1998 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Horhn
Senate Bill 3174
(As Sent to Governor)
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (DECD) TO ACT ON BEHALF OF THE STATE IN SUBMITTING A SITING PROPOSAL FOR A CERTAIN PROJECT DESIGNATED AS "PROJECT COUGAR"; TO PROVIDE THAT IF THE STATE IS SELECTED AS THE PREFERRED SITE FOR THE PROJECT DECD SHALL BE EMPOWERED TO ACT ON BEHALF OF THE STATE AND TO REPRESENT THE STATE IN THE PLANNING, FINANCING, DEVELOPMENT, CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION OF SUCH PROJECT; TO GRANT DECD CERTAIN ADDITIONAL POWERS WITH REGARD TO SUCH PROJECT; TO AUTHORIZE DECD TO UTILIZE THE PROCEEDS OF CERTAIN BONDS ISSUED UNDER THIS ACT TO MAKE CERTAIN INTEREST-BEARING LOANS TO COUNTIES OR MUNICIPALITIES IN ORDER FOR SUCH COUNTIES OR MUNICIPALITIES TO LEND TO THE PRIVATE COMPANY THAT IS THE PROJECT PROCEEDS OF THE LOAN TO THE COUNTY OR MUNICIPALITY; TO PROVIDE FOR THE ISSUANCE GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS IN THE AMOUNT OF $25,000,000.00 FOR SUCH PROJECT AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE ISSUANCE GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS IN THE AMOUNT OF $25,000,000.00 FOR INTEREST-BEARING LOANS; TO GRANT CERTAIN POWERS TO PUBLIC AGENCIES IN REGARD TO THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURP0SES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Words and phrases used in this act shall have meanings as follows, unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
(a) "Bonds" means general obligation bonds, interim notes and other evidences of debt of the State of Mississippi issued pursuant to this act.
(b) "DECD" means the Department of Economic and Community Development.
(c) "Facility related to the project" means and includes any of the following, as the same may pertain to the project within the project area: (i) facilities to provide potable and industrial water supply systems, sewage and waste disposal systems and water, natural gas and electric transmission systems to the site of the project; (ii) airports, airfields and air terminals; (iii) rail lines; (iv) port facilities; (v) highways, streets and other roadways; (vi) public school buildings, classrooms and instructional facilities, including any functionally related facilities; (vii) parks, outdoor recreation facilities and athletic facilities; (viii) auditoriums, pavilions, campgrounds, art centers, cultural centers, folklore centers and other public facilities; and (ix) health care facilities, public or private.
(d) "Person" means any natural person, corporation, association, partnership, receiver, trustee, guardian, executor, administrator, fiduciary, governmental unit, public agency, political subdivision, or any other group acting as a unit, and the plural as well as the singular.
(e) "Project" means any private company developed under the name "Project Cougar" that is a heavy manufacturing enterprise which will be located on more than two hundred fifty (250) acres of land, will require a building that contains in excess of five hundred thousand (500,000) square feet and will employ in excess of one thousand (1,000) people at the facility in a full-time capacity.
(f) "Project area" means the project site, together with any area or territory within the state lying within fifteen (15) miles of any portion of the project site whether or not such area or territory be contiguous. The project area shall also include all territory within a county if any portion of such county lies within fifteen (15) miles of any portion of the project site. "Project site" means the real property on which the principal facilities of the enterprise will operate.
(g) "Public agency" means:
(i) Any department, board, commission, institution or other agency or instrumentality of the state;
(ii) Any city, town, county, political subdivision, school district or other district created or existing under the laws of the state or any public agency of any such city, town, county, political subdivision or district;
(iii) Any department, commission, agency or instrumentality of the United States of America; and
(iv) Any other state of the United States of America which may be cooperating with respect to location of the project within the state, or any agency thereof.
(h) "State" means State of Mississippi.
SECTION 2. DECD is hereby designated and empowered to act on behalf of the state in submitting a siting proposal for the project eligible for assistance under this act. DECD is empowered to take all steps appropriate or necessary to effect the siting, development, and operation of the project within the state. If the state is selected as the preferred site for the project, DECD is hereby designated and empowered to act on behalf of the state and to represent the state in the planning, financing, development, construction and operation of the project or any facility related to the project, with the concurrence of the affected public agency. DECD may take affirmative steps to coordinate fully all aspects of the submission of a siting proposal for the project and, if the state is selected as the preferred site, to coordinate fully, with the concurrence of the affected public agency, the development of the project or any facility related to the project with private business, the United States government and other public agencies. All public agencies are encouraged to cooperate to the fullest extent possible to effectuate the duties of DECD; however, the development of the project or any facility related to the project by DECD may be done only with the concurrence of the affected public agency.
SECTION 3. DECD, in addition to any and all powers now or hereafter granted to it, is empowered and shall exercise discretion and the use of these powers depending on the circumstances of the project or projects:
(a) To employ or contract with architects, engineers, attorneys, accountants, construction and financial experts and such other advisors, consultants and agents as may be necessary in its judgment and to fix and pay their compensation.
(b) To make such applications and enter into such contracts for financial assistance as may be appropriate under applicable federal or state law.
(c) To apply for, accept and utilize grants, gifts and other funds or aid from any source for any purpose contemplated by the act, and to comply, subject to the provisions of this act, with the terms and conditions thereof.
(d) To acquire by purchase or lease any public lands and public property, including sixteenth section lands and lieu lands, within the project area, which are necessary for the project. Sixteenth section lands or lieu lands acquired under this act shall be deemed to be acquired for the purposes of industrial development thereon and such acquisition will serve a higher public interest in accordance with the purposes of this act.
(e) If DECD identifies any land owned by the state as being necessary, for the location or use of the project, or any facility related to the project, to recommend to the Legislature the conveyance of such land or any interest therein, as the Legislature deems appropriate.
(f) To make or cause to be made such examinations and surveys as may be necessary to the planning, design, construction and operation of the project.
(g) From and after the date of notification to DECD by the enterprise that the state has been finally selected as the site of the project, to acquire by condemnation and to own, maintain, use, operate and convey or otherwise dispose of any and all property of any kind, real, personal or mixed, or any interest or estate therein, within the project area, necessary for the project or any facility related to the project, with the concurrence of the affected public agency, and the exercise of the powers granted by this act, according to the procedures provided by Chapter 27, Title 11, Mississippi Code of 1972, except as modified by this act.
(i) In acquiring lands by condemnation, DECD shall not acquire minerals or royalties in minerals unless a competent registered professional engineer shall have certified that the acquisition of such minerals and royalties in minerals is necessary for purposes of the project; provided that limestone, clay, chalk, sand and gravel shall not be considered as minerals within the meaning of this section; and
(ii) Unless minerals or royalties in minerals have been acquired by condemnation or otherwise, no person or persons owning the drilling rights or the right to share in production of minerals shall be prevented from exploring, developing, or producing oil or gas with necessary rights-of-way for ingress and egress, pipelines and other means of transporting interests on any land or interest therein of the authority held or used for the purposes of this act; but any such activities shall be under such reasonable regulation by DECD as will adequately protect the project contemplated by this act as provided in paragraph (r) of this section.
(h) To negotiate the necessary relocation or rerouting of roads and highways, railroad, telephone and telegraph lines and properties, electric power lines, pipelines and related facilities, or to require the anchoring or other protection of any of these, provided due compensation is paid to the owners thereof or agreement is had with such owners regarding the payment of the cost of such relocation, and to acquire by condemnation or otherwise easements or rights-of-way for such relocation or rerouting and to convey the same to the owners of the facilities being relocated or rerouted in connection with the purposes of this act.
(i) To negotiate the necessary relocation of cemeteries and to pay all reasonable costs thereof.
(j) To perform or have performed any and all acts and make all payments necessary to comply with all applicable federal laws, rules or regulations including but not limited to the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (42 U.S.C. 4601, 4602, 4621 to 4638, and 4651 to 4655) and relocation rules and regulations promulgated by any agency or department of the federal government.
(k) To construct, extend, improve, maintain, and reconstruct, to cause to be constructed, extended, improved, maintained, and reconstructed, and to use and operate any and all components of the project or any facility related to the project, with the concurrence of the affected public agency, within the project area, necessary to the project and to the exercise of such powers, rights, and privileges granted DECD.
(l) To incur or defray any designated portion of the cost of any component of the project or any facility related to the project acquired or constructed by any public agency.
(m) To lease, sell or convey any or all property acquired by DECD under the provisions of this act to the enterprise, its successors or assigns, and in connection therewith to pay the costs of title search, perfection of title, title insurance and recording fees as may be required. DECD may provide in the instrument conveying such property a provision that such property shall revert to DECD if, as and when the property is declared by the enterprise to be no longer needed.
(n) To enter into contracts with any person or public agency including, but not limited to, contracts authorized by Section 7 of this act, in furtherance of any of the purposes authorized by this act upon such consideration as DECD and such person or public agency may agree. Any such contract may extend over any period of time, notwithstanding any rule of law to the contrary, may be upon such terms as the parties thereto shall agree, and may provide that it shall continue in effect until bonds specified therein, refunding bonds issued in lieu of such bonds, and all other obligations specified therein are paid or terminated. Any such contract shall be binding upon the parties thereto according to its terms. Such contracts may include an agreement to reimburse the enterprise, its successors and assigns for any assistance provided by the enterprise in the acquisition of real property for the project or any facility related to the project.
(o) To establish and maintain reasonable rates and charges for the use of any facility within the project area owned or operated by DECD, and from time to time to adjust such rates and to impose penalties for failure to pay such rates and charges when due.
(p) To adopt and enforce with the concurrence of the affected public agency all necessary and reasonable rules and regulations to carry out and effectuate the implementation of the project and any land use plan or zoning classification adopted for the project area, including but not limited to rules, regulations, and restrictions concerning mining, construction, excavation or any other activity the occurrence of which may endanger the structure or operation of the project. Such rules may be enforced within the project area and without the project area as necessary to protect the structure and operation of the project. DECD is authorized to plan or replan, zone or rezone, and make exceptions to any regulations, whether local or state, with the concurrence of the affected public agency which are inconsistent with the design, planning, construction or operation of the project and facilities related to the project.
(q) To plan, design, coordinate and implement measures and programs to mitigate impacts on the natural environment caused by the project or any facility related to the project.
(r) To develop plans for technology transfer activities to ensure private sector conduits for exchange of information, technology and expertise related to the project to generate opportunities for commercial development within the state.
(s) To consult with the State Department of Education and other public agencies for the purpose of improving public schools and curricula within the project area.
(t) To consult with the State Board of Health and other public agencies for the purpose of improving medical centers, hospitals and public health centers in order to provide appropriate health care facilities within the project area.
(u) To consult with the Office of Minority Business Enterprise Development and other public agencies for the purpose of developing plans for technical assistance and loan programs to maximize the economic impact related to the project for minority business enterprises within the State of Mississippi.
(v) To promulgate rules and regulations necessary to effectuate the purposes of this act.
SECTION 4. The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning is hereby authorized to support the project by creating institutes and developing curricula of direct benefit to the enterprise. Upon notification to DECD by the enterprise that the state has been selected as the site of the project, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning may establish and create programs to enhance the project's success.
SECTION 5. DECD shall utilize not more than the amount of the proceeds of the bonds authorized to be issued under Section 6(3)(b) of this act, for the purpose of making interest-bearing loans to counties or municipalities in order for such counties or municipalities to lend to the private company that falls under the definition of the term "project," the proceeds of the loan from DECD to any such county or municipality.
SECTION 6. (1) Upon notification to DECD by the enterprise that the state has been finally selected as the site for the project, the State Bond Commission shall have the power and is hereby authorized and directed, upon receipt of a declaration from DECD as hereinafter provided, to borrow money and issue general obligation bonds of the state in one or more series for the purposes herein set out. Upon such notification, DECD may thereafter from time to time declare the necessity for the issuance of general obligation bonds as authorized by this section and forward such declaration to the State Bond Commission, provided that before such notification, DECD may enter into agreements with the United States government, private companies and others that will commit DECD to direct the State Bond Commission to issue bonds for eligible undertakings set out in subsection (4) of this section, conditioned on the siting of the project in the state.
(2) Upon receipt of any such declaration from DECD, the State Bond Commission shall verify that the state has been selected as the site of the project and shall act as the issuing agent for the series of bonds directed to be issued in such declaration pursuant to authority granted in this section.
(3) (a) Bonds issued under the authority of this section for the project shall not exceed Twenty-five Million Dollars ($25,000,000.00).
(b) Bonds issued under the authority of this section for the purposes of Section 5 of this act shall not exceed Twenty-five Million Dollars ($25,000,000.00).
(4) The proceeds from the sale of the bonds issued under this section may be applied for the purposes of:
(a) Defraying all or any designated portion of the costs incurred with respect to acquisition, planning, design, construction, installation, rehabilitation, improvement, relocation and with respect to state-owned property, operation and maintenance of the project and any facility related to the project located within the project area, including costs of design and engineering, all costs incurred to provide land, easements and rights-of-way, relocation costs with respect to the project and with respect to any facility related to the project located within the project area, and costs associated with mitigation of environmental impacts;
(b) Defraying the cost of providing for the training or retraining of employees of the project;
(c) Providing funds for the loans authorized in Section 5 of this act;
(d) Providing for the payment of interest on the bonds;
(e) Providing debt service reserves; and
(f) Paying underwriters' discount, original issue discount, accountants' fees, engineers' fees, attorneys' fees, rating agency fees and other fees and expenses in connection with the issuance of the bonds.
Such bonds shall be issued from time to time and in such principal amounts as shall be designated by DECD, not to exceed in aggregate principal amounts the amount authorized in subsection (3) of this section. Proceeds from the sale of the bonds issued under this section may be invested, subject to federal limitations, pending their use, in such securities as may be specified in the resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds or the trust indenture securing them, and the earning on such investment applied as provided in such resolution or trust indenture.
(5) The principal of and the interest on the bonds shall be payable in the manner hereinafter set forth. The bonds shall bear date or dates; be in such denomination or denominations; bear interest at such rate or rates; be payable at such place or places within or without the state; mature absolutely at such time or times; be redeemable before maturity at such time or times and upon such terms, with or without premium; bear such registration privileges; and be substantially in such form; all as shall be determined by resolution of the State Bond Commission except that such bonds shall mature or otherwise be retired in annual installments beginning not more than five (5) years from the date thereof and extending not more than twenty-five (25) years from the date thereof. The bonds shall be signed by the Chairman of the State Bond Commission, or by his facsimile signature, and the official seal of the State Bond Commission shall be imprinted on or affixed thereto, attested by the manual or facsimile signature of the Secretary of the State Bond Commission. Whenever any such bonds have been signed by the officials herein designated to sign the bonds, who were in office at the time of such signing but who may have ceased to be such officers before the sale and delivery of such bonds, or who may not have been in office on the date such bonds may bear, the signatures of such officers upon such bonds shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes and have the same effect as if the person so officially signing such bonds had remained in office until the delivery of the same to the purchaser, or had been in office on the date such bonds may bear.
(6) All bonds issued under the provisions of this section shall be and are hereby declared to have all the qualities and incidents of negotiable instruments under the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code and in exercising the powers granted by this act, the State Bond Commission shall not be required to and need not comply with the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code.
(7) The State Bond Commission shall sell the bonds on sealed bids at public sale, and for such price as it may determine to be for the best interest of the State of Mississippi, but no such sale shall be made at a price less than par plus accrued interest to date of delivery of the bonds to the purchaser. The bonds shall bear interest at such rate or rates not exceeding the limits set forth in Section 75-17-101 as shall be fixed by the State Bond Commission. All interest accruing on such bonds so issued shall be payable semiannually or annually; provided that the first interest payment may be for any period of not more than one (1) year.
Notice of the sale of any bonds shall be published at least one (1) time, the first of which shall be made not less than ten (10) days prior to the date of sale, and shall be so published in one or more newspapers having a general circulation in the City of Jackson and in one or more other newspapers or financial journals with a large national circulation, to be selected by the State Bond Commission.
The State Bond Commission, when issuing any bonds under the authority of this section, may provide that the bonds, at the option of the state, may be called in for payment and redemption at the call price named therein and accrued interest on such date or dates named therein.
(8) State bonds issued under the provisions of this section shall be the general obligations of the state and backed by the full faith and credit of the state. The Legislature shall appropriate annually an amount sufficient to pay the principal of and the interest on such bonds as they become due. All bonds shall contain recitals on their faces substantially covering the foregoing provisions of this section.
(9) The State Treasurer is authorized to certify to the Department of Finance and Administration the necessity for warrants, and the Department of Finance and Administration is authorized and directed to issue such warrants payable out of any funds appropriated by the Legislature under this section for such purpose, in such amounts as may be necessary to pay when due the principal of and interest on all bonds issued under the provisions of this section. The State Treasurer shall forward the necessary amount to the designated place or places of payment of such bonds in ample time to discharge such bonds, or the interest thereon, on the due dates thereof.
(10) The bonds may be issued without any other proceedings or the happening of any other conditions or things other than those proceedings, conditions and things which are specified or required by this act. Any resolution providing for the issuance of general obligation bonds under the provisions of this section shall become effective immediately upon its adoption by the State Bond Commission, and any such resolution may be adopted at any regular or special meeting of the State Bond Commission by a majority of its members.
(11) In anticipation of the issuance of bonds hereunder, the State Bond Commission is authorized to negotiate and enter into any purchase, loan, credit or other agreement with any bank, trust company or other lending institution or to issue and sell interim notes for the purpose of making any payments authorized under this section. All borrowings made under this provision shall be evidenced by notes of the state which shall be issued from time to time, for such amounts not exceeding the amount of bonds authorized herein, in such form and in such denomination and subject to such terms and conditions of sale and issuance, prepayment or redemption and maturity, rate or rates of interest not to exceed the maximum rate authorized herein for bonds, and time of payment of interest as the State Bond Commission shall agree to in such agreement. Such notes shall constitute general obligations of the state and shall be backed by the full faith and credit of the state. Such notes may also be issued for the purpose of refunding previously issued notes; except that no notes shall mature more than three (3) years following the date of issuance of the first note hereunder and provided further, that all outstanding notes shall be retired from the proceeds of the first issuance of bonds hereunder. The State Bond Commission is authorized to provide for the compensation of any purchaser of the notes by payment of a fixed fee or commission and for all other costs and expenses of issuance and service, including paying agent costs. Such costs and expenses may be paid from the proceeds of the notes.
(12) The bonds and interim notes authorized under the authority of this section may be validated in the First Judicial District of the Chancery Court of Hinds County, Mississippi, in the manner and with the force and effect provided now or hereafter by Chapter 13, Title 31, Mississippi Code of 1972, for the validation of county, municipal, school district and other bonds. The necessary papers for such validation proceedings shall be transmitted to the state bond attorney, and the required notice shall be published in a newspaper published in the City of Jackson, Mississippi.
(13) Any bonds or interim notes issued under the provisions of this act, a transaction relating to the sale or securing of such bonds or interim notes, their transfer and the income therefrom shall at all times be free from taxation by the state or any local unit or political subdivision or other instrumentality of the state, excepting inheritance and gift taxes.
(14) All bonds issued under this act shall be legal investments for trustees, other fiduciaries, savings banks, trust companies and insurance companies organized under the laws of the State of Mississippi; and such bonds shall be legal securities which may be deposited with and shall be received by all public officers and bodies of the state and all municipalities and other political subdivisions thereof for the purpose of securing the deposit of public funds.
(15) The Attorney General of the State of Mississippi shall represent the State Bond Commission in issuing, selling and validating bonds herein provided for, and the State Bond Commission is hereby authorized and empowered to expend from the proceeds derived from the sale of the bonds authorized hereunder all necessary administrative, legal and other expenses incidental and related to the issuance of bonds authorized under this act.
(16) There is hereby created a special fund in the State Treasury to be known as the Project Cougar Fund wherein shall be deposited the proceeds of the bonds issued under this act and all monies received by DECD to carry out the purposes of this act. Expenditures authorized herein shall be paid by the State Treasurer upon warrants drawn from the fund, and the Department of Finance and Administration shall issue warrants upon requisitions signed by the Executive Director of DECD.
(17) (a) There is hereby created the Project Cougar Sinking Fund from which the principal of and interest on such bonds shall be paid by appropriation. All monies paid into the sinking fund not appropriated to pay accruing bonds and interest shall be invested by the State Treasurer in such securities as are provided by law for the investment of the sinking funds of the state.
(b) In the event that all or any part of the bonds and notes are purchased, they shall be canceled and returned to the loan and transfer agent as canceled and paid bonds and notes and thereafter all payments of interest thereon shall cease and the canceled bonds, notes and coupons, together with any other canceled bonds, notes and coupons, shall be destroyed as promptly as possible after cancellation but not later than two (2) years after cancellation. A certificate evidencing the destruction of the canceled bonds, notes and coupons shall be provided by the loan and transfer agent to the seller.
(c) The State Treasurer shall determine and report to the Department of Finance and Administration and Legislative Budget Office by September 1 of each year the amount of money necessary for the payment of the principal of and interest on outstanding obligations for the following fiscal year and the times and amounts of the payments. It shall be the duty of the Governor to include in every executive budget submitted to the Legislature full information relating to the issuance of bonds and notes under the provisions of this act and the status of the sinking fund for the payment of the principal of and interest on the bonds and notes.
SECTION 7. For the purpose of aiding in the planning, design, undertaking and carrying out of the project or any facility related to the project, any public agency is authorized and empowered upon such terms, with or without consideration, as it may determine:
(a) To enter into agreements, which may extend over any period, with DECD respecting action to be taken by such public agency with respect to the acquisition, planning, construction, improvement, operation, maintenance or funding of the project or any such facility, and which agreements may include (i) the appropriation or payment of funds to DECD or to a trustee in amounts which shall be sufficient to enable DECD to defray any designated portion or percentage of the expenses of administering, planning, designing, constructing, acquiring, improving, operating, and maintaining the project or any facility related to the project, (ii) the appropriation or payment of funds to DECD or to a trustee to pay interest and principal (whether at maturity or upon sinking fund redemption) on bonds issued pursuant to this act and to fund reserves for debt service, for operation and maintenance and for renewals and replacements, and to fulfill requirements of any covenant with respect to debt service contained in any resolution, trust indenture or other security agreement relating to the bonds issued pursuant to this act, and (iii) the furnishing of other assistance in connection with the project or facility related to the project;
(b) To dedicate, sell, donate, convey or lease any property or interest in property to DECD or grant easements, licenses or other rights or privileges therein to DECD;
(c) To incur the expense of any public improvements made or to be made by such public agency in exercising the powers granted in this section;
(d) To lend, grant or contribute funds to DECD;
(e) To cause public buildings and public facilities, including parks, playgrounds, recreational areas, community meeting facilities, water, sewer or drainage facilities, or any other works which it is otherwise empowered to undertake, to be furnished to or with respect to the project or any such facility; (f) To furnish, dedicate, close, vacate, pave, install, upgrade or improve highways, streets, roads, sidewalks, airports, railroads, or ports;
(g) To plan or replan, zone or rezone any parcel of land within the public agency or make exceptions from land use, building and zoning regulations; and
(h) To cause administrative and other services to be furnished to DECD, including services pertaining to the acquisition of real property and the furnishing of relocation assistance.
Any contract between a public agency entered into with DECD pursuant to any of the powers granted by this act shall be binding upon the public agency according to its terms, and such public agency shall have the power to enter into such contracts as in the discretion of the governing authorities thereof would be to the best interest of the people of such public agency. Such contracts may include within the discretion of such governing authorities of public agencies defined under Section 1(g)(ii) a pledge of the full faith and credit of such public agency for the performance thereof. If at any time title to or possession of the project or any such facility is held by any public body or governmental agency other than DECD, including any agency or instrumentality of the United States of America, the agreements referred to in this section shall inure to the benefit of and may be enforced by such public body or governmental agency.
Notwithstanding any provisions of this act to the contrary, any contract entered into between DECD and any public agency for the appropriation or payment of funds to DECD under paragraph (a)(ii) of this section shall contain a provision therein requiring monthly payments by the public agency to pay its indebtedness and, if the public agency is not a county or municipality, such contract shall include as an additional party to the contract the county or municipality (referred to in this paragraph as "levying authority") that levies and collects taxes for the contracting public agency. If the public agency fails to pay its indebtedness for any month, DECD shall certify to the State Tax Commission, or other appropriate agency, the amount of the delinquency, and the State Tax Commission shall deduct such amount from the public agency's or levying authority's, as the case may be, next allocation of sales taxes, petroleum taxes, highway privilege taxes, severance taxes, Tennessee Valley Authority payments in lieu of taxes and homestead exemption reimbursements in that order of priority. The State Tax Commission, or other appropriate agency, shall pay the sums so deducted to DECD to be applied to the discharge of the contractual obligation.
SECTION 8. DECD shall not undertake to develop any project or facility related to the project within a county, municipality and/or school district without the concurrence of the affected county, municipality and/or school district.
SECTION 9. (1) (a) DECD shall set a goal to expend not less than ten percent (10%) of the total amounts expended by DECD on planning, construction, training, research, development, testing, evaluation, personal services, procurement, and for the operation and maintenance of any facilities or activities controlled by DECD, with minority small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. For the purpose of determining the total amounts expended with such minority small business concerns, credit shall be given for that portion of any prime contract entered into with DECD which inures to the benefit of such minority small business concern as a subcontractor thereunder.
(b) For the purposes of this section, the term "socially and economically disadvantaged individuals" shall have the meaning ascribed to such term under Section 8(d) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C.S., Section 637(d)) and relevant subcontracting regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.
(c) For the purposes of this section, the term "minority small business concern" means any small business concern:
(i) Which is at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals; or, in the case of any publicly owned businesses, at least fifty-one percent (51%) of the stock of which is owned by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals; and
(ii) Whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more of such individuals.
(d) For the purpose of this section, the term "small business concern" shall mean "small business" as the latter term is defined in Section 57-10-155, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(2) In order to comply in a timely manner with its minority small business participation mandate, DECD shall set an annual goal to expend not less than ten percent (10%) of its aggregate yearly expenditures with minority small business concerns.
(3) DECD shall:
(a) Monitor the minority small business concerns assistance programs prescribed in this section.
(b) Review and determine the business capabilities of minority small business concerns.
(c) Establish standards for a certification procedure for minority small business concerns seeking to do business with DECD.
(d) Provide technical assistance services to minority small business concerns. Such technical assistance shall include but not be limited to:
(ii) Assistance in obtaining bonds;
(iii) Bid preparation;
(iv) Certification of business concerns;
(v) Marketing assistance; and
(vi) Joint venture and capital development.
(e) Develop alternative bidding and contracting procedures for minority small business concerns in conjunction with the Department of Finance and Administration.
(f) Utilize such alternative bidding and contracting procedures in lieu of those prescribed in Title 31, Chapters 5 and 7, Mississippi Code of 1972, when contracting with minority small business concerns that have qualified to bid for contracts and have satisfied any other disclosure provisions required by DECD.
(g) Be authorized to accept in lieu of any bond otherwise required from minority small business concerns or small business concerns contracting with DECD, in an amount equal to one hundred percent (100%) of the total cost of the contracted project, any combination of the following:
(ii) Certificates of deposit from any bank or banking corporation insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation;
(iii) Federal treasury bills;
(iv) Letters of credit issued by a bank as that term is defined in Section 81-3-1, Mississippi Code of 1972; or
(v) Surety bonds issued by an insurance company licensed and qualified to do business in the State of Mississippi.
(h) Be authorized, in its discretion, to waive any bond required on any project which does not exceed a total dollar value of One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00). A retainage shall be held by the authority in an amount not to exceed fifteen percent (15%) from each draw according to American Institute of Architects (AIA) standards. Upon satisfactory completion of such project, ten percent (10%) of the total cost of the contract shall be held in an interest-bearing escrow account for one (1) year. Funds deposited in such escrow account shall stand as a surety for any defects in workmanship or materials detected within twelve (12) months of completion. The balance of all monies so escrowed including accrued interest shall be paid to the contractor at the end of such twelve-month period.
(i) Be empowered to provide an incentive of bimonthly payments to any prime contractors utilizing minority small business concerns as subcontractors on twenty-five percent (25%) or more of the total dollar value of any single project or contract.
(j) Submit an annual report on its progress concerning minority small business contracts to the Legislature by January 30 of each year.
(k) Take all steps necessary to implement the provisions of this section.
SECTION 10. The provisions of this act are cumulative of other statutes now or hereafter enacted relating to DECD, and DECD may exercise all presently held powers in the furtherance of this act. If any section, paragraph, sentence, clause, phrase or any part of the provisions of this act is declared to be unconstitutional or void, or for any reason is declared to be invalid or of no effect, the remaining sections, paragraphs, sentences, clauses and phrases shall in no manner be affected thereby but shall remain in full force and effect.
SECTION 11. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage and shall stand repealed from and after July 1, 1999, unless prior to such date the Executive Director of the Department of Economic and Community Development files an affidavit with the Secretary of State certifying that the State of Mississippi has been finally selected as the site of the project.