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Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

CHAPTER 226--S.F.No. 3023

An act

relating to governmental operations; establishing timelines for agency action on certain environmental permits; authorizing a watershed district to own and operate a dredge material site and exercise certain powers; authorizing certain fees and covenants;

amending Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 15.99.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 15.99, is amended to read:

15.99 TIME DEADLINE FOR AGENCY ACTION.

Subdivision 1.

Definitions.

(a) For purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the meanings given.

(b) "Agency" means a department, agency, board, commission, or other group in the executive branch of state government; a statutory or home rule charter city, county, town, or school district; any metropolitan agency or regional entity; and any other political subdivision of the state.

(c) "Request" means a written application related to zoning, septic systems, watershed district review, soil and water conservation district review, or the expansion of the metropolitan urban service area, for a permit, license, or other governmental approval of an action. A request must be submitted in writing to the agency on an application form provided by the agency, if one exists. The agency may reject as incomplete a request not on a form of the agency if the request does not include information required by the agency. A request not on a form of the agency must clearly identify on the first page the specific permit, license, or other governmental approval being sought. No request shall be deemed made if not in compliance with this paragraph.

(d) "Applicant" means a person submitting a request under this section. An applicant may designate a person to act on the applicant's behalf regarding a request under this section and any action taken by or notice given to the applicant's designee related to the request shall be deemed taken by or given to the applicant.

Subd. 2.

Deadline for response.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, section 462.358, subdivision 3b, or chapter 505, and notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, an agency must approve or deny within 60 days a written request relating to zoning, septic systems, watershed district review, soil and water conservation district review, or expansion of the metropolitan urban service area for a permit, license, or other governmental approval of an action. Failure of an agency to deny a request within 60 days is approval of the request. If an agency denies the request, it must state in writing the reasons for the denial at the time that it denies the request.

(b) When a vote on a resolution or properly made motion to approve a request fails for any reason, the failure shall constitute a denial of the request provided that those voting against the motion state on the record the reasons why they oppose the request. A denial of a request because of a failure to approve a resolution or motion does not preclude an immediate submission of a same or similar request.

(c) Except as provided in paragraph (b), if an agency, other than a multimember governing body, denies the request, it must state in writing the reasons for the denial at the time that it denies the request. If a multimember governing body denies a request, it must state the reasons for denial on the record and provide the applicant in writing a statement of the reasons for the denial. If the written statement is not adopted at the same time as the denial, it must be adopted at the next meeting following the denial of the request but before the expiration of the time allowed for making a decision under this section. The written statement must be consistent with the reasons stated in the record at the time of the denial. The written statement must be provided to the applicant upon adoption.

Subd. 3.

Application; extensions.

(a) The time limit in subdivision 2 begins upon the agency's receipt of a written request containing all information required by law or by a previously adopted rule, ordinance, or policy of the agency, including the applicable application fee. If an agency receives a written request that does not contain all required information, the 60-day limit starts over only if the agency sends written notice within 15 business days of receipt of the request telling the requester what information is missing.

(b) If a request relating to zoning, septic systems, watershed district review, soil and water conservation district review, or expansion of the metropolitan urban service area requires the approval of more than one state agency in the executive branch, the 60-day period in subdivision 2 begins to run for all executive branch agencies on the day a request containing all required information is received by one state agency. The agency receiving the request must forward copies to other state agencies whose approval is required.

(c) An agency response meets the 60-day time limit if the agency can document that the response was sent within 60 days of receipt of the written request.

(d) The time limit in subdivision 2 is extended if a state statute, federal law, or court order requires a process to occur before the agency acts on the request, and the time periods prescribed in the state statute, federal law, or court order make it impossible to act on the request within 60 days. In cases described in this paragraph, the deadline is extended to 60 days after completion of the last process required in the applicable statute, law, or order. Final approval of an agency receiving a request is not considered a process for purposes of this paragraph.

(e) The time limit in subdivision 2 is extended if: (1) a request submitted to a state agency requires prior approval of a federal agency; or (2) an application submitted to a city, county, town, school district, metropolitan or regional entity, or other political subdivision requires prior approval of a state or federal agency. In cases described in this paragraph, the deadline for agency action is extended to 60 days after the required prior approval is granted.

(f) An agency may extend the time limit in subdivision 2 before the end of the initial 60-day period by providing written notice of the extension to the applicant. The notification must state the reasons for the extension and its anticipated length, which may not exceed 60 days unless approved by the applicant.

(g) An applicant may by written notice to the agency request an extension of the time limit under this section.

Sec. 2.

LOWER MINNESOTA RIVER WATERSHED DISTRICT; AUTHORITY TO ACQUIRE, MAINTAIN, OPERATE, IMPROVE, AND ENLARGE DREDGE MATERIAL SITE.

Subdivision 1.

Definitions.

The definitions in this subdivision apply to this act:

(1) "district" means the Lower Minnesota River Watershed District, a district established under Minnesota Statutes, chapter 103D;

(2) "governing body" means the managers of the district as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 103D.011, subdivision 15; and

(3) "dredge material site" means a site at which public agencies or private customers may deposit material from dredging activities conducted on the Minnesota River.

Subd. 2.

Authorization; authority to own and operate.

The district may own and operate a dredge material site for its own needs, the needs of other public agencies, the needs of private customers, or any combination of these. The district may acquire, construct, and install all facilities needed for that purpose and may lease, purchase, or acquire by exercise of the power of eminent domain any existing properties so needed. The district may sell the dredge material to any person or entity. If the governing body determines that the dredge material has no value, the district may convey the dredge material for no consideration to any person or entity. The district may hire all personnel the governing body deems necessary and may make all necessary rules and regulations for the operation and maintenance of the dredge material site.

Sec. 3.

AUTHORITY TO IMPOSE CHARGES.

Subdivision 1.

Charges; net revenues.

(a) To pay for the acquisition, maintenance, operation, improvement, and enlargement of the dredge material site and to obtain and comply with permits required by law for the dredge material site, the governing body may impose charges for permitting private customers to deposit dredge material at the dredge material site and make contracts for the charges as provided in this section.

(b) The amount of the charges imposed shall be established at the discretion of the governing body. In determining the amount of the charges to be imposed, the governing body may give consideration to all costs of the operation and maintenance of the dredge material site, the costs of depreciation and replacement of structures and equipment, the costs of improvements and enlargements, the cost of reimbursing the district for special assessment revenues expended for the benefit of persons or entities not subject to special assessment levies by the district, the amount of the principal and interest to become due on obligations issued or to be issued, the costs of obtaining and complying with permits required by law, the price charged for similar services by other providers of dredge material sites in similar markets, and all other factors the governing body deems relevant.

(c) At its discretion, the governing body may impose a surcharge on private customers using the dredge material site in addition to the charges allowed under paragraph (a). The surcharge shall be for the purpose of paying for the removal of dredge material from the dredging site if the governing body determines it necessary. If the governing body later determines that there is no need to pay for the removal of the dredge material from the dredge material site, the governing body shall rebate all surcharges paid by private customers.

Subd. 2.

Covenants to secure debt payments.

(a) In any resolution authorizing the issuance of either general obligation bonds or revenue bonds and pledging revenues and other security to the payment of the debt service on the bonds, the governing body may make covenants for the protection and benefit of the holders of the bonds as it deems necessary or appropriate including, but without limitation, a covenant that the district will impose and collect charges of the nature authorized by this section at the times and in the amounts required to produce, together with any tax revenues, special assessment revenues, or other revenues pledged to payment of the obligations, net revenues adequate to pay all principal and interest when due on the bonds and to create and maintain reserves securing the payment of the principal and interest when due on the bonds.

(b) The covenants made for the protection and benefit of the holders of the bonds of the district shall be enforceable by appropriate action on the part of any holder of the bonds or any taxpayer of the district in a court of competent jurisdiction.

Sec. 4.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

Sections 2 and 3 are effective the day following final enactment.

Presented to the governor May 20, 2006

Signed by the governor May 24, 2006, 1:10 p.m.

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes