2000 Regular Session
To: Environment Prot, Cons and Water Res
By: Senator(s) Dearing
Senate Bill 3053
(As Sent to Governor)
AN ACT TO CREATE THE "MISSISSIPPI STORM WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT ACT"; TO STATE THE FINDINGS OF THE LEGISLATURE; TO DEFINE CERTAIN TERMS; TO PROVIDE FOR THE CREATION OF A STORM WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT BY A SINGLE COUNTY OR MUNICIPALITY OR ANY COMBINATION OF COUNTIES AND/OR MUNICIPALITIES; TO PROVIDE FOR ADOPTION OF A RESOLUTION CREATING A DISTRICT; TO REQUIRE PUBLICATION OF THAT RESOLUTION; TO AUTHORIZE A REFERENDUM ON THE CREATION OF THE DISTRICT UPON FILING OF A PROTEST; TO AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT OF COSTS FOR THE CREATION OF A DISTRICT; TO PROVIDE FOR AN APPEAL OF A RESOLUTION OR ORDINANCE CREATING A DISTRICT; TO AUTHORIZE THE INCORPORATION OF A DISTRICT; TO PROVIDE FOR PUBLICATION OF THE INCORPORATION AGREEMENT; TO AUTHORIZE AMENDMENTS OF THE INCORPORATION AGREEMENT AND THE WITHDRAWAL OF A MEMBER OF THE DISTRICT; TO PROVIDE FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF A BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT AND FOR THEIR TERMS OF OFFICE AND COMPENSATION; TO AUTHORIZE THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS TO EXERCISE CERTAIN POWERS AND DUTIES; TO ALLOW PUBLIC AGENCIES TO CONTRACT WITH THE DISTRICT FOR FACILITIES AND SERVICES; TO AUTHORIZE THE GOVERNING BODY OF A COUNTY AND/OR A MUNICIPALITY TO EXERCISE THE POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN UPON REQUEST OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS; TO REQUIRE DISTRICTS TO FILE CERTAIN FINANCIAL REPORTS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Sections 1 through 22 of this act shall be known and cited as the "Mississippi Storm Water Management District Act."
SECTION 2. The Legislature hereby finds and declares that:
(a) Storm water may contain contaminants which can degrade surface water quality;
(b) Due to the volume of water and the rate of flow, storm water runoff can pose a flood hazard to public and private property;
(c) The proper management of storm water is of concern to all citizens and is an activity thoroughly affected with the public interest;
(d) In certain areas of the state, the health, safety and welfare of the people of this state require efficient management of storm water;
(e) Federal regulations require portions of some local governments to develop and implement storm water management programs;
(f) There is a need for proper planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of appropriate measures for the management of storm water; and
(g) There is a need to foster cooperation among local governments in addressing concerns resulting from storm water management, therefore it is necessary and desirable to authorize the creation of storm water management districts by counties and municipalities to plan for, design, acquire, construct, operate and maintain appropriate measures for management of storm water.
SECTION 3. Whenever used in Sections 1 through 22 of this act, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(a) "Board" means the board of commissioners of a district.
(b) "Cost of project" means:
(i) All costs of site preparation and other start-up costs;
(ii) All costs of construction;
(iii) All costs of real and personal property required for the purposes of the project and facilities related thereto, including land and any rights or undivided interest therein, easements, franchises, fees, utility charges, permits, approvals, licenses, and certificates and the securing of any permits, approvals, licenses, and certificates and all machinery and equipment, including motor vehicles which are used for project functions;
(iv) All costs of engineering, geotechnical, architectural and legal services;
(v) All costs of plans and specifications and all expenses necessary or incident to determining the feasibility or practicability of the project;
(vi) Administrative expenses; and
(vii) Any other expenses as may be necessary or incidental to the project financing.
(c) "County" means any county of this state.
(d) "Designated representative" or "incorporator" means the person named by resolution of the governing body of a county or municipality as the representative of that unit of local government for the purpose of acting on their behalf as an incorporator in concert with other similarly named persons in the creation and incorporation of a storm water management district under Sections 1 through 22 of this act.
(e) "District" means a storm water management district created under Sections 1 through 22 of this act.
(f) "Ditch" means any branch or lateral drain, tile drain, levee, sluiceway, water course, floodgate, and any other construction work found necessary for the reclamation of wet and overflowed lands.
(g) "Facilities" mean any structure, building, ditch, pipe, channel, improvement, land, or other real or personal property used or useful in storm water management system under Sections 1 through 22 of this act.
(h) "Governing body" means the elected or duly appointed officials constituting the governing body of a municipality or county.
(i) "Incorporation agreement" means that agreement between the designated representatives of various units of local government setting forth the formal creation of a storm water management district created under Sections 1 through 22 of this act.
(j) "Member" means a unit of local government participating in a district.
(k) "Municipality" means any incorporated city, town or village in this state.
(l) "Project" means the collection, conveyance, retention, detention and any other portion of a storm water management system and any property, real or personal, used as or in connection with those purposes.
(m) "Public agency" means any municipality, county, political subdivision, governmental district or unit, public institution of higher learning, community college district, planning and development district, or any body politic and corporate or governmental agency created under the laws of the state.
(n) "State" means the State of Mississippi.
(o) "Storm water" means any flow occurring during or following any form of natural precipitation and resulting from that precipitation.
(p) "Storm water management system" means a system which is designed and constructed, implemented or operated to control storm water discharges to prevent or reduce flooding, over drainage or water pollution or to otherwise affect the quantity or quality of discharges from the system. The storm water management system includes all pipes, channels, ditches, streams, wetlands, detention or retention basins, ponds or other storm water conveyance or treatment facilities.
(q) "Unit of local government" means any county or municipality of the state.
SECTION 4. (1) (a) Any single unit of local government or any combination of units of local government may create a district.
(b) If any unit of local government is located within an existing district, then the unit of local government shall petition the district to provide a service or function needed by the petitioning unit, if the service or function is one which the district has the power and authority to perform. Upon receipt of the petition, the district shall have ninety (90) days within which to respond affirmatively to the petition, setting forth its intent to meet the need or perform the service or function and its plan to meet the need or perform the service or function. If the existing district does not affirmatively respond in a timely fashion, then the petitioning unit of local government may form a district as provided in Sections 1 through 22 of this act.
(c) The district may include any geographic area within the boundaries of any interested unit of local government.
(d) A district may be formed although adequate water supply, flood control, drainage or other water or wastewater management activities are being undertaken by one or more of the units of local government interested in creating a district or by another public agency existing and operating within the geographical area of the district.
(2) Creation of a district shall be initiated by ordinance or resolution duly adopted by the governing body of each unit of local government. The ordinance or resolution shall state: (a) the necessity for the proposed district; (b) the primary function of the proposed district; (c) the geographic boundaries of the proposed district within the jurisdiction of the unit of local government; (d) the names and geographic boundaries of any other units of local government proposing to be in the district; (e) the date upon which the governing body intends to create the district; (f) the estimated cost of projects to be conducted and maintained by the district; however the estimate shall not serve as a limitation upon the financing of any project or to invalidate any ordinance or resolution adopted under this section; (g) the name of a designated representative of the unit of local government to enter into an incorporation agreement with the other units of local government, if applicable; and (h) any other information reasonably necessary to inform the constituency of the unit of local government of the purpose and proposed obligations of the unit of local government and other units of local government, if applicable, proposing to create the district.
(3) The governing body of the unit of local government may hold a public meeting or public hearing on the necessity for creation of the district. The governing body shall provide notice in the manner provided under Section 5 of this act of any public meeting or public hearing.
SECTION 5. (1) A certified copy of the adopted resolution or ordinance shall be published in a newspaper having a general circulation within the proposed district once a week for at least three (3) consecutive weeks before the date specified in the resolution or ordinance as the date upon which the governing body intends to create the district. The first publication of the notice shall be made not less than twenty-one (21) days before the date specified, and the last publication shall be made not more than seven (7) days before the date.
(2) If twenty percent (20%) or fifteen hundred (1500), whichever is less, of the qualified electors within the geographic boundaries of the proposed district file a written petition with the governing body before the date specified in the resolution or ordinance under Section 4(2) of this act protesting the creation of the district, the governing body shall call an election on the question of the creation of the district. The election shall be held and conducted by the election commissioners of the county or municipality as nearly as may be in accordance with the general laws governing elections. The election commissioners shall determine which of the qualified electors of the county or municipality reside within geographic boundaries of the proposed district, and only those qualified electors as reside within the geographic boundaries of the proposed district shall be entitled to vote in the election. Notice of the election setting forth the time, place or places, and purpose of the election shall be published by the clerk of the board of supervisors or the municipal clerk, as the case may be. The notice shall be published for the time and in the manner provided in subsection (1) of this section. The ballot to be prepared for and used at the election shall be in substantially the following form:
"FOR CREATION OF __________ DISTRICT: ( )
AGAINST CREATION OF __________ DISTRICT: ( )"
Voters shall vote by placing a cross mark (x) or check mark (U) opposite their choice.
SECTION 6. If no petition requiring an election is filed or if three-fifths (3/5) of those voting in the election provided in Section 5 of this act vote in favor of the creation of the district, the governing body shall adopt a resolution or ordinance authorizing the creation of the district.
SECTION 7. All costs incident to the publication of the notices, election and all other costs of meeting the requirements of this act shall be paid by the governing body.
SECTION 8. Any party having an interest in the subject matter and aggrieved or prejudiced by the findings and adjudication of the governing body may appeal to the circuit court of the county in the manner provided by law for appeals from orders of the board of supervisors or municipal authorities in Section 11-51-75. However, if no appeal is taken within fifteen (15) days after the date of the adoption of the resolution or ordinance in Section 6 of this act, the creation of the district within the jurisdiction of that unit of local government shall be final and shall not be subject to attack in any court after that time.
SECTION 9. (1) Within thirty (30) days following the adoption of the final authorizing resolution or ordinances, the designated representatives shall proceed to incorporate a district by filing for record in the office of the chancery clerk of the participating counties and/or the clerk of participating municipalities, as the case may be, and the Secretary of State an incorporation agreement approved by each member. The agreement shall comply in form and substance with the requirements of this section and shall be executed in the manner provided in Sections 1 through 22 of this act.
(2) The incorporation agreement of a district shall state:
(a) The name of each participating unit of local government and the date on which the governing bodies thereof adopted an authorizing resolution or ordinance;
(b) The name of the district which must include the words "_______________ Storm Water Management District," the blank spaces to be filled in with the name of one or more of the members or other geographically descriptive term. If the Secretary of State determines that the name is identical to the name of any other corporation organized under the laws of the state or so nearly similar as to lead to confusion and uncertainty, the incorporators may insert additional identifying words so as to eliminate any duplication or similarity;
(c) The period for the duration of the district;
(d) The location of the principal office of the district which shall be within the geographic boundaries of the district;
(e) That the district is organized under Sections 1 through 22 of this act;
(f) The board setting forth the number of commissioners, terms of office and the vote of each commissioner;
(g) If the exercise by the district of any of its powers is to be in any way prohibited, limited or conditioned, a statement of the terms of that prohibition, limitation or condition;
(h) Any provisions relating to the vesting of title to its properties upon its dissolution which shall be vested in any member; and
(i) Any other related matters relating to the district that the incorporators may choose to insert and that are not inconsistent with Sections 1 through 22 of this act or with the laws of the state.
(3) The incorporation agreement shall be signed and acknowledged by the incorporators before an officer authorized by the laws of the state to take acknowledgements. When the incorporation agreement is filed for record, there shall be attached to it a certified copy of the authorizing resolution or ordinance adopted by the governing body of each member.
(4) The incorporators shall publish a notice of incorporation once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a daily newspaper or newspapers having general circulation throughout the area to be served.
(5) Upon the filing for record of the agreement and the required documents, the district shall come into existence and shall constitute a public corporation under the name set forth in the incorporation agreement. The Secretary of State shall issue a certificate of incorporation to the district.
(6) Upon issuance of the certificate of incorporation, the district shall be a public body corporate and politic constituting a political subdivision of the state with the power of perpetual succession and shall be deemed to be acting in all respects for the benefit of the people of the state in the performance of essential public functions. The district shall be empowered in accordance with Sections 1 through 22 of this act to promote the health, welfare and prosperity of the general public.
SECTION 10. (1) The incorporation agreement of any district may be amended in the manner provided in this section. The board of the district shall first adopt a resolution proposing an amendment to the incorporation agreement. The amendment shall be set forth in full in the resolution and may include any matters which might have been included in the original incorporation agreement.
(2) After the adoption of the resolution by the board, the chairman of the board and the secretary of the district shall file a certified copy of the resolution and a signed written application in the name of and on behalf of the district, under its seal, with the governing body of each member, requesting the governing body to adopt a resolution approving the proposed amendment. As promptly as may be practicable after the filing of the application with the governing body, that governing body shall review the application and shall adopt a resolution or ordinance either denying the application or authorizing the proposed amendment. Any resolution or ordinance shall be published in a newspaper or newspapers as provided in Section 5 of this act. The governing body shall cause a copy of the application and all accompanying documents to be spread upon or otherwise made a part of the minutes of the meeting of the governing body at which final action upon the application is taken. The incorporation agreement may be amended only after the adoption of a resolution or ordinance by two-thirds (2/3) of the governing bodies of the members.
(3) Within thirty (30) days following the adoption of the last adopted resolution approving the proposed amendment, the chairman of the board and the secretary of the district shall sign, and file for record in the office of the chancery clerk and/or municipal clerk with which the incorporation agreement of the district was originally filed and the Secretary of State, a certificate in the name of and in behalf of the district, under its seal, reciting the adoption of the respective resolutions or ordinance by the board and by the governing body of each member and setting forth the amendment. The chancery clerk for the county and/or municipal clerk for the municipality shall record the certificate in an appropriate book in the clerk's office. When the certificate has been so filed and recorded, the amendment shall become effective. No incorporation agreement of a district shall be amended except in the manner provided in this section.
(4) Any member of a district may withdraw from the district by submitting a resolution to the board requesting an amendment to the incorporation agreement under subsection (1) of this section. Upon compliance with the requirements of subsections (1) through (3) of this section and payment of its pro rata share of any indebtedness, costs, expenses or obligations of the district outstanding at the time of withdrawal, the amendment may become effective upon adoption of a resolution by the board. The withdrawal of a member shall not operate to impair, invalidate, release or abrogate any contract, lien, bond, permit, indebtedness or obligation of the district, except to relieve the withdrawing member from further financial obligation to the district.
(5) Any party having an interest in the subject matter and aggrieved by an action of a governing body under subsections (2) and (4) of this section, may appeal that action in the manner and within the time limitations provided in Section 8 of this act.
SECTION 11. (1) All powers of the district shall be vested in the board of commissioners.
(2) If the district is composed of a single member, the governing body of that county or municipality shall serve as the board of commissioners of the district and shall exercise those powers and duties granted to the board under Sections 1 through 22 of this act.
(3) If the district is composed of two (2) or more members, each member of the district shall have at least one (1) commissioner on the board. The board shall contain an odd number of commissioners:
(a) The incorporators shall, in the incorporation agreement, designate the vote of each commissioner based upon pro rata population or any other criteria as the incorporators may determine. In the alternative, the incorporators, in the incorporation agreement, may authorize appointments to the board by the members to reflect population, or any other criteria as the incorporators may determine. Within thirty (30) days after the effective date of the incorporation agreement, the governing body of each member shall appoint a commissioner or commissioners to the board as determined by the incorporation agreement. All vacancies shall be filled by appointment in the same manner as the original appointment.
(b) Each commissioner shall serve at the will and pleasure of the appointing governing body and for any term established by the appointing governing body.
(c) The governing body of each member shall appoint a commissioner or commissioners from among the elected officials serving on the governing body of the respective county or municipality.
(4) The board of commissioners shall annually elect a chairman and a vice chairman. The chairman shall preside at all meetings of the board and act as the chief executive officer of the board and of the district, unless otherwise determined by the board. The vice chairman shall act in the absence or disability of the chairman. A majority of the membership of the board shall constitute a quorum. Except as otherwise provided by law, all official acts of the board shall require an affirmative vote by a majority of those commissioners present and voting.
(5) The number of commissioners on the board shall be increased by at least one (1), as provided in an amended incorporation agreement, each time a county or municipality enters into membership. The board shall establish the vote or number of commissioners based upon the same terms as the original incorporation agreement. Within fifteen (15) days after becoming a member, the governing body of the new member shall appoint a commissioner or commissioners to the board.
(6) If the district is composed of three (3) or more members, the board may appoint an executive committee to be composed of not less than three (3) persons. No member shall have more than one (1) representative on the executive committee. The chairman of the board shall serve as chairman of the executive committee. The executive committee may execute all powers vested in the full board between meetings of the board. A majority shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. All actions of the executive committee must be ratified by a majority of the board at a regular or called meeting of the board.
(7) (a) The board may employ any personnel and appoint and prescribe the duties of any officers as the board deems necessary or advisable, including a general manager and a secretary of the district. The board may require any of its employees to be bonded. The cost of any bond required by this section or by the board shall be paid from funds of the district.
(b) The general manager may also serve as secretary and shall be a person of good moral character and of proven ability as an administrator with a minimum of five (5) years' experience in the management and administration of a public works operation or comparable experience which may include, but is not limited to, supervision, public financing, regulatory codes and related functions as minimum qualifications to administer the programs and duties of the district. The general manager shall administer, manage and direct the affairs and business of the district, subject to the policies, control and direction of the board. The general manager shall give bond executed by a surety company or companies authorized to do business in this state in the penal sum of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) payable to the district conditioned upon the faithful performance of that person's duties and the proper accounting for all funds.
(c) The secretary shall keep a record of the proceedings of the board and the district and shall be custodian of all books, documents and papers filed with the district, the minute book or journal and the official seal. The secretary may make copies of all minutes and other records and documents of the district and to certify under the seal of the district that the copies are true and accurate copies, and all persons dealing with the district may rely upon those certificates.
(8) Regular meetings of the board shall be held as set forth in its rules or regulations for management of the district's business and affairs. Additional meetings of the board shall be held at the call of the chairman or whenever a majority of commissioners so request.
(9) Upon express and prior authorization by the board, each commissioner may receive reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred for attending each day's meeting of the board and for each day spent in attending to the business of the district as provided by Section 25-3-41. Each commissioner shall not be entitled to per diem or any additional compensation other than that specifically provided for in this subsection.
(10) The board shall prepare a budget for the district for each fiscal year at least ninety (90) days before the beginning of that fiscal year. The fiscal year shall be from July 1 to June 30 of each year. The board shall submit the budget to the governing body of each member.
SECTION 12. The board may contract with any member to provide support services. Any member may contract with or as part of their service contract with the district to provide any staff support, administrative and operational services as it deems advisable and on any terms as may be mutually agreed.
SECTION 13. The district shall have all the rights and powers necessary or convenient to carry out the purposes of Sections 1 through 22 of this act, including, but not limited to, the following:
(a) To sue and be sued in its own name;
(b) To adopt an official seal and alter the seal at its pleasure;
(c) To maintain an office or offices at any place or places within the geographic boundaries of its members as it may determine;
(d) To acquire, construct, improve, or modify, to operate or cause to be operated and maintained, either as owner of all or of any part in common with others, a storm water management system within the counties or municipalities in the district. The district may pay all or part of the cost of any storm water management system from any contribution by persons, firms, public agencies or corporations. The district may receive, accept, and use all funds, public or private and pay all cost of development, implementation and maintenance as may be determined as necessary for any project;
(e) To acquire, in its own name, by purchase on any terms and conditions and in any manner as it may deem proper, except by eminent domain, property for public use, or by gift, grant, lease, or otherwise, real property or easements therein, franchises and personal property necessary or convenient for its corporate purposes. These purposes shall include, but are not limited to, the constructing or acquiring of a storm water management system; the improving, extending, reconstructing, renovating, or remodeling of any existing storm water management system or part thereof; or the demolition to make room for any project or any part thereof. The district may insure the storm water management system against all risks as any insurance may, from time to time, be available. The district may also use any property and rent or lease any property to or from others, including public agencies, or make contracts for the use of the property. The district may sell, lease, exchange, transfer, assign, pledge, mortgage or grant a security interest for any property. The powers to acquire, use, and dispose of property as set forth in this paragraph shall include the power to acquire, use, and dispose of any interest in that property, whether divided or undivided. Title to any property of the district shall be held by the district exclusively for the benefit of the public;
(f) To adopt, modify, repeal and promulgate rules and regulations implementing or effectuating the powers and duties of the district under any statute within the district's jurisdiction, and where otherwise not prohibited by federal or state law, to make exceptions to and grant variances and exemptions from, and to enforce those rules and regulations. Those rules and regulations may include, but shall not be limited to, rules and regulations for (i) the management of the district's business and affairs; (ii) the use, operation, maintenance or implementation of the district's storm water management system or any portion of that system, facility or any other property owned or operated by the district; and (iii) specifications and standards relating to the planning, design or construction of the storm water management system or any facility owned or operated by the district;
(g) To enter into contracts or leases with any person or public agency and to execute all instruments necessary or convenient for construction, operation, and maintenance of the storm water management system and leases of projects. Without limiting the generality of the above, authority is specifically granted to units of local government and to the district to enter into contracts, lease agreements, or other undertaking relative to the furnishing of storm water management system services or facilities or both by the district to a unit of local government and by a unit of local government to the district;
(h) To exercise any powers, rights, or privileges conferred by Sections 1 through 22 of this act either alone or jointly or in common with any other public or private parties. In any exercise of any powers, rights, and privileges jointly or in common with others for the construction, operation, and maintenance of facilities, the district may own an undivided interest in any facilities with any other party with which it may jointly or in common exercise the rights and privileges conferred by Sections 1 through 22 of this act and may enter into any agreement with respect to any facility with any other party participating in those facilities. An agreement may contain any terms, conditions, and provisions, consistent with this section, as the parties to the agreement shall deem to be in their best interest, including, but not limited to, provisions for the planning, design, construction, operation, implementation and maintenance of any facility by any party to an agreement. Any party or parties shall be designated in or under any agreement as agent or agents on behalf of itself and one or more of the other parties to the agreement, or by any other means as may be determined by the parties. The agreement shall include a method or methods of determining and allocating, among the parties, costs of planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance, renewals, replacements, improvements, and disposal related to any facility. In carrying out its functions and activities as an agent with respect to planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of any facility, the agent shall be governed by the laws and regulations applicable to that agent as a separate legal entity and not by any laws or regulations which may be applicable to any of the other participating parties. The agent shall act for the benefit of the public. In any agreement, the district may delegate its powers and duties related to the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of any facility to the party acting as agent and all actions taken by that agent in accordance with the agreement may be binding upon the district without further action or approval of the district;
(i) To apply, contract for, accept, receive and administer gifts, grants, appropriations, and donations of money, materials, and property of any kind, including loans and grants from the United States, the state, a unit of local government, or any agency, department, authority, or instrumentality of any of the foregoing, upon any terms and conditions as the United States, the state, a unit of local government, or any agency, department, authority, or instrumentality shall impose. The district may administer trusts. The district may sell, lease, transfer, convey, appropriate and pledge any and all of its property and assets;
(j) To employ professional and administrative staff and personnel and to retain legal, engineering, fiscal, accounting and other professional services;
(k) To assume or continue any contractual or other business relationships entered into by the municipalities or counties who are members of the district, including the rights to receive and acquire transferred rights under option to purchase agreements;
(l) To enter on public or private lands, waters, or premises for the purpose of making surveys, borings or soundings, or conducting tests, examinations or inspections for the purposes of the district, subject to responsibility for any damage done to property entered;
(m) To do and perform any acts and things authorized by Sections 1 through 22 of this act under, through or by means of its officers, agents and employees, or by contracts with any person; and
(n) To do and perform any and all acts or things necessary, convenient or desirable for the purposes of the district, or to carry out any power expressly granted in Sections 1 through 22 of this act.
SECTION 14. (1) Any regulations or best management practices adopted by the board under this act, shall be no more stringent or extensive in scope, coverage or effect than the regulations and best management practices promulgated or recommended by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
(2) If federal regulations or recommended best management practices do not address any matter relating to a storm water management system, the board may adopt or promulgate appropriate regulations or best management practices to address those matters.
SECTION 15. The governing body of a member may exercise the power of eminent domain, upon written request of the board of commissioners, for the particular purpose of the acquisition of property for the district's storm water management system. The power of eminent domain shall be exercised as provided in Chapter 27, Title 11, Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 16. (1) Any public agency may, in accordance with a duly adopted resolution or ordinance, contract with the district for the district to acquire, construct or provide facilities and projects to be owned by the district for furnishing storm water management and related services to the public agency or to users within the boundaries of the public agency. The public agency shall be obligated to make payments which shall be sufficient to enable the district to meet its expenses, and payments into funds for operation, maintenance and renewals and replacements. The contracts may also contain other terms and conditions as the district and the public agency may determine. Any contract may be for a term covering the life of the facilities or for any other term or for an indefinite period.
(2) Contracts may provide for payments in the form of contributions to defray the cost of any purpose set forth in the contracts and as advances for any facilities subject to repayment by the district. A public agency may make those contributions or advances from its general fund, general obligation bond proceeds, or surplus fund or from any monies legally available therefor. The entering into of any contract under this section shall not constitute the incurring of a debt by a public agency within the meaning of any constitutional or statutory limitations on debts of the state or units of local government.
SECTION 17. The district may at the direction of the governing bodies of the participating units of local government submit a storm water management plan as required state or federal environmental rules and regulations. The district may also provide services and facilities for implementation of the storm water management plan.
SECTION 18. For the purpose of attaining the objectives of Sections 1 through 22 of this act, any public agency may, upon any terms as it may determine, do any of the following:
(1) Lend, contribute, or donate money to any district or perform services for the benefit of the district;
(2) Donate, sell, convey, transfer, lease or grant to any district, without the necessity of authorization at any election of qualified voters, any property of any kind, where otherwise not prohibited by law; and
(3) Do any thing, whether or not specifically authorized in this section, not otherwise prohibited by law, that is necessary or convenient to aid and cooperate with any district in attaining the objectives of Sections 1 through 22 of this act.
SECTION 19. The property and revenue of the district shall be exempt from all state, county and municipal taxation.
SECTION 20. Within ninety (90) days after the close of each fiscal year, the board of commissioners shall publish in a newspaper of general circulation in the county a sworn statement showing the financial condition of the district. The statement shall also be filed with the governing body of each member of the district.
SECTION 21. This act shall not be construed to authorize a district to deny access to the storm water management system or any portion of that system to any person holding a valid water pollution control permit or coverage under a general permit from the Environmental Quality Permit Board.
SECTION 22. Sections 1 through 22 of this act, without reference to any other statute, shall be deemed to be full and complete authority for the creation of a district. No proceedings shall be required for the creation of a district other than those provided for and required in this act. All the necessary powers to be exercised by the governing body of a county or municipality and by the board of commissioners of any district, in order to carry out this act, are hereby conferred.
SECTION 23. Sections 1 through 22 of this act shall be codified as a new chapter in Title 51, Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 24. The Attorney General of the State of Mississippi shall submit this act, immediately upon approval by the Governor, or upon approval by the Legislature subsequent to a veto, to the Attorney General of the United States or to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in accordance with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.
SECTION 25. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.