2007 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Browning
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 65-18-9 AND 65-18-11, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CREATE THE LOCAL SYSTEM ROAD FUND; TO AUTHORIZE THE STATE ENGINEER TO ALLOCATE MONIES IN THE FUND TO EACH COUNTY FOR CONSTRUCTING AND RECONSTRUCTING LOCAL SYSTEM ROADS; TO AUTHORIZE THE ISSUANCE OF $5,000,000.00 IN STATE GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS TO PROVIDE FUNDS FOR THE LOCAL SYSTEM ROAD PROGRAM; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 65-18-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
65-18-9. (1) The State Aid Engineer shall allocate annually the amount of the state aid road allocation of a county that is requested by such county for use in the construction, reconstruction and paving of local system roads in the county if the county has met the requirements of this chapter; * * *however, * * *the State Aid Engineer shall not allocate more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the annual state aid road allocation of a county for such purposes.
(2) The State Aid Engineer shall allocate annually the amount of the Local System Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program allocation of a county that is requested by such county for use in the construction, reconstruction and paving of local system roads in the county if:
(a) The State Aid Engineer has certified, pursuant to Section 65-37-7, that all the local system bridges within the county have a sufficiency rating of greater than fifty (50) or that all such bridges within the county with a sufficiency rating of fifty (50) or less are currently under contract for replacement or rehabilitation; and
(b) The county has met the requirements of this chapter.
(3) There is created in the State Treasury a special fund to be designated as the "Local System Road Fund." The fund shall consist of the monies directed to be deposited into the fund under the provisions of Section 2(2) of this act and such other money as the Legislature may designate for deposit into the fund. The State Aid Engineer shall allocate annually to each county money in the fund according to state aid road formula under Section 27-65-75(4). Money allocated to a county under this subsection shall be used by a county in the construction, reconstruction and paving of local system roads in the county if the county meets the requirements of this chapter.
(4) The State Aid Engineer shall establish specific designs and standards to be followed by such counties in the construction, reconstruction and paving of local system roads. The specific designs and standards shall be based upon policies on geometric design of local rural roads, highways and streets adopted and published by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
SECTION 2. Section 65-18-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
65-18-11. (1) In order for a county to be eligible to utilize its Local System Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program allocation, any of its state aid road funds or any of the money allocated to it from the Local System Road Fund for the Local System Road Program, a county must meet the following conditions:
(a) The county has employed a county engineer, together with such other technical assistance as is necessary to carry out the duties of this chapter, the same as provided under the provisions of Section 65-9-15, for its state aid road system and, through its official minutes, has authorized the county engineer to perform the necessary engineering services connected with the Local System Road Program. The county engineer shall prepare the necessary plans and designs for all construction projects, including state aid projects and projects provided under this chapter. He also shall provide engineering supervision for the construction of such projects and shall approve all estimate payments made on the projects. Engineering cost for any project performed under the Local System Road Program may be paid from any funds allocated to a county under the program; however, the maximum fee paid to an engineer shall not exceed twelve percent (12%) of the final construction cost. No such cost shall be reimbursed to the county before the letting of the project; and
(b) The county has presented a plan for the construction, reconstruction and paving of a local system road which plan has been made and approved by the county engineer of the county, showing the specific road or project to be improved, stating the condition of the existing roadbed, drainage and bridges and outlining the type of construction or reconstruction to be made and the designs and specifications therefor, including the paving of the road and the sources of revenue to be used and the sources and types of material to be used thereon. The plan shall be presented to the State Aid Engineer for the initial approval of the beginning of a project to receive monies.
(2) After the initial approval of the plan and plans as specified in subsection (1)(b) of this section has been made by the State Aid Engineer, the county shall be eligible to receive all funds made available to the county under the Local System Road Program to be used exclusively for the construction, reconstruction or paving of the local system road. The project may be done either by contract or by using county equipment and employees. It shall be according to the original plan or any amendments thereto which have been approved by the State Aid Engineer. The board may use county equipment and employees if the construction can be accomplished at a more reasonable cost than can be achieved by contract.
SECTION 3. (1) As used in this section, the following words shall have the meanings ascribed herein unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
(a) "Accreted value" of any bonds means, as of any date of computation, an amount equal to the sum of (i) the stated initial value of such bond, plus (ii) the interest accrued thereon from the issue date to the date of computation at the rate, compounded semiannually, that is necessary to produce the approximate yield to maturity shown for bonds of the same maturity.
(b) "State" means the State of Mississippi.
(c) "Commission" means the State Bond Commission.
(2) (a) The Department of Finance and Administration, at one time, or from time to time, may declare by resolution the necessity for issuance of general obligation bonds of the State of Mississippi to provide funds for the Local System Road Fund created under Section 65-18-9. Upon the adoption of a resolution by the Department of Finance and Administration, declaring the necessity for the issuance of any part or all of the general obligation bonds authorized by this section, the Department of Finance and Administration shall deliver a certified copy of its resolution or resolutions to the commission. Upon receipt of such resolution, the commission, in its discretion, may act as the issuing agent, prescribe the form of the bonds, advertise for and accept bids, issue and sell the bonds so authorized to be sold and do any and all other things necessary and advisable in connection with the issuance and sale of such bonds. The total amount of bonds issued under this section shall not exceed Five Million Dollars ($5,000,000.00).
(b) Any investment earnings on bonds issued pursuant to this section shall be used to pay debt service on bonds issued under this section, in accordance with the proceedings authorizing issuance of such bonds.
(3) The principal of and interest on the bonds authorized under this section shall be payable in the manner provided in this subsection. Such bonds shall bear such date or dates, be in such denomination or denominations, bear interest at such rate or rates (not to exceed the limits set forth in Section 75-17-101, Mississippi Code of 1972), be payable at such place or places within or without the State of Mississippi, shall mature absolutely at such time or times not to exceed twenty-five (25) years from date of issue, be redeemable before maturity at such time or times and upon such terms, with or without premium, shall bear such registration privileges, and shall be substantially in such form, all as shall be determined by resolution of the commission.
(4) The bonds authorized by this section shall be signed by the chairman of the commission, or by his facsimile signature, and the official seal of the commission shall be affixed thereto, attested by the secretary of the commission. The interest coupons, if any, to be attached to such bonds may be executed by the facsimile signatures of such officers. Whenever any such bonds shall have been signed by the officials designated to sign the bonds who were in office at the time of such signing but who may have ceased to be such officers before the sale and delivery of such bonds, or who may not have been in office on the date such bonds may bear, the signatures of such officers upon such bonds and coupons shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes and have the same effect as if the person so officially signing such bonds had remained in office until their delivery to the purchaser, or had been in office on the date such bonds may bear. However, notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, such bonds may be issued as provided in the Registered Bond Act of the State of Mississippi.
(5) All bonds and interest coupons issued under the provisions of this section have all the qualities and incidents of negotiable instruments under the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code, and in exercising the powers granted by this section, the commission shall not be required to and need not comply with the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code.
(6) The commission shall act as the issuing agent for the bonds authorized under this section, prescribe the form of the bonds, advertise for and accept bids, issue and sell the bonds so authorized to be sold, pay all fees and costs incurred in such issuance and sale, and do any and all other things necessary and advisable in connection with the issuance and sale of such bonds. The commission is authorized and empowered to pay the costs that are incident to the sale, issuance and delivery of the bonds authorized under this section from the proceeds derived from the sale of such bonds. The commission shall sell such bonds on sealed bids at public sale, and for such price as it may determine to be for the best interest of the State of Mississippi, but no such sale shall be made at a price less than par plus accrued interest to the date of delivery of the bonds to the purchaser. All interest accruing on such bonds so issued shall be payable semiannually or annually; however, the first interest payment may be for any period of not more than one (1) year.
Notice of the sale of any such bonds shall be published at least one time, not less than ten (10) days before the date of sale, and shall be so published in one or more newspapers published or having a general circulation in the City of Jackson, Mississippi, and in one or more other newspapers or financial journals with a national circulation, to be selected by the commission.
The commission, when issuing any bonds under the authority of this section, may provide that bonds, at the option of the State of Mississippi, may be called in for payment and redemption at the call price named therein and accrued interest on such date or dates named therein.
(7) The bonds issued under the provisions of this section are general obligations of the State of Mississippi, and for the payment thereof the full faith and credit of the State of Mississippi is irrevocably pledged. If the funds appropriated by the Legislature are insufficient to pay the principal of and the interest on such bonds as they become due, then the deficiency shall be paid by the State Treasurer from any funds in the State Treasury not otherwise appropriated. All such bonds shall contain recitals on their faces substantially covering the provisions of this section.
(8) Upon the issuance and sale of bonds under the provisions of this section, the commission shall transfer the proceeds of any such sale or sales to the Local System Road Fund created under Section 65-18-9. The proceeds of such bonds shall be disbursed solely upon the order of the Department of Finance and Administration under such restrictions, if any, as may be contained in the resolution providing for the issuance of the bonds.
(9) The bonds authorized under this section may be issued without any other proceedings or the happening of any other conditions or things other than those proceedings, conditions and things which are specified or required by this section. Any resolution providing for the issuance of bonds under the provisions of this section shall become effective immediately upon its adoption by the commission, and any such resolution may be adopted at any regular or special meeting of the commission by a majority of its members.
(10) The bonds authorized under the authority of this section may be validated in the Chancery Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County, Mississippi, in the manner and with the force and effect provided by Chapter 13, Title 31, Mississippi Code of 1972, for the validation of county, municipal, school district and other bonds. The notice to taxpayers required by such statutes shall be published in a newspaper published or having a general circulation in the City of Jackson, Mississippi.
(11) Any holder of bonds issued under the provisions of this section or of any of the interest coupons pertaining thereto may, either at law or in equity, by suit, action, mandamus or other proceeding, protect and enforce any and all rights granted under this section, or under such resolution, and may enforce and compel performance of all duties required by this section to be performed, in order to provide for the payment of bonds and interest thereon.
(12) All bonds issued under the provisions of this section shall be legal investments for trustees and other fiduciaries, and for savings banks, trust companies and insurance companies organized under the laws of the State of Mississippi, and such bonds shall be legal securities which may be deposited with and shall be received by all public officers and bodies of this state and all municipalities and political subdivisions for the purpose of securing the deposit of public funds.
(13) Bonds issued under the provisions of this section and income therefrom shall be exempt from all taxation in the State of Mississippi.
(14) The proceeds of the bonds issued under this section shall be used solely for the purposes therein provided, including the costs incident to the issuance and sale of such bonds.
(15) The State Treasurer is authorized, without further process of law, to certify to the Department of Finance and Administration the necessity for warrants, and the Department of Finance and Administration is authorized and directed to issue such warrants, in such amounts as may be necessary to pay when due the principal of, premium, if any, and interest on, or the accreted value of, all bonds issued under this section; and the State Treasurer shall forward the necessary amount to the designated place or places of payment of such bonds in ample time to discharge such bonds, or the interest thereon, on the due dates thereof.
(16) This section shall be deemed to be full and complete authority for the exercise of the powers therein granted, but this section shall not be deemed to repeal or to be in derogation of any existing law of this state.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.