H. B. 4448
(By Delegates Seacrist, Amores, Walters, Rowe and Hunt)
[Originating in the Committee on Political Subdivisions]
(February 26, 1998)
A BILL to amend and reenact section three-cc, article one,
chapter seven of the code of West Virginia, one thousand
nine hundred thirty-one, as amended; and to amend chapter
twenty-four of said code by adding thereto a new article,
designated article six-a, all relating to authorizing county
commissions and municipalities to establish an independent
emergency operations center board with the power to plan and
coordinate all emergency operations for a county,
municipality or combined territory.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section three-cc, article one, chapter seven of the
code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted; and that chapter twenty-four
of said code be amended by adding thereto a new article,
designated article six-a, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 7. COUNTY COMMISSIONS AND OFFICERS.
§7-1-3cc. Authority of county commissions to establish enhanced
emergency telephone systems, technical and operational standards
for emergency communications centers, and standards for education
and training of emergency communications systems personnel;
standards for alarm systems; fee upon consumers of telephone
service for such systems and for roadway conversion systems;
authority to contract with the telephone companies for billing of
(a) In addition to possessing the authority to establish an
emergency telephone system pursuant to section four, article
six, chapter twenty-four of this code, a county commission or the
county commissions of two or more counties may, instead,
establish an enhanced emergency telephone system or convert an
existing system to an enhanced emergency system. The
establishment of such a system shall be subject to the provisions
of article six and article six-a of said chapter. The county
commission may adopt rules after receiving recommendations from
the West Virginia enhanced 911 council concerning the operation
of all county emergency communications centers or emergency
telephone systems centers in the state, including, but not
limited to, recommendations for:
(1) Minimum standards for emergency telephone systems and
emergency communications centers;
(2) Minimum standards for equipment used in any center receiving telephone calls of an emergency nature and dispatching
emergency service providers in response to that call and which
receives 911 moneys or has basic 911 service funded through its
county commission; and,
(3) Minimum standards for education and training of all
personnel in emergency communications centers.
(b) A county commission may impose a fee upon consumers of
local exchange service within that county for an enhanced
emergency telephone system and associated electronic equipment
and for the conversion of all rural routes to city-type
addressing, as provided in section three of this article.
The fee shall be utilized for the capital, installation and
maintenance costs of the enhanced emergency telephone system and
of the conversion to city-type addressing. The county shall
reduce such the fee when the capital and installation costs have
been fully recovered to the level necessary to offset recurring
maintenance, and dispatcher costs, only and other costs directly
related to the operation of the enhanced emergency telephone
system and emergency operations center. No such fee may be used
for the costs associated with establishing, equipping,
furnishing, operating or maintaining a county answering point.
(c) A county commission may contract with the telephone
company or companies providing local exchange service within the
such a telephone company or companies to act as the
billing agent or agents of the county commission for the billing
of the fee imposed pursuant to subsection (b) of this section. The cost for such the billing agent services may be included as
a recurring maintenance cost of the enhanced emergency telephone
(d) A county commission of any county with an emergency
communications center or emergency telephone system may establish
standards for alarm systems, including security, fire and medical
CHAPTER 24. PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION.
ARTICLE 6A. EMERGENCY MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY BOARDS.
§24-6A-1. Legislative purpose.
It is the purpose of this article to grant authority to
county commissions and municipalities to establish an independent
board of directors to oversee the operation of an emergency
operation center for the purpose of operating an "enhanced
emergency telephone system", as defined in section two, article
six, chapter twenty-four of this code.
(a) "EOC board" means board of directors of an emergency
(b) "Director" means the director of an emergency operations
(c) "County" means county commission.
(d) "Emergency operations center" means a center established
for the maintenance and operation of an enhanced emergency
telephone system, as defined in section two, article six, chapter twenty-four of this code.
§24-6A-3. Emergency operations center board of directors;
Any county or municipality may create an emergency operations
center board of directors "EOC board" for the purpose of
management and control of an "enhanced emergency telephone
system", as defined in section two, article six, chapter twenty- four of this code. Prior to establishing such a board, the
county or municipality must enter an order scheduling a public
hearing on the matter. The public hearing must be held no
earlier than thirty days nor later than sixty days after entry of
the order. Notice of the public hearing shall be published as a
Class I legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of
article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code. At the hearing
the county or municipality shall solicit the opinion of the
public both for and against the creation of an "EOC board."
After closing the public hearing, the county or municipality may
then vote on an order to create an "EOC board". Counties and
municipalities may form multi-jurisdictional boards where a
public hearing is completed pursuant to the requirements of this
§24-6A-4. Emergency operations center board of directors.
Each county or municipality shall appoint a board consisting
of no more than seventeen members. The board shall be appointed
by the county or municipality and shall include at least one member from affected fire service providers, law-enforcement
providers, emergency medical providers and emergency services
providers participating in the system and at least one member
from a municipality in the county and one member from the county
and other members at the discretion of the county or
The initial board shall serve staggered terms of two, four and
six years. All future appointments shall be for terms of six
years, except that an appointment to fill a vacancy shall be for
the unexpired term. All members shall serve without compensation.
§24-6A-5. Meetings of board; officers; employees; official
bonds; records of authority public records.
At its first meeting, to be held no later than sixty days from
the creation of the board as provided in this article, the board
shall elect from among its membership a president to act during
the next ensuing fiscal year, or until his successor is elected
and qualified. At that time, the board shall also elect a vice
president, a secretary and a treasurer and other officers as may
be required. At its first meeting the board shall also fix the
time and place for holding regular meetings. Special meetings of
the board may be called by the president or by two members upon
written request to the secretary. The secretary shall send to all
the members, at least two days in advance of a special meeting,
a written notice setting forth the time and place of the special
meeting and the matters to be considered at such special meeting.
Written notice of a special meeting is not required if the time of the special meeting has been fixed in a regular meeting or if
all the members are present at the regular meeting. All regular
meetings shall be general meetings for the consideration of any
and all matters which may properly come before a board. All
proceedings of the board shall be entered in a permanently bound
record book, properly indexed and shall be carefully preserved by
the secretary of the authority. All records of the authority
shall be public records.
§24-6A-6. Quorum; majority vote required.
A majority of the members of the board shall constitute a
quorum. The vote of a majority of all members present at any
meeting of the board shall be necessary to take any action.
§24-6A-7. Powers and duties of boards generally.
Each board is hereby given the power:
(a) To sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded;
(b) To have and use a seal and alter the same at pleasure;
(c) To make and adopt all rules and bylaws as may be necessary
or desirable to enable it to exercise the powers and perform its
(d) To operate an emergency operations center, in order to
provide an emergency service, and to employ, in its discretion,
planning consultants, attorneys, accountants, superintendents,
managers and any other employees and agents as it may deem
necessary and fix their compensation;
(e) To acquire by grant, purchase, gift, devise or lease and
to hold, use, sell, lease or otherwise dispose of real and personal property of every kind and nature whatsoever, licenses,
franchises, rights and interests necessary for the full exercise
of its powers pursuant to the provisions of this article or which
may be convenient or useful for the carrying out of such powers;
(f) To enter into contracts and agreements which are
necessary, convenient or useful to carry out the purposes of this
article with any person, public corporation, state or any agency
or political subdivision thereof and the federal government and
any department or agency thereof, including, without limitation,
contracts and agreements for the joint use of any property and
rights by the board and any person or authority operating any
system, whether within or without the service area of the board,
and contracts and agreements with any person or authority for the
maintenance, servicing, storage, operation or use of any system
or part thereof, facility or equipment on such basis as shall
seem proper to the board;
(g) To enter into contracts and agreements for superintendence
and management services with any person, who has executive
personnel with experience and skill applicable to the
superintendence and management of any system, for the furnishing
of its services and the services of experienced and qualified
personnel for the superintendence and management of any system or
any part thereof, including, without limitation, superintendence
over personnel, purchases, properties and operations and all
matters relating thereto, and any revenue bond trust indenture
may require such contract or agreement, but the personnel whose services are to be so furnished under any contract or agreement
shall not include any member of the board, any member of the
immediate family of a member of the board or any agents or
employees of the board;
(h) To execute security agreements, contracts, leases,
equipment trust certificates and any other forms of contract or
agreement, granting or creating a lien, security interest,
encumbrance or other security in, on or to facilities and
equipment, containing such terms and provisions as the board
(i) To apply for, receive and use grants, grants-in-aid,
donations and contributions from any source or sources,
including, but not limited to, the federal government and any
agency or department thereof, and a state government whose
constitution does not prohibit such grants, grants-in-aid,
donations and contributions, and any agency or department
thereof, and to accept and use bequests, devises, gifts and
donations from any person;
(j) To encumber or mortgage all or any part of its facilities
and equipment; and
(k) To do any and all things necessary or convenient to carry
out the powers given in this article unless otherwise forbidden
§24-6A-8. Indebtedness of boards.
No indebtedness or obligation incurred by any board shall give
any right against any member of the governing body of any participating government or any member of the boards. Any
obligation or indebtedness of any nature of any board shall never
constitute an obligation or indebtedness of any participating
government or the governing body of any participating government,
within the meaning of any constitutional provision or statutory
limitation and shall never constitute or give rise to a pecuniary
liability of any participating government or the governing body
of any participating government or be a charge against the
general credit or taxing power of any participating government or
the governing body of any participating government. The rights of
creditors of any authority shall be solely against the authority
as a corporate body and shall be satisfied only out of revenues,
moneys or property received or held by it in its corporate
§24-6A-9. Conflict of interest.
No member of any board, nor any of its officers, employees,
agents or consultants, shall contract with the board or be
interested in, either directly or indirectly, any contract with
the board or in the sale of property, either real or personal, to
§24-6A-10. Director of emergency operations center.
(a) The board shall appoint a director for the emergency
operations center and shall establish the director's
compensation. The director must be qualified by training and
experience for the position.
(b) The board may remove the director at any time, as allowed by law.
(c) The director shall perform all duties that the board
requires and shall supervise as general manager the operations of
the center subject to any limitations prescribed by the board.
§24-6A-11. Other provisions.
The governing bodies which make up the emergency operations
center may provide for the support, maintenance and operations of
emergency operations by the levying of taxes and by the
appropriation and expenditure of public funds in accordance with
article five, chapter fifteen and section three-cc, article one,
chapter seven of this code.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to allow counties and
municipalities to appoint independent authorities to maintain
enhanced 911 telephone systems within their respective
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that
would be added.
Article 6A is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.