1997 Regular Session
To: Public Utilities
By: Representative Ellington
House Bill 417
AN ACT TO CREATE A NEW CODE SECTION TO BE CODIFIED AS SECTION 19-5-259, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE FOR THE REIMBURSEMENT OF COSTS OF INSTALLATION OF A WATER LINE TO THE USER WHO PAID FOR SUCH INSTALLATION; TO AMEND SECTIONS 19-5-177 AND 21-27-17, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO: AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The following shall be codified as Section 19-5-259, Mississippi Code of 1972:
19-5-259. A political subdivision, utility district or nonprofit, nonshare corporation providing water service shall remit to the original user who paid for the installation of a water line an amount equal to the connection fee of subsequent users of such water line until the original user is reimbursed the cost of the installation of the water line. The Public Service Commission shall and audit the records of the water service to insure compliance with this section.
SECTION 2. Section 19-5-177, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
19-5-177. (1) Any district created pursuant to the provisions of Sections 19-5-151 through 19-5-207, acting by and through the board of commissioners of such district as its governing authority, shall have the following among other powers:
(a) To sue and be sued;
(b) To acquire by purchase, gift, devise and lease or any other mode of acquisition, other than by eminent domain, hold and dispose of real and personal property of every kind within or without the district;
(c) To make and enter into contracts, conveyances, mortgages, deeds of trust, bonds, leases or contracts for financial advisory services;
(d) To incur debts, to borrow money, to issue negotiable bonds, and to provide for the rights of the holders thereof;
(e) To fix, maintain, collect and revise rates and charges for services rendered by or through the facilities of such district, which rates and charges shall not be subject to review or regulation by the Mississippi Public Service Commission except in those instances where a city operating similar services would be subject to regulation and review; however, said district shall obtain a certificate of convenience and necessity from the Mississippi Public Service Commission for operating of water and/or sewer systems;
(f) To pledge all or any part of its revenues to the payment of its obligations;
(g) To make such covenants in connection with the issuance of bonds or to secure the payment of bonds that a private business corporation can make under the general laws of the state;
(h) To use any right-of-way, public right-of-way, easement, or other similar property or property rights necessary or convenient in connection with the acquisition, improvement, operation or maintenance of the facilities of such district held by the state or any political subdivision thereof; however, the governing body of such political subdivision shall consent to such use;
(i) To enter into agreements with state and federal agencies for loans, grants, grants-in-aid, and other forms of assistance including but not limited to participation in the sale and purchase of bonds;
(j) To acquire by purchase any existing works and facilities providing services for which it was created, and any lands, rights, easements, franchises and other property, real and personal necessary to the completion and operation of such system upon such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon, and if necessary as part of the purchase price to assume the payment of outstanding notes, bonds or other obligations upon such system;
(k) To extend its services to areas beyond but within one (1) mile of the boundaries of such district; however, no such extension shall be made to areas already occupied by another corporate agency rendering the same service so long as such corporate agency desires to continue to serve such areas. Areas outside of the district desiring to be served which are beyond the one (1) mile limit must be brought into the district by annexation proceedings;
(l) To be deemed to have the same status as counties and municipalities with respect to payment of sales taxes on purchases made by such districts;
(m) To borrow funds for interim financing subject to receipt of funds as outlined in Section 19-5-181.
(2) The board of commissioners of a district providing water service shall remit to the original user who paid for the installation of a water line an amount equal to the connection fee of subsequent users of such water line until the original user is reimbursed the cost of the installation of the water line. The Public Service Commission shall audit the records of the water service to insure compliance with this section.
SECTION 3. Section 21-27-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
21-27-17. The commission provided for by Section 21-27-13 is authorized to make such bylaws for the holding and conduct of its meetings and such other regulations as it may deem necessary for the safe, economic and efficient management and protection of the system or systems, and such bylaws and regulations shall have the same validity as an ordinance duly passed by the governing authorities of any municipality.
It is authorized to elect such officers and appoint such employees as may be necessary to operate said system or systems efficiently, and it shall have the entire control and management of such system or systems, together with all property connected or appertaining in any manner to such system or systems. The said commission shall have the authority to employ a superintendent or manager of said systems, who shall have actual charge of the management and operation thereof and of the enforcement and execution of all the rules, regulations, programs, plans and decisions made and adopted by said commission in making purchases for materials and supplies to be used in the operation of said systems. The said commission shall advertise for competitive bids in the manner and form as is required in accordance with Section 31-7-13. The said superintendent or manager shall make and keep full and proper books and records of all such purchases and shall submit them to the said commission for its approval and ratification before payment thereof is authorized to be made. It shall have the right to fix the salaries and term of office of all employees and to direct them in the discharge of their duties. It shall have the right to require good and sufficient bonds from all officers and employees in such amounts as it may deem proper. It shall have the right to discharge employees when found inefficient or for other good cause. It shall have the power to make and collect rates for services and facilities, and appropriate funds for the maintenance and improvements of such systems. It is authorized to borrow from the Mississippi Development Bank in order to fund advance purchases of energy for gas producing, generating, transmission or distribution system or its electric generating, transmission or distribution system. It is authorized to insure all property used in the operation of such systems, including buildings, furniture, books and records, against loss by fire and tornado, and to carry sufficient amount of employers liability, steam boiler, plate glass and other miscellaneous casualty insurance, as in the discretion of the said commission may be deemed proper, and to pay premiums therefor out of the funds derived from the operation of said systems. It shall report quarterly to the governing authorities of the municipality of all its doings and transactions of every kind whatsoever and shall make a complete statement of the financial condition of the said systems at the end of each quarter, and shall annually make a detailed statement covering the entire management and operation of said systems, with any recommendations which it may have for the further development of the said systems. At any time the commission, by order or resolution, may authorize the expansion of activities of any component facility to include processing of materials on a custom basis or the processing and marketing of materials acquired to fully and efficiently utilize existing plant capacity. It shall also provide copies of all such quarterly and annual reports and statements to the Public Service Commission when so directed under Section 77-3-6.
The commission of a system providing water service shall remit to the original user who paid for the installation of a water line an amount equal to the connection fee of subsequent users of such water line until the original user is reimbursed the cost of the installation of the water line. The Public Service Commission shall audit the records of the system to insure compliance with this section.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.