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Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

IN SENATE, March 14, 1878.

The Joint Committee on Roads and Bridges, to whom was referred the petition of Francis W. Stebbins and others for a law making free the toll-bridge over the Connecticut River, on the highway between Deerfield and Montague, report the accompanying Bill.

For the Committee,


Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

In the Year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Seventy-Eight.

AN ACT Abolishing the Tolls on Connecticut-River Bridge be

tween the Towns of Deerfield and Montague.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows :

1 Sect. 1. The county commissioners of the 2 county of Franklin are hereby authorized to con3 tract with the proprietors of Connecticut-River 4 Bridge, at any time within one year from the pas5 sage of this act, for the use by the public, free of 6 tolls, of that portion of the bridge of the said pro7 prietors which is now used as a toll-bridge; and the 8 said proprietors are authorized to lease the same 9 to the said commissioners and their successors, for 10 the use of the public, for such period, and upon 11 such terms and conditions, as may be agreed upon 12 by the said commissioners and the said proprietors. 13 The rent to be paid for the use of the bridge by 14 the public shall be fixed by said contract, and may 15 be made payable in one sum, or in annual or semi

16 annual payments, as shall be stipulated in said 17 contract, and shall be paid to the said proprietors is from the treasury of the county of Franklin. 19 When the said contract shall have been executed, 20 the county commissioners shall file the same in the 21 office of the clerk of the supreme judicial court for 22 the county of Franklin; and thereafter no tolls shall 23 be demanded upon said bridge during the period 24 for which the same shall have been leased by said 5 contract for the use of the public.

1 Sect. 2. The supreme judicial court sitting in 2 any county, or any justice thereof, after such notice 3 as the said court or justice may order, upon the 4 application of the county commissioners of the 5 county of Franklin, or of the selectmen of any 6 town in said county, made after the said contract 7 shall have been executed, shall appoint a board of 8 three commissioners; and said commissioners, hav9 ing first been duly sworn to the faithful and impar10 tial discharge of their duties, shall, after due notice 11 to all parties interested, and a hearing thereon, 12 determine and award what towns in the county of 13 Franklin are or will be specially benefited by the 11 provisions of the first section of this act, and by 15 the contract to be made in pursuance thereof, and 16 shall determine and award what proportions of the 17 rent stipulated to be paid under said contract for 1s the use of said bridge, not less than nine-tenths 19 thereof in all, shall be paid to the said county by 20 the said towns respectively. If the whole expense 21 of repairing and maintaining the said bridge shall

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