(a) Standards. - The governing board, by resolution, may consolidate two or more urban service districts upon finding that:
(1) The districts are contiguous or are in a continuous boundary; and
(2) The provision or maintenance of urban services, facilities and functions for each of the districts is substantially the same; or
(3) If the provision or maintenance of urban services, facilities and functions is lower for one of the districts, there is a need to increase those services, facilities and functions for that district. However, no urban service district providing electric or telephone services may be consolidated with any other urban service district unless the voters of the district providing these utility services approve the consolidation in a referendum held for that purpose. Any consolidated city-county may hold these referendums.
(b) Report. - Prior to the public hearing required by subsection (c), the consolidated city-county shall prepare 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 urban services, facilities and functions 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 of the consolidated city-county for at least two weeks prior to the date of the public hearing.
(c) Hearing and Notice. - The governing board shall hold a public hearing prior to adoption of any resolution consolidating urban 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 of the consolidated city-county. Notice shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county at least once and not less than two weeks prior to the date of the hearing. In addition, if the services, facilities and functions for one of the districts will be substantially increased as a result of the consolidation, notice shall be mailed at least four weeks prior to the date of the hearing to the owners as shown by the tax records of the consolidated city-county of all property located within the district. The person designated by the governing board to mail the notice shall certify to the governing board that the mailing has been completed and his certificate shall be conclusive in the absence of fraud.
(d) Effective Date. - The consolidation of urban service districts shall take effect at the beginning of a fiscal year commencing after passage of the resolution of consolidation, as determined by the governing board. (1973, c. 537, s. 1.)