1976 South Carolina Code of Laws
Unannotated
Updated through the end of the 2003 Session

Disclaimer
This statutory database is current through the 2003 Regular Session of the South Carolina General Assembly. Changes to the statutes enacted by the 2004 General Assembly, which will convene in January 2004, will be incorporated as soon as possible. Some changes enacted by the 2004 General Assembly may take immediate effect. The State of South Carolina and the South Carolina Legislative Council make no warranty as to the accuracy of the data, and users rely on the data entirely at their own risk.

Title 6 - Local Government - Provisions Applicable to Special Purpose Districts and Other Political Subdivisions

CHAPTER 11.

SPECIAL PURPOSE OR PUBLIC SERVICE DISTRICTS GENERALLY

ARTICLE 1.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

SECTION 6-11-10. Authority to establish special purpose or public service districts.

In order to protect the public health, electric lighting districts, water supply districts, fire protection districts and sewer districts may be established as herein provided for the purpose of supplying lights and water and providing fire protection, a sewerage collection system and a sewage treatment plant to a portion of any county in this State which is not included in any incorporated city or town.

SECTION 6-11-20. Petition for formation of district.

Before any such district is formed there shall be filed with the clerk of the court of the county in which such district is proposed to be located a written petition signed by a majority of the resident landowners in the proposed district or by the owners of more than half the land and acreage which will be affected by or assessed for the expense of the proposed improvements, as shown by the tax assessment rolls. The petition shall be accompanied by a plat showing the limits of the proposed district. When such proposed district is situated in two or more counties such petition shall be filed with the clerk of the court of each county wherein the district is to be located.

SECTION 6-11-30. Call of election for establishment of district.

When the petition is approved by the clerk of the court in which the proposed district is located, the clerk of the court shall call an election of the qualified voters of the district to vote upon the establishment of the district and of the electric light, water supply, fire protection and sewerage plant.

SECTION 6-11-40. Qualifications of voters.

Any person who is qualified to vote under the general law of this State and who resides within the district shall be eligible to vote.

SECTION 6-11-50. Place, managers and notice of election; declaration of result.

The clerk of the court shall select some place within the proposed district for the holding of such election and shall appoint the managers thereof and declare the result. He shall give notice of the time and place thereof for at least two weeks in some newspaper published within the county and by posting notice thereof in at least three public places within the proposed district for such length of time unless there be no newspaper published within the county, in which event the posting of the notices shall suffice.

SECTION 6-11-60. Electors shall vote on establishment of district and on election of commissioners.

At such election the qualified voters shall vote "Yes" or "No" on the establishment of such electric light, water supply, fire protection and sewerage district and of the electric light, water supply, fire protection and sewerage plant and at the same election they shall vote on the election of three commissioners of the district who shall hold office for a period of six years and until their successors are elected and qualified, the members of the first commission, however, to have terms of office of two, four and six years. Thereafter a commissioner shall be elected at each State biennial election.

SECTION 6-11-70. Date for election of board members; implementation of section; statement of candidacy or petition for nomination; number of signatures; certain counties exempt.

(A) When a special purpose district elects its board members, the board members must be elected in the November general election held in an even-numbered year. To implement the provisions of this section, the governing body of a county shall by ordinance or resolution extend terms, for necessary periods, of persons to be elected to permit the persons to be elected in accordance with the provisions of this section, but no elected term may be shortened for that purpose.

(B) Notwithstanding any provision of Title 7 or other provision of law, in such a district a candidate is required to file a statement of candidacy or obtain on a petition the signatures of five percent of the qualified electors of the district in order to have his name placed on the ballot for election as a commissioner of a special purpose district within the county.

(C) The provisions of subsection (A) do not apply to districts in counties that have adopted, by ordinance, uniform election dates for districts within those counties before the effective date of this section. The provisions of subsections (A) and (B) do not apply to districts in which the commissioners are elected pursuant to a petition and referendum provided for in Article 2 of Chapter 11 of Title 6.

SECTION 6-11-80. Organization of and vacancies on commission.

As soon as practicable after the election the commissioners shall meet and organize as the board of electric light, water supply, fire and sewerage commissioners, as the case may be, for such district. They shall draw by lot the commissioners who shall hold the two, four and six year terms respectively. At the organizational meeting they shall elect one of their number as chairman. In the event of any vacancy on the commission the remaining members of the commission shall elect a commissioner to fill the unexpired term.

SECTION 6-11-90. Record of meetings; compensation.

The commissioners shall keep a record of their deliberations and for this purpose shall appoint a secretary, who shall receive such remuneration as the commissioners may determine. The commissioners shall serve without emolument.

SECTION 6-11-91. Compensation and benefits for district governing bodies.

The governing body of a public service district or special purpose district by resolution or ordinance may fix or change the compensation or other benefits, including insurance benefits and per diem for the members of the district governing body. Reimbursable expenses actually incurred while on official business may not exceed the amounts authorized for members of state boards, committees, and commissions, and insurance benefits shall not exceed those provided for state employees.

SECTION 6-11-92. Continuation of existing benefit plans.

Any public service district or special purpose district operating on the effective date of Sections 6-11-91 through 6-11-93 may continue to use the compensation or benefit plan now in existence on the effective date of Sections 6-11-91 through 6-11-93.

SECTION 6-11-93. Compensation from two or more districts prohibited.

No person who serves on the governing body of any public service district or special purpose district shall receive compensation on any two such districts at the same time.

SECTION 6-11-100. General powers and duties of commissioners.

The boards of commissioners of such districts shall be bodies politic and shall exercise and enjoy all the rights and privileges of such. They may purchase and build or contract for building such electric light, water supply, fire protection and sewerage systems, may lease, own, hold and acquire all necessary equipment and property for such purpose and operate it and may contract with existing light and water companies and municipalities for light, water and fire protection or contract and connect with existing sewerage systems of municipalities or other districts. They may supply and furnish lights and water and provide for fire protection and sewerage disposal to citizens of such districts and may require an exact payment of such rates, tolls, rentals and charges as they may establish for the use of lights, water, fire protection and the sewerage plant.

SECTION 6-11-105. Emergency ban on burning within a special purpose or public service district.

The governing body of a county by ordinance may place an emergency ban on the burning of trash or debris within a special purpose district or public service district in the county providing fire protection services for a specified period of time if circumstances require, except that no ban may be placed on burning conducted for agricultural, forestry, and wildlife purposes as authorized by the South Carolina Forestry Commission.

A person violating such an ordinance is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred dollars or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding thirty days.

SECTION 6-11-110. Commissioners in certain counties may furnish services outside district.

In counties having a population between forty-one thousand and forty-three thousand according to the 1950 census, boards of commissioners of such districts may provide water, sewerage and fire protection to citizens outside of such districts in those counties or adjacent counties and charge such rates therefor as they may fix, which may be more but not less than the rates charged citizens of such districts for similar services and facilities.

SECTION 6-11-120. Filing of plat of district.

The commission shall cause a copy of the plat showing the limits of the proposed district to be filed in the office of the auditor of the county in which the district is located.

SECTION 6-11-130. Power of condemnation.

The boards of commissioners of the districts shall have power of condemnation.

SECTION 6-11-140. Establishment of rates.

The board of commissioners of any such electric light, water supply, fire protection and sewerage district shall establish and maintain just and equitable rates, rentals or charges for the use of and the service rendered by such works, to be paid by the owner of each and every lot, parcel of real estate or building that is connected with and uses such works by or through any part of the electric light system, water supply system, fire protection system and sewerage system or that in any way is served by such works and may change or adjust such rates or charges from time to time.

SECTION 6-11-150. Hearing prior to establishment of rates.

No such rates or charges shall be established until after a public hearing at which all the users of the works and the owners of property served or to be served thereby shall have an opportunity to be heard concerning the proposed rates. Notice of such hearing, setting forth the proposed schedule of such rates, shall be given by one publication in a newspaper published in the county wherein the district is located at least ten days before the date fixed in such notice for the hearing. After such hearing the rate shall be passed upon by the board of commissioners and put into effect.

SECTION 6-11-160. Schedule of rates shall be kept on file.

A copy of the schedule of such rates so established shall be kept on file in the office of the board of commissioners.

SECTION 6-11-170. Lien for rates; suits therefor.

All such rates or charges if not paid when due shall constitute a lien upon the premises served by such works. If any service rate or charge so established shall not be paid within thirty days after it is due, the amount thereof, together with a penalty of ten per cent and a reasonable attorney's fee, may be recovered by the board in a civil action in the name of the district and in connection with such action such lien may be foreclosed against such lot, parcel of land or building, in accordance with the laws relating thereto.

SECTION 6-11-180. Issue of bonds for construction or acquisition.

To meet the costs of construction or acquisition of the lighting system, waterworks system, fire protection system and sewerage system, the commissioners of any district may issue and sell serial coupon bonds for and in behalf of the township within which the district is located.

SECTION 6-11-190. Terms and amount of bonds.

Such bonds shall be issued serially and the last of them shall mature not more than forty years from the date of issue, to bear a rate of interest not to exceed six percent per annum payable semiannually at some place in the State or the office of some banking or trust company in the city of New York to be selected by the commissioners. The amount of the bonds to be issued shall be determined by the commissioners of the districts.

SECTION 6-11-200. Election on bond issue on petition of resident electors.

Before any such bonds shall be issued the question of issuing them shall be first submitted to the qualified voters of the electric light, water supply, fire protection and sewerage district at an election to determine whether such bonds shall be issued or not, to be held upon the written petition or request of at least one third of the resident electors or a like proportion of the freeholders of the age of twenty-one years or over. Upon the receipt of such petition, the board of commissioners of the electric light, water supply, fire protection or sewerage district, as the case may be, shall order an election to be held at such place in the district as may be designated by the board of commissioners on the question as to whether such bonds shall be issued or not. In such election only qualified voters residing in such district shall be allowed to vote. The board of commissioners shall give notice of such election for at least ten days in a newspaper published in the county or by posting such notice in three public places in the district. It shall designate the time and place and appoint the managers of the election and receive the returns of the managers and declare the result. The ballots cast must have written or printed on them "for bonds" or "against bonds."

SECTION 6-11-210. Issuance and sale of bonds; use of proceeds.

If a majority of the votes cast at such election shall be for the issuing of bonds, such bonds shall be issued and sold by the board of commissioners at not less than par and accrued interest and the proceeds shall be used by the board of commissioners for the purpose of construction and equipment in behalf of the district of the electric light, water supply, fire protection or sewerage system, as the case may be.

SECTION 6-11-220. Signature of bonds.

All bonds issued under and in pursuance of the provisions of this article shall be signed by the chairman of the board of commissioners of the electric light, water supply, fire protection or sewerage district and by the county supervisor of the county in which such district is situated. The names on the coupons attached to the bonds may be lithographed, which shall constitute a proper and sufficient signing thereof.

SECTION 6-11-230. Bonds shall be tax free.

All such bonds shall be exempt from State, county and municipal taxation.

SECTION 6-11-240. Maturity date of bonds issued by water or sewer districts.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any water or sewer district of this State may, on May 26 1975 issue bonds which mature not later than forty years from the date of issue.

SECTION 6-11-250. Government loans.

The board of commissioners of any electric light, water supply, fire protection or sewerage district may avail itself of any provision for loans to construct electric light systems, water supply systems, fire protection systems or sewerage systems from the United States Government, through any office or agency thereof, and may issue revenue bonds pledging the income from any such system in liquidation of any loan made as aforesaid by the United States Government.

SECTION 6-11-260. Adoption of budget of district.

To meet the expenses of operation and maintenance and the sinking fund and interest charges on the bond issue when the income derived from the works is not sufficient to meet such charges, the board of commissioners of any such electric light, water supply, fire protection or sewerage district shall each year before the levying of taxes make up an estimate or budget for such district, which shall give the estimated maintenance and expenses for the succeeding year and shall submit it to the county supervisor for approval and adoption. Any surplus or deficit that may occur in any one year shall be carried forward and applied to the next year's account and properly considered in the budget for the expenses of the district for the ensuing year.

SECTION 6-11-270. Levy, collection and disbursement of taxes.

After the approval thereof by the county supervisor, taxes shall be levied to meet such expenses upon all assessable property in the district and upon collection of them by the county treasurer they shall be disbursed only upon the approval of the board of commissioners of the said electric light, water supply, fire protection or sewerage district, as the case may be, by an order on the county treasurer drawn by the supervisor of the county in which said district is located. All taxes so levied for any such district shall be kept separate on the assessment roll from other levies and moneys so collected shall be kept in a separate fund for the district.

SECTION 6-11-271. Millage levy for special purpose district.

(A) For purposes of this section, "special purpose district" means any special purpose district or public service authority, however named, created prior to March 7, 1973, by or pursuant to an act of the General Assembly of this State.

(B)(1) This subsection applies only to those special purpose districts the governing bodies of which are not elected but are presently authorized by law to levy for operations and maintenance in each year millage up to or not exceeding a given amount and did impose this levy in fiscal year 1997-98.

(2) There must be levied annually in each special purpose district described in item (1) of this subsection, beginning with the levy for fiscal year 1999, ad valorem property tax millage in the amount equal to the millage levy imposed in fiscal year 1998.

(C)(1) This subsection applies only to those special purpose districts, the governing bodies of which are not elected but are presently authorized by law to levy for operations and maintenance in each year millage without limit as to amount.

(2) There must be levied annually in each special purpose district described in item (1) of this subsection, beginning with the levy for fiscal year 1999, ad valorem property tax millage in the amount equal to the millage levy imposed in that special purpose district for operations and maintenance for fiscal year 1998.

(D) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any special purpose district within which taxes are authorized to be levied for maintenance and operation in accordance with the provisions of subsections (B) or (C) of this section, or otherwise, may request the commissioners of election of the county in which the special purpose district is located to conduct a referendum to propose a modification in the tax millage of the district. Upon receipt of such request, the commissioners of election shall schedule and conduct the requested referendum on a date specified by the governing body of the district. If approved by referendum, such modification in tax millage shall remain effective until changed in a manner provided by law.

(E)(1) All special purpose districts located wholly within a single county and within which taxes are authorized to be levied for maintenance and operation in accordance with the provisions of subsections (B) or (C) of this section, or otherwise, are authorized to modify their respective millage limitations, provided the same is first approved by the governing body of the district and by the governing body of the county in which the district is located by resolutions duly adopted. Any increase in millage effectuated pursuant to this subsection is effective for only one year.

(2) Any millage increase levied pursuant to the provisions of item (1) of this subsection must be levied and collected by the appropriate county auditor and county treasurer.

SECTION 6-11-273. Tax levy referendums.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any special purpose district created by an act of the General Assembly which is authorized to levy taxes for the operation of the district may request the commissioners of election of the county in which the district is located to conduct a referendum to propose a change in the tax millage of the district. Upon receipt of such request the commissioners of election shall schedule and conduct the requested referendum on a date specified by the governing body of the district.

If a majority of the qualified electors of the district voting in the referendum vote in favor of the proposed tax millage change, the governing body of the district shall by resolution adopt the new millage rate which shall thereupon have the full force and effect of law.

SECTION 6-11-275. Increase in millage limitation; collection.

All special purpose districts totally located within a county, which were in existence prior to March 7, 1973, and which have the statutory authority to annually levy taxes for maintenance and operation are authorized to increase their respective millage limitations upon the written approval of the governing body of the county in which they are located. Any increase above the statutory limitation must be approved each year.

Any such millage increase shall be levied and collected by the appropriate county auditor and county treasurer.

SECTION 6-11-276. Authority to borrow in anticipation of taxes.

Each special purpose district referred to in Section 6-11-275 is authorized to borrow funds in anticipation of any annual tax levy, not to exceed seventy-five percent, with the written approval of the county governing body.

SECTION 6-11-280. Interference with sewers, waterworks and drainage facilities of political subdivision; penalties.

No person shall turn, remove, raise or in any manner tamper with any cover of any manhole, filter, bed or other appurtenance of any sewer of any political subdivision without a written permit from the proper authorities of such subdivision and no person except those engaged by the proper authorities shall enter or tap to any public sewer without a special written permit.

No person shall, either within or without any political subdivision, obstruct, damage or injure any appurtenance of any waterworks, sewerage or drainage of any such subdivision.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, be subject to a fine not to exceed one hundred dollars or imprisoned for not to exceed thirty days.

SECTION 6-11-285. Civil penalties for violations of permit conditions or regulations of public entities which operate wastewater plants or treatment facilities, water treatment facilities, or water distribution systems; hearings and appeals.

(A) For purpose of this section:

(1) "Political subdivision" means any municipality, county, public service district, special service district, or other public entity charged with the operation and maintenance of wastewater plants or treatment facilities, water treatment facilities, or with the operation and management of any water distribution system;

(2) "Person" means a person as defined in item (1) of Section 48-1-10.

(B) Any person violating any ordinance or regulation of a political subdivision or any permit, permit condition, or final determination of any political subdivision as required by state or federal law is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed two thousand dollars for each day of violation.

(C) Any political subdivision, prior to the imposition of any civil penalty, shall issue a rule to show cause requiring the person to appear and show cause why civil penalties should not be imposed and specifying which violations are charged. A hearing upon the rule must be held before a hearing officer designated by the governing body of the political subdivision.

(D) All penalties assessed under the provisions of this section must be held as debt and payable to the political subdivision by the person against whom they have been charged and shall constitute a lien against the property of the person.

(E) The hearing procedure required under the provisions of this section must be in accordance, as practicably possible, with that procedure as prescribed by Regulation 61-72 of the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

(F) All appeals from the decision of the hearing officer under the provisions of this section must be heard in the court of common pleas in the county in which the political subdivision is located.

SECTION 6-11-290. Construction of article; no effect on Department of Health and Environmental Control.

This article being necessary for the public health, safety and welfare, it shall be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes thereof. But all functions, powers and duties of the Department of Health and Environmental Control shall remain unaffected by this article.

SECTION 6-11-295. Violations; penalties.

Violations of ordinances or regulations of special purpose districts or public service districts relating to garbage or trash collection are unlawful, and a person convicted of a violation is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars or imprisoned for not more than ten days. This section applies only to ordinances or regulations of districts which have governing bodies elected by the qualified electors of the district.

SECTION 6-11-300. Reports by state board, commission or authority furnishing natural gas to residents.

Any board, commission, or authority in this State, established under the provisions of Chapter 11 of Title 6 of the 1976 Code, which provides natural gas to residents of this State, shall, within thirty days of the end of the fiscal year of the board, Commission, or authority, provide to the State Treasurer a detailed statement of all accounts, receipts, disbursements, and expenditures of funds by the board, commission, or authority during the preceding fiscal year. The statement shall be in such form as prescribed by the State Treasurer and shall be made available for inspection and copying to the public.

SECTION 6-11-320. Special purpose districts empowered to provide water services authorized to provide sewage collection and disposal services; requirements.

(A) A special purpose district, which was empowered as of March 7, 1973, to provide water service to the area within its boundaries, may provide sewer service to the area within its boundaries if it has received permission, by written resolution, from the governing body of the county in which the district is located, provided that the sewer service may not be provided to those parts of that area where sewer service, at that time, is being provided by a governmental entity at the time the district's governing body determines to utilize the provisions of this section. The district may build, acquire, construct, operate, and maintain sewage collection, treatment, and disposal facilities or contract for the use of any facilities as are, in the opinion of the governing body of the special purpose district, necessary for the district. The district may impose such schedule of rates and charges for the use of sewage collection, treatment, and disposal facilities as the governing body of the district shall from time to time approve. The governing body may place into effect and revise, whenever it wishes or is required, a schedule of rates for the sewer service made available by it to persons, firms, and corporations within the district.

(B) All other powers of a special purpose district shall continue and are not considered to be changed by the provisions of this section.

SECTION 6-11-330. Special purpose districts providing fire protection services authorized to provide emergency medical services.

(A) A special purpose district that was empowered as of March 7, 1973, to provide fire protection services to the area within its boundaries may provide emergency medical services to the area within its boundaries if it has received permission, by written resolution, from the governing body of the county or counties in which the district is located, provided that these emergency medical services may not be provided to those parts of the district's area where emergency medical services are being provided by a governmental entity at the time the district's governing body determines to utilize the provisions of this section. The district may build, acquire, construct, operate, and maintain such facilities, contract for the use of these facilities, acquire or lease such equipment, and hire, train, and employ the personnel as are in the opinion of the governing body of the special purpose district necessary to or helpful in the provision of emergency medical services by the district. The district may impose such schedule of rates and charges for the provision of emergency medical services as the governing body of the district shall from time-to-time approve. The governing body of the district may place into effect and revise, whenever it wishes or is required, a schedule of rates for the emergency medical services made available by it.

(B) All other powers of a special purpose district shall continue and are not considered to be changed by the provisions of this section.

SECTION 6-11-340. Protection of special purpose district facilities; public safety departments; appointment and training of public safety officers.

(A) The General Assembly finds that the public interest requires the safeguarding and protection of facilities owned by special purpose districts, such as water treatment plants, water storage tanks, wastewater treatment plants, pumping stations, and natural gas storage facilities. The health, safety, and protection of human life is dependent, in part, upon these facilities being properly protected from attack by terrorists or others seeking to disrupt the proper operation of facilities.

(B) For purposes of this section, "special purpose district" means a special purpose district charged with the operation and maintenance of natural gas distribution facilities, wastewater plants or treatment facilities, or water treatment facilities, or with the operation and management of any water distribution system.

(C) Each special purpose district is authorized to establish a public safety department to protect and police the facilities owned by the district under such reasonable rules and regulations as the district may from time to time promulgate. The district may appoint and commission as many public safety officers as necessary for the proper security, general welfare, and convenience of the facilities. The public safety officers must be vested with all powers and duties conferred by law upon constables in addition to duties imposed upon them by the governing body of the district. The jurisdiction of these public safety officers is limited to the property of the special purpose district and the streets and roads through and contiguous to the property, except that these officers may not make an incidental arrest of a person for, or issue a ticket for, a traffic violation.

(D) The public safety officers appointed and commissioned by a special purpose district must be law enforcement officers trained and certified pursuant to Article 9, Chapter 6, Title 23, in accordance with the training and certification standards established for officers performing similar duties. The expense of the training must be paid by the special purpose district by which that person is employed and the Criminal Justice Academy Division of the Department of Public Safety is authorized to establish and collect a fee for this training.

ARTICLE 2.

REFERENDUM CONCERNING WHETHER A SPECIAL PURPOSE DISTRICT'S BOARD SHOULD BE ELECTED

SECTION 6-11-350. Application of article; referendum petition by qualified electors; contents, verification, and time of submission requirements.

(A) For the purposes of this article, "special purpose district" or "district" means any district, including a public service district, created by or pursuant to an act of the General Assembly before March 7, 1973, and to which has been committed before March 7, 1973, any governmental function, including those districts created by special legislation and those districts created by referenda held pursuant to general legislation. This article applies only to those special purpose districts, the governing bodies of which were not, as of January 1, 1997, elected directly by the qualified electors residing in the district. This article does not apply to (1) any special purpose district, the boundaries of which include areas within more than one county, or (2) any special purpose district which, as of April 1, 1998, pursuant to written contract provided one or more of its authorized services to areas outside the State. The referendum authorized in this article must be held on the date of the general election held on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November in even-numbered years.

(B) The qualified electors residing in a special purpose district may by petition request a referendum on the question of electing the governing body of such district by popular vote of the qualified electors in the district. The petition must contain the referendum question and the names, signatures, addresses, voter registration numbers, and dates of signature of at least fifteen percent of the qualified electors of the district.The petition must contain a geographical description of the boundaries of the district and a map clearly setting out the lines of the district in a county, which must be supplied by the district within thirty days of a request of any elector residing in the district.

(C) The original petition must be delivered to the county board of voter registration in the county in which the special purpose district is located. The board must review each name on the petition to determine if each signature is that of a qualified elector in the district and must verify the number of valid signatures of registered electors contained on the petition submitted and the number of qualified electors in the district. Signatures dated more than one hundred eighty calendar days prior to the date of the submission of the petition shall be disregarded and shall not be counted toward the fifteen percent requirement pursuant to this section. The board shall notify the clerk of the county governing body and the governing body of the special purpose district of the result of the verification process. A copy of the text of the petition which indicates the date the petition was received by the board must be delivered to the clerk of the county governing body and the governing body of the special purpose district.

(D) The petition must be submitted to the board before August first of an even-numbered general election year to be considered for inclusion on the ballot in that year. Upon receipt of a petition, the board must review and verify or reject the petition by twelve o'clock noon September first. If the petition is verified as complete, the question must be placed on the general election ballot in November of that same year. The costs associated with any referendum held pursuant to this article must be paid by the special purpose district.

SECTION 6-11-351. Referendum request by governing body of special purpose district.

The governing body of a special purpose district may by resolution adopted by majority vote of all members of the governing body request a referendum on the question of election of governing body members be held in accordance with the provisions of this article. If adopted, a certified copy of the resolution and a map clearly setting out the lines of the district in the county must be presented to the county election commission prior to August first of a general election held in an even-numbered year in order for the referendum to be held on the date of the general election in November of that year.

SECTION 6-11-352. Content and format of referendum question on ballot.

The referendum question must read substantially as follows:

Shall the governing body for the (special purpose district) be elected by popular vote of the qualified electors residing in the (special purpose district) for four-year terms in non-partisan elections during the November general election held in even-numbered years?

Yes (

No (

Those voting in favor of the question shall deposit a ballot with a check or cross mark in the square after the word "Yes", and those voting against the question shall deposit a ballot with a check or cross mark in the square after the word "No".

SECTION 6-11-353. Notice of referendum.

Notice of the referendum must be published by the governing body of the special purpose district at least three times prior to the referendum, including (i) not less than sixty days prior to the date of the referendum, (ii) two weeks after the first date of publication, and (iii) a date not more than fifteen and not less than ten days prior to the date of the referendum. The notice must appear in a newspaper of general circulation within the special purpose district and contain at a minimum the following:

(1) the full name of the district and its governing body;

(2) the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the members of the district's governing body;

(3) the existing means of appointment of members of the district's governing body;

(4) the act by which the district was initially created and the year effective;

(5) a brief description of the governmental services provided by the district;

(6) a description of the taxing authority of the district, if any, and the limitations on that taxing authority;

(7) a map showing generally the boundaries of the district;

(8) a list of precincts and polling places in which ballots may be cast;

(9) the purpose of the referendum and the question to be presented to qualified electors;

(10) an explanation of the procedure to be followed for election of members of the district's governing body if the result of the referendum is favorable; and

(11) other additional information required by the general law of the State relating to notices of elections.

SECTION 6-11-354. Election of commissioners of district's governing body; procedures.

(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in a referendum held pursuant to this article, if a majority of electors from the special purpose district voting in the election vote in favor of the election of members of the district's governing body, the county election commission must conduct non-partisan elections as provided in this section. Nothing in this article shall bar any appointed member of the district's governing body from becoming a candidate for an election to the district's governing body in any election.

(B) On the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November in the year immediately following the year of the referendum, the voters shall elect commissioners for all seats on the district's governing body. Candidates must file a statement of intention of candidacy with the county election commission. Except for the initial election of commissioners as provided in subsection (C), all commissioners must be elected on an at-large basis for terms of four years with terms staggered so that a simple majority of the commissioners are elected in a general election in an even-numbered year, and the remaining commissioners are elected at the next preceding and following general elections in even-numbered years. The terms of office of commissioners whose seats are subject to contest in a general election shall expire fourteen days following the general election.

(C) For the initial election of commissioners, all seats shall be considered vacant. From among the commissioners elected in the initial election, a simple majority thereof shall serve terms which expire fourteen days following the general election held three years after the initial election. Those commissioners entitled to serve the initial three-year terms shall be those commissioners equal in number to a simple majority of the membership who received the highest number of votes cast in the initial election. The remaining commissioners shall serve terms which expire fourteen days following the general election held the year following the initial election.

(D) The county board of elections shall conduct and supervise the elections for commissioners in the manner governed by the election laws of this State, mutatis mutandis. Vacancies must be filled in the manner provided in Section 7-13-190.

ARTICLE 3.

ALTERATION OF BOUNDARIES OF SPECIAL PURPOSE DISTRICT AND BOND ISSUES

SECTION 6-11-410. Definitions.

For the purposes of this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(a) "Special purpose district" shall mean any district created by act of the General Assembly prior to March 7, 1973, and to which has been committed prior to March 7, 1973, any local governmental function.

(b) "County board" shall mean the governing bodies of the several counties of the State as now or hereafter constituted.

(c) "Commission" shall mean the governing body of any special purpose district as now or hereafter constituted.

SECTION 6-11-420. Special purpose districts may be enlarged, diminished or consolidated; general obligation bonds authorized.

The county boards of the several counties of the State are authorized to enlarge, diminish or consolidate any existing special purpose districts located within such county and authorize the issuance of general obligation bonds by such special purpose district by the procedure prescribed by this article.

SECTION 6-11-430. Exercise of powers by county board; public hearing.

Each county board may, on its own motion, and shall, upon the petition of the commissions of the special purpose districts to be affected, take the action authorized by this article to enlarge, diminish or consolidate any special purpose districts lying within such county. In each such instance, by resolution duly adopted, the county board shall order a public hearing to be held for the purpose of making a determination as to whether and to what extent a special purpose district shall be enlarged, diminished or consolidated.

SECTION 6-11-435. "Political subdivision" defined; provision of governmental services in event of alteration of boundaries of special purpose district.

(A) For purposes of this section "political subdivision" means a municipality, county, or special purpose district.

(B) A consolidated or enlarged special purpose district which results from action taken pursuant to this chapter may not provide a governmental service to an area within its boundaries to which it has not previously provided such service if an overlapping political subdivision is authorized to provide that same service in the area and the area is situated within the boundaries of such overlapping political subdivision without the express authorization of the governing body of such overlapping political subdivision. The governing body of the county shall expressly provide by ordinance that the consolidated or enlarged special purpose district shall not provide a governmental service to an area within its boundaries within which an overlapping political subdivision is authorized to provide that same service.

(C) If the boundaries of a special purpose district which provides waterworks or sewer service are diminished in accordance with this article, the special purpose district may continue to provide water or sewer services outside of its diminished boundaries (1) in accordance with its enabling legislation, or (2) if provided by the governing body of the county in the resolution required by Section 6-11-460, pursuant to an intergovernmental agreement with one or more political subdivisions authorized to provide the water or sewer service directly.

SECTION 6-11-440. Notice of hearing.

(A) The notice required by Section 6-11-430 must be published once a week for three successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. Such notice must state:

(1) the time of the public hearing which may be not less than sixteen days following the first publication of the notice;

(2) the place of the hearing;

(3) the nature of the change to be made in the special purpose district;

(4) a brief description of the new boundary lines to result if the proposed change is made;

(5) the functions to be performed by the special purpose district;

(6) a summary of the reasons for the proposed change;

(7) the cost of proposed improvements, if any, and a statement as to the method to be employed to raise the funds necessary for it; and

(8) a statement of the amount and type of bonds, if any, then proposed to be issued immediately following the change of boundaries of the special purpose district.

(B) If a consolidated or enlarged special purpose district is, pursuant to this chapter, precluded from providing a governmental service to an area within its boundaries, the notice prescribed by subsection (A) also must include a description of the area in which the governmental service will not be provided by the special purpose district and shall identify the political subdivision which is authorized to provide the service.

SECTION 6-11-450. Hearing.

Such hearing shall be conducted publicly and both proponents and opponents of the proposed action shall be given full opportunity to be heard.

SECTION 6-11-455. Levying of ad valorem taxes in overlap areas.

If a consolidated or enlarged special purpose district is, pursuant to this chapter, precluded from providing a governmental service to an area within its boundaries, there must not be levied within the area ad valorem taxes for the purpose of providing the service to the remaining portions of the special purpose district.

SECTION 6-11-460. Decision of county board.

Following the hearing the county board shall, by resolution, make a finding as to whether and to what extent the boundaries of the special purpose district shall be changed or whether the special purpose districts shall be consolidated. If such finding be affirmative, such resolution shall redefine the boundaries of the special purpose district in such fashion as to make possible appropriate entries in the records of the county auditor and the county treasurer establishing the boundaries of the special purpose district as reconstituted.

SECTION 6-11-470. Publication of action of county board.

(A) The county board shall give notice of its action to be published once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation within the county which shall state:

(1) the results of its action;

(2) whether, pursuant to the remaining provisions of this article, bonds of the special purpose district are then to be immediately issued, and, if so, the amount of bonds and the method provided for their payment; and

(3) whether, pursuant to the provisions of Section 6-11-10, there will be a new commission or changes made in the personnel of the old commission for the special purpose district as enlarged, diminished, or consolidated.

(B) If a consolidated or enlarged special purpose district is, pursuant to this chapter, precluded from providing a governmental service to an area within its boundaries, the notice prescribed by subsection (A) also shall include a description of the area in which the governmental service will not be provided by the special purpose district and shall identify the political subdivision which is authorized to provide the service.

SECTION 6-11-480. Challenge of county board's decision in court.

Any person affected by the action of the county board may, by action de novo instituted in the Court of Common Pleas for such county, within the twenty days following the last publication of the notice prescribed by Section 6-11-470, but not afterwards, challenge the action of the county board.

SECTION 6-11-490. County board may authorize issuance of general obligation bonds.

If, in order to provide for the cost of any improvements, it is necessary that general obligation bonds be issued the county board shall be empowered at any time to authorize the applicable commission to issue general obligation bonds of the special purpose district. Any county board may, but shall not be required to, condition the issuance of general obligation bonds upon the result of a special election held in the special purpose district as reconstituted and such election shall be conducted in the manner and under the procedure made applicable to the issuance of general obligation bonds of the counties of the State by the provisions of Chapter 15, Title 4.

SECTION 6-11-500. Manner in which bonds shall be issued.

General obligation bonds of any special purpose district issued following authorization of the county board, given pursuant to this article, shall be issued by the commission on behalf of the special purpose district in accordance with the provisions of Sections 6-11-490 through 6-11-600.

SECTION 6-11-510. Maturity of bonds.

All bonds issued pursuant to this article shall mature in such annual series or installments as the commission shall prescribe, except that the first maturing bonds of any issue shall mature not later than three years from the date as of which they shall be issued; no bond shall mature later than thirty years from the date as of which it shall be issued.

SECTION 6-11-520. Redemption of bonds before maturity.

Any bonds issued pursuant to this article may be issued with a provision for their redemption prior to their maturity at par and accrued interest, plus such redemption premium as may be prescribed by the commission, but no bond shall be redeemable before maturity unless it contains a statement to that effect. In the proceedings authorizing the issuance of the bonds, provisions shall be made specifying the manner of call and the notice thereof that must be given.

SECTION 6-11-530. Form of bonds.

The bonds issued pursuant to this article shall be in the form of negotiable coupon bonds, payable to bearer, but may be issued with the privilege to any holder of having them registered as to principal on the books of the treasurer of the county in which the special purpose district is located, upon such conditions as the commission may prescribe. Except when so registered, all bonds issued pursuant to this article shall have all attributes of negotiable instruments.

SECTION 6-11-540. Denominations and places of payment of bonds.

The bonds issued pursuant to this article shall be in such denomination and shall be made payable at such place or places, within or without the State, as the commission shall prescribe.

SECTION 6-11-550. Interest on bonds.

Bonds issued pursuant to this article shall bear interest at a rate or rates determined by the commission.

SECTION 6-11-560. Execution of bonds.

The bonds, and the coupons to be thereunto attached, shall be executed in such manner as the commission shall by resolution prescribe.

SECTION 6-11-570. Sale of bonds.

Bonds issued pursuant to this article shall be sold at a price of not less than par and accrued interest to the date of their respective deliveries. All bonds authorized by this article shall be sold at public sale, after public advertisement of the sale in a newspaper of general circulation in South Carolina or a financial journal published in the city of New York. The published notice shall appear not less than seven days prior to the occasion set for opening bids.

SECTION 6-11-580. Tax and pledge of taxing power for payment of bonds.

For the payment of the principal and interest of all bonds issued pursuant to this article, as they respectively mature, and for the creation of such sinking fund as may be necessary therefor, the full faith, credit and taxing power of the special purpose district shall be irrevocably pledged, and there shall be levied annually by the auditor, and collected by the treasurer of the county in which the special purpose district is located in the same manner as county taxes are levied and collected, a tax without limit on all taxable property in the special purpose district sufficient to pay the principal and interest of such bonds as they respectively mature and to create such sinking fund as may be necessary therefor.

SECTION 6-11-590. Bonds exempt from taxes.

The principal and interest of bonds issued pursuant to this article shall have the tax exempt status prescribed by Section 12-1-60.

SECTION 6-11-600. Disposition of proceeds of bonds.

The proceeds derived from the sale of any bonds issued pursuant to this article shall be paid to the treasurer of the county in which the special purpose district is located, to be deposited in a bond account fund for the special purpose district, and shall be expended and made use of by the commission as follows:

(a) Any accrued interest shall be applied to the payment of the first installment of interest to become due on such bonds.

(b) Any premium shall be applied to the payment of the first installment of principal of the bonds.

(c) The remaining proceeds shall be used to defray the cost of issuing bonds authorized hereby, and to pay the cost of acquiring and constructing the necessary improvements in the special purpose district.

(d) If any balance remains, it shall be held by the treasurer of the county in which the special purpose district is located in a special fund and used to effect the retirement of bonds authorized hereby.

SECTION 6-11-610. Changes in district commissions pursuant to modification of districts.

If the county board shall have found that by reason of its action in enlarging, diminishing or consolidating, there should be a new commission or changes made in the personnel of the old commission for the special purpose district to result from its action in order to provide for the proper functioning of the special purpose district, then in such event it shall advise the Governor of its recommendations. The number of commissioners shall be not less than three nor more than nine. All members of any commission so altered shall hold office for terms to begin upon their appointment and to end two years from the January first following the date of the action of the county board, and the term of all other members of the commission shall extend to and end on such date. All new members to any commission shall be appointed by the Governor upon recommendation of a majority of the legislative delegation of the county, including the resident Senator or Senators, if any. Vacancies in office shall be filled in like manner for the balance of the term of the person whom the appointee is replacing. Following the expiration of the term of office of all members of the commission (whether appointed pursuant to this article or otherwise) successors shall be appointed in the manner provided by this section. All members of any commission shall hold office until their successors shall have been appointed and shall have qualified.

In instances where two or more special purpose districts petition the county board for consolidation such petitions may prescribe that the members of the commission of the consolidated special purpose district shall be selected in the manner in which the members of the commission of any petitioning special purpose district have heretofore been selected and for terms of office commensurate with the terms of office of the members of the commission of any petitioning special purpose district; provided, that if the members of the commission of any of the petitioning special purpose districts have been elected by popular election, the members of the commission of the consolidated special purpose district shall be elected by such election for terms of office commensurate with the terms of office of the members of the commission of any of the petitioning special purpose districts.

SECTION 6-11-620. Powers of new commissions; modified districts shall assume properties and liabilities of antecedent districts.

Each commission created pursuant to the provisions of Section 6-11-610 shall have all of the powers of the predecessor commission and in the case of any consolidation, the new commission shall succeed to any and all powers enjoyed by any of the preexisting districts so consolidated.

All districts modified pursuant to this article shall assume all properties and liabilities of the antecedent district.

In instances where two or more special purpose districts petition the county board for consolidation such petitions may prescribe the disposition of the properties, assets and liabilities of the antecedent districts and may prescribe that for the purpose of discharging any existing indebtedness such existing districts shall continue as viable political entities under the government of the commission of the consolidated district.

SECTION 6-11-630. Powers to issue revenue bonds shall not be affected by article.

The power to utilize the provisions of general laws empowering commissions to issue revenue bonds shall not be abrogated by the provisions of this article, but shall continue, and revenue bonds issued pursuant thereto shall be issued in accordance with the provisions of such general laws rather than in accordance with the provisions of Sections 6-11-490 through 6-11-600 which relate only to general obligation bonds.

SECTION 6-11-640. Powers granted by article shall be cumulative.

The powers and authorizations hereby conferred upon the commissions shall be in addition to all other powers and authorizations previously vested in such commissions, and may be availed of pursuant to action taken at any regular or special meeting of the commission by a resolution to take effect immediately upon its adoption.

SECTION 6-11-650. Exceptions to application of article.

The provisions of this article do not apply to special service districts organized for historical purposes.

ARTICLE 5.

ISSUANCE OF BONDS BY SPECIAL PURPOSE DISTRICTS

SECTION 6-11-810. Definitions.

For the purposes of this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(a) "Commission" shall mean the governing body of any special purpose district.

(b) "County board" shall mean the governing body of the several counties of this State as now or hereafter constituted, and where a special purpose district is in more than one county shall mean the governing body of each county wherein the special purpose district shall be located.

(c) "Bonds" shall mean obligations of a special purpose district for the payment of all or any part of the principal and interest of which ad valorem taxes are to be levied.

(d) "Special purpose district" shall mean any district created by act of the General Assembly prior to March 7 1973, and to which has been committed prior to March 7 1973, any local governmental power or function.

(e) "Power" shall mean any power or function committed to any special purpose district in effect on March 7 1973.

SECTION 6-11-820. County boards may authorize issuance of bonds by special purpose district commissions.

The county boards of all counties wherein special purpose districts exist shall be empowered to authorize the commission of such special purpose district to issue bonds whose proceeds shall be used in furtherance of any power of the special purpose district under the procedures herein prescribed.

SECTION 6-11-830. Hearing on issuance of bonds.

If, upon its own finding or upon petition of any commission, the county board shall determine that it may be in the interest of any special purpose district to raise moneys for the furtherance of any power of such special purpose district, the county board may order a public hearing to be held upon the question of the issuance of bonds of such special purpose district.

SECTION 6-11-840. Notice of hearing.

The notice required by Section 6-11-830 shall be published once a week for three successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. Such notice shall state:

(a) The time of the public hearing, which shall be not less than sixteen days following the first publication of the notice.

(b) The place of the hearing.

(c) The proposed amount of bonds to be issued by the special purpose district.

(d) A statement setting forth the purpose for which the proceeds of such bonds are to be expended.

(e) A brief summary of the reasons for the issuance of such bonds and the method by which the principal and interest of such bonds are to be paid.

SECTION 6-11-850. Proponents and opponents of bond issue shall be heard.

Such hearing shall be conducted publicly and both proponents and opponents of the proposed action shall be given full opportunity to be heard.

SECTION 6-11-860. Decision of board; inapplicability of certain provisions in event of election.

Following the hearing, the county board shall, by resolution, make a finding as to whether and to what extent bonds of the special purpose district shall be issued, and may thereupon authorize the commission of such special purpose district to issue bonds to the extent it shall have found necessary. In the event that the county board shall require an election under Section 6-11-890 as a condition to the issuance of general obligation bonds by such special purpose district, then the provisions of Section 6-11-870 and 6-11-880 of this article shall not be applicable.

SECTION 6-11-870. Publication of action by board.

The county board shall thereupon cause notice of its action to be published for three successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county which shall state:

(a) The results of its action;

(b) The extent to which bonds of the special purpose district are to be issued and the method to be provided for their payment; and

(c) Whether or not an election shall be ordered in the special purpose district upon the question of the issuance of bonds of the special purpose district.

SECTION 6-11-880. Challenge of county board's decision in court.

Any person affected by the action of the county board may, by action de novo instituted in the court of common pleas for such county, within twenty days following the last publication of notice prescribed by Section 6-11-870, but not afterwards, challenge the action of the county board.

SECTION 6-11-890. Special elections may be held.

The county board may, but shall not be required to, condition the issuance of general obligation bonds upon the results of a special election held in the special purpose district; and such election, if so ordered, shall be conducted in the manner and under the procedure applicable to the issuance of general obligation bonds of the counties of the State by the provisions of Chapter 15, Title 4.

SECTION 6-11-900. Manner in which bonds shall be issued.

Bonds of any special purpose district issued following authorization of the county board, given pursuant to this article, shall be issued by the commission on behalf of the special purpose district in accordance with the provisions of Sections 6-11-900 through 6-11-1010.

SECTION 6-11-910. Maturity of bonds.

All bonds issued pursuant to this article shall mature in such annual series or installments as the commission shall prescribe, except that the first maturing bonds of any issue shall mature not later than five years from the date as of which they shall be issued. No bond shall mature later than forty years from the date as of which it shall be issued.

SECTION 6-11-920. Redemption of bonds before maturity.

Any bonds issued pursuant to this article may be issued with a provision for their redemption prior to their maturity at par and accrued interest, plus such redemption premium as may be prescribed by the commission, but no bond shall be redeemable before maturity unless it contains a statement to that effect. In the proceedings authorizing the issuance of the bonds, provisions shall be made specifying the manner of call and the notice thereof that must be given.

SECTION 6-11-930. Form of bonds.

The bonds issued pursuant to this article shall be in the form of negotiable coupon bonds, payable to bearer, but may be issued with the privilege to any holder of having them registered as to principal on the books of the treasurer of the county in which the special purpose district is located, upon such conditions as the commission may prescribe. Except when so registered, all coupon bonds issued pursuant to this article shall have all attributes of negotiable instruments.

SECTION 6-11-940. Fully registered form of bonds; conversion privileges.

Bonds issued pursuant to this article may be in fully registered form and may contain such conversion privileges as the commission shall prescribe. Bonds issued pursuant to this article may also be in the form of a single fully registered note or in the form of a note or notes payable to bearer or to a named payee.

SECTION 6-11-950. Denominations and places of payment of bonds.

The bonds issued pursuant to this article shall be in such denomination and shall be made payable at such place or places, within or without the State, as the commission shall prescribe.

SECTION 6-11-960. Interest on bonds.

Bonds issued pursuant to this article shall bear interest at a rate or rates determined by the commission within the limitations of Section 11-9-350.

SECTION 6-11-970. Execution of bonds.

The bonds, and the coupons to be thereunto attached, shall be executed in such manner as the commission shall by resolution prescribe.

SECTION 6-11-980. Sale of bonds.

Bonds issued pursuant to this article shall be sold at a price of not less than par and accrued interest to the date of their respective deliveries. All bonds authorized by this article shall be sold at public sale, after public advertisement of the sale in a newspaper of general circulation in South Carolina or a financial journal published in the city of New York. The published notice shall appear not less than seven days prior to the occasion set for opening bids; provided, however, that any bonds issued hereunder may be sold at a private sale to the United States of America or any agency or department thereof.

SECTION 6-11-990. Tax and pledge of taxing power and revenues for payment of bonds.

For the payment of the principal and interest of all bonds issued pursuant to this article, as they respectively mature, and for the creation of such sinking fund as may be necessary therefor, the full faith, credit and taxing power of the special purpose district shall be irrevocably pledged, and there shall be levied annually by the auditor, and collected by the treasurer of the county in which the special purpose district is located, in the same manner as county taxes are levied and collected, a tax without limit on all taxable property in the special purpose district sufficient to pay the principal and interest of such bonds as they respectively mature and to create such sinking fund as may be necessary therefor. Such bonds may be additionally secured by a pledge of revenues derived from the undertaking to be financed and, if so additionally secured, the tax levy herein ordered shall be reduced to the extent that moneys for the payment of the principal or interest of such bonds shall be in the hands of the county treasurer on the occasion for the imposition of the tax levy herein otherwise ordered; provided, that the ad valorem tax levy shall also be reduced to the extent that there has been deposited with the county treasurer moneys derived from any revenues not pledged to additionally secure such bonds on the occasion in each year when the ad valorem tax levy is to be made, and in all instances where an annual tax levy is so reduced, the moneys derived from such unpledged revenues be applied to the payment of principal and interest of the bonds and to no other purpose.

SECTION 6-11-1000. Bonds exempt from taxes.

The principal and interest of bonds issued pursuant to this article shall have the tax-exempt status prescribed by Section 12-1-60.

SECTION 6-11-1010. Disposition of proceeds of bonds.

The proceeds derived from the sale of any bonds issued pursuant to this article shall be paid to the treasurer of the county in which the special purpose district is located, to be deposited in a bond account fund for the special purpose district, and shall be expended and made use of by the commission as follows:

(a) Any accrued interest shall be applied to the payment of the first installment of interest to become due on such bonds.

(b) Any premium shall be applied to the payment of the first installment of principal of the bonds.

(c) The remaining proceeds shall be used to defray the cost of issuing bonds authorized hereby, to pay the cost of acquiring and constructing the necessary improvements in the special purpose district, and, if the commission shall so prescribe, to fund the interest to become due on the bonds issued under this article during not exceeding the first three years following the date of the bonds.

(d) If any balance remains, it shall be held by the treasurer of the county in which the special purpose district is located in a special fund and used to effect the retirement of bonds authorized hereby.

SECTION 6-11-1020. Power to issue revenue bonds shall not be affected by article.

The power to utilize the provisions of general laws empowering commissions to issue revenue bonds shall not be abrogated by the provisions of this article, but shall continue, and revenue bonds issued pursuant thereto shall be issued in accordance with the provisions of such general laws rather than in accordance with the provisions of this article which are declared to relate to bonds only.

SECTION 6-11-1030. Powers granted by article shall be cumulative.

The powers and authorizations hereby conferred upon the commissions shall be in addition to all other powers and authorizations previously vested in such commissions, and may be availed of pursuant to action taken at any regular or special meeting of the commission by a resolution to take effect immediately upon its adoption, nor shall the publication of any ordinance or resolution providing for the issuance of any bonds under this article be required other than as provided herein.

SECTION 6-11-1040. Certain bond issues validated.

All bonds of all special purpose districts issued or sold prior to the effective date of this article are hereby declared to be valid and binding obligations of such special purpose district according to their tenor and effect.

SECTION 6-11-1050. Issuance of additional revenue bonds.

The governing body of any recreation district in this State that has authority to issue revenue bonds is authorized to issue additional revenue bonds upon the written consent of a majority of the public officials who are authorized to make recommendations to the Governor for appointment of members of the governing body of the district.

ARTICLE 7.

ADDITIONAL POWERS OF SPECIAL PURPOSE OR PUBLIC SERVICE DISTRICTS AS TO SEWAGE COLLECTION AND DISPOSAL

SECTION 6-11-1210. Declaration of purpose.

The General Assembly has from time to time created and established special purpose or public service districts throughout the State of South Carolina for the purpose, inter alia, of providing for the establishing of appropriate facilities for the collection, disposal or the treatment of sewage. Generally the cost of constructing such facilities has been defrayed from the proceeds of a districtwide ad valorem tax upon all property lying within the district involved. This method of financing such facilities was based upon the General Assembly's conclusion that all properties within the district benefited by the proposed improvement in proportion to their assessed value. However, it appears that in some instances the cost of constructing all or a portion of such facilities can be more equitably distributed by assessing the cost of constructing sewer laterals against the properties facing thereon. In addition a sewer service charge is likewise proper in many instances.

The General Assembly concludes that in order to facilitate the construction and operation of sewer systems by special purpose or public service districts, all of such districts should be granted all of the powers set forth in this article.

In view of the foregoing, the General Assembly has determined to give the governing body of each such district, in addition to those powers already vested in them respectively, the power: (a) To place into effect, revise, enforce, and collect a schedule of charges for its sewage collection service; (b) to contract with any public or private agency operating a water system for the collection of such sewer charges; (c) to adopt and enforce regulations requiring all properties to which sewer service is available to connect to the district's sewage collection facilities as now existing or hereafter improved; (d) to make regulations generally with respect to the discharge of sewage and the use of privies, septic tanks and any other type of sewage facilities; (e) to impose front-foot assessments against properties abutting the sewage collection laterals; and (f) to make unpaid sewer service charges a lien against the property served.

It is the legislative intent of this article that it shall be deemed complementary and supplementary to existing laws relating to each such district and to add to the powers, functions and duties committed to the several governing bodies thereof in order that such districts may fulfill their function of preserving the public health and provide for all those who own, use or occupy dwellings, commercial buildings or other structures therein. In enacting this law, the General Assembly exercises its general police powers having found that such exercise was necessary for the maintenance and preservation of the health of the inhabitants of the State. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to be in derogation of the powers of the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

SECTION 6-11-1220. Definitions.

For all purposes of this article:

(a) The term "district" shall mean any special purpose or public service district now existing or hereafter created by an act of the General Assembly now or from time to time exercising the power to construct and operate sewer collection, disposal and treatment facilities;

(b) The term "commission" shall mean the governing agency of any district as now or hereafter constituted;

(c) The term "water distribution agency" shall mean any public or private agency operating a water distribution system within any district or any portion thereof;

(d) The term "sewage" shall mean domestic or industrial waste requiring collection, disposal and treatment;

(e) The term "sewer service charge" shall mean the monthly, quarterly or annual charge imposed by any district for the collection, treatment and disposal of sewage irrespective of whether the same shall be collected by a water distribution agency or whether it shall be assessed against the property served as provided by Section 6-11-1230;

(f) The term "sewer connection charge" shall mean the charge imposed upon property owners as a condition to authorizing them to connect to and discharge sewage into any public sewer system; and

(g) The term "front-foot assessment" shall mean the assessment levied to reimburse a district for that portion of the cost of installing sewer laterals (collection lines) imposed by the commission on a front-foot basis.

(h) The term "lateral collection lines" shall mean the gravity system, to include pump stations, lift stations and force drains, utilized to transmit waste water to a central or master transmission station.

SECTION 6-11-1230. Powers of commissions.

Each commission shall be empowered as follows:

(1) To place into effect and revise whenever it so wishes or may be required a schedule of sewer service and sewer connection charges for the use of and connection to any sewage disposal system which it may operate. Prior to the making of any sewer connection or the furnishing of any sewage disposal service for which the prescribed sewer service charge shall, pursuant to Section 6-11-1240, become a lien on the property affected and prior to any subsequent increase in any such sewer service charge, not less than ten days' written notice shall be given to each affected property owner notifying him of the nature and quantum of the sewer service charge and providing such property owner an opportunity if desired and requested, to appear and be heard in person or by counsel before the commission. Following such hearing, if such be requested and held, action shall be taken by the commission and notice of its decision shall be given to the property owner concerned or to his counsel, as the case may be, not less than ten days prior to the effective date of the sewer service charge. Any property owner aggrieved by the action of the commission may, under the provisions of Chapter 7, Title 18, appeal to the court of common pleas for the county in which the property affected or any part thereof lies to have such court review the action taken by the commission, at which time the court will determine the validity and reasonableness of the sewer service charge so made. Sewer service charges not intended to become liens in the case of nonpayment can be imposed and subsequently increased upon any user in the district without such notice and hearing.

(2) To enter into contracts with any water distribution agency upon terms and conditions to be mutually agreed upon by which the commission shall constitute the water collection agency the agent of the commission, for the purpose of collecting such sewer service charges as the commission shall from time to time impose upon those who utilize its sewage disposal facilities and shall empower the water collection agency as such agent to disconnect water service upon failure of any user to pay such sewer service charges.

(3) To prescribe and enforce regulations (a) requiring all persons to whom it shall be available to make use of any sewer system which the district shall from time to time operate; and (b) generally with respect to the discharge of sewage and the use of privies, septic tanks and any other type of sewage facilities within the district. Any such regulations shall, however, become effective only after they have been adopted by resolution of the commission, a certified copy thereof has been recorded in the office of the register of deeds, or, if none, in the office of the clerk of court of common pleas for each county in which such sewer system lies, a copy posted in the courthouse of each such county, and notice of the adoption of such resolution has been published at least once a week for three successive weeks in a newspaper having general circulation in the district. The published notice shall specify in brief the scope of the regulations and shall state the date on which the same shall become effective. Prior to the adoption of the aforesaid resolution, the commission shall give public notice of a meeting to be held to consider its adoption and the notice shall appear in a newspaper having general circulation in the district at least once not less than seven days prior to the occasion fixed for the holding of such meeting. Any person affected may attend such meeting and express his views on the proposed regulations. The provisions of this paragraph prescribing conditions upon the effectiveness of the regulations specified above in this paragraph shall not be deemed to impose mandatory conditions upon the exercise of any other power or the adoption of any other type of regulation authorized by this article or otherwise.

The regulations authorized hereby include regulations which permit the disconnection of property from sewer service in the event of nonpayment of sewer charges. No such regulations shall permit any disconnection until after the customer has been given an opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel on the question of disconnection before the commission or any person designated by the commission after not less than five days' written notice specifying the basis for the disconnection.

(4) To provide by resolution that the actual cost of the establishment and construction of a water distribution line or sewer lateral collection line hereafter constructed by the commission and an extension of a line within the district, or so much of the actual cost as the commission considers appropriate, must be assessed subject to the provisions of the next paragraph upon the lots and parcels of land abutting directly on the lateral line or extension of a line according to the extent of the respective frontage on them, by an equal rate per foot of frontage; but the commission may provide, in the instance of corner lots, for an assessment considered to be equitable. If the area to be served is part of a development plan or zoned for residential use, then an assessment may be levied by the commission on a parcel or per unit basis rather than on a front-foot basis. As used in this section, "front-foot assessment" includes assessments levied on a parcel or per unit basis. The commission may provide in the resolution that the front-foot assessments to be levied in connection with the installations may be paid in equal installments covering a period of not exceeding twenty years. The deferred payments are payable annually within the period that county taxes are payable and late payments must be penalized to the same extent as in the case of county taxes.

The General Assembly does not intend through this article to permit assessments against abutting property where no benefit results to the property or where a benefit results only at some remote future time. Accordingly, no commission pursuant to this article may impose a front-foot assessment against any property unless the property is being used for or is devoted to commercial or residential purposes at the time of the assessment or unless, in the case of properties on which no buildings are situate, those properties have been platted, zoned, or otherwise developed as a part of a subdivision devoted to residential or commercial purposes. If any property pursuant to the provisions of this paragraph is exempt from front-foot assessment at the time the assessment is originally levied, is later converted to commercial, industrial, or residential purposes, or is later platted, zoned, or otherwise developed then at that time front-foot assessments may be levied against the property. No individual residential parcel may be assessed on the basis of more than two hundred fifty feet of frontage.

In connection with the imposition of such front-foot assessments:

(a) The resolution providing for such front-foot assessments shall designate by a general description the improvement to be made and the street or parts thereof whereon the work is to be effected and the actual cost thereof and the amount of the cost to be assessed upon all abutting property subject to the provisions of the preceding paragraph and the terms and manner of payment. Such resolution shall not become effective until at least seven days after it shall have been published in a newspaper of general circulation in the district. Such resolution may incorporate by reference plats and engineering reports and other data on file in the commission's office provided that the place of filing and reasonable hours for inspection by interested persons are specified in the resolution. Within thirty days of such publication the commission shall prepare in poster form a notice advising of the proposed assessments and generally describing the area to be affected and shall deliver the notice to the register of deeds or, if none, to the clerk of court of each county wherein any affected property lies. The register of deeds or clerk of court shall prominently display such notice in his office until the assessment roll prescribed by subitem (e) has been filed. Failure to provide or post such notice shall not affect the validity of any assessment hereunder.

(b) Upon the completion of the construction of any such sewer laterals or any extensions thereof the commission shall compute and ascertain the total cost thereof and shall thereupon make an assessment of such total cost or so much thereof as it deems appropriate. For that purpose the commission shall make out an assessment roll in which must be entered the names of the persons assessed and the amount assessed against their respective properties with a brief description of the lots or parcels of land assessed.

(c) Immediately after such assessment roll has been completed, the commission shall forthwith cause one copy thereof to be deposited in the commission's office for inspection by interested parties, and shall cause to be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation within the district a notice of completion of the assessment roll setting forth a description in general terms of the improvements and the time fixed for the meeting of the commission for a hearing of objections in respect of the front-foot assessments; such meeting not to be earlier than ten days from the date of the publication of such notice.

(d) As soon as practicable after the completion of the assessment roll and prior to the publication of the notice above-mentioned in subparagraph (c) the commission shall mail to the owner or owners of each lot or parcel of land against which a front-foot assessment is to be levied at his or their address, if any, appearing on the records of the county treasurer, a notice stating the nature of the improvement, the total cost thereof, the amount to be assessed against the particular property and the frontage in feet upon which the front-foot assessment is based, together with the terms and conditions upon which the front-foot assessment may be paid. This notice shall also contain a brief description of the particular property involved together with a statement that the amount assessed shall constitute a lien against the property superior to all other liens except property taxes. The notice shall also state the time and place fixed for the meeting of the commission above-mentioned for a hearing of objections in respect of the front-foot assessments. Any property owner who fails, not later than three days prior to the date set for such meeting, to file with the commission a written objection to the front-foot assessments against his property shall be deemed to have waived all rights to object to such front-foot assessment; and the notice prescribed herein shall so state.

(e) At the time and place specified for the meeting above-mentioned, or at some other time to which it may adjourn, the commission shall hear the objections of all persons who have filed written notice of objection within the time prescribed above who may appear and make proof in relation thereto either in person or by their attorney. The commission may thereupon make such corrections in the assessment roll as it may deem proper, confirm the same, set it aside and provide for a new assessment. Whenever the commission shall confirm an assessment roll, either as originally prepared or as thereafter corrected, a copy thereof certified by the secretary of the commission shall forthwith be filed in the office of the register of deeds or, if none, in the office of the clerk of court of common pleas of each county in which any property lies, and against which any front-foot assessments have been levied; from the time of such filing the front-foot assessments impressed in the assessment roll shall constitute and be a lien on the real property against which the same are assessed superior to all other liens and encumbrances except only the lien for property taxes.

(f) After the assessment roll has been confirmed a certified copy thereof shall be delivered to the treasurer of each county in which any front-foot assessments are levied thereby who shall prepare and keep a separate book or books in connection therewith and who shall proceed to collect the same in the manner of county taxes and shall remit such collections on or before April fifteenth of each year upon the direction of the commission. Each year the county treasurer shall mail out notices of such front-foot assessments at the same time county tax notices are mailed. Past due front-foot assessments shall be turned over by the respective county treasurers to the county sheriff or delinquent tax collector who shall proceed to collect in the same manner as unpaid county taxes are collected. The collecting official shall likewise keep separate records in connection with such past due assessments and shall remit all sums collected forthwith upon the direction of the commission.

(g) Immediately upon the confirmation of an assessment the commission shall mail a written notice to all persons who have filed written objections as hereinabove provided of the amount of the front-foot assessment finally confirmed against his property. If any such person is dissatisfied with the amount of the front-foot assessment so confirmed and shall within ten days after the mailing of the notice confirming the assessment to him may give written notice to the commission of his intent to appeal his front-foot assessment to the court of common pleas for the county in which his property is assessed, or any part thereof, is located, and shall within five days after giving such notice to the commission serve upon the commission a statement of facts upon which he bases his appeal; but no such appeal shall delay or stop the construction of the improvements or affect the validity of the front-foot assessments confirmed and not appealed. The appeal shall be tried at the next term of court as other actions at law with priority over all other cases.

(h) The commission may correct, cancel or remit any such front-foot assessment and may remit, cancel or adjust the interest or penalties of any front-foot assessment and is empowered, when in its judgment there is any irregularity, omission, error or lack of jurisdiction in any of the proceedings relating thereto, to set aside the whole of any assessment made by it and thereupon to make a reassessment.

(i) In the event the commission provides that such front-foot assessments may be paid in equal annual installments, then in that event the front-foot assessment shall be deemed to be due and payable in the equal annual installments prescribed by the commission and shall bear interest at a rate prescribed by the commission not to exceed the same rate of interest paid by the commission on monies it borrowed to make the improvements for which the assessment was levied not to exceed the interest rate limitation as prescribed by law from the date of the confirmation of the assessment roll, payable with such annual installment. Any property owner shall have the right at any time in his option to prepay in full the front-foot assessment against his property by the payment of the balance due plus interest calculated to the date of prepayment. If any property owner shall fail or neglect to pay any installment when the same becomes due and payable, then and in that event the commission may, at its option, declare all of the installments remaining unpaid at once due and payable and such property shall be sold by the county sheriff in the same manner and with the same right of redemption as are prescribed by law for the sale of land for unpaid property taxes.

(j) All moneys realized from front-foot assessments shall be kept in a separate and distinct fund either on deposit with the county treasurer or, in the discretion of the commission, in a bank located within the county in which the district is located and used first to defray the cost to the extent prescribed by the commission in the resolution providing for such front-foot assessments of the establishment and construction of the sewage lateral collection lines in connection with which the front-foot assessments were levied, or second to provide debt service on bonds issued by the district to defray the costs of such construction; and for no other purpose. In the event a district issues bond and uses only a portion of the proceeds thereof to defray all or a part of the cost of constructing sewer lateral collection lines, moneys derived from the front-foot assessments shall be used to provide debt service to the extent prescribed in the resolutions providing for the imposition of the front-foot assessments and authorizing the issuance of the bonds. Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to authorize any borrowing by a district.

(k) Moneys received by the commission from front-foot assessments and deposited by it as prescribed in the foregoing paragraph may to the extent practicable be invested in the discretion of the commission in obligations of the United States of America, obligations of any agency of the United States of America or obligations guaranteed by any agency of the United States of America, maturing in such fashion as to provide cash moneys for the principal and interest payments of bonds payable therefrom when due. All income derived from any such investment shall be applied to the same purpose to which the invested funds are applicable.

(l) In the event moneys derived from the front-foot assessments are held by the county treasurer such funds shall be secured in the same manner as county funds. In the event such funds are deposited in a bank, the amount of such deposits in excess of the amount insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation shall be secured by direct obligations of the United States or by obligations of an agency of the United States or by obligations guaranteed by an agency of the United States. Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the commission from requiring such additional security as it may deem appropriate.

SECTION 6-11-1240. Circumstances in which sewer service charges shall constitute lien on real estate; other methods of collection shall not be precluded.

If the notice or notices prescribed by paragraph (1) of Section 6-11-1230 shall have been given and any hearing requested pursuant thereto shall have been held, all sewer service charges imposed by the commission following that procedure under authority of this article and not paid when due and payable shall be and constitute a lien upon the real estate to which the sewage service concerned relates so long as the sewer service charges remain unpaid. In addition to such other rights and remedies as may be available to the commission in law or in equity for the collection of the sewer service charges, the lien may be enforced by the commission in the same manner and fashion as the lien of property taxes on real estate. The lien herein provided shall be superior to all other liens except liens for unpaid property taxes.

The method provided in this article for the enforcement of the collection of past due sewer service charges shall not be the exclusive method of enforcing such collections and the commission is fully empowered to enforce the collection of any such sewer service charges in any other lawful manner in all or any part of the district, including particularly by way of a contract with a water distribution agency as authorized under paragraph (2) of Section 6-11-1230.

SECTION 6-11-1250. Regulations may be enforced by courts.

Paragraph (3) of Section 6-11-1230 authorizes any commission in the interest of the health of the district to adopt regulations requiring the use of its sewer system and regulations generally with respect to the discharge of sewage and the use of privies, septic tanks and any other type of sewage facilities. Any commission is expressly authorized to apply to any court of general jurisdiction for the enforcement of any such regulations within the district governed by it through the means of mandatory injunction or other remedial process; provided such regulation has been duly adopted in the fashion prescribed by paragraph (3) of Section 6-11-1230.

SECTION 6-11-1260. Manner in which powers conferred shall be exercised; special acts superseded.

The powers conferred herein shall hereafter be exercised by all commissions in the manner and to the extent hereinbefore set forth, and, to that end, the provisions of this article shall supersede the analogous provisions of all special acts empowering commissions to exercise any of the powers herein before conferred.

ARTICLE 9.

EMERGENCY POWERS OF FIRE DISTRICTS

SECTION 6-11-1410. Definitions.

For purposes of this article "Fire Authority" means any lawfully and regularly organized fire department, fire protection district, or fire company regularly charged with the responsibility of providing fire protection and other emergency services incident thereto.

SECTION 6-11-1420. Operations at scene of fire.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, authorized representatives of the Fire Authority having jurisdiction, as may be in charge at the scene of a fire or other emergency involving the protection of life or property or any part thereof, have the power and authority to direct such operation as may be necessary to extinguish or control the fire, perform any rescue operation, evacuate hazardous areas, investigate the existence of suspected or reported fires, gas leaks, or other hazardous conditions or situations, and of taking any other action necessary in the reasonable performance of their duty. In the exercise of such power, the Fire Authority having jurisdiction may prohibit any person, vehicle, vessel, or object from approaching the scene and may remove or cause to be removed or kept away from the scene any person, vehicle, vessel, or object which may impede or interfere with the operations of the Fire Authority having jurisdiction.

SECTION 6-11-1430. Evacuation from buildings adjacent to burning structure.

The Fire Authority having jurisdiction may, within the means of its resources, evacuate or cause to be evacuated all persons within and adjacent to burning structures, open fires, dangerous gas leaks, flammable liquid spills, and transportation incidents.

The following are exempt from the provisions of this article (1) Industrial processing and manufacturing plants which have a State Labor Department (OSHA) or Department of Health and Environmental Control approved emergency evacuation plans; (2) Hospitals and similar type health care facilities which conduct surgery or administer care through the use of life support systems and which have approved emergency evacuation plans by the authority having jurisdiction; (3) The Forestry Commission in the carrying out of its forest fire protection duties and responsibilities as provided in Sections 48-23-90, 48-33-30, 48-33-40, and 48-33-70. The Fire Authority having jurisdiction does not have the power and authority to declare a state of emergency and order and compel an evacuation of the scope and magnitude that would be necessary during an actual or threatened enemy attack, sabotage, flood, storm, epidemic, earthquake, riot, or other public calamity.

SECTION 6-11-1440. Notice of evacuation of local area.

In the event an evacuation of any local area is ordered or caused to be effected by any Fire Authority, the authorized representatives of the Fire Authority shall immediately notify all state and local law enforcement authorities normally having or exercising police jurisdiction over the area involved. The authorized representatives of the Fire Authority shall notify the state or local Emergency Preparedness Director of the evacuation, and upon arrival of law enforcement assistance, shall yield control of the evacuated area to the law enforcement authorities who shall manage the evacuation and area evacuated in cooperation with the Fire Authority, the state and local Emergency Preparedness Director, and other state and local agencies having jurisdiction and authority under the circumstances.

SECTION 6-11-1450. Interference with operations of fire authority.

Any person who obstructs the operations of the Fire Authority in connection with extinguishing any fire, or other emergency, or disobeys any lawful command of the fire official or officer of the Fire Authority who may be in charge at such a scene, or any part thereof, or any police officer assisting the Fire Authority, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, may be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days.

ARTICLE 11.

NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

SECTION 6-11-1610. Special purpose district, defined.

For the purposes of this article, "special purpose district" means any district created by an act of the General Assembly or pursuant to general law and which provides any local governmental power or function including, but not limited to, fire protection, sewerage treatment, water or natural gas distribution, recreation, and means any rural community water district authorized or created under the provisions of Chapter 13 of Title 6. Special purpose districts do not include any state agency, department, commission, or school district.

SECTION 6-11-1620. Notification requirement, form.

(A) Within ninety days after the effective date of this article, and before December thirty-first of every even-numbered year thereafter, the governing bodies of all special purpose districts in this State must notify the Secretary of State and the auditor of the county in which the special purpose district is located of their existence.

(B) The notification required by subsection (A) of this section must substantially conform to the following form and all portions of the form must be completed if applicable:

SPECIAL PURPOSE DISTRICT

NOTIFICATION FORM

1. _____________________________________________________________________

Legal Name of Special Purpose District

2. _____________________________________________________________________

Permanent address (If no permanent address,

telephone number, name, and address of agent)

3. _____________________________________________________________________

Services provided

4. _____________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

General description of geographical boundary of service area

(Attach legal description)

5. _____________________________________________________________________

Citation of Statutory Authority (Please include copy)

6. _____________________________________________________________________

Date of Origin

7. _____________________________________________________________________

Tax Rate or Fee Charged

8. Names of Members of Governing Body and terms of office:

_______________________________________ _________________________________

_______________________________________ _________________________________

9. _____________________________________________________________________

Method of selecting members of governing body

10. Financial information for prior fiscal year (Please identify year):

_____________________________________________________________________

Total revenues by source including investment earnings

_____________________________________________________________________

Total expenditures

_____________________________________________________________________

Total indebtedness (indicate bonded or otherwise)

_____________________________________________________________________

Total investments (individual amounts, location, rate of interest)

11. _____________________________________________________________________

Person Completing this Form

__________________________________ _________________________________

Title Date

(C) The auditor of the county in which the special purpose district is located must inspect and sign the notification forms.

SECTION 6-11-1630. Notification by new districts; issuance of directory; effect of non-compliance.

(A) Notification as provided in Section 6-11-1620 must be forwarded to the Secretary of State and the auditor of the county in which the district is located within ninety days after the election of the governing body of a special purpose district created after the effective date of this article.

(B) The Secretary of State shall issue each even-numbered year a directory of active and inactive special purpose districts in the State. The directory shall contain all information provided by the districts as required by the notification form. Inactive districts must be deleted after being listed for two consecutive report cycles. This directory must be mailed to all special purpose districts and general purpose governments in the State.

(C) If the governing body of a public service district fails to report to the Secretary of State as provided by this article, the Secretary may determine that the district is nonfunctioning and notify the governing body of the county or municipality with a certified copy of the letter to any of the last known members of the governing body of the public service district. Thereafter, the district may not be registered with the Secretary of State and it must be declared inactive.

(D) The governing body of any county or municipality so notified shall withhold any fees, taxes, or interest thereon collected for any special purpose district by the municipality or county until the special purpose district complies with the notification requirements of this article.

SECTION 6-11-1640. Investigation upon failure to disclose required information; extensions; mandamus.

(A) The Secretary of State shall investigate failures of special purpose districts to disclose information required by this article. Where special failures are a result of good faith efforts to file reports, the Secretary of State may grant extensions to districts not to exceed sixty days.

(B) When the reports required by this article have not been produced because of a volitional refusal by the governing body of a special purpose district, the Secretary of State or the county auditor may seek a writ of mandamus in the county in which the special purpose district is located to compel the production of the reports.

SECTION 6-11-1650. Annual financial audit.

Each special purpose district shall provide an annual financial audit performed by a certified public accountant or public accountant to the county auditor in which the district resides. Where the boundaries of the district lie in more than one county, the audit must be made to each auditor in which the district is located.

ARTICLE 13.

MUTUAL AID ASSISTANCE

SECTION 6-11-1810. Authorization of mutual aid assistance.

Any municipality, fire district, fire protection agency, or other emergency service entity may provide mutual aid assistance, upon request, from any other municipality, fire district, fire protection agency, or other emergency service delivery system in South Carolina at the time of a significant incident such as fire, earthquake, hurricane, flood, tornado, hazardous material event, or other such disaster. The chief or highest ranking officer, with the approval and consent of the governing body, may provide this assistance while acting in accordance with the policies, ordinances, and procedures set forth by the governing body of the providing governmental entity.

SECTION 6-11-1820. Utilization of incident commander, and Incident Command System, at emergency incidents.

Any municipality, fire district, fire protection agency, or other emergency service entity requesting mutual aid assistance from any emergency service delivery system in South Carolina shall utilize an incident commander, and the Incident Command System, at all emergency incidents.

SECTION 6-11-1830. Proper training and equipment required.

When providing mutual aid, any municipality, fire district, fire protection agency, or other emergency service entity must be properly trained and equipped and is subject to all provisions of federal, state, or local laws which govern the incident location.

SECTION 6-11-1840. Article not to conflict with mutual aid agreements or contracts.

The provisions of this article shall not conflict with any existing or future mutual aid agreements or contracts between municipalities, fire districts, fire protection agencies, or other emergency service entities.

ARTICLE 15.

DISSOLUTION OF SPECIAL PURPOSE DISTRICTS

SECTION 6-11-2010. Definitions.

For purposes of this article:

(1) "Special purpose district" or "district" means any district, including a public service district, created by or pursuant to an act of the General Assembly before March 7, 1973, and to which has been committed before March 7, 1973, any governmental function, including those districts created by general or special legislation and those districts created by referenda held pursuant to general or special legislation, the boundaries of which are wholly within a single county and which are not expressly governed by Chapter 9 of Title 4 or Chapter 7 of Title 5.

(2) "Commissioners of election" means the commissioners of registration and election of a county. In a county where the functions of voter registration and conducting elections are not combined, the petition referred to in Section 6-11-2030 must be filed with the body responsible for voter registration in that county. This body is responsible for taking the action required by Section 6-11-2040, and with the commissioners of election or other body charged by law with conducting elections within the county, which shall undertake all other actions required of the "commissioners of election" in this article.

SECTION 6-11-2020. Dissolution referendum.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a special purpose district may be dissolved in accordance with this article upon a two-thirds vote of the qualified electors of the district voting in the referendum. These votes must be cast at a referendum held in accordance with this article and with the election laws of this State, mutatis mutandis.

SECTION 6-11-2030. Notice to successor provider; resolution or ordinance relating to assets or liabilities.

Before the circulation of a petition for consideration by qualified electors of a district, the entity or entities named in the petition as those which shall assume the assets and liabilities of the district upon dissolution and shall provide the services currently provided by the district (each a "successor provider") must be provided with a copy of the proposed petition. A successor provider may within one hundred twenty days following receipt of such proposed petition adopt a resolution or ordinance, as appropriate under the general law of the State, by which such successor provider agrees, should a referendum held pursuant to this article be successful, to become responsible for the assets and liabilities of the district and to provide the service or services set forth in the petition upon the dissolution of the district. The resolution or ordinance must affirmatively state that the political subdivision is authorized by law to provide such service or services, and is authorized to and shall, before the dissolution of the district, issue such obligations as are necessary to fully pay or defease all outstanding general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, lease-purchase obligations, and other obligations of the district, except to the extent, if any, that the political subdivision is able to lawfully assume the obligations with the consent of the holder thereof. A certified copy of the resolution or ordinance must be forwarded to the governing body of the district and the party submitting the petition within five days of its adoption. Signatures affixed to a petition before the adoption by each successor provider named in it of a resolution or ordinance, as appropriate, in accordance with this paragraph are of no force or effect.

(1) If the successor provider is a county and the county proposes to finance the provision of one or more services then provided by the district to the area within the district in whole or in part through the levy and collection of ad valorem taxes, the tax district must be established pursuant to the ordinance adopted pursuant to the preceding paragraph, subject to the dissolution of the district. Nothing herein contained shall prevent a county from creating a special tax district pursuant to this article solely for the purpose of payment of debt service on general obligation bonds issued by the county as a successor provider in order to discharge obligations of the district.

(2) In the event that more than one successor provider is named in the petition or resolution of the governing body of the district, the entities so named, before the adoption of a resolution or ordinance as provided above, shall agree in writing as to the division of assets and liabilities of the district, and such agreement must be incorporated by reference into each resolution or ordinance adopted.

SECTION 6-11-2040. Contents of petition.

The referendum must be called and held in accordance with this article upon the filing with the commissioners of election for the county in which the district is located a petition conforming with the following requirements:

(1) The petition must contain the name and address of the person clearly printed and the signature of each individual executing the same; and

(2) printed at the top of each page of the petition an explanation of its purpose, which explanation shall contain, at a minimum:

(a) the name of the district proposed to be dissolved;

(b) a statement that the purpose of the petition is to authorize a referendum to be held on the question of the dissolution of the district;

(c) the following inscription: "This petition shall not become effective unless signed by at least forty percent of the qualified electors in (name of district).";

(d) the services which the district is by law authorized to provide;

(e) the outstanding principal balance of general obligation bonds of the district, the outstanding principal balance of the revenue bonds of the district, the outstanding principal balance of lease-purchase obligations of the district, and an outstanding balance of the total of other obligations of the district; and

(f) if the services are to continue, the name of the entity or entities which shall assume the assets and liabilities of the district upon dissolution and shall provide the services currently provided by the district.

SECTION 6-11-2050. Duties of county commissioners of election; certificate of number of qualified electors and number signing petition.

(A) Upon the filing of a petition, it is the duty of the commissioners of election of a county to:

(1) forward a copy of the petition to the governing body of the district;

(2) ascertain the number of qualified electors residing in the district; and

(3) ascertain that each person named on the petition is a qualified elector shown on voter registration books maintained by the commissioners of election as residing at an address located within the district.

(B) The commissioners of election shall within thirty days of the receipt of a petition deliver to the governing body of the district a certificate showing the number of qualified electors within the district and the number of qualified electors residing in the district that have signed the petition. Signatures on the petition are valid only if:

(1) dated not more than one hundred eighty days prior to the delivery of the petition to the commissioners of election, and

(2) they are of persons ascertained to be a qualified elector residing in the district as shown on the voter registration books.

Signatures on the petition accompanied by illegible names and addresses are void and must be disregarded in determination of the number of qualified electors residing in the district that have signed the petition.

SECTION 6-11-2060. Petition to be forwarded to successor providers.

Upon receipt of the commissioners of election, and if the certificate demonstrates that at least forty percent of the qualified electors of the district have signed a petition conforming to this article, the governing body of the district shall forward it to each political subdivision which is named by the petition as a successor provider.

SECTION 6-11-2070. Authorization of referendum; when held.

Upon receipt of a petition pursuant to Section 6-11-2050, and provided that the governing body of the district has received all necessary resolutions or ordinances conforming with Section 6-11-2030 from each successor provider, the governing body shall within thirty days of the petition action adopt a resolution by which it authorizes a referendum to be held on the question of the dissolution of the district. The referendum must be held on the date of the general election in November of the even-numbered year if the governing body has received all required resolutions or ordinances and the petition by one hundred twenty days before that election. If all required resolutions or ordinances and the petition are not received by that deadline, the governing body must schedule the referendum for the next following general election.

SECTION 6-11-2080. Publication of notice of referendum; contents.

The resolution required by Section 6-11-2070 shall also provide for the publication of notice of the referendum in one newspaper of general circulation within the district. The notice of referendum must be published no less than sixty days prior to the referendum, on that date which is two weeks following the initial publication, and once a week for each of the four weeks immediately preceding the week in which the referendum is held. The notice shall contain matters required by the general election laws of the State and shall also include the following information:

(1) the name of the district proposed to be dissolved;

(2) a statement that the purpose of the referendum is to determine whether the district should be dissolved;

(3) a general description of the boundaries of the district;

(4) the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of each current member of the governing body of the district;

(5) the services which the district is by law authorized to provide;

(6) the outstanding principal balance of general obligation bonds of the district, the outstanding principal balance of the revenue bonds of the district, the outstanding principal balance of lease-purchase obligations of the district, and the outstanding principal balance of other obligations of the district;

(7) the name of the political subdivision or subdivisions which shall assume the assets and liabilities of the district upon dissolution and, if services are to be continued, shall provide the services currently provided by the district;

(8) where applicable, a statement that a copy of the written agreement of the successor providers as to the proposed distribution of assets and liabilities is available at the office of the principal administrator of each successor entity and at the principal office of the district;

(9) where applicable, a statement that in the event the district is dissolved, the area formerly included within the district must be, without further action or approval, designated as a special tax district of the county in which the district is located for the provision of the service or services presently provided by the district for which the county is the successor provider, that the district will be subject to an annual tax for operations and maintenance of it not exceeding the amount as provided in the ordinance of the county enacted pursuant to Section 6-11-2060, and for debt service on general obligation bonds issued to finance the provision of the service or services; and

(10) the question to be voted upon in the referendum.

SECTION 6-11-2090. Where and when referendum held.

The referendum must be conducted by the commissioners of election for the county in which the district is located and held on the general election date in November of the next even-numbered year pursuant to Section 6-11-2070.

SECTION 6-11-2100. Contents and format of referendum question on ballot.

(A) The question to be voted upon in the referendum must be substantially similar to one of the following:

Must (name of district) be dissolved and its assets and

liabilities distributed to (successors providers), upon the

condition that (successor provider) must upon dissolution of

the district be responsible for providing (name of service)

that (additional successor provider) must upon dissolution

of the district be responsible for providing (name of

service)?



IN FAVOR OF DISSOLVING

(name of district) ___________________________



OPPOSED TO DISSOLVING

(name of district) ___________________________

Must (name of district) be dissolved and upon the

dissolution the area formerly included within (name of

district) constitutes a special tax district of

_______________ County for the purpose of providing (name of

services provided by district to be provided through tax

district) in which special tax district there must be levied

not exceeding ________ mills annually for the operation and

maintenance thereof?



IN FAVOR OF DISSOLVING

(name of district) ___________________________

OPPOSED TO DISSOLVING

(name of district) ___________________________

(B) Suitable instructions for completion of the ballot must be provided on it.

SECTION 6-11-2110. Filing of certificate of results.

The commissioners of election for the county in which the referendum is held shall certify the results of the election to the governing body of the district. The question presented in referendum shall be considered approved if at least two-thirds of the qualified electors of the district voting in the referendum vote in favor of it. The commissioners of election shall also cause the certificate of results of the referendum to be filed with the clerk of court for the county in which the district is located within five days of the date of the certification. The results of the referendum and the validity of those actions taken precedent to it are not open to question except by action instituted within thirty days from the filing of the certificate of results.

SECTION 6-11-2120. Notice of approval to subsequent provider.

If the question presented in the referendum is approved as provided in Section 6-11-2110, the governing body of the district shall declare the results of the referendum in writing and within ten days following the referendum provide certified copies of the declaration of results to each successor provider.

SECTION 6-11-2130. Adoption of confirming resolution or ordinance by successor provider.

Upon receipt of a certified copy of the declaration of results of the referendum, a successor provider must adopt a resolution or ordinance, as appropriate, confirming its prior action in agreeing to serve as successor provider within ninety days of receipt of a certified declaration of results. This confirming resolution or ordinance must be forwarded to the governing body of the district and to every other successor provider.

SECTION 6-11-2140. Winding up of district affairs.

When each successor provider has adopted a confirming resolution or ordinance, the governing body of each and of the district shall agree to an orderly winding up of the affairs of the district. Dissolution is not effective before the time as all general obligation debt, revenue debt, lease-purchase obligations, and other obligations, except those obligations which a successor provider may lawfully assume with the consent of the holder thereof, have been paid in full or legally defeased.

SECTION 6-11-2150. Cost of referendum.

The cost of any referendum held under the provisions of this article and all costs of dissolution must be borne by the district, provided, however, that the district is not responsible for any costs associated with the preparation or circulation of any petition calling for a referendum under this article.





Legislative Services Agency
h t t p : / / w w w . s c s t a t e h o u s e . g o v