SB 21 Allows for the formation of and conversion to reorganized common sewer districts
Sponsor: Griesheimer
LR Number: 0256S.04P Fiscal Note: 0256-04
Committee: Economic Development, Tourism & Local Government
Last Action: 5/18/2007 - H Calendar S Bills for Third Reading Journal Page:
Title: SS SCS SB 21 Calendar Position:
Effective Date: Emergency Clause
House Handler: Schlottach

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Current Bill Summary

SS/SCS/SB 21 - The act allows landowners to form their own sewer districts. Currently, county commissions are primarily responsible for sewer districts, this act would enable landowners who form or convert their sewer district into a reorganized common sewer district to exert more control over the district. While the county commissions are still involved, the responsibility is shifted in order to give more active participation from the landowners within the district.

SECTION 204.600: This act allows any sewer district organized and existing under current law to convert to a reorganized common sewer district. Further, the act allows for the establishment of a reorganized common sewer district. Once such a district has been established, it shall enjoy all powers and authority provided for common sewer districts except that domestic water services may be not be provided within the boundaries of an existing public water supply district or in the certificated area of a water corporation.

SECTION 204.602: This act details the procedural guidelines for the formation of a new reorganized common sewer district and directs that any such petition be accompanied by a deposit as well as at least fifty signatures from voters and/or property owners living within the proposed district. The petition shall be filed with both the county commission having jurisdiction within the geographic area of the proposed district and the circuit court. If any county commission having jurisdiction rejects the petition, no further action on the proposed district shall be taken before the commission which rejected the petition or the court in the county where the petition was rejected. Upon filing the petition with the court, a date for hearing of the petition will be set. Public notice of such a petition shall be given in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the proceedings and the date of those proceedings are being held. The notice shall then be signed by the clerk of the circuit court and published in three successive issues of a weekly newspaper once a week for three consecutive weeks.

Exceptions to the proposed district can be made by any voter or property owner living within the proposed district, provided those exceptions are filed no less than five days prior to the petition's hearing date. Procedural guidelines for exceptions are also laid out in the act.

The court has authority to find in favor of or against the formation. If the decision is affirmative, the court shall then appoint five voters from the district to constitute the first board of trustees for the district. The decree of incorporation shall not become final until it has been submitted to the voters living within the proposed district, decided by a majority of those voters, and ultimately declared incorporated by the court.

Once a reorganized sewer district has been incorporated, the boundaries of such district may be extended from time to time provided the initiative comes from the board of trustees and/or the voters living within the district. Procedural guidelines are laid out in this act for such an extension.

The board of trustees may petition the court to allow the district to engage in the construction, maintenance and operation of water supply and distribution facilities.

SECTION 204.604: This act details the procedural guidelines for the conversion of an existing sewer district into a new reorganized common sewer district, as well as public notice requirements and exceptions to the proposed conversion. The act directs any organized common sewer district that wants to reorganize to first petition the county commission or commissions if the district exists in more than one county, in which it was organized for that right.

SECTION 204.606: This act clarifies that any conversion shall not affect the bonded indebtedness or security interest of any creditor of any existing common sewer district, and that all covenants and obligations shall remain in full force and effect.

SECTION 204.608: This act states that after a decree of incorporation has been issued, the reorganized common sewer district is considered in law to be a body corporate subject to all the advantages and disadvantages included therein. A reorganized common sewer district, under this act, shall have exclusive jurisdiction and authority to provide wastewater collection and treatment services within the boundaries of the district.

SECTION 204.610: This act details the powers, compensation, terms, and membership of the board of trustees.

SECTION 204.612: The board shall have no power to levy or collect taxes in order to pay general obligation bonds unless such is approved by the voters of the district at an election.

SECTION 204.614: This act details the issuance of general obligation bonds from the reorganized common sewer district.

SECTION 204.616: The board of trustees shall have the power to pass all necessary rules for the reorganized common sewer district. Such rules and regulations shall be enforceable by civil or administrative actions.

SECTION 204.618: This act authorizes the board to make the plans for any construction, acquisition of land, rights-of-ways, or otherwise for the district. The power of the board to contract and/or enter into agreements is detailed in the act, as are the powers available to the board once agreements are made.

SECTION 204.620: The powers of the board with regard to purchasing, leasing or renting property as well as the power to enter private land for surveying purposes are detailed in this section.

SECTION 204.622: The board shall have the authority to enter into contracts for the districts, with regard to both construction projects and professional services.

SECTION 204.624: This act lays out the sources of payments for obligations entered into by the board with regard to acquiring, constructing, improving, or extending a sewer system.

SECTION 204.626: This act details the issuance of revenue bonds for the reorganized common sewer district.

SECTION 204.628: This act details the collection of fees and charges by the reorganized common sewer districts.

SECTION 204.630: It shall be the mandatory duty of any reorganized common sewer district to collect sufficient revenues in order to maintain the operation of the district. The rates of the district shall be revised from time to time to meet the requirements set forth in the act.

SECTION 204.632: Net revenue for the reorganized common sewer district is detailed in this section.

SECTION 204.634: The board has authority to establish various accounts by resolution.

SECTION 204.636: The board has the authority to refund bonds.

SECTION 204.638: The board may apply for and accept grants, funds, materials or labor from the state and/or federal government for the construction of a sewerage system.

SECTION 204.640: The responsibility to render all services necessary to carry out the provisions of the act lies with local government officials.

SECTIONS 204.650 - 204.672: These sections establish the Sanitary Sewer Improvement Area Act. These sections provide the opportunity to any sewer district to make improvements upon a property within a sanitary sewer improvement area and allows for the issuance of temporary notes and revenue bonds to pay for such a project. The details of how such an area is established, approved, and assessed are laid out in the act, as are the public notice and hearing requirements involved in that process. The act also allows for any sewer district to enter into a cooperative agreement with a city or county to construct improvements to the sanitary sewer system pursuant to the neighborhood improvement district act, section 67.453 to 67.475 RSMo.

SECTION 204.674: This section explicitly excludes sewer service provided by agreement for Butler County, St. Louis city, St. Louis county, any sewer district created and organized under constitutional authority, or sewer districts providing wholesale sewer services in Jackson county from the provisions in this act.

SECTION 393.829: This section authorizes a non-profit sewer company to provide the same services as provided by a non-profit water company in areas not within the boundaries of a public water supply district or within the certificated area of a water corporation.

SECTION 432.070: This section removes the provision in existing law that requires the City of St. Charles to provide written notice 2 years in advance of the City's intent to discontinue sanitary sewer service to homes connected to such service after January 1, 2003.

SECTIONS 644.597-644.599: These sections authorize the Board of Fund Commissioners to issue an additional $10 million in bonds for water pollution control, improvement of drinking water systems, and storm water control projects; an additional $10 million in bonds for rural water and sewer grants and loans; and an additional $20 million in bonds for grants and loans for storm water control in counties of the first classification and St. Louis City.

The act contains an emergency clause.

This act is similar to the perfected version of SCS/SB 646 (2006), SCS/SB 468 (2005), and SB 391 (2007).