Current Status Introducing Body:
HouseBill Number: 4838Primary Sponsor: QuinnType of Legislation: GBSubject: Lexington County Irmo Fire DistrictResiding Body: HouseDate Tabled: 19940421Computer Document Number: WWW/30203DW.94Introduced Date: 19940301Last History Body: HouseLast History Date: 19940421Last History Type: TabledScope of Legislation: StatewideAll Sponsors: Quinn Wright RiserType of Legislation: General Bill
Bill Body Date Action Description CMN Leg Involved ____ ______ ____________ ______________________________ ___ ____________ 4838 House 19940421 Tabled 4838 House 19940414 Debate adjourned until Thursday, April 21, 1994 4838 House 19940406 Debate adjourned until Wednesday, April 13, 1994 4838 House 19940330 Debate adjourned until Wednesday, April 6, 1994 4838 House 19940301 Introduced, read first time, placed on Calendar without referenceView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
March 1, 1994
L. Printed 3/1/94--H.
Read the first time March 1, 1994.
TO AMEND ACT 387 OF 1963, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE CREATION OF THE IRMO FIRE DISTRICT IN LEXINGTON COUNTY, SO AS TO REDESIGNATE THE BOUNDARIES OF THE DISTRICT, PROVIDE FOR THE ELECTION OF THE GOVERNING BOARD, AND AT THE TIME OF THE GENERAL ELECTION IN 1994, PROVIDE FOR THE TERMS OF THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD, CHANGE THE POWERS OF THE BOARD, PROVIDE THAT THE PROPERTY OF ANY PERSON CONTIGUOUS TO THE DISTRICT MUST BE ADDED TO THE DISTRICT UPON RECEIPT AND ACCEPTANCE BY THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF A REQUEST FROM THE PROPERTY OWNER REQUESTING THE INCLUSION, PROVIDE THAT WHEN THE TOWN OF IRMO ANNEXES ITS TERRITORY THE PROPERTY ANNEXED SHALL AUTOMATICALLY BECOME PART OF THE IRMO FIRE DISTRICT, AUTHORIZE THE DISTRICT TO ISSUE GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS NOT EXCEEDING ONE MILLION DOLLARS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Irmo Fire District is a special purpose district created by Act 387 of 1963 for the purpose of providing fire protection service, a tax levy, purchase of equipment, acquisition of sites and other matters. Since the formation of the district the immediate area which it was authorized to serve and adjacent areas have grown dramatically. The regional development of the area now encompasses parts of two counties, Lexington and Richland. Plans for the provision of fire service must contemplate additional growth and development, especially in view of the fact that parts of the area are involved within two counties. As the district's boundaries are presently drawn, for instance, part of the Town of Irmo is within the district. The Town of Irmo does not provide fire service to its citizens and having concluded that the district can best serve the entire town has contracted with Irmo Fire District for the provision of service to that portion of the Town of Irmo which lies within Richland County. The General Assembly finds that because of the continuing growth and development within the area, there is a need to provide some uniformity within those areas currently served by the district especially to provide uniform coverage within the Town of Irmo. This need is obvious not only because of the regional nature of growth and the development of the neighborhoods, commercial and industrial sites, but because of the existing network of roads, water distribution systems and other infrastructure necessary to provide adequate service.
SECTION 2. The General Assembly finds:
(1) that public safety will be better protected and the dangers arising from the environmental hazards will be minimized if the district's boundaries are expanded;
(2) that the expansion of the territory and powers of the district is a natural and logical method to provide regional service;
(3) that since the functions and powers to be exercised will serve more than one county that this legislation is consistent with the holdings in the case of Kleckley v. Pulliam 265 S.C. 177, 217 S.E. 2d 217 (1975).
SECTION 3. Section 3 of Act 387 of 1963, as last amended by Act 1074 of 1966, is further amended to read:
"Section 3. The Irmo Fire District in Lexington County shall be is bounded as follows:
Beginning at a point where I-26 intersects with I-20 thence following a southwesterly direction on I-20 to the Saluda River, thence northwesterly along the Saluda River to lands of Allied Chemical Fibers Corporation, thence along the easternmost boundary of said Allied Chemical Fibers Corporation to the tracks of the Columbia, Newberry, and Laurens Railroad Company, thence northwesterly along the said railroad tracks to a point of intersection with S.C. 36, continuing along S.C. 36 and S.C.107 to a point bordering on the western boundary of the General Electric Phillips Components Plant, thence running in a southerly direction to the Saluda River, thence running in a westerly direction along the Saluda River to lands of the South Carolina Electric and Gas Company, thence north and east along a spur track to S.C. 107, thence along S.C. 107 where it joins S.C. 271 and along S.C. 271 where it joins S.C. 356, thence northerly along S.C. 356 to Irmo City limits running along and including Irmo City line to I-26, thence along I-26 to the point of beginning. The Irmo Fire District also includes within its boundaries all areas within the limits of the municipality of Irmo."
SECTION 4. Section 4 of Act 387 of 1963, as last amended by Act 794 of 1978, is further amended to read:
"Section 4. After the creation of the Irmo Fire District, there is established a board of fire control for the district to be composed of five members who shall be appointed by the Governor upon the recommendation of a majority of the Lexington County Legislative Delegation. Terms of office shall be for six years and until successors are appointed and qualify except that of those appointed in 1978 two shall be appointed for terms of six years, two shall be appointed for four years and one shall be appointed for two years. The members of the board shall serve without pay and shall file annually a report with the Lexington County Board of Commissioners not later than the first of November of each year, showing all activities and disbursements made by the board during the year. If at least twenty percent of the qualified electors residing in the district petition the commissioners of election by the first of September of any general election year, the commissioners shall call an election to be held at the following general election for the purpose of electing a member to the board to succeed the member whose term shall expire during each year, for a six-year term. Thereafter, members shall be elected in each succeeding general election for terms of six years."
(A) The present governing board serving on the effective date of this act of the district shall continue with full power and authority until such time as a new board is established under the procedure outlined in this section.
(B) Before November, 1994, the County Election Commission of Lexington County in cooperation with the County Election Commission of Richland County shall provide for a general election for the purposes of electing five commissioners to serve as members of the board of commissioners. These commissioners must be residents of the district and shall serve for a term of six years. However, at the first election two members must be elected for a term of two years, and two members must be elected for a term of four years, and one member for a term of six years. The seats must be numbered one through five with numbers one and two having the two-year term, numbers 3 and 4 having the four-year term, and number 5 having the six-year term.
(C) Those members of the board serving at the time of the adoption of this amendment shall continue to serve until their successors have been elected and qualified. The terms are effective beginning the second Tuesday of January, 1995, at which time members must be administered an oath of office. Any vacancy occurring in the office of commissioner by reason of death, resignation, or otherwise must be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term by appointment by the Governor upon recommendation by a majority of the legislative delegation. For the purpose of determining what constitutes the legislative delegation, any member of the House or Senate whose district embraces a portion of the territory of the Irmo Fire District."
SECTION 5. Section 5 of Act 387 of 1963, as last amended by Act 892 of 1971, is further amended to read:
"Section 5. The board shall have the following duties and responsibilities:
(a) To buy such fire fighting equipment as the board deems necessary for the purpose of controlling fires within the money allocated or made available to the board for such purposes.
(b) To select the sites or places within the area where the fire fighting equipment shall be kept.
(c) To provide and select the drivers and other volunteer firemen to man such equipment who shall serve without compensation.
(d) To procure and supervise the training of the volunteer firemen selected to insure that the equipment shall be utilized for the best interest of the area.
(e) To be responsible for the upkeep, maintenance and repairs of the trucks and other fire fighting equipment and to that end shall, as often as is deemed necessary, inspect such equipment.
(f) To promulgate such rules and regulations as it may deem proper and necessary to insure that the equipment is being used to the best advantage of the area.
(g) To construct, if necessary, buildings to house the equipment authorized herein.
"(h) To borrow not exceeding fifty thousand dollars on such terms and for such a period as to the fire control board may seem most beneficial for the fire district, in anticipation of taxes. The indebtedness shall be evidenced by a note or notes issued by the members of the board and the county treasurer. The full faith, credit and taxing power of the Irmo Fire District is hereby irrevocably pledged for the payment of the indebtedness."
The commission may:
(1) have perpetual succession;
(2) sue and be sued;
(3) adopt, use, and alter a corporate seal;
(4) make bylaws for the management and regulations of its affairs, a quorum for its meetings being a majority of the members of the commission;
(5) receive and deposit monies derived from revenue-producing facilities and to withdraw the monies for the purposes of operating and maintaining the facilities and other purposes as provided in this section;
(6) prescribe such regulations with respect to the use of any property or any facilities owned by the district, and relating to the services to be provided by the district as is considered necessary;
(a) No regulation may be adopted unless a certified copy of the resolution has been recorded in the office of the clerks of court for Lexington and Richland Counties and posted in at least two public places in the district, and notice of the intent to adopt the regulation has been published at least once during each of three successive weeks in a newspaper published in and having general circulation in Lexington and Richland Counties. The notice shall give the time, date, and place at which a public hearing is to be held. The notice shall further specify, in brief, the scope of the regulation and state the date on which it is proposed that the regulation becomes effective and place at which a public hearing is to be held. The notice shall further specify, in brief, the scope of the regulation and state the date on which it is proposed that the regulation becomes effective.
(b) The commission is expressly authorized to apply to any court of general jurisdiction for the enforcement of the regulation through the means of mandatory injunctions and such other remedial orders as shall appear to the courts to be just and equitable.
(7) acquire, purchase, hold, use, lease, mortgage, sell, transfer, and dispose of any property, real, personal or mixed, or any interest in it;
(8) conduct or have conducted, investigations, and surveys needed as a basis for decisions on the type, size, and scope of public works needed in the district, to have prepared estimates of construction costs, and to have prepared detailed plans and specifications required to secure construction and equipment bids on public facilities to be owned by the district;
(9) build, acquire, construct, operate, and maintain such fire service facilities, hydrant systems, water distribution systems, and waterworks facilities, or contract for such services as in the opinion of the board is necessary for the district;
(10) acquire and operate facilities and equipment as is required for the protection of lives and property against fire and other hazards arising;
(11) impose a schedule of rates and charges for the use of fire service facilities, public buildings, and any other facilities as the commission may place into effect, and to revise, whenever it so wishes or may be so required, a schedule of rates for fire service, use of public buildings, and any other facilities made available by it to persons, firms, and corporations within the district. However, no schedule of rates and charges may be adopted unless a certified copy of the schedule has been recorded in the office of the clerk of court for Lexington and Richland Counties and posted in at least two public places in the district, and notice of the intent to adopt the schedule once during each of three successive weeks in a newspaper published in and having general circulation in Lexington and Richland Counties. The notice shall give the time, date, and place at which a public hearing is to be held. The notice shall specify the date on which it is proposed that the schedule of rates and charges are effective;
(12) make use of city, county, and state highway rights-of-way in which to lay pipes and lines in the manner and under conditions as the appropriate officials in charge of the rights-of-way approve;
(13) exercise the power of eminent domain for any corporate function. The power of eminent domain may be exercised through any procedure prescribed by the Eminent Domain Procedure Act, Section 28-2-10, et seq., of the 1976 Code of Laws, as these statutes are now constituted or as they may afterwards be constituted following any amendments to them;
(14) appoint officers, hire agents, employees, servants, and firefighters, prescribe their duties, fix their compensation, and determine if and to what extent they must be bonded for the faithful performance of their duties. These persons may be employed full or part time, or under such special conditions as the commission may determine;
(15) make contracts for construction, engineering, and other services;
(16) in addition to the taxes which may be levied for the purpose of retiring bonded indebtedness as provided in this section, the commission may levy annually an ad valorem tax not to exceed 9.4 mills for corporate purposes, provided that this amount may be increased by a vote of three-fourths of the members of the commission. The commission shall annually notify the county auditors and the county treasurers of Lexington and Richland Counties the tax levy millage to be assessed against the real and personal property in the district, these public officers of Lexington and Richland Counties shall then assess and collect the tax as requested and the treasurers shall hold the funds and disburse them as directed by the commission, including deposits to the commission's operating account as provided in item 5 above. All taxes constitute a lien upon the property against which they are levied, on a parity with the lien of county taxes, and the provisions of law relating to penalties for the nonpayment or tardy payment of county taxes, and the provisions relating to sale of property for delinquent county taxes shall apply to taxes levied pursuant to this act;
(17) do all other acts and things necessary or convenient to carry out any function or power committed or granted to the district;
(18) adopt regulations requiring connection to any water system owned by the district by all properties to whom such system is available;
(19) enter into a management contract with a qualified person or firm to operate and maintain the district."
SECTION 6. Act 387 of 1963, is amended by adding:
"Section 9A. (A) The property of any person or persons contiguous to the district must be added to the district upon receipt and acceptance by the commission of a request from the property owner requesting the inclusion.
(B) When the Town of Irmo annexes territory so that the territory becomes a part of the town, the property annexed shall automatically without further action on the part of the commission becomes part of the Irmo Fire District and the map of the district must be changed so that it is co-terminus with the newly annexed area.
Section 9B. For the purposes of raising money to acquire, enlarge, improve, and maintain public works authorized by this act and required for the district, the commission, pursuant to resolution duly adopted, may issue general obligation bonds not exceeding one million dollars whose proceeds may be used for purposes, including the payment of such interest on the bonds as may be capitalized. All or any general obligation bonds issued pursuant to this paragraph must be additionally secured by a pledge of all of the net revenues to be derived from the operation of district services and other net revenues from other facilities constructed for the district, it being specifically recognized that the commission may wish to provide for further obligations of the district secured by a pledge on a parity with the pledge required by this section. If, pursuant to this section, general obligation bonds are issued:
(1) they must be issued as a single issue or, from time to time, as several separate issues. They must bear such date as the commission determines and the bonds of any issue mature in such equal or unequal annual installments as may be determined by the commission. They must be made payable at a place the commission prescribes and bear interest at a rate payable in the manner as the commission determines. The bonds must be issued in fully registered form as to both principal and interest and are transferable in accordance with the terms of the resolution authorizing the issuance of them. Any bond issued pursuant to this paragraph may be made subject to redemption prior to its stated maturity on the terms and conditions, and with the redemption premium, as the commission prescribes.
(2) They must be sold at not less than par and accrued interest to the date of their respective deliveries at public sale, and at least seven days prior to any sale, notice announcing the intention to receive bids for the sale of the bonds must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in this State. In offering the bonds for sale, the commission may reserve the right to reject any and all bids and if all bids are rejected, the commission may negotiate privately for the disposition of the bonds.
(3) The bonds and all interest to become due on them has the tax exempt status prescribed by Section 12-1-60 of the 1976 Code.
(4) The bonds must be executed in the manner as may be prescribed by the commission; however, no person signing the obligations is personally liable on them.
(5) There is irrevocably pledged for the payment of the general obligation bonds and interest on them as they mature, the full faith, credit, and resources of the district, and the auditors and treasurers of Lexington and Richland Counties, respectively, are authorized and directed to levy and collect annually a tax upon all taxable property within the district sufficient to pay the bonds and interest on them as they respectively mature, and to create the sinking fund as may be necessary for the redemption of the bonds and interest at their respective maturities. Net revenues from facilities described in Section 1 which are pledged to bond payments must be delivered to the Treasurer of Richland County prior to the occasion when the auditors fix the annual levy. The annual ad valorem tax in this act directed to be levied may be reduced in each year by the amount of net revenues as mentioned earlier actually in the hands of the Treasurer of Richland County at the time the tax for the year is required to be levied and the tax may be entirely suspended for any year in case the monies on hand, applicable as mentioned earlier, are sufficient to pay both principal and interest then due or falling due in such year and remaining unpaid. If, pursuant to the authorizations of this act, front foot assessments are imposed upon properties abutting water distribution mains or water lines making water available to the lots with the proceeds of bonds issued pursuant to this act, then in those instances, the proceeds derived from the assessments must be paid into the sinking fund created pursuant to this paragraph and must be applied solely to the payment of principal and interest of bonds issued pursuant to this act. To the extent that monies from this source are available, then in those instances the tax levy ordered by this section must be reduced or omitted. Provided, that the Treasurer of Richland County shall in his discretion, be empowered to appoint any banking institution in this State maintaining offices in Lexington or Richland Counties, and having an established trust department, as corporate trustee of funds derived from front foot assessments. In that instance, it is the duty of the corporate trustee to keep the same invested and reinvested in obligations of the United States or any agency thereof, or obligations guaranteed by the United States or any agency of it, having maturities of not longer than five years from the occasion of the investment. It is the duty of the corporate trustee, at the direction of the Treasurer of Richland County, to make all or any part of the proceeds in its hands available for the payment of principal and interest on the bonds, in accordance with the directives, from time to time, issued by the Treasurer of Richland County.
(6) The pledge of revenue, authorized by this section is not, in the discretion of the commission, exclusive, and the commission may reserve the right to issue further bonds, payable in whole or in part, from these revenues, on a parity with the bonds authorized by this section, under conditions as the commission may prescribe.
(7) The proceeds derived from the sale of the bonds must be deposited with the Treasurer of Richland County, in a separate and special fund, and expended upon the warrants or orders of the commission for the purposes for which they are issued and no other, except that any premium received must be deposited with the Treasurer of Richland County and by him applied to the first installment of principal becoming due on the bonds and any accrued interest received must be applied by the Treasurer of Richland County to the first installment of interest becoming due on the bonds. Neither the purchasers of the bonds nor any subsequent holders of them is responsible for the proper application of the proceeds of sale.
(8) The Treasurer of Richland County is authorized to invest the special funds held for district purposes in United States Government bonds or obligations, and in state or national banks serving as depositories of funds for instrumentalities of the State of South Carolina, in interest bearing accounts whenever practical. All interest earned must be credited to the accounts of the Irmo Fire District."
SECTION 8. If any section, provision, or the application of any provision of this act is held invalid, the invalidity applies to this act in its entirety, to any and all provisions of the act, and the application of this act or any provision of this act, and to this end the provisions of this act are not severable.
SECTION 9. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.