Introduced Version House Bill 2851 History

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Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted
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H. B. 2851

(By Delegate Louisos)

[Introduced February 26, 2009; referred to the

Committee on Political Subdivisions then Finance.]

A BILL to amend and reenact §8-12-17 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to the sale of municipal public utility.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §8-12-17 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:


§8-12-17. Sale or lease of municipal public utility.

In any case where a municipality shall own a gas system, an electric system, a waterworks or other public utility, and the governing body thereof shall deem it for the best interest of such the municipality that such the utility be sold or leased, the governing body shall, by ordinance legally adopted, submit to the qualified voters of such the municipality, at any regular municipal election or at any special municipal election called for that purpose, the question of making or effecting such the sale or lease. In such case the governing body shall, in the ordinance submitting such the question to a vote, set forth in full the terms of such the proposed sale or lease, the name of the proposed purchaser or lessee and the date of such the election, and a notice containing this information shall be published as a Class II-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such the publication shall be such the municipality. Such The election shall be held in all respects in compliance with the provisions of chapter three of this code, so far as the same are applicable and not inconsistent herewith, and the provisions of article five of this chapter. If a majority of the legal votes cast at such the election upon such the question be in favor of the proposed sale or lease of such the utility, the governing body, upon the ascertainment of the result of such the election, shall have full power and authority to proceed to execute or effect such the sale or lease in accordance with the terms and conditions prescribed in the ordinance as aforesaid, and shall have power to do any and all things necessary or incident thereto: Provided, That if at any time after such the election and before the execution of the authority under the ordinance, any person should present to the governing body an offer to buy such public utility at a price which exceeds by at least five percent the sale price which shall have been so voted upon and authorized or to lease the same upon terms which the governing body, in its discretion, shall consider more advantageous to the municipality than the terms of the lease which shall have been authorized by vote as aforesaid, the governing body shall have the power to accept such the subsequent offer, and to make such the sale or such the lease to the person making the offer, without resubmitting the question to a vote; but, if a sale shall have been authorized by vote as aforesaid, and such the subsequent proposition be for a lease, or, if a lease shall have been so authorized, and the subsequent proposition shall be for a sale, the governing body shall have no power to accept the same without submitting the question thereof to a vote of the people as first above provided. Before any such second or subsequent proposition shall be submitted to a vote, after a sale or lease shall have been authorized at an election held hereunder, the person making such the proposition shall furnish bond, with security to be approved by the governing body, in a penalty of not less than twenty-five percent of such the proposed bid, conditioned to carry such the proposition into execution, if the same shall be approved at the election to be called thereon. In the case of a sale of the public utility, the municipality shall receive at least fifty percent of the replacement costs for the utility in the sale. In any case where any such the public utility shall be sold or leased by the governing body as hereinabove provided, no part of the moneys derived from such the sale or lease shall be applied to the payment of current expenses of the municipality, but the proceeds of such the sale or lease shall be applied in payment and discharge of any bonded indebtedness created in respect to such the public utility, and in case there be no bonded indebtedness, the governing body, in its discretion, shall have the power and authority to expend all such the moneys when received for the purchase or construction of fire-fighting equipment and buildings for housing such the equipment, a municipal building or city hall, and the necessary land upon which to locate the same, or for the construction of paved streets, avenues, roads, alleys, ways, sidewalks, sewers and other like permanent improvements, and for no other purposes. In case there be a surplus after the payment of such any bonded indebtedness, the surplus shall be used as aforesaid.
The requirements of this section shall not apply to the sale or lease of any part of the properties of any such public utility determined by the governing body to be unnecessary for the efficient rendering of the service of such the utility.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require that in the sale of a public utility by a municipality, the municipality shall receive at least fifty percent of the replacement costs for the utility in the sale.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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