2007 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Lee (35th), White, Moffatt, Albritton, Dearing, Kirby, Chaney, Morgan, Carmichael, Butler, Brown, Chassaniol, Michel, Burton, Thomas, Fillingane, Jackson (11th), Jackson (32nd), King, Walley
AN ACT TO CREATE A HIGH HAZARD DAM REHABILITATION REVOLVING LOAN PROGRAM TO BE ADMINISTERED BY THE MISSISSIPPI COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY; TO CREATE THE HIGH HAZARD DAM REHABILITATION REVOLVING LOAN FUND TO MAKE LOANS TO PAY ELIGIBLE COSTS OF REHABILITATING HIGH HAZARD DAMS; TO PROVIDE THE INTEREST RATE ON SUCH LOANS; TO GIVE THE MISSISSIPPI COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY CERTAIN POWERS AND DUTIES WITH REGARD TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF THIS ACT; TO AUTHORIZE THE ISSUANCE OF STATE GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS IN THE AMOUNT OF $5,000,000.00 TO BE DEPOSITED INTO THE HIGH HAZARD DAM REHABILITATION REVOLVING LOAN FUND; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) There is established a high hazard dam rehabilitation revolving loan program to be administered by the Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality for the purpose of assisting in the payment of any eligible costs for the rehabilitation of high hazard dams.
(2) For purposes of Sections 1 through 3 of this act:
(a) "Commission" means the Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality.
(b) "High hazard dam" means an existing dam for which failure may cause loss of life, serious damage to residential, industrial or commercial buildings, or damage to or disruption of important public utilities or transportation facilities such as major highways or railroads.
(c) "Eligible costs" includes any costs directly related to rehabilitating safety deficiencies of a high hazard dam and fees for analysis, feasibility work, alternative evaluation and engineering design related to the rehabilitation of a high hazard dam.
SECTION 2. (1) (a) There is created a special fund in the State Treasury to be designated as the "High Hazard Dam Rehabilitation Revolving Loan Fund," which fund shall consist of such monies as provided in Section 4 of this act or from any other source. The fund shall be maintained in perpetuity for the purposes established in Sections 1 through 3 of this act. Unexpended amounts remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and any interest earned or investment income on amounts in the fund shall be deposited to the credit of the fund. Monies in the fund may not be used or expended for any purpose except as authorized under Sections 1 through 3 of this act.
(b) An amount not to exceed six percent (6%) of the money in the fund which is derived from proceeds of bonds issued under Section 4 of this act may be used to pay reasonable actual and necessary costs incurred by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality in administering the provisions of Sections 1 through 3 of this act.
(c) In addition to the amount authorized in paragraph (c) of this subsection, an amount not to exceed five percent (5%) of the interest repaid on each loan made from the High Hazard Dam Rehabilitation Revolving Loan Fund may be used to pay reasonable actual and necessary costs incurred by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality in administering the provisions of Sections 1 through 3 of this act.
(d) The High Hazard Dam Rehabilitation Revolving Loan Fund shall be utilized by the commission to provide loans for eligible costs.
(2) A person, corporation or other private entity or a local governmental entity that owns or has the responsibility for maintenance of a high hazard dam may apply to the commission for a loan under the high hazard dam rehabilitation revolving loan program established under Sections 1 through 3 of this act.
(3) (a) The commission shall establish a loan program by which loans, at the rate of interest provided for in paragraph (b) of this subsection, may be made available to assist in the rehabilitation of high hazard dams. Loans from the revolving fund may be made as set forth in a loan agreement in amounts not to exceed one hundred percent (100%) of eligible costs as established by the commission. The commission may require funding from other sources, or otherwise limit the percentage of eligible costs covered by loans from the revolving fund. The commission may establish a maximum amount for any loan in order to provide for broad and equitable participation in the program and loans for projects.
(b) The rate of interest on loans shall be below market interest rates and the interest rate and terms may vary from time to time and from loan to loan at the discretion of the commission; however, the interest rate on loans shall be sufficient to maintain the capital in the fund.
SECTION 3. In administering the provisions of Sections 1 through 3 of this act, the commission shall have the following powers and duties:
(a) To supervise the use of all funds made available under Sections 1 through 3 of this act;
(b) To review and certify eligibility for all projects for which funds are authorized to be made available under Sections 1 through 3 of this act;
(c) To requisition monies in the High Hazard Dam Rehabilitation Revolving Loan Fund and distribute those monies on a project-by-project basis in accordance with the provisions of Sections 1 through 3 of this act;
(d) To insure that the funds made available under this act provide for an equitable distribution of projects and funds;
(e) To maintain an accurate record of all funds made available under this act and the costs for each project;
(f) To adopt and promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary or desirable for the purpose of implementing the provisions of Sections 1 through 3 of this act; and
(g) To file annually with the Legislature a report detailing how monies in the High Hazard Dam Rehabilitation Revolving Loan Fund were spent during the preceding fiscal year, the number of projects approved and constructed, and the cost of each project.
SECTION 4. (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) The Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality, 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 program authorized in Sections 1 through 3 of this act. Upon the adoption of a resolution by the Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality, declaring the necessity for the issuance of any part or all of the general obligation bonds authorized by this section, the Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality 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). No bonds authorized under this section shall be issued after July 1, 2011.
(3) The proceeds of bonds issued pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the High Hazard Dam Rehabilitation Revolving Loan Fund created pursuant to Section 2 of this act. 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.
(4) The principal of and interest on the bonds authorized under this section shall be payable in the manner provided in this section. 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.
(5) 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.
(6) 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 act, the commission shall not be required to and need not comply with the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code.
(7) 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.
(8) 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 subsection.
(9) 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 High Hazard Dam Rehabilitation Revolving Loan Fund created in Section 2 of this act. The proceeds of such bonds shall be disbursed solely upon the order of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality under such restrictions, if any, as may be contained in the resolution providing for the issuance of the bonds.
(10) 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.
(11) 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.
(12) 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.
(13) 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.
(14) Bonds issued under the provisions of this section and income therefrom shall be exempt from all taxation in the State of Mississippi.
(15) 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.
(16) 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.
(17) 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 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007, and shall stand repealed from and after June 30, 2007.