The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 009 : COMMISSIONS AND APPOINTMENTS(Cite as: 24 App. V.S.A. ch. 123, § 902)
§ 123-902. Water supply; duties of Selectboard members
It shall be the responsibility of the Selectboard, acting as water commissioners, to furnish a clean and sufficient supply of potable water to those parts of the Town served by an existing water storage, transmission, and distribution system. In order to implement said authority, the Selectboard shall have, in addition to those powers enumerated in the general laws of this State with respect to water works and supply, the following powers:
(1) The power to erect and keep in repair any buildings necessary or convenient for water supply purposes, and may construct and maintain such aqueducts and reservoirs as they judge best for furnishing the said Town a suitable water supply.
(2) The power to contract with any aqueduct or reservoir company from time to time for supplying said Town with water for fire purposes, for watering the streets, and for other public purposes, for such length of time and upon such terms as the Town at its annual meeting or any special meeting duly called for that purpose shall direct. All contracts made by said Town with said aqueduct or reservoir companies, as provided by this section, shall be legal and binding on said Town, and said Town may vote, levy, and collect taxes for fulfilling such contract or contracts.
(3) The power to lay water pipes, within the limits of said Town, and for that purpose may enter upon the lands of any landowner in said Town, and lay and maintain water pipes through such land, and repair the same when necessary, upon payment or tender of payment of such compensation as damages therefore as the said Selectboard shall award to such land owner, and to any tenant or occupant of such land to the amount that his or her interests are affected thereby.
(4) The power to take the water of any fountains, springs, ponds, or streams for the purpose of supplying the inhabitants of said Town with water for fire, domestic, and other purposes, provided the owner or other person having any interest in the same shall not be deprived of such portion of such water as may be necessary for agricultural and domestic purposes.
(5) The power to construct and complete an aqueduct with all necessary reservoirs and appurtenances, to conduct said water to distribute the same through said Town, and for this purpose may enter upon and use any land over or through which it may be necessary or desirable for said aqueduct to pass, and may thereon lay and construct such pipes, reservoirs, and appurtenances as may be necessary for the complete construction and repairing of the same, and it may also, for the purposes aforesaid, dig up or occupy any common, highway, street, or bridge for the purpose of laying, constructing, or repairing such aqueduct and the appurtenances thereof.
(6) In any case where damages or compensation to owners of, and other persons interested in, the water so taken, or land as may be used for laying, extending, constructing, and maintaining the aqueduct, and for the reservoirs and appurtenances, is not adjusted by agreement, or if the owners thereof be a minor, or a person who lacks capacity to protect his or her interests due to a mental condition or psychiatric disability, or out of the State, or otherwise incapacitated to sell or convey, the same shall be fixed by the Selectboard after hearing all parties interested, the hearing to be had upon written notice of the time and place thereof, given at least six days before the hearing, file their award in the Town Clerk's office in the town or towns where the property in question is situated, and cause the same to be recorded in the land records of the town or towns.
(7) When any person shall be dissatisfied with the award of the Selectboard so made, in any of the cases mentioned in section 901 of this charter, such person may petition a court of competent jurisdiction for a reassessment and award of damages, and such proceedings shall be had in said court on said petition as are provided by law for the assessment of damages for land taken for highway. Said petition shall be served on the Clerk of said Town within 60 days next after said award shall be filed in the Town Clerk's office as aforesaid, but nothing in such proceedings shall prevent the Selectboard from entering on such land, and laying and constructing said aqueduct, reservoirs, and appurtenances, and using said water after their award shall have been made and the amount thereof tendered by them.
(8) The Selectboard, as aforesaid, may make and adopt such bylaws and regulations concerning the management and use of such aqueduct, reservoirs, and appurtenances not inconsistent with law, as it may deem expedient, including the fixing and collecting of water rates; and the said water rates so fixed shall, until paid, be and remain a lien upon the premises of the parties so furnished with water in like manner as real estate is by said law held for other taxes.
(9) The charges and rates for water service shall be a lien upon real estate, wherever located, furnished with such service in the same manner and to the same effect as taxes are a lien upon real estate under 32 V.S.A. § 5061. The owner of such property furnished with water service, wherever located, shall be liable for such charges and rates. (Amended 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 166; 2017, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.), § 162.)