2007 Regular Session

To: Local and Private; Finance

By: Senator(s) Robertson, Bryan, Nunnelee, Browning, Gordon, Little, Pickering

Senate Bill 3213



     SECTION 1.  It is hereby determined and declared that for the benefit of the people of Lee, Pontotoc and Union Counties, Mississippi, and the surrounding area, the increase of their commerce, welfare and prosperity, and the improvement and maintenance of their living conditions, that the board of supervisors of each of said counties be granted the authority to issue industrial development general obligation bonds of such counties for the purposes of and as hereinafter provided in this act.

     SECTION 2.  As used in this act, the following words shall have the meanings ascribed herein unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

          (a)  "Bond" or "bonds" means bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness, including refunding bonds, of one or more of the counties issued, in one or more series, from time to time, pursuant to this act.

          (b)  "Costs of the project" shall include the following:

              (i)  The cost of acquiring the property, including the cost of the purchase thereof or the cost of any option to purchase the property, the cost of engineering, legal and related services; the cost of the preparation of studies, surveys and all other expenses necessary or incident to the acquisition of the property;

              (ii)  The cost of reimbursing the district for its costs incurred in connection with the acquisition and/or improvements of the property, including retiring any outstanding indebtedness now or hereafter incurred by the district in connection with the acquisition of the property, removal, relocation, purchase or construction of easements, cell towers, wetlands or any other activity related to finalization of the property by the district or PUL Alliance, any financing charges, such as premiums or prepayment penalties, if any, and interest accrued prior to the reimbursement to the district;

              (iii)  All costs of site preparation and other start-up costs; all costs of construction; all costs of fixtures and of real and personal property required for the purposes of the project and facilities related thereto, whether publicly or privately owned, including land and any rights or undivided interest therein, easements, franchises, fees, permits, approvals, licenses, and certificates and the securing of such permits, approvals, licenses, and certificates and all machinery and equipment, including motor vehicles which are used for project functions; costs of construction, expansion and improvement of utilities through and serving the property; acquisition of any certificates of need and/or public convenience for the provision of water and/or other utilities; any costs associated with the closure, post-closure maintenance or corrective action on environmental matters, wetlands mitigation, financing charges and interest prior to and during construction and during such additional period as the counties may reasonably determine to be necessary for the placing of the project in operation; costs of engineering, surveying, environmental geotechnical, architectural and legal services; costs of plans and specifications and all expenses necessary or incident to determining the feasibility or practicability of the project; administrative expenses; and such other expenses as may be necessary or incidental to the financing authorized in this act.  The costs of any project may also include funds for the creation of a debt service reserve, a renewal and replacement reserve, bond insurance and credit enhancement, and such other reserves as may be reasonably required by the alliance for the operation of its projects and as may be authorized by any bond resolution or trust agreement or indenture pursuant to the provisions of which the issuance of any such bonds may be authorized.  Any obligation or expense incurred for any of the foregoing purposes shall be regarded as a part of the costs of the project and may be paid or reimbursed as such out of the proceeds of user fees, of revenue bonds or notes issued under this act for such project, or from other revenues obtained by the alliance; and

              (iv)  Any and all costs paid or incurred in connection with the financing and/or refinancing of the property, including, but not limited to, the costs incurred in connection with the sale and issuance of bonds pursuant hereto.

          (c)  "County" or "counties" means individually or collectively, each of Lee County, Pontotoc County and Union County, Mississippi.

          (d)  "District" means the Three Rivers Planning and Development District or any successor thereto.

          (e)  "Governing body" means the board of supervisors of each of the counties.

          (f)  "Project" means the financing or refinancing of the acquisition of, and/or improvements to the property.

          (g)  "Property" means certain real property, located in Pontotoc and Union Counties, Mississippi, purchased or to be purchased by the district to be used for a project as defined by Section 57-75-5(f)(xxi).

          (h)  "PUL Alliance" means an alliance of Pontotoc, Union and Lee Counties established under the Regional Economic Development Act (Section 57-64-1 et seq., Mississippi Code of 1972).

          (i)  "State" means the State of Mississippi.

     SECTION 3.  Each county is hereby authorized to issue its general obligation bonds in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed Ten Million Dollars ($10,000,000.00) to finance a portion of the costs of the project.

     SECTION 4.  The total principal amount of bonds issued pursuant to the provisions of this act, exclusive of bonds issued to provide for the refunding of outstanding bonds, shall not exceed Thirty Million Dollars ($30,000,000.00).

     SECTION 5.  Any bonds issued pursuant to this act shall be general obligations of the issuing county, and the full faith and credit of such county shall be pledged to the payment of the principal of, redemption premium, if any, and interest on the bonds.

     SECTION 6.  (1)  The bonds shall be dated, shall bear interest at such rate or rates, shall mature at such time or times in either serial or term form or both not exceeding thirty (30) years from their date, and may be made redeemable prior to maturity at such price or prices and upon such terms and conditions as may be determined by the county issuing the bonds; shall be in such form and denomination or denominations and payable at such place or places, either within the state or without the state, and may be authenticated in such manner, as the county may determine by resolution.  The bonds shall be executed on behalf of the county by the manual or facsimile signature of the president of its governing body and shall be countersigned by the manual or facsimile signature of its chancery clerk.  In cases where any officer whose signature or a facsimile of whose signature shall appear on any bonds shall cease to be such officer before the delivery of and payment for such bonds, such signature or such facsimile shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes the same as if such officer had remained in office until such delivery and payment.  The bonds may be issued in book entry or in fully registered form, or any combination, or may be payable to a specific person, as each county may determine, and provision may be made for the conversion from one (1) form to another.

     (2)  Each county shall sell its bonds at such price or prices as it shall determine, at public or private sale.

     (3)  All bonds issued pursuant to the provisions of this act shall be excepted from any limitations of indebtedness prescribed by any special or general law and such bonds shall not be considered indebtedness of the county issuing such bonds in applying said limitations of indebtedness.

     SECTION 7.  (1)  Any bonds at any time outstanding under this act may, at any time and from time to time, be refunded by the county issuing such bonds by the issuance of its refunding bonds in such amount as the governing body may deem necessary, but not exceeding:

          (a)  The principal amount of the bonds being refunded;

          (b)  Applicable redemption premiums, if any, thereon;

          (c)  Unpaid interest on such bonds to be refunded to the date of delivery or exchange of the refunding bonds;

          (d)  In the event the proceeds from the sale of the refunding bonds are to be deposited in trust as hereafter provided, interest to accrue on such bonds to be refunded from the date of delivery of the refunding bonds to the date of maturity or to a redemption date of the bonds to be refunded; and

          (e)  Expenses, premiums and commissions deemed by the governing body to be necessary in connection with the issuance of the refunding bonds.

     (2)  Any such refunding may be effected, whether the bonds to be refunded shall have then matured or shall thereafter mature, either by exchange of the refunding bonds for the bonds to be refunded thereby with the consent of the holders of the bonds to be so refunded, or by sale of the refunding bonds and application of the proceeds thereof to the payment of the bonds to be refunded thereby, and regardless of whether or not the bonds to be refunded were issued in connection with the same projects or separate projects, and regardless of whether or not the bonds proposed to be refunded shall be payable on the same date or on different dates or shall be due serially or otherwise.

     (3)  The principal proceeds from the sale of any refunding bonds shall be applied only as follows:

          (a)  To the immediate payment and retirement of the bonds being refunded; or

          (b)  To the extent not required for the immediate payment of the bonds being refunded, then such proceeds shall be deposited in trust to provide for the payment and retirement of the bonds being refunded and to pay any expenses incurred in connection with such refunding, but may also be used to pay interest on the refunding bonds prior to the retirement of the bonds being refunded.  Money in any such trust fund may be invested in direct obligations of, or obligations the principal of and interest on which are guaranteed by, the United States of America, or in certificates of deposit issued by a bank or trust company located in the state if such certificates shall be secured by a pledge of any of said obligations having an aggregate market value, exclusive of accrued interest, equal at least to the principal amount of the certificates so secured.  Nothing herein shall be construed as a limitation on the duration of any deposit in trust for the retirement of bonds being refunded but which shall not have matured and which shall not be presently redeemable.

     SECTION 8.  Prior to the issuance of any bonds under the provisions of this act, the governing body of each county shall adopt a resolution declaring its intention so to do, stating the amount of bonds proposed to be issued, and the date upon which such governing body proposes to direct the issuance of such bonds.  Such resolution shall be published once a week for at least three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper published in the county.  The first publication of such resolution shall be made not less than twenty-one (21) days prior to the date fixed in such resolution to direct the issuance of the bonds and the last publication shall be made not more than seven (7) days prior to such date.

     SECTION 9.  Bonds issued under the provisions of this act shall be legal investments for commercial banks, savings and loan associations and insurance companies organized under the laws of the state.

     SECTION 10.  The bonds authorized by this act and the income therefrom, and the revenues derived therefrom, shall be exempt from all income taxation in the state.

     SECTION 11.  Any bonds issued under the provisions of this act shall be validated in the manner provided by law.

     SECTION 12.  This act, without reference to any other statute, shall be deemed to be full and complete authority for the issuance of the aforesaid bonds, and shall be construed as an additional and alternative method therefor, and none of the present restrictions, requirements, conditions or limitations of law applicable to the issuance or sale of bonds, notes or other obligations by counties in this state shall apply to the issuance and sale of bonds under this act, and no proceedings shall be required for the issuance of such bonds other than those provided for and required herein, and all powers necessary to be exercised in order to carry out the provisions of this act, are hereby conferred.

     SECTION 13.  Each county is further 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 14.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.