South Carolina General Assembly
114th Session, 2001-2002

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Bill 3946

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World Wide Web specifications.)


April 26, 2001

    H. 3946

Introduced by Reps. Cooper, Townsend, White, Thompson, Martin and Stille

S. Printed 4/26/01--H.

Read the first time April 18, 2001.




Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION    1.    Act 1030 of 1964 was enacted to take advantage of federal funding available through the Farmer's Home Administration Act to provide for the growing need for utility and other services, especially in rural areas. Now, the availability of the funding has diminished and federal and state funding is more often provided from additional sources. The General Assembly finds the not-for-profit corporations organized under Act 1030 of 1964 should be granted the right to elect to become public bodies politic and corporate for several reasons including, but not limited to, the following:

    (1)    the opportunity to receive funding, loans, and grants from other sources such as the State Revolving Fund, will be broadened;

    (2)    the right to participate in a joint municipal water system as authorized under Chapter 25, Title 6 of the 1976 Code, will be afforded; and

    (3)    the cost of borrowing money for infrastructure construction and expansion will be lower and growth demands more economically met.

SECTION    2.    Title 33, Chapter 36 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Article 8

Election to Become Public Body Politic and Corporate

    Section 33-36-1310.    (A)    A nonprofit corporation incorporated pursuant to the provisions of this chapter may elect, by resolution, to become a public service district, a public body politic and corporate, upon a majority vote of its members constituting a quorum present at a duly called and noticed meeting.

    (B)    Notice of this meeting must be given by regular mail, addressed to the last known address of the member, and mailed not less than ten days prior to the meeting. The secretary of the corporation shall certify the date of mailing. The notice shall state the purpose, time, and place of the meeting.

    (C)    Upon a favorable vote, the chief executive officer of the corporation shall petition the Secretary of State to issue a new charter to convert and constitute the nonprofit corporation a public service district, a public body politic and corporate.

    Section 33-36-1320.    (A)    The petition shall include:

        (1)    the name of the district;

        (2)    an attached copy of the resolution adopted, certified by the secretary of the corporation;

        (3)    the name of the current board of directors, their terms of office, and expiration dates;

        (4)    the desire to become a public body corporate and politic; and

        (5)    a word description and an attached map showing the present and existing boundaries of the service area.

    (B)    Upon receipt of the petition, the Secretary of State shall verify the contents of the petition, its compliance with the subsection of this section and upon verification shall issue a new charter, referencing the petition, and designating the petition as a public body politic and corporate.

    Section 33-36-1330.    (A)    The existing board of directors and officers shall serve until the expiration of their present terms. Thereafter, and not less than forty-five days prior to any expiration of the term of a board member, the board of directors shall submit to the county legislative delegation the name or names of a person or persons recommended for appointment or reappointment. A letter of recommendation by the board stating why the name or names are recommended shall accompany the submission. The county legislative delegation shall consider the recommendation of the board but are not limited to make a selection for its own recommendation from among those submitted. Upon recommendation of the county legislative delegation, members of the board must be appointed by the Governor for a term of four years. A vacancy may be filled by the board, if the remaining term is less than two years; if more than two years, then in the usual manner for the unexpired term.

    (B)    The governing body of the district, by a resolution adopted by a two-thirds vote of all members of the governing body, may request that board members be elected in a nonpartisan general election. If adopted, a certified copy of the resolution and a map clearly setting out the lines of the boundaries of the district in the county or counties in which the district is situated must be presented to the county election commission prior to August first of a general election held in an even-numbered year for the election to be held at the general election in November of that year. The governing body must be elected from single-member election districts.

    (C)    Notice of the election must be published by the governing body of the district at least three times prior to the election, including (i) not less than sixty days prior to the date of the election, (ii) two weeks after the first date of publication, and (iii) a date not more than fifteen and not less than ten days before the date of the election. The notice must appear in a newspaper of general circulation within the 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)    a brief description of the governmental services provided by the district;

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

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

        (7)    an explanation of the procedure to be followed for election of members of the district's governing body and state.

    Section 33-36-1340.    (A)    On the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November in the year immediately following the year of the resolution, 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 entity charged by law with conducting the election. Except for the initial election of commissioners as provided in subsection (B), 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 the next ensuing general election year, and the remaining commissioners are elected at the next following general election. The terms of office of commissioners whose seats are subject to contest in general election shall expire fourteen days following the general election.

    (B)    For the initial election of commissioners, all seats are 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 two years after the initial election. Those commissioners entitled to serve the initial four-year terms are 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.

    (C)    The entity charged by law with conducting the election 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.

    Section 33-36-1350.    The board shall annually elect its officers, a chairperson, vice chairperson, and a secretary and treasurer. The latter two offices may be combined.

    Section 33-36-1360.    (A)    The newly converted district has all rights and powers of a public body politic and corporate of this State including, without limitations, all the rights and powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate its purposes including, but not limited to, the following rights and powers to:

        (1)    have perpetual succession;

        (2)    sue and be sued;

        (3)    adopt, use, and alter a corporate seal;

        (4)    maintain a principal office;

        (5)    make bylaws for the management and regulation of its affairs;

        (6)    receive, administer, and comply with the conditions and requirements respecting any gift, grant, or donation of any property or money;

        (7)    purchase, build, construct, maintain, rent, lease, and operate ditches, tunnels, culverts, flumes, conduits, mains, pipes, trunk and collection lines, dykes, dams, reservoirs, water and wastewater treatment facilities, and any adjunct facility or facilities for the impounding, treatment, production, transmission, distribution, operation, service in connection with the sale of water or supply of sewer service;

        (8)    acquire and operate any type of machinery, appliances, or appurtenances necessary or useful in constructing, operating, and maintaining the system;

        (9)    enter into contracts of short or long duration;

        (10)    prescribe rate charges for its services and enact regulations;

        (11)    make contracts of all kinds and execute all instruments or documents necessary or convenient to carry out the business of the district;

        (12)    sell, lease, exchange, transfer, or otherwise dispose of or grant option for any purpose with respect to any real or personal property or interest in them in conformity with state law;

        (13)    acquire by purchase, lease, gift, or otherwise, or obtain options for the acquisition of any property, real or personal, improved or unimproved, including an interest in land less than the fee in conformity with state law;

        (14)    borrow money and issue bonds or notes of the district;

        (15)    pledge or assign any money, rents, charges, or other revenues and any proceeds derived by the district from the sales of property, insurance, or condemnation awards;

        (16)    authorize the construction, operation, maintenance of any project by any person, firm, or corporation, including political subdivisions and agencies of any state of the United States;

        (17)    apply to the appropriate agencies of the State, the United States or any state, and to any other proper agency for and obtain from them permits, licenses, certificates, or approvals as may be necessary; and construct, maintain, and operate the project in accordance with such license, permits, certificates, or approvals;

        (18)    appoint officers, agents, employees, and servants to prescribe the duties of such, to fix their compensation, and to determine if and to what extent they shall be bonded for the faithful performance of their duties; and

        (19)    employ engineers, architects, attorneys, appraisers, financial advisors, and other consultants and employers as may be required in the judgment of the district and fix and pay their compensation from funds available to the joint system.

    (B)    The rates charged for services furnished for the purpose of providing water supply or sewage disposal, or a combination of these services, is not subject to supervision or regulations by any state bureau, board, commission, or like instrumentality or agency of it.

    Section 33-36-1370.    Districts converted pursuant to this article shall assume all assets, properties, and liabilities of the antecedent nonprofit corporation."

SECTION    3.    This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.


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