The Vermont Statutes Online
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
NOTE: The online version of the Vermont Statutes does NOT yet include the actions of the 2023 legislative session. The 2023 updates should be available by the end of October.
- Subchapter 001: PUBLIC LANDS
§ 2401. Public lands; duties of selectboard
The selectboard shall have the care of lands in the town granted under the authority of the British Government as glebes for the use of the Church of England and now by law granted to such town for the use of schools, and lands granted to the use of the ministry or the social worship of God, and lands granted to the first settled minister, and not appropriated according to law.
§ 2402. Right of possession
The selectboard shall be entitled to the possession of such lands, except when the same have been otherwise disposed of according to law. They may commence, prosecute, or defend, in the name of the town, any action necessary to recover or protect such possession, or recover damages for injuries done to such lands.
§ 2403. Lease
The selectboard may lease such lands as they deem beneficial, reserving rents for the same, which shall be annually paid into the treasury of the town.
§§ 2404, 2405. Repealed. 2011, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 12.
§ 2406. Conveyance of leaseholds; trust funds
(a) Educational, ecclesiastical, or municipal corporations may convey by deed the fee simple in lands the title to or use of which is held by such corporations under State or colonial grant for purposes defined in such grants. Such conveyance may be made to the owner and holder of leasehold rights in such land if such lands are then held under lease, but shall not be made to other than such holders of leasehold interests except subject to such leasehold interest, if any, or simultaneously with the extinguishment thereof.
(b) Such lands may be condemned in accordance with and in the manner provided by law.
(c) The funds received in consideration of such conveyance or awarded such corporations as damages in condemnation proceedings shall be kept intact, in trust, by such corporations as endowment funds, and the income only shall be used for the purposes for which such lands were originally granted.
(d) Such lands as may be sold, conveyed, or condemned as provided in this section shall thereafter be subject to taxation as are other lands.
§ 2407. Repealed. 1985, No. 196 (Adj. Sess.), § 18.
§ 2408. Exceptions
Any land acquired by virtue of the provisions of section 2407 of this title shall be deemed a municipal forest. A town which has such forest on the effective date of section 2407 of this title, or acquires one hereunder, shall be deemed to have complied with the provisions of such section.
§ 2409. Retention of municipal ownership of lease lands
(a) As used in this section:
(1) “Legislative body” means the officer or officers of a municipal corporation who are charged with the care of the municipal corporation’s lease lands.
(2) “Lessee” means the person entitled to possess, enjoy, and use land subject to a perpetual lease and shall include the person’s heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns.
(3) “Municipal corporation” shall have the same meaning as “municipality” in 1 V.S.A. § 126 and shall also include every municipal corporation identified in subdivision 1751(1) of this title, county grammar schools, any unorganized towns and gores in the State, and any of the unified towns and gores of Essex County. “Municipal corporation” shall not include the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College.
(4) “Perpetual lease” means any leasehold interest in Vermont land, and every estate in Vermont land other than fee simple absolute, the title to which is held by a municipal corporation according to section 2401 of this title, arising out of or created by an instrument of lease that conveys to a person designated as lessee the right to possess, enjoy, and use the land in perpetuity or substantially in perpetuity. “Perpetual lease” shall include leasehold interests that are subject to restrictions on the lessee’s use of the land and shall include lands that the municipal corporation may repossess for nonpayment of rent or other default under the terms of the lease.
(5) “Perpetual lease land” means all land described in a perpetual lease that is owned by or vested in a municipal corporation. “Perpetual lease land” does not include land described in a perpetual lease that is held in title by any person other than a municipal corporation, or any land described in a perpetual lease over which the municipal corporation acts exclusively as trustee.
(b)(1) On January 1, 2020, fee simple title to perpetual lease lands shall vest in the current lessee of record, free and clear of the interest of a municipal corporation in the perpetual lease lands held in accordance with section 2401 of this title, unless prior to that date the legislative body of the municipal corporation votes in the affirmative to retain ownership of some or all of the perpetual lease lands within that municipal corporation.
(2) At any time, the legislative body of a municipal corporation may vote to relinquish its interest in some or all of the perpetual lease lands within that municipal corporation held in accordance with section 2401 of this title. Upon such a vote, fee simple title to perpetual lease lands shall vest in the current lessee of record.
(3) When fee simple title to perpetual lease land vests in the current lessee of record pursuant to this subsection, the land shall remain subject to any other encumbrances of record, including municipal encumbrances and easements.
(c) Nothing in this section shall prevent a municipal corporation that has retained its interest in perpetual lease land held in accordance with section 2401 of this title from later conveying the land in accordance with section 2406 of this title. (Added 2017, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)
- Subchapter 002: PUBLIC FUNDS
§ 2431. Trustees of public funds
Real and personal estate, except U.S. public money, held by a town in trust for any purpose, including cemetery trust funds, unless the person giving the same otherwise directs, shall be under the charge and management of three trustees, elected by the town when the town so votes. At the meeting when such trustees are first elected, they shall be elected for the following terms: one for one year, one for two years, and one for three years. Their successors shall be elected for the term of three years, but a person chosen to fill a vacancy caused by death, resignation, or otherwise shall serve only for the remainder of the unexpired term.
§ 2432. Powers and duties; investments
(a)(1) The trustees shall apply estate income to the purpose for which it is held, and deeds or contracts made by them shall be in the name of the town.
(2) The trustees may:
(A) lease, sell, or convey real estate so held and invest the funds received therefrom; and
(B) lend estate money at annual or semiannual interest, and as security for each loan shall take deeds or mortgages of real estate in this State.
(b) The trustees may invest in:
(1) any security, including a revenue obligation, issued, insured, or guaranteed by the United States;
(2) municipal bonds or other bonds that are rated at the time of the transaction by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization, as defined in 15 U.S.C. § 78c(a)(62) as may be amended, in one of its four highest categories;
(3) repurchase agreements or debt securities of any federally insured financial institution as defined in 8 V.S.A. § 11101(32);
(4) the shares of an investment company, or an investment trust, such as a mutual fund, closed-end fund, or unit investment trust, that is registered under the federal Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, if the mutual investment fund has been in operation for at least five years and has net assets of at least $100,000,000.00; or
(5) deposits in federally insured financial institutions as defined in 8 V.S.A. § 11101(32).
(c)(1) The trustees shall have full power to hold, purchase, sell, assign, transfer, and dispose of any of the securities and investments in which any of the funds have been invested, as well as the proceeds of the investments.
(2) The trustees are encouraged to invest in financial institutions operating in the State and in investments within the State that will result in reinvestment in Vermont.
(3) The provisions of this section as to future investments shall not require the liquidation or disposition of securities legally acquired and held.
(4) If the municipality has adopted an investment policy, the trustees shall invest in accordance with the provisions of the municipal policy that do not conflict with this section.
(d) The trustees may delegate management and investment of funds under their charge to the extent that is prudent under the terms of the trust or endowment, and in accordance with section 3415 (delegation of management and investment functions) of the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act, 14 V.S.A. chapter 120. Notwithstanding the limitations on investments set forth in subsection (b) of this section, an agent exercising a delegated management or investment function, if investing, shall invest the funds in a publicly traded security that is:
(1) registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 78l and listed on a national securities exchange;
(2) issued by an investment company registered pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 80a-8;
(3) a corporate bond registered as an offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 78l and issued by an entity whose stock is a publicly traded security;
(4) a municipal security;
(5) a deposit in federally insured financial institutions as defined in 8 V.S.A. § 11101(32); or
(6) a security issued, insured, or guaranteed by the United States. (Amended 2003, No. 150 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 2017, No. 123 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 3, 2018.)
§ 2433. Bonds; actions
The trustees shall have crime insurance coverage or give bonds to the satisfaction of the selectboard, conditioned for the faithful performance of their duties. In the name of the town, they may prosecute and defend a suit or action for the recovery or protection of the estate entrusted to their care. (Amended 2021, No. 179 (Adj. Sess.), § 25, eff. July 1, 2022.)
§ 2434. Report
The trustees shall report to the annual town meeting the amount of the funds in their hands, the manner and condition of its investment, and the disposal of the income thereof. If any part of such fund is school money, such trustees shall make like report to the State Board of Education.