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CITY OF NORTH ADAMS, MASSACHUSETTS

Office of the Mayor Richard J. Alcombright



July 27,2010

#60

The Honorable City Council North' Adams, Massachusetts

Re: Veterans' Services Inter-municipal Agreement

Dear Honorable Members:

As you know, I have been working with Williamstown and Adams, as well as the Commonwealth to create an "informal" Veterans' Benefits District. Attached please find the draft agreement for your information.

10 Main Street· North Adams, Massachusetts 01247 (413) 662-3000

The document explains in detail the specifics of the arrangement as well as each community's responsibilities. It also delineates how the expenses will be shared. The arrangement is very straightforward and is now in front of the Commonwealth's Department of Veterans' Services for final review. I am also in negotiation with the town of Florida as they have expressed interest in becoming a member of the district.

I would ask that the Council approve this agreement to allow this process to move forward with the understanding that this will enhance services to our veterans not only in North Adams but also in Northern Berkshire County.

Respectfully submitted,

... ~

Richard J. Alcombright Mayor

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CITY OF NORTH ADAMS, TOWN OF ADAMS, AND TOWN OF WILLIAMSTOWN INTERMUNICIPAL AGREEMENT VETERANS'SERVICES

This Intermunicipal Agreement, made and entered into this first day of August, 2010,

under the authority of the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 40, Section 4A, by

and among the City of North Adams, a municipal corporation within the County of Berkshire

and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, acting by and through its City Council with the

approval of its Mayor, hereinafter referred to as "North Adams", the Town of Adams, a

municipal corporation within the County of Berkshire and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,

acting through its Board of Selectmen, hereinafter referred to as "Adams," and the Town of

Williamstown, a municipal corporation within the County of Berkshire and the Commonwealth

of Massachusetts, acting through its Board of Selectmen, hereinafter referred to as

"Williamstown. "

WITNESSETH

WHEREAS, North Adams, Adams, and Williamstown have determined that they share a

need for veterans' services; and

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WHEREAS, North Adams, Adams, and Williamstown have determined that the sharing

of the benefits and costs of those services would be beneficial to each municipality; and

WHEREAS, this Agreement shall provide for the terms, conditions and liabilities of the

parties with respect of these services, including, but not limited to terms of cooperation and

obligations of each municipality relative to cost of shared human resources, facilities, and

operating costs; and

WHEREAS, the North Adams city council with the approval of its mayor and the board of selectmen of Adams and Williamstown agree to enter into this agreement in accordance with the provisions of G.L.c. 40, Section 4A.

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the promises and mutual benefits to be derived by the parties hereto, the parties agree as follows:

1. The Mayor of North Adams and the Town Administrator of Adams and the Town Manager of Williamstown or their respective designees will be the municipalities' respective representatives to oversee the cooperative arrangement. The approval of North Adams city council with the approval of its Mayor and the board of selectmen of Adams and Williamstown will be required to amend this Agreement.

2. All the privileges and immunities from liability and exemptions from laws, by-laws and regulations that District Director of Veterans' Services employed by either of the parties hereto have in their own jurisdictions shall be effective in the jurisdiction in which they are giving assistance unless otherwise prohibited by law.

3. The shared District Director of Veterans' Services shall have all the authority under the applicable provisions of the Massachusetts General Laws as well as the by-laws ofthe municipality in which veterans' services are being provided. The shared District Director of Veterans' Services will be an employee of North Adams for purposes of all employment related benefits.

4. All immunities from liability enjoyed by North Adams within its boundaries shall extend to its participation in rendering veterans' services under this Agreement outside its boundaries.

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5. Each party to this Agreement shall waive any and all claims against the other party hereto, which may arise out of their activities outside of their respective jurisdictions while rendering or receiving services under this Agreement.

6. In the event that any claims, demands, suits, causes of action, and costs and expenses arise with respect to veterans' services provided pursuant to this Agreement, the receiving community shall be liable for one hundred percent (100%) of any and all such claims, demands, suits, causes of actions, costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney's fees.

7. The District Director of Veterans' Services shall be covered by North Adams workers compensation and unemployment insurance. Adams and Williamstown shall reimburse a percentage (based on hours worked as noted in Section 8 of this agreement) of any costs attributable to a worker's compensation and/or unemployment claim made by the District Director of Veterans' Services not covered by workman's compensation insurance or any other insurance coverage. Said payment shall be made in accordance with the schedule outlined in section 10 below.

8. The central office location of the District Director of Veterans' Services would be City Hall in North Adams. The District Director of Veterans' Services would also have an office in the Town Hall of Adams and Williamstown. The hours of operation of the offices would be as follows:

a. North Adams - Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - Noon (members of any district community could use this office for the purpose of gathering benefits information)

b. Adams - two afternoons per week for two and one-half hours each

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c. Williamstown - two afternoons per week for two and one-half hours each

9. The duties of the District Director of Veterans' Services and the District Department are attached hereto and marked "A". The duties and selection of the District Director of Veterans' Services will be at the mutual agreement of all communities in the District.

10. Cost sharing. Adams and Williamstown shall for each year that this Agreement is in effect pay North Adams an agreed upon hourly rate of reimbursement, from their approved Veterans' Services budget subject to appropriation by each municipality, which will provide for the cost of wages, vehicle allowance, health and other insurance premiums paid by North Adams for the District Director of Veterans' Services. Should the budget amount be increased by agreement of the parties hereto, any deficiencies in the annual payment shall be included in the next year's payment.

11. The budget shall be developed by North Adams and shall be provided to Adams and Williamstown annually on or before February 1, for review and approval by Adams and Williamstown. Adams and Williamstown shall be responsible for payment of its share of the budget on a monthly basis, said payment to be made one month in advance by the 1 st of each month of the then-current fiscal year.

12. The District Director shall maintain accurate and comprehensive records of services performed, costs incurred, and reimbursements and contributions received in each member community. Officers responsible for this Agreement will give appropriate performance bonds.

13. The effective date of this Agreement shall be August 1,2010. This Agreement shall remain in effect for two from the effective date, or until terminated by the parties hereto on written notice. Such notice shall be provided sixty (60) days prior to the end of the

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then current fiscal year and withdrawal from the agreement will be effective as of the last day of the current fiscal year.

14. This Agreement contains the entire agreement ofthe parties and supersedes any prior agreements or understandings, whether oral or in writing, between them. This Agreement may not be changed or modified except by a written instrument in accordance with the provisions herein.

15. This Agreement shall be governed by, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the provision of which shall not be deemed waived by any provision hereof, and the parties hereto submit to the jurisdiction of any of its appropriate courts for the adjudication of disputes arising out of this Agreement.

16. If any provision ofthis Agreement is declared to be illegal, unenforceable, or void, then both parties shall be relieved of all obligations under that provision provided, however, that the remainder of the Agreement shall be enforced to the fullest extent permitted by law.

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In Witness thereof the parties hereto have executed this Agreement as of the first date written

above.

For the City of North Adams

by Richard J. Alcombright, Mayor

Dated: _

I, David Fiero, City Auditor hereby certify that sufficient appropriation has been made to fund this Agreement.

Dated:

-----------

Approved as to Form

Dated: _

For the Town of Williamstown by Tom Costley, Chairperson

Dated: _

I, Charles St.John, Town Accountant, hereby certify that sufficient appropriation has

been made to fund this Agreement.

Approved as to Form

Dated: _

For the Town of Adams

by Michael Ouellette, Chairperson

Dated:

---------------

I, Mary Berverly, Town Accountant, hereby certify that sufficient appropriation has been made to fund this Agreement.

Dated:

---------------

Approved as to Form

Dated: __

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Northern Berkshire Veterans' Services District

Duties of the District Director of Veterans' Services Act in accordance with MGL chapter 115

1. Ensure the department furnishes information, advice and assistance to veterans and their dependents to enable the receipt of:

• Employment opportunities

• Vocational opportunities

• Medical care

• Hospitalization

• Chapter 115 benefits

2. Perform these duties in all District communities

3. Receive compensation for performance of duties

Duties of the District Department

• Maintain a central office at City Hall in North Adams

• Maintain satellite offices within the District - each office will have its own community access to Veterans'services. All claims would be processed through the member community and not the district.

• In every office, District and local hours will be posted

• Post conspicuously the name of the District Director, location of offices, hours and phone numbers

• Have available current literature pertaining the rights of veterans under both state and federal law

• Work with all State and Federal resources to be certain to provide the best services possible

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