Article 4.

Metropolitan Water Districts.

§ 162A-31.  Short title.

This Article shall be known and may be cited as the Metropolitan Water Districts Act. (1971, c. 815, s. 1.)

 

§ 162A-32.  Definitions; description of boundaries.

(a)        As used in this Article the following words and terms shall have the following meanings, unless the context shall indicate another or different meaning or intent:

(1)        "Board of commissioners" or "commissioners" shall mean the duly elected board of commissioners of the county in which a metropolitan water district shall be created under the provisions of this Article.

(2)        "City council" or "council" shall mean the duly elected city  council of any municipality located within the State.

(3)        "Cost" as applied to a water system or sewerage system shall  mean the cost of acquiring, constructing, reconstructing, improving, extending, enlarging, repairing and equipping any such system, and shall include the cost of all labor and materials, machinery and equipment, lands, property, rights, easements and franchises, plans and specifications, surveys and estimates of cost and of revenues, and planning, engineering, financial advice, and legal services, financing charges, interest prior to and during construction and, if deemed advisable by a district board, for one year after the estimated date of completion of construction, and all other expenses necessary or incident to determining the feasibility or practicability of any such undertaking, administrative expense and such other expenses, including reasonable provision for working capital and a reserve for debt service, as may be necessary or incident to the financing herein authorized, and may also include any obligation or expense incurred by a district or by any political subdivision prior to the issuance of bonds under the provisions of this Article in connection with any such undertaking or any of the foregoing items of cost.

(4)        "District" shall mean a metropolitan water district created under the provisions of this Article.

(5)        "District board" shall mean the district board of the metropolitan water district created under the provisions of this Article.

(6)        "General obligation bonds" shall mean bonds of a metropolitan water district for the payment of which and the interest thereon all the taxable property within said district is subject to the levy of an ad valorem tax without limitation of rate or amount.

(7)        "Governing body" shall mean the board, board of trustees, commission, board of commissioners, council or other body, by whatever name it may be known, of a political subdivision including, but without limitation, other water or sewer districts or the trustees thereof within the State of North Carolina in which the general legislative powers thereof are vested.

(8)        "Person" shall mean any and all persons including individuals, firms, partnerships, associations, public or private institutions, municipalities or political subdivisions, governmental agencies or private or public corporations organized and existing under the laws of the State or any other state or county.

(9)        "Political subdivision" shall mean any county, city, town, incorporated village, sanitary district, water district, sewer district, special purpose district or other political subdivision or public corporation of this State now or hereafter created or established.

(10)      "Revenue bonds" shall mean bonds the principal of and the interest on which are payable solely from revenues of a water system or systems or a sewerage system or systems or both owned or operated by a metropolitan water district created under the provisions of this Article.

(11)      "Revenues" shall mean all moneys received by a metropolitan  water district from, in connection with, or as a result of its ownership or control or operation of a water system or systems or a sewerage system or systems, or both, including, without limitation and as deemed advisable by the district board, moneys received from the United States of America or any agency thereof, pursuant to an agreement with the district board pertaining to the water system or the sewerage system or both.

(12)      "Sewerage system" shall embrace sewage collection and disposal systems of all types, including septic tank systems or other on-site collection or disposal facilities or systems and any part or parts thereof, either within or without the limits of a district, all property, rights, easements and franchises relating thereto, and any and all buildings and other structures deemed necessary or useful by a district board in connection with the operation or maintenance thereof.

(13)      "Sewers" shall mean any mains, pipes and laterals, including pumping stations for the reception of sewage and carrying such sewage to an outfall or some part of a sewage disposal system, and all property, rights, easements, and franchises related thereto and deemed necessary or convenient by a district board for the operation and maintenance thereof.

(14)      "Water distribution system" shall include aqueducts, mains,  laterals, pumping stations, distributing reservoirs, standpipes, tanks, hydrants, services, meters, valves, and all necessary appurtenances, and all property, rights, easements, and franchises related thereto and deemed necessary or convenient by a district board for the operation and maintenance thereof.

(15)      "Water system" shall mean and include all plants, systems, facilities or properties used or useful or having the present capacity for future use in connection with the supply or distribution of water, and any integral part thereof, including but not limited to water supply systems, water distribution systems, sources of water supply including lakes, reservoirs and wells, intakes, mains, laterals, aqueducts, pumping stations, standpipes, filtration plants, purification plants, hydrants, meters, valves, and all necessary appurtenances and equipment and all properties, rights, easements and franchises relating thereto and deemed necessary or convenient by a district board for the operation or maintenance thereof.

(16)      "Water treatment or purification plant" shall mean any plant, system, facility, or property, used or useful or having the present capacity for future use in connection with the treatment or purification of water, or any integral part thereof; and all necessary appurtenances or equipment, and all property, rights, easements and franchises relating thereto and deemed necessary or convenient by a district board for the operation thereof.

(b)        Whenever this Article requires that the boundaries of an area be described, it shall be sufficient if the boundaries are described in a manner which conveys an understanding of the location of the land and may be

(1)        By reference to a map,

(2)        By metes and bounds,

(3)        By general description referring to natural boundaries, boundaries of political subdivisions, existing water or sewer districts, or portions thereof, or boundaries of particular tracts or parcels of land, or

(4)        Any combination of the foregoing. (1971, c. 815, s. 2; 1979,  c. 619, s. 9.)

 

§ 162A-33.  Procedure for creation; resolutions and petitions for creation; notice to and action by Commission for Public Health; notice and public hearing; resolutions creating districts; actions to set aside proceedings.

Any two or more political subdivisions in a county, or any political subdivision or subdivisions, including any existing water or sewer district, and any unincorporated area or areas located within the same county, which political subdivisions or areas need not be contiguous, may petition the board of commissioners for the creation of a metropolitan water district under the provisions of this Article by filing with the board of commissioners:

(1)       A resolution of the governing body of each such political subdivision stating the necessity for the creation of a metropolitan water district under the provisions of this Article in order to preserve and promote the public health and welfare within the area of the proposed district, and requesting the creation of a metropolitan water district having the boundaries set forth in said resolution, and

(2)       If any unincorporated area is to be included in such district, a petition, signed by not less than fifteen per centum (15%) of the voters resident within such area, defining the boundaries of such area, stating the necessity for the creation of a metropolitan water district under the provisions of this Article in order to preserve and promote the public health and welfare within the proposed district, and requesting the creation of a metropolitan water district having the boundaries set forth in such petition for such district.

If any water district, sewer district or special purpose district shall encompass wholly or in part within its boundaries a city or town, no such water district, sewer district or special purpose district may petition for inclusion within a metropolitan water district unless the governing body of such city or town shall approve such petition or shall also petition for its inclusion within such metropolitan water district.

Upon the receipt of such resolutions and petitions requesting the creation of a metropolitan water district, the board of commissioners, through its chairman shall notify the Department of Environmental Quality of the receipt of such resolutions and petitions, and shall request that a representative of the Department of Environmental Quality hold a joint public hearing with the board of commissioners concerning the creation of the proposed metropolitan water district. The Secretary of Environmental Quality and the chairman of the board of commissioners shall name a time and place within the proposed district at which the public hearing shall be held. The chairman of the board of commissioners shall give prior notice of such hearing by posting a notice at the courthouse door of the county and also by publication in a newspaper circulating in the proposed district at least once a week for four successive weeks, the first publication to be at least 30 days prior to such hearing. In the event all matters pertaining to the creation of such metropolitan water district cannot be concluded at such hearing, such hearing may be continued to a time and place within the proposed district determined by the board of commissioners with the concurrence of the representative of the Department of Environmental Quality.

If, after such hearing, the Commission for Public Health and the board of commissioners shall deem it advisable to comply with the request of such resolutions and petitions, and determine that the preservation and promotion of the public health and welfare in the area or areas described in such resolutions and petitions require that a metropolitan water district should be created and established, the Commission for Public Health shall adopt a resolution to that effect, defining the boundaries of such district and declaring the territory within such boundaries to be a metropolitan water district under the name and style of "____ Metropolitan Water District of ____ County"; provided that the Commission for Public Health may make minor deviations in the boundaries from those prescribed in the resolutions and petitions upon the Commission for Public Health determining that such deviations are advisable in the interest of the public health, provided no such district shall include any political subdivision which has not petitioned for inclusion as provided for in this Article.

The Commission for Public Health shall cause copies of the resolution creating the metropolitan water district to be sent to the board of commissioners and to the governing body of each political subdivision included in the district. The board of commissioners shall cause a copy of such resolution of the Commission for Public Health to be published in a newspaper circulating within the district once in each of two successive weeks, and a notice substantially in the following form shall be published with such resolution:

"The foregoing resolution was passed by the Commission for Public Health on the ____ day of ____, ____, and was first published on the ____ day of ____, ____.

      Any action or proceeding questioning the validity of said resolution or the creation of the metropolitan water district therein described must be commenced within 30 days after the first publication of said resolution.

_____________________________________

                                                            Clerk, Board of Commissioners for

______________________________County."

Any action or proceeding in any court to set aside a resolution creating a metropolitan water district or to obtain any other relief upon the ground that such resolution or any proceeding or action taken with respect to the creation of such district is invalid, must be commenced within 30 days after the first publication of the resolution and said notice. After the expiration of such period of limitation, no right of action or defense founded upon the invalidity of the resolution or the creation of the metropolitan water district therein described shall be asserted, nor shall the validity of the resolution or of the creation of such metropolitan water district be open to question in any court upon any ground whatever, except in an action or proceeding commenced within such period.

Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 160-2(6), after the creation of a water district pursuant to the provisions of this Article a municipality or other political subdivision which owns or operates an existing water system or sewer system may lease, contract, assign or convey such system or systems to the district under and subject to such terms and conditions and for such considerations as it may deem advisable for the general welfare and benefit of its citizens.  (1971, c. 815, s. 3; 1973, c. 476, s. 128; 1985, c. 462, s. 16; 1989, c. 727, s. 219(40); 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1004, s. 19(b); 1997-443, s. 11A.123; 1999-456, s. 59; 2007-182, s. 2; 2015-241, ss. 14.30(u), (v).)

 

§ 162A-34.  District board; composition, appointment, term, oaths and removal of members; organization; meetings; quorum; compensation and expenses of members.

(a)        Immediately after the creation of the district, the board of commissioners shall appoint three members of the district board and the governing body of each political subdivision included in the district shall appoint one member, except that if any city or town has a population, according to the latest decennial census, in excess of the total population of the remaining cities and towns within the district, or where there are no other cities or towns involved, if the census population is in excess of the total population of the remainder of the district, the governing body shall appoint three members. No appointment of a member of the district board shall be made by or in behalf of any political subdivision of which the board of commissioners shall be the governing body, the three appointees designated by the board of commissioners shall be selected from within the district and shall be deemed to represent all such political subdivisions. The members of the district board first appointed shall have terms expiring one year, two years and three years, respectively, from the date of adoption of the resolution of the Commission for Public Health creating the district, as the board of commissioners shall determine, provided that of the three members appointed by any governing body, not more than one such member shall be appointed for a three-year term. Successive members shall each be appointed to serve only for the unexpired term and any member of the district board may be reappointed. Appointments of successor members shall, in each instance, be made by the governing body making the initial appointment or appointments. All members shall serve until their successors have been duly appointed and qualified, and any member of the district board may be removed for cause by the governing body appointing him.

Each member of the district board before entering upon his duties shall take and subscribe an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State and to discharge faithfully the duties of his office, and a record of each such oath shall be filed with the clerk of the board of commissioners.

The district board shall elect one of its members as chairman and another as vice-chairman and shall appoint a secretary and a treasurer who may but need not be members of the district board. The offices of secretary and treasurer may be combined. The terms of office of the chairman, vice-chairman, secretary and treasurer shall be as provided in the bylaws of the district board.

The district board shall meet regularly at such places and dates as determined by the board. Special meetings may be called by the chairman on his own initiative and shall be called by him upon request of two or more members of the board. All members shall be notified in writing at least 24 hours in advance of such meeting. A majority of the members of the district board shall constitute a quorum and the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the district board present at any meeting thereof shall be necessary for any action taken by the district board. No vacancy in the membership of the district board shall impair the right of a quorum to exercise all the rights and perform all the duties of the district board. Each member including the chairman shall be entitled to vote on any question. The members of the district board may receive compensation in an amount to be determined by the board, but not to exceed ten dollars ($10.00) for each meeting attended, and may be reimbursed the amount of actual expenses incurred by them in the performance of their duties.

(b)        Any metropolitan water district wholly within the corporate limits of two or more municipalities shall be governed by a district board consisting of members appointed by the governing body of each political subdivision (municipal corporation) included wholly or partially in the district and an additional at-large member appointed by the other members of the district board as provided in this subsection. The governing body of each constituent municipality shall initially appoint two members from its qualified electors, one for a term expiring the first day of July after the first succeeding regular election in which municipal officers shall be elected by the municipality from which he is appointed, and the other for a term expiring the first day of July after the second succeeding regular election of municipal officers in the municipality. Thereafter, subsequent to each ensuing regular election of municipal officers the governing body of each municipal corporation composing any part of the metropolitan water district shall appoint one member to the district board for a term of four years beginning on the first day of July. The one additional at-large member of the district board shall be a qualified elector of a constituent municipality of the district and appointed initially and quadrennially thereafter by majority vote of the other district board membership for a term of four years which shall expire on the first day of August in every fourth calendar year thereafter.

Any vacancy in district board membership shall be filled by appointment of the original appointing authority for the remainder of the unexpired term.

The provisions of subsection (a) in particular and of this Article generally not inconsistent with this subsection shall also apply.

(c)        In those cases where a district is created which includes a municipality which owns an existing water and sewer system and where the county commissioners are acting as or have been appointed as trustees of a separate water or sewer system, or both which will be included within the district along with an existing municipal system, the district board shall be comprised of seven members designated as follows: three county commissioners and three members of the city council of the municipality, said members to be selected by majority vote of the governing body on which they serve. These six members of the district board shall appoint a seventh member who shall also serve as chairman of the district board and whose term shall automatically expire upon the seating of either a new board of commissioners, or of a new council of the municipality.

The chairman of the district board will be eligible, however, for reappointment, upon the expiration of his or her current term, by the next district board selected upon and after the seating of either a new board of commissioners or new council of the municipality. The chairman of the district board shall take and subscribe an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State, and to discharge faithfully the duties of his office, and a record of each such oath shall be filed with the clerk of the board of commissioners and the clerk of the municipality. The other six members will serve upon said board corollary to the responsibilities and duties of their respective elective offices and such service upon the district board will not constitute the holding of a public office. No compensation shall be paid to any member of the district board except for the chairman, and his compensation shall be fixed by the remaining six members. Except as provided above, no additional oath or affirmation shall be required of the members of the district board. No county commissioner or member of the council of the municipality shall continue to serve upon the district board subsequent to the termination of his or her current elective term, except upon reelection to said office.

The district board shall appoint a secretary and a treasurer who will not be members of the district board. The terms of office of the secretary and treasurer shall be as provided in the bylaws of the district board and the compensation of said officers shall be fixed by the district board. The treasurer shall furnish bond in some security company authorized to do business in North Carolina, the amount to be fixed by the district board in a sum not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000), which bond shall be approved by the district board and shall be continued upon the faithful performance of his duties. Every official, employee or agent of the district who handles or has custody of more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) of such district funds at any time, shall before assuming his duties as such be required to furnish bond in some security company authorized to do business in North Carolina, the amount to be fixed by the district board, which bond shall be approved by the district board and shall be continued upon the faithful performance of his duties in an amount sufficient to protect the district. All bonds required by this section shall be filed with the clerk of the municipality.

The district board shall meet regularly and no less than monthly, at such places and dates as determined by the board. Special meetings may be called by the chairman on his own initiative and shall be called by him upon request of two or more members of the board. All members shall be notified in writing at least 24 hours in advance of any meeting. A majority of the members of the district board shall constitute a quorum and the affirmative vote of a majority of the district board present at any meeting thereof shall be necessary for any action taken by the district board. No vacancy in the membership of the district board shall impair the right of a quorum to exercise all the rights and perform all the duties of the district board. Each member, including the chairman, shall be entitled to vote upon any question.

Any vacancy in district board membership, except that of the chairman, shall be filled by appointment of the original appointing authority for the remainder of the unexpired term. Each governing body may, by majority vote, replace at any time its representatives on said district board. (1971, c. 815, s. 4; 1973, c. 476, s. 128; 2007-182, s. 2.)

 

§ 162A-35.  Procedure for inclusion of additional political subdivision or unincorporated area; notice and hearing; elections; actions questioning validity of elections.

If, at any time subsequent to the creation of a district, there shall be filed with the district board a resolution of the governing body of a political subdivision, or a petition, signed by not less than fifteen per centum (15%) of the voters resident within an unincorporated area, requesting inclusion in the district of such political subdivision or unincorporated area, and if the district board shall favor the inclusion in the district of such political subdivision or unincorporated area, the district board shall notify the board of commissioners and the board of commissioners, through its chairman, shall thereupon request that a representative of the Department of Environmental Quality hold a joint public hearing with the board of commissioners concerning the inclusion of such political subdivision or unincorporated area in the district. The Secretary of Environmental Quality and the chairman of the board of commissioners shall name a time and place within the district at which the public hearing shall be held. The chairman of the board of commissioners shall give prior notice of such hearing by posting a notice at the courthouse door of the county and also by publication in a newspaper circulating in the district and in any such political subdivision or unincorporated area at least once a week for four successive weeks, the first publication to be at least 30 days prior to such hearing. In the event all matters pertaining to the inclusion of such political subdivision or unincorporated area cannot be included at such hearing, such hearing may be continued to a time and place within the district determined by the board of commissioners with the concurrence of the representative of the Department of Environmental Quality.

If, after such hearing, the Commission for Public Health and the board of commissioners shall determine that the preservation and promotion of the public health and welfare require that such political subdivision or unincorporated area be included in the district, the Commission for Public Health shall adopt a resolution to that effect, defining the boundaries of the district including such political subdivision or unincorporated area which has filed a resolution or petition as provided for in this section, and declaring such political subdivision or unincorporated area to be included in the district, subject to the approval, as to the inclusion of such political subdivision, of a majority of the qualified voters of such political subdivision, or as to the inclusion of such unincorporated area, of a majority of the qualified voters of such unincorporated area, voting at an election thereon to be called and held in such political subdivision or unincorporated area. When an election is required to be held within both a political subdivision and an unincorporated area, a separate election shall be called and held for the unincorporated area and a separate election shall be called and held for the political subdivision. Such separate elections, although independent one from the other, shall be called and held within each political subdivision and within the unincorporated area simultaneously on the same date.

If, at or prior to such public hearing, there shall be filed with the district board a petition signed by not less than fifteen percent (15%) of the registered voters of the district requesting an election to be held on the question of including the political subdivision or unincorporated area in the district, the district board shall certify the petition and if found adequate, shall request the county board of elections to hold the election in the district. The election in the district may be held at the same time as the election in the political subdivision or unincorporated area seeking to become a part of the district.

The county board of elections shall give notice of the elections as required in G.S. 163-33(8) and shall conduct the election.

The cost of the election in the district shall be paid by the district board and the cost of the municipal election by the municipality. The county shall pay the cost of an election in the unincorporated area. The governing body of the political subdivision shall file an accurate description of its boundaries, and those persons signing the petition for an unincorporated area shall file an accurate description of its boundaries with the board of elections at the time the petition is filed with the district board.

The elections shall be held and conducted in accordance with the applicable provisions of Articles 23 and 24 of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes.

The ballot shall contain the words:

"FOR inclusion in the ____ Metropolitan Water District of ____ County that area known as ____."

"AGAINST inclusion in the ____ Metropolitan Water District of ____ County that area known as ____."

If a majority of the votes cast in a political subdivision or unincorporated areas proposed to be included are in favor of inclusion, and a majority of the votes cast in the district favor inclusion, then from and after the date of the certification of the results such area or areas shall be a part of the district and subject to the debts of the district.

The results of the elections shall be certified to the district board.

If no election is required to be held in the district, then a favorable vote for inclusion in the political subdivision or unincorporated area shall be deemed to include such area or political subdivision as a part of the district and they shall be subject to the debts of the district.

No right of action or defense founded upon the invalidity of any such election shall be asserted, or open to question in any court upon any grounds unless the action or proceeding is commenced within 30 days after the results have been certified by the board of elections.  (1971, c. 815, s. 5; 1973, c. 476, s. 128; 1981, c. 185; 1985, c. 462, s. 17; 1989, c. 727, s. 219(41); 1997-443, s. 11A.123; 2007-182, s. 2; 2011-31, s. 14; 2015-241, s. 14.30(u), (v); 2017-6, s. 3; 2018-146, ss. 3.1(a), (b), 6.1.)

 

§ 162A-36.  Powers generally; fiscal year.

(a)       Each district shall be deemed to be a public body and body politic and corporate, exercising public and essential governmental functions, to provide for the preservation and promotion of the public health and welfare, and said district is hereby authorized and empowered:

(1)       To adopt bylaws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business not in conflict with this or other law;

(2)       To adopt an official seal and alter the same at pleasure;

(3)       To maintain an office or offices at such place or places in the district as it may designate;

(4)       To sue and be sued in its own name, plead and be impleaded;

(5)       To acquire, lease as lessor or lessee, construct, reconstruct, improve, extend, enlarge, equip, repair, maintain and operate any water system or part thereof, and any sewerage system or part thereof, except interceptors, treatment plants and facilities constituting a system operated by a metropolitan sewage district within or without the district; provided, however, that no such water or sewerage system or part thereof, shall be located in any city, town or incorporated village except with the consent of the governing body thereof, and each such governing body is hereby authorized to grant such consent;

(6)       To issue general obligation bonds and revenue bonds of the district as hereinafter provided, to pay the costs of a water or sewerage system or systems;

(7)       To issue general obligation refunding bonds and revenue refunding bonds of the district as hereinafter provided;

(7a)     To pledge a security interest in accordance with G.S. 160A-20;

(8)       To fix and revise from time to time and to collect rents, rates, fees and other charges for the use of the services and facilities furnished by any water or sewerage system;

(8a)     To impose and require system development fees only in accordance with Article 8 of this Chapter.

(9)       To cause taxes to be levied and collected upon all taxable property within the district sufficient to meet the obligations of the district, to pay the costs of maintaining, repairing and operating any water or sewerage system or systems, and to pay all obligations incurred by the district in the performance of its legal undertakings and functions;

(10)     To acquire in the name of the district, either within or without the corporate limits of the district, by gift, purchase, lease or the exercise of the right of eminent domain, which right shall be exercised in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 40A of the General Statutes, any improved or unimproved lands or rights in lands, and to acquire by lease or purchase such personal property as it may deem necessary in connection with the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, improvement, extension, enlargement, repair, equipment, maintenance or operation of any water or sewerage system or systems, and to hold and dispose of real and personal property under its control;

(11)     To make and enter into all contracts, leases and agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and the execution of its powers under this Article, including a trust agreement or trust agreements securing any revenue bonds issued hereunder;

(12)     To employ such consulting and other engineers, superintendents, managers, construction and financial experts, accountants, attorneys, employees and agents as may, in the judgment of the district board, be deemed necessary, and to fix their compensation; provided, however, that the provisions of G.S. 159-20 shall be complied with to the extent that the same shall be applicable;

(13)     To receive and accept from the United States of America or the State of North Carolina, or any agency or instrumentality thereof loans, grants, advances or contributions for or in aid of the planning, acquisition, construction, reconstruction, improvement, extension, enlargement, repair, equipment, maintenance or operation of any water or sewerage system or systems, to agree to such reasonable conditions or requirements as may be imposed, and to receive and accept contributions from any source of either money, property, labor or other things of value, to be held, used and applied only for the purposes of which such loans, grants, advances or contributions may be made;

(14)     To negotiate and pay close-out costs involved in the acquisition or lease of existing water supply or sewerage systems;

(15)     To determine the extent to which local water distribution system and local sewerage system improvements will be financed out of district revenues and to contract with other political subdivisions for construction of facilities to be jointly financed and whose title would be vested in the district;

(16)     To lease from any city or town or any other municipal corporation, or from any water or sewage district, any water or sewerage system or portions thereof upon such terms and conditions and for such considerations as may to the district board be deemed fair and reasonable;

(17)     The metropolitan water district is authorized and empowered, through its district board, officers, agents and employees, to cause any user of water who shall fail to pay promptly his water rent or use bill for any month to be cut off, and his right to further use of water from said district to be discontinued until payment of any water rent or use arrearages;

(18)     To do all acts and things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers granted by this Article.

(b)      (1)       Each metropolitan water district shall publish an annual financial report and its books shall be open for public inspection.

(2)       Each district shall keep its accounts on the basis of a fiscal year commencing on the first day of July and ending on the thirtieth day of June of the following year.

(3)       District revenues shall be used solely for the operation, improvement or benefit of the district's water and sewerage systems and the leasing of any portion thereof and to pay the principal and interest on bonds issued by the district. Said revenues shall not be used for the payment of interest or amortization of any utility bonds previously issued by any city, town or water or sewerage district.

(4)       A district may provide water to a city or county or portion thereof within the district for governmental purposes without charge or at reduced rates.  (1971, c. 815, s. 6; 1981, c. 919, s. 31; 2015-207, s. 5(b); 2017-138, s. 6(a).)

 

§ 162A-37.  Bonds and notes authorized.

A metropolitan water district may from time to time issue bonds and notes under the Local Government Finance Act. (1971, c. 780, s. 37.5; c. 815, s. 7; 1973, c. 494, s. 46.)

 

§§ 162A-38 through 162A-44.  Repealed by Session Laws 1971, c. 780, s. 37.5; 1973, c. 494, s. 46.

 

§ 162A-45.  Determination of tax rate by district board; levy and collection of tax; remittance and deposit of funds.

After each assessment for taxes following the creation of the district, the board of commissioners shall file with the district board the valuation of assessable property within the district. The district board shall then determine the amount of funds to be raised by taxation for the ensuing year in excess of available funds to provide for the payment of the interest on and the principal of all outstanding general obligation bonds as the same shall become due and  payable, to pay the cost of maintaining, repairing and operating any water system or sewerage system or both, and to pay all obligations incurred by the district in the performance of its lawful undertakings and functions.

The district board shall determine the number of cents per one hundred dollars ($100.00) necessary to raise said amount and certify such rate to the board of commissioners. The board of commissioners in its next annual levy shall include the number of cents per one hundred dollars ($100.00) certified by the district board in the levy against all taxable property within the district, which tax shall be collected as other county taxes are collected, and every month the amount of tax so collected shall be remitted to the district board and deposited by the district board in a separate account in a bank in the State of North Carolina. Such levy may include an amount for reimbursing the county for the additional cost to the county of levying and collecting such taxes, pursuant to such formula as may be agreed upon by the district board and the board of commissioners, to be deducted from the collections and stated with each remittance to the district board. The officer or officers having charge or custody of the funds of the district shall require such bank to furnish security for protection of such deposits as provided in G.S. 159-31. (1971, c. 815, s. 15; 1973, c. 1446, s. 13.)

 

§§ 162A-46 through 162A-48.  Repealed by Session Laws 1971, c. 780, s. 37.5; 1973, c. 494, s. 46.

 

§ 162A-49.  Rates and charges for services.

(a)       The district board may fix, and may revise from time to time, rents, rates, fees and other charges for the use of land for the services furnished or to be furnished by any water system or sewerage system or both. Such rents, rates, fees and charges shall not be subject to supervision or regulation by any bureau, board, commission, or other agency of the State or of any political subdivision. Any such rents, rates, fees and charges pledged to the payment of revenue bonds of the district shall be fixed and revised so that the revenues of the water system or sewerage system or both, together with any other available funds, shall be sufficient at all times to pay the cost of maintaining, repairing and operating the water system or the sewerage system or both, the revenues of which are pledged to the payment of such revenue bonds, including reserves for such purposes, and to pay the interest on and the principal of such revenue bonds as the same shall become due and payable and to provide reserves therefor. If any such rents, rates, fees and charges are pledged to the payment of any general obligation bonds issued under this Article, such rents, rates, fees and charges shall be fixed and revised so as to comply with the requirements of such pledge. The district board may provide methods for collection of such rents, rates, fees and charges and measures for enforcement of collection thereof, including penalties and the denial or discontinuance of service.

(b)       The district board may require system development fees only in accordance with Article 8 of this Chapter.  (1971, c. 815, s. 19; 2017-138, s. 6(b).)

 

§§ 162A-50 through 162A-52.  Repealed by Session Laws 1971, c. 780, s. 37.5; 1973, c. 494, s. 46.

 

§ 162A-53.  Authority of governing bodies of political subdivisions.

The governing body of any political subdivision is hereby authorized and empowered:

(1)        Subject to the approval of the Local Government Commission, to  transfer jurisdiction over, and to lease, lend, sell, grant or convey to a district, upon such terms and conditions as the governing body of such political subdivision may agree upon with the district board, the whole or any part of any water system or sewerage system or both, and such real or personal property as may be necessary or useful in connection with the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, improvement, extension, enlargement, equipment, repair, maintenance or operation of any new water system or sewerage system or both by the district, including public roads and other property already devoted to public use;

(2)        To make and enter into contracts or agreements with a district, upon such terms and conditions and for such periods as such governing body and the district board may determine:

a.         For the collection, treatment or disposal of sewage;

b.         For the collecting by such political subdivision or by the district of rents, rates, fees or charges for the services and facilities provided to or for such political subdivision or its inhabitants by any water system or sewerage system or both and for the enforcement of collection of such rents, rates, fees and charges; and

c.         For the imposition of penalties, including the shutting off of the supply of water furnished by any water system owned or operated by such political subdivision, in the event that the owner, tenant or occupant of any premises utilizing such water shall fail to pay any such rents, rates, fees or charges;

d.         For the supply of raw or treated water on a regular retail or wholesale basis;

e.         For the supply of raw or treated water on a standby wholesale basis;

f.          For the construction of jointly financed facilities whose  title shall be vested in the district.

(3)        To fix, and revise from time to time, rents, rates, fees and other charges for the services furnished or to be furnished by a water system or sewerage system or both under any contract between the district and such political subdivision, and to pledge all or any part of the proceeds of such rents, rates, fees and charges to the payment of any obligation of such political subdivision to the district under such contract;

(4)        To pay any obligation of such political subdivision to the district under such contract from any available funds of the political subdivision and to levy and collect a tax ad valorem for the making of any such payment; and

(5)        In its discretion or if required by law, to submit to its qualified electors under the election laws applicable to such political subdivision any contract or agreement which such governing body is authorized to make and enter into with the district under the provisions of this Article.

Any such election upon a contract or agreement, may, at the discretion of the governing body, be called and held under the election laws applicable to the issuance of bonds by such political subdivision. (1971, c. 815, s. 23.)

 

§ 162A-54.  Rights-of-way and easements in streets and highways.

A right-of-way or easement in, along, or across any State highway system road, or street, and along or across any city or town street within a district is hereby granted to a district in case such right-of-way is found by the district board to be necessary or convenient for carrying out any of the work of the district. Any work done in, along, or across any State highway system, road, street, or property shall be done in accordance with the rules and regulations and any reasonable requirements of the Department of Transportation, and any work done in, along, or across any municipal street or property shall be done in accordance with any reasonable requirements of the municipal governing body. (1971, c. 815, s. 24; 1973, c. 507, s. 5; 1977, c. 464, s. 34.)

 

§ 162A-55.  Submission of preliminary plans to planning groups; cooperation with planning agencies.

Prior to the time final plans are made for the location and construction of any water system or sewerage system or both, the district board shall present preliminary plans for such improvement to the county, municipal or regional planning board for their consideration, if such facility is to be located within the planning jurisdiction of any such county, municipal or regional planning group. The district board shall make every effort to cooperate with the planning agency, if any, in the location and construction of a proposed facility authorized under this Article. The district board created under the authority of this Article is hereby directed, wherever possible, to coordinate its plans for the construction of a water system or sewerage system or both, with the overall plans for the development of the planning area, if such district is located wholly or in part within a county, municipal or regional planning area; provided, however, that the approval of any such county, municipal or regional planning board as to any such plan of the district shall not be required. (1971, c. 815, s. 25.)

 

§ 162A-56.  Advances by political subdivisions for preliminary expenses of districts.

Any political subdivision is hereby authorized to make advances, from any moneys that may be available for such purpose, in connection with the creation of such district and to provide for the preliminary expenses of such district. Any such advances may be repaid to such political subdivision from the proceeds of bonds issued by said district or from other available funds of said district. (1971, c. 815, s. 26.)

 

§ 162A-57.  Article regarded as supplemental.

This Article shall not be regarded as in derogation of or as repealing any powers now existing under any other law, either general, special or local; provided, however, that the issuance of bonds under the provisions of this Article need not comply with the requirements of any other law applicable to the issuance of bonds except as herein provided. (1971, c. 815, s. 27.)

 

§ 162A-58.  Inconsistent laws declared inapplicable.

All general, special or local laws, or parts thereof inconsistent herewith are hereby declared to be inapplicable, unless otherwise specified, to the provisions of this Article. It is specifically provided that Chapter 399 of the 1933 Public-Local and Private Laws of North Carolina shall not be applicable to any metropolitan water district created pursuant to the provisions of this Article. (1971, c. 815, s. 28.)

 

§§ 162A-59 through 162A-63.  Reserved for future codification purposes.