2020 Regular Session
To: Universities and Colleges; Ways and Means
By: Representatives McGee, McCarty
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF STATE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING, ACTING ON BEHALF OF THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI, TO ENTER INTO A SERVICES AGREEMENT FOR THE OPERATION, REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE AND/OR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS OF ALL OR ANY PORTION OF THE UNIVERSITY UTILITY SYSTEM; TO PROVIDE THAT SUCH AGREEMENT SHALL NOT EXCEED 50 YEARS; TO PROVIDE THAT THE AGREEMENT ENTERED INTO BY THE BOARD SHALL BE PROTECTED FROM ACTIONS OF SUCCESSOR BOARDS BASED ON THE BINDING SUCCESSOR DOCTRINE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. As used in this act, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed in this section, unless context clearly requires otherwise:
(a) "Services agreement" means a contract between the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, on behalf of the university, and one or more private or nonprofit entities that provides for allocating the responsibility of the operation, repairs and maintenance and/or capital improvements of all or any portion of the university utility system into a single contract wherein the private or nonprofit entity is required to satisfactorily perform, at a minimum, the operation, repairs and maintenance and/or capital improvements and any reimbursement thereof of the university utility system. Such an agreement shall be deemed a personal service contract and, therefore, any expenditures thereunder shall not be subject to the procurement requirements set forth in Section 31-7-13.
(b) "University" means the University of Southern Mississippi.
(c) "University utility system" means all or any portion of the university's waterworks system, water supply system, sewage system, sewage disposal system, gas producing system, gas generating system, gas transmission system, gas distribution system, electric generating system, electric transmission system or electric distribution system, telecommunication facilities, HVAC system, boilers, chillers, related control systems or any combination thereof, that serve any of the university's facilities, buildings, structures or premises.
SECTION 2. (1) The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, acting on behalf of the University of Southern Mississippi, is authorized to enter into a long-term services agreement for the operation, repairs and maintenance and/or capital improvements of all or any portion of the university utility system for the benefit of the university. The services agreement may have a term not to exceed fifty (50) years.
(2) The services agreement and any amendments thereto shall be subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning. The approved services agreement and any amendments thereto shall not be cancelled by successor boards based on the binding successor doctrine.
(3) The university, with the approval of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, is authorized to negotiate all aspects of any services agreement and any terms and conditions thereunder, together with any ancillary agreements pertaining to any services agreement as may be reasonably necessary to effectuate the intent and purposes of this section and to ensure a fair and equitable return to the university. The university may consent to the private or nonprofit entity pledging its interest under the services agreement to secure the private or nonprofit entity's obligations under the terms and conditions of the services agreement.
(4) (a) All proceeds or revenues derived or received by the university from the services agreement, and any expenditures made by the university under the services agreement, may be applied in accordance with the terms and conditions thereof and in accordance with this act. All proceeds and revenues received by the university under this act shall be for the use and benefit of the university subject to the terms and conditions of the services agreement.
(b) At the end of the services agreement term provided in this act, the operations, repair and maintenance and/or capital improvements of the university utility system provided for in the services agreement shall revert to the university.
(5) The property and materials contained in the services agreement constituting the university utility system under this act, subject to the provisions of the services agreement, shall be exempt from property and other ad valorem taxation and assessments.
(6) The services agreement may be completed without any other proceedings or the happening of any other conditions or things other than those proceedings, conditions and things which are specific or required by this act.
SECTION 3. If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause or provision of this act shall be deemed unconstitutional or ineffective, in whole or in part, to the extent that it is not unconstitutional or ineffective, it shall be valid and effective and no other section, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause or provision shall on account thereof be deemed invalid or ineffective.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after passage.