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116A.24 APPOINTMENT AND POWERS OF WATER AND SEWER COMMISSION.
    Subdivision 1. Appointment. Any time after the establishment of a water or sewer or
combined water or sewer system, or the formation of a district under section 116A.02, subdivision
4
, the board or boards or, when a multicounty system is established under section 116A.12, the
court may provide for the appointment of a water or sewer or water and sewer commission. Such
a commission shall be appointed before the final award of a contract for the construction of any
system ordered by the district court. The commission shall have not less than five members
and not more than 11. Members shall be appointed at large by the county board or boards from
within the areas in their respective counties which are served by the system or from within a
district formed under section 116A.02, subdivision 4, which district includes the served areas.
Commission members shall serve for terms of four years and until their successors are appointed
and qualify. The commencement date of the term of each member and the member's successors
shall be fixed by order of the board or boards or court so that as nearly as possible an equal
number of members will be replaced or reappointed each year. When multicounty systems are
involved, commission membership shall be apportioned by the boards or court among the counties
on the basis of their population served by the system or, if a district has been formed, on the basis
of population located within that portion of each county situated within the district. When the area
served by any system is enlarged and the commission members are not appointed from within a
district formed under section 116A.02, subdivision 4, which includes the enlarged system, the
board or boards or court shall reapportion or increase the membership and reestablish the terms so
as to conform to the foregoing provisions, but each member shall continue to serve for the term
appointed. Vacancies due to death, incapacity to serve, removal, or resignation shall be filled by
the appointing boards for the unexpired terms.
    Subd. 2. Powers. Subject to the approval of the board or boards except to the extent that
approval is waived by the board or boards in an order filed with and confirmed by order of the
district court, the water or sewer or water and sewer commission or when a multicounty system is
involved a county board may do all things necessary to establish, construct, operate and maintain
a system including but not limited to the following:
(a) Employ on such terms as it deems advisable, persons or firms performing engineering,
legal or other services of a professional nature; require any employee to obtain and file with it an
individual bond or fidelity insurance policy; and procure insurance in such amounts as it deems
necessary against liability of the board or its officers and employees or both, for personal injury or
death and property damage or destruction, with the force and effect stated in chapter 466, and
against risks of damage to or destruction of any of its facilities, equipment, or other property as
it deems necessary.
(b) Construct or maintain its systems or facilities in, along, on, under, over, or through public
streets, bridges, viaducts, and other public rights-of-way without first obtaining a franchise from
any local government unit having jurisdiction over them; but such facilities shall be constructed
and maintained in accordance with the ordinances and resolutions of any such government unit
relating to construction, installation, and maintenance of similar facilities in such public properties
and shall not obstruct the public use of such rights-of-way.
(c) Enter into any contract necessary or proper for the exercise of its powers or the
accomplishment of its purposes.
(d) Have the power to adopt rules and regulations relating to the establishment of water or
sewer rentals or user fees as may be deemed advisable and the operation of any system operated
by it, and may provide penalties for the violation thereof not exceeding the maximum which may
be specified for a misdemeanor. Any rule or regulation prescribing a penalty for violation shall be
published at least once in a newspaper having general circulation in the area.
(e) Act under the provisions of section 471.59, or any other appropriate law providing for
joint or cooperative action between government units.
(f) Acquire by purchase, lease, condemnation, gift, or grant, any real or personal property
including positive and negative easements and water and air rights, and it may construct, enlarge,
improve, replace, repair, maintain, and operate any system determined to be necessary or
convenient for the collection and disposal of sewage or collection, treatment, and distribution
of water in its jurisdiction. Any local government unit and the commissioners of transportation
and natural resources are authorized to convey to or permit the use of any such facilities owned
or controlled by it by the board or commission, subject to the rights of the holders of any bonds
issued with respect thereto, with or without compensation, without an election or approval by any
other government agency. The board or commission may hold such property for its purposes,
and may lease any such property so far as not needed for its purposes, upon such terms and in
such manner as it shall deem advisable. Unless otherwise provided, the right to acquire lands
and property rights by condemnation shall be exercised in accordance with sections 117.011 to
117.232, and shall apply to any property or interest therein owned by any local government unit;
provided, that no such property devoted to an actual public use at the time, or held to be devoted
to such use within a reasonable time, shall be so acquired unless a court of competent jurisdiction
shall determine that the use proposed by the commission is paramount to such use. Except in case
of property in actual public use, the board or commission may take possession of any property
for which condemnation proceedings have been commenced at any time after the issuance of a
court order appointing commissioners for its condemnation.
(g) Contract with the United States or any agency thereof, any state or agency thereof, or any
local government unit or governmental agency or subdivision, for the joint use of any facility
owned by the board or such entity, for the operation by such entity of any system or facility of
the board, or for the performance on the board's behalf of any service, on such terms as may be
agreed upon by the contracting parties.
(h) Exercise any other powers granted to the board or boards or court under section 116A.01,
subdivision 2
, relating to the establishment of a water or sewer or water and sewer system, except
that the issuance of bonds by a commission is subject to subdivision 3, paragraph (b).
(i) Retain the services of a certified public accountant for the purposes of providing an annual
audited operating statement and balance sheet and other financial reports. The reports must be
prepared in accordance with general accounting principles and must be filed within six months
after the close of the fiscal year in the office of each county auditor within the district and with
the office of the state auditor. The reports may be prepared by the state auditor instead of by a
certified public accountant if the commission so requests.
    Subd. 3. Payment of costs. (a) The payment of the cost of construction of a multicounty
system established by order pursuant to section 116A.12, and of the subsequent improvement
or extension of the system when ordered by the court, is the obligation of each of the counties
containing property assessable for the system, in proportion to the area of such property situated
within the county, or in any other proportion which the counties, by concurring resolutions,
confirmed by order of the court, may determine is just and reasonable. When bonds are sold and
issued by the counties to pay such cost pursuant to section 116A.20, the proceeds of the bonds,
except such portion as the county shall retain to pay interest until the system is self-supporting,
shall be remitted to the commission, and the commission shall receive and disburse all revenues
of the system, and shall act as agent of the counties in supervising the construction, improvement,
and extension thereof, and thereafter in operating and maintaining the system. All collections
of special assessments and any debt service ad valorem taxes levied for the system on property
within each county shall be deposited as received in the sinking fund for bonds issued by that
county to finance the system or extensions or improvements thereof, or in a single joint account
administered by the commission on behalf of the counties for payment into the respective sinking
fund accounts of the counties at such times and in such amounts as the county boards mutually
determine is just and reasonable. The commission shall remit to the counties the net revenues from
time to time received in excess of the amounts needed to pay current operation and maintenance
expenses of the system and to maintain a reasonable operating reserve. The net revenues remitted
each year shall be apportioned among the counties in proportion to the principal amount of bonds
of each county then outstanding, which were issued for the establishment, improvement, or
extension of the system or any other proportion which the counties mutually determine is just
and reasonable; provided that with the consent of the county boards, the commission may retain
any portion of the net revenues not needed for the payment of their bonds in a special fund to
be expended for the improvement or extension of the system.
(b) The commission may incur debt by issuing obligations for any lawful purpose, including
the construction, alteration, extension, or improvement of works or any part of works or of
a building for the use of the commission, and for the purchase of materials, machinery, and
equipment necessary for carrying out the commission's authority. The debt, whether express
or implied, must be payable solely:
(1) from revenues, income, receipts, and profits derived by the commission from the
operation and management of its system;
(2) from the proceeds of other debt incurred by the commission under this paragraph; or
(3) from federal or state grants, gifts, or other available money.
(c) The commission may by resolution pledge any source of revenue referred to in paragraph
(b) to pay obligations and interest on them. The resolution may specify the particular revenues
that are pledged, related terms and conditions, and the rights of holders. The commission may
provide for the refunding of obligations through the issuance of other obligations, with rights and
priorities similar in all respects to those of the refunded obligations.
(d) All accounts authorized by this subdivision may be established within a single fund
administered by the commission on behalf of the counties and held in a single bank mutually
designated by the county boards to serve as a depository for all sums, including bond proceeds,
special assessments, tax levies and revenues received on account of the system.
    Subd. 4.[Repealed, 1977 c 442 s 16]
History: 1971 c 916 s 24; 1973 c 35 s 32; 1973 c 322 s 22-24; 1975 c 294 s 12-14; 1976 c
166 s 7; 1976 c 239 s 24; 1977 c 442 s 12-14; 1983 c 265 s 1; 1986 c 444; 1991 c 117 s 1,2