Section 4E. (a) The commissioner may establish a program to assist municipalities with non-federally-reimbursable public works economic development projects, to design, construct, repair and improve roads, roadways and other related public works facilities, as deemed necessary for economic development by the secretary of transportation and public works upon the petition of an appropriate local governmental body in accordance with this section and any rules or regulations promulgated by the secretary in accordance with this section. The rules and regulations shall govern the criteria by which the funds shall be distributed and the method by which a municipality may apply for such funds. Any rules or regulations or any amendment or repeal of any rules or regulations shall be filed with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives.
(b) The commissioner may commit the funds pursuant to this section by executing a grant or other contractual agreement with a municipality and, upon execution, the funds so committed shall be made available as a grant directly to the municipality which has entered into an agreement without further review or approval of the department. Each agreement shall contain assurances satisfactory to the commissioner that the municipality will award a construction contract for the project which is the subject of the agreement not later than 180 days after the date of execution of the agreement.
(c) In the event that a contract is not awarded by the municipality within the period provided in subsection (b), the commissioner may require, by written notification to the municipality, that the funds paid to it by the commonwealth pursuant to the agreement shall be returned forthwith to the commonwealth.
(d) The commissioner may, through execution of a grant or other contractual agreement as provided in subsection (b), commit an amount of funds up to but not exceeding the aggregate amount of funds returned by municipalities under subsection (c) to any other municipality which has otherwise complied with the applicable requirements for such projects, including the terms and conditions provided in this section.
(e) The commissioner shall report annually to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on transportation on the status of all public works economic development applicants.