[Adopted 12-18-1973 by Doc. 361 (Ch. 20 of the 1980 Code)]
There shall be established in the City of Haverhill, in accordance with MGL c. 40, a Conservation Commission, which Commission is hereby established for the following general purposes: for the promotion and development of the natural resources and for the protection of watershed resources of the City of Haverhill.
Such Commission shall conduct researches into its local land areas and shall seek to coordinate the activities of unofficial bodies organized for similar purposes, and may advertise, prepare print and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets which in its judgment it deems necessary for its work.
It shall keep an index of all open areas within the City, with the plan of obtaining information pertinent to proper utilization of such open areas, including lands owned by the commonwealth or lands owned by the City.
It shall keep an index of all open marsh lands, swamps and all other wetlands in a like manner, and may recommend to the City Council, and, subject to the approval of the City Council, to the Department of Natural Resources and to the State Reclamation Board a program for the better promotion, development or utilization of all such areas.
It shall keep accurate records of its meetings and actions and shall file an annual report.
The Mayor may appoint such clerks and other employees from the civil service list as it may from time to time require.
The Commission shall consist of not less than three members nor more than seven members, one of whom shall be a representative from the Board of Health and an environmental aide. All appointments to said Commission shall be made by the Mayor of the City of Haverhill.
[Amended 7-10-2007 by Doc. 76]
The Mayor of the City of Haverhill shall, through his office, have control and management of the Conservation Commission. The employees of the Conservation Commission shall be under the direction and control of the Director of Economic Development and Planning in carrying out the policies established by the Conservation Commission.
[Amended 7-10-2007 by Doc. 76]
The Commission may establish Conservation Funds and expend the same under the supervision of the Director of Economic Development and Planning. The City Council may appropriate money in any year to a Conservation Fund of which the Treasurer shall be custodian. He may deposit or invest the proceeds of said fund in savings banks, trust companies incorporated under the laws of the commonwealth, banking companies incorporated under the laws of the commonwealth which are members of the Federal Deposit Corporation, or national banks, or invest it in paid-up shares and accounts of and in cooperative banks, or in shares of savings and loan associations or in shares of federal savings and loan associations doing business in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and any income therefrom shall be credited to the fund. Moneys in the fund may be expended by said Commission for any purpose, other than a taking by eminent domain, authorized by MGL c. 40, § 8c.
The Commission, in addition to the powers hereinabove granted to it, may receive gifts of property, both real and personal, in the name of the City of Haverhill, subject to the approval of the City Council, such gifts to be managed and controlled by the Commission for the purposes of this section.
Said Commission may acquire by gift, purchase, grant, bequest, devise, lease or otherwise the fee in such land or water rights, or any lesser interest, development right, easement, covenant or other contractual right, including conveyances on conditions or with limitations or reversions, as may be necessary to acquire, maintain, improve, protect, limit the future of or otherwise conserve and properly utilize open spaces and other land and water areas within the City and shall manage and control the same.
For the purposes of this section, the City may, upon the written request of the Commission, take by eminent domain under MGL c. 79, the fee or any lesser interest in any land or waters located in the City, provided that such taking has first been approved by a two-thirds vote of the City Council, which land and waters shall thereupon be under the jurisdiction and control of the Commission.
Upon a like vote, the City may expend moneys in the fund, if any, established under the provisions of § 11-26 for the purpose of paying, in whole or in part, any damages for which such City may be liable by reason of such taking.
Lands used for farming or agriculture, as defined in MGL c. 128, § 1A, shall not be taken by eminent domain under the authority of this section.
The Commission may adopt rules and regulations governing the use of land and waters under its control and prescribe penalties, not exceeding a fine of $100, for any violation thereof.
No action taken under this section shall affect the powers and duties of the State Reclamation Board or any mosquito control or other project operating under or authorized by MGL c. 252 or restrict any established public access.