2005 Regular Session
To: Public Property
By: Senator(s) Gollott, Hewes, Cuevas, Lee (47th), Dawkins
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 55-24-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE MISSISSIPPI COAST COLISEUM COMMISSION TO SELL, EXCHANGE OR LEASE ITS SURPLUS REAL PROPERTY BY MEANS OF COMPETITIVE BIDS OR RESOLUTION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 55-24-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
55-24-9. The Mississippi Coast Coliseum Commission, a political subdivision of the State of Mississippi, shall have jurisdiction and authority over all matters relating to establishing, promoting, developing, locating, constructing, maintaining and operating a multipurpose coliseum and related facilities within Harrison County, Mississippi. Multipurpose coliseum and related facilities shall include a multipurpose coliseum or arena facility, a convention center and/or a fine arts center. Such commission is authorized to acquire lands by purchase, gift or the exercise of eminent domain as provided by Section 11-27-1 et seq., above or below mean high-water mark. The acquisition of lands below mean high-water mark by the commission for the purposes authorized herein are declared to be in all respects for the benefit of the people of the State of Mississippi, a public purpose, and an essential governmental function in the exercise of the powers conferred upon them by said act.
Said commission, acting on behalf of the State of Mississippi, shall have the right to reclaim submerged lands for the purpose of constructing a coliseum and related facilities thereon, and to acquire in its name on behalf of the state any estate or property right therein or in other land necessary to the purpose of this chapter by purchase, gift, deed or other transfer. Title to all oil, gas and other minerals in, on or under any lands, title to which is held by the State of Mississippi on August 8, 1968, shall be reserved unto the State of Mississippi, and all income derived from the sale or lease of such minerals shall inure to the benefit of the State of Mississippi for such purposes as the Legislature may direct. Provided, that prior to utilization of lands in which title vests in the State of Mississippi, a description of such land shall be submitted to the Department of Finance and Administration and said utilization shall not be commenced until or unless approval of such utilization is given by the Department of Finance and Administration.
The commission is authorized to own, furnish, equip and operate said coliseum and all facilities and equipment necessary or useful in the operation of said coliseum, to receive and expend, subject to the provisions of this chapter, revenues from any source, including the operation of the said coliseum and related facilities, and to do all other things necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter. It is the intent of the Legislature that no General Fund appropriations shall ever be made for the operation and maintenance of such facilities operated under the provisions of this chapter or for the cost of administration.
The commission is authorized and directed to adopt uniform rules and regulations regarding the granting of franchises, licenses or leases, or the use, operation and maintenance of the premises, and to publish the same for three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper having a general circulation in the county and fixing a time and place not more than ten (10) days after the last publication to receive and hear objections to such rules and regulations. In addition, a copy of such rules and regulations or any revisions or amendments thereto shall be filed with the Clerk of the Harrison County Board of Supervisors and with the Director of the Department of Finance and Administration of the State of Mississippi. The commission may revise or amend such rules and regulations but such revisions shall be uniform and shall not be adopted unless the commission shall publish the proposed change three (3) consecutive weeks in a paper having a general circulation in the county, and fixing a time and place not more than ten (10) days after the last publication to receive and hear objections to such changes.
Before granting any franchise, license or lease, the commission shall first publish its intent to grant such franchise, license or lease and the conditions upon which same shall be granted. Such publication shall be made for three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper having a general circulation in Harrison County. All bids received shall be sealed, and shall be opened at a date, time and place set forth in the publications, which date shall not be less than five (5) days nor more than ten (10) days after the last publication.
Unless the commission shall find that the successful bidder cannot demonstrate financial responsibility to comply with the terms and conditions of the franchise, license or lease, or cannot perform the services required thereunder, it shall, subject to the limitations set forth under this chapter, grant said franchise, license or lease to the bidder whose proposal shall be in the best financial interest of the commission. Provided, however, should the apparent successful bid be rejected for the reasons hereinabove set out, such rejection shall not be effective unless such decision is concurred in by the Department of Finance and Administration.
No such franchise, license or lease shall exceed a term of five (5) years but may, at the option of the commission, be extended under previously agreed and bid terms and conditions for a period not to exceed five (5) additional years.
Any person aggrieved by any action of the commission may appeal to the Circuit Court of Harrison County in the manner provided for appeals from orders of the board of supervisors.
The commission is granted the power to sue and be sued in its own name, and the commission is hereby authorized to take liability insurance on the operation of said facilities in an amount equal to the extent of its liability for claims or causes of action arising from acts or omissions as provided in Section 11-46-15, Mississippi Code of 1972; provided, however, that immunity from suit is only waived to the extent of such liability insurance carried, and a judgment creditor shall have recourse only to the proceeds or right to proceeds of such liability insurance. No attempt shall be made in the trial of any case to suggest the existence of any insurance which covers in whole or in part any judgment or award rendered in favor of a claimant, but if the verdict rendered by the jury exceeds the limit of applicable insurance, the court on motion shall reduce the amount of said judgment to a sum equal to the applicable limit stated in the insurance policy.
The commission is granted the power to invest funds credited to the Mississippi Coast Coliseum Commission Operating Fund. The commission is vested with authority to designate depositories of its funds, and to deposit said funds in interest-bearing accounts. Provided, however, all funds in excess of ninety (90) days' operating expenses, to the extent practicable, shall be invested in Treasury bills or in interest-bearing accounts or approved securities to include, but not limited to, U.S. Treasury bills and U.S. Treasury notes and bonds, federal agency securities or mortgage-backed securities guaranteed as to repayment of principal by said government or an agency of said government, certificates of deposit fully covered by insurance administered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or covered by pledged securities, repurchase agreements and short-term money market funds invested in United States Government and United States Government agencies.
The commission is authorized to contract with any agency of the United States or the State of Mississippi for a loan or grant, and to give such agency any assurances of compliance with federal or state laws which are not in conflict with the laws of the State of Mississippi. It is the intent and purpose of this chapter that the Coliseum Commission cooperate with agencies administering the National Seashore Act of 1970.
Whenever any real property belonging to the commission shall cease to be used or needed for the commission's purposes, the commission may sell, exchange or lease the property on such terms as the commission may elect. The deed of conveyance in such transactions shall be executed in the name of the commission by its commissioners pursuant to their order issued on the minutes of their meetings. In any sale, exchange or lease of real property, the commission shall retain all mineral rights that it owns, together with the right of ingress and egress to remove same. Before any sale, exchange or lease is made, the commissioners shall publish at least once each week for three (3) consecutive weeks, in a public newspaper of Harrison County, Mississippi, the intention to sell, exchange or lease, as the case may be, the real property and to accept sealed competitive bids for the sale, exchange or lease. The commissioners shall thereafter accept bids for the sale, exchange or lease and shall sell, exchange or lease the property to the highest bidder in the manner provided by law. However, whenever the commissioners shall find and determine, by resolution duly and lawfully adopted and spread upon its minutes, (a) that any commission owned real property is no longer needed for commission purposes and is not to be used in the operation of a multipurpose coliseum and related facilities, (b) that the sale, exchange or lease of such property in the manner otherwise provided for herein is not necessary or desirable for the financial welfare of a multipurpose coliseum and related facilities, and (c) that the use of such property for the purpose for which it is to be sold, exchanged or leased will promote and foster the development and improvement of the coliseum and its related facilities, the commissioners shall be authorized and empowered in their discretion to sell, exchange or lease the property without having to advertise for and accept competitive bids. In any case in which the commission proposes to sell, exchange or lease real property under the provisions of this section without advertising for accepting competitive bids, consideration for the sale, exchange or lease of the property shall be not less than the average of the fair market price for the property as determined by three (3) professional property appraisers selected by the commission and approved by the purchaser, lessee or devisee. Appraisal fees shall be shared equally by the commission and the purchaser, lessee or devisee.
The enumeration of any specific rights and powers contained herein or elsewhere in this chapter where followed by general powers shall not be construed in the restrictive sense but rather in as broad and comprehensive sense as possible to effectuate the purposes and intent of this chapter.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.