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Enacted in 1993 by the Massachusetts Legislature, Chapter 498 created the Devens Regional Enterprise Zone, now called Devens. Section 23 sets requirements for determining a permanent form of governance for Devens. The full text follows. "Commission" refers to the Devens Enterprise Commission; "bank" refers to the the Massachusetts Government Land Bank, one of two agencies merged in 1998 and now known as MassDevelopment.

Permanent Government Structure On or before July first, two thousand and thirty, the commission, the boards of selectmen of the towns with the advice of the planning boards, and the bank shall initiate a study, hereinafter called the study, concerning permanent government structure for the ongoing operation and administration of Devens. The study shall evaluate alternative structures for government, ownership and operation of open space, recreation, and other lands and facilities, infrastructure, easements, equipment and records, with alternative structures, including b(ut) not limited to, town government and joint entities of combinations thereof, or the bank and joint entities or combinations thereof, or the bank and the commission, and shall identify transition costs and further investments needed. During the preparation of the study, public participation shall be encouraged and public hearings held.

On of before July 1, 2033, the commission, the boards of selectmen of the (t)owns, and the (b)ank shall submit the study and a joint report to the Governor, the Secretary (of the Executive Office of Administration and Finance) and to the Clerk of the House and the Clerk of the Senate recommending a permanent government structure for the ongoing operation and administration of Devens. Such report shall also identify any surplus funds that have been generated during the development of Devens, after considering the costs of funding appropriate reserve accounts, costs of retiring all bonds, notes and other debt instruments issued to maintain and develop Devens, and all the (c)ommission's and (b)ank's unreimbursed costs related in any way to the redevelopment of Fort Devens, including, without limitation, all costs incurred in the operation, maintenance and development of Devens, and recommend how any such surplus funds and any future surplus funds shall be distributed, which recommendation shall include distributing all or a portion of such surplus to the (t)owns.

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