1998 Regular Session
To: Local and Private
By: Senator(s) Carter
Senate Bill 3308
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 944, LOCAL AND PRIVATE LAWS OF 1991, WHICH CREATES THE MERIDIAN AND BONITA LAKES DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, TO REMOVE THE PROVISION THAT REQUIRES A LEASE OF IMPROVEMENTS OR STRUCTURES ASSOCIATED WITH THE USE AND THE OPERATION OF A CONVENTION CENTER BY THE MERIDIAN AND BONITA LAKES DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY TO BE FOR A TERM OF NOT LESS THAN 10 YEARS; TO REMOVE THE PROVISION THAT AUTHORIZES THE AUTHORITY TO CONSTRUCT OR LEASE A COLISEUM FACILITY UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Chapter 944, Local and Private Laws of 1991, is amended as follows:
Section 1. For purposes of this act the following terms shall have the meaning ascribed herein unless the context shall otherwise require:
(a) "Governing authorities" shall mean the Mayor and City Council of the City of Meridian, Mississippi.
(b) "City" shall mean the City of Meridian, Mississippi.
(c) "Authority" shall mean "The Meridian and Bonita Lakes Development Authority" as created in this act.
(d) "Special tax" shall mean the levy authorized by Section 6 herein.
(e) "Bonds" shall mean the bonds authorized herein.
(f) "Additional security" means one or more letters of credit bond insurance or other type of credit enhancers which may be obtained by the city as additional security for the bonds.
Section 2. (1) The Mayor and City Council of the City of Meridian, Mississippi, by resolution duly adopted and entered upon its minutes, after finding that it is consistent with the public convenience and necessity, is hereby authorized, in its discretion, to create a body politic and political subdivision to be known as "The Meridian and Bonita Lakes Development Authority."
(2) The authority shall be composed of nine (9) persons, six (6) shall be residents and qualified electors of the city to be appointed one (1) from each ward of the city, and one (1) from the city at large. One (1) shall be appointed by the governing authorities who shall be a resident of the City of Marion, Mississippi, and two (2) to be appointed by the governing authorities who shall be residents of Lauderdale County who reside outside of the municipalities of Marion, Mississippi, and Meridian, Mississippi. The members shall be appointed within forty (40) days from the adoption of the resolution creating the authority by the governing authorities. Each initial appointee from the respective wards shall serve a term of office as the number of the ward from which he was appointed. The members from the county at large shall serve initial terms of two (2) and three (3) years. The member appointed from the Town of Marion, Mississippi, shall serve an initial term of four (4) years and the member appointed from the city at large shall serve an initial term of five (5) years. All subsequent appointments shall be for terms of five (5) years or until their successors are appointed and qualified.
(3) Any vacancy on the authority shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term by the governing authorities.
Section 3. (1) Before entering upon the duties of office, each member of the authority shall take and subscribe to the oath of office required by Section 268, Mississippi Constitution of 1890, and shall give bond in the sum of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) conditioned upon the faithful performance of his duties, such bond to be made payable to the City of Meridian and approved by the governing authorities. The bond premium may be paid from any funds of the authority or the city.
(2) The members of the authority shall meet at the regular meeting place of the Meridian City Council within twenty (20) days after all initial appointments have been made and shall elect from among their members a chairman, vice-chairman and secretary-treasurer and shall adopt a seal and such bylaws, rules and regulations as may be necessary to govern the time, place and manner of its business, not inconsistent with the provisions of this act. The authority shall record and retain minutes of all of its meetings. Any action taken by the authority shall be official at the time the action is taken. Actions may be taken by the authority at any regular, special or adjourned meeting.
(3) The authority is hereby authorized to promulgate such reasonable rules and regulations as it shall deem necessary to effectuate the intent and purposes of this act and is further authorized, in its discretion, to appoint an executive committee from its members to perform such duties and functions and exercise such power as the authority by duly adopted resolution shall prescribe.
(4) The members of the authority shall serve without salary or compensation, but the voting members, staff and employees of the authority may be reimbursed for actual expenses, including mileage and travel expenses, whether within or without the State of Mississippi, incurred in the performance of their duties, as authorized by Section 25-3-41, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(5) Any member of the authority may be disqualified and removed from office for any one (1) of the following reasons:
(a) Conviction of a felony;
(b) Misappropriation of funds or conflict of interest;
(c) Inability or incapacity to serve; or
(d) Failure to attend three (3) consecutive meetings of the authority without good cause. The governing authorities shall determine whether good cause existed for failure to attend such meetings.
Section 4. The authority shall have the following powers and duties:
(a) To construct or lease a convention center and to construct or lease other improvements or structures associated with the use and the operation of the convention center; provided that any such lease of other improvements or structures shall be only those situated on land leased from the public or private sector * * *;
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(b) To acquire by gift, purchase or otherwise and to own, lease, hold, maintain, control and develop real estate and improvements thereon, either within or without the corporate limits of the city, for development, use and operation for the purposes authorized herein;
(c) To engage in works of internal improvement for such sites, including, but not limited to, construction or contracting for the construction of streets, roads, site improvements, water, sewerage, drainage, pollution control and related facilities or improvements necessary or proper for the purposes of this act;
(d) To acquire, purchase, install, lease, contract for, construct, own, hold, equip, control, use, maintain, operate and repair such structures and facilities as are determined to be necessary and proper for the planning, development, use, operation and maintenance of projects for the purposes of this act;
(e) To request the governing authorities to borrow money and issue bonds or notes evidencing the same under the provisions of this act and, in addition to or in lieu of the pledges authorized herein, to secure such bonds or notes by the execution of deeds, deeds of trust upon any real estate owned by the authority, not otherwise encumbered;
(f) To establish user fees and regulations for the use and occupancy of such lands, improvements or structures under or coming under the control, custody or possession of the authority, whether within or without the corporate limits of the city, which fees and regulations shall not be inconsistent with the interests of the population of the city and the county;
(g) To regulate, develop and operate any lands, improvements or structures under its control for uses compatible with a sustained and viable tourism industry within the city, the county and the geographic region; and
(h) Individually or jointly with other public bodies or private entities, to apply for, receive, expend and utilize federal, state or private funds or grants for the purposes of this act and to enter into agreements with public or private entities for the joint construction, development, use, operation and maintenance of land, improvements and structures for the development of recreation, tourism, functions and festivals and compatible commercial activities on property owned or controlled by the authority.
Section 5. (1) The authority shall consult with the Lauderdale County Tourism Commission, or its successor, before accepting or approving a final design for any convention center. The construction of any convention center or coliseum authorized herein shall be done only upon land under the fee ownership of the authority or upon land leased by it from the public or private sector for a period of not less than ninety-nine (99) years or upon lands previously owned by another public body which has been conveyed to the authority in fee simple with a deed containing a reverter clause for condition broken.
(2) The governing authorities are specifically authorized, in their discretion, to convey to the authority full fee title, or any lesser interest therein, to property owned by the city situated within the Bonita Watershed, which conveyance of any interest shall include a reverter clause whereby the interest automatically reverts to the city should the property cease to be used for the purposes for which the conveyance was executed.
Section 6. (1) For the purpose of providing funds for the operation of the authority and to pay the principal of and interest on any bonds or notes which may be issued under this act, the authority may request the governing authorities to levy and assess a special sales tax within the city. Such special tax shall be in addition to all other taxes which are now imposed.
(2) Such tax shall be in an amount not to exceed three percent (3%) of the gross receipts or gross income on the sales within the city of (a) all places where prepared food is served and where the gross proceeds of sales or gross income from the sales of prepared food for the preceding calendar year exceeds or equals Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00), and (b) all liquor and other alcoholic beverages sold for on-premises consumption or from a state-licensed retail package store.
(3) Persons liable for the tax imposed herein shall add the amount of tax to the sale price or gross income, and, in addition thereto, shall collect, insofar as practicable, the amount of the tax due by him from the person receiving the goods or services at the time of payment therefor.
(4) Such tax shall be collected by and paid to the State Tax Commission on a form prescribed by the State Tax Commission, in the same manner that state sales taxes are computed, collected and paid and the full enforcement provisions and all other provisions of Chapter 65, Title 27, Mississippi Code of 1972, shall apply as necessary to implementation and administration of this act.
(5) The proceeds of such tax shall be paid to the city on or before the fifteenth day of the month following the month in which collected.
(6) The proceeds of the tax shall not be considered by the city as general fund revenues, but shall be dedicated by the city solely for the purpose of carrying out the programs and activities of the authority and shall be transferred monthly into a special account for the use of the authority.
Section 7. (1) Upon receipt of a request to levy the special tax, the governing authorities shall adopt a resolution declaring its intention to levy the tax and shall conduct an election to determine if the qualified electors of the city desire such tax. The resolution shall set forth the amount of such tax and establish the date on which the tax initially shall be levied and collected, if approved by the qualified electors of the city.
(2) The advertisement of the notice of such election shall be published once a week for at least three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper published in the city with the first publication of such notice to be made not less than twenty-one (21) days prior to the date fixed for the election in the resolution declaring the intent to conduct an election to determine whether to levy such special tax and the last publication to be made not more than seven (7) days prior to such date. The governing authorities shall advertise their intent to levy a tax in a newspaper published in the city as provided herein. The advertisement shall be no less than one-fourth (1/4) page in size and the type used shall be no smaller than eighteen (18) point and surrounded by a one-fourth (1/4) inch solid black border. The advertisement may not be placed in that portion of the newspaper where legal notices and classified advertisements appear. The advertisement shall state that the governing authorities will meet on a certain day, time and place fixed in the advertisement, which shall be not less than seven (7) days after the day the first advertisement is published, for the purpose of hearing comments regarding the proposed tax levy and to explain the reasons for the proposed tax levy.
The form and content of the notice shall be as follows:
"NOTICE OF TAX LEVY (OR INCREASE)
The governing authorities of the City of Meridian have proposed to levy a tax to provide funds for the Meridian and Bonita Lakes Development Authority by (percentage of tax) percent of the gross receipts or gross income on the sales within the city of (a) all places where prepared food is served and where the gross proceeds of sales or gross income from the sales of prepared food for the preceding calendar year exceeds or equals Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00), and (b) all liquor and other alcoholic beverages sold for on-premises consumption or from a state-licensed retail package store.
All concerned citizens are invited to attend a public hearing on the proposed tax levy to be held on (date and time) at (meeting place)."
An election shall be held by the city, as far as is practicable, in the same manner as other elections are held in the city.
(3) At such election, all qualified electors of the city may vote, and the ballots used in such election shall have printed thereon a brief statement of the amount and purpose of such levy and the words "FOR THE SPECIAL LEVY" and "AGAINST THE SPECIAL LEVY" and the voters shall vote by placing a cross (x) or check (U) opposite their choice on the proposition.
(4) When the results of any such election shall have been canvassed by the election commissioners of the city and certified by them to the governing authorities, it shall be the duty of the governing authorities to adjudicate whether at least three-fifths (3/5) of the qualified electors who voted in such election voted in favor of such special levy. Unless at least three-fifths (3/5) of the qualified electors who voted thereon in such election shall have voted for the special levy, then such tax shall not be levied. Should at least three-fifths (3/5) of the qualified electors who voted thereon in such election vote in favor of the levy of such special tax, the governing authorities may levy such tax at such time and in such amount or amounts, not exceeding that specified in the notice of the election, as shall be deemed proper by the governing authorities.
Section 8. The governing authorities, upon receipt of a request from the authority to do so and after approval by an election, is hereby authorized to issue bonds, including the issuance of refunding bonds if deemed necessary, for the purposes set forth in this act or in conjunction with other projects authorized by the authority. The aggregate principal amount authorized for issuance under this act shall not exceed Twenty-two Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($22,500,000.00). No bonds issued under this act shall be restructured or refinanced unless approved by an election as provided for the original bond issuance by this act.
Section 9. Before issuing any bonds for any of the purposes enumerated in this act, the governing authorities shall adopt a resolution declaring its intention so to do, stating the amount of bonds proposed to be issued and the purpose for which the bonds are to be issued. Such resolution shall also specify the time for an election on the question of such bond issuance as provided by this act. Such resolution shall be published once a week for at least three (3) consecutive weeks in at least one (1) newspaper published in such city. The first publication of such resolution shall be made not less than twenty-one (21) days prior to the date fixed in such resolution for the election on the issuance of the bonds, and the last publication shall be made not more than seven (7) days prior to such date. The governing authorities shall advertise their intent to issue bonds in a newspaper published in the city as provided herein. The advertisement shall be no less than one-fourth (1/4) page in size and the type used shall be no smaller than eighteen (18) point and surrounded by a one-fourth (1/4) inch solid black border. The advertisement may not be placed in that portion of the newspaper where legal notices and classified advertisements appear. The advertisement shall state that the governing authorities will meet on a certain day, time and place fixed in the advertisement, which shall be not less than seven (7) days after the day the first advertisement is published, for the purpose of hearing comments regarding the proposed bond issue and to explain the reasons for the proposed bond issue.
The form and content of the notice shall be as follows:
"NOTICE OF BOND ISSUE
The governing authorities of the City of Meridian have proposed to issue bonds to provide funds for the Meridian and Bonita Lakes Development Authority in the amount of _____________.
All concerned citizens are invited to attend a public hearing on the proposed bond issuance to be held on (date and time) at (meeting place)."
Section 10. Such election shall be held, as far as is practicable, in the same manner as other elections are held in the city. At such election, all qualified electors of such city may vote, and the ballots used at such election shall have printed thereon a brief statement of the amount and purpose of the proposed bond issue and the words "FOR THE BOND ISSUE" and "AGAINST THE BOND ISSUE" and the voter shall vote by placing a cross (x) or check mark (U) opposite his choice on the proposition.
Section 11. When the results of the election on the question of the issuance of such bonds shall have been canvassed by the election commissioners of such city and certified by them to the governing authorities of such city, it shall be the duty of such governing authorities to determine and adjudicate whether or not three-fifths (3/5) of the qualified electors who voted in such election voted in favor of the issuance of such bonds. Unless three-fifths (3/5) of the qualified electors who voted in such election shall have voted in favor of the issuance of such bonds, then such bonds shall not be issued. Should three-fifths (3/5) of the qualified electors who vote in such election vote in favor of the issuance of such bonds, then the governing authorities of the city may issue such bonds, either in whole or in part, within two (2) years from the date of such election or within two (2) years after the final favorable termination of any litigation affecting the issuance of such bonds, as such governing authorities shall deem best.
Section 12. All bonds issued under authority of this act shall be limited obligations of the city, the principal of, redemption premium, if any, and interest on which shall be payable solely from and secured by a pledge of the proceeds of the tax imposed under this act and from any other funds made available to the city for such purpose by gift, or otherwise, and from the additional security, if any, obtained as provided herein. Bonds and interest coupons, if any, issued under authority of this act shall never constitute an indebtedness of the city within the meaning of any state constitutional provision or statutory limitation, and shall never constitute or give rise to a pecuniary liability of the city, or a charge against its general credit or taxing powers, which fact shall be plainly stated on the face of each such bond. All bonds issued under the authority of this act and all interest coupons, if any, applicable thereto shall be construed to be negotiable instruments, despite the fact that they are payable solely from a specified source.
Section 13. Bonds may be executed and delivered by the city at any time and from time to time, may be in such form and denominations and of such terms and maturities, may be in fully registered form, in bearer form registrable either as to principal or interest or both, may bear such conversion privileges and be payable in such installments and at such time or times not exceeding twenty (20) years from the date thereof, may be payable at such time or times and at such place or places, whether within or without the state, and evidenced in such manner, may bear interest at such rate or rates and may contain such provisions not inconsistent herewith, all as shall be provided in the proceedings of the governing authority pursuant to which the bonds are authorized to be issued. Bonds issued pursuant to this act shall not bear a greater overall maximum interest rate to maturity than that allowed in Section 75-17-101, Mississippi Code of 1972.
If deemed advisable by the governing authorities, there may be retained in the proceedings under which any bonds are authorized to be issued an option to redeem all or any part thereof as may be specified in such proceedings, at such price or prices and after such notice or notices and on such terms and conditions as may be set forth in such proceedings and briefly recited or referred to on the face of the bonds, but nothing herein contained shall be construed to confer on the city any right or option to redeem any bonds, except as may be provided in this act and in the proceedings under which they shall be issued.
Bonds issued under the authority of this act shall be sold for not less than par plus accrued interest at private sale or at public sale in the manner provided by Section 31-19-25, Mississippi Code of 1972. The city may pay from the proceeds of said issue all expenses, premiums and commissions which the governing authority may deem necessary or advantageous in connection with the issuance thereof, and pursuant to the provisions of this act, may employ such attorneys and investment bankers as may be necessary to market and deliver the bonds. The issuance by the city of one or more series of bonds shall not preclude it from issuing other series of bonds, but the proceedings whereunder any subsequent bonds may be issued shall recognize and protect any prior pledge made for any prior issue of bonds.
Section 14. (1) The bonds may be secured by a trust agreement by and between the city and a corporate trustee, which may be any trust company or bank incorporated under the laws of the United States or the laws of any state in the United States. Any such trust agreement may pledge or assign for the payment of the principal of, redemption premium, if any, and interest on the bonds, the revenues of the convention center or other improvements authorized by this act, the proceeds of the sales tax authorized herein, the additional security, if any, and any other type security which may be made available as security for the bonds.
(2) The trust agreement may provide for the creation and maintenance of such reserve funds as the governing authorities shall determine are reasonable and proper, including such sinking fund or funds as may be necessary to provide for the payment of the principal of, redemption premium, if any, and interest on the bonds. Any such trust agreement or any resolution providing for the issuance of bonds may contain such provisions for protecting and enforcing the rights and remedies of the holders thereof as may be reasonable and proper and not in violation of law, including the duties of the city and the authority in relation to the acquisition of property and the construction, improvement, equipping, furnishing, repair, operation and insurance of the convention center or other improvements authorized by this act or the revenues pledged as security for the bonds and the custody, safeguarding and application of all monies. Any such trust agreement may set forth the rights and remedies of the bondholders and of the corporate trustee, and may restrict the individual right of action by bondholders as is customary in trust agreements or trust indentures securing bonds and debentures of corporations. In addition to the foregoing, any such trust agreement may contain such provisions as the city may deem reasonable and proper for the security of the bondholders and may also contain provisions governing the issuance of bonds to replace lost, stolen or mutilated bonds.
(3) Any trust agreement made in accordance with the provisions of this act may contain a provision that, in the event of a default in the payment of principal of, redemption premium, if any, or the interest on bonds issued in accordance with, or relating to, such agreement, or in the performance of any agreement contained in the proceedings, trust agreement or instruments relating thereto, such payment and performance may be enforced by mandamus or by the appointment of a receiver in equity with power to charge and collect the revenues pledged to the payment of the bonds and to apply such revenues in accordance with such proceedings, trust agreement or instruments.
(4) The city is further authorized to enter into such agreements as may be necessary in order to obtain the additional security in order to enhance the marketability of the bonds.
Section 15. No bond issued hereunder shall bear more than one (1) rate of interest; each bond shall bear interest from its date to its stated maturity date at the interest rate specified on the bonds; all bonds of the same maturity shall bear the same rate of interest from date to maturity. All interest accruing on bonds issued hereunder shall be payable semiannually or annually, except that the first interest coupon attached to any such bond may be for any period not exceeding one (1) year. If the bonds are issued in coupon form, no interest payment shall be evidenced by more than one (1) coupon and neither cancelled nor supplemental coupons shall be permitted. The lowest interest rate specified for any bonds issued shall not be less than seventy percent (70%) of the highest interest rate specified for the same bond issue.
Section 16. Bonds issued under the authority of this act shall be executed on behalf of the city by the manual or facsimile signature of the mayor of the city, and shall be countersigned by the manual or facsimile signature of the clerk of the city; provided, however, that if the bonds are issued in coupon form, at least one (1) signature on each bond shall be manual and all coupons shall be executed on behalf of the city by the facsimile signatures of the mayor and the clerk of the city. If the officers whose signatures or countersignatures appear on the bonds or interest coupons shall cease to be such officers before delivery of the bonds, such signatures or countersignatures shall, nevertheless, be valid and sufficient for all purposes, the same as if said officials had remained in office until such delivery.
Section 17. Bonds issued under this act 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 shall be legal investments for commercial banks, savings and loan associations and insurance companies organized under the laws of the state.
Section 18. The bonds authorized by this act and the income therefrom shall be exempt from all taxation in the State of Mississippi.
Section 19. This act, without reference to any other statute, shall be deemed to be full and complete authority for the issuance of the aforesaid bonds, and shall be construed as an additional and alternative method therefor, and none of the present restrictions, requirements, conditions or limitations of law applicable to the issuance or sale of bonds, notes or other obligations by municipalities in the state shall apply to the issuance and sale of bonds under this act, and no proceedings shall be required for the issuance of such bonds other than those provided for and required herein, and all powers necessary to be exercised in order to carry out the provisions of this act are hereby conferred.
Section 20. Any bonds issued under the provisions of this act shall be validated in the manner provided by Chapter 13, Title 31, Mississippi Code of 1972.
Section 21. The governing authorities and authority are further authorized and empowered (a) to adopt any and all lawful resolutions, orders and ordinances, (b) to execute such documents, contracts, certificates, indentures and (c) to do and perform any and all acts and things necessary and requisite to carry out the purposes of this act.
Section 22. Before the expenditure of any funds authorized herein, a budget reflecting the anticipated receipts and expenditures shall be annually presented to the governing authorities. The first such budget shall cover the period beginning with the effective date of the levy of the tax and ending with the close of the city's fiscal year and thereafter the budget shall be on the same fiscal basis as the budget of the city.
Section 23. Accounting for receipts and expenditures of the funds herein described shall be made separately from the accounting of receipts and expenditures from the general fund and any other fund of the city. The records reflecting the receipts and expenditures of the funds shall be audited annually by an independent certified public accountant and such accountant shall make a written report of his audit to the governing authorities. Such audit shall be made and completed as soon as practicable after the close of the fiscal year and the expenses of the audit shall be paid from the funds of the authority. A copy of such audit shall also be forwarded to the State Department of Audit. The authority shall comply with all laws of the State of Mississippi governing purchases of goods, services or commodities applicable to municipalities in this state.
The authority shall submit an annual report of its activities to the governing authorities.
Section 24. The Mayor and City Council of the City of Meridian, the Board of Supervisors of Lauderdale County and the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the Town of Marion are hereby authorized to convey or lease any property, facilities or structures under their ownership or control to the authority for general occupancy and use by the authority. Any such conveyance shall contain a reverter clause conditioned upon condition broken or change of use.
Section 25. All contracts and purchasing authorized by this act shall comply with all state laws on bidding and with all state ethics laws.
Section 26. No person or any business associate or immediate family member of such person who within the last two (2) years has been or is presently a member of any local board, commission, agency or other organization which has been instrumental in the creation, advocation or design of any project authorized by this act which is funded in whole or in part by any tax dollars or bonds issued under this act shall be interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract, business transaction or derive any pecuniary benefit from any transaction as a result of the provisions of this act.
Section 27. Any attorney's fees paid as the result of the issuance of bonds under this act shall be in compliance with the existing limits on attorney's fees for bond issues as adopted by the State Bond Commission. No attorney's fees paid as the result of the issuance of bonds under this act shall be subject to negotiation and the limits established by the State Bond Commission shall be strictly enforced. A detailed accounting of all expenses incurred by all persons, firms, corporations, associations or other organizations involved in such bond issues shall be submitted to the members of The Meridian and Bonita Lakes Development Authority and to the members of the Meridian City Council.
Section 28. (1) All qualified attorneys residing in Lauderdale County, desiring to participate in the issuance of bonds under this act shall be afforded an equal opportunity to submit proposals to perform such functions, however, only qualified attorneys shall handle the issuance of bonds.
(2) All qualified certified public accountants shall be afforded an equal opportunity to submit proposals to perform auditing functions for the authority.
(3) All qualified architects and engineers shall be afforded equal opportunity to submit proposals to participate in areas of their expertise relative to this act.
(4) All qualified contractors shall be afforded an equal opportunity to bid on any contracts with the authority in compliance with all applicable bidding laws of the state.
Section 29. No member of the Legislature, elected official or appointed official, or any partner or associate of any member of the Legislature, elected official or appointed official, shall derive any income from the issuance of any bonds under this act contrary to the provisions of Section 109, Mississippi Constitution of 1890, or Article 3, Chapter 4, Title 25, Mississippi Code of 1972.
Section 30. The authority shall have its books audited annually, within a period of six (6) months after the close of its fiscal year, by a certified public accountant. The audit shall be performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards and the financial statements shall be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The audit report shall include supplemental schedules of expenditures for travel, salaries, legal and audit showing for each individual expenditure (a) to whom the expenditure was made, (b) the expenditure amount and (c) an explanation of why the expenditure was made. The audit report shall be published, within thirty (30) days after being received, in at least one (1) newspaper having general circulation in the city and/or county where the district is located.
Section 31. Unless agreed to in writing by the owner(s) of the real estate involved, any power of the authority to lease, purchase or otherwise acquire property outside the city limits of the City of Meridian under this act shall be exercised only after a petition to a court of competent jurisdiction and after adequate notice to any affected landowners has been provided. The court shall determine whether such lease, purchase or acquisition shall occur only after due process has been afforded to all parties affected. Reasonable compensation to any affected landowners shall be provided.
Section 32. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.