Current Status Bill Number:
3595Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: HouseIntroduced Date: 19970305Primary Sponsor: StuartAll Sponsors: Stuart, Gamble, Knotts, Koon, Riser and SpearmanDrafted Document Number: pt\2917dw.97Companion Bill Number: 209Residing Body: HouseDate Tabled: 19970603Date of Last Amendment: 19970521Subject: Water, power of joint municipal water systems, bonds issuance; Political Subdivisions, Water and Sewer
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ House 19970603 Tabled House 19970603 Debate adjourned on Senate amendments House 19970527 Debate adjourned on Senate amendments until Tuesday, 19970603 Senate 19970521 Amended, read third time, returned to House with amendment Senate 19970507 Read second time, notice of general amendments Senate 19970506 Recalled from Committee, 06 SF placed on the Calendar Senate 19970501 Introduced, read first time, 06 SF referred to Committee House 19970430 Read third time, sent to Senate House 19970429 Read second time House 19970417 Committee report: Favorable 30 HWM House 19970305 Introduced, read first time, 30 HWM referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
AS PASSED BY THE SENATE
May 21, 1997
Introduced by Reps. Stuart, Gamble, Knotts, Koon, Riser and Spearman
S. Printed 5/21/97--S.
Read the first time May 1, 1997.
TO AMEND SECTION 6-25-20, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO DEFINITIONS FOR JOINT MUNICIPAL WATER SYSTEMS, SO AS TO REVISE THE MEANING OF THE TERMS "REVENUE BONDS" AND "BONDS"; TO AMEND SECTION 6-25-100, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO POWERS OF JOINT MUNICIPAL WATER SYSTEMS, SO AS TO ALLOW LOANS, BONDS, OR NOTES ISSUED TO A JOINT SYSTEM TO BE PAID FROM OTHER FUNDS AS MAY BE AVAILABLE AND TO ALLOW MEMBERS OF A JOINT SYSTEM TO CREATE, AS THEY CONSIDER NECESSARY, ADDITIONAL PROCEDURES WHICH GOVERN THE ISSUANCE OF ANY NOTES OR BONDS; TO AMEND SECTION 6-25-110, RELATING TO AUTHORIZATION OF A JOINT SYSTEM TO INCUR DEBT AND ISSUE BONDS, SO AS TO ALLOW A JOINT SYSTEM TO USE OTHER SOURCES OF FUNDS AVAILABLE TO IT TO PAY FOR ISSUED BONDS; TO AMEND SECTION 6-25-113, RELATING TO SOURCES FROM WHICH JOINT SYSTEM BONDS ARE PAYABLE, SO AS TO ALLOW A MEMBER COUNTY OR MUNICIPALITY TO PROVIDE A PLEDGE OF ALL OR PART OF ANY REVENUES DERIVED AS PAYMENTS IN LIEU OF TAXES WITH RESPECT TO A PROJECT; TO AMEND SECTION 6-25-120, RELATING TO PAYMENT OF NOTES, OBLIGATIONS, OR BONDS, SO AS TO REQUIRE ONLY REVENUES AND OTHER FUNDS AVAILABLE TO THE JOINT SYSTEM TO BE USED TO PAY OR PLEDGED TO THE AMOUNT OF ANY NOTES, OBLIGATIONS, OR BONDS; AND TO AMEND SECTION 6-25-128, RELATING TO CONTRACTS BETWEEN MUNICIPALITIES AND JOINT SYSTEMS, SO AS TO ALLOW A MUNICIPALITY UNDER CONTRACT FOR THE PURCHASE OF CAPACITY AND OUTPUT FROM A JOINT SYSTEM TO PAY FROM REVENUES DERIVED FROM THE OWNERSHIP AND OPERATION OF THE WATER SYSTEM AND FROM OTHER SOURCES OF FUNDS AS MAY BE AVAILABLE, INCLUDING ANY AMOUNTS RECEIVED AS PAYMENTS IN LIEU OF TAXES.
Amend Title To Conform
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. The General Assembly finds that:
(1) The availability of water and sewer services to assist economic development and to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of its people is a very critical matter for this State.
(2) It is appropriate to make it possible for members of joint municipal water systems to utilize certain sources of revenues available to them, including payments in lieu of taxes, to assist in the development of additional water and sewer treatment capacity and the provision of collection and distribution lines.
(3) It is desirable to facilitate a joint water system in accommodating the desires of its members in projects and financings that affect only those members.
SECTION 2. Section 6-25-20(g) of the 1976 Code, is amended to read:
"(g) 'Revenue bonds' and 'bonds' mean bonds, notes, certificates, or other obligations of a joint system issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and shall include refinancing or refunding same, but which must be paid solely from the revenues of and other sources of funds available to a joint system. The term 'revenues' includes all sources of funds which are revenues to the joint system, regardless of the source of the funds, from any other party obligated to the joint system."
SECTION 3. Section 6-25-100(n) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Part II, Section 91B of Act 145 of 1995, is further amended to read:
"(n) To borrow money and issue bonds or notes of the joint system to be paid solely from revenues of the system and such other funds as may be available therefor with a favorable vote of two-thirds of the commissioners. No bonds or notes shall may be issued the payment for which is dependent upon contracts or agreements with a member except with the approval of the governing body of each such member, by resolution or ordinance of the governing body of each such member;. provided However, that the requirements of this item will be are satisfied and no further action is required with respect to any bonds or notes issued to a finance a project which has been approved by the governing bodies body of each member such members as provided in Section 6-25-110;. and provided further that The approval of any notes or bonds under this chapter shall include any issuance in one or more series and any refunding or refinancing of them so that only the original issuance of the debt must be approved. The members of a joint system may prescribe additional procedures and requirements as they determine appropriate for the issuance of any notes or bonds in the bylaws of any joint system."
SECTION 4. Section 6-25-110 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 6-25-110. A joint system may incur debt for any of its purposes and may issue bonds pledging to the payment as to both principal and interest the revenues, or any portion, derived or to be derived from all or any of its projects and any additions and betterments or extensions or contributions or advances from its members or other sources of funds available to it. No joint system shall undertake any project required to be financed, in whole or in part, with the proceeds of bonds without the approval of the governing bodies of each member which is obligated or to be obligated under any contract for the payment of amounts to be pledged as security therefor and a favorable vote of two-thirds of all commissioners."
SECTION 5. Section 6-25-113 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 6-25-113. The bonds are special obligations of the joint system issuing them. The principal of, premium, if any, and interest on the bonds are not payable from the general funds of the joint system, nor shall do they constitute a legal or equitable pledge, charge, lien, or encumbrance upon any of its property or upon any of its income, receipts, or revenues, except the funds which are pledged under the resolution authorizing the bonds or the trust agreement securing the bonds. Neither the faith and credit nor the taxing power of the State or any municipality is, or may be, pledged for the payment of the principal of or interest on the bonds, and no holder of the bonds has the right to compel the exercise of the taxing power by the State or any municipality or the forfeiture of any of its property in connection with any default. However, the provisions of this section do not affect the ability of any member county, or municipality from providing a pledge of all or part of any revenues derived as payments in lieu of taxes with respect to a project. Every bond must recite in substance that the principal of and interest on the bond is payable solely from the revenues and other funds pledged to its payment and that the joint system is not obligated to pay the principal or interest except from the such revenues and funds so pledged."
SECTION 6. Section 6-25-120 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 6-25-120. In borrowing money or the issuance of bonds or notes, or other obligations, there shall may not be pledged the full faith, credit, or taxing power of any member of the joint system, but only revenues of and other funds available to the system must be used to pay or pledged to the payment of any notes, obligations, or bonds."
SECTION 7. Section 6-25-128 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 6-25-128. Any municipality may contract to buy from the joint system water required for its present or future requirements, including the capacity and output, or a portion or share of one or more specified projects. As the creation of a joint system is an alternative method whereby a municipality may obtain the benefits and assume the responsibilities of ownership in a project, any contract may provide that the municipality so contracting is obligated to make the payments required by the contract whether or not a project is completed, operable, or operating notwithstanding the suspension, interruption, interference, reduction, or curtailment of the output of a project or the water contracted for, and that the payments under the contract are not subject to any reduction, whether by offset or otherwise, and are not conditioned upon the performance or nonperformance of the joint system or any other members of the joint system under the contract or any other instrument. Any contract with respect to the sale or purchase of capacity or output, or a portion or share of them, of a project entered into between a joint system and its member municipalities may also provide that if one or more of the municipalities default in the payment of its or their obligations with respect to the purchase of the capacity or output, or a portion or share of them, in that event the remaining member municipalities which are purchasing capacity and output under the contract are required to accept and pay for and are entitled proportionately to and may use or otherwise dispose of the capacity or output which was to be purchased by the defaulting municipality.
Any contracts with respect to the sale or purchase of capacity and output from a project may extend for a period not exceeding fifty years from the date of the contract and may be renewable and extended upon terms as the parties may agree for not exceeding an additional fifty years; and the execution and effectiveness is not subject to any authorizations or approvals by the State or any agency, commission, or instrumentality or political subdivision of them.
Payments by a municipality under any contract for the purchase of capacity and output from a joint system must may be made from the revenues derived from the ownership and operation of the water system of the municipality or from such other sources of funds as may be available, including any amounts received as payments in lieu of taxes. However, no municipality may pledge its full faith, credit, and taxing power to secure its obligations to the joint system or the bonds of the joint system. and any obligation under the contract does not constitute a legal or equitable pledge, charge, lien, or encumbrance upon any property of the municipality or upon any of its income, receipts, or revenues, except the revenues of its water system, and neither the faith and credit nor the taxing power of the municipality is, or may be pledged for the payment of any obligation under any contract. A municipality is obligated to fix, charge, and collect rents, rates, fees, and charges for water and other services, facilities, and commodities sold, furnished, or supplied through its water system sufficient to provide revenues adequate to meet its obligations under any contract and to pay any and all other amounts payable from or constituting a charge and lien upon the revenues, including amounts sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on general obligation bonds, if any, heretofore or hereafter issued by the municipality for purposes related to its water system.
Any municipality which is a member of a joint system may furnish the joint system with money derived from the ownership and operation of its water system or facilities and provide the joint system with personnel, equipment, and property, both real and personal and from any other sources legally available to it for such purposes. Any municipality may also provide any services to a joint system.
Any member of a joint system may contract for, advance, or contribute funds derived solely from the ownership and operation of its water system or facilities or from any other sources legally available to it to a joint system as may be agreed upon by the joint system and the member, and the joint system shall repay the advances or contributions from the proceeds of bonds, from operation revenues, or from any other funds of the joint system, together with interest as may be agreed upon by the member and the joint system."
SECTION 8. Section 6-25-111(C) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(C) Bonds may be issued under provisions of this chapter without obtaining the consent or approval of the State or any political subdivision or any agency, commission, or instrumentality of them, but no joint system shall undertake any project required to be financed, in whole or in part, with the proceeds of bonds without the approval of the governing bodies of each member members as prescribed in Section 6-25-110."
SECTION 9. A. Chapter 1, Title 6 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 6-1-45. (A) A joint municipal water and sewer commission, or a municipality which has a separate and distinct water system, providing water and\or sewer services, which requires a customer to make a deposit in order to receive such services shall provide to the customer, in writing, the commission's policy concerning the refund of deposits and the rate at which interest on the deposit shall accrue. For purposes of this section, `deposit' means any deposit of money required as a condition of receipt of services, whether labeled an earnest money deposit, security deposit, deposit in escrow, or other deposit of money for the same purpose.
(B) If, after a customer has received service at the same location for two years, the customer has made all payments for service in a timely manner, determined in accordance with standards printed on billing statements, the deposit shall be refunded to the customer, with interest accrued at a rate of not less than five percent per annum. For purposes of this subsection, the phrase `service at the same location for two years' includes periods of service at the same location accumulated prior to the effective date of this section.
(C) At the end of each calendar year, unclaimed deposits shall be transferred to the general fund of the municipality."
B. This section takes effect upon approval of the Governor, except that subsection (B) of Section 6-1-45 takes effect January 1, 1998.
SECTION 10. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.