town of Calais which is used for recreational boating access to the pond.

(2)  Serious deterioration of an existing, historic dam located on Curtis Pond poses an imminent and significant hazard to properties adjacent to and downstream of the pond.

(3)  The sum of $20,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the town of Calais as the state’s contribution toward the stabilization of the existing dam on Curtis Pond by extending the outflow pipe and backfilling with rip-rap or the construction of a new dam.

(o)  The sum of $15,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources for the Town of St. Albans to conduct an engineering study, to include biddable plans, in connection with improvements to and the expansion of the town pier and full-service public marina, the so-called “State Dock.” 

(p)  The sum of $25,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources, department of fish and wildlife, to conduct ecological assessments, including wildlife surveys, of state lands.  On or before January 15, 2005, the agency shall report its findings and recommendations to the house and senate committees on institutions.

(q)  The sum of $25,000 is appropriated to the agency of natural resources, department of fish and wildlife, to help with species recovery planning for threatened and endangered species on state lands.  On or before January 15, 2005, the agency shall report its findings and recommendations to the house and senate committees on institutions.

(Total appropriation – Section 10                                              $9,398,660)

Sec. 11.  MILITARY

(a)  The sum of $100,000 is appropriated to the department of the military to address life safety issues at Camp Johnson and other maintenance projects identified by the department.

(b)  The sum of $20,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium as trustee, for the creation of a civil war monument in Fredericksburg, Virginia to be constructed of Vermont stone, including marble, slate, granite, or any combination of the three, to honor Vermonters who fought in the Battle of the Wilderness on

May 5 and 6, 1864. 

(c)  The sum of $20,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Navy League of the United States Green Mountain Council for the creation of a Lake Champlain Navy Memorial to be located at the former navy reserve center in Burlington. 

(Total appropriation – Section 11                                              $140,000)

Sec. 12.  VERMONT HISTORICAL SOCIETY

The sum of $250,000 is appropriated to the Vermont historical society for continuing renovation of the Pavilion Building in Montpelier and of the former Spaulding Graded School in Barre to become an education and research center known as the Vermont History Center.

(Total appropriation – Section 12                                                          $250,000)

Sec. 13.  PUBLIC SAFETY

(a)  The sum of $500,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the department of public safety to finalize construction and fit-up of a new state police station in Addison County to replace the station currently located in Middlebury.

(b)  The sum of $225,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the department of public safety to purchase real property on which to locate a new state police station to replace the existing St. Albans Field Station.

(c)  The sum of $600,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the department of public safety to design, engineer, construct, and fit up a new state police station to replace the existing Bethel Field Station to be named the “Royalton State Police Station”; provided that it shall be located on the same site as the existing facility; and further provided that the new station shall be designed and constructed, to the extent feasible, using plans from the Vermont state police station buildings in Derby and New Haven; and further provided that the new station shall include adequate space for the law enforcement division of the department of fish and wildlife that services the area and conference space for local firefighters, emergency rescue services, and not-for-profit and community organizations. 

(Total appropriation – Section 13                                                     $1,325,000)

Sec. 14.  CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND FIRE SERVICE TRAINING COUNCILS

(a)  The sum of $20,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont criminal justice training council in Pittsford for miscellaneous repairs to facility and grounds. 

(b)  The sum of $350,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont fire service training council in Pittsford for the following:

(1)  Purchase of seven firefighter I and II program equipment trailers.

(2)  Purchase of two trailer transport vehicles.

(3)  Improvements to cold storage warehouse.

(4)  Purchase of liquid propane gas fire training trailer.

(5)  Purchase of hydraulic rescue tool set.

(6)  Purchase of ten sets of structural firefighter gear (including hoods, gloves, boots, helmets, and suspenders).

(7)  Purchase of one fire prop dumpster.

(8)  Purchase of spare SCBA tanks.

(9)  Purchase of two automatic external defibrillators.

(Total appropriation – Section 14                                                         $370,000)

Sec. 15.  AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND MARKETS

The sum of $900,000 is appropriated to the agency of agriculture, food and markets, best management practice implementation cost share program, for agricultural nonpoint source pollution reduction.  Farmers participating in this program may receive a maximum of 50 percent of state aid when no federal dollars are available. 

(Total appropriation – Section 15                                                         $900,000)

Sec. 16.  VERMONT RURAL FIRE PROTECTION

The sum of $75,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the Vermont rural fire protection task force to continue the dry hydrant program.

(Total appropriation – Section 16                                                            $75,000)

Sec. 17.  RECREATIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES

The sum of $300,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the recreational and educational facilities grant program to provide competitive grants to municipalities and nonprofit organizations to stimulate the creation and development of recreational and educational opportunities for community youth. 

(Total appropriation – Section 17                                                          $300,000)

Sec. 18.  VERMONT PUBLIC TELEVISION

The sum of $225,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for Vermont Public Television for the federally-mandated conversion of its transmission sites to digital broadcasting format. 

(Total appropriation – Section 18                                                          $225,000)

* * * Financing this Act * * *

Sec. 19.  REALLOCATION OF FUNDS

(a)  Of the amount appropriated to the department of buildings and general services in Sec. 1(a)(2) of No. 62 of the Acts of 1995 (city-state master plan), the sum of $10,001.13 is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized by this act.

(b)  Of the amount appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the judiciary in Sec. 7(b) of No. 29 of the Acts of 1999 (Guildhall courthouse), the sum of $615.71 is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized by this act.

(c)  Of the amount appropriated to the department of buildings and general services in Sec. 1(b) of No. 148 of the Acts of the 1999 Adj. Sess. (2000) (Montpelier parking structure), the sum of $261,422.82 is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized by this act.

(d)  Of the amount appropriated to the department of buildings and general services in Sec. 1(f) of No. 148 of the Acts of the 1999 Adj. Sess. (2000) (State House, interactive television), the sum of $14,205.34 is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized by this act.

(e)  Of the amount appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the judiciary in Sec. 4(a)(4)(B) of No. 148 of the Acts of the 1999 Adj. Sess. (2000) (Caledonia courthouse), the sum of $37,312.00 is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized by this act.

(f)  Of the amount appropriated to the department of buildings and general services in Sec. 4(d) of No. 63 of the Acts of 2003 (illumination of Bennington Battle monument), the sum of $6,900.00 is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized by this act.

(g)  Of the amount appropriated to the department of buildings and general services in Sec. 13(c) of No. 63 of the Acts of 2003 (update master plan for Vermont criminal justice and fire service training councils), the sum of $49,750.65 is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized by this act.

(h)  Of the amount appropriated in Sec. 14(a) of No. 63 of the Acts of 2003 (best management implementation cost share program for agricultural nonpoint source pollution reduction), the sum of $150,000 is reallocated to the department of buildings and general services to defray expenditures authorized by this act.

(i)  The funds reallocated this section shall be used to defray the expenditures authorized in Sec. 1b of this act.

(Total reallocation– Section 19                                                  $530,207.65)

Sec. 20.  GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS

The state treasurer is authorized to issue general obligation bonds in the amount of $40,000,000 for the purpose of funding the appropriations of this act.  The state treasurer, with the approval of the governor, shall determine the appropriate form and maturity of the bonds authorized by this section consistent with the underlying nature of the appropriation to be funded.  The state treasurer shall allocate the estimated cost of bond issuance, or issuances, to the entities to which funds are appropriated pursuant to this section and for which bonding is required as the source of funds, pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 954.

(Total bonding – Section 20                                                      $40,000,000)

* * * Managing this Act * * *

Sec. 21.  REALLOCATION; TRANSFER OF FUNDS

(a)  Historic Sites.  The commissioner of buildings and general services may reallocate the funds in Sec. 5(a) of this act (commerce and community development) to other state historic sites only for major maintenance, should a more pressing need arise following the legislative session.

(b)  Natural resources.  The secretary of natural resources, with the approval of the secretary of administration, may transfer any unexpended project balances between projects authorized in Sec. 10(a), (c), and (g) of this act (natural resources).

(c)  State parks and recreation areas.  The commissioner of buildings and general services, with the approval of the secretary of administration, may use funds appropriated in Sec. 1b(3) of this act (major maintenance) for state parks and recreation areas, and for municipally-owned historical parks.

(d)  Clean and clear program; agriculture.  The secretary of agriculture, food and markets with the approval of the commissioner of buildings and general services, may transfer funds from previous capital appropriations made for the best management practice implementation cost share program in 2003, up to a total of $300,000 to provide grants for alternative manure management technology development under the state’s clean and clear program.  The agency may provide these grants to systems demonstrating alternative management technologies provided that the components of those systems, regardless of whether they are included in the NRCS national handbook of conservation practices, are designed by a licensed engineer. 

(e)  The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to expend from appropriations made in this capital bill or in previously authorized capital bills up to $60,000 for the purposes of developing a test site for a biomass-fueled cogeneration system.  The demonstration site is to be on property owned by the State of Vermont at the Northeast Regional Correctional Facility.  The authorized funds may be transferred in part or in whole to the Biomass Energy Resource Council (BERC) for purposes of fulfilling its grant obligations in connection with this project. 

(f)  Notwithstanding provisions of 10 V.S.A. § 1628 to the contrary, the agency of natural resources may use unallocated funds from past capital appropriations to the water supply grant funding program under 10 V.S.A. chapter 55, together with up to $60,000 of the amount provided in section 10(a) of this act, to provide grants to municipalities designated by the secretary to receive up to 100% of the installation cost of powdered activated carbon systems to remove TFM.

Sec. 22.  ACCEPTANCE OF GRANTS AND OTHER FUNDS

(a)  Notwithstanding section 5 of Title 32 (acceptance of grants):

(1)  The commissioner of environmental conservation, with the approval of the secretary of natural resources, may accept federal grants made available through the federal Clean Water Act and the federal Drinking Water Act in accordance with chapter 120 of Title 24.  Acceptance of this grant money is hereby approved, provided all notifications are made under subsection 4760(a) of Title 24.

(2)  The commissioner of corrections, with the approval of the secretary of human services, may accept federal grants made available through federal crime bill legislation. 

(3)  The commissioner of buildings and general services may accept grants of funds, equipment, and services for the installation, operation, implementation, or maintenance of energy conservation measures or improvements at state buildings.

(4)  The commissioner of buildings and general services may accept private donations to defray costs of providing an islands center for the arts at Knight Point state park in North Hero.

(5)  The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to accept federal funds that may come to the state for purposes of designing a new emergency management facility and emergency operations center.  The department of buildings and general services shall be responsible for overseeing all elements of the design and construction of any new emergency management facility; provided, however, that prior to construction, the commissioner shall present the proposed location and final design and construction plans to the general assembly for review and approval. 

(b)  Each receipt of a grant or gift authorized by this section shall be reported by the commissioner of the department receiving the funds to the chairs of the house and senate committees on institutions and to the joint fiscal committee. 

* * * Buildings and General Services; State Buildings * * *

Sec. 23.  PROJECTS FUNDED IN PRIOR YEARS

The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to use funds appropriated under this act for capital projects requiring additional support that were funded with capital or general appropriations made in prior years.

Sec. 24.  TRANSFER OF POSITION

One permanent, classified “environmental analyst II AC:  general” position shall be transferred from the department of environmental conservation to the department of buildings and general services.

Sec. 25.  29 V.S.A. § 821(a)(8) is added to read:

(8)  “McFarland State Office Building” shall be the name of the state office building at Five Perry Street in Barre.

Sec. 26.  PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS

(a)  Site purchase; St. Albans.  The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to purchase, for no more than $225,000.00, an 11.27± acre parcel in the town of St. Albans located approximately one (1) mile north of the exit 19 interchange on Vermont interstate route 89 and approximately one-quarter mile north of the intersection of state routes 104 and 36 and on the easterly side of route 104, currently owned by the Estate of D. Francis Howrigan, David Read, Richard Read, Frank Read, and Alberta Reed, for the construction of a new public safety facility.

(b)  National Life Insurance Company; Montpelier.  The commissioner of buildings and general services may acquire an option to purchase a portion of the National Life land and realty located on National Life Drive in the city of Montpelier, which option shall not include the right to purchase any open land for development by the state.  It is the intent of the General Assembly to relocate the agency of transportation to a new, single state-owned complex adjacent to 133 State Street unless the state acquires the National Life property, in which case the agency shall be located there.  Upon acquiring an option, the state will work with the city of Montpelier to address lost property tax revenue and other potential economic impacts. 

(c)  Gosse Court state armory; Burlington.  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the commissioner of buildings and general services shall investigate whether the Gosse Court state armory in the city of Burlington is suitable for use for the operations of state government if the Vermont national guard should determine that the property is unnecessary for its purposes.  On or before January 15, 2005, the commissioner shall file a written report, including recommendations, with the house and senate committees on institutions. 

Sec. 27.  29 V.S.A. § 152(a)(27) and (28) are added to read:

(27)  After consulting with the state treasurer to determine the effect of the contract on the state’s debt and with the approval of the emergency board, enter into multiyear contracts with energy service companies for energy efficiency and fuel switching improvements to state facilities, the cost of which will be recovered through the avoided fuel, utility, operating, and maintenance costs resulting from the improvements.  Improvements must within 20 years achieve savings sufficient to cover their costs.  The commissioner shall report annually to the house and senate committees on institutions regarding the status of contracts undertaken under this subsection.

(28)  With the approval of the emergency board, enter into performance contracts with private sector providers to create energy‑smart state buildings and facilities primarily through revised operating strategies that will result in operating cost savings.  The commissioner shall work with private energy contractors and utilities companies to develop a plan to conduct energy audits, analyze the state’s energy needs, improve purchasing procedures to speed the conversion to new technology, and develop revised operating strategies to identify the best use of the latest energy-saving technology.  The commissioner shall report annually to the house and senate committees on institutions regarding the status of contracts undertaken under this section.

Sec. 28.  STATE HOUSE EXPANSION

The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to use funds previously appropriated in connection with the State House expansion project to prepare schematic design, design development, and construction documents for an addition to the State House, provided that design of such addition shall not extend beyond the east elevation and façade and shall not include expansion to the west of the State House.  Nothing in this section, however, shall preclude the sizing of infrastructure to accommodate future additions. 


Sec. 29.  ENERGY RETROFITS

(a)  The department of buildings and general services plans to rehabilitate approximately 2,875 windows in the Waterbury state office complex, which is listed on the national and state historic registers. 

(b)  In preparation for this work, the commissioner of buildings and general services shall develop not less than three proposals for its completion, each of which is prepared in accordance with the U.S. Secretary of Interior’s standards for rehabilitation of historic buildings and seeks to address the following:

(1)  Consideration of the state’s limited bonding capacity; provided, however, that any funding proposals may be adjusted by the rate of inflation.

(2)  Enhancement of energy efficiency.

(3)  Creation of efficiencies in long‑term maintenance.

(4)  Promotion of simplicity, safety, and ease in custodial care and cleaning.

(5)  Consideration of aesthetic concerns.

(6)  Increase in the ease of occupant operational use.

(c)  The Vermont advisory council on historic preservation and the division for historic preservation shall review the options developed by the commissioner under subsection (b) of this section and shall work with the commissioner to determine which option is most supportive of the goals set forth in that subsection.

(d)  After formulation of the options required by subsection (b) of this section, but prior to final selection of one pursuant to subsection (c), the commissioner shall request a jurisdictional opinion under 10 V.S.A. chapter 151 (“Act 250”).  If Act 250 jurisdiction is found to attach, the selection of an option under subsection (c) of this section shall constitute the presumption that both the council and the division support the project under 10 V.S.A. § 6086(a)(8).

(e)  The commissioner shall report on the status of this project to the house and senate committees on institutions on or before January 15, 2005. 

Sec. 30.  PUBLIC ACCESS AREA ON LONG POND; WESTMORE

(a)  The state of Vermont, through the department of forests, parks and recreation, owns property on Long Lake in the town of Westmore that is used as public access for boating.

(b)  The public access area on Long Pond shall be known as “The Howard E. Taylor Public Access Area.”  The department shall erect a sign to this effect at the access area. 

Sec. 31.  29 V.S.A. § 152(a)(29) is added to read:

(29)  When purchasing land for new state highway garages and other transportation buildings, as well as other state buildings on major highways in the state, the commissioner, in consultation with the secretary of transportation, shall consider purchasing additional land suitable for park-and-ride facilities. 

Sec. 32.  ELECTRONIC WASTE MANAGEMENT; STUDY AND RECOMMENDATIONS

(a)  In January 2004, the agency of natural resources submitted a report to the general assembly, entitled “Electronic Waste Management in Vermont.”  Although the report discusses environmental concerns regarding the rapid growth of the electronic waste stream and acknowledges state and national initiatives to address this problem, it fails to recommend a comprehensive strategy to be adopted the state.

(b)  On or before January 15, 2005, the commissioner of buildings and general services, in consultation with the secretary of natural resources, shall file a report with the house and senate committees on institutions recommending legislative, regulatory, or other action to create a comprehensive strategy for the purchasing, collection, recovery, recycling, and disposal of computer electronic equipment waste by the state of Vermont.  The recommendations shall include proposed solutions addressing any potential concerns or impediments to those efforts. 

Sec. 33.  CAPITOL COMPLEX LONG-TERM THERMAL ENERGY PLANNING

(a)  The general assembly finds:

(1)  The Capitol Complex heating load currently exceeds the capacity of the central boiler plant.

(2)  The existing steam and condensate distribution system is in good condition and has adequate capacity for both near- and long-term planned expansion, although there is a need for some minor upgrades.

(3)  Conversion of the district heating distribution system to heating by hot water, while not recommended for the near term, may be beneficial over the longer term as buildings are converted to hot water distribution, and the existing steam distribution system approaches its average service life.

(4)  There are alternate sites in addition to the existing facility location where a boiler plant could meet the required air quality standard and the program requirements.

(5)  An expanded district heating system, capable of serving the Capitol Complex area and potentially extending to the National Life infrastructure may include several sites for simultaneous boiler plant location and operation.

(b)  In order to begin to address the immediate and long-term thermal energy needs of the Capitol Complex, the department of buildings and general services shall:

(1)  Begin design and permitting work to upgrade a new central heating plant facility at the present site at 10 Taylor Street.  The minimum requirements for the new facility shall include 1600 Bhp total system capacity and four boilers (two oil; two wood).  The boilers should be selected to provide the maximum flexibility relative to potential conversion for future use for combined heat and power and fuel sources.  All new construction and renovations shall be designed to utilize a future hot water distribution system, in addition to the existing steam distribution.  

(2)  Prepare a 20-year (FY 2006-2020) plan for systematic conversion to hot water distribution systems in those buildings within the Capitol Complex that still rely on steam.  The plan shall include conversion of the steam and condensate mains in the distribution system to a hot water system by FY 2021. 

(c)  The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to expend up to $75,000 from previously authorized appropriations to develop a plan to upgrade the state’s proposed Montpelier heating plant, to develop a conceptual plan to provide district heating to state-owned facilities in Montpelier, and to work with the Biomass Energy Resource Center to advance the work funded under previous capital construction acts.  With the approval of the secretary of administration, some or all of the expenditure authorized by this subsection may be used to work with private or public entities in connection with the master plan, including the Biomass Energy Resource Center.

(d)  On or before January 15, 2005, the commissioner shall report the results of the preliminary design work and the master plan to the house and senate committees on institutions. 

(e)  The department of buildings and general services shall cooperate and share with the City of Montpelier information that will enable the city, at its expense, to undertake a parallel study and develop its own plan to develop a district heating proposal for sections of the city.

Sec. 34.  COLOCATION OF DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE FORENSIC SCIENCE LABORATORIES

(a)  Disbursement and use of funds appropriated in Sec. 1b(3) of No. 63 of the Acts of 2003 for the design of colocated department of health and criminal justice forensic science laboratories shall not be contingent upon a decision to colocate with one or more additional entities.

(b)  The department of buildings and general services shall consult with the Vermont association of chiefs of police and the Vermont sheriffs’ association when planning for colocation of the laboratories, including when it determines the appropriate location for the building. 

Sec. 35.  29 V.S.A. § 166(c) is amended to read: 

§ 166.  SELLING OR RENTING STATE PROPERTY

* * *

(c)  The provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall not be construed to allow the commissioner of buildings and general services to grant oil and gas leases on state-owned lands located within Vermont, but, with the approval of the governor, the commissioner of buildings and general services may sell or lease state lands for which an oil and gas lease has been granted, subject, however, to the terms and conditions of such oil and gas lease; provided, however, the commissioner shall be responsible for any interests owned by the state in oil and gas resources located outside the state and may, after consultation with the secretaries of administration and of natural resources, lease or sell any such interest.

Sec. 36.  29 V.S.A. § 531(b) is amended to read:

§ 531.  MANAGEMENT OF STATE OIL AND GAS RESOURCES

* * *

(b)  Each state land manager shall be responsible for management of the leasing, exploration, and development of the oil and gas resources found on state lands under his the manager’s primary jurisdiction.  The board shall be responsible for any interests owned by the state in oil and gas resources located outside the state.

Sec. 37.  HIGH PERFORMANCE DESIGN; STUDY

On or before January 15, 2005, the commissioner of buildings and general services, in consultation with the commissioners of labor and industry and of education, shall file a report with the house and senate committees on institutions recommending legislative, regulatory, or other action by which the state can encourage or require the incorporation of high performance design techniques and features into planning for state buildings and school facilities. 

* * * Buildings and General Services; Resource Management Program * * *

Sec. 38.  3 V.S.A. § 2291 is amended to read:

§ 2291.  STATE AGENCY ENERGY PLAN

(a)  For purposes of this section, Definitions. 

(1)  When used in this title, “life cycle costs” shall mean the present value purchase price of an item, plus the replacement cost, plus or minus the salvage value, plus the present value of operation and maintenance costs, plus the energy and environmental externalities’ costs or benefits.  Where reliable data enables the agency of natural resources department of buildings and general services to establish these additional environmental externalities’ costs or benefits with respect to a particular purchasing decision or category of purchasing decisions, that is energy related, the agency department may recommend the addition or subtraction of an additional price factor.  Any appropriate agency may make such an adjustment.  All state agencies shall consider the price factor and environmental considerations set by the department when examining life cycle costs for purchasing decisions.

(2)  “State facilities,” when used in this chapter, shall mean all

state-owned or leased buildings, structures, appurtenances, and grounds.

(3)  “State fleet,” as used in this chapter, shall mean passenger vehicles and light duty trucks for use by state employees in the conduct of official duties, excluding law enforcement vehicles assigned to sworn law enforcement officers, and shall be procured by the commissioner of buildings and general services. 

(b)  It is the general policy of the state of Vermont 

(1)  To assure, to the greatest extent practicable, that state government can meet its energy needs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a manner that is adequate, reliable, secure, and sustainable; that assures affordability and encourages the state’s economic vitality, the efficient use of energy resources, and cost-effective demand side management; and that is environmentally sound.

(2)  To identify and evaluate, on an ongoing basis, resources that will meet state government energy service, infrastructure, purchasing and supply, and fleet needs in accordance with the principles of least cost integrated planning; including efficiency, conservation and load management alternatives, purchasing preferences, wise use of renewable resources and environmentally sound infrastructure development, energy supply, purchasing practices, and fleet management.

(c)  The secretary of administration with the cooperation of the commissioners of the department of public service and the department of buildings and general services shall develop and oversee the implementation of a state agency energy plan for state government.  The plan shall be adopted by April 1, 1993 June 30, 2005, modified as necessary, and readopted by the secretary on or before April 1, January 15 of each fifth year subsequent to 1995 2005.  The plan shall accomplish the following objectives and requirements:

(1)  The intent of the plan is to To conserve resources, save energy, and reduce pollution.  The plan shall devise strategies to identify to the greatest extent feasible, all opportunities for, conservation of resources through environmentally and economically sound infrastructure development, purchasing, and fleet management, and investments in, renewable energy and energy efficiency available to the state which are cost effective on a life cycle cost basis.

(A)  The secretary of administration, by means of procedures, shall develop life cycle cost guidelines for use in state buildings.  These guidelines shall require all new construction and major renovations to comply with the document titled “State of Vermont, 1991, Department of Buildings and General Services Energy Conservation Standard for New and Existing State Buildings,” as that document may be amended.

(B)  The plan shall include consideration of state policies and operations which affect energy use.

(2)  To consider state policies and operations that affect energy use.

(3)  The plan shall To devise a strategy to implement or acquire all identified prudent opportunities and investments in as prompt, prudent and efficient a manner as possible.

(A)  The department of buildings and general services in consultation with the department of public service shall develop a work plan to reduce overall energy consumption in existing and proposed state buildings based on energy consumption levels specified in the energy conservation standard as referred to in subdivision (1)(A) of this subsection.  The plan shall identify, in buildings at variance with the energy standards referred to in subdivision (1)(A) of this subsection, the cost to bring the building into compliance, and energy cost savings for the remaining useful life of the building.

(B)  The plan shall

(4)  To include appropriate provisions for monitoring resource and energy use and evaluating the impact of measures undertaken.

(C)  The plan shall

(5)  To identify education, management, and other relevant policy changes that are a part of the implementation strategy.

(D)  The department of buildings and general services shall coordinate state purchasing decisions, according to procedures developed by the secretary in cooperation with the commissioner of public service, so as to assure comparisons in terms of relative life cycle costs.

(3)  In annual budget and capital requests to the general assembly, the secretary of administration shall include work plans, budgets and proposed financing mechanisms to accomplish these reductions in energy use.  Copies of those portions of budget and capital requests necessary to accomplish these reductions in energy use shall be sent to the chairs of legislative committees on institutions and on natural resources and energy.

(4)  The plan shall (6)  To devise a strategy to reduce vehicle fuel consumption greenhouse gas emissions.  The plan shall include steps to encourage more efficient trip planning, to reduce the average fuel consumption of the agency state fleet, and to encourage car pooling and van pooling for agency alternatives to solo-commuting state employees for commuting and job-related travel.  The agency of transportation, together with the agency of natural resources, shall jointly prepare a feasibility report by September 1, 1993, for a state vehicle alternative fuel pilot program.  This program shall be implemented, as soon as practicable, if cost effective.

(d)  The department of buildings and general services shall coordinate state purchasing decisions, according to procedures developed by the commissioner in cooperation with the commissioner of public service, to assure comparisons based on relative life cycle costs.

(e)  The commissioner of buildings and general services shall develop life cycle cost guidelines for use in all state buildings.  These guidelines shall require all new construction and major renovations to meet or exceed the document titled “The Vermont Guidelines for Energy Efficient Commercial Construction” as published in its most recent edition by the department of public service as that document may be amended.

(1)  The department of buildings and general services shall develop a  state strategy to reduce overall energy consumption in existing and proposed state buildings based on energy consumption levels specified in the energy conservation standard referred to in this subsection.  The plan shall identify, in buildings at variance with the energy standards referred to in this subsection, the cost to bring the building into compliance, and energy cost savings for the remaining useful life of the building.

(5)(2)  Each state agency and department, designated by the secretary of administration, which constructs or manages state buildings shall, by December 31, 1993 June 30, 2005, assure that new construction or major renovation of such structures incorporates those practical energy efficiency measures and energy consuming systems that result in the lowest life cycle cost.  New construction of state buildings shall be highly efficient and shall employ optimal siting and design, given the uses to which the buildings are to be put, with respect to solar gain and temperature control.  State buildings shall be shaded and ventilated and their air circulation managed, to the extent practical, instead of being cooled by air conditioning.

(3)  In capital requests to the general assembly, the commissioner of buildings and general services shall include, when appropriate, work plans, budgets, and proposed financing mechanisms to accomplish these reductions in energy use.

(6)  The plan shall recommend revisions to, or expansion of, existing state lending and development programs that would create incentives for the development of clean fuels, energy conservation, and alternative energy industries.

(f)  The commissioner of buildings and general services shall biennially report to the secretary of administration on the state’s implementation of this section.


Sec. 39.  3 V.S.A. § 2291a is added to read:

§ 2291a.  STATE AGENCY PLANNING AND COORDINATION

State agencies shall engage in a continuing planning process to assure that programs and actions are consistent with the goals established in the state agency energy plan required by section 2291 of this title.  This planning process shall be coordinated in a manner established by the commissioner of buildings and general services.

Sec. 40.  3 V.S.A. § 2291b is added to read:

§ 2291b.  ADOPTION OF STATE AGENCY ENERGY IMPLEMENTATION PLANS

After review by the commissioner of buildings and general services and approval by the secretary of administration, each state agency shall adopt an implementation plan on or before June 30, 2005 to ensure compliance with the state agency energy plan.  Each agency shall readopt and file its implementation plan biennially with the commissioner to ensure that the implementation plan remains compatible with the state agency energy plan.

Sec. 41.  REPEAL

29 V.S.A. § 51 (life cycle costs) is repealed.


Sec. 42.  29 V.S.A. § 903 is amended to read:

§ 903.  REQUISITION FOR SUPPLIES AND MATERIALS

* * *

(b)  When purchasing any items mentioned in this chapter, the commissioner of buildings and general services, in any determination of the best interest of the state shall consider (1) specified quality, (2) price, (3) ease of access of supply, (4) incidental administrative costs, (5) proven reliability of bidder, (6) use of recycled materials or products, (7) minimizing the creation, by the state, of solid waste, (8) the extent to which the usage of the item involves the generation of pollutants, (9) life cycle costs, if required under the state agency energy plan, as implemented, (10) the interests of the state relating to the proximity of the supplier and the costs of transportation, and relating to the economy of the state and the need to maintain and create jobs in the state and (11) the use of railroads and the increased revenues returning to the state from its railroad leasing program.  The commissioner, in the commissioner’s discretion, may spend up to five ten percent more for comparable products that are made of recycled materials.  If products made of recycled materials are to cost more than five ten percent more than comparable products, the commissioner shall receive consent of state entities that are to use the product, before completing the order for the materials in question.

* * *

(d)  The commissioner of buildings and general services, with the assistance of all state agencies, shall cooperate with the generators and managers of waste materials which may be recycled and with the producers of products which use recycled materials to maximize the state’s use of those materials and products, particularly where the added cost of using waste materials rather than virgin materials is less than the cost avoided by not having that waste in the waste stream.  Proceeds from the sale of waste materials collected by the department of buildings and general services shall be credited to a special fund and shall be available to the department to offset the cost of recycling efforts.  The goal for the purchase of recycled materials shall be at least 15 40 percent by the end of 1988, 25 percent by the end of 1990, and 40 percent by the end of 1993 2008.  For purposes of this section, “recycled materials” include, but are not limited to, recycled paper products, retreaded automobile tires, re-refined lubricating oil, used automotive parts, reclaimed solvents, recycled asphalt, recycled concrete and compost materials.  By January 15 of each

odd-numbered year, the commissioner of buildings and general services shall submit a report to the governor and to the natural resources committees of the general assembly reporting on the implementation of this subsection.

* * *

(f)  The commissioner of buildings and general services, with the assistance of all state agencies, shall increase the procurement of recycled paint products for all state facilities.  The state shall survey potential suppliers and vendors, and state facilities for which these paint products are suitable.  The commissioner shall consider and implement modifications of performance standards, where appropriate, to achieve greater procurement of recycled paint products.

(g)  The commissioner of buildings and general services, in consultation with the commissioner of public service, when purchasing vehicles for state use shall consider vehicles using clean-burning alternative fuels when the alternative fuel is suitable for the vehicle’s operation, is available in the region where the vehicle will be used, and is competitively priced with traditional fuels.

Sec. 43.  29 V.S.A. § 906 is amended to read:

§ 906.  STATIONERY AND OFFICE SUPPLIES

(a)  The commissioner of buildings and general services shall maintain a central stores section in which to keep manage a supply program in order to ensure the disbursal of equipment for use by state government, including but not limited to fleet vehicles, office supplies, equipment, stationery, record books, and forms purchased by the state.  The commissioner shall disburse them upon requisition to all state departments, institutions and within limits approved by the commissioner of finance and management to county officers whose compensation and expenses are paid by the state or any institution of higher education chartered in Vermont and accredited or holding a certificate of approval from the state board of education.  The form of the requisition shall be prescribed by the commissioner of buildings and general services.

* * *

(c)  The commissioner shall also maintain a central duplicating section to provide duplicating services for state departments, institutions and county officers whose compensation and expenses are paid by the state, and supply postal services to all state offices and officers located in the Montpelier or Waterbury areas, within limits approved by the commissioner of finance and management central Vermont and in other locations when feasible as determined by the commissioner.

* * *

(e)  All operating expenses and services of the central stores supply section and central duplicating section shall be paid out of a revolving fund insofar as possible.  The commissioner of buildings and general services, with the approval of the commissioner of finance and management, may assess charges for supplies, equipment and services, which the commissioner of finance and management shall charge back to appropriations for the various departments all items mentioned under this section, and credit like amounts to the revolving fund.


Sec. 44.  3 V.S.A. § 217 is amended to read:

§ 217.  PASSENGER VEHICLES; SALE

(a)  No state department or agency, board, or commission, except the governor and, the commissioner of buildings and general services, and the commissioners of the departments of fish and wildlife and of public safety for use of employees who are sworn law enforcement officers, may maintain or provide passenger vehicles for the use of employees, subject to such exceptions as may be made by the secretary of administration commissioner of buildings and general services in circumstances where there is documented evidence of necessity based upon the requirements or conditions of individual state programs.

(b)  The department of buildings and general services of the agency of administration shall dispose of all cars owned by the state except those cars which are determined by the secretary of administration to be necessary to the operations of individual state programs under subsection (a) of this section.  All money which has been budgeted in any fiscal year for the maintenance of those vehicles and the proceeds from the sale of those vehicles shall be applied as necessary for the purpose of reimbursing state employees for the use of their private vehicles to the future replacement of the state fleet.  Any unspent balance shall revert to the general fund.

(c)  Any state employee who regularly drives a particular state car, shall if the car is to be disposed of by sale, be offered the option of purchasing the car in a manner and within a reasonable time as determined by the commissioner of buildings and general services.  At least 50 percent of the vehicles purchased annually by the commissioner shall be low emission passenger vehicles. 

Sec. 45.  CENTRAL VERMONT FLEET; PILOT PROJECT

The commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to initiate a central Vermont fleet pilot project to demonstrate efficiencies, cost savings, and decreased greenhouse gas emissions based on reducing solo-commuting and the use of private vehicles for state business.  On or before April 15, 2005, the commissioner shall file a written report with the house and senate committees on institutions and appropriations regarding the effectiveness of the pilot project, which shall include comments from the Vermont state employees’ association. 

Sec. 46.  29 V.S.A. § 168 is added to read:

§ 168.  STATE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT; REVOLVING FUND

(a)  Resource management.  The department shall be responsible for administering the interest of the state in all resource conservation measures, including equipment replacement, studies, weatherization, and construction of improvements affecting the use of energy resources.  All resource conservation measures taken for the benefit of departments or agencies to which this section applies shall, beginning on July 1, 2004, be made and executed by and in the name of the commissioner.

(b)  Revolving fund. 

(1)  There is established a resource management revolving fund to provide revenue for implementation of resource conservation measures anticipated to generate a life cycle cost benefit to the state.  All state agencies responsible for development and operations and maintenance of state infrastructure shall have access to the revolving fund on a priority basis established by the commissioner. 

(2)  The fund shall consist of:

(A)  Moneys appropriated to the fund, or which are paid to it under authorization of the emergency board.

(B)  Money saved by the implementation of resource management conservation measures.

(C)  Fees for administrative costs paid by departments and agencies, which shall be fixed by the commissioner subject to the approval of the secretary of administration.

(3)  Moneys from the fund shall be expended by the commissioner for resource conservation measures anticipated to generate a life cycle cost benefit to the state and all necessary costs involved with the administration of state agency energy planning as determined by the commissioner. 

(4)  The commissioner shall establish criteria to determine eligibility for funding of resource conservation measures.

(5)  Agencies or departments receiving funding shall repay the fund through their regular operating budgets according to a schedule established by the commissioner.  Repayment shall include charges of fees for administrative costs over the term of the repayment.

(6)  The commissioner of finance and management may anticipate receipts to this fund and issue warrants based thereon.

(7)  The commissioner of buildings and general services shall maintain accurate and complete records of all receipts by and expenditures from the fund and shall report to the general assembly on January 15 of each year regarding projects approved through the fund, the status of the fund, and a consolidated amortization schedule.

(8)  All balances remaining at the end of a fiscal year shall be carried over to the following year, and the auditor of accounts shall audit the fund.

* * * Judiciary * * *

Sec. 47.  24 V.S.A. § 82(b) is amended to read:

(b)  Any bond issue pursuant to this chapter for capital construction shall be passed by a majority of the votes of those voting.  The issue shall be submitted to the voters of the county at the first general or annual municipal election scheduled at least 90 days after the completion of the preliminary construction plans and cost estimates. 


Sec. 48.  24 V.S.A. § 133(e) is amended to read:

(e)  The proposed budget shall contain any cost estimates and preliminary plans for capital construction in the county pursuant to subchapter 2 of chapter 3 of this title, estimates of the indebtedness of the county, estimates of the probable ordinary expenses of the county for the ensuing year, and any and all other expenses and obligations of the county.  The budget may contain provision for additions to a reserve fund and the accumulated total reserve fund shall not at any time exceed an amount equal to ten per cent percent of the current budget presented.  The Pursuant to a capital program, as described in section 4426 of this title, the budget may also include a provision for a separate reserve fund for capital construction, reconstruction, remodeling, repairs, renovation, design, or redesign which shall not at any time exceed an amount equal to 50 percent of the current budget presented.  However, if capital construction, reconstruction, remodeling, repairs, renovation, design, or redesign is necessitated by an insured loss or damage to a county building. The , the separate reserve fund shall be limited to may also include the amount of insurance proceeds received as a result of the loss or damage.  All county budgets shall be presented on the form prescribed by the auditor of accounts, after consultation with the association of assistant judges, and shall include the amounts currently budgeted for each item included in the proposed budget. 


* * * Commerce and Community Development * * *

Sec. 49.  24 V.S.A. § 2797 is added to read:

§ 2797.  PROPERTY ASSESSMENT FUND; BROWNFIELDS AND

               REDEVELOPMENT;  COMPETITIVE PROGRAM

(a)  There is created a property assessment fund pursuant to subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32 to be administered by the department of housing and community affairs for the purpose of providing financing, on a competitive basis, to municipalities that demonstrate a financial need in order to determine and evaluate a full assessment of the extent and the cost of remediation of property, or in the case of an existing building, an assessment that supports a clear plan, including the associated costs of renovation to bring the building into compliance with state and local building codes.

(b)  The fund shall be composed of the following:

(1)  State or federal funds that may be appropriated by the general assembly.

(2)  Any gifts, grants, or other contributions to the funds.

(3)  Proceeds from the issuance of general obligation bonds.

(c)  A municipality deemed financially eligible may apply to the fund for the assessment of property and existing buildings proposed for redevelopment, provided the department finds that the property or building:

(1)  Is not likely to be renovated or improved without the preliminary assessment.

(2)  When renovated or redeveloped, will integrate and be compatible with any applicable and approved regional development, capital, and municipal plans; is expected to create new property tax if developed by a taxable entity; and is expected to reduce pressure for development on open or undeveloped land in the local community or in the region.

(d)  The department shall distribute funds under this section in a manner that provides funding for assessment projects of various sizes in as many geographical areas of the state as possible and may require matching funds from the municipality in which an assessment project is conducted. 

Sec. 50.  LABOR AND INDUSTRY; BUILDING CODES; DOWNTOWN

               AND VILLAGE CENTER PRESERVATION

The department of labor and industry, or the department of public safety if it assumes the duties identified in this section, shall work with property owners to understand and apply the technical requirements of the fire prevention and life safety code and the accessibility code, including alternative solutions that may be available for existing buildings with the goal of maintaining safety, increasing universal access, reducing application of resources, and increasing predictability.  The department shall issue a report on or before January 15, 2005, indicating the progress being made in its continued implementation of the following policies:

(1)  Amending and updating the Vermont Fire Prevention and Building Code to adopt current national standards on fire prevention, life safety, and building construction and renovation.  Particular emphasis will be placed on the following items:

(A)  Ensuring that fire and life safety code requirements will allow longer time frames for compliance where appropriate.

(B)  Developing standards for low risk occupancies with limited code obligations.

(C)  Promoting use of equivalencies and alternatives that provide equivalent safety protection.

(D)  Assuring that a change in use of an existing building which does not raise the hazard level of the occupancy does not trigger its consideration as a new building under the life safety code.

(2)  Ensuring that the preliminary review process identifies high priority code issues and provides mechanisms to address satisfactorily those issues. 

Sec. 51.  SALES TAX HOLIDAY FOR COMPUTER PURCHASES

It is the policy of the state to encourage the citizens of Vermont to acquire and become skilled with modern technology, especially personal computers, and to facilitate their acquisition of basic computers for this purpose. Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 233 of Title 32, no sales or use tax shall be imposed or collected on sales from August 7 through 9, 2004 and from October 9 through 11, 2004, of personal computers to individuals for personal use.  Consistent with the purpose of this section, the commissioner of taxes shall publish a list of personal computers and components thereof that are to be exempt from the sales and use tax under this section.

* * * Education * * *

Sec. 52.  16 V.S.A. § 3448(a)(9) is amended to read:

§ 3448.  APPROVAL AND FUNDING OF SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS; RENEWABLE ENERGY

(a)  Construction aid.

* * *

(9)  Payment.  Upon satisfactory evidence that a project approved under subdivision (5) of this subsection is under construction or has been constructed, and upon appropriation of funds sufficient to fund the state aid due under this section, the state board shall certify an award for the project to the commissioner of finance and management who shall issue a warrant for the payment of one-half of the award, or the entire award if the project is complete.  After a project has been completed according to approved plans and specifications and the cost thereof has been audited by the department, the commissioner shall certify the remainder of the award due for the project to the commissioner of finance and management who shall issue a warrant for the payment.  Provided however, if a project that is included on a prioritized list, for which list the general assembly has appropriated funds in any year, is not eligible to be certified for one-half of the award or for the entire award, and if another project of lesser priority is eligible for certification, then nothing in this section shall preclude the state board from certifying an award for the lesser priority project prior to the higher priority project. 

Sec. 53.  Sec. 63(b) of No. 149 of the Acts of the 2001 Adj. Sess. (2002) is amended to read:

(b)  For purposes of determining when it shall receive its award, each of the technical centers identified in subsection (a) of this section shall maintain its position in the priority set forth in subsection (a) be eligible to receive payment pursuant to the provisions of 16 V.S.A. § 3448(a)(9).  The order in which the projects are set forth in subsection (a) of this section shall have no effect on determining the priority of payments to the three projects.  Notwithstanding any provisions of chapter 123 of Title 16 to the contrary, this section sets forth the process required for these three technical centers, provided these technical centers shall conform to the standards for technical education center construction developed jointly by the commissioners of education and of buildings and general services pursuant to Sec. 44 of No. 148 of the Acts of 2000.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the districts responsible for these three technical centers from seeking voter approval to borrow 100 percent of the project costs in anticipation of state aid and commencing construction, provided the district shall not be reimbursed by the state for debt incurred due to such borrowing.  The capital construction funding request for these three projects shall be a separate line item in the annual request submitted by the state board of education pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 3448(a)(4).

Sec. 54.  Sec. 49 of No. 68 of the Acts of 2003 is amended to read:

Sec. 49.  CONSTRUCTION AID FOR SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION;

               SUNSET

(a)  Notwithstanding 16 V.S.A. § 3448(a)(7)(A) which provides 30 percent construction aid for school buildings, the amount of an award shall be 50 percent of the approved cost of a project or applicable portion of the project, provided that, as determined by the commissioner of education:

(1)  the project consolidates grades, classes, supervisory or other functions in school buildings and school facilities within a school district in a more cost-effective and educationally appropriate manner in a school district; or

(2)  two or more school districts have formed a joint contract district or a union district for the purpose of building a school the initial construction or initial renovation project is an integral part of the formation of a joint contract or union district that is designed to serve the educational needs of the participating districts in a more cost-effective and educationally appropriate manner than would individual projects constructed separately. 

(b)  This section shall apply only to a project which has received preliminary approval by June 30, 2008 and which is eventually approved and funded pursuant to section 3448 of Title 16.

Sec. 55.  Sec. 5(d)(2) of the Acts of 2003 is amended to read:

(2)  The sum of $318,000 is appropriated to the department of buildings and general services for the planning and construction or fit-up of space preparation of construction documents for a power mechanics program at the Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center, as the first phase in the development of an agricultural workforce development center project; provided the Middlebury Union High School District first demonstrates to the satisfaction of the commissioners of education and of buildings and general services that it has determined the location of the project, that the funds appropriated in this subsection are adequate to complete phase one of the project, and that the District has received commitments for the 50 percent local match required in 16 V.S.A. § 3448e to support the planning and construction or fit-up of space for the power mechanics program.  Notwithstanding any provision of Title 16 to the contrary, the District is authorized to make the demonstration of the required 50 percent local match under this subsection by presenting evidence of in-kind contributions of equipment from private sources in the discretion of the commissioner, up to $141,752 of this appropriation may be used by the Patricia A. Hannaford Regional Technical School District to purchase a parcel of land, of approximately 5.8 acres and known as Lot #7, in the Middlebury Industrial Park in Middlebury, VT.


Sec. 56.  CHAMPLAIN VALLEY UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT;                                         CONSTRUCTION AID AUTHORIZED

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, including the requirement that a district obtain state board of education approval prior to commencing construction on a project for which the district seeks state school construction aid, the Champlain Valley Union High School District (CVUHSD) may receive 25 percent construction aid for the state’s total share of costs incurred in connection with the renovation project completed in the summer of 2002, which state share shall not exceed $235,270, if such costs are otherwise deemed eligible by the commissioner of education under state board rules.  The CVUHSD project shall be placed in order of priority for receipt of construction aid after the final school district on the list of school districts submitted by the state board of education in January 2004. 

Sec. 57.  FINDINGS

The general assembly finds that it is desirable to encourage districts to enter into performance contracts for the construction or installation of cost-saving measures in order to realize energy and operational cost savings.  It is also desirable to grant state aid to a district entering into a performance contract, enabling it to make all or a portion of its contractual payments before they are due and thereby increase savings by reducing finance charges.


Sec. 58.  16 V.S.A. § 3448f is added to read:

§ 3448f.  ENERGY PERFORMANCE CONTRACTING;

                AUTHORIZATION; STATE AID

(a)  Definitions.  As used in this section:

(1)  “Cost-saving measure” means any facility improvement, repair, or alteration or any equipment, fixture, or furnishing to be constructed or installed in any facility that is designed to reduce energy consumption and operating costs or to increase the operating efficiency of facilities for their appointed functions, that is cost effective, and that is further defined by state board rule.

(2)  “District” means a district or independent school eligible for assistance under section 3447 of this title.

(3)  “Energy and operational cost-savings” means any expense that is eliminated or decreased on a long-term basis as a result of any cost saving measure, but does not include shifting personnel costs or similar short-term cost‑savings.

(4)  “Performance contract” means a contract for the valuation, recommendation, and implementation of one or more cost-saving measures for the purpose of realizing energy and operational cost savings where payment by the district is contingent on energy or operational cost-saving results. 

(b)  Authorization.  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a district may enter into a performance contract pursuant to this section for a period not to exceed 20 years.  Cost-saving measures implemented under the contract shall comply with all state and local building codes. 

(c)  Selection of qualified contractor. 

(1)  Request for proposals.  The district shall issue a request for proposals from individuals or entities interested in entering into a performance contract (who shall become the “contractor”), shall consider the proposals, and shall select a qualified contractor to engage in final contract negotiations.  In developing the request for proposals and in selecting a qualified contractor, the district should make use of any assistance available from Efficiency Vermont, the school energy management program of the Vermont superintendents association, and other similar entities.  Factors to be considered in the final selection shall include contract terms, comprehensiveness of the proposal, comprehensiveness of cost-saving measures, experience of the contractor, quality of technical approach, and overall benefits to the district.

(2)  Financial grade audit.  The person selected pursuant to this subsection shall prepare a financial grade energy audit which, upon acceptance by the district, shall be part of the final performance contract executed with the district.  If after preparation of the financial grade energy audit the district decides not to execute a performance contract with the contractor, the district shall pay the qualified contractor for costs incurred in preparing the financial grade energy audit.  If, however, the district decides to execute a performance contract with the contractor, the costs of the financial grade energy audit shall be part of the costs of the performance contract.

(3)  Voter approval of proposed performance contract.  If the terms of the proposed performance contract permit the district to make payments to the contractor over a period of time exceeding ten years, then the district shall not enter into a final performance contract until it receives approval from the electorate to do so. 

(d)  Installment payment and lease-purchase agreements.  A district may enter into a performance contract structured as an installment payment contract or lease-purchase agreement for the purchase and installation of cost-saving measures.  Financing implemented through the contractor or a person other than the contractor is authorized.

(e)  Payment schedule and savings.  Each performance contract shall provide that all payments between parties, except obligations on termination of the contract before its expiration, shall be made over time, and that the objective of the performance contract is implementation of cost-saving measures and energy and operational cost savings.

(f)  State funding for energy conservation measures.

(1)  Application for construction aid.  A district that intends to construct or install cost-saving measures under a performance contract and wishes to receive state school construction aid in connection with those measures shall submit a written application to the commissioner that:

(A)  Specifies the need for and purpose of the project, including details of the cost-saving measure or measures proposed.

(B)  Provides details concerning the qualifications of the person with whom the district has entered or intends to enter into a performance contract and concerning the district’s adherence to the selection process required by subsection (c) of this section, including detailed information regarding the assistance received from Efficiency Vermont, the school energy management program, and similar entities.

(C)  Provides detailed information concerning the energy and operational cost‑savings projected to result from the proposed cost-saving measures.

(D)  Provides detailed information concerning the amount and schedule of payments to be made under the terms of the performance contract.

(E)  Provides any other information the commissioner deems necessary for consideration of the application.

(2)  Approval of application.  After consultation with the department of buildings and general services and any other expert resources that may be available, including Efficiency Vermont and the school energy management program of the Vermont superintendents association, the commissioner may approve a complete application.

(3)  Priorities.  Following approval of a district’s application, the state board shall assign points, established by board rule, to the project so that the project can be placed on a priority list distinct from but similar to the list established under section 3448 of this title, based on the number of points received.  Once a project receives points, if it does not receive funding in a given year, it shall not lose points in subsequent years and, pursuant to board rule and provided the scope of the project remains the same, it shall gain points due to the length of time on the list and may gain points for any other reason.  Prioritized projects under this section shall be included in the state board’s request for legislative appropriation as a separate and distinct line item under section 3448 of this title.  Any legislative appropriation made to fund the line item for performance contracts shall not exceed 20 percent of the appropriation made in the same year to fund state aid for school construction under section 3448.     

(4)  Award of state aid.  A district shall not be reimbursed for debt incurred due to borrowing funds in anticipation of aid under this section.  The total amount of an award shall be 20 percent of the approved total cost of the project, provided the total award shall not exceed the total payment that would be due from the district, less interest. 

(5)  Eligible costs.  A project or portions of a project under this section shall be eligible for aid pursuant to criteria established by state board rule.

(6)  Payment.  Upon (A) completion of the construction or installation of the cost-saving measure, (B) determination by the department of buildings and general services that implementation of the cost-saving measures is expected to result in energy and operational cost savings, and (C) legislative appropriation sufficient to fund the state aid due under this section, the state board shall certify an award for the project to the commissioner of finance and management who shall issue a warrant for the payment of the award.  A district awarded state aid under this section shall use the state aid solely for the purpose of paying all or a portion of the obligation due under the performance contract at the time the award is received. 

(g)  Refund upon sale.  Upon the sale by a district of any energy-saving measure or building in which an energy-saving measure was constructed or installed, for which state aid was awarded under this section, the district shall refund funds equal to the aid received.  All refunds shall be deposited with the state treasurer and used for awards under this section and section 3448 of this title.  No district shall receive any state general aid unless the district complies with this subsection.

Sec. 59.  16 V.S.A. § 3448(a)(7)(B) is amended to read:

(7)  Award of construction aid.

* * *

(B)  The amount of an award for the incremental costs associated with the installation of a space heating, water heating, cooling, or refrigeration system that uses biomass, a geothermal/ground source, wind, or solar energy as the primary heating or cooling source shall be 50 90 percent of the approved cost of the incremental costs of the project, or 40 percent of the approved cost of a fuel system that would reduce fuel use by 10 percent or more.  Only those costs in excess of the costs for a traditional fossil fuel system shall be eligible for the award, and may include the costs of additional square footage, necessary equipment, an additional chimney, and air quality technology. 

* * * UVM and State Colleges * * *

Sec. 60.  SPENDING AND BONDING AUTHORIZATION; VERMONT STATE COLLEGES

In conformity with 16 V.S.A. § 2171(e), the general assembly approves the expenditure by the Vermont state colleges from its revenues, other than state appropriations, and from its self-generated revenues established for the purpose of capital improvements on housing, dining, and general purpose facilities, to an aggregate of $1,000,000 for necessary capital improvements.

Sec. 61.  UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT; VERMONT STATE COLLEGES; STUDY REGARDING FUTURE APPROPRIATIONS

The president of the University of Vermont, the chancellor of the Vermont state colleges, and the secretary of administration, or their designees, shall jointly

(1)  Review the capital funds appropriated to the University and the state colleges from at least 1997 to the present;

(2)  Consider the manner in which future capital appropriations should be made to these entities; and

(3)  Present their findings and recommendations to the house and senate committees on institutions on or before January 15, 2005.

* * * Natural Resources * * *

Sec. 62.  ACTION REGARDING STATE LAND

Pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 2603(b), the commissioner of forests, parks and recreation is authorized to take action regarding state land, as follows:

(1)  To convey two parcels owned by the state on Peacham Pond in the Town of Peacham to James Mason in exchange for his conveyance to the state of four parcels he currently owns on Peacham Pond; provided that this exchange is contingent upon placing restrictions on the two parcels conveyed by the state to permit construction of no more than one dwelling on the combined parcels; and further provided that authority for this exchange is contingent on securing the advance support of the Town of Peacham.  Because all parcels are approximately 100’ x 100’ in size, this exchange will result in the addition of approximately 200 feet of Peacham Pond shoreline to the Groton State Forest

(2)  To convey state property consisting of several parcels totaling approximately two acres, located between existing camp lots on Lake Groton and the Camp Access Road within Groton State Forest, all within the Town of Groton, to Peter Lyon in exchange for his conveyance of a 21-acre inholding within Groton State Forest near Seyon Ranch, also in the Town of Groton; provided that the parcels conveyed by the state shall be subject to covenants prohibiting the disposal of any effluent and the construction of additional residences or effluent-related structures on the property.  Peter Lyon subsequently intends to convey the parcels transferred to him to adjacent camp owners.  Any such subsequent exchange to the adjacent camp owners will be contingent on the camp owner relinquishing to the state any rights they may have to use the Montpelier to Wells River railroad bed as legal access to their camps.  The exchange is also contingent on obtaining all necessary local and state permits and approvals.  The Groton selectboard has given its approval for this exchange.

(3)  To revise existing deed covenants preventing construction of structures on the southerly portion of camp lots numbered 52 and 53 owned by Chris and Marjorie Milne and lots numbered 50 and 51 owned by Edward Cormier on Peacham Pond, in the Town of Peacham, being a portion of property totaling  approximately 25 acres conveyed in separate parcels by the state to owners of existing lots in 1974 to connect the lots to Peacham Pond in exchange for conveyance of land of equal value that was added to Groton State Forest.  In exchange for the revision of deed covenants, the lot owners shall agree to merge two existing lots together and limit the combined lot to the construction of one dwelling.  New deed covenants shall require that any structures be at least 100 feet from the high water mark of the pond.  The exchange authorized by this subsection is contingent on securing the support of the Town of Peacham selectboard.  Lot owners have received all necessary local permits. 

Sec. 63.  10 V.S.A. § 1571(9) is amended to read:

§ 1571.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter:

* * *

(9)  “Disadvantaged municipality” means a municipality or the served area of a municipality which has:

(A)  Has a median household income below the state average median household income as determined by the secretary, and which after construction of the proposed water supply improvements will have an annual household user cost greater than one percent of the median household income as determined by the secretary; or

(B)  Has a median household income equal to or greater than the state average median household income as determined by the secretary, and which after construction of the proposed water supply improvements will have an annual household user cost greater than 2.5 percent of the median household income as determined by the secretary

Sec. 64.  10 V.S.A. § 1624(b)(2)(A) is amended to read:

§ 1624.  FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE WITH WATER SUPPLY PROJECTS

* * *

(b)  Loans.

* * *

(2)  The certification by the secretary shall specify the interest rate, and indicate which of the following loan conditions concerning construction loans apply:

(A)  The term shall not exceed 20 years, and the annual interest rate, plus administrative fee, shall be no more than three percent or less than zero percent, except that when the applicant municipality is disadvantaged as defined by section 1571(9) of this title, the term shall not exceed 30 years, and.  When the applicant municipality is disadvantaged as defined in subdivision 1571(9)(A) of this title, the annual interest rate, plus administrative fee, shall be no more than three percent or less than minus three percent. 

Sec. 65.  24 V.S.A. § 4771(a)(5) is amended to read:

§ 4771.  CONDITIONS OF LOAN AGREEMENT

(a)  VEDA may make loans to applicants on behalf of the state for one or more of the purposes set forth in subsection 4770(b) of this title.  Each such loan shall be made subject to the following conditions:

* * *

(5)  Notwithstanding subdivision (4) of this subsection, a

privately-owned nonprofit community type system may qualify for a 30-year loan term at an interest rate, plus administrative fee, to be established by the secretary of natural resources which shall be no more than three percent or less than minus three percent, provided the applicant system meets the income level and annual household user cost requirements of a disadvantaged municipality as defined in subdivision 1571(9)(A) of Title 10, and provided that at least 80 percent of the residential units served by the water system is continuously occupied by local residents and at least 80 percent of the water produced is for residential use, in which case the secretary shall certify the loan term and interest rate to VEDA.  In no instance shall the annual interest rate, plus an administrative fee, be less than is necessary to achieve an annual household user cost equal to one percent of the median household income of the applicant water system computed in the same manner as prescribed in subdivision 1624(b)(2)(B) of Title 10.

Sec. 66.  10 V.S.A. § 1106 is added to read:

§ 1106.  UNSAFE DAM REVOLVING LOAN FUND

(a)  There is hereby established a special fund to be known as the Vermont unsafe dam revolving loan fund which shall be used to provide grants and loans to municipalities, nonprofit entities, and private individuals, pursuant to rules proposed by the agency of natural resources and enacted by the general assembly, for the reconstruction, repair, removal, breaching, draining, or other action necessary to reduce the threat of a dam or portion of a dam determined to be unsafe pursuant to section 1095 of this chapter.

(b)  The fund created by this section shall be established and held separate and apart from any other funds or moneys of state and shall be used and administered exclusively for the purposes set forth in this section.  The funds shall be invested in the same manner as permitted for investment of funds belonging to the state or held in the treasury.  The fund shall consist of the following:

(1)  Such sums as may be appropriated or transferred thereto from time to time by the general assembly, the emergency board, or the joint fiscal committee during such times as the general assembly is not in session.

(2)  Principal and interest received from the repayment of loans made from the fund.

(3)  Capitalization grants and awards made to the state by the United States of America for the purposes for which the fund has been established.

(4)  Interest earned from the investment of fund balances.

(5)  Private gifts, bequests, and donations made to the state for the purposes for which the fund has been established.

(6)  Other funds from any public or private source intended for use for any of the purposes for which the fund has been established.

(c)  The secretary may bring an action under this subsection or other available state and federal laws against the owner of the dam to seek reimbursement to the fund for all loans made from the fund pursuant to this section. 

Sec. 67.  10 V.S.A. § 921(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The aquatic nuisance control program shall perform the following services:

* * *

(5)  administer a grant-in-aid program under section 922 of this title;

(6)  place a sign at least 2’ by 2’ in size which states that the water is infected with an aquatic nuisance and that a person transporting the nuisance in violation of section 1266 of this title may be subject to a penalty of up to $1,000.00 pursuant to 23 V.S.A. § 3317, so that the sign is easily visible from a ramp used to launch vessels at any fish and wildlife access area on a body of water infected with an aquatic nuisance;

(7)  provide the commissioner of fish and wildlife and the commissioner of motor vehicles with written educational information about aquatic nuisances, which can be included in an envelope containing a boat registration and in a fish and wildlife publication pertaining to fishing and boating.

Sec. 68.  10 V.S.A. § 4132(b) is amended to read:

(b)  The commissioner may publish such bulletins as he or she deems advisable for information and instruction concerning the work of the department and shall keep an account of the business and proceedings of the department.  Any publication available to the general public which describes rules and regulations regarding boating and fishing shall include information about aquatic nuisances provided to the commissioner pursuant to subdivision 921(b)(7) of this title.


Sec. 69.  10 V.S.A. § 4145(d) is added to read:

(d)  The board shall allow the commissioner of environmental conservation to post aquatic nuisance signs pursuant to subdivision 921(b)(6) of this title.

Sec. 70.  23 V.S.A. § 3317(b) is amended to read:

(b)  A person who violates section 1266 of Title 10, shall be subject to a penalty of not more than $1,000.00 for each violation.  A person who violates a rule promulgated under section 1424 of Title 10 or any of the following sections of this title shall be subject to a penalty of not more than $300.00 for each violation:

* * *

Sec. 71.  10 V.S.A. § 1973(i) is added to read: 

(i)  Notwithstanding section 1-407 of the state wastewater system and potable water supply rules, effective August 16, 2002, a lot that contained two single family residences, as of January 1, 1999, but did not have the state permit required at that time is eligible for a permit for the subdivision of improved lots under subdivision 1-407(a)(2) of those rules, provided that the subdivision of the lot would only create a boundary between the two single family residences and thereby place each residence on its own lot. 

Sec. 72.  PETERSON DAM

(a)  Prior to making a final determination in any pending proceeding related to the Peterson Dam, the public service board shall convene two public informational hearings after the effective date of this act.  One of the meetings shall occur in the Town of Milton and one shall occur in a municipality served by Central Vermont Public Service that is outside of the Milton region.  The purpose of the hearings will be to inform the public about the proposal to remove the dam and the related public service board proceedings.  At the hearing, the board shall also receive public comment concerning the proposal and related matters, including the impact that removal of the dam would have on the following:

(1)  Rates and ratepayers,

(2)  Flood control,

(3)  The economic welfare of the Town of Milton,

(4)  Water quality, and

(5)  System stability and reliability. 

(b)  The public service board shall consider the comments it receives pursuant to subsection (a) of this section when making a final determination in any pending proceeding related to the Peterson Dam.

Sec. 73.  DUFRESNE DAM

The secretary of natural resources shall investigate the process required for removal of the Dufresne Dam on the Batten Kill at the earliest possible date, including cost estimates.  On or before January 15, 2005, the secretary shall submit to the house and senate committees on institutions a report detailing findings and recommendations, including cost estimates, a time line for removal, and any proposals for legislative, regulatory, or other action. 

Sec. 74.  WOODFORD STATE PARK

Sec. 63(b) of No. 63 of the Acts of 2003 provides that up to $15,000 of the appropriation made in Sec. 8(c) of that act can be spent by the commissioner of forests, parks and recreation to construct a gravel parking lot at Woodford State Park in Woodford.  Notwithstanding any provision of Sec. 63 to the contrary, the commissioner may use any portion of that $15,000 authorization to improve the existing parking lot and the Route 9 crossing at the Woodford State Park as follows:

(1)  To fix the grade on the existing west access to the Adams lot.

(2)  To install a marked crosswalk and warning signal on Route 9.

(3)  To reorganize parking and install appropriate signage in the Adams lot. 

Sec. 75.  10 V.S.A. § 6001(3)(E) is added to read:

(E)  When development is proposed to occur on a parcel or tract of land that is devoted to farming activity as defined in subdivision 6001(22) of this section, only those portions of the parcel or the tract that support the development shall be subject to regulation under this chapter.  Permits issued under this chapter shall not impose conditions on other portions of the parcel or tract of land which do not support the development and that restrict or conflict with accepted agricultural practices adopted by the secretary of agriculture, food and markets.


Sec. 76.  10 V.S.A. § 6001(22) is amended to read:

(22)  "Farming" means:

* * *

(B)  the raising, feeding, or management of livestock, poultry, equines, fish or bees; or

* * *

(F)  the on-site production of fuel or power from agricultural products or wastes produced on the farm; or

(G)  the raising, feeding, or management of four or more equines owned or boarded by the farmer, including training, showing, and providing instruction and lessons in riding, training, and the management of equines.

Sec. 77.  PHOSPHORUS REMOVAL; WASTE WATER TREATMENT; STUDY

(a)  The secretary of natural resources shall study the advisability of requiring, as conditions of any state grant made for phosphorus removal equipment,

(1)  That phosphorus be removed on a year-round basis and

(2)  That phosphorus be removed to a maximum of 0.8 mg/l, which level could be increased or decreased based upon subsequent testing of the receiving water.

(b)  The secretary shall study the advisability of preventing any municipality that requests an upgrade to a waste water treatment facility from degrading the quality of the receiving water by expanding waste management zones or increasing the concentrations of pollutants. 

(c)  On or before January 15, 2005, the secretary shall report his or her findings and recommendations, legislative or otherwise, to the house and senate committees on institutions and on natural resources and energy.

* * * Vermont Veterans’ Home * * *

Sec. 78.  HISTORY

The following text shall be published as an annotation at the beginning of 20 V.S.A. chapter 87, which is created by the next section of this act:

History

(a)  The Vermont general assembly originally incorporated “The Trustees of the Soldiers’ Home in Vermont” in No. 180 of the Acts of the 1884.  Section 2 of the act authorized the trustees to “receive, hold, manage and convey such real and personal estate . . . as they may acquire by gift, grant, purchase or otherwise, for the purpose of maintaining in this State a home [for soldiers and sailors] under such conditions and regulations as the trustees
may . . . prescribe.” 

(b)  On January 15, 1887, the land upon which the Vermont veterans’ home currently sits was conveyed to the trustees by quitclaim deed of the Trenor W. Park Home for Destitute Children and Women, which was recorded in the Bennington land records at book 56, pages 436-40.  The deed conveyed land and buildings to the trustees in trust, subject to a right of reversion to the grantor in the event the property ceased to be used to house soldiers.  If the property reverted to the grantor, then the grantor would be required to reimburse the state for the appraised value of any “betterments and improvements” the state expended on the property.  Failing that payment, the real estate and buildings would become the property of the state of Vermont “for such benevolent and charitable uses as the Legislature may direct.”

(c)  In a decree dated May 27, 1964, the Bennington county chancery court granted the trustees’ request to modify the terms of the trust created by the quitclaim deed.  The chancery court decreed as follows:

“1.  That Eliza H. McCullough, Laura H. Jennings and Trenor L. Park, their heirs, executors, administrators and assigns and any and all persons claiming under them or any of them, have no present interest in the land and premises conveyed to the Trustees of the Soldiers’ Home in Vermont by deed of Trenor W. Park Home for Destitute Children and Women, dated January 15, 1887 and recorded in Book 56 at pages 436-440 of the Bennington Land Records.

2.  That the Plaintiff, with the concurrence of the Attorney General of the State of Vermont, is hereby authorized to convey to Defendant, Mt. Anthony Union School District, also known as Mt. Anthony Union High School District (No. 14), an estate in fee simple absolute, in and to the lands described in Section 9 of Plaintiff’s Petition, and as described in a certain Option Agreement between Plaintiff and Mt. Anthony Union School District dated the 10th day of January 1964.

3.  That the Plaintiff, with the concurrence of the Attorney General of the State of Vermont, is hereby authorized to transfer its water system including its reservoir, pipe line system and easements to the Village of Bennington or to any other person or corporation upon such terms and conditions as to them shall seem proper.

4.  That the Plaintiff, with the concurrence of the Attorney General of the State of Vermont, is hereby authorized to convey an estate in fee simple absolute or a lessor estate in any lands owned by Plaintiff and held by it under the aforesaid deed from Trenor W. Park Home dated January 15, 1887, upon which no betterments or permanent improvements have been placed at the expense of the Plaintiff by use of money donated by the State of Vermont or otherwise.

5.  That the Plaintiff shall hold the proceeds of any conveyance pursuant to the foregoing authority in trust for the use and purposes set forth in its charter and in the aforesaid deed from Trenor W. Park Home dated January 15, 1887, and subject to further order of this court.”

(d)  Thus, the trustees hold title to the lands and buildings of the home, subject to the trust established by the original quitclaim deed, as modified by the 1964 decree.  Under the terms of the decree, the trustees may convey title to unimproved land, with the concurrence of the attorney general, and must hold the funds obtained from the sale of land in trust for the purposes established by Act 180 and the quitclaim deed.  If the trustees cease to operate the home for the benefit of veterans, then title to the real property would pass in accordance with the quitclaim deed, the decree, and any other pertinent provisions of law. 

(e)  The general assembly amended Act 180 periodically, sometimes expanding the board’s powers and other times vesting additional authority in the state.  In 1971, the general assembly renamed the corporation known as “The Trustees of the Soldiers’ Home in Vermont” as “The Veterans’ Home in Vermont.”

(f)  In the years since the board of trustees was first incorporated, the trustees have performed many essential duties for the home and the state, including:

(1)  Overseeing the operations of the home.

(2)  Setting resident admissions policies.

(3)  Establishing committees necessary for the efficient and effective operation of the home.

(4)  Raising, holding, and disbursing funds. 

(5)  Advocating for the home and its residents and otherwise seeking the best care and services for residents of the home. 

(6)  Selecting a commandant to serve as chief administrator of the home.

(g)  In the years since the general assembly first incorporated the trustees, the state has been involved with and has contributed to the home in many ways, including:

(1)  The home receives an annual appropriation which is recommended by the governor and appropriated by the general assembly.

(2)  The home annually submits a capital funding request for long-term maintenance, construction, renovation, and infrastructure improvements to the secretary of administration to be included in the governor’s capital request. 

(3)  State employees, hired within the state classification system, staff the day-to-day operations of the home. 

(4)  The commandant, as an “officer of the executive branch,” is entitled to receive the minimum starting salary set forth in 32 V.S.A. § 1003(b)(1)(JJ).

(5)  The trustees are entitled to receive compensation and expenses for those days they provide service on the board pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 1010. 

(6)  The department of buildings and general services assists the home to plan for and implement solutions to long-term and more immediate capital needs.

(7)  The home is statutorily “attached” to the agency of human services for administrative support pursuant to 3 V.S.A. § 3002(b).

(h)  By enacting 20 V.S.A. chapter 87, it is the intent of the general assembly to reflect the current status of the Vermont veterans’ home and its board of trustees and to clarify ambiguities created by the many uncodified sections of law addressing these entities.

Sec. 79.  No. 180 of the Acts of 1884, No. 184 of the Acts of 1888, No. 239 of the Acts of 1892, No. 419 of the Acts of 1910, No. 230 of the Acts of 1919, No. 170 of the Acts of 1943, No. 140 of the Acts of 1967, No. 53 of the Acts of 1971, Sec. 143 of No. 152 of the Acts of the 1999 Adj. Sess. (2000), and Sec. 151a of No. 63 of the Acts of 2001 are amended by codification as 20 V.S.A. chapter 87, which is added to read:

CHAPTER 87.  VERMONT VETERANS’ HOME

§ 1711.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter:

(1)  “Board” means the Vermont veterans’ home board of trustees as set forth in section 1713 of this chapter.

(2)  “Gift” means the trust created by the quitclaim deed of the Trenor W. Park Home for Destitute Children and Women dated January 15, 1887, as modified by the May 27, 1964 decree of the Bennington County chancery court.

(3)  “Home” means the Vermont veterans’ home as set forth in section 1712 of this chapter.

(4)  “Trustees” means the individual members of the board.


§ 1712.  VERMONT VETERANS’ HOME

The Vermont veterans’ home is a body corporate and politic and a public instrumentality of the state.  The exercise by the home of the powers conferred by this chapter constitute the performance of essential governmental functions of the state.

§ 1713.  VERMONT VETERANS’ HOME BOARD OF TRUSTEES

(a)  The Vermont veterans’ home is governed by the Vermont veterans’ home board of trustees.

(b)  The board shall consist of 20 members, 15 of whom shall be veterans who have been honorably discharged from any branch of the United States armed services, to be appointed by the governor for staggered terms of three years.  Each trustee shall serve until a successor has been appointed.  In the event a trustee vacates the board, is unable to serve, or is removed for cause, the governor shall appoint another trustee to serve the unexpired term of the departing trustee. 

(c)  The board shall annually elect a president, a vice president, and a secretary from among its members.  Eleven members shall constitute a quorum at all meetings; provided, however, if there is a vacancy on the board, the number of trustees constituting a quorum shall be one more than one-half the number of appointed trustees. 

(d)  Pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 1010, trustees who are not state employees shall be entitled to per diem and reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred in connection with performing their duties under this chapter.

§ 1714.  POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the board shall have all powers necessary and convenient for governing the home, providing services to veterans, and otherwise performing its duties under this chapter, including the authority to:

(1)  Adopt policies, procedures, and bylaws regarding the operation of the board and the operation and management of the home.

(2)  Receive, hold, accept, manage, and convey any interest in real or personal property acquired by the home by gift, grant, purchase, devise, or otherwise for the purpose of managing the home and providing services to veterans and such members of their families as the board deems proper, under such conditions and regulations as the board may from time to time prescribe.  Included within the powers granted by this subdivision, and notwithstanding any other contrary provision of law, is the authority to apply and administer the real or personal property to further the purposes of the home in accordance with the terms specified by gift, grant, or devise; provided that in the absence of specified terms, the board shall have the authority to apply and administer the property in the manner and for the purposes the board deems appropriate.  Also included within the powers granted in this subdivision is the authority to hold title to the real property originally conveyed to the Trustees of the Soldiers Home in Vermont by the Trenor W. Park Home for Destitute Children and Women by quitclaim deed dated January 15, 1887, which shall be administered in the manner provided by the gift.

(3)  By written procedure, establish, revise, and collect charges for residential room and board.  Charges collected under this subdivision shall be credited to special funds and shall be available to the home to offset the cost of providing services.

(4)  Recommend for appointment by the governor a licensed nursing home administrator to serve as the commandant of the home.  The commandant shall be appointed for an indefinite term and shall be subject to removal, after consultation with the governor, upon a majority vote of the board.  The commandant shall be exempt from the state’s classified service. 

(5)  Contract for professional services necessary and appropriate for accounting and managing gifts, grants, or devises acquired by the home in a manner consistent with 3 V.S.A. chapter 14.

(6)  Contract for managerial and administrative services, provided the contract is reviewed and either renewed or renegotiated each year by the board in a manner consistent with 3 V.S.A. chapter 14. 

(7)  Contract with the federal Department of Veterans Affairs for services related to the purpose of the home.

(8)  Contract for the services of a medical director.

(9)  Contract for chaplain services.

(10)  Establish committees of the board as necessary for the efficient and effective operation of the home.

(11)  Adopt rules in accordance with 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 for the purpose of administering the provisions of this chapter.

§ 1715.  PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD

The president of the board shall:

(1)  Preside over all meetings of the board and ensure adherence to bylaws adopted by the board.

(2)  Act as agent of the home in the execution of all legal documents pertaining to the home, as authorized by the board.

(3)  Report to the governor at least once annually on all matters concerning the board and the home. 

(4)  File annual audited financial statements with the commissioner of finance and management. 

§ 1716.  COMMANDANT

The commandant shall be the chief administrative officer of the home and shall exercise general supervision over the business and affairs of the home.  In addition to other duties, the commandant shall:

(1)  Attend meetings of the board and act as its treasurer.

(2)  Make reports concerning the home to the board at such times and in such detail as the board directs, together with recommendations the commandant deems appropriate for the welfare and care of the residents of the home.

(3)  Report annually to the general assembly regarding the home’s budget.

(4)  Subject to approval of the board, appoint a deputy or an executive assistant, and a secretary, both of whom shall be appointed for an indefinite term and shall be subject to removal upon a majority vote of the board.  These positions shall be exempt from the state’s classified service.

(5)  Subject to approval of the board, appoint a director of nursing services, a personnel manager, a finance manager, a facilities manager, and all other staff necessary for the efficient management of the home, all of whom shall be classified state employees subject to the provisions of Vermont statutes. 

(6)  Supervise and direct all employees of the home and prescribe their duties not otherwise established by the board or by state or federal law. 

(7)  Ensure that all laws, rules, regulations, and policies pertaining to the home are observed.

(8)  Prepare policies related to operation of the home, subject to approval by the board.

(9)  Collect all sums due and payable to the home and transfer the same to the state treasurer when received.

(10)  Perform such other duties as may be directed by the board to carry out the purposes of this chapter.

§ 1717.  MANAGEMENT OF FUNDS 

(a)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision 1714(a)(2) of this chapter, all funds of the home not already managed in accordance with subchapter 1 of chapter 7 of Title 32, except residents’ funds as described in subsection (e) of this section, shall be transferred to the state treasurer to be credited to appropriate accounts established in compliance with subsection (b) of this section and 32 V.S.A. § 401(a).

(b)  There are created one or more special and permanent funds to be held in trust and administered pursuant to subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32.  To these funds shall be credited those donations and endowments transferred to the state treasurer in subsection (a) of this section and any future donations and endowments to the home with and without specific restrictions on their use.  Interest and earnings both prospectively and retrospectively earned on the funds created by this subsection shall be credited to the respective fund.  The funds deposited pursuant to this subsection shall not be considered funds of the state and shall be used solely for the purposes of this chapter, subject to the terms and conditions of the gift and to the terms and conditions of the donation or endowment. 

(c)  Monies from the funds established by this section may be expended by the home upon submission of vouchers, submitted at the direction and with the approval of the board, to the commissioner of finance and management in compliance with 32 V.S.A. § 463, and issuance of warrants pursuant to
32 V.S.A. §§ 461 and 465.  The commissioner shall approve expeditiously any request for a release of funds if the request is in conformance with all applicable state law. 

(d)  On no less than a quarterly basis, the treasurer shall provide a statement of account activity and fund balances to the board.

(e)  Notwithstanding subchapter 1 of chapter 7 of Title 32, the home is authorized to retain those funds when acting in a trustee capacity for individual residents of the home.  Establishment and maintenance of accounts for this purpose shall be pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 431 and any other relevant provisions of law.

(f)  Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 5(a)(3), the $1,000.00 limit for reporting pursuant to that subdivision shall be $10,000.00 as applied to the home.

§ 1718.  [RESERVED.]

§ 1719.  LEGAL ACTIONS

(a)  Except for purposes of collecting charges due under subdivision 1714(a)(3) of this title, the board shall have no independent authority to sue, be sued, complain, or defend in its own name or on behalf of the home.  The attorney general shall represent the board and the home in all civil actions as provided by law.  Outside legal counsel may be obtained with the concurrence of the attorney general.

(b)  Each trustee shall be considered a “state employee” for purposes of 3 V.S.A. chapter 29 and an “employee of the state” for purposes of 12 V.S.A. chapter 189.

(c)  The home shall be entitled to the sovereign immunity of the state, except as waived by the state in 12 V.S.A. chapter 189 or in any other provision of law.

§ 1720.  DEPARTMENT OF BUILDINGS AND GENERAL SERVICES

Unless otherwise directed by the general assembly, the commissioner of buildings and general services, after consultation with and concurrence of the board, shall:

(1)  Supervise the engineering, construction, improvement, repair, alteration, demolition, and replacement of and addition to buildings, structures, and facilities of the home.

(2)  Solicit bids and award contracts for the performance of engineering services for specific projects at the home.

Sec. 80.  COMPOSITION OF VERMONT VETERANS’ HOME BOARD OF TRUSTEES

The members of the Vermont veterans’ home board of trustees set forth in Sec. 79 of this act shall be those trustees serving terms on the board as it exists on the effective date of this act, who shall serve for the unexpired remainder of their respective terms. 


Sec. 81.  REPEAL

3 V.S.A. § 3095 (veterans’ home may charge for room and board) is repealed in its entirety.

* * * Public Safety * * *

Sec. 82.  24 V.S.A. § 1938(a) is amended to read:

(a)  Municipalities as defined in section 2001 of this title Cities, towns, incorporated villages, the University of Vermont, sheriffs, and state agencies may enter into agreements to provide for intermunicipal police services.  Intermunicipal police services include general police services, emergency planning and assistance, task forces, and other specialized investigative units to provide police services within the boundaries of the participating municipalities and counties.  This section shall only be applicable to such specialized investigative units or task forces and shall not apply to arrangements for basic or general police services.

Sec. 83.  24 V.S.A. § 1938(d) is added to read:

(d)  Cities, towns, incorporated villages, the University of Vermont, sheriffs, and state agencies may enter into agreements under this section with municipalities in the same or adjoining counties and with municipalities in adjoining states.


Sec. 84.  20 V.S.A. chapter 8 is added to read:

Chapter 8.  International Emergency

Management Assistance Compact

§ 201.  INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE COMPACT; ADOPTION

The state of Vermont adopts the international emergency management assistance compact as provided in this chapter.

§ 202.  PURPOSE AND AUTHORITIES – Article I

(a)  The International Emergency Management Assistance Memorandum of Understanding, hereinafter referred to as the “compact,” is made and entered into by and among such of the jurisdictions as shall enact or adopt this compact, hereinafter referred to as “party jurisdictions.”  For the purposes of this agreement, the term “jurisdictions” may include any or all of the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut and the provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland, and such other states and provinces as may hereafter become a party to this compact.

(b)  The purpose of this compact is to provide for the possibility of mutual assistance among the jurisdictions entering into this compact in managing any emergency or disaster when the affected jurisdiction or jurisdictions ask for assistance, whether arising from natural disaster, technological hazard, manmade disaster, or civil emergency aspects of resource shortages.

(c)  This compact also provides for the process of planning mechanisms among the agencies responsible and for mutual cooperation, including, if need be, emergency-related exercises, testing, or other training activities using equipment and personnel simulating performance of any aspect of the giving and receiving of aid by party jurisdictions or subdivisions or party jurisdictions during emergencies, with such actions occurring outside actual declared emergency periods.  Mutual assistance in this compact may include the use of emergency forces by mutual agreement among party jurisdictions.

§ 203.  GENERAL IMPLEMENTATION – Article II

(a)  Each party jurisdiction entering into this compact recognizes that many emergencies may exceed the capabilities of a party jurisdiction, and that intergovernmental cooperation is essential in such circumstances.  Each jurisdiction further recognizes that there will be emergencies that may require immediate access and present procedures to apply outside recourses to make a prompt and effective response to such an emergency because few, if any, individual jurisdictions have all the resources they need in all types of emergencies or the capability of delivering resources to areas where emergencies exist.

(b)  The prompt, full, and effective utilization of resources of the participating jurisdictions, including any resources on hand or available from any other source that are essential to the safety, care, and welfare of the people in the event of any emergency or disaster, shall be the underlying principle on which all articles of this compact are understood.

(c)  On behalf of the party jurisdictions participating in the compact, the legally designated official who is assigned responsibility for emergency management is responsible for formulation of the appropriate

interjurisdictional mutual aid plans and procedures necessary to implement this compact, and for recommendations to the jurisdiction concerned with respect to the amendment of any statutes, regulations, or ordinances required for that purpose.

§ 204.  PARTY JURISDICTION RESPONSIBILITIES – Article III

(a)  Formulate plans and programs.  It is the responsibility of each party jurisdiction to formulate procedural plans and programs for interjurisdictional cooperation in the performance of the responsibilities listed in this section.  In formulating and implementing such plans and programs the party jurisdictions, to the extent practical, shall:

(1)  Review individual jurisdictional hazards analyses that are available and, to the extent reasonably possible, determine all those potential emergencies the party jurisdictions might jointly suffer, whether due to natural disaster, technological hazard, manmade disaster, or emergency aspects of resource shortages;

(2)  Initiate a process to review party jurisdictions’ individual emergency plans and develop a plan that will determine the mechanism for the interjurisdictional cooperation;

(3)  Develop interjurisdictional procedures to fill any identified gaps and to resolve any identified inconsistencies or overlaps in existing or developed plans;

(4)  Assist in warning communities adjacent to or crossing jurisdictional boundaries;

(5)  Protect and ensure delivery of services, medicines, water, food, energy and fuel, search and rescue and critical lifeline equipment, services, and resources, both human and material to the extent authorized by law; and

(6)  Inventory and agree upon procedures for the interjurisdictional loan and delivery of human and material resources, together with procedures for reimbursement or forgiveness.

(b)  Request assistance.  The authorized representative of a party jurisdiction may request assistance of another party jurisdiction by contacting the authorized representative of that jurisdiction.  These provisions only apply to requests for assistance made by and to authorized representatives.  Requests may be oral or in writing.  If oral, the request must be confirmed in writing within 15 days of the oral request.  Requests must provide the following information:

(1)  A description of the emergency service function for which assistance is needed and of the mission or missions, including but not limited to fire services, emergency medical services, transportation, communications, public works and engineering, building inspection, planning and information assistance, mass care, resource support, health and medical services, and search and rescue;

(2)  The amount and type of personnel, equipment, materials, and supplies needed and a reasonable estimate of the length of time they will be needed; and

(3)  The specific place and time for staging of the assisting party’s response and a point of contact at the location.

(c)  Consultation among party jurisdiction officials.  There shall be frequent consultation among the party jurisdiction officials who have assigned emergency management responsibilities, such officials collectively known hereinafter as the International Emergency Management Group, and other appropriate representatives of the party jurisdictions with free exchange of information, plans, and resource records relating to emergency capabilities to the extent authorized by law.

§ 205.  LIMITATION – Article IV

Any party jurisdiction requested to render mutual aid or conduct exercise and training for mutual aid shall undertake to respond as soon as possible, except that it is understood that the jurisdiction rendering aid may withhold or recall resources to the extent necessary to provide reasonable protection for that jurisdiction.  Each party jurisdiction shall afford to the personnel of the emergency forces of any party jurisdiction, while operating within its jurisdictional limits under the terms and conditions of this compact and under the operational control of an officer of the requesting party, the same powers, duties, rights, privileges, and immunities as are afforded similar or like forces of the jurisdiction in which they are performing emergency services.  Emergency forces continue under the command and control of their regular leaders, but the organizational units come under the operational control of the emergency services authorities of the jurisdiction receiving assistance.  These conditions may be activated, as needed, by the jurisdiction that is to receive assistance or upon commencement of exercises or training for mutual aid and continue as long as the exercises or training for mutual aid are in progress, the emergency or disaster remains in effect, or loaned resources remain in the receiving jurisdiction or jurisdictions, whichever is longer.  The receiving jurisdiction is responsible for informing the assisting jurisdictions of the specific moment when services will no longer be required.

§ 206.  LICENSES AND PERMITS – Article V

Whenever a person holds a license, certificate, or other permit issued by any jurisdiction party to the compact evidencing the meeting of qualifications for professional, mechanical, or other skills, and when such assistance is requested by the receiving party jurisdiction, such person is deemed to be licensed, certified, or permitted by the jurisdiction requesting assistance to render aid involving such skill to meet an emergency or disaster, subject to such limitations and conditions as the requesting jurisdiction prescribes by executive order or otherwise.

§ 207.  LIABILITY – Article VI

Any person or entity of a party jurisdiction rendering aid in another jurisdiction pursuant to this compact is considered an agent of the requesting jurisdiction for tort liability and immunity purposes.  Any person or entity rendering aid in another jurisdiction pursuant to this compact is not liable on account of any act or omission in good faith on the part of such forces while so engaged or on account of the maintenance or use of any equipment or supplies in connection therewith.  Good faith in this article does not include willful misconduct, gross negligence, or recklessness.

§ 208.  SUPPLEMENTARY AGREEMENTS – Article VII

Because it is probable that the pattern and detail of the machinery for mutual aid among two or more jurisdictions may differ from that among the jurisdictions that are party to this compact, this compact contains elements of a broad base common to all jurisdictions, and nothing in this compact precludes any jurisdiction from entering into supplementary agreements with another jurisdiction or affects any other agreements already in force among jurisdictions.  Supplementary agreements may include but are not limited to provisions for evacuation and reception of injured and other persons and the exchange of medical, fire, public utility, reconnaissance, welfare, transportation and communications personnel, equipment, and supplies.

§ 209.  WORKERS’ COMPENSATION AND DEATH BENEFITS –

Article VIII

Each party jurisdiction shall provide in accordance with its own laws for the payment of workers’ compensation and death benefits to injured members of the emergency forces of that jurisdiction and to representatives of deceased members of those forces if the members sustain injuries or are killed while rendering aid pursuant to this compact, in the same manner and on the same terms as if the injury or death were sustained within its own jurisdiction.

§ 210.  REIMBURSEMENT – Article IX

Any party jurisdiction rendering aid in another jurisdiction pursuant to this compact shall, if requested, be reimbursed by the party jurisdiction receiving such aid for any loss or damage to or expense incurred in the operation of any equipment and the provision of any service in answering a request for aid and for the costs incurred in connection with those requests.  An aiding party jurisdiction may assume in whole or in part any such loss, damage, expense, or other cost or may loan such equipment or donate such services to the receiving party jurisdiction without charge or cost.  Any two or more party jurisdictions may enter into supplementary agreements establishing a different allocation of costs among those jurisdictions.  Expenses under Article VIII of this compact are not reimbursable under this section.

§ 211.  EVACUATION – Article X

Each party jurisdiction shall initiate a process to prepare and maintain plans to facilitate the movement of and reception of evacuees into its territory or across its territory, according to its capabilities and powers.  The party jurisdiction from which the evacuees came shall assume the ultimate responsibility for the support of the evacuees, and after the termination of the emergency or disaster, for the repatriation of such evacuees.

§ 212.  IMPLEMENTATION – Article XI

(a)  This compact is effective upon its execution or adoption by any two jurisdictions, and is effective as to any other jurisdiction upon its execution or adoption thereby, subject to approval or authorization by the U.S. Congress, if required, and subject to enactment of the provincial or state legislation that may be required for the effectiveness of the memorandum of understanding.

(b)  Any party jurisdiction may withdraw from this compact, but the withdrawal does not take effect until 30 days after the governor or premier of the withdrawing jurisdiction has given notice in writing of such withdrawal to the governors or premiers of all other party jurisdictions.  The action does not relieve the withdrawing jurisdiction from obligations assumed under this compact prior to the effective date of withdrawal.

(c)  Duly authenticated copies of this compact in the French and English languages and of such supplementary agreements as may be entered into shall, at the time of their approval, be deposited with each of the party jurisdictions.

§ 213.  SEVERABILITY – Article XII

This compact is construed to effectuate the purposes stated in Article I of this compact.  If any provision of this compact is declared unconstitutional or the applicability of the compact to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this compact and the applicability of the compact to other persons and circumstances are not affected.

§ 214.  INCONSISTENCY OF LANGUAGE – Article XIII

The validity of the arrangements and agreements consented to in this compact shall not be affected by any insubstantial difference in form or language as may be adopted by the various states and provinces.

§ 215.  AMENDMENT – Article XIV

This compact may be amended by agreement of the party jurisdictions. 

Sec. 85.  CRIMINAL JUSTICE TRAINING COUNCIL; STUDY

There is created a committee comprised of the commissioner of public safety, the executive director of the Vermont criminal justice training council, the president of the Vermont sheriffs’ association, the president of the Vermont police association, and the president of the Vermont association of chiefs of police, or their designees, to consider options for ensuring that law enforcement training courses are available to individuals in all regions of the state.  The executive director of the Vermont criminal justice training council shall convene the first meeting of the committee on or before July 1, 2004.  On or before January 15, 2005, the committee shall file a report with the house and senate committees on institutions detailing its findings and recommendations.

Sec. 86.  ST. ALBANS; VERMONT STATE POLICE FACILITY

(a)  Subject to the approval required in subsection (c) of this section, the commissioner of buildings and general services is authorized to enter into a development agreement with a private developer to construct a state police facility in St. Albans on land to be purchased and held in the name of the state of Vermont by the department of buildings and general services.  All construction shall conform to state specifications for the state police facility prototype.

(b)  The structure of the development agreement shall include an operating lease in a form that it is consistent with generally accepted accounting principles and not considered as state supported debt by any of the independent rating agencies.  The commissioner is authorized to enter into a ground lease with the developer for the land utilized by the barracks for a term equivalent to the operating lease if the proposal is otherwise approved pursuant to subsection (c) of this section. 

(c)  The commissioner shall present the proposed project, financing alternatives, development agreement, and proposed financing plan to a five-member committee for review and approval.  The committee shall be comprised of two senators selected by the committee on committees, two representatives selected by the speaker of the house of representatives, and a fifth, neutral individual, who shall not be a legislator and shall be jointly selected by the speaker of the house of representatives and the president pro tempore of the senate.  The committee may approve or reject the project, or approve the project with modifications.  The state treasurer and secretary of administration shall agree on the content of the development agreement and financing plan before they are presented to the committee for review and approval and prior to execution by the commissioner or contact with any credit rating agencies on the financing plan by the developer.  Any such agreement shall include a provision that the operating lease may be terminated by the state at any point that sufficient funds are available to purchase the barracks at fair market value.

(d)  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the commissioner shall, based on objective criteria developed by the commissioner, select not more than four and no less than two private developers to bid on the project.  The commissioner shall use a best value analysis to recommend which bid should be approved.  No bid shall be deemed accepted or awarded unless first approved pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.


* * * Agriculture * * *

Sec. 87.  6 V.S.A. § 1031 is amended to read: 

§ 1031.  FUNCTIONS OF SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND MARKETS AND COMMISSIONER OF FORESTS, PARKS AND RECREATION, COOPERATION

Under the provisions of this chapter, the secretary of agriculture, food and markets shall have jurisdiction over plans for the survey, detection, and management of agricultural plant pests, and the commissioner of forests, parks and recreation over plans for the survey, detection, and management of forest pests.  When the word “secretary” is used in sections 1033 and 1034 of this title, it shall mean either the secretary of agriculture, food and markets or the commissioner of forests, parks and recreation.  The two officials shall cooperate with each other on jointly operated projects to avoid duplication of efforts or duties.

Sec. 88.  32 V.S.A. § 9741 is amended to read:

§ 9741.  SALES NOT COVERED

Retail sales and use of the following shall be exempt from the tax on retail sales imposed under section 9771 of this title and the use tax imposed under section 9773 of this title.

* * *

(3)  Agriculture feeds, seed, plants, baler twine, recyclable silage bags and, agricultural wrap obtained from a dealer who accepts used silage bags and wrap for recycling, sheets of plastic for bunker covers, liming materials, breeding and other livestock, semen breeding fees, baby chicks, turkey poults, agriculture chemicals other than pesticides, veterinary supplies, and bedding; and fertilizers and pesticides for use and consumption directly in the production for sale of tangible personal property on farms, including stock, dairy, poultry, fruit and truck farms, orchards, nurseries, or in greenhouses or other similar structures used primarily for the raising of agricultural or horticultural commodities for sale.

* * *

* * * Vermont Economic Development Authority; Agricultural Credit Program; Direct Mortgage Loans * * *

Sec. 89.  10 V.S.A. § 374b(14) is amended to read: 

(14)  “Resident” means a person who is or will be domiciled in this state as evidenced by an intent to maintain a principal dwelling place in the state indefinitely and to return there if temporarily absent, coupled with an act or acts consistent with that intent, including but not limited to the filing of a Vermont income tax return within 18 months of the application for a loan under this chapter.  In the case of a limited liability company, partnership, corporation or other business entity, resident means a business entity formed under the laws of Vermont, and the majority of which is owned and operated by Vermont residents who are natural persons.


Sec. 90.  10 V.S.A. § 263(a) is amended to read:

(a)  When it has been determined by the authority that the establishment or expansion of a particular eligible facility will accomplish the public purposes of this act, the authority may contract to loan to the mortgagor an amount not in excess of forty 40 percent of the cost of such eligible facility, provided that the authority has found that a local development corporation holds funds or property in an amount or value equal to not less than ten percent of the amount which the authority proposes to loan or less than ten percent of the cost of the project, as the authority determines, which funds or property are available for and shall be applied to meeting the cost of the project.  In addition, the authority shall have determined that the mortgagor has obtained from other independent and responsible sources, such as banks and insurance companies or otherwise, a firm commitment for all other funds, over and above the loan of the authority and such funds or property as the local development corporation may hold, necessary for payment of all of the cost of the project, and that the sum of all these funds, together with any funds, machinery, and equipment to be provided by the mortgagor is adequate for the completion and operation of the project.

Sec. 91.  10 V.S.A. § 211 is amended to read:

§ 211.  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS

(a)  The legislature finds that it is necessary to alleviate and prevent unemployment and underemployment and to raise the per capita income within the state, that the development and increase of industry, including the further processing of agricultural products, within the state will promote the prosperity and general welfare of all citizens, and that this chapter is necessary and desirable in order to accomplish these purposes.  The legislature also finds that it is necessary and desirable to encourage the development, production, and distribution of renewable energy resources within the state.

* * *

(c)  Therefore, the general public advantage requires:

* * *

(7)  Low-cost capital to assist Vermont family farmers to farm as provided in section 272(a)(3) of this title; and

(8)  Low-cost capital available for the purchase of land, buildings, and equipment to process Vermont milk, including the processing of milk into cheese, yogurt, or other value-added milk products; and

(9)  Low-cost capital to assist the wood products enterprises to provide an adequate supply of mill quality chips for Vermont public and private schools and other entities that rely upon wood as a primary source of heating

* * * Corrections Policy * * *

Sec. 92.  NORTHWEST STATE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY;  D-1 WING

The department of corrections shall not use space within the so-called
D-1 Wing of the Northwest State Correctional Facility in St. Albans for any purpose other than as storage or as office space unless the temperature within all individual D-1 wing cells is at all times greater than 59 degrees Fahrenheit. 

* * * Fire Service; Fees * * *

Sec. 93.  FIRE SERVICES; AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENTS; FEES; STUDY

(a)  In order to develop new options to assure long-term financial stability for the state’s municipal fire departments and fire districts, there is created a committee to examine ways in which fees can be charged for the performance of fire suppression, fire prevention, investigations, or rescues by a municipal fire department in connection with motor vehicle incidents, consisting of:

(1)  The commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration or the commissioner’s designee.

(2)  The commissioner of finance and management or the commissioner’s designee.

(3)  A representative of the Vermont Fire Service Training Council.

(4)  A representative of the Vermont Fire Chiefs’ Association.

(5)  A representative of the Vermont State Firefighters Association.

(6)  A representative of the Vermont Career Fire Chiefs Association. 

(7)  A representative of the Vermont Fire Service Coalition.

(8)  A representative of the Professional Firefighters Association of Vermont.

(9)  The executive director of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns or the executive director’s designee. 

(b)  The commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration shall convene the first meeting of the committee which shall occur no later than 30 days after the effective date of this act.

(c)  On or before January 15, 2005, the committee shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations for legislation to the house and senate committees on institutions. 

* * * Energy Infrastructure; Rockingham * * *

Sec. 94.  30 V.S.A. chapter 14 is redesignated to read:

CHAPTER 14.  CITY OF BURLINGTON AND, VILLAGE OF LYNDONVILLE AND TOWN OF ROCKINGHAM

ACQUISITION OF FACILITIES

Sec. 95.  30 V.S.A. § 604 is amended to read:

§ 604.  ADDITIONAL AUTHORITY

(a)  Notwithstanding any contrary provision of any general or special law relating to the powers and authorities of electric utilities or any limitation imposed by their charters, the city of Burlington and, the village of Lyndonville acting through its board of trustees, and the town of Rockingham shall each have the following additional powers:

(1)  jointly or separately to plan, finance, construct, purchase, operate, maintain, use, share costs of, own, mortgage, lease, sell, dispose of or otherwise participate in electric power generating and transmission facilities or portions thereof within or without the state or the product or service therefrom or securities issued in connection with the financing of such facilities or portions thereof;

(2)  to enter into and perform contracts for such joint or separate planning, financing, construction, purchase, operation, maintenance, use, sharing costs of, ownership, mortgaging, leasing, sale, disposal of or other participation in electric power generating and transmission facilities, or portions thereof, within or without the state of the product or service therefrom, or securities issued in connection with the financing of electric power facilities or portions thereof, including, without limitation, contracts for the payment of obligations imposed without regard to the operational status of a facility or facilities and contracts for the sale or purchase of electricity from an electric power facility or facilities for long or short periods of time or for the life of a specific electric generating unit or units.

(b)  Other electric utilities, whether cooperative, municipal or privately owned, may enter into and perform contracts with the city of Burlington for the purposes of this section.  The provisions of this chapter shall not otherwise affect the jurisdiction of the public service board regarding the activities of the Burlington electric light department and of the village of Lyndonville electric light department, or any municipal utility formed by the town of Rockingham, within the state of Vermont.

(c)  Cooperative and municipal electric utilities, in accordance with chapter 83 of this title, and other electric utilities may enter into and perform contracts with the city of Burlington and, the village of Lyndonville, and the town of Rockingham for the purposes of this section.

(d)  The town of Rockingham shall have the authority, if duly authorized by its voters in accordance with the procedures set forth in chapter 79 of this title for the formation of a municipal utility, whether such vote or authorization occurs before or after the effective date of this section, and after obtaining a certificate of public good pursuant to section 248 of this title, to acquire, own, and operate the hydroelectric generating facilities located at Bellows Falls, Vermont, notwithstanding the fact the output of such facilities may exceed the electric needs of the town and its municipal utility, and to sell that portion of the output of such facilities that exceeds the needs of the town in serving its own municipal utility and such municipal utility’s own customers.  The town shall not have the authority to acquire the hydroelectric generating facilities located at Bellows Falls, Vermont by eminent domain for a period of ten years commencing on January 1, 2005.  In selling any of the output of such generating facilities, the town of Rockingham shall not have the authority to seek or obtain treatment as a “qualifying facility” under 18 C.F.R. § 292.201-207 or subdivision 209(a)(8) of this title, and Rockingham shall not have the authority to own or operate such facilities or a portion of such facilities if such facilities otherwise obtain treatment as a “qualifying facility.” 


Sec. 96.  30 V.S.A. §§ 605, 606, and 607 are amended to read:

§ 605.  CONTRACTS

Contracts under section 604 of this title may be for a term or for an indefinite period; may provide for the sale or other disposition of by-products byproducts of electric power facilities; and may contain provisions for arbitration, delegation and other matters deemed necessary or desirable to carry out their purposes.  Any party, public or private, desiring to purchase or use by-products byproducts of electric power facilities financed, constructed or operated under this chapter may enter into contracts therefor for short or long terms.  The obligation of the city and, village, and town under contracts referred to in this section shall not be included in the debt of the city and, village, and town for the purpose of ascertaining its borrowing capacity. 

§ 606.  TENANCY IN COMMON  

If the city of Burlington, or the village of Lyndonville, or the town of Rockingham acquires or owns an interest as a tenant in common with one or more other electric utilities in any electric power facilities, the surrender or waiver by any party of its right to partition such property for a period not exceeding the period for which the property is used or useful for electric utility purposes shall not be invalid or unenforceable by reason of the length of such period, or as unduly restricting the alienation of such property.


§ 607.  CONSENT TO APPLICATION OF LAWS OF OTHER STATES

(a)  Legislative consent is hereby given to the application of the laws of other states with respect to taxation, payments in lieu of taxes, and the assessment thereof to the city of Burlington or, the village of Lyndonville, or the town of Rockingham, to the extent either that any such municipality acquires or has an interest in an electric power facility, real or personal, situated without outside the state or to the extent it owns or operates electric power facilities without outside the state pursuant to authority granted in this chapter.

(b)  Legislative consent is hereby given to the application of regulatory and other laws of other states and of the United States to the city of Burlington or, the village of Lyndonville or the town of Rockingham to the extent it owns or operates electric power facilities without the state pursuant to authority granted in this chapter. 

* * *

Sec. 97.  30 V.S.A. § 610 is added to read:

§ 610.  Bonding authority– Town of Rockingham

(a)  The town of Rockingham, when authorized as provided in chapter 53 of Title 24, may pledge its credit by issuing its negotiable orders, warrants, notes, or bonds for project costs, or its share of project costs, of electric power facilities authorized pursuant to subsection 604(d) of this title.  Such project costs may include all costs, whether incurred prior to or after the issue of bonds or notes relating to the acquisition of facilities under this chapter, of acquisition, site development, construction, improvement, enlargement, reconstruction, alteration, machinery, equipment, furnishings, demolition or removal of existing buildings or structures, including the cost of acquiring any lands to which such buildings or structures may be moved, financing charges, interest prior to and during the carrying out of any project and for a reasonable period thereafter, planning, engineering, financial advisory and legal services, administrative expenses, prepayments under contracts made pursuant to section 604 of this title, the funding of notes issued for project costs, and all other expenses incidental to the determination of the feasibility of any project, or to carrying out the project, or to placing the project in operation.

(b)  The obligations shall be issued in accordance with chapter 53 of Title 24.  The amount of obligations issued for such purpose shall not be considered in computing any debt limit applicable to the town.

(c)  The bonding authority of the town of Rockingham set forth by this section shall be subject to the following:

(1)  The town of Rockingham shall not incur indebtedness in order to support the acquisition of the hydroelectric facility specified in subsection 604(d) of this title except in the form of bonds issued under subchapter 2 of chapter 53 of Title 24, payable solely from the net revenues from that hydroelectric facility, nor shall the town have the authority to use the Vermont Municipal Bond Bank to assist with the town’s acquisition of that hydroelectric facility; provided, however, the foregoing limitations shall not restrict the town from using whatever financing options, or combinations of financing options, otherwise legally available to it for purposes of acquiring, repairing, improving, or maintaining any other parts of a municipal plant as defined in chapter 79 of Title 30, or for purposes of repairing, improving, or maintaining the hydroelectric facility after the town owns the hydroelectric facility. 

(2)  Revenue bonds issued for purposes of the town’s acquisition of the hydroelectric facility shall not be deemed to constitute a debt or liability or obligation of the town, the state, or of any political subdivision of it, nor shall those revenue bonds be deemed to constitute a pledge of the faith and credit of the town, the state, or of any political subdivision, but shall be payable solely from the revenues from the hydroelectric facility.  Any revenue bond issued by the town to support the town’s acquisition of the hydroelectric facility shall contain on its face a statement to the effect the town shall not be obligated to pay the same nor the interest on it, except from the revenues or assets pledged for those purposes, and neither the faith and credit nor the taxing power of the town, the state, or of any political subdivision of it is pledged to the payment of the principal of or the interest on such obligations.

(3)  The state does hereby pledge to agree with the holders of the notes and bonds issued under this section that the state will not limit or restrict the rights hereby vested in the town to perform its obligations and to fulfill the terms of any agreement made with the holders of its bonds or notes.  Neither will the state in any way impair the rights and remedies of the holders until the notes and bonds, together with interest on them, and interest on any unpaid installments of interest, are fully met, paid, and discharged.  The town is authorized to execute this pledge and agreement of the state in any agreement with the holders of the notes or bonds. 

Sec. 98.  30 V.S.A. § 611 is added to read: 

§ 611.  LIABILITY OF THE STATE; IMMUNITY

No provision of this chapter shall constitute a waiver of sovereign immunity of the state.  The state of Vermont shall not be liable for injury to persons or property or loss of life caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of the town of Rockingham or any of the town’s agents or employees in the maintenance or operation of the hydro-electric facilities specified in subsection (d) of section 604 of this title.

Sec. 99.  30 V.S.A. § 2909 is amended to read:

§ 2909.  HEARING BEFORE BOARD ON FAILURE TO AGREE

If the municipality does not ratify such agreement for the purchase in the manner provided in section 2908 of this title or if the price cannot be agreed upon or if it cannot be agreed as to how much, if any, of such plant and property lying without such municipality the public interest requires such municipality to purchase, either the municipality or the utility may petition the board for a determination of these questions.  The board, after proper notice and hearing, shall decide the amount of just compensation and any other matters in dispute, and shall also, when required to fix the price to be paid for such plant and property, determine the amount of damages, if any, caused by the severance of the plant and property proposed to be purchased from the other plant and property of the utility.  The board shall make its determinations on or before 12 months after the filing of the petition.  The board may extend the time for determination an additional six months upon agreement of all of the parties or, absent such an agreement, upon a finding by the board, after notice and hearing, that such an extension is necessary to prevent injustice to one or more of the parties.  From such determinations, there shall be the right of appeal to the supreme court on all matters involved as provided in chapter 1 of this title.

Sec. 100.  32 V.S.A. § 5404b is amended to read:

§ 5404b.  HYDRO-ELECTRIC PROPERTY; CONSERVATION EASEMENTS; TRANSFERS

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including the provisions of 32 V.S.A. § subdivisions 3481(1), and the provisions of 32 V.S.A. § 3802(1) of this title:

(1)  any real property subject to conservation easements granted pursuant to the terms of any agreement executed on or after January 1, 1997 between companies owning real property used for hydro-electric generation in this state and the state of Vermont shall continue to be assessed and property taxes collected as if such property were not subject to such easements; and

(2)  any real property purchased by the state pursuant to the terms of any agreement executed on or after January 1, 1997 between companies owning real property used for hydro-electric generation in this state and the state of Vermont, which property continues to be owned by the state, or by some successor owner which would otherwise be exempt from property taxes, shall continue to be assessed and property taxes collected as if such property were not so purchased by the state; and

(3)  any real property and fixtures used for hydro-electric generation and purchased by the town of Rockingham on or after January 1, 2002, which property and fixtures continue to be owned by the town of Rockingham and used for purposes of hydro-electric generation, shall continue to be listed on the education property tax grand list and assessed as if such property were not so purchased by the town of Rockingham.  The town shall, in lieu of property taxes, pay to any governmental body authorized to levy property taxes the amount which would be assessable as property taxes on the real and tangible personal property if that property were the property of a utility.  These payments shall be due, and bear interest if unpaid, as in the case of taxes on the property of a utility.  For purposes of these payments in lieu of taxes, the assessors of the taxing authority shall make a valuation and assessment of the property, and determine the tax that would be assessable if the property were owned by a utility.  Payments in lieu of taxes made under this chapter shall be treated in the same manner as taxes for the purposes of all procedural and substantive provisions of law, including appeals, now and hereinafter in effect applicable to assessment and taxation of real and personal property, collection and abatement of these taxes, and the raising of public revenues

* * * Energy Infrastructure; Vermont Power Authority * * *

Sec. 101.  30 V.S.A. chapter 90 is added to read:

CHAPTER 90.  VERMONT HYDRO-ELECTRIC POWER AUTHORITY

§ 8051.  FINDINGS, PURPOSE, AND GOALS

(a)  The general assembly of the state of Vermont finds:

(1)  Potential exists to purchase an interest in hydroelectric power stations along the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers located in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.

(2)  The general assembly created the Vermont Renewable Power Supply Acquisition Authority (VRPSAA) in Sec. 38 of No. 63 of the Acts of 2003 to investigate such a purchase and the VRPSAA has taken actions towards that goal.

(b)  Therefore, it is the purpose of this chapter to create an entity with the authority to finance, purchase, own, operate, or manage any interest in the hydroelectric power facilities along the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers located in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and to sell the electric energy under the control of the authority from those facilities at wholesale to authorized wholesale purchasers.  The purchase and operation of an interest shall be pursued with the following goals:

(1)  To promote the general good of the state;

(2)  To stimulate the development of the Vermont economy;

(3)  To increase the degree to which Vermont’s energy needs are met through environmentally‑sound sustainable and renewable in-state energy sources;

(4)  To lessen electricity price risk and volatility for Vermont ratepayers and increase system reliability;

(5)  Not to compete with Vermont utilities;

(6)  To ensure that the credit rating of the state will not be adversely affected and Vermont taxpayers will not be liable should the project fail because of the failure to produce sufficient revenue to service the debt, the failure of a partner, or for any other reason; and

(7)  To cause the project to be operated in an environmentally sound manner consistent with federal licenses and purposes. 

§ 8052.  DEFINITIONS

As used in this chapter:

(1)  “Authority” means the Vermont Hydro-electric Power Authority established by this chapter.

(2)  "Project" means the right to the sale at wholesale, exchange, or interchange of the hydroelectric energy, capacity or output produced by or at the hydroelectric power stations along the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers located in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.

(3)  “Facilities” means the hydroelectric power stations and related assets along the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers located in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts in which the authority has acquired an equity interest.

§ 8053.  AUTHORITY; CREATION AND ORGANIZATION

(a)  The Vermont Hydro-electric Power Authority is created and established as a body corporate and politic and a public instrumentality of the state.  The exercise by the authority of the powers conferred upon it constitutes the performance of essential governmental functions.

(b)  The powers of the authority shall be exercised by seven directors appointed as follows:

(1)  Five directors shall be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate, at least one of whom shall represent retail customers.   No director appointed by the governor, while serving as a director, shall be an employee, board member or director, or have a substantial ownership interest in an electric company regulated by the public service board or the department of public service under this title.  The directors appointed by the governor shall be appointed for terms of five years and until their successors are appointed and confirmed, except that the first directors shall be appointed in the following manner: one for a term of two years, two for a term of three years, and two for a term of five years.  The governor for cause may remove a director appointed by a governor.  The governor may fill any vacancy occurring among the directors appointed by a governor for the balance of the unexpired term.  A director may be reappointed.

(2)  The state treasurer, who shall serve ex officio; and

(3)  One director shall be a representative of the department of public service, appointed by the commissioner, who shall serve at the pleasure of the commissioner.

(c)  The authority shall elect a chair, a vice chair, and a treasurer from among its directors.  A quorum shall consist of four directors.  No action of the authority shall be considered valid unless the action is supported by a majority vote of the directors present and voting and then only if at least four directors vote in favor of the action.

(d)  Directors shall be compensated for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties in the manner provided by section 1010 of Title 32.

(e)  The governor or the governor’s designee shall have the power to appoint an interim manager upon enactment of this chapter, who shall serve at the governor’s pleasure, under the governor’s direction, and for compensation established by the governor.  The interim manager, with the approval of the governor or the governor’s designee, shall have full authority to take all actions authorized under this chapter to protect and advance the interests of the state of Vermont until such time as a manager employed pursuant to section 8054 of this chapter has assumed office.

(f)  The authority shall continue so long as it shall have any obligations or indebtedness outstanding and until its existence is terminated by law.  Upon termination of the authority, title to all of the property owned by the authority shall vest in the state.  The state reserves the right to change or terminate the authority and any structure, organization, program, or activity of the authority, subject to constitutional limitations.

(g)  The authority’s board of directors shall adopt bylaws or other rules and regulations for the management of the affairs of the authority and carrying out the purposes of this chapter.

(h)  The net earnings of the authority, beyond those necessary for retirement of its notes, bonds, or other obligations or indebtedness or to implement the public purposes and programs authorized in this chapter, shall not inure to the benefit of any person other than the state.

(i)  Despite any law or charter provision to the contrary, a director or officer of the authority who is also an officer, employee, or member of a legislative body of a municipality or other public body or of the state shall not thereby be precluded from voting or acting on behalf of the authority on a matter involving the municipality or public body or the state. 

§ 8054.  MANAGER

The authority shall employ and compensate a  manager who shall serve under a contract for a specific term or at the pleasure of the authority.  The authority, with the governor’s approval, shall fix the manager’s compensation.  The manager shall be the chief executive officer of the authority and shall administer, manage, and direct the affairs and business of the authority, subject to the policies, control, and direction of the directors.

§ 8055.  GENERAL POWERS

The authority shall have such powers as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter including those powers provided a corporation under chapter 3 of Title 11A, subject to the limitations in section 8056 of this title, and shall include the power:

(1)  To borrow money, make and issue negotiable bonds, notes, and commercial paper; and give other evidences of indebtedness or obligations, and give security therefor.  Such evidences of indebtedness or obligations may be incurred for any of the authority’s corporate purposes.  Such evidences of indebtedness or obligations shall be in such form and denominations, and with such terms and provisions, including the maturity date or dates, redemption provisions, and other provisions necessary or desirable.  Such evidences of indebtedness or obligations shall be either taxable or tax-exempt and shall be noninterest bearing, or bear interest at such rate or rates, which may be fixed or variable, as may be sufficient or necessary to effect the issuance and sale or resale thereof.  The authority is authorized to enter into such agreements with other persons as the authority deems necessary or appropriate in connection with the issuance, sale, and resale of such evidences of indebtedness or obligations, including, without limitation, trust indentures, bond purchase agreements, disclosure agreements, remarketing agreements, agreements providing liquidity or credit facilities, bond insurance, or other credit enhancements in connection with such evidences of indebtedness or obligations.  The authority is authorized to resell or retire any such evidences of indebtedness or obligations prior to the stated maturity thereof.  No indebtedness shall be issued by the authority without the written approval of the state treasurer, which approval shall be given if, based upon his or her investigation, the state treasurer has certified that:

(A)  none of the nationally-recognized credit rating agencies that rate general obligation debt of the state of Vermont has concluded that such indebtedness will be included as part of the state of Vermont’s net tax-supported debt computation, as prepared by such rating agencies; or

(B)  the financing structure and flow of funds for such indebtedness will not result in such indebtedness being counted as net tax‑supported debt, or its equivalent, on the state of Vermont’s debt statement, as prepared by any of the nationally-recognized credit rating agencies that rate general obligation debt of the state of Vermont.

(2)  To acquire by purchase, lease, gift, or otherwise, or to obtain options for the acquisition of property necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter, real or personal, improved or unimproved, tangible or intangible, including an interest in land of less than fee; to hold and dispose of real and personal property; to enter into all contracts, leases, agreements, and arrangements; and to do all lawful acts and things necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and the execution of its powers under this chapter.

(3)  To pledge or assign any money, fees, charges, or other revenues of the authority and any proceeds derived by the authority from the sale of property or from insurance or condemnation awards.

(4)  To sue and be sued in its own name and plead and be impleaded; service of process upon the authority in any action shall be made by service upon the secretary of state, either by hand or by leaving a copy of the process at the office of the secretary.

(5)  To adopt and amend bylaws, rules, and regulations for the calling and conduct of its meetings and for the conduct of its affairs.

(6)  To employ personnel who, in the discretion of the authority, may be in the classified system under chapter 13 of Title 3, and to employ or contract with agents, consultants, legal advisors, and other persons and entities as may be necessary or desirable for its purposes, upon such terms as the authority may determine.

(7)  To contract with the state of Vermont or any agency or political subdivision thereof, public corporations or bodies, private corporations or individuals for any purposes related to the authority.

(8)  To apply and contract for and to expend assistance from the United States or other sources, whatever the form.

(9)  To administer its own funds and to invest or deposit funds which are not needed currently to meet the obligations of the authority.

(10)  To do business inside or outside the state.

(11)  To apply to the appropriate agencies of the state, other states, the United States, and to any other proper agency for permits, licenses, certificates, or approvals which may be necessary, and to construct, maintain, and operate the facilities in accordance with these licenses, permits, certificates, or approvals;

(12)  To contract with respect to the purchase, sale, delivery, exchange, interchange, wheeling, pooling, transmission, or use of project electric power and energy and to otherwise participate in intrastate, interstate, and international wholesale arrangements with respect to those matters.

(13)  Alone or jointly, to plan, finance, acquire, construct, improve, purchase, operate, maintain, use, share costs of, own, lease, sell, dispose of or otherwise participate in the facilities or portions of the facilities, the product or service from them, securities or obligations issued or incurred in connection with the financing of them, or research and development relating to them, within or outside the state.  The authority may also enter into and perform contracts with any person with respect to the foregoing.

(14)  To exercise all powers necessary or incidental to affect any or all of the purposes for which the authority is created.

(15)  To sell project electric power at wholesale within or outside the state.

(16)  To purchase, maintain, and operate the facilities. 

(17)  To contract for the use of transmission and distribution facilities owned by others solely for the purpose of engaging in wholesale transactions.

§ 8056.  LIMITATIONS ON POWERS

(a)  The authority shall not sell electric power at retail to any ultimate customer in Vermont, or require any electric utility to purchase electric power in a wholesale transaction.

(b)  The authority shall not seek or obtain treatment for any facility as a “qualifying facility” in Vermont under 18 C.F.R. § 292.201-207 or subdivision 209(a)(8) of this title.

(c)  Electric power provided by the authority shall not be sold to the department of public service for ultimate sale at retail to Vermont consumers under sections 211 or 212a of this title.

(d)  The authority shall take no action to cause, nor shall any provision of this chapter be construed to impose, any obligation upon the state as a result of the insolvency of  a partner.

§ 8057.  OBLIGATIONS NOT OBLIGATIONS OF THE STATE

The authority shall have the benefit of sovereign immunity to the same extent as the state of Vermont.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, obligations of the authority under a contract authorized by this chapter shall not be deemed to constitute an obligation, indebtedness or a lending of credit of the state.

§ 8058.  BONDS

(a)  In addition to any other statute affecting the authority, the authority may issue bonds to pay the costs of purchasing the facilities on the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers, or property related to such facilities, to pay the costs of repairs, replacements or expansions of the facilities, or to pay capitalized interest and costs of issuance, which have been approved by the authority or to refund bonds previously issued.

(b)  In addition to any other statute affecting the authority, no bonds shall be issued under this section without the prior approval of the governor or designee.

(c)  Bonds issued under this section shall bear the manual or facsimile signature of the manager of the authority and the manual or facsimile signature of the chair or vice chair of the authority.  Bonds shall be sold by the signing officers at public or private sale, and the proceeds thereof shall be paid to the trustee under the security document that secures the bonds.

(d)  No financing or security document, bond, or other instrument issued or entered into in the name and on behalf of the authority under this chapter shall in any way obligate the state to raise any money by taxation or use other funds for any purpose to pay any debt or meet any financial obligation to any person at any time in relation to a facility, project, or program financed in whole or in part by the issue of the authority’s bonds under this chapter, except from monies received or to be received under a financing or security document entered into under this chapter or except as may be required by any other provision of law.  Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, the authority may accept and expend with respect to a facility, project, or program any gifts or grants received from any source in accordance with the terms of the gifts or grants.

(e)  The authority may undertake a joint financing of the project.

(f)  A state or national chartered bank, Vermont bank, or Vermont trust company may serve as trustee for the benefit of bondholders under a security document; and the trustee may at any time own all or any part of the bonds issued under that security document, unless otherwise provided therein.  All monies received or held by the authority or by a trustee pursuant to a financing or security document, other than funds received or held by the authority for its own use, shall be deemed to be trust funds and shall be held and applied solely in accordance with the applicable document.

(g)  Except as provided in any financing or security document entered into or any bond issued under this chapter, each of the parties to the financing or security document or any bondholder may enforce the obligation of any other person to the party or bondholder under the bond or instrument by appropriate legal proceedings.

(h)  Bonds issued under this chapter shall be legal investments for all persons without limit as to the amount held, regardless of whether they are acting for their own account or in a fiduciary capacity.  Such bonds shall likewise be legal investments for all public officials authorized to invest public funds.

§ 8059.  Records; annual report; audit

(a)  The authority shall keep an accurate account of all its activities and of all its receipts and expenditures.

(b)  Each year, prior to February 1, the authority shall submit a report of its activities for the preceding fiscal year to the governor and to the general assembly.  The report shall set forth a complete operating and financial statement covering its operations during the year.  The authority shall cause an audit of its books and accounts to be made at least once in each year by a certified public accountant.  The cost of the audit shall be considered an expense of the authority, and a copy of the audit shall be filed with the state treasurer. 

Sec. 102.  VERMONT HYDRO-ELECTRIC POWER AUTHORITY; TRANSITIONAL PROVISION; TERMINATION

(a)  Nothing in Sec. 101 of this act shall be interpreted to limit the lawful activities of the Vermont Renewable Power Supply Acquisition Authority created in Sec. 38 of No. 63 of the Acts of 2003.

(b)  Sec. 101 of this act, creating Chapter 90 of Title 30, shall terminate on July 1, 2007 if at that time no directors have been appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate.  If directors have been appointed and confirmed before that date, chapter 90 of Title 30 shall remain the law of the state. 

Sec. 103.  30 V.S.A. § 201(a) is amended to read:

§ 201.  DEFINITIONS

(a)  As used in this chapter, the word “company” or “companies” means and includes individuals, partnerships, associations, corporations and municipalities, owning or conducting any public service business or property used in connection therewith and covered by the provisions of this chapter. The term “company” or “companies” also includes electric cooperatives organized and operating under chapter 81 of this title, and the Vermont public power supply authority to the extent not inconsistent with chapter 84 of this title, and the Vermont Hydro-electric Power Authority to the extent not inconsistent with chapter 90 of this title. In the context of actions requiring prior approval under section 107 of this title, the term “company” shall also mean any individual, partnership, association, corporation, group, syndicate, operating division, joint stock company, trust, other entity, or municipality which would be defined as a company pursuant to this section if such approval were to be granted. 

* * * Effective Date * * *

Sec. 104.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on passage, except that state aid under Secs. 58 (energy performance contracting in schools) and 59 (renewable energy in schools) of this act shall be awarded from capital appropriations made during and after the 2005 legislative session.

Approved:  June 8, 2004



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us