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Thames River Valley Flood Control Compact

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Thames River Valley Flood Control Compact
Member jurisdictions: 2
Issue(s): Water apportionment

The Thames River Valley Flood Control Compact is an interstate compact between Connecticut and Massachusetts. The compact is intended to facilitate cooperation between the two states in flood control and in the use of water resources of the Thames River basin.[1]

Text of the compact

The legislature of each member state passes the laws with certain modifications, but the core of the legislation remains the same.

Article I

The principal purposes of this compact are:

(a) To promote interstate comity among and between the signatory states;
(b) to assure adequate storage capacity for impounding the waters of the Thames River and its tributaries for the protection of life and property from floods;
(c) to provide a joint or common agency through which the signatory states, while promoting, protecting and preserving to each the local interest and sovereignty of the respective signatory states, may more effectively cooperate in accomplishing the object of flood control and water resources utilization in the basin of the Thames River and its tributaries.

Article II

There is hereby created "The Thames River Valley Flood Control Commission," hereinafter referred to as the "commission," which shall consist of six members, three of whom shall be residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; three of whom shall be residents of the State of Connecticut. The members of the commission shall be chosen by their respective states in such manner and for such terms as may be fixed and determined from time to time by the law of each of said states respectively by which they are appointed. A member of the commission may be removed or suspended from office as provided by the law of the state for which he shall be appointed, and any vacancy occurring in the commission shall be filled in accordance with the laws of the state wherein such vacancy exists. A majority of the members from each state shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, the exercise of any of its powers or the performance of any of its duties, but no action of the commission shall be binding unless at least two of the members from each state shall vote in favor thereof. The compensation of members of the commission shall be fixed, determined, and paid by the state which they respectively represent. All necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties shall be paid from the funds of the commission. The commission shall elect from its members a chairman, vice-chairman, and a clerk-treasurer. Such clerk-treasurer shall furnish to the commission, at its expense, a bond with corporate surety, to be approved by the commission, in such amount as the commission may determine, conditioned for the faithful performance of his duties. The commission shall adopt suitable bylaws and shall make such rules and regulations as it may deem advisable not inconsistent with laws of the United States, of the signatory states or with any rules or regulations lawfully promulgated thereunder. The commission shall make an annual report to the governor and legislature of each of the signatory states, setting forth in detail the operations and the transactions conducted by it pursuant to this compact. The commission shall keep a record of all its meetings and proceedings, contracts and accounts, and shall maintain a suitable office, where its maps, plans, documents, records and accounts shall be kept, subject to public inspection at such times and under such regulations as the commission shall determine.

Article III

The commission shall constitute a body, both corporate and politic, with full power and authority:

  1. To sue and be sued;
  2. To have a seal and alter the same at pleasure;
  3. To appoint and employ such agents and employees as may be required in the proper performance of the duties hereby committed to it and to fix and determine their qualifications, duties and compensation;
  4. To enter into such contracts and agreements and to do and perform any and all other acts, matters and things as may be necessary and essential to the full and complete performance of the powers and duties hereby committed to and imposed upon it and as may be incidental thereto;
  5. To have such additional powers and duties as may hereafter be delegated to or imposed upon it from time to time by the action of the legislature of either of said states, concurred in by the legislature of the other state and by the Congress of the United States.

The commission shall make, or cause to be made, such studies as it may deem necessary, in cooperation with the Corps of Engineers, United States Army, and other federal agencies, for the development of a comprehensive plan for flood control and for utilization of the water resources of the Thames River Valley. The commission shall not pledge the credit of the signatory states or either of them.

Article IV

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts wherein is located the site of each of the following dams and reservoirs agrees to the construction by the United States of each such dam and reservoir in accordance with authorization by the Congress:

  1. At East Brimfield on the Quinebaug River controlling a drainage area of approximately sixty-seven (67) square miles and providing flood storage of approximately eight (8) inches of runoff from said drainage area.
  2. At Buffumville on the Little River controlling a net drainage area of approximately twenty-six (26) square miles and providing flood control storage of approximately eight (8) inches of runoff from said drainage area.
  3. At Hodges Village on the French River controlling a drainage area of approximately thirty (30) square miles and providing flood control storage for approximately eight (8) inches of runoff from said drainage area.
  4. At Westville on the Quinebaug River controlling a drainage area of approximately ninety (90) square miles and providing flood control storage for approximately two and five tenths (2.5) inches of runoff from said drainage area.

Article V

The State of Connecticut agrees to reimburse the Commonwealth of Massachusetts forty (40) per cent of the amount of taxes lost to their political subdivisions by reason of acquisition and ownership by the United States of lands, rights or other property therein for construction in the future of any flood control dam and reservoir specified in Article IV and also for any other flood control dam and reservoir hereafter constructed by the United States in the Thames River Valley in Massachusetts. Annually, not later than November first of each year, the commission shall determine the loss of taxes resulting to political subdivisions of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by reason of acquisition and ownership therein by the United States of lands, rights or other property in connection with each flood control dam and reservoir for which provision for tax reimbursement has been made in the paragraph next above. Such losses of taxes as determined by the commission shall be based on the tax rate then current in each such political subdivision and on the average assessed valuation for a period of five years prior to the acquisition by the United States of the site of the dam for such reservoir, provided that whenever a political subdivision wherein a flood control dam and reservoir or portion thereof is located shall have made a general revaluation of property subject to the annual municipal taxes of such subdivisions, the commission may use such revaluation for the purpose of determining the amount of taxes for which reimbursement shall be made. Using the percentage of payment agreed to in this Article, the commission shall then compute the sum, if any, due from the State of Connecticut to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and shall send a notice to the treasurer of each signatory state setting forth in detail the sum, if any, Connecticut is to pay and Massachusetts is to receive in reimbursement of tax losses. The State of Connecticut on receipt of formal notification from the commission of the sum which it is to pay in reimbursement for tax losses shall, not later than July first of the following year, make its payment for such tax losses to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts wherein such loss or losses occur, except that in case of the first annual payment for tax losses at any dam or reservoir such payment shall be made by the State of Connecticut not later than July first of the year in which the next regular session of its legislature is held. Payment by the State of Connecticut of its share of reimbursement for taxes in accordance with formal notification received from the commission shall be a complete and final discharge of all liability by the state to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for each flood control dam and reservoir within that state for the time specified in such formal notification. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts shall have full responsibility for distributing or expending all such sums received, and no agency or political subdivision of the Commonwealth shall have any claim against the State of Connecticut or against the commission relative to tax losses covered by such payments. The two states may agree, through the commission, on a lump sum payment in lieu of annual payments and when such lump sum payment has been made and received, the requirement that the commission annually shall determine the tax losses, compute sums due and send notice thereof to the treasurer of each state shall no longer apply with respect to any flood control dam and reservoir for which lump sum payment has been made and received. On receipt of information from the Chief of Engineers, United States Army, that request is to be made for funds for the purpose of preparing detailed plans and specifications for any flood control dam and reservoir proposed to be constructed in the Thames River Valley in Massachusetts, including those specified in Article IV, the commission shall make an estimate of the amount of taxes which would be lost to the political subdivisions of that state by reason of acquisition and ownership by the United States of lands, rights or other property for the construction and operation of such flood control dam and reservoir and shall decide whether the flood control benefits to be derived from such flood control dam and reservoir, both by itself and as a unit of a comprehensive flood control plan, justifies, in the opinion of the commission, the assumption by Connecticut of the obligation to make reimbursement for loss of taxes. Such estimate and decision shall thereafter be reviewed by the commission at five-year intervals until such time as the United States shall have acquired title to the site of such flood control dam or plans for its construction are abandoned. The commission shall notify the governor, the members of the United States Senate and the members of the United States House of Representatives from each signatory state and the chief of engineers as to the commission's decision and as to any change in such decision. On receipt of information from the Chief of Engineers that any flood control dam and reservoir is to be constructed, reconstructed, altered, or used for any purpose in addition to flood control, including those flood control dams and reservoirs heretofore constructed and those specified in Article IV, the commission shall make a separate estimate of the amount of taxes which would be lost to the political subdivisions of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by reason of acquisition and ownership by the United States of lands, rights or other property for construction and operation of such dam and reservoir in excess of the estimated amount of taxes which would be lost if the dam were constructed and operated for flood control only and the commission shall decide the extent to which, in its opinion, the State of Connecticut would be justified in making reimbursement for loss of taxes in addition to reimbursement for such dam and reservoir if constructed and used for flood control only. Such estimate and decision shall thereafter be reviewed by the commission at five-year intervals until such time as such dam and reservoir shall be so constructed, reconstructed, altered or used or plans for such construction, reconstruction, alteration or use are abandoned. The commission shall notify the governor, the members of the United States Senate and the members of the United States House of Representatives from each signatory state as to the commission's decision and as to any change in such decision. A signatory state may, in agreement with the commission and the Chief of Engineers, acquire title or option to acquire title to any or all lands, rights or other property required for any flood control dam and reservoir within its boundaries and transfer such titles or options to the United States. Whenever the fair cost to said signatory state for such titles or options, as determined by the commission, is greater than the amount received therefore from the United States, the State of Connecticut shall pay its share of such excess cost to said signatory state, such share to be determined by the commission. Whenever the commission shall not agree, within a reasonable time or within sixty days after a formal request from the governor of any signatory state, concerning reimbursement for loss of taxes at any flood control dam and reservoir heretofore or hereafter constructed by the United States in the Thames River Valley in Massachusetts, or concerning the extent, if any, to which reimbursement shall be made for additional loss of taxes caused by construction, reconstruction, alteration or use of any such dam for purposes other than flood control, the governor of each signatory state shall designate a person from his state as a member of a board of arbitration, hereinafter called the board, and the members so designated shall choose one additional member who shall be chairman of such board. Whenever the members appointed by the governors to such board shall not agree within sixty days on such additional member of the board, the governors of such signatory states shall jointly designate the additional member. The board shall by majority vote decide the question referred to it and shall do so in accordance with the provisions of this compact concerning such reimbursement. The decision of the board on each question referred to it concerning reimbursement for loss of taxes shall be binding on the commission and on each signatory state, notwithstanding any other provision of this compact.

Article VI

Nothing contained in this compact shall be construed as a limitation upon the authority of the United States.

Article VII

The signatory states agree to appropriate for compensation of agents and employees of the commission and for office, administration, travel and other expenses on recommendation of the commission subject to limitations as follows: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts obligates itself to not more than seven thousand ($7,000) dollars in any one year and the State of Connecticut obligates itself to not more than five thousand ($5,000) dollars in any one year.

Article VIII

Should any part of this compact be held to be contrary to the constitution of any signatory state or of the United States, all other parts thereof shall continue to be in full force and effect.

Article IX

This compact shall become operative and effective when ratified by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of Connecticut and approved by the Congress of the United States. Notice of ratification shall be given by the governor of each state to the governor of the other state and to the President of the United States, and the President of the United States is requested to give notice to the governors of each of the signatory states of approval by the Congress of the United States.

See also

External links

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References


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