2021 Regular Session
To: Economic and Workforce Development; Municipalities
By: Senator(s) Blackmon
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 43-35-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE DEFINITION OF "URBAN RENEWAL PROJECT" UNDER THE MISSISSIPPI URBAN RENEWAL LAW; TO BRING FORWARD SECTIONS 43-35-1, 43-35-5, 43-35-7, 43-35-9, 43-35-11, 43-35-13, 43-35-15, 43-35-17, 43-35-19, 43-35-21, 43-35-23, 43-35-25, 43-35-27, 43-35-29, 43-35-31, 43-35-33, 43-35-35 AND 43-35-37, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH CONSTITUTE THE URBAN RENEWAL LAW, FOR THE PURPOSES OF AMENDMENT; TO BRING FORWARD SECTIONS 43-35-101, 43-35-103, 43-35-105, 43-35-107, 43-35-109, 43-35-111, 43-35-113, 43-35-115 AND 43-35-117, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH AUTHORIZE SLUM CLEARANCE IN MUNICIPALITIES, FOR THE PURPOSES OF AMENDMENT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 43-35-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-35-3. The following terms, wherever used or referred to in this article, shall have the following meanings, unless a different meaning is clearly indicated by the context:
(a) "Agency" or "urban renewal agency" shall mean a public agency created by Section 43-35-33 of this article.
(b) "Municipality" shall mean any incorporated city or town or county in the state.
(c) "Public body" shall mean the state or any municipality, township, village, board, commission, authority, district, or any other subdivision or public body of the state.
(d) "Local governing body" shall mean the council or other legislative body charged with governing the municipality.
(e) "Mayor" shall mean the mayor of a municipality or other officer or body having the duties customarily imposed upon the executive head of a municipality.
(f) "Clerk" shall mean the clerk or other official of the municipality who is the custodian of the official records of such municipality.
(g) "Federal government" shall include the United States of America or any agency or instrumentality, corporate or otherwise, of the United States of America.
(h) "Slum area" shall mean an area in which there is a predominance of buildings or improvements, whether residential or nonresidential, which by reason of dilapidation, deterioration, age or obsolescence, inadequate provision for ventilation, light, air, sanitation, or open spaces, high density of population and overcrowding, or the existence of conditions which endanger life or property by fire and other causes, or any combination of such factors is conducive to ill health, transmission of disease, infant mortality, juvenile delinquency, or crime, and is detrimental to the public health, safety, morals or welfare.
(i) "Blighted area" shall mean an area which by reason of the presence of a substantial number of slum, deteriorated or deteriorating structures, predominance of defective or inadequate street layout, faulty lot layout in relation to size, adequacy, accessibility or usefulness, unsanitary or unsafe conditions, deterioration of site or other improvements, diversity of ownership, tax or special assessment delinquency exceeding the fair value of the land, defective or unusual conditions of title, or the existence of conditions which endanger life or property by fire and other causes, or any combination of such factors, substantially impairs or arrests the sound growth of a municipality, retards the provision of housing accommodations or constitutes an economic or social liability and is a menace to the public health, safety, morals, or welfare in its present condition and use. If such blighted area consists of open land the conditions contained in the proviso in subsection (d) of Section 43-35-13 shall apply. Any disaster area referred to in subsection (g) of Section 43-35-13 shall constitute a "blighted area."
(j) "Urban renewal project" may include undertakings and activities of a municipality in an urban renewal area for the elimination and for the prevention of the development or spread of slums and blight, in order to place the blighted area or slum area on the municipal and county tax rolls within two (2) years, and may involve slum clearance and redevelopment in an urban renewal area, or rehabilitation or conservation in an urban renewal area, or any combination or part thereof in accordance with an urban renewal plan.
Such undertakings and activities may include:
(1) acquisition of a slum area or a blighted area or portion thereof;
(2) demolition and removal of buildings and improvements;
(3) installation, construction, or reconstruction of streets, utilities, parks, playgrounds, and other improvements necessary for carrying out in the urban renewal area the urban renewal objectives of this article in accordance with the urban renewal plan;
(4) disposition of any property acquired in the urban renewal area (including sale, initial leasing or retention by the municipality itself) at its fair value for uses in accordance with the urban renewal plan;
(5) carrying out plans for a program of voluntary or compulsory repair and rehabilitation of buildings or other improvements in accordance with the urban renewal plan; and
(6) acquisition of any other real property in the urban renewal area where necessary to eliminate unhealthful, unsanitary or unsafe conditions, lessen density, eliminate obsolete or other uses detrimental to the public welfare, or otherwise to remove or prevent the spread of blight or deterioration, or to provide land for needed public facilities.
(k) "Urban renewal area" means a slum area or a blighted area or a combination thereof which the local governing body designates as appropriate for an urban renewal project.
(l) "Urban renewal plan" means a plan, as it exists from time to time, for an urban renewal project, which plan (1) shall conform to the general plan for the municipality as a whole except as provided in subsection (g) of Section 43-35-13; and (2) shall be sufficiently complete to indicate such land acquisition, demolition and removal of structures, redevelopment, improvements, and rehabilitation as may be proposed to be carried out in the urban renewal area, zoning and planning changes, if any, land uses, maximum densities, building requirements, and the plan's relationship to definite local objectives respecting appropriate land uses, improved traffic, public transportation, public utilities, recreational and community facilities, and other public improvements.
(m) "Real property" shall include all lands, including improvements and fixtures thereon, and property of any nature appurtenant thereto, or used in connection therewith, and every estate, interest, right and use, legal or equitable, therein, including terms for years and liens by way of judgment, mortgage or otherwise.
(n) "Bonds" shall mean any bonds (including refunding bonds), notes, interim certificates, certificates of indebtedness, debentures or other obligations.
(o) "Obligee" shall include any bondholder, agents or trustees for any bondholders, or lessor demising to the municipality property used in connection with an urban renewal project, or any assignee or assignees of such lessor's interest or any part thereof, and the federal government when it is a party to any contract with the municipality.
(p) "Person" shall mean any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, association, joint stock association, or body politic; and shall include any trustee, receiver, assignee, or other person acting in a similar representative capacity.
(q) "Area of operation" shall mean the area within the corporate limits of the municipality and the area within five (5) miles of such limits, except that it shall not include any area which lies within the territorial boundaries of another incorporated city or town unless a resolution shall have been adopted by the governing body of such other city or town declaring a need therefor.
(r) "Housing authority" shall mean a housing authority created by and established pursuant to Sections 43-33-1 through 43-33-53, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(s) "Board" or "commission" shall mean a board, commission, department, division, office, body or other unit of the municipality.
(t) "Public officer" shall mean any officer who is in charge of any department or branch of the government of the municipality relating to health, fire, building regulations, or to other activities concerning dwellings in the municipality.
SECTION 2. Section 43-35-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-1. This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Urban Renewal Law."
SECTION 3. Section 43-35-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-5. It is hereby found and declared that there exist in municipalities of the state slum and blighted areas which constitute a serious and growing menace, injurious to the public health, safety, morals and welfare of the residents of the state; that the existence of such areas contributes substantially and increasingly to the spread of disease and crime, constitutes an economic and social liability imposing onerous municipal burdens which decrease the tax base and reduce tax revenues, substantially impairs or arrests the sound growth of municipalities, retards the provision of housing accommodations, aggravates traffic problems and substantially impairs or arrests the elimination of traffic hazards and the improvement of traffic facilities; and that the prevention and elimination of slums and blight is a matter of state policy and state concern in order that the state and its municipalities shall not continue to be endangered by areas which are focal centers of disease, promote juvenile delinquency, and consume an excessive proportion of its revenues because of the extra services required for police, fire, accident, hospitalization and other forms of public protection, services and facilities.
It is further found and declared that certain slum or blighted areas, or portions thereof, may require acquisition, clearance, and disposition subject to use restrictions, as provided in this article, since the prevailing condition of decay may make impracticable the reclamation of the area by conservation or rehabilitation; that other areas or portions thereof may, through the means provided in this article, be susceptible of conservation or rehabilitation in such a manner that the conditions and evils hereinbefore enumerated may be eliminated, remedied or prevented; and that salvable slum and blighted areas can be conserved and rehabilitated through appropriate public action as authorized in this article, and the cooperation and voluntary action of the owners and tenants of property in such areas.
It is further found and declared that the powers conferred by this article are for public uses and purposes for which public money may be expended and the power of eminent domain and police power exercised. The necessity in the public interest for the provisions enacted as this article is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination.
SECTION 4. Section 43-35-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-7. A municipality, to the greatest extent it determines to be feasible in carrying out the provisions of this article, shall afford maximum opportunity, consistent with the sound needs of the municipality as a whole, to the rehabilitation or redevelopment of the urban renewal area by private enterprise. A municipality shall give consideration to this objective in exercising its powers under this article, including the formulation of a workable program, the approval of urban renewal plans (consistent with the general plan of the municipality), the exercise of its zoning powers, the enforcement of other laws, codes and regulations relating to the use of land and the use and occupancy of buildings and improvements, the disposition of any property acquired, and the provision of necessary public improvements.
SECTION 5. Section 43-35-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-9. A municipality for the purposes of this article may formulate for the municipality a workable program for utilizing appropriate private and public resources to eliminate and prevent the development or spread of slums and urban blight, to encourage needed urban rehabilitation, to provide for the redevelopment of slum and blighted areas, or to undertake such of the aforesaid activities or other feasible municipal activities as may be suitably employed to achieve the objectives of such workable program. Such workable program may include, without limitation, provision for: the prevention of the spread of blight into areas of the municipality which are free from blight through diligent enforcement of housing, zoning and occupancy controls and standards; the rehabilitation or conservation of slum and blighted areas or portions thereof by replanning, removing congestion, providing parks, playgrounds and other public improvements, by encouraging voluntary rehabilitation and by compelling the repair and rehabilitation of deteriorated or deteriorating structures; and the clearance and redevelopment of slum and blighted areas or portions thereof.
SECTION 6. Section 43-35-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-11. No municipalities shall exercise the authority hereafter conferred upon municipalities by this article until after its local governing body shall have adopted a resolution finding that: (1) one or more slum or blighted areas exist in such municipality; and (2) the rehabilitation, conservation, redevelopment, or a combination thereof, of such area or areas is necessary in the interest of the public health, safety, morals or welfare of the residents of such municipality.
SECTION 7. Section 43-35-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-13. (a) A municipality shall not approve an urban renewal project for an urban renewal area unless the governing body has, by resolution, determined such area to be a slum area or a blighted area or a combination thereof and designated such area as appropriate for an urban renewal project. The local governing body shall not approve an urban renewal plan until a general plan for the municipality has been prepared. For this purpose and other municipal purposes, authority is hereby vested in every municipality to prepare, to adopt and to revise from time to time, a general plan for the physical development of the municipality as a whole (giving due regard to the environs and metropolitan surroundings), to establish and maintain a planning commission for such purpose and related municipal planning activities, and to make available and to appropriate necessary funds therefor. A municipality shall not acquire real property for an urban renewal project unless the local governing body has approved the urban renewal project in accordance with subsection (d) hereof.
(b) The municipality may itself prepare or cause to be prepared an urban renewal plan, or any person or agency, public or private, may submit such a plan to a municipality. Prior to its approval of an urban renewal project, the local governing body shall submit such plan to the planning commission of the municipality, if any, for review and recommendations as to its conformity with the general plan for the development of the municipality as a whole. The planning commission shall submit its written recommendations with respect to the proposed urban renewal plan to the local governing body within thirty (30) days after receipt of the plan for review. Upon receipt of the recommendations of the planning commission, or if no recommendations are received within said thirty (30) days, then without such recommendations, the local governing body may proceed with the hearing on the proposed urban renewal project prescribed by subsection (c) hereof.
(c) The local governing body shall hold a public hearing on an urban renewal project, after public notice thereof by publication in a newspaper having a general circulation in the area of operation of the municipality. The notice shall describe the time, date, place and purpose of the hearing, shall generally identify the urban renewal area covered by the plan, and shall outline the general scope of the urban renewal project under consideration.
(d) Following such hearing, the local governing body may approve an urban renewal project if it finds that (1) a feasible method exists for the location of families who will be displaced from the urban renewal area in decent, safe and sanitary dwelling accommodations within their means and without undue hardship to such families; (2) the urban renewal plan conforms to the general plan of the municipality as a whole; and (3) the urban renewal plan will afford maximum opportunity, consistent with the sound needs of the municipality as a whole, for the rehabilitation or redevelopment of the urban renewal area by private enterprise. If the urban renewal area consists of an area of open land to be acquired by the municipality, such area shall not be so acquired unless (1) if it is to be developed for residential uses, the local governing body shall determine that a shortage of housing of sound standards and design which is decent, safe and sanitary exists in the municipality; that the need for housing accommodations has been or will be increased as a result of the clearance of slums in other areas (including other portions of the urban renewal area); that the conditions of blight in the area and the shortage of decent, safe and sanitary housing cause or contribute to an increase in and spread of disease and crime and constitute a menace to the public health, safety, morals, or welfare; and that the acquisition of the area for residential uses is an integral part of and essential to the program of the municipality, or (2) if it is to be developed for nonresidential uses, the local governing body shall determine that such nonresidential uses are necessary and appropriate to facilitate the proper growth and development of the community in accordance with sound planning standards and local community objectives, which acquisition may require the exercise of governmental action, as provided in this article, because of defective or unusual conditions of title, diversity of ownership, tax delinquency, improper subdivisions, outmoded street patterns, deterioration of site, economic disuse, unsuitable topography or faulty lot layouts, the need for the correlation of the area with other areas of a municipality by streets and modern traffic requirements, or any combination of such factors or other conditions which retard development of the area.
(e) An urban renewal plan may be modified at any time, provided that if modified after the lease or sale by the municipality of real property in the urban renewal project area, such modification may be conditioned upon such approval of the owner, lessee or successor in interest as the municipality may deem advisable and in any event shall be subject to such rights at law or in equity as a lessee or purchaser, or his successor or successors in interest, may be entitled to assert.
(f) Upon the approval by a municipality of an urban renewal plan or of any modification thereof, such plan or modification shall be deemed to be in full force and effect for the respective urban renewal area and the municipality may then cause such plan or modification to be carried out in accordance with its terms.
(g) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this article, where the local governing body certifies that an area is in need of redevelopment or rehabilitation as a result of a flood, fire, hurricane, earthquake, storm, or other catastrophe respecting which the governor of the state has certified the need for disaster assistance under Public Law 875, Eighty-first Congress, or other federal law, the local governing body may approve an urban renewal plan and an urban renewal project with respect to such area without regard to the provisions of subsection (d) of this section and the provisions of this section requiring a general plan for the municipality and a public hearing on the urban renewal project.
SECTION 8. Section 43-35-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-15. Every municipality shall have all the powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this article, including the following powers in addition to others herein granted:
(a) To undertake and carry out urban renewal projects within its area of operation; and to make and execute contracts and other instruments necessary or convenient to the exercise of its powers under this article, and to disseminate slum clearance and urban renewal information;
(b) To provide or to arrange or contract for the furnishing or repair by any person or agency, public or private, or services, privileges, works, streets, roads, public utilities or other facilities for or in connection with an urban renewal project; to install, construct, and reconstruct streets, utilities, parks, playgrounds, and other public improvements; and to agree to any conditions that it may deem reasonable and appropriate attached to federal financial assistance and imposed pursuant to federal law relating to the determination of prevailing salaries or wages or compliance with labor standards, in the undertaking or carrying out of an urban renewal project, and to include in any contract let in connection with such a project, provisions to fulfill such of said conditions as it may deem reasonable and appropriate;
(c) Within its area of operation, to enter into any building or property in any urban renewal area in order to make inspections, surveys, appraisals, soundings or test borings, and to obtain an order for this purpose from a court of competent jurisdiction in the event entry is denied or resisted; to acquire by purchase, lease, option, gift, grant, bequest, devise, eminent domain or otherwise, any real property (or personal property for its administrative purposes), together with any improvements thereon. However, before condemning property of a corporation itself possessing the power of eminent domain, the condemnor must have obtained from the Mississippi Public Service Commission findings of fact as follows: (i) that there was no other property reasonably available for the contemplated public use, and (ii) that the property sought to be taken was not reasonably necessary to the performance of the function of the public service corporation owning, or holding such property. Moreover, such municipality shall have the power to hold, improve, clear or prepare for redevelopment any such property; to mortgage, pledge, hypothecate or otherwise encumber or dispose of any real property; to insure or provide for the insurance of any real or personal property or operations of the municipality against any risks or hazards, including the power to pay premiums on any such insurance; and to enter into any contracts necessary to effectuate the purposes of this article. However, no statutory provision with respect to the acquisition, clearance or disposition of property by public bodies shall restrict a municipality or other public body exercising the powers hereunder, in the exercise of such functions with respect to an urban renewal project, unless the legislature shall specifically so state;
(d) To invest any urban renewal project funds held in reserves or sinking funds or any such funds not required for immediate disbursement, in property or securities in which savings banks may legally invest funds subject to their control; to redeem such bonds as have been issued pursuant to Section 43-35-21 at the redemption price established therein or to purchase such bonds at less than redemption price, all such bonds so redeemed or purchased to be cancelled;
(e) To borrow money and to apply for and accept advances, loans, grants, contributions and any other form of financial assistance from the federal government, the state, county, or other public body, or from any sources, public or private, for the purposes of this article, and to give such security as may be required and to enter into and carry out contracts in connection therewith. A municipality may include in any contract for financial assistance with the federal government for an urban renewal project such conditions imposed pursuant to federal laws as the municipality may deem reasonable and appropriate and which are not inconsistent with the purposes of this article.
(f) To accept funds under the provisions of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, P. L. 93-383, or amendments thereto, and to make grants or loans to individuals who own property in the designated area and who qualify according to the provisions of the act, such grants or loans to be made from funds accepted under the provisions of said P. L. 93-383, as amended, or from the grants and contributions derived under the provisions of subsection (e) of this section; and to make loans from funds derived from subsection (e) of this section or from the proceeds of revenue bonds issued pursuant to the authority of Section 43-35-21, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(g) Within its area of operation, to make or have made all surveys and plans necessary to the carrying out of the purposes of this article and to contract with any person, public or private, in making and carrying out such plans and to adopt or approve, modify and amend such plans. Such plans may include, without limitation: (i) a general plan for the locality as a whole, (ii) urban renewal plans, (iii) preliminary plans outlining urban renewal activities for neighborhoods to embrace two (2) or more urban renewal areas, (iv) plans for carrying out a program of voluntary or compulsory repair and rehabilitation of buildings and improvements, (v) plans for the enforcement of state and local laws, codes and regulations relating to the use of land and the use and occupancy of buildings and improvements and to the compulsory repair, rehabilitation, demolition, or removal of buildings and improvements, and (vi) appraisals, title searches, surveys, studies, and other plans and work necessary to prepare for the undertaking of urban renewal projects. The municipality is authorized to develop, test, and report methods and techniques, and carry out demonstrations and other activities, for the prevention and the elimination of slums and urban blight and to apply for, accept and utilize grants of funds from the federal government for such purposes;
(h) To prepare plans for the relocation of persons (including families, business concerns and others) displaced by an urban renewal project, and to make relocation payments to or with respect to such persons for moving expenses and losses of property for which reimbursement or compensation is not otherwise made, including the making of payments financed by the federal government;
(i) To appropriate such funds and make such expenditures as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this article and to levy taxes and assessments for such purposes; to zone or rezone any part of the municipality or make exceptions from building regulations; and to enter into agreements with a housing authority or an urban renewal agency vested with urban renewal project powers under Section 43-35-31 (which agreements may extend over any period, notwithstanding any provision or rule of law to the contrary), respecting action to be taken by such municipality pursuant to any of the powers granted by this article;
(j) To close, vacate, plan or replan streets, roads, sidewalks, ways or other places; and to plan or replan any part of the municipality;
(k) Within its area of operation, to organize, coordinate and direct the administration of the provisions of this article as they apply to such municipality in order that the objective of remedying slum and blighted areas and preventing the causes thereof within such municipality may be most effectively promoted and achieved, and to establish such new office or offices of the municipality or to reorganize existing offices in order to carry out such purpose most effectively; and
(l) To exercise all or any part or combination of powers herein granted.
SECTION 9. Section 43-35-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-17. (a) A municipality shall have the right to acquire by condemnation any interest in real property, including a fee simple title thereto, which it may deem necessary for or in connection with an urban renewal project under this article. A municipality may exercise the power of eminent domain in the manner provided in Chapter 27, Title 11, Mississippi Code of 1972, or it may exercise the power of eminent domain in the manner now or which may be hereafter provided by any other statutory provisions for the exercise of the power of eminent domain. Property already devoted to a public use may be acquired in like manner, provided that no real property belonging to the state, or any political subdivision thereof, may be acquired without its consent.
(b) In any proceeding to fix or assess compensation for damages for the taking or damaging of property, or any interest therein, through the exercise of the power of eminent domain or condemnation, evidence or testimony bearing upon the following matters shall be admissible and shall be considered in fixing such compensation or damages, in addition to evidence or testimony otherwise admissible:
(1) Any use, condition, occupancy, or operation of such property, which is unlawful or violative of, or subject to elimination, abatement, prohibition, or correction under, any law or any ordinance or regulatory measure of the state, county, municipality, other political subdivision, or any agency thereof, in which such property is located, as being unsafe, substandard, unsanitary or otherwise contrary to the public health, safety, or welfare; and
(2) The effect on the value of such property of any such use, condition, occupancy, or operation, or of the elimination, abatement, prohibition, or correction of any such use, condition, occupancy, or operation.
(c) The foregoing testimony and evidence shall be admissible notwithstanding that no action has been taken by any public body or public officer toward the abatement, prohibition, elimination or correction of any such use, condition, occupancy, or operation. Testimony or evidence that any public body or public officer charged with the duty or authority so to do has rendered, made or issued any judgment, decree, determination or order for the abatement, prohibition, elimination or correction of any such use, condition, occupancy, or operation shall be admissible and shall be prima facie evidence of the existence and character of such use, condition or operation.
SECTION 10. Section 43-35-19, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-19. (a) A municipality may sell, lease or otherwise transfer real property or any interest therein acquired by it, and may enter into contracts with respect thereto, in an urban renewal area for residential, recreational, commercial, industrial or other uses or for public use, or may retain such property or interest for public use, in accordance with the urban renewal plan, subject to such covenants, conditions and restrictions, including covenants running with the land, as it may deem to be necessary or desirable to assist in preventing the development or spread of future slums or blighted areas or to otherwise carry out the purposes of this article. Such sale, lease, other transfer, or retention, and any agreement relating thereto, may be made only after the approval of the urban renewal plan by the local governing body. The purchasers or lessees and their successors and assigns shall be obligated to devote such real property only to the uses specified in the urban renewal plan, and may be obligated to comply with such other requirements as the municipality may determine to be in the public interest, including the obligation to begin within a reasonable time any improvements on such real property required by the urban renewal plan. Such real property or interest shall be sold, leased, otherwise transferred, or retained at not less than its fair value for uses in accordance with the urban renewal plan. In determining the fair value of real property for uses in accordance with the urban renewal plan, a municipality shall take into account and give consideration to the uses provided in such plan; the restrictions upon, and the covenants, conditions and obligations assumed by the purchaser or lessee or by the municipality retaining the property; and the objectives of such plan for the prevention of the recurrence of slum or blighted areas. The municipality in any instrument of conveyance to a private purchaser or lessee may provide that such purchaser or lessee shall be without power to sell, lease, or otherwise transfer the real property without the prior written consent of the municipality until he has completed the construction of any or all improvements which he has obligated himself to construct thereon. Real property acquired by a municipality which, in accordance with the provisions of the urban renewal plan, is to be transferred, shall be transferred as rapidly as feasible in the public interest consistent with the carrying out of the provisions of the urban renewal plan. Each contract for such transfer and the urban renewal plan shall be recorded in the land records of the county in such manner as to afford actual or constructive notice thereof.
(b) A municipality may dispose of real property in an urban renewal area to private persons only under such reasonable competitive bidding procedures as it shall prescribe or as hereinafter provided in this subsection. A municipality may, by public notice by publication in a newspaper having a general circulation in the community (thirty (30) days prior to the execution of any contract to sell, lease or otherwise transfer real property and prior to the delivery of any instrument of conveyance with respect thereto under the provisions of this section), invite proposals from and make available all pertinent information to private redevelopers or any persons interested in undertaking to redevelop or rehabilitate an urban renewal area, or any part thereof. Such notice shall identify the area, or portion thereof, and shall state that proposals shall be made by those interested within thirty (30) days after the date of publication of said notice, and that such further information as is available may be obtained at such office as shall be designated in said notice. The municipality shall consider all such redevelopment or rehabilitation proposals and the financial and legal ability of the persons making such proposals to carry them out, and may negotiate with any persons for proposals for the purchase, lease or other transfer of any real property acquired by the municipality in the urban renewal area. The municipality may accept such proposal as it deems to be in the public interest and in furtherance of the purposes of this article. A notification of intention to accept such proposal shall be filed with the governing body not less than thirty (30) days prior to any such acceptance. Thereafter, the municipality may execute such contract in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) and deliver deeds, leases and other instruments and take all steps necessary to effectuate such contract.
(c) A municipality may temporarily operate and maintain real property acquired in an urban renewal area pending the disposition of the property as authorized in this article, without regard to the provisions of subsection (a) above, for such uses and purposes as may be deemed desirable even though not in conformity with the urban renewal plan.
SECTION 11. Section 43-35-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-21. (a) A municipality shall have power to issue bonds from time to time, in its discretion, to finance the undertaking of any urban renewal project under this article, including, without limiting the generality thereof, the payment of principal and interest upon any advances for surveys and plans, and shall also have power to issue refunding bonds for the payment or retirement of such bonds previously issued by it. Such bonds shall be made payable, as to both principal and interest, solely from the income, proceeds, revenues, and funds of the municipality derived from or held in connection with its undertaking and carrying out of urban renewal projects under this article. Payment of such bonds, both as to principal and interest, may be further secured by a pledge of any loan, grant or contribution from the federal government or other source, in aid of any urban renewal projects of the municipality under this article, and by a mortgage of any such urban renewal projects, or any part thereof title to which is in the municipality.
(b) Bonds issued under this section shall not constitute an indebtedness within the meaning of any constitutional or statutory debt limitation or restriction, and shall not be subject to the provisions of any other law or charter relating to the authorization, issuance or sale of bonds. Bonds issued under the provisions of this article are declared to be issued for an essential public and governmental purpose and, together with interest thereon and income therefrom, shall be exempted from all taxes.
(c) Bonds issued under this section shall be authorized by resolution or ordinance of the local governing body and may be issued in one or more series and shall bear such date or dates, be payable upon demand or mature at such time or times, not to exceed thirty (30) years from date of issue, bear interest at such rate or rates, not exceeding that allowed in Section 75-17-103, be in such denomination or denominations, be in such form either coupon or registered, carry such conversion or registration privileges, have such rank or priority, be executed in such manner, be payable in such medium of payment, at such place or places, and be subject to such terms of redemption (with or without premium), be secured in such manner, and have such other characteristics, as may be provided by such resolution or trust indenture or mortgage issued pursuant thereto. Any bond issue to be awarded and sold to the United States of America or any agency thereof shall mature at such time or times, not to exceed thirty-five (35) years, as shall be prescribed in the ordinance authorizing their issuance.
(d) Such bonds may be sold at not less than par at public sales held after notice published prior to such sale in a newspaper having a general circulation in the area of operation and in such other medium of publication as the municipality may determine, may be exchanged for other bonds on the basis of par or may be sold at private sale under such terms and conditions as may be determined from time to time by the municipality. Such bonds may be sold to the federal government at private sale at not less than par, and, in the event less than all of the authorized principal amount of such bonds is sold to the federal government, the balance may be sold at private sale at not less than par at an interest cost to the municipality of not to exceed the interest cost to the municipality of the portion of the bonds sold to the federal government.
(e) In case any of the public officials of the municipality whose signatures appear on any bonds or coupons issued under this article shall cease to be such officials before the delivery of such bonds, such signatures shall, nevertheless, be valid and sufficient for all purposes, the same as if such officials had remained in office until such delivery. Any provision of any law to the contrary notwithstanding, any bonds issued pursuant to this article shall be fully negotiable.
(f) In any suit, action or proceeding involving the validity or enforceability of any bond issued under this article, or the security therefor, any such bond reciting in substance that it has been issued by the municipality in connection with an urban renewal project, shall be conclusively deemed to have been issued for such purpose and such project shall be conclusively deemed to have been planned, located and carried out in accordance with the provisions of this article.
SECTION 12. Section 43-35-23, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-23. All banks, trust companies, bankers, savings banks and institutions, building and loan associations, savings and loan associations, investment companies and other persons carrying on a banking or investment business; all insurance companies, insurance associations, and other persons carrying on an insurance business; and all executors, administrators, curators, trustees, and other fiduciaries, may legally invest any sinking funds, moneys, or other funds belonging to them or within their control in any bonds or other obligations issued by a municipality pursuant to this article or by any urban renewal agency or housing authority vested with urban renewal project powers under Section 43-35-31. Such bonds and other obligations shall be secured by an agreement between the issuer and the federal government in which the issuer agrees to borrow from the federal government and the federal government agrees to lend to the issuer, prior to the maturity of such bonds or other obligations, moneys in an amount which (together with any other moneys irrevocably committed to the payment of interest on such bonds or other obligations) will suffice to pay the principal of such bonds or other obligations with interest to maturity thereon, which moneys, under the terms of said agreement, are required to be used for the purpose of paying the principal of and the interest on such bonds or other obligations at their maturity. Such bonds and other obligations shall be authorized security for all public deposits. It is the purpose of this section to authorize any persons, political subdivisions and officers, public or private, to use any funds owned or controlled by them for the purchase of any such bonds or other obligations. Nothing contained in this section with regard to legal investments shall be construed as relieving any person of any duty of exercising reasonable care in selecting securities.
SECTION 13. Section 43-35-25, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-25. (a) All property of a municipality including funds, owned or held by it for the purposes of this article shall be exempt from levy and sale by virtue of an execution, and no execution or other judicial process shall issue against the same nor shall judgment against a municipality be a charge or lien upon such property. The provisions of this section shall not apply to or limit the right of obligees to pursue any remedies for the enforcement of any pledge or lien given pursuant to this article by a municipality on its rents, fees, grants or revenues from urban renewal projects.
(b) The property of a municipality, acquired or held for the purposes of this article, is declared to be public property used for essential public and governmental purposes and such property shall be exempt from all taxes of the municipality, the county, the state or any political subdivision thereof. Such tax exemption shall terminate when the municipality sells, leases or otherwise disposes of such property in an urban renewal area to a purchaser or lessee which is not a public body entitled to tax exemption with respect to such property.
SECTION 14. Section 43-35-27, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-27. (a) For the purpose of aiding in the planning, undertaking or carrying out of an urban renewal project located within the area in which it is authorized to act, any public body may, upon such terms, with or without consideration, as it may determine: (1) dedicate, sell, convey or lease any of its interest in any property or grant easements, licenses or other rights or privileges therein to a municipality; (2) incur the entire expense of any public improvements made by such public body in exercising the powers granted in this section; (3) do any and all things necessary to aid or cooperate in the planning or carrying out of an urban renewal plan; (4) lend, grant or contribute funds to a municipality; (5) enter into agreements (which may extend over any period, notwithstanding any provision or rule of law to the contrary) with a municipality or other public body respecting action to be taken pursuant to any of the powers granted by this article, including the furnishing of funds or other assistance in connection with an urban renewal project; and (6) cause public buildings and public facilities, including parks, playgrounds, recreational, community, educational, water, sewer or drainage facilities, or any other works which it is otherwise empowered to undertake to be furnished; furnish, dedicate, close, vacate, pave, install, grade, regrade, plan or replan streets, roads, sidewalks, ways or other places; plan or replan, zone or rezone any part of the public body or make exceptions from building regulations; and cause administrative and other services to be furnished to the municipality. If at any time title to or possession of any urban renewal project is held by any public body or governmental agency, other than the municipality, which is authorized by law to engage in the undertaking, carrying out, or administration of urban renewal projects (including any agency or instrumentality of the United States of America), the provisions of the agreements referred to in this section shall inure to the benefit of and may be enforced by such public body or governmental agency. As used in this subsection, the term "municipality" shall also include an urban renewal agency or a housing authority vested with all of the urban renewal project powers pursuant to the provisions of Section 43-35-31.
(b) Any sale, conveyance, lease or agreement provided for in this section may be made by a public body without appraisal, public notice, advertisement or public bidding.
(c) For the purpose of aiding in the planning, undertaking or carrying out of an urban renewal project of an urban renewal agency or a housing authority hereunder, a municipality may (in addition to its other powers and upon such terms, with or without consideration, as it may determine) do and perform any or all of the actions or things which, by the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a public body is authorized to do or perform, including the furnishing of financial and other assistance.
(d) For the purposes of this section, or for the purpose of aiding in the planning, undertaking or carrying out of an urban renewal project of a municipality, such municipality may (in addition to any authority to issue bonds pursuant to Section 43-35-21) issue and sell its general obligation bonds. Any bonds issued by a municipality pursuant to this section shall be issued in the manner and within the limitations prescribed by the laws of this state for the issuance and authorization of bonds by such municipality for public purposes generally.
SECTION 15. Section 43-35-29, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-29. Any instrument executed by a municipality and purporting to convey any right, title or interest in any property under this article shall be conclusively presumed to have been executed in compliance with the provisions of this article in so far as title or other interest of any bona fide purchasers, lessees or transferees of such property is concerned.
SECTION 16. Section 43-35-31, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-31. (a) A municipality may itself exercise its urban renewal project powers (as herein defined) or may, if the local governing body by resolution determines such action to be in the public interest, elect to have such powers exercised by the urban renewal agency (created by Section 43-35-33) or by the housing authority, if one exists or is subsequently established in the community. In the event the local governing body makes such determination, the urban renewal agency or the housing authority, as the case may be, shall be vested with all of the urban renewal project powers in the same manner as though all such powers were conferred on such agency or authority instead of the municipality. If the local governing body does not elect to make such determination, the municipality, in its discretion, may exercise its urban renewal project powers through a board or commissioner or through such officers of the municipality as the local governing body may by resolution determine.
(b) As used in this section, the term "urban renewal project powers" shall include the rights, powers, functions and duties of a municipality under this article, except the following: the power to determine an area to be a slum or blighted area or combination thereof and to designate such area as appropriate for an urban renewal project and to hold any public hearings required with respect thereto; the power to approve urban renewal plans and modifications thereof; the power to establish a general plan for the locality as a whole; the power to formulate a workable program under Section 43-35-9; the power to make the determinations and findings provided for in Section 43-35-7, Section 43-35-11, and subsection (d) of Section 43-35-13; the power to issue general obligation bonds; and the power to appropriate funds, to levy taxes and assessments, and to exercise other powers provided for in subsection (h) of Section 43-35-15.
SECTION 17. Section 43-35-33, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-33. (a) There is hereby created in each municipality a public body corporate and politic to be known as the "urban renewal agency" of the municipality. Such agency shall not transact any business or exercise its powers hereunder until or unless the local governing body has made the finding prescribed in Section 43-35-11, and has elected to have the urban renewal project powers exercised by an urban renewal agency as provided in Section 43-35-31.
(b) If the urban renewal agency is authorized to transact business and exercise powers hereunder, the mayor, by and with the advice and consent of the local governing body, shall appoint a board of commissioners of the urban renewal agency which shall consist of five (5) commissioners. The term of office of each such commissioner shall be for five (5) years. The commissioners who are appointed in 1973 shall be designated to serve for terms of one (1), two (2), three (3), four (4) and five (5) years, respectively, from the date of their appointment, and thereafter when a vacancy shall occur either by the expiration of term of office or otherwise, the vacancy shall be filled by the governing body of the city either to fill an unexpired term where a commissioner shall die or resign or shall become disqualified during his term, or for a full term of five (5) years where the term of a commissioner expires.
(c) A commissioner shall receive no compensation for his services but shall be entitled to the necessary expenses, including traveling expenses, incurred in the discharge of his duties. Each commissioner shall hold office until his successor has been appointed and has qualified. A certificate of the appointment or reappointment of any commissioner shall be filed with the clerk of the municipality and such certificate shall be conclusive evidence of the due and proper appointment of such commissioner.
The powers of an urban renewal agency shall be exercised by the commissioners thereof. A majority of the commissioners shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting business and exercising the powers of the agency and for all other purposes. Action may be taken by the agency upon a vote of a majority of the commissioners present, unless in any case the bylaws shall require a larger number. Any persons may be appointed as commissioners if they reside within the area of operation of the agency, which shall be coterminous with the area of operation of the municipality, and are otherwise eligible for such appointments under this article.
An agency may employ an executive director, technical experts and such other agents and employees, permanent and temporary, as it may require, and determine their qualifications, duties and compensation. For such legal service as it may require, an agency may employ or retain its own counsel and legal staff. An agency authorized to transact business and exercise powers under this article shall file with the local governing body, on or before March 31 of each year, a report of its activities for its preceding fiscal year, which report shall include a complete financial statement setting forth its assets, liabilities, income and operating expenses as of the end of such fiscal year. At the time of filing the report, the agency shall publish a true and correct copy of such report in a newspaper of general circulation in the community.
(d) For inefficiency or neglect of duty or misconduct in office, a commissioner may be removed only after a hearing and after he shall have been given a copy of the charges at least ten (10) days prior to such hearing and have had an opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel.
SECTION 18. Section 43-35-35, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-35. No public official or employee of a municipality, or of any board or commission thereof who exercises any authority with respect to urban renewal projects undertaken pursuant to this article, and no commissioner or employee of a housing authority or urban renewal agency which has been vested by a municipality with urban renewal project powers under Section 43-35-31 shall voluntarily acquire any personal interest, direct or indirect, in any urban renewal project, or in any property included or planned to be included in any urban renewal project of such municipality or in any contract or proposed contract in connection with such urban renewal project. Where such acquisition is not voluntary, the interest acquired shall be immediately disclosed in writing to the local governing body and such disclosure shall be entered upon the minutes of the governing body. If any such official, commissioner or employee presently owns or controls, or owned or controlled within the preceding two (2) years, any interest, direct or indirect, in any property which he knows is included or planned to be included in an urban renewal project, he shall immediately disclose this fact in writing to the local governing body, and such disclosure shall be entered upon the minutes of the governing body, and any such official, commissioner or employee shall not participate in any action by the municipality, or board or commission thereof, housing authority, or urban renewal agency affecting such property. Any disclosure required to be made by this section to the local governing body shall concurrently be made to a housing authority or urban renewal agency which has been vested with urban renewal project powers by the municipality pursuant to the provisions of Section 43-35-31. No commissioner or other officer of any housing authority, urban renewal agency, board or commission exercising powers pursuant to this article shall hold any other public office under the municipality other than his commissionership or office with respect to such housing authority, urban renewal agency, board or commission. Any violation of the provisions of this section shall constitute misconduct in office.
SECTION 19. Section 43-35-37, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-37. In so far as the provisions of this article are inconsistent with the provisions of any other law, the provisions of this article shall be controlling. The powers conferred by this article shall be in addition and supplemental to the powers conferred by any other law. Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to amend, repeal or supersede the provisions of the Public Utility Law of 1956, Sections 77-3-1 through 77-3-89, Mississippi Code of 1972, nor to authorize the construction or operation of utility facilities where reasonably adequate services are being provided by an existing utility. Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to authorize the taking of private property for any purpose other than necessary public use.
SECTION 20. Section 43-35-101, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-101. The following terms, whenever used or referred to in this article, shall have the following respective meanings for the purposes of this article, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
(a) "Municipality" shall mean any city, town or village in this state.
(b) "Governing body" shall mean the board of aldermen, council, board, or commissioners, or other legislative body, charged with governing a municipality.
(c) "Public officer" shall mean the officer or officers in charge of any municipal department who are authorized by ordinance adopted hereunder to exercise the powers prescribed by such ordinance and by this article.
(d) "Public authority" shall mean any housing authority, or any officer who is in charge of any department or branch of the government of the municipality or state relating to health, fire, building regulations, or to other activities concerning buildings in the municipality.
(e) "Owner" shall mean the holder of the title in fee, or a mortgagee or trustee, whose interest is shown of record, or who is in possession of a building, or any person in control of a building, or the agent of any such person.
(f) "Parties in interest" shall mean individuals, associations, or corporations who have an interest of record in or who are in possession of a building.
(g) "Building" means any building or structure or part thereof used and occupied by humans as a dwelling, store, factory, warehouse, requiring the presence of humans therein, or intended to be so used, and includes any yard, garden, parking or storage area, outhouses, and appurtenances belonging thereto or usually enjoyed therewith.
SECTION 21. Section 43-35-103, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-103. It is hereby found and declared that the existence and occupation of dwellings and other buildings in the municipalities of this state, which are unfit for human habitation, use or occupancy, are inimical to the welfare and dangerous and injurious to the health, safety and morals of the people of this state; and that a public necessity exists for the repair or elimination of such buildings.
Whenever any municipality of this state finds that there exist in such municipality buildings, which are unfit for human habitation, use or occupancy, due to dilapidation, defects increasing the hazards of fires, accidents or other calamities, lack of ventilation, light or sanitary facilities, or due to other conditions rendering such buildings unsafe and unsanitary, and dangerous or detrimental to the health, safety or morals, or which are otherwise inimical to the welfare of the residents of such municipality, power is hereby conferred upon such municipality to exercise its police powers to remedy or eliminate the aforesaid conditions in the manner provided in this article.
SECTION 22. Section 43-35-105, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-105. Upon the adoption of an ordinance finding that building conditions of the character described in Section 43-35-103 exist within a municipality, the governing body of such municipality is hereby authorized to adopt ordinances relating to the buildings within such municipality which are unfit for human habitation, use or occupancy. Such ordinances shall include the following provisions:
(a) That a public officer be designated or appointed to exercise the powers prescribed by the ordinances.
(b) That whenever a petition is filed with the public officer by a public authority or by at least five (5) residents of the municipality, charging that any building is unfit for human habitation, use or occupancy, or whenever it appears to the public officer, on his own motion, that any building is unfit for human habitation, use or occupancy, the public officer shall, if his preliminary investigation discloses a basis for such charges, issue and cause to be served upon the owner of and parties in interest in such premises a complaint, stating the charges in that respect and containing a notice that a hearing will be held before the public officer, or his designated agent, at a place therein fixed not less than ten (10) days nor more than thirty (30) days after the serving of said complaint; and that the owner and parties in interest shall be given the right to file an answer to the complaint and to appear in person, or otherwise, and give testimony at the place and time fixed in the complaint.
(c) That if, after such notice and hearing, the public officer determines that the building under consideration is unfit for human habitation, use or occupancy, he shall state in writing his findings of fact in support of such determination and shall issue and cause to be served upon the owner thereof an order requiring him, to the extent and within the time specified in the order, to repair, alter or improve the said building to render it fit for human habitation, use or occupancy or, at the option of the owner, to vacate and close the building as a human habitation, or for human use or occupancy.
(d) That, if the owner fails to comply with such order within the time prescribed, the public officer may cause the building to be vacated and closed; that the public officer may cause to be posted on the main entrance of any building so closed a placard with the following words:
"This building is unfit for human habitation, use or occupancy; the use or occupation of this building by humans is prohibited and unlawful."
Any person who shall rent, lease or occupy, or who shall permit any person to rent, lease or occupy such building for a human habitation, use or occupancy, shall be liable for such fine as may be prescribed by the ordinances of the municipality.
(e) That if, after notice and hearing, the public officer determines that a building is in such condition, because of dilapidation, disrepair, structural defects, or otherwise, that it is dangerous or injurious to the health or safety of the public or the occupants of buildings or the occupants of neighboring buildings, said public officer shall issue and cause to be served upon the owner an order requiring him to repair, alter or improve the said building to the extent and within the time specified in such order, or, at the option of the owner, to remove or demolish such building; that if the owner fails to comply with such order within the time prescribed, the public officer may cause such building to be repaired, altered or improved in accordance with the order. If such repairs, alterations or improvements cannot be made at a reasonable cost in relation to the value of the building, said public officer may cause such building to be removed or demolished; the ordinance of the municipality may fix a certain percentage of such cost in relation to the value of a building as being reasonable for such purpose; and the cost of such repairs, alterations, improvements or removal, or demolition, in addition to a penalty not to exceed twenty percent (20%) of the actual costs which may be imposed by the municipality, shall be a lien against such real estate, and assessed and collected as a special tax. The governing authorities of any municipality ordering such assessment shall fix a day for the hearing of objections to such assessment and shall cause the municipal clerk to give to the property owner ten (10) days' written notice, by mail, if the post-office address of the owner be known, but if the post-office address of the owner be unknown, notice shall be given by posting notice for at least ten (10) days in five (5) public places in the municipality, of the time and place for the hearing of objections to such assessment; one of such public places for posting notice as aforesaid shall be on the land which is the subject matter of such assessment. If the amount of said special tax is not paid in full within six (6) months from and after the date the assessment becomes final, the tax collector shall proceed to advertise and sell the said real estate, or a sufficient amount thereof to recover said special tax and all costs of the sale, after having given notice of the time and place of such sale as is required by law for the sale of land for delinquent ad valorem taxes. From the proceeds of said sale, the tax collector shall first pay the cost of the sale, after which he shall pay the cost of such repairs, alterations, improvement, removal or demolition and any penalty imposed by the municipality; and any amount remaining over shall be deposited by him with the clerk of the circuit court as hereinafter provided. If the building is removed or demolished by the public officer, he may sell the materials of such building and shall credit the proceeds of such sale against the cost of the removal or demolition; and any balance remaining shall be deposited in the circuit court by the public officer, shall be secured in such manner as may be directed by such court, and shall be disbursed by such court to the persons found to be entitled thereto by the final award or judgment of such court. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to impair or limit in any way the power of the municipality to define and declare nuisances and to cause their removal or abatement by summary proceedings or otherwise.
SECTION 23. Section 43-35-107, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-107. An ordinance adopted by a municipality under this article shall provide that the public officer may determine that a building is unfit for human habitation, use or occupation, if he finds that conditions exist in such buildings which are dangerous or injurious to the health, safety or morals of the persons using such buildings for human habitation, use or occupation, or to the public. Such conditions may include the following, without limiting the generality of the foregoing: defects therein increasing the hazards of fire, accident, or other calamities; lack of adequate ventilation, light, or sanitary facilities; dilapidation; disrepair; structural defects; and uncleanliness. Such ordinance may provide additional standards to guide the public officer, or his agents, in determining the fitness of a building for human habitation, use or occupation.
SECTION 24. Section 43-35-109, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-109. Complaints or orders issued by a public officer pursuant to an ordinance adopted under this article shall be served upon persons either personally or by registered mail; but if the whereabouts of such persons is unknown, and the same cannot be ascertained by the public officer in the exercise of reasonable diligence, and the public officer shall make an affidavit to that effect, then the serving of such complaint or order upon such persons may be made by publishing the same once each week for two (2) successive weeks in a newspaper printed and published in the municipality, or, in the absence of such a newspaper, in one printed and published in the county and circulating in the municipality in which the dwellings are located. A copy of such complaint or order shall be posted in a conspicuous place on premises affected by the complaint or order. A copy of such complaint or order shall also be filed in the proper office or offices for the filing of lis pendens notices in the county in which the dwelling is located, and such filing of the complaint shall have the same force and effect as other lis pendens notices provided by law. The rules and evidence prevailing in courts of law or equity shall not be controlling in hearings before the public officer.
SECTION 25. Section 43-35-111, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-111. Any person affected by an order issued by the public officer may apply to the circuit court for an injunction restraining the public officer from carrying out the provisions of the order, and the court, or any judge thereof, may, upon such application, issue an order restraining the public officer pending final disposition of the cause. Hearings shall be had by the court on such applications within twenty (20) days, or as soon thereafter as possible, and shall be given preference over other matters on the court's calendar. The court shall hear and determine the issues raised, and shall enter such final order or decree as law and justice may require. In all such proceedings, the findings of the public officer as to facts, if supported by evidence, shall be conclusive. Costs shall be in the discretion of the court. The remedies herein provided shall be exclusive remedies, and no person affected by an order of the public officer shall be entitled to recover any damages for action taken by the public officer under such order or because of non-compliance therewith.
SECTION 26. Section 43-35-113, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-113. An ordinance adopted by the governing body of the municipality may authorize the public officer to exercise such powers as may be necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this article, including the following powers, in addition to others herein granted:
(a) To investigate the building conditions in the municipality in order to determine which buildings therein are unfit for human habitation, use or occupation;
(b) To administer oaths, affirmations, examine witnesses, and receive evidence;
(c) To enter upon premises for the purpose of making examinations, provided that such entries shall be made in such manner as to cause the least possible inconvenience to the persons in possession;
(d) To appoint and fix the duties of such officers, agents and employees, as he deems necessary to carry out the purposes of the ordinance; and,
(e) To delegate any of his functions and powers under the ordinance to such officers and agents as he may designate.
SECTION 27. Section 43-35-115, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-115. The governing body of any municipality adopting an ordinance under this article shall, as soon as possible thereafter, prepare an estimate of the annual expenses or costs to provide the equipment, personnel and supplies necessary for periodic examinations and investigations of the buildings in such municipality for the purpose of determining the fitness of such buildings for human habitation, use or occupancy, and for the enforcement and administration of its ordinances adopted under this article; and any such municipality is authorized to make such appropriations from its revenues as it may deem necessary for this purpose, and may accept and apply grants or donations to assist it in carrying out the provisions of such ordinances.
SECTION 28. Section 43-35-117, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
43-35-117. Nothing in this article shall be construed to abrogate or impair the powers of the courts or of any department of any city to enforce any provisions of its charter or its ordinances or regulations, nor to prevent or punish violations thereof; and the powers conferred by this article shall be in addition and supplemental to the powers conferred by any other law.
SECTION 29. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2021.