2000 Regular Session
To: Public Utilities; Ways and Means
By: Representative Franks
House Bill 1506
(As Sent to Governor)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 1, 2, 4 AND 5 OF CHAPTER 309, LAWS OF 1966, AS AMENDED BY CHAPTER 496, LAWS OF 1982, TO REDESIGNATE THE MANTACHIE NATURAL GAS DISTRICT AS THE NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI NATURAL GAS DISTRICT AND TO INCREASE THE LIMIT ON THE AMOUNT OF REVENUE BONDS THAT THE DISTRICT MAY ISSUE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 1, Chapter 309, Laws of 1966, as amended by Chapter 496, Laws of 1982, is amended as follows:
Section 1. The Northeast Mississippi Gas District is hereby created, said district being composed of the following described areas:
(a) All that part of Itawamba County, Mississippi, lying west of the Tombigbee River;
(b) That portion of Lee County lying within one-half (1/2) mile on either side of the center line of State Highway 363, extending a distance of five (5) miles west from the county line dividing Itawamba and Lee Counties;
(c) That portion of Lee County lying within one-half (1/2) mile on either side of the center line of U.S. Highway 78, extending a distance of five (5) miles west from the county line dividing Itawamba and Lee Counties, and the unincorporated community of Mooreville in Lee County; and
(d) That portion of Lee County lying within one-half (1/2) mile on either side of the center line of State Highway 371 (being the highway from Mantachie to Mooreville), extending a distance of five (5) miles southwest from the county line dividing Itawamba and Lee Counties.
SECTION 2. Section 2, Chapter 309, Laws of 1966, as amended by Chapter 496, Laws of 1982, is amended as follows:
Section 2. The said Northeast Mississippi Gas District shall be and is hereby declared to be a valid political subdivision of the State of Mississippi, with the power to sue and be sued and to contract and be contracted with.
SECTION 3. Section 4, Chapter 309, Laws of 1966, as amended by Chapter 496, Laws of 1982, is amended as follows:
Section 4. From and after the effective date of this act, the powers of the Northeast Mississippi Gas District shall be vested in and exercised by a board of commissioners consisting of three (3) residents of the district. The Governor shall appoint an interim board, the term of which shall expire upon completion of the construction of the district's natural gas transmission and distribution system and the election of a successor board as hereinafter provided.
Promptly upon the commencement of natural gas service by the district to not less than ten (10) individually billed users, the commissioners shall give notice to each user of an initial election to be held at a time not less than thirty (30) days nor more than sixty (60) days from such date. The notice shall state the time, place, and manner in which the users may vote upon the selection of the board to terms of one (1), two (2) and three (3) years by ballot of all users of the district. Such election shall be held in a manner and according to procedures to be established by rules and regulations adopted by the board prior to the giving of notice of such election, and a printed copy of such rules and regulations shall accompany the notice to be forwarded by regular mail to the users.
Rules and regulations for the conduct of the election shall provide for a method of nomination of commissioners, notice of such nominations to be provided to users not less than ten (10) days prior to the date upon which the election is to be held, along with a method of balloting by mail as well as personal attendance at the time and place of election, a method of balloting by proxy vote, and a method of making additional nominations by users in addition to any nominations proposed by the board of commissioners. The time of the election shall be fixed between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on a day of the week other than Sunday.
In this and all succeeding elections, each user of the district shall have one (1) vote; provided that when a billing is made to more than one (1) person at a single location, each such person shall be limited to casting a pro rata share of the one (1) vote to which the billing location is entitled.
Subsequent to the initial election, there shall be held an election annually on a date and in a manner substantially conforming to the initial election, except that in each annual election following the initial election, commissioners shall be elected to terms of three (3) years.
Vacancies in the office of commissioner during the interim period shall be filled by appointment of the Governor and, following the holding of the initial election, shall be filled for the unexpired term by the remaining commissioners.
SECTION 4. Section 5, Chapter 309, Laws of 1966, as amended by Chapter 496, Laws of 1982, is amended as follows:
Section 5. The board shall have the power to make such rules and regulations as it deems necessary to the operation of the district and the subsequent election of commissioners and shall possess, and is hereby granted all necessary power and authority to construct, acquire, improve, repair and extend a natural gas transmission and distribution system and to issue revenue bonds for such purposes. The amount of revenue bonds authorized to be issued shall not exceed an aggregate of Six Million Dollars ($6,000,000.00). Except as herein provided, all powers with respect to natural gas transmission and distribution systems granted to municipalities of this state by Sections 21-27-11 through 21-27-69, Mississippi Code of 1972, are hereby conferred upon and may be exercised within the district by the board as if the system and financing thereof as provided herein were pursuant to said sections.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.