The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 24: Municipal and County Government

Chapter 61: REGULATORY PROVISIONS; POLICE POWER OF MUNICIPALITIES

 

Sub-Chapter 1: Definitions For Chapter

§ 3355. Withdrawal from district

(a) A town which is a member of a consolidated water district may vote to withdraw from said district if one year has elapsed since said district has become a body politic and corporate as provided in section 3342 of this title and if said consolidated water district has not voted to bond itself for construction or improvements.

(b) When a majority of the voters of a town present and voting at a town meeting duly warned for that purpose shall vote to withdraw from a consolidated water district such vote shall thereupon be certified by the clerk of the town to the secretary of state who shall thereupon record such certificate in his or her office, and the membership of the withdrawing town in the consolidated water district to be at an end as of December 31 immediately following or as soon thereafter as the obligations of said withdrawing district as incurred under this chapter have been paid to the district.

(c) A vote of withdrawal taken after a consolidated water district has become a body politic and corporate as provided in section 3342 of this title but less than one year after said date shall be null and void. A vote of withdrawal from a consolidated water district taken after said district has voted to bond itself for construction or improvements shall be null and void. (1964, No. 20 (Sp. Sess.), § 15, eff. March 10, 1964.)

 

Sub-Chapter 2: Jitneys And Taxis

§§ 3371-3385. Repealed. 1971, No. 97, § 6, eff. April 22, 1971.

§ 3401. Drainage adjacent to cities and incorporated villages

In a town having a municipality within its limits, authorized by law to construct main sewers, drains, and outlets at the expense of the abutters or those interested, where a sewer, drain, or outlet will benefit those outside the limits of such municipality as well as those inside, upon petition of a majority of those interested in its construction, setting forth that they are liable to contribute towards its expense and that the public health and convenience demand it, the selectboard may join the proper officers of such municipality in laying out and constructing the same.

 

Sub-Chapter 3: Junkyards

§ 3402. Construction; taking land

With the proper officers of such municipality the selectboard shall cause the same to be constructed, and, for such purpose, may enter upon and construct the same upon private land under the same proceedings as are prescribed for the taking of lands by selectmen for highway purposes. They shall make return of their doings and of the damages awarded by them to the office of the town clerk to be there recorded.

§ 3403. Apportionment of expense

When such sewer, drain or outlet has been constructed, the selectboard and the same number selected by and from the proper officers of such municipality shall agree upon the proportion of expenses that shall be borne by those inside and those outside the limits of such municipality. In case of a disagreement, the decision of a majority shall be final.

 

Sub-Chapter 4: Radio-television Interference

§ 3404. Assessment of parties; notice

When an agreement is made as to the amount which shall be paid by those outside the municipality, as provided in section 3403 of this title, the selectboard shall forthwith give notice to all real estate owners benefited by such sewer, drain, or outlet, when and where they will hear and determine the amount of expense to be borne by each party so benefited. Such notice may be delivered in writing to the party or served like a writ of summons.

§ 3405. Determination of amount; record; lien

At such hearing, the selectboard shall assess each real estate owner outside such municipality benefited by the construction of such sewer, drain, or outlet, his or her proportion of the expense, according to frontage or the benefit received. When such assessment is made and signed by the selectboard or a majority of it, it shall be recorded in the office of the town clerk. When so recorded, it shall be a first lien except taxes and may be enforced, as a tax lien is enforced, upon the land described in the assessment until the same is paid.

§ 3406. Appeal; not to delay construction

When a person is dissatisfied with the decision of the selectboard upon the question of the extent of or necessity for the taking of land for such sewer, drain, or outlet, or in the award of damages therefor or in any assessment for contribution, such person may petition to the superior court for a rehearing in the premises. Any number of persons aggrieved may join therein, but such petition shall not delay the laying or repairing of such sewer, drain, or outlet, where the same is for the reassessment of damages or contribution. (1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1973.)

 

Sub-Chapter 5: Nuisances

§ 3407. Proceedings

If for a rehearing upon the question of the extent of or public necessity for taking such land, or on the award of damages, such petition shall be served on the town clerk within 60 days after the return of the doings of the selectmen has been filed in such clerk's office and, if for a rehearing on the question of assessment, within 60 days after such assessment has been recorded in the office of the town clerk. Such proceedings shall be had on such petition as are provided in case of petitions or appeals from proceedings of the selectboard in taking lands for highway purposes, except as herein provided. The commissioners shall notify the town clerk of the time and place, when and where they will hear the matter. The superior court shall have power to make such order in regard to recognizance for costs as it deems necessary. (1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974.)

 

Sub-Chapter 6: Curfew

§ 3408. Collection

When an assessment remains unpaid for the space of 30 days, the treasurer of the town shall issue a warrant for its collection directed to the collector of taxes, who shall have the same power to enforce the collection and shall proceed in the same manner as is provided by law for the collection of taxes.

 

Sub-Chapter 7: Sale Of Produce

§ 3409. Manner of assessment

The proceedings, assessment, and collection of the proportion of expense to be paid by those within the limits of such municipality shall be in the same manner as is provided in their several charters.

 

Sub-Chapter 8: Rubbish And Garbage

§ 3410. Water mains and sewerage outside cities and villages

When the public good and necessity require water mains, drains, sewers, or sewer outlets to be laid out so as to extend into a town outside the limits of a city or village, or when the public good and necessity require that water mains, drains, sewers or sewer outlets so laid out, be altered or discontinued, the city, by its council, or the village, by its trustees, if the parties interested cannot agree as to the question of public necessity or damages, may apply by petition to the superior court of the county where the highways or lands lie which will be occupied or affected by such laying out, alteration or discontinuance, for the appointment of commissioners to inquire into the necessity of such laying out, alteration or discontinuance, and of taking or occupying highways or other lands, and as to the damages which will be sustained thereby. (1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974.)

§ 3411. Service; commissioners

The petition, with a citation, shall be served on the towns, corporations, or persons owning or interested in the highways or lands affected, either as abutting owners or otherwise, as a writ of summons requiring appearance to be made therein within 21 days from the date of service. Unless cause is shown to the contrary, the court shall appoint three disinterested freeholders as such commissioners.

§ 3412. Notice; hearing; report; judgment

The commissioners shall appoint a time and place for hearing and shall give at least 12 days' notice thereof to the clerk of the municipality and to all persons and municipalities owning or interested in the highways or lands. When they have completed their inquiries, they shall make report to the court. Upon hearing, the court may accept or reject the report in whole or in part, and, by its order, may establish, alter or discontinue such water mains, drains, sewers, or sewer outlets, in whole or in part, may render judgment for such damages as may be sustained, may tax costs as appears just, and may issue execution for such damages and costs.

§ 3413. Sewers in towns; powers of the selectboard; petition

The selectboard of a town shall have the same authority to construct a sewer in a village in that town as is given by this chapter to selectboard of a town having a municipality within its limits. However, before acting, the selectboard shall receive a petition signed by 10 or more legal voters of such town asking them to construct a sewer or sewers in such village or an order of the state board of health authorizing them so to do. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961.)

§ 3414. Hearing; assessment

Upon receiving such petition, the selectboard shall give 10 days' notice of a hearing upon the public necessity for the construction of such sewer by posting notices to that effect in three public places in such village. When, after notice and hearing, the selectboard decide that the public good requires the construction of such sewer, they may proceed to construct the same at the expense of the town. They then shall notify all parties who will be benefited thereby to appear before them to be heard upon the apportionment of the cost of such sewer among those benefited, by giving to each of such persons a written notice of the time and place of such hearing, signed by a majority of the selectboard, which notice shall be given not less than 10 days before such hearing. All parties benefited by the construction of such sewer shall be assessed for the construction of the same according to the benefit received.

§ 3415. Taking land; proceedings

The selectboard shall have the same powers in the taking of land for the construction of such sewer, in the assessment of damages therefor, in the assessment for benefits conferred and in all proceedings necessary for carrying out the provisions of this section and sections 3413 and 3414 of this title, as are conferred upon the selectboard by this chapter. The same right of appeal is hereby given to persons dissatisfied with the decision of the selectboard upon the question of the public necessity for taking land, the assessment of damages therefor, or the assessment of contribution for the construction of such sewer, as is given to such persons by this chapter.

§ 3501. Definitions

The following words and phrases, as used in this chapter and in chapter 101 of this title, shall have the following meanings:

(1) "Domestic sewage" or "house sewage" is sanitary sewage derived principally from dwellings, business buildings, and institutions.

(2) "Industrial wastes" or "trade wastes" are liquid wastes from industrial processes, including suspended solids.

(3) "Sanitary sewage" is used water supply commonly containing human excrement.

(4) "Sanitary treatment" shall be an approved method of treatment of solids and bacteria in sewage before final discharge.

(5) "Sewage" is the used water supply of a community, including such ground water, surface, and storm water as may or may not be mixed with these liquid wastes from the community.

(6) "Sewage system" shall include such equipment, pipe line system, and facilities as are needed for and appurtenant to the treatment or disposal of sewage and waters, as defined herein, including a sewage treatment or disposal plant, as defined in section 3601 of this title, and separate pipe lines and structural or nonstructural facilities as are needed for and appurtenant to the treatment or disposal of storm, surface, and subsurface waters.

(7) "Storm water" or "storm sewage" is the excess water from rainfall or continuously following therefrom.

(8) "Surface water" is water other than storm water flowing on or over the surface of the ground. (Amended 2001, No. 109 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. May 16, 2002.)

§ 3502. Powers

A municipal corporation may construct, maintain, operate, and repair a sewage system and take, purchase, and acquire, in the manner hereinafter mentioned, real estate and easements necessary for its purposes, and enter in and upon any land for the purpose of making surveys, and lay pipes and sewers and connect the same as may be necessary to convey sewage and other waters to an outfall or treatment plant.

§ 3503. Contracts for service

Such municipal corporation may contract with the state, the federal government or any appropriate agency thereof, any town, city, or village, any corporation, and individuals to make disposal of domestic or storm water sewage for such other town, city, village, corporation or individuals.

§ 3504. Charges, enforcement

(a) The property owner or group of property owners using the sewage system shall be liable for the rent fixed as provided by sections 3507, 3615, and 3616 of this title. The charges, rates or rents for such sewage system shall be a lien upon the real estate furnished with such service in the same manner and to the same effect as taxes are a lien upon real estate under section 5061 of Title 32 and shall be an assessment enforceable under the procedures in subsections (b), (c), or (d) of this section, or a combination of these procedures.

(b) When an assessment remains unpaid for a period of 30 days, the treasurer of the municipality may issue a warrant for its collection directed to the collector of taxes, who shall have the same power to enforce the collection and shall proceed in the same manner as provided by law for the collection of taxes under subchapter 9 of chapter 133 of Title 32.

(c) When the ratepayer fails to render payment for a valid bill or charge within 30 days of the postmark on the bill or by the due date, the appointed and elected officials may proceed with collection of the delinquency as provided in chapter 129 of this title.

(d) When an assessment remains unpaid for two years the municipal officials may proceed to enforce the lien as provided in 32 V.S.A. chapter 133, subchapter 8. (Amended 1983, No. 54, § 1; 1987, No. 24, § 1; 1989, No. 45, § 1.)

 

Sub-Chapter 9: Trailer Parks

§ 3505. Repealed. 1959, No. 207, § 3.

 

Sub-Chapter 10: Salvage Yards

§ 3506. Commissioners

(a) Except as provided for in subsection (b) of this section, the selectboard of a town, the trustees of a village, the prudential committee of a fire or lighting district, or the mayor and board of aldermen of a city, shall constitute a board of sewage system commissioners.

(b) The legislative body of the municipality may vote to constitute a separate board of sewage system commissioners. Such board shall have not less than three nor more than seven members, who shall be legally qualified voters of the municipality. Members shall be appointed, and any vacancy filled, by the legislative body of the municipality. The term of each member shall be four years. Any member may be removed by the legislative body of the municipality for just cause after due notice and hearing. The legislative body may designate the board of sewage system commissioners as the board of sewage disposal commissioners provided for in section 3614 of this title. (Amended 1993, No. 91, § 1.)

§ 3507. Duties

Such sewage system commissioners shall have the supervision of such municipal sewage system and shall make and establish all needed rates for rent, with rules and regulations for its control and operation. Such commissioners may appoint or remove a superintendent at their pleasure. The rents and receipts for the use of such sewage system shall be used and applied to pay the interest and principal of the sewage system bonds of such municipal corporation, the expense of maintenance and operation of the sewage system, as well as dedicated fund payments provided for in section 3616 of this title. (Amended 1989, No. 45, § 2.)

§ 3508. Construction

Sections 3603-3610, 3613, 3615, 3617, and 3618 of this title, relating to entry on lands, compensation, record, bonds, rents, ordinances, and meetings are adopted as a part of this chapter as fully as though herein set forth. (Amended 1959, No. 207, § 1.)

§ 3509. Sewers and plumbing; orders

The sewage commissioners may require the owners of buildings, subdivisions, or developments abutting on a public street or highway to have all sewers from those buildings, subdivisions, or developments connected to the municipal corporation's sewage system. (Added 1989, No. 45, § 3.)

§§ 3551-3560. Repealed. 1971, No. 97, § 6, eff. April 22, 1971.

§ 3601. Definitions

The definitions established in section 3501 of this title shall establish the meanings of those words as used in this chapter, and the following words and phrases as used in this chapter shall have the following meanings:

(1) "Necessity" means a reasonable need which considers the greatest public good and the least inconvenience and expense to the condemning party and to the property owner. Necessity shall not be measured merely by expense or convenience to the condemning party. Due consideration shall be given to the adequacy of other property and locations; to the quantity, kind and extent of property which may be taken or rendered unfit for use by the proposed taking; to the probable term of unfitness for use of the property; to the effect of construction upon scenic and recreational values, upon home and homestead rights and the convenience of the owner of the land; to the effect upon town grand list and revenues.

(2) "Board" means the board of sewage disposal commissioners.

(3) The phrase "sewage treatment or disposal plant" shall include, for the purposes of this chapter, such plant, equipment, system and facilities, whether structural or nonstructural, as are needful for and appurtenant to the treatment or disposal by approved sanitary methods of domestic sewage, garbage, industrial wastes, stormwater, or surface water. (1963, No. 214, § 1; amended 2001, No. 109 (Adj. Sess.), § 8, eff. May 16, 2002.)

§§ 3601a-3601f. [Renumbered.].

§ 3602. Sewage disposal plant, construction

A municipal corporation may construct, maintain, operate, and repair a sewage disposal plant and system, to take, purchase, and acquire, in the manner hereinafter mentioned, real estate and easements necessary for its purposes, may enter in and upon any land for the purpose of making surveys, may lay pipes and sewers and connect the same as may be necessary to convey sewage for the purpose of disposing of sewage by such municipal corporation.

§ 3603. Entry on lands

Such municipal corporation, for the purposes enumerated in section 3602 of this title, may enter upon and use any land and enclosures over or through which it may be necessary for pipes and sewer to pass, and may thereon at any time place, lay and construct such pipes and sewers, appurtenances and connections as may be necessary for the complete construction and repairing of the same from time to time, may open the ground in any streets, lanes, avenues, highways and public grounds for the purposes hereof; provided that such streets, lanes, avenues, highways and public grounds shall not be injured, but shall be left in as good condition as before the laying of such pipes and sewers.

§ 3604. Petition for hearing to determine necessity

The municipal corporation may agree with all the owners of land or interest in land affected by the survey made under section 3602 of this title for the conveyance of their interest. Where such agreement is not made the board shall petition a superior judge, setting forth therein that such board proposes to take certain land, or rights therein, and describing such lands or rights, and the survey shall be annexed to said petition and made a part thereof. Such petition shall set forth the purposes for which such land or rights are desired, and shall contain a request that such judge fix a time and place when he or she or some other superior judge will hear all parties concerned and determine whether such taking is necessary. (1963, No. 214, § 2.)

§ 3605. Hearing to determine necessity

The judge to whom such petition is presented shall fix the time for hearing, which shall not be more than 60 nor less than 30 days from the date he or she signs such order. Likewise, he or she shall fix the place for hearing, which shall be the county courthouse or any other convenient place within the county in which the land in question is located. If the superior judge to whom such petition is presented cannot hear the petition at the time set therefore he or she shall call upon the chief superior judge to assign another superior judge to hear such cause at the time and place assigned in the order. (1963, No. 214, § 3.)

§ 3606. Service and publication of petition

A copy of the petition together with a copy of the court's order fixing the time and place of hearing shall be published in a newspaper having general circulation in the town in which the land included in the survey lies once a week for three consecutive weeks on the same day of the week, the last publication to be not less than five days before the hearing date, and a copy of the petition, together with a copy of the court's order fixing the time and place of hearing, and a copy of the survey shall be placed on file in the clerk's office of the town. The petition, together with the court's order fixing the time and place of hearing, shall be served upon each person owning or having an interest in land to be purchased or condemned like a summons, or, on absent defendants, in such manner as the supreme court may by rule provide for service of process in civil actions. If the service on any defendant is impossible, upon affidavit of the sheriff, deputy sheriff, or constable attempting service, therein stating that the location of the defendant within or without the state is unknown and that he or she has no known agent or attorney in the state of Vermont upon which service may be made, the publication herein provided shall be deemed sufficient service on the defendant. Compliance with the provisions hereof shall constitute sufficient service upon and notice to any person owning or having any interest in the land proposed to be taken or affected. (1963, No. 214, § 4; amended 1971, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 203, eff. March 29, 1972.)

§ 3607. Hearing and order of necessity

At the time and place appointed for the hearing, the court shall hear all persons interested and wishing to be heard. If any person owning or having an interest in land to be taken or affected appears and objects to the necessity of taking the land included within the survey or any part thereof, then the court shall require the board to proceed with the introduction of evidence of the necessity of such taking. The burden of proof of the necessity of the taking shall be upon the board. The court may cite in additional parties including other property owners whose interests may be concerned or affected by any taking of land or interest therein based on any ultimate order of the court. The court shall make findings of fact and file them. The court shall, by its order, determine whether necessity requires the taking of such land and rights and may modify or alter the proposed taking in such respects as to it may seem proper. (1963, No. 214, § 5.)

§ 3608. Appeal from order of necessity

If the state, municipal corporation or any owner affected by the order of the court is aggrieved thereby, an appeal may be taken to the supreme court in such manner as the supreme court may by rule provide for appeals from superior courts. In the event an appeal is taken, all proceedings shall be stayed until final disposition of the appeal. If no appeals are taken within the time provided therefor or, if appeal is taken, upon its final disposition a copy of the order of the court shall be placed on file within 10 days in the office of the clerk of each town in which the land affected lies and thereafter for a period of one year the board may institute proceedings for the condemnation of the land included in the survey as finally approved by the court without further hearing or consideration of any question of the necessity of the taking. (1963, No. 214, § 6; amended 1971, No. 185 (Adj. Sess.), § 204, eff. March 29, 1972; 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974.)

§ 3609. Compensation, condemnation

When an owner of land or rights therein and the board are unable to agree on the amount of compensation therefor or in case such owner is an infant, insane, absent from the state, unknown, or the owner of a contingent or uncertain interest, a superior judge may, on the application of either party, cause such notice to be given of such application as he or she may prescribe, and after proof thereof, may appoint three disinterested persons to examine such property to be taken, or damaged by such municipal corporation. After being duly sworn, the commissioners shall, upon due notice to all parties in interest, view the premises, hear the parties in respect to such property, and shall assess and award to such owners and persons so interested just damages for any injury sustained and make report in writing to such judge. In determining damages resulting from the taking or use of property under the provisions of this chapter the added value, if any, to the remaining property or right therein which inures directly to the owner thereof as a result of such taking or use as distinguished from the general public benefit, shall be considered. The judge may thereupon accept such report, unless just cause is shown to the contrary, and order such municipal corporation to pay the same in such time and manner as such judge may prescribe, in full compensation for the property taken, or the injury done by such municipal corporation, or the judge may reject or recommit the report if the ends of justice so require. On compliance with such order, such municipal corporation may proceed with the construction of its work without liability for further claim for damages. In his or her discretion, the judge may award costs in such proceeding. Appeals from the order may be taken to the supreme court under chapter 102 of Title 12. (Amended 1963, No. 214, § 7.)

§ 3610. Record

Within 60 days after the taking of any property, franchise, easement, or right under the provisions of this chapter, such municipal corporation shall file a description thereof in the office of the clerk wherein land records are required by law to be kept.

§ 3611. Contract for sewage disposal

(a) Such municipal corporation may contract with the state, the federal government, or any appropriate agency thereof, any town, city, or village, any corporation and individuals to make disposal of sewage for such other town, city, village, corporation or individuals. Such municipal corporation may make sale of sludge or fertilizer byproducts incident to sewage disposal, and the proceeds from sale thereof shall be turned over to the treasury of such sewage disposal district and credited therein as is other income derived under the authority of this chapter.

(b) A municipal corporation is authorized to enter into, with any contracting party or parties, contracts, leases, or lease-purchase agreements with respect to the construction, operation, and maintenance of sewage disposal plants. These contracts may be entered into for terms not to exceed 40 years or the useful life of the plant, whichever is less. (Amended 1983, No. 191 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

§ 3612. Charges; enforcement

(a) The owner of any tenement, house, building, or lot shall be liable for the sewage disposal charge as hereinafter defined. Such sewage disposal charge shall be a lien upon the real estate furnished with such service in the same manner and to the same effect as taxes are a lien upon real estate under section 5061 of Title 32 and shall be an assessment enforceable under the procedures in subsections (b), (c), or (d) of this section, or a combination of these procedures.

(b) When an assessment remains unpaid for a period of 30 days, the treasurer of the municipality may issue a warrant for its collection directed to the collector of taxes, who shall have the same power to enforce the collection and shall proceed in the same manner as provided by law for the collection of taxes under subchapter 9 of chapter 133 of Title 32.

(c) When the ratepayer fails to render payment for a valid bill or charge within 30 days of the postmark on the bill or on the due date, the appointed and elected municipal officials may proceed with collection of the delinquency as provided in chapter 129 of this title.

(d) When an assessment remains unpaid for two years, the municipal officials may proceed to enforce the lien as provided in 32 V.S.A. chapter 133, subchapter 8. (Amended 1983, No. 54, § 2; 1987, No. 24, § 2; 1989, No. 45, § 4.)

§ 3613. Taxes, bonds

For the purpose of adequately making disposal of sewage within its boundaries, successfully organizing, establishing and operating its sewage plant, sewage disposal plant, or some form of sewage treatment plant, and making such improvements as may be necessary, a municipal corporation may from time to time: purchase, take and hold real and personal estate; borrow money; levy, and collect taxes upon the ratable estate of the municipal corporation necessary for the payment of municipal corporation sewage and sewage disposal expenses and indebtedness; issue for the purposes hereof evidences of indebtedness pursuant to subchapter 2 of chapter 53 of this title or its negotiable bonds pursuant to subchapter 1 of chapter 53 of this title, provided, however, that bonds so issued (1) shall not be considered as indebtedness of such municipal corporation limited by the provisions of section 1762 of this title, (2) may be paid in not more than 30 years from the date of issue notwithstanding the limitation of section 1759 of this title, (3) may be authorized by a majority of all the voters present and voting on the question at a meeting of such municipal corporation held for the purpose pursuant to subchapter 1 of chapter 53 of this title notwithstanding any provisions of general or special law which may require a greater vote, and may be so arranged that beginning with the first year in which principal is payable, the amount of principal and interest in any year shall be as nearly equal as is practicable according to the denomination in which such bonds or other evidences of indebtedness are issued notwithstanding other permissible payment schedules authorized by section 1759 of this title. (Amended 1959, No. 207, § 2; 1961, No. 96, eff. May 3, 1961; 1971, No. 166 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. March 22, 1972.)

§ 3614. Board of sewage disposal commissioners

The selectmen of a town, the trustees of a village, the prudential committee of a fire or lighting district, or the mayor and board of aldermen of a city, shall constitute a board of sewage disposal commissioners.

§ 3615. Rents; rates

Such municipal corporation, through its board of sewage disposal commissioners, may establish charges to be called "sewage disposal charges," to be paid at such times and in such manner as the commissioners may prescribe. The commissioners may establish annual charges separately for bond repayment, fixed operations and maintenance costs (not dependent on actual use), and variable operations and maintenance cost dependent on flow. Such charges may be based upon: (1) the metered consumption of water on premises connected with the sewer system, however, the commissioners may determine no user will be billed for fixed operations and maintenance costs and bond payment less than the average single family charge; (2) the number of equivalent units connected with or served by the sewage system based upon their estimated flows compared to the estimated flows from a single family dwelling however, the commissioners may determine no user will be billed less than the minimum charge determined for the single family dwelling charge for fixed operations and maintenance costs and bond payment; (3) the strength and flow where wastes stronger than household wastes are involved; (4) the appraised value of premises, in the event that the commissioners shall determine the sewage disposal plant to be of general benefit to the municipality regardless of actual connection with the same; (5) the commissioners' determination developed using any other equitable basis such as the number and kind of plumbing fixtures, the number of persons residing on or frequenting the premises served by those sewers, the topography, size, type of use, or impervious area of any premises; or (6) any combination of these bases, so long as the combination is equitable. The basis for establishing sewer disposal charges shall be reviewed annually by sewage disposal commissioners. No premises otherwise exempt from taxation, including premises owned by the state of Vermont, shall, by virtue of any such exemption, be exempt from charges established hereunder. The commissioners may change the rates of such charges from time to time as may be reasonably required. Where one of the bases of such charge is the appraised value and the premises to be appraised are tax exempt, the commissioners may cause the listers to appraise such property, including state property, for the purpose of determining the sewage disposal charges. The right of appeal from such appraisal shall be the same as provided in chapter 131 of Title 32. The commissioner of finance and management is authorized to issue his or her warrants for sewage disposal charges against state property and transmit to the state treasurer who shall draw a voucher in payment thereof. No charge so established and no tax levied under the provisions of section 3613 of this title shall be considered to be a part of any tax authorized to be assessed by the legislative body of any municipality for general purposes, but shall be in addition to any such tax so authorized to be assessed. Sewage disposal charges established in accord with this section may be assessed by the board of sewage disposal commissioners as provided in section 3614 of this title to derive the revenue required to pay pollution charges assessed against a municipal corporation under section 1265 of Title 10. (Amended 1959, No. 111, eff. April 14, 1959; 1971, No. 97, § 5, eff. April 22, 1971; 1973, No. 112, § 8, eff. April 25, 1973; 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b); 1989, No. 45, § 5; 2001, No. 109 (Adj. Sess.), § 9, eff. May 16, 2002.)

§ 3616. Duties; use of proceeds

Such sewage disposal commissioners shall have the supervision of such municipal sewage disposal department, and shall make and establish all needful rates for charges, rules, and regulations for its control and operation including the right to require any individual, person, or corporation to connect to such municipal system for the purposes of abating pollution of the waters of the state. Such commissioners may appoint or remove a superintendent at their pleasure. The charges and receipts of such department shall only be used and applied to pay the interest and principal of the sewage disposal bonds of such municipal corporation as well as the expense of maintenance and operation of the sewage disposal department or other expenses of the sewage system. These charges and receipts also may be used to develop a dedicated fund which may be created by the commissioners to finance major rehabilitation, major maintenance, and upgrade costs for the sewer system. This fund may be established by an annual set-aside of up to 15 percent of the normal operations, maintenance and bond payment costs, except that with respect to subsurface leachfield systems, the annual set-aside may equal up to 100 percent of these costs. The fund shall not exceed the estimated future major rehabilitation, major maintenance or upgrade costs for the sewer system. Any dedicated fund shall be insured at least to the level provided by FDIC and withdrawals shall be made only for the purposes for which the fund was established. Any such dedicated fund may be established and controlled in accord with section 2804 of this title or may be established by act of the legislative body of the municipality. Funds so established meet the requirements of subdivision 4756(a)(4) of this title. Where the municipal legislative body establishes such a fund, it shall first adopt a municipal ordinance authorizing and controlling such funds. Such ordinance and any local policies governing the funds must conform to the requirements of this section. (Amended 1967, No. 181, § 3, eff. April 17, 1967; 1989, No. 45, § 6; 2003, No. 115 (Adj. Sess.), § 81, eff. Jan. 31, 2005.)