2005 Regular Session
To: Local and Private; Finance
By: Senator(s) Tollison
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 971, LOCAL AND PRIVATE LAWS OF 1974, TO REVISE THE MEMBERSHIP AND TERMS OF THE AUTHORITY; TO CHANGE THE NAME OF OXFORD-LAFAYETTE COUNTY RECREATIONAL DISTRICT TO THE LAFAYETTE-OXFORD RECREATIONAL AUTHORITY; TO LIMIT THE NUMBER OF CONSECUTIVE TERMS THAT THE CHAIRMAN OF THE AUTHORITY MAY SERVE; TO GRANT THE AUTHORITY CERTAIN ADDITIONAL POWERS AND DUTIES; TO PROVIDE FOR AN ANNUAL INDEPENDENT AUDIT OF THE AUTHORITY; TO AUTHORIZE THE CITY OF OXFORD, MISSISSIPPI, AND LAFAYETTE COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI, TO DONATE SERVICES AND PERSONNEL TO THE AUTHORITY; TO INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF THE AD VALOREM TAX THAT MAY BE LEVIED BY THE COUNTY TO SUPPORT THE AUTHORITY; TO PROVIDE THAT THE TAX MAY BE LEVIED IF 60% OF THE VOTERS VOTING IN AN ELECTION CALLED FOR SUCH PURPOSE VOTE IN FAVOR OF THE TAX; TO AUTHORIZE THE COUNTY TO ISSUE BONDS TO DEFRAY THE COST OF ACQUIRING, FURNISHING AND EQUIPPING RECREATIONAL FACILITIES FOR THE AUTHORITY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Chapter 971, Local and Private Laws of 1974, is amended as follows:
Section 1. There is hereby created and established the Lafayette-Oxford * * * Recreational Authority (hereinafter referred to as the "authority"). The authority shall be governed by a board of directors to be composed of seven (7) members, all of whom shall be resident citizens of Lafayette County, Mississippi. Three (3) members shall be appointed by the Board of Supervisors of Lafayette County, three (3) members shall be appointed by the governing authorities of the City of Oxford, Mississippi, and one (1) member shall be jointly appointed by the Board of Supervisors of Lafayette County and the governing authorities of the City of Oxford, Mississippi. The initial terms of the members first appointed to the authority shall be as follows:
(a) One (1) member appointed by the city and one (1) member appointed by the county shall serve for one (1) year;
(b) One (1) member appointed by the city and one (1) member appointed by the county shall serve for two (2) years; and
(c) One (1) member appointed by the city and one (1) member appointed by the county shall serve for three (3) years.
Thereafter, the terms of members of the authority shall be three (3) years. The duration of the terms of the initial membership of the board shall be determined by a vote of the members of the authority. Vacancies in the membership of the authority shall be filled for the unexpired term by an appointment by the appointing body that made the original appointment.
Section 2. Immediately after the initial members are named and commissioned, they shall meet at the county courthouse in Lafayette County, or at an otherwise appropriate place, and proceed to organize the authority by the election of a chairman, a secretary and a treasurer. Thereafter, the duly elected chairman shall preside at all meetings of the authority and perform all duties incident to this office, but the chairman shall not vote except in the case of a tie. In the event that the chairman is absent, the secretary shall preside. In the event that the chairman is absent, the member serving as chairman shall retain all voting privileges. A member may serve as chairman for not more than three (3) consecutive terms, but may be reelected as a chairman after he has not served in that position for a period of one (1) year or more.
Annually after the first meeting, the authority shall hold its regular meeting for the election of officers and for the transaction of other business. It shall meet at any other time upon the call of the chairman.
Section 3. (1) The purpose of the authority is to promote, develop, own, manage and operate a regional park or parks, recreational facilities, recreation programs and similar objects in the incorporated and unincorporated areas of Lafayette County.
(2) The authority is authorized to:
(a) Purchase, own, lease, rent or otherwise furnish, equip and operate any and all facilities, services and concessions necessary to accomplish its purposes;
(b) Acquire land and construct recreational facilities;
(c) Employ personnel, obtain supplies, services, furnishings, equipment and other facilities necessary to administer the affairs and duties of the authority and to pay for them out of any funds available to it; and
(d) * * * To receive any contributions in money, property of any kind, or donations of land that might be made by patriotic citizens to carry out the objects and purposes of this act * * *; and to hold it in the name and for the benefit of the citizens of the City of Oxford and of Lafayette County, Mississippi.
(3) The authority shall make all purchases in accordance with the laws of the state and shall keep proper financial records. The records of the authority shall be audited annually by an independent certified public accountant. The accountant shall make a written report of his audit to the authority and the authority shall submit a copy of the report to the City of Oxford and Lafayette County. The audit shall be made and completed as soon as practicable after the close of the fiscal year, and copies of the audit report shall be filed with the City of Oxford and Lafayette County within fifteen (15) days after receipt by the authority.
Section 4. The Board of Supervisors of Lafayette County, Mississippi, and the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Oxford, Mississippi, are * * * authorized to make donations of services, personnel and money to the authority, to be used for the acquisition, establishment or maintenance of the facilities, services and programs under the jurisdiction of the authority. Monetary donations may be made from any available funds of the City of Oxford or Lafayette County.
Section 5. (1) The Board of Supervisors of Lafayette County, Mississippi, * * * is hereby authorized and empowered, in its discretion, to levy an ad valorem tax in an amount not to exceed four (4) mills annually on all taxable property within the county * * *. The proceeds from the tax are to be used for the purposes set forth in this act. This tax is not to be considered reimbursable under any provision of law in the Homestead Exemption Act of the State of Mississippi.
(2) Before the tax authorized by this section may be imposed, the board of supervisors and the mayor and board of aldermen shall adopt a resolution declaring the intention to levy the tax, setting forth the amount of the tax to be imposed and calling for an election to be held on the question. The date of the election shall be fixed in the resolution. Notice of such intention shall be published once each week for at least three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper published or having a general circulation in Lafayette County, with the first publication of the notice to be made not less than twenty-one (21) days before the date fixed in the resolution for the election and the last publication to be made not more than seven (7) days before the election. At the election, all qualified electors of Lafayette County may vote, and the ballots used in the election shall have printed thereon a brief statement of the amount and purposes of the proposed tax levy and the words "FOR THE TAX" and, on a separate line, "AGAINST THE TAX" and the voters shall vote by placing a cross (X) or check (√) opposite their choice on the proposition. When the results of the election shall have been canvassed and certified, the tax may be levied if sixty percent (60%) of the qualified electors who vote in the election vote in favor of the tax.
Section 6. Lafayette County, acting on behalf of the City of Oxford and the county, may issue bonds pursuant to Sections 19-9-1 through 19-9-31, for the purpose of providing funds necessary to defray the cost of the acquisition, construction and equipping of recreational facilities for the authority. The bonds may be secured by all or any part of the tax levied under Section 5 of this act. Publication of the notice of the intent to issue the bonds as required by Section 19-9-11 and the notice of the intent to levy an ad valorem tax as required by Section 5 of this act may be accomplished by the publication of one (1) notice to satisfy both publication requirements.
Section 7. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.
SECTION 2. The governing authorities of the City of Oxford, Mississippi, and the Board of Supervisors of Lafayette County, 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 3. 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.