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Massachusetts General Laws Part I. Administration of the Government (Ch. 1-182) Ch. 85, § 21A

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Sec. 23. (a) Any fire protection district may merge with one (1) or more protection districts to form a single district if at least one-eighth ( 1/8 ) of the aggregate external boundaries of the districts coincide.

(b) The legislative body of the county where at least two (2) districts are located (or if the districts are located in more than one (1) county, the legislative body of each county) shall, if petitioned by freeholders in the two (2) districts, adopt an ordinance merging the districts into a single fire protection district.

(c) Freeholders who desire the merger of at least two (2) fire protection districts must initiate proceedings by filing a petition in the office of the county auditor of each county where a district is located.  The petition must be signed:

(1) by at least twenty percent (20%), with a minimum of five hundred (500) from each district, of the freeholders owning land within the district;  or

(2) by a majority of the freeholders from the districts;

whichever is less.

(d) The petition described in subsection (c) must state the same items listed in section 7 of this chapter.  Sections 6, 8, and 9 of this chapter apply to the petition and to the legislative body of each county in the proposed district.

(e) The board of fire trustees for each district shall form a single board, which shall continue to be appointed as prescribed by section 12 of this chapter.  In addition, sections 13, 14, and 15 of this chapter relating to the board of fire trustees apply to the board of the merged district, except that if the merged district lies in more than one (1) county, the county legislative bodies serving the combined district shall jointly decide where the board shall locate (or approve relocation of) its office.

(f) Sections 16, 17, 18, 19, and 21 of this chapter relating to the taxing district, bonds, annual budget, tax levies, and disbanding of fire departments apply to a merged district.  However, the budget must be approved by the county fiscal body in each county in the merged district.  In addition, the auditor of each county in the district shall perform the duties described in section 18(c) of this chapter.

Cite this article: - Massachusetts General Laws Part I. Administration of the Government (Ch. 1-182) Ch. 85, § 21A - last updated January 01, 2020 |

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