By Bob Katzen
The House gave initial approval to legislation that would require cities and towns to enter into an inter-municipal agreement when a bridge is being built or rebuilt on land owned by two or more cities or towns.
The agreement must include: a determination if an alternative inter-municipal option that does not affect two communities is available; provisions for a buffer zone around the construction; all viable options for cost and benefit of the proposal as well as environmental benefits over the short and long-term; and consideration of the needs of nearby communities on quality of life, traffic, health and environmental impact.
Sponsor Rep. Bruce Ayers (D-Quincy) said that the bill’s intent is to establish greater communication and collaboration between municipalities that may face this issue throughout the commonwealth. “Every community is different and has different needs,” said Ayers. “This is just one more step in the process to help ensure every community directly impacted has a voice.”