1997 Regular Session
To: Insurance; Appropriations
By: Representative Compretta
House Bill 1222
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 17-23-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE LEGAL FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICTS TO PURCHASE FIRE TRUCKS UNDER THE RURAL FIRE TRUCK ACQUISITION PROGRAM; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 17-23-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
17-23-1. (1) There is established a rural fire truck acquisition assistance program to be administered by the Department of Insurance for the purpose of assisting counties, municipalities and legal fire protection districts in the acquisition of fire trucks.
(2) There is created in the State Treasury a special fund to be designated as the "Rural Fire Truck Fund." The State Fiscal Officer shall transfer the sum of Eight Million Two Hundred Thousand Dollars ($8,200,000.00) from the State General Fund to such special fund. The transfer shall be made in two (2) equal payments, with the first payment to be made on July 1, 1995, and the second payment to be made during the 1996 Regular Session. Such monies as are deposited into the fund under the provisions of this section may be expended, with Four Million One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($4,100,000.00) being available after July 1, 1995, and Four Million One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($4,100,000.00) being available during the 1996 Regular Session and Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) per county being available after July 1, 1995, and Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) per county being available during the 1996 Regular Session, upon legislative appropriation, and upon requisition therefor by the Commissioner of Insurance, in accordance with the provisions of this section. Unexpended amounts remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and any interest earned on amounts in the fund shall be deposited to the credit of the fund.
(3) (a) A county that meets the requirements provided herein may receive an amount not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00) and such amount shall be divided equally with not more than Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) per fire truck. Monies distributed under this chapter shall be expended only for the purchase of new fire trucks and such trucks must meet the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards in the 1900 series.
(b) The board of supervisors of the county shall submit its request for the receipt of monies to the Department of Insurance. A committee composed of the Commissioner of Insurance, the State Fire Coordinator, the Director of the Rating Bureau and the Director of the State Fire Academy shall review the requests by the boards of supervisors and shall determine whether the county, municipality or legal fire protection district for which the board of supervisors has requested a truck meets the requirements of eligibility under this chapter.
(c) To be eligible to receive monies under this chapter:
(i) A county, municipality or legal fire protection district must pledge to set aside or dedicate each year as matching funds, for a period not to extend over five (5) years, local funds in an amount equal to or not less than one-fifth (1/5) of the amount of monies for which it is requesting distribution from the Rural Fire Truck Fund, which pledged monies may be derived from local ad valorem tax authorized by law or from any other funds available to the county, municipality or legal fire protection district except for those funds received by municipalities or counties from the Municipal Fire Protection Fund or the County Volunteer Fire Department Fund, as defined in Sections 83-1-37 and 83-1-39, after January 1, 1996. Before January 1, 1996, monies in a municipal fire protection fund or a county volunteer fire department fund derived from the funds defined in Sections 83-1-37 and 83-1-39 may be used as one-time match money.
(ii) Any county that has incurred indebtedness after July 1, 1994, for a new fire truck that meets the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards in the 1900 series may apply for monies under the provisions of this chapter to apply to such indebtedness.
(iii) A municipality must provide adequate documentation of its contract with the county that requires the municipality to provide fire protection in rural areas. The term "rural areas" means any area within the county located outside the boundaries of an incorporated municipality.
(d) The Department of Insurance shall maintain an accurate record of all monies distributed to counties, municipalities and legal fire protection district and the number of fire trucks purchased and the cost for each fire truck, such records to be kept separate from other records of the Department of Insurance; notify counties, municipalities and legal fire protection districts of the rural fire truck acquisition assistance program and the requirements for them to become eligible to participate; adopt and promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary and desirable to implement the provisions of this chapter and file with the Legislature on or before January 2, 1997, and July 1, 1997, a report detailing how monies made available under this chapter were distributed and spent during the preceding portion of the fiscal year in each county, municipality and legal fire protection district the number of fire trucks purchased, the counties and municipalities making such purchases and the cost of each fire truck purchased.
(4) Fire trucks acquired by counties in accordance with this section may be purchased by any duly incorporated legal fire protection district located within the county with the approval of the board of supervisors of the acquiring county.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.