When, under the provisions of sections 237.33 to 237.40, a township telephone system is established in any township in which any of the inhabitants of the town are already provided with telephone service furnished by any other telephone company or person, the town shall, when so requested by the telephone company or person, acquire from the telephone company all telephone equipment used by the telephone company or person in furnishing telephone service to the inhabitants of the town exclusively. For the purpose of determining the purchase price of the equipment, application shall be made to the department which shall determine the just compensation which the owner of the telephone equipment is entitled to receive for it from the town. Before deciding upon the compensation, the department shall, at a public meeting, which may be adjourned from time to time, hear all interested persons of the question involved. The department shall by order fix the compensation and furnish a copy of its order to the town, and to the telephone company or person concerned. An appeal may be taken to the district court of the county in which the town is situated from that part of the order fixing the compensation to be paid, within 30 days, by either party. The appeal shall be tried in the same manner as other appeals hereunder. If no appeal is taken, the order of the department shall become final at the end of 30 days.
When, under the provisions of sections 237.33 to 237.40 a township telephone system has been established in any town, and it has been determined by the board of supervisors of the town to be for the best interest of public service and all persons concerned, to sell and transfer the township telephone system to any telephone company or person giving service organized for that purpose and qualified to purchase the system and operate it, the board of supervisors may sell, transfer, and convey the township telephone system upon such reasonable price and terms as it may determine; provided, that there shall be presented to the board of supervisors by a petition signed by at least 25 percent of the landowners of the town asking for the sale. If the sale and agreed sale price are approved at an annual or special town meeting, it being stated in the notice of the annual and special meeting that the proposition will be considered at it, by 66 percent of the legal voters attending the meeting.
If any township telephone lines are sold under the provisions of sections 237.33 to 237.40, and the town has previously issued bonds for their construction, and any part of the bonds are then outstanding and unpaid, the entire consideration received from the sale, or such part as may be necessary, shall be held and applied only for the payment and retirement of the bonds.