This article shall be known and cited as the "Water Development Authority Act."
It is hereby declared to be the public policy of the State of West Virginia and a responsibility of the State of West Virginia, through the establishment, funding, operation and maintenance of water development projects, to maintain, preserve, protect, conserve and in all instances possible to improve the purity and quality of water within the state in order to: (1) Protect and improve public health; (2) assure the fullest use and enjoyment of such water by the public; (3) provide suitable environment for the propagation and protection of animal, bird, fish, aquatic and plant life, all of which are essential to the health and well-being of the public; and (4) provide water of the necessary quality and in the amount needed for the development, maintenance and expansion of, and to attract service industries and businesses, agriculture, mining, manufacturing and other types of businesses and industries.
To assist in the preservation, protection, improvement and management of the purity and quality of the waters of this state, to prevent or abate pollution of water resources and to promote the health and welfare of citizens of this state, it is the purpose and intent of the Legislature in enacting this article to provide for the necessary, dependable, effective and efficient purification of water; the disposal of liquid and solid wastes harmful to the public health and safety removed from such water; to improve water and stream quality; and to assist and cooperate with governmental agencies in achieving all of the purposes set forth in this section.
The Legislature finds and hereby declares that the responsibility of the state as outlined above cannot be effectively met without the establishment, funding, operation and maintenance of water development projects as provided for in this article.
As used in this article, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning:
(1) "Authority" means the Water Development Authority provided for in section four of this article, the duties, powers, responsibilities and functions of which are specified in this article.
(2) "Beneficial use" means a use of water by a person or by the general public that is consistent with the public interest, health and welfare in utilizing the water resources of this state, including, but not limited to, domestic, agricultural, irrigation, industrial, manufacturing, mining, power, public, sanitary, fish and wildlife, state, county, municipal, navigational, recreational, aesthetic and scenic use.
(3) "Board" means the Water Development Authority Board provided for in section four of this article, which shall manage and control the Water Development Authority.
(4) "Bond" or "water development revenue bond" means a revenue bond, note or other evidence of indebtedness issued by the Water Development Authority to effect the intents and purposes of this article.
(5) "Construction" includes reconstruction, enlargement, improvement and providing furnishings or equipment.
(6) "Cost" means, as applied to water development projects, the cost of their acquisition and construction; the cost of acquisition of all land, rights-of-way, property rights, easements, franchise rights and interests required by the authority for such acquisition and construction; the cost of demolishing or removing any buildings or structures on land so acquired, including the cost of acquiring any lands to which such buildings or structures may be moved; the cost of acquiring or constructing and equipping a principal office and suboffices of the authority; the cost of diverting highways, interchange of highways; access roads to private property, including the cost of land or easements therefor; the cost of all machinery, furnishings and equipment; all financing charges and interest prior to and during construction and for no more than eighteen months after completion of construction; the cost of all engineering services and all expenses of research and development with respect to public water facilities, stormwater systems or wastewater facilities; the cost of all legal services and expenses; the cost of all plans, specifications, surveys and estimates of cost and revenues; all working capital and other expenses necessary or incident to determining the feasibility or practicability of acquiring or constructing any such project; all administrative expenses and such other expenses as may be necessary or incident to the acquisition or construction of the project; the financing of such acquisition or construction, including the amount authorized in the resolution of the authority providing for the issuance of water development revenue bonds to be paid into any special funds from the proceeds of such bonds; and the financing of the placing of any such project in operation. Any obligation or expenses incurred by any governmental agency, with the approval of the authority, for surveys, borings, preparation of plans and specifications and other engineering services in connection with the acquisition or construction of a project are a part of the cost of such project and shall be reimbursed out of the proceeds of loans or water development revenue bonds as authorized by the provisions of this article.
(7) "Establishment" means an industrial establishment, mill, factory, tannery, paper or pulp mill, mine, colliery, breaker or mineral processing operation, quarry, refinery, well and each and every industry or plant or works or activity in the operation or process of which industrial wastes or other wastes are produced.
(8) "Governmental agency" means the state government or any agency, department, division or unit thereof; counties; municipalities; watershed improvement districts; soil conservation districts; sanitary districts; public service districts; drainage districts; regional governmental authorities and any other governmental agency, entity, political subdivision, public corporation or agency having the authority to acquire, construct or operate public water facilities, stormwater systems or wastewater facilities; the United States government or any agency, department, division or unit thereof; and any agency, commission or authority established pursuant to an interstate compact or agreement.
(9) "Industrial wastes" means any liquid, gaseous, solid or other waste substance or any combination thereof, resulting from or incidental to any process of industry, manufacturing, trade or business, or from or incidental to the development, processing or recovery of any natural resources; and the admixture with such industrial wastes of sewage or other wastes, as defined in this section, are also industrial wastes.
(10) "Other wastes" means garbage, refuse, decayed wood, sawdust, shavings, bark and other wood debris and residues, sand, lime, cinders, ashes, offal, night soil, silt, oil, tar, dyestuffs, acids, chemicals and all other materials or substances not sewage or industrial wastes which may cause or might reasonably be expected to cause or to contribute to the pollution of any of the waters of this state.
(11) "Owner" includes all persons, copartnerships or governmental agencies having any title or interest in any property rights, easements and interests authorized to be acquired by this article.
(12) "Person" means any public or private corporation, institution, association, firm or company organized or existing under the laws of this or any other state or country; the United States or the State of West Virginia; any federal or state governmental agency; political subdivision; county commission; municipality; industry; sanitary district; public service district; drainage district; soil conservation district; watershed improvement district; partnership; trust; estate; person or individual; group of persons or individuals acting individually or as a group or any other legal entity whatever.
(13) "Pollution" means: (a) The discharge, release, escape, deposit or disposition, directly or indirectly, of treated or untreated sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes, of whatever kind or character, in or near any waters of the state, in such condition, manner or quantity, as does, will or is likely to: (1) contaminate or substantially contribute to the contamination of any of such waters; or (2) alter or substantially contribute to the alteration of the physical, chemical or biological properties of any of such waters, if such contamination or alteration, or the resulting contamination or alteration where a person only contributes thereto, is to such an extent as to make any of such waters: (i) Directly or indirectly harmful, detrimental or injurious to the public health, safety and welfare; or (ii) directly or indirectly detrimental to existing animal, bird, fish, aquatic or plant life; or (iii) unsuitable for present or future domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural, recreational, scenic or other legitimate uses; and also means (b) the discharge, release, escape, deposit or disposition, directly or indirectly, of treated or untreated sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes, of whatever kind or character, in or near any waters of the state in such condition, manner or quantity, as does, will or is likely to reduce the quality of the waters of the state below the standards established therefor by the United States or any department, agency, board or commission of this state authorized to establish such standards.
(14) "Project" or "water development project" means any public water facility, stormwater system or wastewater facility, the acquisition or construction of which is authorized, in whole or in part, by the Water Development Authority or the acquisition or construction of which is financed, in whole or in part, from funds made available by grant or loan by, or through, the authority as provided in this article, including facilities, the acquisition or construction of which is authorized, in whole or in part, by the Water Development Authority or the acquisition or construction of which is financed, in whole or in part, from funds made available by grant or loan by, or through, the authority as provided in this article, including all buildings and facilities which the authority deems necessary for the operation of the project, together with all property, rights, easements and interest which may be required for the operation of the project, but excluding all buildings and facilities used to produce electricity other than electricity for consumption by the authority in the operation and maintenance of the project.
(15) "Public roads" mean all public highways, roads and streets in this state, whether maintained by the state, county, municipality or other political subdivision.
(16) "Public utility facilities" means public utility plants or installations and includes tracks, pipes, mains, conduits, cables, wires, towers, poles and other equipment and appliances of any public utility.
(17) "Revenue" means any money or thing of value collected by, or paid to, the Water Development Authority as rent, use or service fee or charge for use of, or in connection with, any water development project, or as principal of or interest, charges or other fees on loans, or any other collections on loans made by the Water Development Authority to governmental agencies to finance, in whole or in part, the acquisition or construction of any water development project or projects or other money or property which is received and may be expended for or pledged as revenues pursuant to this article.
(18) "Sewage" means water-carried human or animal wastes from residences, buildings, industrial establishments or other places, together with such groundwater infiltration and surface waters as may be present.
(19) "Stormwater system" means a stormwater system in its entirety or any integral part thereof used to collect, control or dispose of stormwater and an associated stormwater management program. It includes all facilities, structures and natural water courses used for collecting and conducting stormwater to, through and from drainage areas to the points of final outlet, including, but not limited to, any and all of the following: Inlets, conduits, corals, outlets, channels, ponds, drainage ways, easements, water quality facilities, catch basins, ditches, streams, gulches, flumes, culverts, siphons, retention or detention basins, dams, floodwalls, pipes, flood control systems, levies and pumping stations. The term "stormwater system" does not include highways, road and drainage easements or stormwater facilities constructed, owned or operated by the West Virginia Division of Highways.
(20) "Stormwater management program" means those activities associated with the management, operation and maintenance and control of stormwater and stormwater systems and includes, but is not limited to, public education, stormwater and surface runoff water quality improvement, mapping, planning, flood control, inspection, enforcement and any other activities required by state and federal law. The term "stormwater management program" does not include those activities associated with the management, operation, maintenance and control of highways, road and drainage easements or stormwater facilities constructed, owned or operated by the West Virginia Division of Highways without the express agreement of the Commissioner of the Division of Highways.
(21) "Water resources", "water" or "waters" means any and all water on or beneath the surface of the ground, whether percolating, standing, diffused or flowing, wholly or partially within this state, or bordering this state and within its jurisdiction, and includes, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, natural or artificial lakes, rivers, streams, creeks, branches, brooks, ponds (except farm ponds, industrial settling basins and ponds and water treatment facilities), impounding reservoirs, springs, wells and watercourses.
(22) "Wastewater" means any water containing sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes or contaminants derived from the prior use of such water and includes, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, surface water of the type storm sewers are designed to collect and dispose of.
(23) "Wastewater facilities" means facilities for the purpose of treating, neutralizing, disposing of, stabilizing, cooling, segregating or holding wastewater, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, facilities for the treatment and disposal of sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes, waste water and the residue thereof; facilities for the temporary or permanent impoundment of wastewater, both surface and underground; and sanitary sewers or other collection systems, whether on the surface or underground, designed to transport wastewater together with the equipment and furnishings thereof and their appurtenances and systems, whether on the surface or underground, including force mains and pumping facilities therefor.
(24) "Water facility" means all facilities, land and equipment used for the collection of water, both surface and underground, transportation of water, treatment of water and distribution of water all for the purpose of providing potable, sanitary water suitable for human consumption and use.
(a) The Water Development Authority is continued. The authority is a governmental instrumentality of the state and a body corporate. The exercise by the authority of the powers conferred by this article and the carrying out of its purposes and duties are essential governmental functions and for a public purpose.
(b) The authority is controlled, managed and operated by a seven-member board known as the Water Development Board. The Governor or designee, the secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection or designee and the Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health or designee are members ex officio of the board. Four members are appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, for six-year terms, which are staggered in accordance with the initial appointments under prior enactment of this section. In the event of a vacancy, appointments are filled in the same manner as the original appointment for the remainder of the unexpired term. A member continues to serve until the appointment and qualification of the successor. More than two appointed board members may not at any one time belong to the same political party. Appointed board members may be reappointed to serve additional terms.
(c) All members of the board shall be citizens of the state. Each appointed member of the board, before entering upon his or her duties, shall comply with the requirements of article one, chapter six of this code and give bond in the sum of $25,000 in the manner provided in article two of said chapter. The Governor may remove any board member for cause as provided in article six of said chapter.
(d) The Governor or designee serves as chair. The board annually elects one of its appointed members as vice chair and appoints a secretary-treasurer, who need not be a member of the board. Four members of the board is a quorum and the affirmative vote of four members is necessary for any action taken by vote of the board. A vacancy in the membership of the board does not impair the rights of a quorum by such vote to exercise all the rights and perform all the duties of the board and the authority. The person appointed as secretary-treasurer, including a board member if so appointed, shall give bond in the sum of $50,000 in the manner provided in article two, chapter six of this code.
(e) The Governor or designee, the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection and the Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health do not receive compensation for serving as board members. Each appointed member receives an annual salary of $12,000, payable at least twice per month. Each of the seven board members is reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred in the performance of duties as a member of the board in a manner consistent with guidelines of the Travel Management Office of the Department of Administration. All expenses incurred by the board are payable solely from funds of the authority or from funds appropriated for that purpose by the Legislature. Liability or obligation is not incurred by the authority beyond the extent to which moneys are available from funds of the authority or from such appropriations.
(f) There is a director of the authority appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, who serves at the Governor’s will and pleasure. The director is responsible for managing and administering the daily functions of the authority and for performing other functions necessary to the effective operation of the authority. The compensation of the director is fixed annually by the board.
To accomplish the public policies and purposes and to meet the responsibility of the state as set forth in this article, the water development authority may initiate, acquire, construct, maintain, repair and operate water development projects or cause the same to be operated pursuant to a lease, sublease or agreement with any person or governmental agency; may make loans and grants to governmental agencies for the acquisition or construction of water development projects by governmental agencies, which loans may include amounts to refinance debt issued for existing water development projects of the governmental agency when the refinancing is in conjunction with the financing for a new water development project regardless of the source of the financing for the new project: Provided, That the amount of the refinancing may not exceed 50% of the aggregate amount of the refinancing of an existing project and the financing of a new project; and may issue water development revenue bonds of this state, payable solely from revenues, to pay the cost of projects, or finance projects, in whole or in part, by loans to governmental agencies. A water development project may not be undertaken unless it has been determined by the authority to be consistent with any applicable comprehensive plan of water management approved by the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection or in the process of preparation by the secretary and to be consistent with the standards set by the state environmental quality board, for the waters of the state affected thereby. Any resolution of the authority providing for acquiring or constructing projects or for making a loan or grant for projects shall include a finding by the authority that the determinations have been made. A loan agreement shall be entered into between the authority and each governmental agency to which a loan is made for the acquisition or construction of a water development project, which loan agreement shall include, without limitation, the following provisions:
(1) The cost of the project, the amount of the loan, the terms of repayment of the loan and the security therefor, which may include, in addition to the pledge of all revenues from the project after a reasonable allowance for operation and maintenance expenses, a deed of trust or other appropriate security instrument creating a lien on the project;
(2) The specific purposes for which the proceeds of the loan shall be expended including the refinancing of existing water development project debt as provided above, the procedures as to the disbursement of loan proceeds and the duties and obligations imposed upon the governmental agency in regard to the construction or acquisition of the project, including engineering fees and other administrative costs relating to development of the project;
(3) The agreement of the governmental agency to impose, collect, and, if required to repay the obligations of the governmental agency under the loan agreement, increase service charges from persons using the project, which service charges shall be pledged for the repayment of the loan together with all interest, fees and charges thereon and all other financial obligations of the governmental agency under the loan agreement;
(4) The agreement of the governmental agency to comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations issued by the authority or other state, federal and local bodies in regard to the construction, operation, maintenance and use of the project;
(5) The number of proposed customers and their physical locations within the project, and providing as a condition of the agreement, that no proposed customers listed in the project application agreement may be removed from inclusion in the project without prior authorization of the board; and
(6) The agreement of the governmental agency to perform an annual maintenance audit which maintenance audit shall be submitted to the board and the Public Service Commission of West Virginia.
The Water Development Authority has and may exercise all powers necessary or appropriate to carry out and effectuate its corporate purpose. The authority has the power and capacity to:
(1) Adopt and, from time to time, amend and repeal bylaws necessary and proper for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business and rules to implement and make effective its powers and duties, such rules to be promulgated in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
(2) Adopt an official seal.
(3) Maintain a principal office and, if necessary, regional suboffices at locations properly designated or provided.
(4) Sue and be sued in its own name and plead and be impleaded in its own name and particularly to enforce the obligations and covenants made under sections nine, ten and sixteen of this article. Any actions against the authority shall be brought in the circuit court of Kanawha County in which the principal office of the authority shall be located.
(5) Make loans and grants to governmental agencies for the acquisition or construction of water development projects by any such governmental agency and, in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, adopt rules and procedures for making such loans and grants.
(6) Acquire, construct, reconstruct, enlarge, improve, furnish, equip, maintain, repair, operate, lease or rent to, or contract for operation by a governmental agency or person, water development projects and, in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, adopt rules for the use of such projects.
(7) Make available the use or services of any water development project to one or more persons, one or more governmental agencies or any combination thereof.
(8) Issue water development revenue bonds and notes and water development revenue refunding bonds of the state, payable solely from revenues as provided in section nine of this article unless the bonds are refunded by refunding bonds, for the purpose of paying all or any part of the cost of, or financing by loans to governmental agencies, one or more water development projects or parts thereof.
(9) Acquire by gift or purchase, hold and dispose of real and personal property in the exercise of its powers and the performance of its duties as set forth in this article.
(10) Acquire in the name of the state, by purchase or otherwise, on such terms and in such manner as it deems proper, or by the exercise of the right of eminent domain in the manner provided in chapter fifty-four of this code, such public or private lands, or parts thereof or rights therein, rights-of-way, property, rights, easements and interests it deems necessary for carrying out the provisions of this article, but excluding the acquisition by the exercise of the right of eminent domain of any public water facilities, stormwater systems or wastewater facilities, operated under permits issued pursuant to the provisions of article eleven, chapter twenty-two of this code and owned by any person or governmental agency, and compensation shall be paid for public or private lands so taken.
(11) Make and enter into all contracts and agreements and execute all instruments necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and the execution of its powers. When the cost under any such contract or agreement, other than compensation for personal services, involves an expenditure of more than $2,000, the authority shall make a written contract with the lowest responsible bidder after public notice published as a Class II legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, the publication area for such publication to be the county wherein the work is to be performed or which is affected by the contract, which notice shall state the general character of the work and the general character of the materials to be furnished, the place where plans and specifications therefor may be examined and the time and place of receiving bids, but a contract or lease for the operation of a water development project constructed and owned by the authority or an agreement for cooperation in the acquisition or construction of a water development project pursuant to section sixteen of this article is not subject to the foregoing requirements and the authority may enter into such contract or lease or such agreement pursuant to negotiation and upon such terms and conditions and for such period as it finds to be reasonable and proper under the circumstances and in the best interests of proper operation or of efficient acquisition or construction of such project. The authority may reject any and all bids. A bond with good and sufficient surety, approved by the authority, is required of all contractors in an amount equal to at least fifty percent of the contract price, conditioned upon the faithful performance of the contract.
(12) Employ managers, superintendents and other employees, who are covered by the state civil service system, and retain or contract with consulting engineers, financial consultants, accounting experts, architects, attorneys and such other consultants and independent contractors as are necessary in its judgment to carry out the provisions of this article and fix the compensation or fees thereof. All expenses thereof are payable solely from the proceeds of water development revenue bonds or notes issued by the authority, from revenues and from funds appropriated for such purpose by the Legislature.
(13) Receive and accept from any federal agency, subject to the approval of the Governor, grants for or in aid of the construction of any water development project or for research and development with respect to public water facilities, stormwater systems or wastewater facilities and receive and accept aid or contributions from any source of money, property, labor or other things of value to be held, used and applied only for the purposes for which such grants and contributions are made.
(14) Engage in research and development with respect to public water facilities, stormwater systems or wastewater facilities.
(15) Purchase property coverage and liability insurance for any water development project and for the principal office and suboffices of the authority, insurance protecting the authority and its officers and employees against liability, if any, for damage to property or injury to or death of persons arising from its operations and any other insurance the authority may agree to provide under any resolution authorizing the issuance of water development revenue bonds or in any trust agreement securing the same.
(16) Charge, alter and collect rentals and other charges for the use or services of any water development project as provided in this article and charge and collect reasonable interest, fees and charges in connection with the making and servicing of loans to governmental agencies in the furtherance of the purposes of this article.
(17) Establish or increase reserves from moneys received or to be received by the authority to secure or to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds and notes issued by the authority pursuant to this article.
(18) Administer on behalf of the Department of Environmental Protection the Dam Safety Rehabilitation Revolving Fund Loan Program pursuant to the provisions of article fourteen of chapter twenty-two of this code. Revenues or moneys designated by this code or otherwise appropriated for use by the authority pursuant to the provisions of this article may not be used for the Dam Safety Rehabilitation Revolving Fund Loan Program and moneys in the Dam Safety Rehabilitation Revolving Fund shall be kept separate from all revenues and moneys of the authority.
(19) Do all acts necessary and proper to carry out the powers expressly granted to the authority in this article.
In order to ensure that the public purposes to be served by the authority may be properly carried out and in order to assure the timely payment to the authority of all sums due and owing under loan agreements with governmental agencies, as referred to in section five of this article, notwithstanding any provision to the contrary elsewhere contained in this code, in event of any default by a governmental agency under such a loan agreement, the authority has, and may, at its option, exercise the following rights and remedies in addition to the rights and remedies conferred by law or pursuant to said loan agreement:
(1) The authority may directly impose, in its own name and for its own benefit service charges determined by it to be necessary under the circumstances upon all users of the water development project to be acquired or constructed pursuant to such loan agreement, and proceed directly to enforce and collect such service charges, together with all necessary costs of such enforcement and collection.
(2) The authority may exercise, in its own name or in the name of and as agent for the governmental agency, all of the rights, authority, powers and remedies of the governmental agency with respect to the water development project or which may be conferred upon the governmental agency by statute, rule, regulation or judicial decision, including, without limitation, all rights and remedies with respect to users of such water development project.
(3) The authority may, by civil action, mandamus or other judicial or administrative proceeding, compel performance by such governmental agency of all of the terms and conditions of such loan agreement including, without limitation, the adjustment and increase of service charges as required to repay the loan or otherwise satisfy the terms of such loan agreement, the enforcement and collection of such service charges and the enforcement by such governmental agency of all rights and remedies conferred by statute, rule, regulation or judicial decision.
With the approval and the consent of the board, either the director of the Division of Environmental Protection or the commissioner of the bureau of public health, or both of them, shall expend, out of any funds available for the purpose, such moneys as are necessary for the study of any proposed water development project and may use its engineering and other forces, including consulting engineers and sanitary engineers, for the purpose of effecting such study. All such expenses incurred by the director or commissioner prior to the issuance of water development revenue bonds or notes under this article shall be paid by the director or commissioner and charged to the appropriate water development project and the director and commissioner shall keep proper records and accounts, showing the amounts so charged. Upon the sale of water development revenue bonds or notes for a water development project, the funds so expended by the director or commissioner, with the approval of the authority, in connection with such project, shall be repaid to the Division of Environmental Protection or bureau of public health from the proceeds of such bonds or notes.
The authority is hereby empowered to issue from time to time water development revenue bonds and notes of the state in such principal amounts as the authority deems necessary to pay the cost of or finance, in whole or in part, by loans to governmental agencies, one or more water development projects, but the aggregate amount of all issues of bonds and notes outstanding at one time for all projects authorized hereunder shall not exceed that amount capable of being serviced by revenues received from such projects.
The authority may, from time to time, issue renewal notes, issue bonds to pay such notes and whenever it deems refunding expedient, refund any bonds by the issuance of water development revenue refunding bonds by the state pursuant to the provisions of section twenty of this article. Except as may otherwise be expressly provided in this article or by the authority, every issue of its bonds or notes are obligations of the authority payable out of the revenues and reserves created for such purposes by the authority, which are pledged for such payment, without preference or priority of the first bonds issued, subject only to any agreements with the holders of particular bonds or notes pledging any particular revenues. Such pledge is valid and binding from the time the pledge is made and the revenues so pledged and thereafter received by the authority are immediately subject to the lien of such pledge without any physical delivery thereof or further act and the lien of any such pledge is valid and binding as against all parties having claims of any kind in tort, contract or otherwise against the authority irrespective of whether such parties have notice thereof.
All such bonds and notes shall have and are hereby declared to have all the qualities of negotiable instruments.
The bonds and notes shall be authorized by resolution of the authority, bear such date and mature at such time, in the case of any such note or any renewals thereof not exceeding five years from the date of issue of such original note, and in the case of any such bond not exceeding fifty years from the date of issue, as such resolution may provide. The bonds and notes shall bear interest at such rate, be in such denominations, be in such form, either coupon or registered, carry such registration privileges, be payable in such medium of payment, at such place and be subject to such terms of redemption as the authority may authorize. The bonds and notes of the authority may be sold by the authority, at public or private sale, at or not less than the price the authority determines. The bonds and notes shall be executed by the chair and vice-chair of the authority, both of whom may use facsimile signatures. The official seal of the authority or a facsimile thereof shall be affixed thereto or printed thereon and attested, manually or by facsimile signature, by the secretary-treasurer of the authority, and any coupons attached thereto shall bear the signature or facsimile signature of the chair of the authority. In case any officer whose signature, or a facsimile of whose signature, appears on any bonds, notes or coupons ceases to be such officer before delivery of such bonds or notes, such signature or facsimile is nevertheless sufficient for all purposes the same as if he or she had remained in office until such delivery and in case the seal of the authority has been changed after a facsimile has been imprinted on such bonds or notes such facsimile seal will continue to be sufficient for all purposes.
Any resolution authorizing any bonds or notes or any issue thereof may contain provisions (subject to such agreements with bondholders or noteholders as may then exist, which provisions shall be a part of the contract with the holders thereof) as to pledging all or any part of the revenues of the authority to secure the payment of the bonds or notes or of any issue thereof; the use and disposition of revenues of the authority; a covenant to fix, alter and collect rentals and other charges so that pledged revenues will be sufficient to pay the costs of operation, maintenance and repairs, pay principal of and interest on bonds or notes secured by the pledge of such revenues and provide such reserves as may be required by the applicable resolution or trust agreement; the setting aside of reserve funds, sinking funds or replacement and improvement funds and the regulation and disposition thereof; the crediting of the proceeds of the sale of bonds or notes to and among the funds referred to or provided for in the resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds or notes; the use, lease, sale or other disposition of any water development project or any other assets of the authority; limitations on the purpose to which the proceeds of sale of bonds or notes may be applied and pledging such proceeds to secure the payment of the bonds or notes or of any issue thereof; notes issued in anticipation of the issuance of bonds, the agreement of the authority to do all things necessary for the authorization, issuance and sale of such bonds in such amounts as may be necessary for the timely retirement of such notes; limitations on the issuance of additional bonds or notes; the terms upon which additional bonds or notes may be issued and secured; the refunding of outstanding bonds or notes; the procedure, if any, by which the terms of any contract with bondholders or noteholders may be amended or abrogated, the amount of bonds or notes the holders of which must consent thereto and the manner in which such consent may be given; limitations on the amount of moneys to be expended by the authority for operating, administrative or other expenses of the authority; securing any bonds or notes by a trust agreement; and any other matters, of like or different character, which in any way affect the security or protection of the bonds or notes.
In the event that the sum of all reserves pledged to the payment of such bonds or notes are less than the minimum reserve requirements established in any resolution or resolutions authorizing the issuance of such bonds or notes, the chair of the authority shall certify, on or before December 1, of each year, the amount of such deficiency to the Governor of the state, for inclusion, if the Governor shall so elect, of the amount of such deficiency in the budget to be submitted to the next session of the Legislature for appropriation to the authority to be pledged for payment of such bonds or notes: Provided, That the Legislature is not required to make any appropriation so requested, and the amount of such deficiencies is not a debt or liability of the state.
Neither the members of the authority nor any person executing the bonds or notes are liable personally on the bonds or notes or be subject to any personal liability or accountability by reason of the issuance thereof.
In the discretion of the authority, any water development revenue bonds or notes or water development revenue refunding bonds issued by the authority under this article may be secured by a trust agreement between the authority and a corporate trustee, which trustee may be any trust company or banking institution having the powers of a trust company within or without this state.
Any such trust agreement may pledge or assign revenues of the authority to be received, but shall not convey or mortgage any water development project or any part thereof. Any such trust agreement or any resolution providing for the issuance of such bonds or notes may contain such provisions for protecting and enforcing the rights and remedies of the bondholders or noteholders as are reasonable and proper and not in violation of law, including the provisions contained in section nine of this article and covenants setting forth the duties of the authority in relation to the acquisition of property, the construction, improvement, maintenance, repair, operation and insurance of the water development project the cost of which is paid, in whole or in part, from the proceeds of such bonds or notes, the rentals or other charges to be imposed for the use or services of any water development project, provisions with regard to the payment of the principal of and interest, charges and fees on loans made to governmental agencies from the proceeds of such bonds or notes, the custody, safeguarding, and application of all moneys and provisions for the employment of consulting engineers in connection with the construction or operation of such water development project. Any banking institution or trust company incorporated under the laws of this state which may act as depository of the proceeds of bonds or notes or of revenues shall furnish such indemnifying bonds or pledge such securities as are required by the authority. Any such trust agreement may set forth the rights and remedies of the bondholders and noteholders and of the trustee and may restrict individual rights of action by bondholders and noteholders as customarily provided in trust agreements or trust indentures securing similar bonds. Such trust agreement may contain such other provisions as the authority deems reasonable and proper for the security of the bondholders or noteholders. All expenses incurred in carrying out the provisions of any such trust agreement may be treated as a part of the cost of the operation of the water development project. Any such trust agreement or resolution authorizing the issuance of water development revenue bonds may provide the method whereby the general administrative overhead expenses of the authority will be allocated among the several projects acquired or constructed by it as a factor of the operating expenses of each such project.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, when the authority acts in the capacity of fiscal agent, authorizing authority or some other capacity for any agency, department, instrumentality or public corporation of the state which is issuing or purchasing bonds or notes, the authority may, in the exercise of its responsibilities, enter into trust agreements with one or more trust companies or banking institutions having trust powers, located within or without the state, with respect to the receipt, investment, handling, payment and delivery of funds of such agency, department, instrumentality or public corporation. The authority is entitled to reimbursement for the expenses of the authority incident to performing such services, including the fees and expenses of third parties providing services to the authority with respect thereto, from the proceeds of bonds or notes or of the revenues derived by such agency, department, instrumentality or public corporation.
Any holder of water development revenue bonds issued under the authority of this article or any of the coupons appertaining thereto and the trustee under any trust agreement, except to the extent the rights given by this article may be restricted by the applicable resolution or such trust agreement, may by civil action, mandamus or other proceedings, protect and enforce any rights granted under the laws of this state or granted under this article, by the trust agreement or by the resolution authorizing the issuance of such bonds, and may enforce and compel the performance of all duties required by this article, or by the trust agreement or resolution, to be performed by the authority or any officer thereof, including the fixing, charging and collecting of sufficient rentals or other charges.
Water development revenue bonds and notes and water development revenue refunding bonds issued under authority of this article and any coupons in connection therewith are not a debt or a pledge of the faith and credit or taxing power of this state or of any county, municipality or any other political subdivision of this state, and the holders or owners thereof have no right to have taxes levied by the Legislature or taxing authority of any county, municipality or any other political subdivision of this state for the payment of the principal thereof or interest thereon, but such bonds and notes are payable solely from the revenues and funds pledged for their payment as authorized by this article unless the notes are issued in anticipation of the issuance of bonds or the bonds are refunded by refunding bonds issued under authority of this article, which bonds or refunding bonds are payable solely from revenues and funds pledged for their payment as authorized by this article. All such bonds and notes shall contain on the face thereof a statement to the effect that the bonds or notes, as to both principal and interest, are not debts of the state or any county, municipality or political subdivision thereof, but are payable solely from revenues and funds pledged for their payment.
All expenses incurred in carrying out the provisions of this article are payable solely from funds provided under authority of this article. This article does not authorize the authority to incur indebtedness or liability on behalf of or payable by the state or any county, municipality or political subdivision thereof.
All moneys, properties and assets acquired by the authority, whether as proceeds from the sale of water development revenue bonds or as revenues or otherwise, shall be held by it in trust for the purposes of carrying out its powers and duties, and shall be used and reused in accordance with the purposes and provisions of this article. Such moneys shall at no time be commingled with other public funds. Such moneys, except as otherwise provided in any resolution authorizing the issuance of water development revenue bonds or in any trust agreement securing the same, or except when invested pursuant to section fifteen of this article, shall be kept in appropriate depositories and secured as provided and required by law. The resolution authorizing the issuance of such bonds of any issue or the trust agreement securing such bonds shall provide that any officer to whom, or any banking institution or trust company to which, such moneys are paid shall act as trustee of such moneys and hold and apply them for the purposes hereof, subject to the conditions this article and such resolution or trust agreement provide.
The authority is hereby authorized and empowered to invest any funds not needed for immediate disbursement in any of the following securities:
(1) Direct obligations of or obligations guaranteed by the United States of America;
(2) Bonds, debentures, notes or other evidences of indebtedness issued by any of the following agencies: Banks for cooperatives; federal intermediate credit banks; federal home loan bank system; Export-Import Bank of the United States; federal land banks; the Federal National Mortgage Association or the Government National Mortgage Association;
(3) Public housing bonds issued by public agencies or municipalities and fully secured as to the payment of both principal and interest by a pledge of annual contributions under an annual contributions contract or contracts with the United States of America; or temporary notes issued by public agencies or municipalities or preliminary loan notes issued by public agencies or municipalities, in each case, fully secured as to the payment of both principal and interest by a requisition or payment agreement with the United States of America;
(4) Certificates of deposit secured by obligations of the United States of America;
(5) Direct obligations of or obligations guaranteed by the State of West Virginia;
(6) Direct and general obligations of any other state within the territorial United States, to the payment of the principal of and interest on which the full faith and credit of such state is pledged: Provided, That at the time of their purchase, such obligations are rated in either of the two highest rating categories by a nationally recognized bond-rating agency; and
(7) Any fixed interest bond, note or debenture of any corporations organized and operating within the United States: Provided, That such corporation shall have a minimum net worth of $15 million and its securities or its parent corporation's securities are listed on one or more of the national stock exchanges: Provided, however, That (i) such corporation has earned a profit in eight of the preceding ten fiscal years as reflected in its statements, and (ii) such corporation has not defaulted in the payment of principal or interest on any of its outstanding funded indebtedness during its preceding ten fiscal years, and (iii) the bonds, notes or debentures of such corporation to be purchased are rated "AA" or the equivalent thereof or better than "AA" or the equivalent thereof at least two or more nationally recognized rating services such as Standard and Poor's, Dun & Bradstreet or Moody's.
This section applies to any water development project or projects which are owned, in whole or in part, by the authority. The authority may charge, alter and collect rentals or other charges for the use or services of any water development project, and contract in the manner provided by this section with one or more persons, one or more governmental agencies, or any combination thereof, desiring the use or services thereof, and fix the terms, conditions, rentals or other charges for such use or services. Such rentals or other charges are not subject to supervision or regulation by any other authority, department, commission, board, bureau or agency of the state and such contract may provide for acquisition by such person or governmental agency of all or any part of such water development project for such consideration payable over the period of the contract or otherwise as the authority in its sole discretion determines to be appropriate, but subject to the provisions of any resolution authorizing the issuance of water development revenue bonds or notes or water development revenue refunding bonds of the authority or any trust agreement securing the same. Any governmental agency which has power to construct, operate and maintain public water facilities, stormwater systems or wastewater facilities may enter into a contract or lease with the authority whereby the use or services of any water development project of the authority will be made available to such governmental agency and pay for such use or services such rentals or other charges as may be agreed to by such governmental agency and the authority.
Any governmental agency or agencies or combination thereof may cooperate with the authority in the acquisition or construction of a water development project and shall enter into such agreements with the authority as are necessary, with a view to effective cooperative action and safeguarding of the respective interests of the parties thereto, which agreements shall provide for such contributions by the parties thereto in such proportion as may be agreed upon and such other terms as may be mutually satisfactory to the parties, including, without limitation, the authorization of the construction of the project by one of the parties acting as agent for all of the parties and the ownership and control of the project by the authority to the extent necessary or appropriate for purposes of the issuance of water development revenue bonds by the authority. Any governmental agency may provide such contribution as is required under such agreements by the appropriation of money or, if authorized by a favorable vote of the electors to issue bonds or notes or levy taxes or assessments and issue notes or bonds in anticipation of the collection thereof, by the issuance of bonds or notes or by the levying of taxes or assessments and the issuance of bonds or notes in anticipation of the collection thereof and by the payment of such appropriated money or the proceeds of such bonds or notes to the authority pursuant to such agreements.
Any governmental agency, pursuant to a favorable vote of the electors in an election held for the purpose of issuing bonds to provide funds to acquire, construct or equip, or provide real estate and interests in real estate for a public water facility, stormwater system or wastewater facility, whether or not the governmental agency at the time of such an election had the authority to pay the proceeds from such bonds or notes issued in anticipation thereof to the authority as provided in this section, may issue such bonds or notes in anticipation of the issuance thereof and pay the proceeds thereof to the authority in accordance with an agreement between such governmental agency and the authority: Provided, That the legislative authority of the governmental agency finds and determines that the water development project to be acquired or constructed by the authority in cooperation with such governmental agency will serve the same public purpose and meet substantially the same public need as the facility otherwise proposed to be acquired or constructed by the governmental agency with the proceeds of such bonds or notes.
Each water development project, when constructed and placed in operation, shall be maintained and kept in good condition and repair by the authority or if owned by a governmental agency, by such governmental agency, or the authority or such governmental agency shall cause the same to be maintained and kept in good condition and repair. Each such project owned by the authority shall be operated by such operating employees as the authority employs or pursuant to a contract or lease with a governmental agency or person. All public or private property damaged or destroyed in carrying out the provisions of this article and in the exercise of the powers granted hereunder with regard to any project shall be restored or repaired and placed in its original condition, as nearly as practicable, or adequate compensation made therefor out of funds provided in accordance with the provisions of this article.
As soon as possible after the close of each fiscal year, the authority shall make an annual report of its activities for the preceding fiscal year to the Governor and the Legislature. Each such report shall set forth a complete operating and financial statement covering the authority's operations during the preceding fiscal year. The authority shall cause an audit of its books and accounts to be made at least once each fiscal year by certified public accountants and the cost thereof may be treated as a part of the cost of construction or of operations of its projects.
The provisions of sections nine and ten, article six, chapter twelve of this code to the contrary notwithstanding, all water development revenue bonds issued pursuant to this article are lawful investments for the West Virginia State Board of Investments and are also lawful investments for banking institutions, societies for savings, building and loan associations, savings and loan associations, deposit guarantee associations, trust companies, insurance companies, including domestic for life and domestic not for life insurance companies.
The authority, subject to such agreements with noteholders or bondholders as may then exist, has the power, out of any funds available therefor, to purchase notes or bonds of the authority.
If the notes or bonds are then redeemable, the price of such purchase shall not exceed the redemption price then applicable plus accrued interest to the next interest payment date thereon. If the notes or bonds are not then redeemable, the price of such purchase shall not exceed the redemption price applicable on the first date after such purchase upon which the notes or bonds become subject to redemption plus accrued interest to such date. Upon such purchase such notes or bonds shall be canceled.
Any bonds issued hereunder and at any time outstanding may at any time and from time to time be refunded by the authority by the issuance of its refunding bonds in such amount as it may deem necessary to refund the principal of the bonds so to be refunded, together with any unpaid interest thereon; to provide additional funds for the purposes of the authority; and any premiums and commissions necessary to be paid in connection therewith. Any such refunding may be effected whether the bonds to be refunded have matured or thereafter mature, either by sale of the refunding bonds and the application of the proceeds thereof for the redemption of the bonds to be refunded thereby, or by exchange of the refunding bonds for the bonds to be refunded thereby: Provided, That the holders of any bonds so to be refunded shall not be compelled without their consent to surrender their bonds for payment or exchange prior to the date on which they are payable or, if they are called for redemption, prior to the date on which they are by their terms subject to redemption. Any refunding bonds issued under the authority of this article are payable from the revenues out of which the bonds to be refunded thereby were payable, or from other moneys or the principal of and interest on or other investment yield from, investments or proceeds of bonds or other applicable funds and moneys, including investments of proceeds of any refunding bonds, and are subject to the provisions contained in section nine of this article and shall be secured in accordance with the provisions of sections nine and ten of this article.
The exercise of the powers granted to the authority by this article will be in all respects for the benefit of the people of the state, for the improvement of their health, safety, convenience and welfare and for the enhancement of their residential, agricultural, recreational, economic, commercial and industrial opportunities and is a public purpose. As the operation and maintenance of water development projects are essential governmental functions, the authority is not required to pay any taxes or assessments upon any water development project or upon any property acquired or used by the authority or upon the income therefrom. Such bonds and notes and all interest and income thereon are exempt from all taxation by this state, or any county, municipality, political subdivision or agency thereof, except inheritance taxes.
The authority may acquire by purchase, whenever it deems such purchase expedient, any land, property, rights, rights-of-way, franchises, easements and other interests in lands it deems necessary or convenient for the construction and operation of any water development project upon such terms and at such prices it considers reasonable and can be agreed upon between the authority and the owner thereof, and take title thereto in the name of the state.
All governmental agencies, notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, may lease, lend, grant or convey to the authority, at its request, upon such terms as the proper authorities of such governmental agencies deem reasonable and fair and without the necessity for an advertisement, auction, order of court or other action or formality, other than the regular and formal action of the governmental agency concerned, any real property or interests therein, including improvements thereto or personal property which is necessary or convenient to the effectuation of the authorized purposes of the authority, including public roads and other real property or interests therein, including improvements thereto or personal property already devoted to public use.
The authority may acquire, pursuant to subdivision (10), section six of this article, any land, rights, rights-of-way, franchises, easements or other property necessary or proper for the construction or the efficient operation of any water development project.
This section does not authorize the authority to take or disturb property or facilities belonging to any public utility or to a common carrier, which property or facilities are required for the proper and convenient operation of such public utility or common carrier, unless provision is made for the restoration, relocation or duplication of such property or facilities elsewhere at the sole cost of the authority.
When the authority finds it necessary to change the location of any portion of any public road, state highway, railroad or public utility facility in connection with the construction of a water development project, it shall cause the same to be reconstructed at such location as the unit or division of government having jurisdiction over such road, highway, railroad or public utility facility deems most favorable. Such construction shall be of substantially the same type and in as good condition as the original road, highway, railroad or public utility facility. The cost of such reconstruction, relocation or removal and any damage incurred in changing the location of any such road, highway, railroad or public utility facility shall be paid by the authority as a part of the cost of such water development project.
When the authority finds it necessary that any public highway or portion thereof be vacated by reason of the acquisition or construction of a water development project, the authority shall request the commissioner of the Division of Highways, in writing, to vacate such highway or portion thereof if the highway or portion thereof to be vacated is part of the state road system, or, if the highway or portion thereof to be vacated is under the jurisdiction of a county or a municipality, the authority shall request the governing body of such county or municipality to vacate such public road or portion thereof. The authority shall pay to the commissioner of the Division of Highways or to the county or municipality, as the case may be, as part of the cost of such water development project, any amounts required to be deposited with any court in connection with proceedings for the determination of compensation and damages and all amounts of compensation and damages finally determined to be payable as a result of such vacation.
The authority may make reasonable rules for the installation, construction, maintenance, repair, renewal, relocation and removal of railroad or public utility facilities in, on, over or under any water development project. Whenever the authority determines that it is necessary that any such facilities installed or constructed in, on, over or under property of the authority pursuant to such rules be relocated, the railroad or public utility owning or operating such facilities shall relocate or remove them in accordance with the order of the authority. The cost and expenses of such relocation or removal, including the cost of installing such facilities in a new location, the cost of any lands or any rights or interests in lands and the cost of any other rights acquired to accomplish such relocation or removal, may be paid by the authority as a part of the cost of such water development project. In case of any such relocation or removal of facilities, the railroad or public utility owning or operating them, and its successors or assigns, may maintain and operate such facilities, with the necessary appurtenances in the new location in, on, over or under the property of the authority for as long a period and upon the same terms as it had the right to maintain and operate such facilities in their former location.
No officer, member or employee of the authority shall be financially interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract of any person with the authority, or in the sale of any property, real or personal, to or from the authority. This section does not apply to contracts or purchases of property, real or personal, between the authority and any governmental agency. If any officer, member or employee of the authority has such financial interest in a contract or sale of property prohibited hereby, he or she is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000, or imprisoned in the county jail not more than one year, or both fined and imprisoned.
All meetings of the authority shall be open to the public and the records of the authority shall be open to public inspection at all reasonable times, except as otherwise provided in this section. All final actions of the authority shall be journalized and such journal shall also be open to the inspection of the public at all reasonable times. Any records or information relating to secret processes or secret methods of manufacture or production which may be obtained by the authority or other persons acting under authority of this article are confidential and shall not be disclosed.
The provisions of this article are hereby declared to be remedial and shall be liberally construed to effectuate its purposes and intents.
(a) The aggregate principal amount of bonds and notes issued by the authority may not exceed $500 million outstanding at any one time: Provided, That before the authority issues bonds and notes in excess of $400 million the Legislature must pass a resolution authorizing this action: Provided, however, That in computing the total amount of bonds and notes which may at any one time be outstanding, the principal amount of any outstanding bonds or notes refunded or to be refunded either by application of the proceeds of the sale of any refunding bonds or notes of the authority or by exchange for any refunding bonds or notes, shall be excluded.
(b) In addition to the amounts authorized by subsection (a) of this section, the Water Development Authority may issue, pursuant to section seventeen-b, article fifteen-a, chapter thirty-one of this code, bonds or notes in the aggregate principal amount not to exceed $180 million. This authorization is for the limited purpose of providing grants for capital improvements for publicly owned wastewater treatment facilities with an authorized permitted flow of four hundred thousand gallons per day or more which are required to maintain compliance with certain standards for discharges into watersheds in accordance with said section seventeen-b.