2006 Regular Session
To: Public Utilities; Appropriations
By: Representative Robinson (84th)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 77-15-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE PROCEDURAL CLARIFICATION FOR ELECTING CERTAIN OFFICERS AND CONDUCTING MEETINGS FOR THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE CHICKASAWHAY NATURAL GAS DISTRICT; TO AUTHORIZE SUCH DISTRICT TO PAY A CERTAIN FRANCHISE FEE AND TO SELL CERTAIN APPLIANCES; TO REMOVE THE REPEAL DATE FROM THIS SECTION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 77-15-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
77-15-1. (1) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, all local natural gas districts containing two (2) or more municipalities and nonmunicipal customers shall establish and maintain a board of directors composed of: (a) the mayors of each municipality within the district whose terms shall be concurrent with their terms of office as mayor; and (b) one (1) system-user from each county within the district, who shall not be a public official. The county system-user board members shall be elected by the system-users residing outside of a municipality, in the county in which such board member resides. In order to qualify as a candidate for election to the board, each person shall obtain, on a petition, twenty-five (25) signatures from system-users in the county in which such person resides. The signatures shall be of system-users residing outside of a municipality and the candidate shall be a system-user who resides outside of a municipality. The board shall call an election within fifteen (15) days after July 1, 1989, to be held within sixty (60) days from the date such election is called. Those persons elected to the board shall serve until the next general election for supervisors and the election for such board members thereafter shall be held at the same time as the supervisor elections and the terms of such board members shall be concurrent with the terms of the supervisors.
The board of directors, including any mayors who serve on the board, shall be entitled to compensation as follows: (a) the chairperson of the board shall receive Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) per month, and (b) all other board members shall receive Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) per month. Only mayors of the board shall serve as chairperson and such mayors shall serve annually on a rotating basis. The chairperson and vice chairperson shall be elected by and from the entire membership of the governing board at the first meeting in January of each year. The vice chairperson shall preside over meetings as the chairperson in the absence or incapacity of the chairperson. In addition, an official meeting may be called at any time by a two-thirds (2/3) proclamation by the board membership.
(2) Two (2) board municipal/county system-user board members who reside in his or her respective county, and must be customers of the district, and who must be system-users shall be appointed as follows for his or her initial term: (a) one (1) board member from the county lying in the northern section of the district, appointed by the Lieutenant Governor; and (b) one (1) board member from the county lying in the southern section of the district, appointed by the Governor. The appointed board municipal/county system-user board members may be elected public officials.
The initial terms of the two (2) municipal/county system-user board members shall begin July 1, 2005, and shall serve until the next general election for supervisors, and thereafter the municipal/county system-user board members, as described in this subsection (2), shall be elected at large by the municipal and county system-users.
The municipal/county system-user board members shall be compensated as prescribed in subsection (1) of this section.
(3) All board members shall file any required statements of economic interest with the Ethics Commission as required by law. This section shall not apply to any local natural gas district which leases its distribution system to an investor-owned utility company regulated by the Public Service Commission.
(4) From and after July 1, 2004, the Board of Directors of the Chickasawhay Natural Gas District shall discontinue distribution of any of the revenues of the district to municipalities within the district.
(5) The Chickasawhay Natural Gas District is authorized to pay an agreed upon franchise fee to the three (3) municipalities it serves.
(6) The Chickasawhay Natural Gas District is authorized to sell household appliances and heating products.
(7) The provisions of this section shall only apply to the Chickasawhay Natural Gas District.
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SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.