The county boards of the several counties except counties in the seven-county metropolitan area, and the district courts are authorized to make all necessary orders for, and cause to be constructed and maintained, public water or sewer systems or combined water and sewer systems, including outlets, treatment plants, pumps, lift stations, service connections, mains, valves, hydrants, wells, reservoirs, tanks, and other appurtenances of public water or sewer systems, in any area of the county or judicial district not organized into cities, or in any area added to a public water or sewer system or combined water and sewer system by action taken in accordance with subdivision 4.
Any county board that has established a water or sewer system or combined water and sewer system under the provisions of this chapter, or that has formed a district under the provisions of section 116A.02, subdivision 4, may acquire, construct, finance, operate and maintain the system under and exercise all the rights and authority and perform all the duties of a statutory city under chapters 117, 412, 429 and 475 and sections 115.46, 444.075 and 471.59, instead of this chapter, upon receiving authorization in accordance with this subdivision. To receive authorization the county board shall file, in the office of the court administrator of district court of the county, a petition to the court asking that the county board be granted such authority. The court administrator of district court, as directed by the judge, shall thereupon fix a time and place for hearing upon the petition. Notice of the hearing shall be given by publication for two successive weeks in a newspaper published in the county. The court administrator of district court shall give written notice of the hearing to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. If at the hearing the court finds that it is for the best interests of the county board to be granted such authority, it may by order grant such petition. Thereafter the county board is authorized to acquire, construct, finance, operate and maintain the water or sewer system or combined water and sewer system in the same manner and to the same extent accorded a statutory city under chapters 117, 412, 429 and 475 and sections 115.46, 444.075 and 471.59.
Upon receipt of a petition for the establishment of a water or sewer system or combined water and sewer system in any area of the county not organized into cities, or in any area to be included within a system in accordance with subdivision 4, and after determining the sufficiency of the petition as provided in section 116A.02 and making such investigations and surveys as it considers necessary to ascertain whether it should be granted, the court or board may by resolution provide for the establishment of such a system; cause plans and specifications to be prepared for water system facilities adequate to obtain, store, treat, and distribute water for domestic, commercial, and industrial use therein, or sewer system facilities adequate to collect, treat, and dispose of sewage and waste in a sanitary manner, or both such types of facilities; contract for the construction of such facilities; acquire land and easements for the purpose by purchase, gift, condemnation, or other lawful means; establish, collect, and revise charges for the use and availability of water or sewer service or both to all premises within the area to which service is furnished or made reasonably available, and for connection to the facilities, in the manner provided in section 444.075; levy special assessments upon properties specially benefited by the construction of the facilities; issue bonds of the county to finance such construction as provided in section 116A.20, and require hook up or attachment to the system by all residents in the service area.
In case any proposed sewer or water system extends into two or more judicial districts, proceedings may be commenced before the district court of any of the districts, and the court before which such proceedings are commenced shall thereafter have jurisdiction of all subsequent proceedings and matters in relation to the sewer or water system.
The area to be served by any public water or sewer or combined system or to be included in a district formed under section 116A.02, subdivision 4, may include any part or all of the area of any city which by resolution of its governing body requests that its facilities be connected to the system, or that all or any part of the area within its corporate limits be included in the area to be served by the system or included in the district. For the purpose of any petition filed or special assessment levied with respect to any system, the entire area to be served within any city shall be treated as if it were owned by a single person, provided that in any event mailed notice of all hearings required under this chapter shall also be sent to the actual owners of such property to the same extent and in the same manner provided for owners of property located in an area to be served by the system outside of any city, and the governing body shall exercise all the rights and be subject to all the duties of an owner of the area, and shall have power to provide for the payment of all special assessments and other charges imposed upon the area with respect to the system by the appropriation of money, the collection of service charges, or the levy of taxes, which shall be deemed special levies and shall be subject to no limitation of rate or amount; provided that in the alternative the board or boards and the court with jurisdiction over the system, or a water and sewer commission to the extent authorized by the board or boards and the court under section 116A.24, may, to the extent authorized by resolution of the governing body of the city, exercise within the area of the city served by the system, or any extensions of the system, the same powers granted to the county board or boards and the court for areas located outside any city by this chapter.
After any land has been included in the area to be served by any public water or sewer or combined system or in a district formed under section 116A.02, subdivision 4, the county board, or if two or more county boards are involved, the court, upon petition of the county boards or the commission formed under section 116A.24, may at any time order the exclusion from such area or district of any land that has not been specially assessed under section 116A.17, upon determining that the land is contiguous to land located outside the area or district and will not be served by such system, provided that either the owner or owners of the land first consent to the exclusion, or the proposed exclusion first be considered at one of the public hearings required under this chapter and be made a part of the order thereafter required of the board or court or at a separate public hearing on the proposed exclusion after notice of the hearing has been given in the manner and to the extent required in section 116A.08, subdivision 1.