A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT TO PROMOTE THE PROVISION OF REGIONAL WATER AND SEWER SERVICES BY TRANSFERRING OWNERSHIP AND OPERATION OF CERTAIN PUBLIC WATER AND SEWER SYSTEMS TO A METROPOLITAN WATER AND SEWERAGE DISTRICT.
Transfers all assets and outstanding debts of any public water system operated by a subdivision of the state and body politic that serves a population of more than 120,000 people that is not operated as either a joint or regional public water supply, to the metropolitan sewerage district in the county in which the system is located, to be operated as a Metropolitan Water and Sewerage District. Requires the assets and outstanding debts of any public sewer system operated by a subdivision of the state and body politic that is interconnected with the metropolitan sewerage district receiving assets under the above requirement, that is not operated as either a joint or regional public sewer system, to be transferred to that metropolitan sewerage district to be operated as a Metropolitan Water and Sewerage District. Provides that until the appointments are made, the district board of the metropolitan sewerage district in the county in which the public water system the assets of which are being transferred is located must function as the district board. Requires that all necessary operation permits also be transferred.
Enacts new Article 5A (Metropolitan Water and Sewerage Districts) in GS Chapter 162A. Provides that a district board consists of no more than 15 members, appointed as specified, who serve three year terms. Provides for reappointment, vacancies, removal, oath of office, officers and chairs, meetings and quorum, and compensation. Sets out the district's powers as exercising any power of a Metropolitan Water District and those of a Metropolitan Sewerage District, and doing all acts and things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers granted by the Article. Gives a metropolitan water and sewerage district the power to issue bonds and notes from time to time under the Local Government Finance Act.
Sets out the process for the determination of tax rate by the district board and the, levy, collection, and remittance of tax.
Allows the district board to fix, and revise, rents, rates, fees, and other charges for the use of and services furnished to or to be furnished by any water system or sewerage system. Sets out further requirements for such rates and charges.
Provides that a right of way or easement in, along, or across any state highway system, road, or street, and along or across any city or town street within a district is granted to a district in case such right of way is found to be necessary or convenient for carrying out any of the district's work.
Provides that the governing body of any political subdivision is authorized and empowered to take specified actions, including, to pay any obligation to the district under a contract from any available funds of the political subdivision and to levy and collect a tax for making the payment.
Requires the district board to present preliminary plans to the county or city governing board before making final plans for the location and construction of any water system or sewerage system. Directs district boards to coordinate its plans for construction of water system or sewerage system improvements with the overall plans for the development of the planning area if the district is located wholly or partly within a county or municipal planning area.
Gives a district the same power as a city to asses civil fines and penalties for violations of its ordinances and allows for injunctions. Provides further guidance on penalties and violations.
Prohibits the district board from privatizing the provision of water or sewer to the customers of the district unless related to administrative matters only.
Make conforming changes to GS 159-44, GS 159-48, and GS 159-81.
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