153A-304. Consolidation of service districts.

(a) The board of commissioners may by resolution consolidate two or more service districts upon finding that:

(1) The districts are contiguous or are in a continuous boundary;

(2) The services provided in each of the districts are substantially the same; or

(3) If the services provided are lower for one of the districts, there is a need to increase those services for that district to the level of that enjoyed by the other districts.

(b) Report. - Before the public hearing required by subsection (c), the board of commissioners shall cause to be prepared a report containing:

(1) A map of the districts to be consolidated;

(2) A statement showing the proposed consolidation meets the standards of subsection (a); and

(3) If necessary, a plan for increasing the services for one of the districts so that they are substantially the same throughout the consolidated district.

The report shall be available in the office of the clerk to the board for at least two weeks before the public hearing.

(c) Hearing and Notice. - The board of commissioners shall hold a public hearing before adopting any resolution consolidating service districts. Notice of the hearing shall state the date, hour, and place of the hearing and its subject, and shall include a statement that the report required by subsection (b) is available for inspection in the office of the clerk to the board. The notice shall be published at least once not less than one week before the date of the hearing. In addition, the notice shall be mailed at least four weeks before the hearing to the owners as shown by the county tax records as of the preceding January 1 of all property located within the consolidated district. The notice may be mailed by any class of U.S. mail which is fully prepaid. The person designated by the board to mail the notice shall certify to the board that the mailing has been completed, and his certificate shall be conclusive in the absence of fraud.

(d) Effective Date. - The consolidation of service districts shall take effect at the beginning of a fiscal year commencing after passage of the resolution of consolidation, as determined by the board. (1973, c. 489, s. 1; c. 822, s. 2; 1981, c. 53, s. 2.)