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475.521 Capital improvement bonds.

Subdivision 1. Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given.

(a) "Bonds" mean an obligation defined under section 475.51.

(b) "Capital improvement" means acquisition or betterment of public lands, buildings or other improvements for the purpose of a city hall, public safety facility, and public works facility. An improvement must have an expected useful life of five years or more to qualify. Capital improvement does not include light rail transit or any activity related to it, or a park, library, road, bridge, administrative building other than a city hall, or land for any of those facilities.

(c) "City" means a home rule charter or statutory city.

Subd. 2. Election requirement. (a) Bonds issued by a city to finance capital improvements under an approved capital improvements plan are not subject to the election requirements of section 475.58. The bonds are subject to the net debt limits under section 475.53. The bonds must be approved by an affirmative vote of three-fifths of the members of a five-member city council. In the case of a city council having more than five members, the bonds must be approved by a vote of at least two-thirds of the city council.

(b) Before the issuance of bonds qualifying under this section, the city must publish a notice of its intention to issue the bonds and the date and time of the hearing to obtain public comment on the matter. The notice must be published in the official newspaper of the city or in a newspaper of general circulation in the city. Additionally, the notice may be posted on the official Web site, if any, of the city. The notice must be published at least 14 but not more than 28 days before the date of the hearing.

(c) A city may issue the bonds only after obtaining the approval of a majority of the voters voting on the question of issuing the obligations, if a petition requesting a vote on the issuance is signed by voters equal to five percent of the votes cast in the city in the last general election and is filed with the city clerk within 30 days after the public hearing. The commissioner of revenue shall prepare a suggested form of the question to be presented at the election.

Subd. 3. Capital improvement plan. (a) A city may adopt a capital improvement plan. The plan must cover at least a five-year period beginning with the date of its adoption. The plan must set forth the estimated schedule, timing, and details of specific capital improvements by year, together with the estimated cost, the need for the improvement, and sources of revenue to pay for the improvement. In preparing the capital improvement plan, the city council must consider for each project and for the overall plan:

(1) the condition of the city's existing infrastructure, including the projected need for repair or replacement;

(2) the likely demand for the improvement;

(3) the estimated cost of the improvement;

(4) the available public resources;

(5) the level of overlapping debt in the city;

(6) the relative benefits and costs of alternative uses of the funds;

(7) operating costs of the proposed improvements; and

(8) alternatives for providing services most efficiently through shared facilities with other cities or local government units.

(b) The capital improvement plan and annual amendments to it must be approved by the city council after public hearing.

Subd. 4. Limitations on amount. A city may not issue bonds under this section if the maximum amount of principal and interest to become due in any year on all the outstanding bonds issued under this section, including the bonds to be issued, will equal or exceed 0.05367 percent of taxable market value of property in the county. Calculation of the limit must be made using the taxable market value for the taxes payable year in which the obligations are issued and sold. This section does not limit the authority to issue bonds under any other special or general law.

Subd. 5. Application of this chapter. Bonds to finance capital improvements qualifying under this section must be issued under the issuance authority in this chapter and the provisions of this chapter apply, except as otherwise specifically provided in this section.

HIST: 2003 c 127 art 12 s 16; 1Sp2003 c 21 art 10 s 11