2020 Regular Session
To: Local and Private Legislation
By: Representative Horan
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF GRENADA COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI, TO ESTABLISH AN ECONOMIC AND INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY TO BE KNOWN AS THE GREATER GRENADA PARTNERSHIP; TO PROVIDE FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF TRUSTEES OF THE PARTNERSHIP; TO SPECIFY THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE PARTNERSHIP; TO ALLOW THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS TO AUTHORIZE THE PARTNERSHIP TO PROVIDE CERTAIN ECONOMIC AND/OR INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT FOR THE COUNTY AND THE MUNICIPALITIES LOCATED THEREIN; TO AUTHORIZE THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS TO DISSOLVE THE GRENADA COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. As used in this act:
(a) "Partnership" means the economic and industrial development authority established under the provisions of this act and known as the Greater Grenada Partnership.
(b) "Board of supervisors" means the Board of Supervisors of Grenada County, Mississippi.
(c) "County" means Grenada County, Mississippi.
SECTION 2. When the board of supervisors shall find and determine that the public convenience and necessity require the same, as evidenced by a resolution duly adopted and entered on the official minutes of such board, it shall establish an economic and industrial development authority, to be known as the Greater Grenada Partnership.
The partnership shall be composed of not less than five (5) nor more than seven (7) trustees who shall be qualified electors of the county. The board of supervisors, at its sole discretion, shall appoint each trustee. Three (3) of the trustees of the board shall serve a term of one (1) year and all remaining trustees shall serve a term of two (2) years. Trustees may be reappointed without limitation.
Any trustee of the partnership may be disqualified and removed from office for any one (1) of the following reasons:
(a) Conviction of a felony;
(b) Failure to attend three (3) consecutive meetings without just cause.
If a trustee of the partnership is removed for one (1) of the above reasons, the vacancy shall be filled in the manner prescribed in this section.
Vacancies, which occur, shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments and shall be made for the unexpired term.
The board of supervisors of the county, or their designee(s), shall be nonvoting, ex officio members of the partnership for purposes of serving only in an advisory capacity to the trustees of the partnership. The attendance of any supervisor at partnership meetings shall not count towards a quorum of the trustees of the partnership.
SECTION 3. Before entering upon the duties of the office, each trustee of such partnership shall take and subscribe the oath of office required by Section 268, Mississippi Constitution of 1890, and shall give bond in the sum of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), conditioned upon the faithful performance of his duties, such bond to be made payable to the partnership and to be approved by the partnership. The premiums on all the surety bonds shall be paid by the partnership. The trustees of such partnership shall meet at the regular meeting place of the board of supervisors of the county within five (5) days after the trustees are initially appointed and shall elect from among their number a chairman, vice chairman and secretary-treasurer of the partnership and shall adopt a seal and such bylaws, rules and regulations as may be necessary to govern the time, place and manner for holding subsequent meetings of the partnership and for conduct of its business, not inconsistent with the provisions of this act. The trustees of the partnership shall serve without salary or compensation; however, their actual expenses incurred in the performance of their duties may be reimbursed, including mileage as authorized by law for state employees.
SECTION 4. (1) The partnership is hereby expressly authorized and empowered to acquire by gift, purchase or otherwise, and to own, hold, maintain, control and develop real estate and personal property situated within the county, either within or without the corporate limits of a municipality, for development, use and operation as industrial park complexes, industrial sites, business parks or for other economic development purposes, such complexes, sites and purposes hereinafter referred to in this act as "projects," and is further authorized and empowered to engage in works of internal improvement therefor, including, but not limited to, construction or contracting for the construction of streets, roads, railroads, site improvements, and water, sewerage, drainage, pollution and other related facilities necessary or required for the development of such projects, and to acquire, purchase, install, lease, finance, construct, own, hold, equip, control, maintain, use, operate and repair structures and facilities necessary and convenient for the planning, development, use, operation and maintenance of such projects, including, but not limited to, utility installations, elevators, compressors, warehouses, buildings, and air, rail and other transportation terminals, and pollution control facilities. In the event the partnership takes by gift or otherwise any land, buildings or other tangible assets from any persons, corporations, public or private, the partnership may assume all or any part of the liabilities resulting from such acceptance under such terms and conditions as will be in the best interest of the citizens of the county.
(2) The partnership is authorized and empowered to sell, lease, trade, exchange or otherwise dispose of sites situated within projects to individuals, firms or corporations, public or private, for all types of industrial, commercial, agricultural or other economic development uses upon such terms and conditions, for such consideration, and with such safeguards as will best promote and protect the public interest, convenience and necessity, and to execute options, deeds, leases, contracts, easements and other legal instruments necessary or convenient therefor. The partnership may also contribute funds and/or resources directly to the development and cost of operation of any industrial development foundation or other private economic development group in the county.
(3) The partnership is authorized and empowered to fix and prescribe fees, charges and rates for the use of any water, sewerage, pollution or other facilities constructed and operated in connection with projects and to collect the same from persons, firms and corporations using the same for industrial, commercial, agricultural or other economic development purposes, except as to rates and charges against common carriers regulated by an agency of the federal government or the Mississippi Public Service Commission.
(4) The partnership is authorized and empowered to employ engineers, attorneys, accountants, consultants and such executive and administrative personnel and other employees or independent contractors as shall be reasonably necessary to carry out the duties and authority authorized by this act, to determine their qualifications and duties and to establish compensation and other employment benefits as may be advisable to attract and retain proficient personnel. The employees or contractors, if any, of the partnership shall not be considered as employees of the county for state retirement or any other purposes. The partnership, in addition to all other powers, is authorized and empowered to purchase, lease, sell and trade office equipment, to purchase necessary office supplies, to purchase or lease any equipment and vehicles the partnership deems necessary for economic and industrial development and to carry out the purposes of this act. The partnership is authorized, in addition to all other powers, to buy, lease, sell, convey and do all other necessary business transactions for carrying out the purpose of and administering the partnership and to do all acts necessary and convenient to operate and carry out the duties of the partnership.
(5) When disposing of its real property pursuant to this act, the partnership may contract with duly licensed realtors and real estate brokers and may pay real estate commissions resulting from such dispositions not to exceed six percent (6%) resulting from such dispositions. No partnership board trustee, officer or employee may be paid a real estate commission or any other form of compensation from such disposition.
(6) Subject to the prior written approval of the board of supervisors, the partnership is expressly authorized and empowered to borrow money by issuing its negotiable promissory notes which may be secured by execution of a deed of trust upon any property owned by the partnership, or other collateral available to or in the possession of the partnership. In addition to any available, nonobligated revenues and other funds of the partnership, the board of supervisors may pledge all or any portion of the levy authorized for support of the partnership provided for in Section 8 of this act for the repayment of any indebtedness authorized under the provisions of this act, and the county shall be obligated to continue such levy until the authorized indebtedness is paid in full. The pledge of the tax levy to secure repayment of any sums borrowed shall be done only by order spread upon the minutes of the board of supervisors and the partnership after the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the board of supervisors and trustees of the partnership. This authority to borrow money shall be in addition to the authority of the county to borrow money or issue bonds on behalf of the partnership as specified in Section 4(9) herein.
The county shall not be liable for the repayment of any indebtedness incurred by the partnership unless the board of supervisors of the county has pledged a portion of the tax levy otherwise authorized as security therefor, in which event the county shall be obligated only to the extent of the tax levy so pledged. The board of supervisors may, however, authorize payment on such debt from other sources available for such payment.
(7) The enumeration of any specific rights and powers contained herein, and elsewhere in this act, where followed by general powers, shall not be construed in a restrictive sense, but rather in as broad and comprehensive a sense as possible to effectuate the purposes of this act. Nothing in this act should be construed to limit, restrict, or otherwise alter the duties, responsibilities and authority of the board of supervisors as provided under the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 and the laws of the State of Mississippi.
(8) Any industrial or economic development purchase agreement or lease may be executed upon such terms and conditions, which shall be binding on any successor boards, and for such monetary rental or other consideration as may be found adequate and approved by the partnership in orders or resolutions authorizing the same. Any covenants and obligations of the purchaser or lessee to make expenditures in determined amounts, and within such time or times, for improvements to be erected on the land by such purchaser or lessee and to conduct thereon industrial or economic development operations in such aggregate payroll amounts and for such period of time or times as may be determined and defined in such purchase agreement or lease, and to give preference in employment where practicable to qualified residents of the county in which any project is situated, shall, if included in such purchase agreement or lease, constitute and be deemed sufficient consideration for the execution of any such purchase agreement or lease in the absence of a monetary rental or other consideration. Any such instrument may contain reasonable provisions giving the purchaser or lessee the right to remove its or his improvements upon termination of the lease.
(9) Upon the request of the partnership and in addition to any other authority prescribed by law, the board of supervisors, in its discretion, may issue bonds for the benefit of the partnership pursuant to the authority contained in Section 19-5-99, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(10) Not less than sixty (60) days prior to the end of its fiscal year, the partnership shall file with the board of supervisors a budget of projected revenues, expenses and other financial activities for the coming fiscal year in a form satisfactory to the board of supervisors and, in addition thereto, as soon after the end of each fiscal year as practicable, the partnership shall file with the board of supervisors a copy of its certified audit and financial statement for the immediate past fiscal year of the partnership.
SECTION 5. The partnership is authorized and empowered to take all actions and expend any such funds of the partnership as shall be necessary or determined to be in the public interest for the promotion of economic and/or industrial development in the county, including, but not limited to, efforts to develop, promote, attract and/or expand existing businesses and industries, new businesses and industries, tourism, aerospace and aviation businesses, communications and information technology businesses, remote data centers, contact centers, warehousing and distribution businesses, shared services centers, defense or homeland security businesses, metal fabrication businesses, research and development businesses, manufacturing, tourism, and hospitality businesses within the county, and to expend such funds of the partnership as shall be necessary or determined in the public interest to develop and promote the county's workforce, promote available jobs within the county, and to develop and promote such training programs for the same.
SECTION 6. The carrying out of the corporate purposes of the partnership is in all respects for the benefit of the people of the county and is a public purpose, and the partnership will be performing an essential governmental function in the exercise of the powers conferred upon it by this act. Hence, any property owned or held by the partnership or under its jurisdiction under the provisions of this act shall be exempt from all taxation in the State of Mississippi.
SECTION 7. The notes specifically authorized by this act shall be exempt from all income taxation in the state and shall not be included in any debt limit calculation.
SECTION 8. (1) In addition to rights, duties and powers now or hereafter conferred upon the board of supervisors, the board of supervisors, at the request of the partnership, is authorized and empowered, in its discretion, to make available to the partnership any revenue in the general fund of the county which is otherwise unappropriated, for economic or industrial development purposes.
The board of supervisors may, in its discretion and without the need to reauthorize and renotice intent, continue to levy the tax of not more than two (2) mills it currently levies and collects pursuant to Section 19-9-111, Mississippi Code of 1972, to be used to support and maintain the partnership.
(2) Further, the board of supervisors may, in its discretion, levy an additional tax of not more than two (2) mills against the taxable property in the county to be used to support and maintain the partnership created in this act. Before any such levy is made, the board of supervisors shall signify its intention to make such a levy and publish same in a newspaper published in the county for thirty (30) days prior to making said levy. In the event more than twenty percent (20%) or one thousand five hundred (1,500), whichever is less, of the qualified electors of the county protest in writing to the board of supervisors against the imposition of such tax levy within thirty (30) days from the date such notice is published, then such proposed tax levy shall not be made unless same is approved by a special election called for said purpose. Such special election shall be conducted and had as provided by law. This levy shall be in addition to all other levies provided by law and in this act.
SECTION 9. The partnership, in addition to the monies which may be received by it from the sale of bonds, notes and from the collection of revenues, rents and earnings derived under the provisions of this act, shall have the authority to accept from any public or private agency, or from any individual, grants for or in aid of the construction of any project, or for the payment of bonds, and to receive and accept contributions from any source of money or property or other things of value to be held, used and applied only for the purposes for which such grants or contributions may be made.
SECTION 10. (1) Notwithstanding any provision of this act to the contrary, the trustees of the partnership, with the written approval of the board of supervisors and the governing authorities of any municipality located within the county, may enter into a contract providing for the delivery of economic and/or industrial development services to the municipality and contribution of funds by the municipality to the partnership. If the municipality contributes funds to the partnership, the contract may provide for the appointment by the municipal governing authorities of such number of nonvoting representatives, as may be determined by the parties to the contract, to advise in the management of the partnership.
(2) The trustees of the partnership, with the approval of the board of supervisors, may enter into a contract or agreement with the governing body of any other local or regional economic or industrial development foundation, private economic development group, or other public entity or alliance for the purposes of promoting, attracting and locating economic and/or industrial development within the county.
SECTION 11. Upon the creation of the partnership authorized by this act, the board of supervisors is authorized, by duly adopted resolution, to dissolve the Grenada County Economic Development District, created by Section 19-5-99, Mississippi Code of 1972, and to transfer, donate or sell any part of the assets, liabilities and other responsibilities and obligations of the district, to the partnership under such terms and conditions as may be in the best interest of the county, or as may be otherwise required by law to effectuate the intent of this act. As set forth in Section 8(1) of this act, the existing two-mill tax levy of the district authorized by Section 19-9-111 shall continue for the support and maintenance of the partnership.
SECTION 12. The partnership is authorized to apply for and accept grants and loans on behalf of the partnership, the county and any contracting municipality from the State of Mississippi or the United States or any agency thereof, and to contract with any agency of the State of Mississippi and United States for the development of the county.
SECTION 13. This act shall be deemed to be full and complete authority for the exercise of the powers herein granted, but this act shall not be deemed to repeal or to be in derogation of any existing law of this state wherein projects of the character herein defined may be constructed or financed.
SECTION 14. The board of supervisors is authorized and empowered to adopt any and all lawful resolutions, orders and/or ordinances, to execute such documents, contracts, leases, certificates and indentures, and to do and perform any and all acts and things necessary and requisite to carry out the purposes of this act.
SECTION 15. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.