West Virginia Code
Any two or more municipalities, any two or more contiguous counties, or any county or two or more contiguous counties and one or more municipalities located therein or partly therein, of this state, are hereby authorized to create and establish one or more authorities for the purpose of acquiring, establishing, constructing, equipping, improving, financing, maintaining and operating a regional airport or airports, as the case may be, for the use of aircraft: Provided, That no such municipality or county shall participate in such authority unless and until the governing body or county court so provides. As used in this article, the terms "airport" and "aircraft" shall have the meanings ascribed to them in section one, article two-a, chapter twenty-nine of this code, the term "contiguous counties" means two or more counties which constitute a compact territorial unit within an unbroken boundary wherein one county touches at least one other county, but does not require that each county touch all of the other counties so combining, and the term "authority" means a regional airport authority created pursuant to the provisions of this article.
Each authority when created and established, and the members thereof, shall constitute a public corporation and as such, shall have perpetual succession, may contract and be contracted with, sue and be sued, and have and use a common seal.
Each authority is hereby empowered and authorized to acquire, establish, construct, equip, improve, finance, maintain and operate a regional airport or landing field and appurtenant facilities so located to best serve the region in which they are located, including, but not limited to, industrial parks. Each authority shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the state aeronautics commission to the same extent as a state or municipal airport.
The management and control of each authority, its property, operations, business and affairs shall be lodged in a board of not less than five nor more than twenty-one individuals who shall be known as members of the authority and who shall be appointed for terms of three years each by the municipalities and county courts contributing moneys or property to the authority. However, the first board shall be comprised of one member appointed by each participating municipality and one member appointed by each participating county court, and any such member shall serve a term of one year, beginning as of the date the authority is created. No more than three members shall serve from one county on the first board.
Each municipality or county shall have one vote for each $5,000 it has contributed to the authority in the form of moneys or property. When property is contributed, the contributing municipality or county court and the authority shall agree in writing at the time the contribution is made as to the fair market value of such property, which valuation shall determine the number of votes to be allocated to the municipality or county on the basis thereof. For the fiscal year during which any authority is formed, the number of votes to which any municipality or county shall be entitled shall be determined as of the time of formation of the authority and shall govern until the end of that fiscal year, even though additional moneys or property are contributed during that fiscal year. Thereafter, the number of votes shall be determined at the end of each fiscal year and such determination shall govern for the ensuing fiscal year, even though additional moneys or property are contributed during that fiscal year. Subsequent to its formation, any authority may permit any municipality or county without this state to participate in the affairs of the authority, to appoint members of the authority in the same manner, and to have such vote or votes beginning as of the next ensuing fiscal year, as prescribed by law with respect to the original participating municipalities or counties or any combination thereof.
If any member of an authority die, or resign, or be removed, or for any other reason cease to be a member of the authority, the municipality or the county court (or other similar body in the case of an out-of-state participating county) which such member represented shall appoint another individual to fill the unexpired portion of the term of such member.
All members of the board of each authority shall be residents of the municipality or county which said members represent.
No member of the board of an authority shall receive any compensation, whether in form of salary, per diem allowance or otherwise, for or in connection with his services as such member. Each member shall, however, be entitled to reimbursement by the authority for all reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred in connection with the performance of his duties as such member.
Each authority is hereby given plenary power and authority as follows:
(1) To make and adopt all necessary bylaws and rules for its organization and operations not inconsistent with law;
(2) To elect its own officers, to appoint committees and to employ and fix the compensation for personnel necessary for its operation;
(3) To enter into contracts with any person, including both public and private corporations, or governmental department or agency, and generally to do any and all things necessary or convenient for the purpose of acquiring, establishing, constructing, equipping, improving, financing, maintaining and operating a public airport to best serve the region in which it is located, including the development of an industrial park in the same general area;
(4) To delegate any authority given to it by law to any of its officers, committees, agents or employees;
(5) To apply for, receive and use grants-in-aid, donations and contributions from any source or sources, including, but not limited to, the federal government and any department or agency thereof, and this state subject to any Constitutional and statutory limitations with respect thereto, and to accept and use bequests, devises, gifts and donations from any person;
(6) To acquire lands and hold title thereto in its own name;
(7) To purchase, own, hold, sell and dispose of personal property and to sell, lease or otherwise dispose of any real property which it may own;
(8) To borrow money and execute and deliver negotiable notes, mortgage bonds, other bonds, debentures and other evidences of indebtedness therefor, and give such security therefor as shall be requisite, including giving a mortgage or deed of trust on its airport properties and facilities or assigning or pledging the gross or net revenues therefrom;
(9) To raise funds by the issuance and sale of revenue bonds in the manner provided by the applicable provisions of article sixteen of this chapter, it being hereby expressly provided that for the purpose of the issuance and sale of revenue bonds, each authority is a "governing body" as that term is used in said article only;
(10) To establish, charge and collect reasonable fees and charges for services or for the use of any part of its property or facilities, or for both services and such use;
(11) To expend its funds in the execution of the powers and authority herein given;
(12) To apply for, receive and use loans, grants, donations, technical assistance and contributions from any regional or area commissions that may be established; and
(13) To prescribe by bylaw the manner of financial participation by members.
The county court of the county in which any such airport or the major portion thereof is located is hereby empowered and authorized, upon request of the authority, to adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to: (1) Control the movement and disposition of vehicular and pedestrian traffic within one-fourth mile of any building or installation of any such airport, (2) regulate and control vehicular parking within such areas by the installation of parking meters or by other methods, and (3) impose reasonable charges for the use of the parking space so metered or otherwise allocated, so as to provide maximum opportunity for the public use thereof.
Violation of any such rule and regulation shall constitute a misdemeanor and, the offender, upon conviction in the manner provided by law, may be fined not less than $2 nor more than $10 for each such violation.
Justices of the peace shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit courts and with statutory courts of record having criminal jurisdiction for the trial of offenses under this section.
Each authority may incur any proper indebtedness and issue any obligations and give any security therefor which it may deem necessary and advisable in connection with carrying out its purposes as hereinbefore mentioned.
No indebtedness or obligation incurred by an authority shall give any right against any member of the governing body of any of said municipalities, or the county court (or other similar body in the case of an out-of-state participating county) of any of said counties, or any member of the board of the authority. No indebtedness of any nature of an authority shall constitute an indebtedness of any municipality or county or the governing body of any such municipality or the county court (or other similar body in the case of an out-of-state participating county) of any such county, or be a charge against any property of any municipality or county. The rights of creditors of an authority shall be solely against the authority as a corporate body and shall be satisfied only out of property held by it in its corporate capacity.
Each authority may, in connection with obtaining moneys or property for its purposes, enter into any agreement with any person, including the federal government, or any department, agency or subdivision thereof, containing such provisions, covenants, terms and conditions as the authority may deem advisable.
Whenever it shall be deemed necessary by an authority, in connection with the exercise of its powers herein conferred, to take or acquire any lands, structures or buildings or other rights, either in fee or as easements, for the purposes herein set forth, the authority may purchase the same directly or through its agents from the owner or owners thereof, or failing to agree with the owner or owners thereof, the authority may exercise the power of eminent domain in the manner provided for condemnation proceedings in chapter fifty-four of this code, and such purposes are hereby declared to be public uses for which private property may be taken or damaged: Provided, That under no circumstances shall an authority have the right of immediate entry.
Each authority shall be exempt from the payment of any taxes or fees to the state or any subdivisions thereof or any municipalities or to any officer or employee of the state or of any subdivision thereof or of any municipality.
The property of each authority shall be exempt from all municipal and county taxes. Bonds, notes, debentures and other evidences of indebtedness of the authority are declared to be issued for a public purpose and to be public instrumentalities, and, together with interest thereon, shall be exempt from taxation.
Each authority may lease its airport and all or any part of the appurtenances and facilities therewith to any available lessee, subject to all Constitutional and statutory limitations with respect thereto, at such rental and upon such terms and conditions as the authority deems proper. The leases shall be subordinate to any mortgage or deed of trust executed by the authority. An authority may lease land, the original taking of which was necessary for airport purposes, for economic development purposes compatible with, but not necessarily associated with, airport activities.
If an authority should realize a surplus, whether from operating the airport or leasing it for operation, over and above the amount required for the equipping, improvement, maintenance and operation of the airport and for meeting all required payments on its obligations, it shall set aside such reserve for future equipping, improvements, maintenance, operations and contingencies as it shall deem proper and shall then apply the residue of such surplus, if any, to the payment of any recognized and established obligations not then due, and after all such recognized and established obligations have been paid off and discharged in full, the authority shall, at the end of each fiscal year, set aside the reserve for future equipping, improvements, maintenance, operations and contingencies, as aforesaid, and then pay the residue of such surplus, if any, to the municipalities and counties in direct proportion to their contribution of moneys and property.
Contributions of moneys may be made to authorities from time to time by the participating municipalities and counties, and persons that shall desire to do so. All such moneys and all other moneys received by an authority shall be deposited in such banking institution or banking institutions as the authority may direct and shall be withdrawn therefrom in such manner as the authority may direct. Each authority shall keep strict account of all of its receipts and expenditures and shall each quarter make a quarterly report thereon to the municipalities and counties which have made contributions of moneys or property, and such report shall contain an itemized account of its receipts and disbursements during the preceding quarter. Such report shall be made within sixty days after the termination of the quarter. Within sixty days after the end of each fiscal year, each authority shall make an annual report containing a summary of its receipts and disbursements for the preceding fiscal year, and publish the same 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 publication shall be the municipalities and counties, as provided in section one of this article. The books, records and accounts of each authority shall be subject to audit and examination by the office of the State Tax Commissioner and by any other proper public official or body in the manner provided by law.
The municipalities and counties or any one or more of them participating therein, jointly or severally, are hereby empowered and authorized to appoint members of the said authorities and to contribute to the cost of acquiring, establishing, constructing, equipping, improving, and maintaining and operating the said regional airports and appurtenant facilities.
Any of the municipalities or counties as provided in section one of this article is hereby empowered and authorized to convey or transfer to the authorities property of any kind heretofore acquired by the municipalities or counties for airport purposes.
In the event full and adequate provision is made for the payment of all of the debts of an authority, the participating municipalities or counties or any combination thereof which have contributed at least sixty percent of the total value of all moneys and property (the value of which property is determined as specified in section four of this article) contributed to the authority by the participating municipalities and counties may by resolution provide for the dissolution of the authority and for (1) the conveyance of the real and tangible personal property contributed to it to those participating municipalities and counties which contributed the same, (2) equitable distribution among the contributing municipalities and counties of any real and tangible personal property purchased or condemned by the authority or of the proceeds of sale thereof, or the fair value thereof, and (3) the equitable distribution of all moneys on hand to the participating municipalities and counties in direct proportion to the contribution of moneys by them.
All eligible employees of any authority shall be deemed to be within the workmen's compensation statute of this state and premiums on their compensation shall be paid by the authority as required by law.
The purposes of this article are to provide for the acquisition, establishment, construction, equipping, improvement, financing, maintenance and operation of regional airports in a prudent and economical manner, and this article shall be liberally construed as giving to any authority created and established hereunder full and complete power reasonably required to give effect to the purposes hereof. The provisions of this article are in addition to and not in derogation of any power granted to or vested in municipalities and county courts under any Constitutional, statutory or charter provisions which may now or hereafter be in effect.