HBA-EDN H.B. 2571 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2571 By: McReynolds Natural Resources 3/22/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The Wildwood community, located in the southern part of Angelina County, lacks a basic infrastructure, and most of its residents have low income levels. The Wildwood community is currently in need of a sewer system, but its tax base is not sufficient to provide an adequate system. This community would qualify for a combination grant and low interest loan from the United States Department of Agriculture/Rural Development to install this sewer system, but the community must have a governmental entity with taxing authority before it can receive such funds. House Bill 2571 creates a water control and improvement district in Angelina County to be a governmental taxing authority. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS House Bill 2571 amends law to create the Angelina County Water Control and Improvement District No.4 (district) in Angelina County and sets forth the boundaries of the district (SECTIONS 1.01, 1.03 and 1.04). The bill provides that the powers, rights, duties, and functions of the district are exercised by a board of five directors (board) and sets forth provisions regarding the composition and administration of the board and the election, qualifications, compensation, and terms of the directors. The bill sets forth the names of the temporary board directors. The bill requires a director who is financially interested in a contract proposed to be executed by the district to disclose such interest to the board and prohibits the director from voting on acceptance of the contract (SECTIONS 2.01-2.08). The board is authorized to employ a general manager as the chief executive officer of the district. The bill requires the general manager and each employee of the district who is charged with the collection, custody, or payment of any money of the district to execute a fidelity bond and the district to pay the premiums on the employees' fidelity bonds. The bill requires the district to maintain its principal office in Angelina County and to keep records at its principal office for public inspection. (SECTIONS 2.09-2.12). The bill sets forth the general powers and duties of the district and requires a district to adopt and enforce rules reasonably required to implement these provisions. The bill provides that a person who violates a rule, permit, or order of the district is subject to a civil penalty of not less than $50 and not more than $1,000 for each violation or each day of a continuing violation. The bill authorizes the district to sue to recover penalties or for injunctive relief and to be sued by a person who is adversely affected by a rule, act, or order of the district. The bill authorizes the district to enter public or private property in the district's territory for the purpose of inspecting and investigating conditions relating to its authorized purposes under the same provisions and restrictions applicable to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (SECTIONS 2.14, 3.01-3.05). The bill authorizes the district, by rule, to regulate septic tanks to prevent water pollution or to protect the public health. The bill sets forth provisions relating to the acquisition, construction, and operation of disposal systems (SECTIONS 3.06-3.08). The bill authorizes the district to exercise the power of eminent domain to acquire property of any kind in Angelina County that is appropriate for the exercise of the district's functions and sets forth provisions relating to the relocation of facilities, including the use of public easements (SECTIONS 3.09-3.11). The bill sets forth provisions relating to the annexation of territory and the acquisition and disposition of facilities or property (SECTIONS 3.12-3.14). The bill authorizes the district to make contracts or enter into cooperative agreements as necessary to perform its duties or functions (SECTIONS 3.15 and 3.16). The bill sets forth provisions relating to fiscal matters of the district. The bill authorizes the district to establish fees and charges to enable the district to fulfill the obligations of these provisions and to borrow money and accept grants for the corporate purposes of the district (SECTIONS 4.01-4.06). The bill authorizes the district to issue revenue and refunding bonds (SECTIONS 5.01-5.04). The bill provides that the district has the power to impose ad valorem taxes (SECTION 5.05). These provisions do not impair, limit, supersede, or alter the powers, rights, privileges, duties, functions, or jurisdiction of a river authority which includes at least three counties and includes all or part of the district, except that such a river authority is prohibited from imposing or applying any regulatory ordinance, rule or regulation without the agreement of the district (SECTION 6.02). EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001.