Law:Division 16. County Waterworks Districts (California)

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Contents

Part 1. Introductory Provisions

Chapter 1. Short Title

Ca Codes (wat:55000) Water Code Section 55000



55000. This division shall be known and may be cited as the County Waterworks District Law.


Chapter 2. Definitions

Ca Codes (wat:55010-55014) Water Code Section 55010-55014



55010. Unless the context otherwise requires, the provisions of this chapter shall govern the construction of this division.


55011. The definition of a word applies to any of its variants.


55012. "District" means any county irrigation district or county waterworks district formed pursuant to the County Waterworks District Act or any county waterworks district formed pursuant to this division.

55013. "Board" means the governing body of a district.


55014. "County" means the county within which the district or proposed district is located.


Chapter 3. Applicability Of Division

Ca Codes (wat:55030-55031) Water Code Section 55030-55031



55030. This division shall not affect any other law relating to the same or a similar subject, but is intended to provide an alternative method of procedure governing the subject to which it relates. When proceeding under the provisions of this division its provisions and none other shall apply.

55031. The provisions of this division shall be liberally construed to effect the purposes thereof.


Part 2. Formation

Chapter 1. Petition

Ca Codes (wat:55100-55109) Water Code Section 55100-55109



55100. Any portion of a county, containing unincorporated territory, or containing the whole or any portion of one or more incorporated cities and contiguous unincorporated territory, and not included in a district, may be formed into a district.


55101. A district may be formed of two or more parcels of noncontiguous territory within the same county if the board of supervisors determines that the single district may be more efficiently and economically operated than if separate districts were formed, but no parcel of noncontiguous territory which contains less than 10 acres may be included in any district.


55102. A petition for the formation of a district may be presented to the board of supervisors.


55103. The petition shall be presented at a regular meeting of the board of supervisors and shall be signed by not less than 25 percent of the freeholders resident within the proposed district, or by not less than 25 percent of the freeholders resident and nonresident within the proposed district, including not less than 15 percent of such resident freeholders.


55104. The formation petition shall contain: (a) The name and boundaries of the proposed district to be benefited by the improvement. (b) A general description of the improvement desired for the purpose of supplying the inhabitants of the district with water, and which may embrace any or all of the following: the acquisition, construction, installation, completion, extension, repair, or maintenance of water works, structures, and appliances, and the acquisition, by purchase, condemnation, contract, lease, or otherwise, of lands, rights-of-way, water, water rights, and water service, necessary or convenient for such purpose. (c) An estimate of the cost of the proposed improvement and of the incidental expenses in connection therewith. (d) A request that an election be called in the district for the purpose of submitting to the qualified voters thereof the proposition of forming the district and the incurring of any indebtedness by the issuance of bonds of the district to pay the cost and expenses of the proposed improvement or any part thereof except if the petition be signed by all of the owners of property within the proposed district as such owners are shown upon the last equalized assessment roll, an election need not be requested.


55105. The petition shall be accompanied by a map showing the exterior boundaries of the proposed district, with relation to the territory immediately contiguous thereto, and contain a general description of the proposed improvement.

55106. There shall also be filed with the petition a good and sufficient undertaking, to be approved by the board of supervisors, in double the amount of the probable cost of forming the district, conditioned that the sureties shall pay the cost in case the formation of the district is not effected.


55107. The failure of the petition to contain any of the matters required to be contained therein shall not affect the legality of the organization of the district if it is thereafter organized.


55108. If the petitioners so desire, the petition may also contain a statement that the taxes provided for in this division shall be levied upon the land within the district and upon no other property.


55109. Upon the request of 25 or more freeholders, or a majority of the freeholders, if less than 50 in number, needing water service within a given area, the board of supervisors may instruct any county officer to prepare a report recommending means of providing such service, including a plan for financing, constructing, operating and maintaining facilities essential to such service and a petition for the formation of or annexation to a district, and to prepare improvement petitions, including maps, preliminary estimates, legal descriptions, and all things necessary for the completion of the petition. The board of supervisors may instruct any qualified county officer or may engage a qualified person, firm or corporation to prepare groundwater studies and reports, plans and estimates for water systems and engineering feasibility reports for water systems, reservoirs, conduits, treatment plants, conservation and reuse of water.


Chapter 2. Notice Of Hearing

Ca Codes (wat:55130-55134) Water Code Section 55130-55134



55130. Upon the presentation of a formative petition the board of supervisors shall fix a time for hearing thereon, and protests of interested parties, not less than 21 nor more than 30 days after the date of the meeting at which the petition is presented.


55131. The clerk of the board of supervisors shall cause notices of the filing and hearing of the petition to be posted in three of the most public places in the district.


55132. The notice shall be headed "Notice of the formation of __________ County Waterworks District No. __________" (stating name of county in which the district is located and the number of the proposed district) in letters not less than one inch in length, and shall, in legible characters, state the fact and date of the filing of the petition, the date and hour set for hearing the petition and any protests, briefly describe the proposed improvement, specify the exterior boundaries of the district to be benefited by the improvement and to be taxed to provide for the improvement, and refer to the petition, map, and general description of the proposed improvement for further particulars.


55133. The clerk shall also cause a notice, similar in substance, to be published pursuant to Section 6066 of the Government Code in a newspaper of general circulation printed and published in the county in which the proposed district is located, and designated by the board of supervisors for that purpose.


55134. The date set for the hearing shall be at least 13 days after the date of the posting and the date of last publication of the notice.


Chapter 3. Hearing

Ca Codes (wat:55150-55162) Water Code Section 55150-55162



55150. Any person interested, including any freeholder or qualified voter resident within the proposed district or the owner of any real or personal property located in the proposed district, objecting to the formation of the district, to the extent of the district, to the proposed improvement, or to the inclusion of his property in the district, may file a written protest, setting forth his objections, with the clerk of the board of supervisors at or before the time set for the hearing of the petition.


55151. The clerk of the board of supervisors shall endorse on each protest the date of its receipt and, at the time appointed for the hearing, shall present to the board all protests filed with him.


55152. The board shall hear and pass upon the petition and protests at the time appointed, or at any time to which the hearing may be adjourned, and its decision thereon shall be final and conclusive. If protests are made to the formation of the proposed district or to the proposed improvement by any of the qualified voters of the proposed district as of the date of the petition or by the owners of any property which will be subject to taxation for district purposes if the proposed district is formed, then, notwithstanding the denial of any of such protests by the board of supervisors or the fact that the petition is signed by all of the owners of the real property within the proposed district, the board of supervisors shall, if it acquires jurisdiction pursuant to Section 55160, call an election pursuant to Section 55180.


55153. If any of the protests against the formation of the district or against the proposed improvement is sustained, no further proceedings shall be had or taken pursuant to the petition, but a new petition for the same or a similar purpose may be filed at any time.


55154. If any of the protests are against the extent of the district or against the inclusion of property in the district, the board of supervisors may make such changes in the boundaries of the proposed district as it finds to be proper and advisable and shall define and establish boundaries as changed.


55155. The board of supervisors shall not modify the boundaries so as to exclude from the proposed district any territory which will be benefited by the improvement, and any territory which will not, in the judgment of the board, be benefited by the improvement shall not be included within the proposed district.

55156. The board of supervisors shall not modify the boundaries except after notice of such intention is published pursuant to Section 6061 of the Government Code in a newspaper of general circulation printed and published in the county and designated by the board for that purpose, describing the proposed modification, and specifying a time for hearing objections to the modification, which time shall be at least 10 days after the publication of the notice.


55157. Written objections to the proposed modification may be filed with the clerk of the board of supervisors by any interested person at or before the time set for hearing the objections.


55158. The board of supervisors shall hear and pass upon the objections to the proposed modification at the time appointed, or at any time to which the hearing may be adjourned, and its decision thereon shall be final and conclusive.

55159. If any objection is sustained, no further proceedings pursuant to the petition shall be taken, but a new petition for the same or a similar purpose may be filed at any time.


55160. The board of supervisors shall be deemed to have acquired jurisdiction to proceed further with respect to the formation of a district under any of the following circumstances: (a) If no protests to the formation of the district are filed at or before the time set for hearing on the formation petition. (b) If protests are filed and, after hearing, are denied. (c) If modification of the boundaries of the district is proposed and no objections thereto are filed at or before the time set for hearing objections. (d) If objections to the modification are filed, and after hearing, are denied.

55161. If the board of supervisors determines that the formation petition was signed by all of the owners of the real property in the proposed district and if protests are not made to the formation of the proposed district by any of the qualified voters of the proposed district as of the date of the petition or by the owners of any property which will be subject to taxation for district purposes if the proposed district is formed, and if there are no other good and sufficient protests to the formation of the district or if there is no other cause for denying the petition, then the board of supervisors may declare the district formed and direct the issuance of bonds as provided for in the petition.


55162. Notwithstanding anything in this division to the contrary, if the board of supervisors finds that protests have been made, prior to the close of the hearing for the formation of the district, by the owners of real property within the proposed district the assessed value of which as shown by the last equalized assessment roll constitute more than one-half of the district's assessed value of the real property within the proposed district or by the owners of more than one-half of the total acreage within the proposed district, the proceedings shall terminate.


Chapter 4. Election

Ca Codes (wat:55180-55187) Water Code Section 55180-55187



55180. Unless the board of supervisors proceeds pursuant to Section 55161, the board of supervisors shall, by ordinance or resolution adopted at a regular or special meeting after having acquired jurisdiction to proceed in the formation of a district, provide for and order the holding of a special election in the proposed district to submit to the qualified voters thereof the proposition of forming the district and incurring a debt by the issuance of bonds of the district for the purposes set forth in the petition for the formation of the district, if a bonded indebtedness is to be incurred.


55181. The ordinance or resolution calling the special election shall also recite the objects and purposes for which any proposed indebtedness is to be incurred, the estimated cost of the proposed improvement, the amount of the principal of the indebtedness to be incurred therefor, and the rate of interest to be paid on the indebtedness, and shall fix the date on which the special election shall be held, the manner of holding it, and the manner of voting for or against the proposition.


55182. If a statement is made in the formation petition that taxes shall be levied upon the land within the district and upon no other property, the board of supervisors shall recite the statement in any resolution, ordinance, or order adopted or entered pursuant to this chapter.

55183. For the purposes of the election, the board of supervisors shall, in the ordinance or resolution, establish one or more precincts within the boundaries of the proposed district, designate a polling place, and appoint one inspector, one judge and one clerk for each precinct.


55184. The ordinance or resolution ordering the holding of the election shall, prior to the date set for the election, be published pursuant to Section 6066 of the Government Code in a newspaper of general circulation printed and published in the county and designated by the board of supervisors for that purpose, and shall be posted in three of the most public places in the proposed district at least 10 days prior to the date set for the election. No other notice of the election need be given.


55184.1. Within five days after the district formation election has been called, the legislative body which has called the election shall transmit, by registered mail, a written notification of the election call to the executive officer of the local agency formation commission of the county or principal county in which the territory or major portion of the territory of the proposed district is located. Such written notice shall include the name and a description of the proposed district, and may be in the form of a certified copy of the resolution adopted by the legislative body calling the district formation election. The executive officer, within five days after being notified that a district formation election has been called, shall submit to the commission, for its approval or modification, an impartial analysis of the proposed district formation. The impartial analysis shall not exceed 500 words in length and shall include a specific description of the boundaries of the district proposed to be formed. The local agency formation commission, within five days after the receipt of the executive officer's analysis, shall approve or modify the analysis and submit it to the officials in charge of conducting the district formation election.

55184.2. The board of supervisors or any member or members of the board authorized by the board, or any individual voter or bona fide association of citizens entitled to vote on the district formation proposition, or any combination of such voters and associations of citizens, may file a written argument for or a written argument against the proposed district formation. Arguments shall not exceed 300 words in length and shall be filed with the officials in charge of conducting the election not less than 54 days prior to the date of the district formation election.


55184.3. If more than one argument for or more than one argument against the proposed district formation is filed with the election officials within the time prescribed, such election officials shall select one of the arguments for printing and distribution to the voters. In selecting the arguments, the election officials shall give preference and priority in the order named to the arguments of the following: (a) The board of supervisors or any member or members of the board authorized by the board. (b) Individual voters or bona fide associations of citizens or a combination of such voters and associations.


55184.4. The officials in charge of conducting the election shall cause a ballot pamphlet concerning the district formation proposition to be voted on to be printed and mailed to each voter entitled to vote on the district formation question. The ballot pamphlet shall contain the following in the order prescribed: (a) The complete text of the proposition. (b) The impartial analysis of the proposition prepared by the local agency formation commission. (c) The argument for the proposed district formation. (d) The argument against the proposed district formation. The election officials shall mail a ballot pamphlet to each voter entitled to vote in the district formation election at least 10 days prior to the date of the election. The ballot pamphlet is "official matter" within the meaning of Section 13303 of the Elections Code.


55185. In all particulars not recited in the ordinance or resolution, the election shall be held as provided by law for holding general elections in the county.


55186. If at the election a majority of the votes cast are in favor of the formation of the district and the incurring of the bonded indebtedness, if any is proposed, the board of supervisors shall enter an order to that effect upon its minutes, declaring the district formed, and the board may thereupon issue bonds of said district for the amount specified in the proceedings, payable out of funds of the district, provided as prescribed in this division.


55186.5. The county clerk of the county shall immediately file with the Secretary of State a certificate listing: (a) The name of the district. (b) The date of formation. (c) The county in which the district is located, and a description of the boundaries of the district, or reference to a map showing such boundaries, which map shall be attached to the certificate, or reference to the county recorder's office where a description of such boundaries has been recorded. If the order declaring the district formed contains all of the information required to be in the certificate, the county clerk may file a copy of the order in lieu of the certificate.


55187. All acts and proceedings heretofore or hereafter taken by or on behalf of a county waterworks district for the formation of a district or for the annexation to an existing district and for the authorization, issuance, sale, or exchange of bonds of the district or for the annexed territory may be confirmed, validated, and declared legally effective in the manner provided in this section. The board may instruct the clerk of the board to mail a notice to all owners of property within the county waterworks district, as their names and addresses appear on the last equalized county assessment roll, or as known to the clerk. Such notice shall include the name of the district, the date the district was ordered formed or the date of the annexation to an existing district, the amount of bonds authorized, and a statement that, commencing with the date of mailing of said notice there shall be a 60-calendar-day period during which period any property owner may file an action contesting the validity of the district's formation, the annexation to an existing district or the bond authorization. The clerk shall make and file, with the board a certificate of mailing of the notices. The board may order the clerk to include such other additional information that it deems pertinent. If no action is filed during the 60-day period, the district's formation or the annexation to an existing district and the bond authorization are valid and uncontestable.


Chapter 5. Formation Of Zones With Formation Of District

Ca Codes (wat:55200-55203) Water Code Section 55200-55203



55200. A separate petition for the formation of a zone or zones within a proposed district for any of the purposes specified in Section 55650 may be presented to the board of supervisors at the same time and in conjunction with a formation petition.


55201. The petition for the formation of a zone or zones and the proceedings thereon shall be in conformity with and subject to the provisions of Article 6, Chapter 2, Part 4 of this division, and except as otherwise provided, the proceedings shall be conducted and regarded as separate and distinct from proceedings upon the petition for formation of the district.


55202. The board of supervisors may direct that notice of hearing, hearing, notice of election, or election upon the formation and zone petitions shall be consolidated and combined into one notice of hearing, one hearing, one notice of election, or one election; except that the requirements of this division with respect to the proceedings upon each of the petitions shall be complied with.


55203. The formation of a zone or zones pursuant to this chapter shall in no event be effective for any purpose unless and until the district is established; but the nonformation of a proposed zone or zones for whatever reason shall in no way affect the formation of the district or of other proposed zones within the district.


Part 3. Powers And Purposes

Chapter 1. Governing Body

Ca Codes (wat:55300-55311) Water Code Section 55300-55311



55300. The powers of the district enumerated in this division shall, except as therein otherwise provided, be exercised by the board.

55301. The board of supervisors of the county is the governing board of the district unless a board of directors has been appointed under the provisions of this chapter as they existed prior to their repeal at the 1967 Regular Session of the Legislature. Each member of an appointed board of directors in existence on the effective date of the amendment of this section at the 1967 Regular Session of the Legislature shall continue to serve at the pleasure of the board of supervisors of the county, rather than for the term for which he was appointed. Where the district becomes a subsidiary district of a city pursuant to the District Reorganization Act of 1965, the city council of such city is the governing board of the district, as provided in Section 56539 of the Government Code. If, on the date the district becomes a subsidiary district of a city, there is an appointed board of directors, such appointed board of directors is automatically dissolved as of that date. The term "board of supervisors," as used in this division, shall in regard to any such district which has become a subsidiary district of a city, refer to the city council of such city.

55302. The board of supervisors of the county may, at any time, dissolve any board of directors governing any district, and thereafter the board of supervisors shall serve as the governing board of the district.


55305. (a) The board of directors may fix the compensation of its members for their services as directors not to exceed ten dollars ($10) for each meeting attended, not exceeding two meetings in any calendar month. If allowed by the board, a director shall also receive for performing duties for the district other than attending board meetings the following: (1) An amount not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100) for each day performing such duties. (2) Traveling and other expenses incurred by him or her in performing his duties. (b) For purposes of this section, the determination of whether a director's activities on any specific day are compensable shall be made pursuant to Article 2.3 (commencing with Section 53232) of Chapter 2 of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code. Reimbursement for these expenses is subject to Sections 53232.2 and 53232.3 of the Government Code.


55307. Any board of directors in existence on the effective date of the amendment of this section at the 1967 Regular Session of the Legislature succeeds to and has all the powers conferred upon the board of supervisors in reference to the waterworks district. Except as provided in Section 55302, the board of supervisors shall have no further jurisdiction except the appointment of the board of directors.


55308. The board of directors shall appoint a clerk who shall perform all of the duties pertaining to the district required to be performed by the clerk of the board of supervisors and such other duties as may be imposed upon him by the board of directors. The clerk shall receive such compensation as the board of directors shall determine and shall serve at the pleasure of the board. No director shall be eligible to the position of clerk.


55309. The board of a district in existence on the effective date of this section shall file a certificate with the Secretary of State on or before January 1, 1964, listing: (a) The name of the district. (b) The date of formation. (c) The county in which the district is located, and a description of the boundaries of the district, or reference to a map showing such boundaries, which map shall be attached to the certificate, or reference to the county recorder's office where a description of such boundaries has been recorded. If the order declaring the district formed contains all of the information required to be in the certificate, the board may file a copy of the order in lieu of the certificate.


55310. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 55301, the Board of Supervisors of Madera County may appoint a board of directors to serve as the governing board of Madera County Waterworks District #2. A determination by the board of supervisors to appoint a board of directors shall be made following a public hearing at a regular meeting of the board. In the event the board of supervisors determines to appoint a board of directors, it shall appoint five directors for the district, and each director shall serve at the pleasure of the board of supervisors. Any appointed board of directors succeeds to and has all the powers conferred upon the board of supervisors in reference to the Madera County Waterworks District #2. Except as provided in Section 55302, the board of supervisors shall have no further jurisdiction except for the appointment of directors.

55310.2. (a) Notwithstanding Section 55301, the Board of Directors of the Mendocino County Waterworks District #2 shall be elected. The elected board of directors shall act as the governing board of the district. (b) There shall be five members of the board who shall be elected at large throughout the district. The directors shall be residents of the district at the time of election and shall remain residents throughout their term. Failure to maintain residency shall cause the director to vacate the office. The directors shall serve four-year terms. The election of directors shall be held by the all-mailed ballot procedure pursuant to Division 4 (commencing with Section 4000) of the Elections Code on the date described in Section 1501 of the Elections Code. (c) Elections for the directors shall be conducted by the county clerk or by another election officer designated by the Mendocino Board of Supervisors. The district shall be responsible for the cost of the district elections. (d) Unless otherwise provided or required by this section, Part 4 (commencing with Section 10500) of Division 10 of the Elections Code shall apply to the conduct of the district election. (e) Any vacancy on the board, other than upon the expiration of a term, shall be filled by a majority vote of the directors. However, no vacancy shall be filled by less than three members' affirmative votes. If the board fails to fill a vacancy within 60 days of the vacancy or if the membership of the board is less than four, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors may appoint members to fill the vacancies. Appointed members shall serve until the next district election at which time the remainder of the unexpired term shall be filled at that election in the manner provided in this section. (f) Directors shall be elected without reference to districts and, except for the filling of unexpired terms, without reference to a specific directorship. All candidates for open seats, except for the filling of unexpired terms, shall appear on the same ballot. Voters shall be allowed to vote for the number of candidates equal to the open seats; that number of candidates equal to the number of open seats that receive a plurality shall be elected. Write-in votes shall be counted, provided that the write-in candidate shall have complied with the requirements of subdivision (d) pertaining to the filing of a nomination form and signatures with the county clerk no less than 14 days prior to the election. (g) Directors duly elected and certified at the first election shall assume office on July 1, 1996. The two-year terms shall expire on June 30, 1998. The first four-year terms shall expire on June 30, 2000. All subsequent terms shall expire on the last day of June in even-numbered years. (h) Directors shall receive no compensation for service, except as permitted under Section 55305, but may be reimbursed only for necessary and actual expenses. Regulations governing reimbursement may be adopted by the board. (i) Effective July 1, 1996, the elected Mendocino County Waterworks District #2 Board of Directors shall succeed to and have all the powers previously conferred upon the board of supervisors and the appointed board of directors in reference to this district.


55311. When a district is a subsidiary district of a city, the city council may, by resolution, change the name of the district. The change of name shall be effective upon the filing of a certified copy of the resolution with the Secretary of State and the recording of a certified copy in the office of the county recorder of the county or counties in which the district is situated.


Chapter 2. General Powers

Ca Codes (wat:55330-55339) Water Code Section 55330-55339



55330. A district may provide for the supplying of the inhabitants of the district with water for irrigation, domestic, industrial, or fire protection purposes, through facilities of the district or other facilities, including but not limited to facilities of private water companies, mutual water companies, and private water systems within the district, and may provide for the development and conservation of water supplies for those purposes.


55331. The district may do all things necessary or proper to accomplish the purposes of this division.


55332. The district may appoint or employ and prescribe the authorities and duties of a general manager, auditor, treasurer, and other officers, employees, attorneys, and engineers necessary or convenient for the business of the district, each of whom shall serve at the pleasure of the board.


55333. The district may adopt and enforce all rules, regulations and ordinances which may be necessary and proper for: (a) The administration and government of the district. (b) The acquisition, purchase or construction and use and operation of the waterworks, property and other facilities of the district. (c) All other purposes of the district not in conflict with laws of this State.

55333.5. A district may destroy a record pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 60200) of Division 1 of Title 6 of the Government Code.

55334. Any violation of a regulation or ordinance of a district is a misdemeanor punishable by fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or imprisonment not to exceed six months, or both.


55335. A district may acquire and conserve water supplies from any available source, including underground water basins within the same county, imported supplies, streams, waste water and storm water. A district may acquire, purify, treat and reclaim saline water or sewage or both; may store, distribute, and sell the water and byproducts resulting from such purification, treatment and reclamation; and may acquire, construct and maintain pipelines, flumes, ditches, reservoirs, sewage purification plants, sewage collection systems, saline water demineralization plants, and such other works and facilities as are necessary or convenient to carry out these powers.


55335.5. A district may construct, maintain, and operate sewage collection and treatment facilities and dispose of the effluent therefrom in any lawful manner and also do all things necessary or proper to accomplish such powers.

55336. Subject to Section 56133 of the Government Code, a district may sell water to any person, firm, public or private corporation, public agency, or other consumer outside the district when the governing body finds that the district has a surplus of water above that which is required by the consumers within the district. Additionally, a district may sell water to any person, firm, public or private corporation, public agency, or other consumer outside the district when the governing body finds that the sale of the water is required in response to an emergency as defined in Section 1102 of the Public Contract Code.

55337. A district may construct, maintain, improve, and operate recreational facilities in connection with any dams, reservoirs, or other works owned or controlled by the district. A district may prescribe reasonable rules and regulations to govern the use of the recreational facilities and may fix and assess reasonable charges for the use of the recreational facilities by members of the public. Revenues from such charges may be expended for the following purposes: (a) To pay the operating and maintenance expenses of the recreational facilities. (b) To pay the interest on any bonded or other debt for the recreational facilities. (c) To provide a sinking or other fund for the payment of the principal of any bonded or other debt for the recreational facilities as it becomes due. (d) To provide a reasonable surplus for improvements, extensions, and enlargements of the recreational facilities. This section shall be applicable only to districts located within Ventura County.


55338. (a) The Department of Corrections and the Los Angeles County Waterworks District No. 4 shall enter into a contract for the district to meet the operational needs of the California State Prison--Los Angeles County for water, to be supplied to the district by the Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency. (b) The Department of Corrections shall use the water supplied to it by the Los Angeles County Waterworks District No. 4 pursuant to subdivision (a) as its primary source of water and shall use the Antelope Valley groundwater basin only as a supplementary source of drinking water or as an emergency backup supply. (c) Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code does not apply to any action undertaken pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b).

55339. A district may contract with any state agency to finance any district improvement if the term of the contract does not exceed 30 years. A contract between the district and a state agency that creates an indebtedness or liability that exceeds the district's annual revenue shall be repaid with revenue derived from the imposition of standby charges pursuant to Section 55501.5.


Chapter 4. Property

Ca Codes (wat:55370-55378) Water Code Section 55370-55378



55370. A district may acquire property by purchase, gift, devise, exchange, descent, and eminent domain. The title to all property which may have been acquired for a district shall be vested in the district.

55371. The board may sell, exchange, or lease any property, or any interest in property, of the district, real or personal, if the board determines that the property is no longer needed for the uses of the district.

55371.5. If the board determines that the property is needed for the uses of another county waterworks district governed by the same board or another public agency with a service area or jurisdictional boundary that overlaps the district, the property, or an interest in the property, may be sold, exchanged, or leased to that district or public agency at its reasonable market value without notice.


55372. If the board determines the value of the property, or interest in the property, to be of a value of five thousand dollars ($5,000) or less, or is being leased for one year or less, it may be sold, exchanged, or leased without notice.


55373. If the board determines the property, or interest in the property, to have a value of more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) or is being leased for more than one year, a notice of time and place of sale or leasing shall be given by posting three notices in three public places within the district five days before the date of sale or leasing. At the time fixed for the sale or leasing, bids shall be received and the board may sell or lease to the highest bidder or may reject any or all bids.


55374. Whenever any portion of the territory of a district shall be annexed to, or otherwise included within any one municipal corporation which owns works for supplying its inhabitants with water, the board may lease to the municipal corporation, for periods not exceeding five years, the portion of the district's distributing system that is in the portion of the district annexed to or included in the municipal corporation.


55375. The municipal corporation may use the leased distributing system for the purpose of distributing water directly to individual consumers, with the same power of regulating the service of water, and of charging and collecting for the service, as if the leased distributing system were part of the municipally owned water plant.


55376. The board shall, in the lease, reserve the right to use the leased distributing system, for the benefit of that portion of the district not annexed to or included in the municipal corporation, to the extent that the leased system is essential to the efficient operation of the balance of the system.


55377. Any improvement provided for in this division may be located, constructed and maintained in, along, or across any public road or highway, or publicly owned right of way in the county, in such manner as to afford security for life and property; but the board shall restore, or cause to be restored, the road or highway, or publicly owned right of way to its former state, as near as may be, or in a sufficient manner not to have impaired unnecessarily its usefulness.

55378. The board of supervisors of any county which employs a purchasing agent may authorize the purchasing agent to sell or dispose of any personal property of the district no longer needed for the uses of the district, pursuant to Section 25505 of the Government Code. Where such authorization is given, the provisions of Sections 55371, 55372, and 55373 shall not apply.


Chapter 5. Use Of The Improvement Act Of 1911

Article 1. Authorization To Use Improvement Act Of 1911

Ca Codes (wat:55385-55386) Water Code Section 55385-55386



55385. Whenever in the opinion of the governing body of a county waterworks district the public interest and necessity require, it may order the formation of an improvement district for the purpose of constructing any authorized improvement within the boundaries of said waterworks district.

55386. The district shall be formed, the work or improvement done, and the cost thereof assessed and collected in accordance with the provisions of the Improvement Act of 1911.


Article 2. Terms And Definitions

Ca Codes (wat:55400-55408) Water Code Section 55400-55408



55400. For the purposes of this chapter the following terms used in the Improvement Act of 1911 shall mean and include that which this article states each means and includes.


55401. "City" means and includes county waterworks district.


55402. "City council" or "legislative body" means and includes the governing body of the county waterworks district.


55403. "Clerk" means and includes the secretary of the governing body of the county waterworks district.


55404. "Council chambers" means and includes the place designated by the governing body of the county waterworks district for holding its regular meetings.

55405. "Treasurer" means and includes the county treasurer.


55406. "Superintendent of streets" or "streets superintendent" means and includes the county surveyor.


55407. "Right of way" means and includes any parcel of land through which a right of way has been granted to the county waterworks district for any purpose.

55408. All references to municipal officers and matters mean and include the corresponding officers of county waterworks districts and matters under this division.


Part 4. Financial Provisions

Chapter 1. General Provisions

Ca Codes (wat:55500-55507) Water Code Section 55500-55507



55500. The board may control and order the expenditure of tax revenues, secured to pay the cost and expenses of maintaining, operating, extending and repairing the district's waterworks, for that purpose.

55501. The board may fix and collect rates or charges for the use and supply of water furnished by the system, and to apply the receipts from the rates or charges to the expenses of the administration and government of the district and the use, operation and extension of the waterworks and water supply. The revenues obtained from such rates or charges may be in lieu of or supplemental to revenues obtained by the levy of taxes. The district board may provide for the collection of the charges for services rendered in the current or immediately preceding fiscal year as a part of the annual general county tax bill provided the district furnishes, on or before August 10, in writing to the board of supervisors and to the county auditor the description of each parcel for which a charge is to be billed together with the amount of the charge applicable to each parcel. The parcel description may be the parcel number assigned by the county assessor to the parcel. In such case the charge shall become a lien against the parcel of land to which it is charged in the same manner as the county general taxes. Penalties may be collected for late payment of the charge or the amount thereof unpaid in the manner and at the same rates as that applicable for late payment or the amount thereof unpaid of county general taxes. All laws applicable to the levy, collection and enforcement of municipal ad valorem taxes shall be applicable to such charges, except that if any real property to which such lien would attach has been transferred or conveyed to a bona fide purchaser for value, or if a lien of a bona fide encumbrancer for value has been created and attaches thereon, prior to the date on which the first installment of such taxes would become delinquent, then the lien which would otherwise be imposed by this section shall not attach to such real property and the charges relating to such property shall be transferred to the unsecured roll for collection. If the district collects charges through the county general tax bill, the amount of the charge and any applicable penalty shall be stated on the tax bill separately from all other taxes, if practicable.


55501.1. Any water service standby or immediate availability charge which remains unpaid for a period of 60 or more days after the date upon which they were billed may be collected thereafter by the county as provided herein. (a) Once a year the board shall cause to be prepared a report of delinquent fees. The board shall fix a time, date and place for hearing the report and any objections or protests thereto. (b) The board shall cause notice of the hearing to be mailed to the landowners listed on the report not less than 10 days prior to the date of the hearing. (c) At the hearing the board shall hear any objections or protests of landowners liable to be assessed for delinquent fees. The board may make such revisions or corrections to the report as it deems just, after which, by resolution, the report shall be confirmed. (d) The delinquent fees set forth in the report as confirmed shall constitute special assessments against the respective parcels of land and are a lien on the property for the amount of such delinquent fees. A certified copy of the confirmed report shall be filed with the county auditor for the amounts of the respective assessments against the respective parcels of land as they appear on the current assessment roll. The lien created attaches upon recordation, in the office of the county recorder of the county in which the property is situated, of a certified copy of the resolution of confirmation. The assessment may be collected at the same time and in the same manner as ordinary county ad valorem property taxes are collected and shall be subject to the same penalties and the same procedure and sale in case of delinquency as provided for such taxes. All laws applicable to the levy, collection and enforcement of county ad valorem property taxes shall be applicable to such assessment, except that if any real property to which such lien would attach has been transferred or conveyed to a bona fide purchaser for value, or if a lien of a bona fide encumbrancer for value has been created attaches thereon, prior to the date on which the first installment of such taxes would become delinquent, then the lien which would otherwise be imposed by this section shall not attach to such real property and the delinquency fees, as confirmed, relating to such property shall be transferred to the unsecured roll for collection. This remedy is in addition to all other means available for collection. If the district is governed by a board of directors, this section shall only apply to such district if the board of supervisors consents to collect the delinquent fees in the manner prescribed herein.


55501.5. A district may, pursuant to the notice, protest, and hearing procedures in Section 53753 of the Government Code, fix a water service standby or immediate availability charge to be applied on an area or frontage or parcel basis, or a combination thereof, within the district to be charged to areas to which water service is made available for any purpose by the district, whether the water service is actually used or not. The district may establish schedules varying the charge according to the land uses and the degree of availability or quantity of use of the water service to the affected lands, and may restrict the charge to lands lying within one or more zones or areas of benefits established within the district. The district may not, however, except as is otherwise provided in this section, fix a charge in excess of thirty dollars ($30) per acre or for a parcel of less than one acre, unless the standby charge is imposed pursuant to the Uniform Standby Charge Procedures Act (Chapter 12.4 (commencing with Section 54984) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code). If the procedures set forth in this section as it read at the time a standby or availability charge was established were followed, the district may, by resolution, continue the charge pursuant to this section in successive years at the same rate. If new, increased, or extended assessments are proposed, the district shall comply with the notice, protest, and hearing procedures in Section 53753 of the Government Code. The maximum charge which may be fixed by the district may be increased from one fiscal year to the next by the same percentage increase as reflected by the Consumer Price Index, as issued by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, relative to the immediately preceding fiscal year. If a person for more than one year obtains substantially all of his or her water requirements for the contiguous parcels of land which the person occupies from rainfall, springs, streams, lakes, rivers or wells, and if the person's primary economic activity on the land is the commercial extraction or processing of minerals, the land is exempt from any water standby or availability charges. The district may collect the standby or availability charge by billing the charged lands on a fiscal year basis or by other means available. The district may collect the standby or availability charge as a part of the annual general county tax bill if the district furnishes in writing to the board of supervisors and to the county auditor the description of each parcel for which a charge is to be billed, together with the amount of the charge applicable to each parcel, in sufficient time to meet the schedule established by the county for inclusion of those items on the county general tax bill. The parcel description may be the parcel number assigned by the county assessor to the parcel. In that case, the standby or availability charge is a lien against the parcel of land to which it is charged in the same manner as the county general taxes. Penalties may be collected for late payment of the standby or availability charge, or the amount thereof unpaid, in the manner and at the same rates as that applicable for late payment or the amount thereof unpaid of county general taxes. All laws applicable to the levy, collection, and enforcement of municipal ad valorem taxes are applicable to those charges, except that, if any real property to which the lien would attach has been transferred or conveyed to a bona fide purchaser for value, or if a lien of a bona fide encumbrancer for value has been created and attaches thereon, prior to the date on which the first installment of the taxes would become delinquent, then the lien which would otherwise be imposed by this section shall not attach to the real property and the charge relating to the property shall be transferred to the unsecured roll for collection. If the district collects standby charges through the county general tax bill, the amount of the standby charge and any applicable penalty shall be stated on the tax bill separately from all other taxes, if practicable.


55502. The receipts from the rates or charges may also be used to reduce the principal or interest of any bonded indebtedness that the waterworks district may have.


55502.1. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, the board may establish and include in the annual budget for a district a general unappropriated reserve not to exceed 25 percent of the total appropriations contained in the budget, exclusive of all items for bond interest and redemption, the general unappropriated reserve, and the general reserve.


55503. The board may borrow funds from the county, other waterworks districts, and, where the district is a subsidiary district, the city, not to exceed 85 percent of the district's anticipated revenue for the fiscal year in which they are borrowed or for the next ensuing fiscal year. In levying taxes as authorized by this division, the board may raise sufficient revenues to repay such loans. The board may lend available district funds to another waterworks district, subject to the terms and conditions set forth in this section. Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit the board from borrowing such funds from banks or other financial institutions when the best interests of the district are served thereby.


55503.5. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, such funds, when so borrowed by a waterworks district, shall forthwith increase the appropriations of the district for which they are needed. The governing body of the entity from which the funds are borrowed may specify the date and manner in which the funds shall be repaid. In no case shall repayment of the loan be deferred longer than 10 calendar years.


55503.6. The district shall pay interest on all funds borrowed from the county, at the same rate that the county applies to funds of the district on deposit with the county.


55504. Where a district has an assessed valuation of less than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), the board of supervisors of the county may loan county funds, in a sum not in excess of ten thousand dollars ($10,000), to the district to be used for the purpose of repairing, improving, extending or renewing the district water system, to be returned to the county by the district from revenues and taxes of the district during the period of 10 years following the date of the loan.


55505. The board may by resolution establish a revolving fund for any officer or employee of the district in the same manner revolving funds for county officers are established by the board of supervisors of a county pursuant to Sections 29321 to 29330, inclusive, of the Government Code and for such purpose the term "board of supervisors" shall mean the board. Any revolving fund so established shall be limited to the uses and expenditures applicable to revolving funds for county officers.


55506. Any money belonging to the district or paid into the county treasury to the credit of the district may be deposited by the officer of the district who has legal custody of the money, in accordance with the general laws governing the deposit of public money.


55507. A district may, pursuant to the notice, protest, and hearing procedures in Section 53753 of the Government Code, fix a sewer service standby or immediate availability charge to be applied on a parcel basis within the district to be charged to the parcels to which sewer service is made available by the district, whether the sewer service is actually used or not. The district may establish schedules for the charge, and may restrict the charge to lands lying within one or more zones or areas of benefits established within the district. The district may not, unless the standby charge is imposed pursuant to the Uniform Standby Charge Procedures Act (Chapter 12.4 (commencing with Section 54984) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code), fix a charge in excess of thirty dollars ($30) a year for a residential parcel. Commercial or other parcels shall be charged according to equivalent residential parcels, but shall not exceed thirty dollars ($30) per acre per year, unless the standby charge is imposed pursuant to the Uniform Standby Charge Procedures Act (Chapter 12.4 (commencing with Section 54984) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code). If the procedures set forth in this section as it read at the time a standby or availability charge was established were followed, the district may, by resolution, continue the charge pursuant to this section in successive years at the same rate. If new, increased, or extended assessments are proposed, the district shall comply with the notice, protest, and hearing procedures in Section 53753 of the Government Code. The district may collect the standby or availability charge by billing the charged lands on a fiscal year basis or by other means available. The district may collect the standby or availability charge as a part of the annual general county tax bill if the district furnishes in writing to the board of supervisors and to the county auditor the description of each parcel for which a charge is to be billed, together with the amount of the charge applicable to each parcel, in sufficient time to meet the schedule established by the county for inclusion of those items on the county general tax bill. The parcel description may be the parcel number assigned by the county assessor to the parcel. In that case, the standby or availability charge shall become a lien against the parcel of land to which it is charged in the same manner as the county general taxes. Penalties may be collected for late payment of the standby or availability charge, or the amount thereof unpaid, in the manner and at the same rates as that applicable for late payment or the amount thereof unpaid of county general taxes. All laws applicable to the levy, collection, and enforcement of municipal ad valorem taxes are applicable to those charges, except that, if any real property to which the lien would attach has been transferred or conveyed to a bona fide purchaser for value, or if a lien of a bona fide encumbrancer for value has been created and attaches thereon, prior to the date on which the first installment of the taxes would become delinquent, then the lien which would otherwise be imposed by this section shall not attach to the real property and the charge relating to the property shall be transferred to the unsecured roll for collection. If the district collects standby charges through the county general tax bill, the amount of the standby charge and any applicable penalty shall be stated on the tax bill separately from all other taxes, if practicable.


Chapter 2. Bonds

Article 1. Issuance And Sale

Ca Codes (wat:55520-55534) Water Code Section 55520-55534



55520. The board may issue and sell the bonds of the district, when authorized, at not less than par value, and the proceeds of the sale shall be placed in the county treasury or other depository for the district's fund to the credit of the proper district fund and shall be applied exclusively to the purposes and objects mentioned in the ordinance or resolution ordering the holding of the bond election; provided, however, that when said purposes and objects have been accomplished any moneys remaining in said fund shall be transferred to the general fund of the district and may be used by the board for any lawful purpose of the district.


55521. The board by an order entered upon its minutes, shall, subject to the provisions of this division, prescribe the form of bonds issued and of the interest coupons attached thereto.


55522. The board shall designate an amount, not less than one-fortieth of the principal amount of the indebtedness, or series thereof, which shall be paid annually at a fixed time and place, together with the interest on all sums unpaid. The rate of interest shall be designated in the bonds and shall be paid semiannually at a rate not in excess of 8 percent per year; except that interest for the first year after the date of the bonds may be made payable at the end of said year.


55523. The board may determine and fix a date for the earliest maturity of the principal of the bonds, or series thereof, not more than 10 years from the date of issue of bonds. The principal amount of the indebtedness, or series thereof, must be made payable in not to exceed 40 years from the time of contracting the same; and beginning with the date of earliest maturity of the bonds, or series thereof, not less than one-fortieth of the principal amount of the indebtedness, or series thereof, shall be paid annually.


55524. The bonds shall be issued in such denomination or denominations as the board may determine.


55525. The bonds shall be signed by the chairman of the board and countersigned by the auditor of the district, or if one has not been appointed, the auditor of the county and the seal of the district shall be affixed thereto. All such signatures and countersignatures, except one, may be printed, lithographed, engraved, or otherwise mechanically reproduced. Any such signature may be affixed in accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Facsimile Signatures of Public Officials Act, Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 5500) of Title 1 of the Government Code.


55526. The interest coupons of the bonds shall be numbered consecutively and signed by the auditor of the county by his engraved or lithographed signature.

55527. In case any officer whose signature or countersignature appears on the bonds or coupons shall cease to be an officer before the delivery of the bonds to the purchaser, the signature or countersignature shall be valid and sufficient for all purposes the same as if the officer remained in office until the delivery of the bonds.


55528. The principal and interest on the bonds shall be paid by the district treasurer, or if one has not been appointed, the county treasurer, in the manner provided by law for the payment of principal and interest on bonds of the county.


55529. The board may divide the principal amount of any issue into two or more series and fix different dates for the bonds of each series. The bonds of one series may be made payable at different times from those of any other series. The maturity of each series shall comply with this article.


55530. Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, the board may determine that the public economy so requires, and order that less than one-fortieth of the whole amount of the indebtedness, or a series thereof, shall be payable annually.


55531. District or zone bonds may be made payable on July 1st subsequent to the time fixed for the collection of the second installment of general district taxes with which the first levy of taxes for the payment of the principal or interest of the bonds is to be collected. In such event, the first interest coupons shall be for interest from the date of the bonds of such issue or series to January 1st next prior thereto.


55532. The proceeds of such bonds may be used for the following purposes: (a) All costs or estimated costs incidental to or connected with the acquisition, construction, improving and financing of the improvements for which they are issued. (b) All engineering, inspection, legal and fiscal agent's fees, costs of the bond election and of the issuance of the bonds.


55533. Any bonds issued by the district may be subject to call and redemption prior to maturity at such times and prices and upon such other terms as the board may specify.


55534. When bonds are made callable, a statement to that effect shall be set forth on the face of the bond.


Article 2. Additional Bond Issues

Ca Codes (wat:55550-55553) Water Code Section 55550-55553



55550. Whenever the board deems it necessary for the district to incur a bonded indebtedness in addition to that incurred at the time of the formation of the district for any of the purposes of the district, the board shall, by resolution, so declare and state the proposition to be submitted to the electors, the purpose for which the proposed debt is to be incurred, the amount of the debt to be incurred, the maximum term the bonds proposed to be issued shall run before maturity, which shall not exceed 40 years, and the maximum rate of interest to be paid, which shall not exceed 8 percent per year, payable semiannually.

55551. The board shall then fix a date upon which an election shall be held for the purpose of authorizing the bonded indebtedness to be incurred, and shall proceed with the election in accordance with Chapter 4 of Part 2 of this division.


55552. If at the election a majority of the votes cast are in favor of the incurring of the bonded indebtedness, then the board shall enter an order to that effect upon its minutes, and shall thereupon be authorized and empowered to issue the bonds of said district for the amount voted, payable out of the funds of the district.


55553. The provisions contained in Articles 1 and 5 of Chapter 2 of this part and Sections 55701, 55703, and 55704, relating to the form of bonds, the issuance and sale of bonds, the validation thereof, and the levying of a tax for the principal and interest thereof, shall apply in like manner to bonds voted and issued as provided in this article.


Article 3. Refunding Bonds

Ca Codes (wat:55580-55591) Water Code Section 55580-55591



55580. The board may issue refunding bonds of the district for the purpose of refunding any or all outstanding bonds of the district.


55581. The board shall by resolution determine the amount of the outstanding bonds to be refunded, fix the maximum amount of refunding bonds to be issued, the maximum rate of interest to be paid (which shall not exceed the rate of interest on the bonds to be refunded), and the number of years, not exceeding 30, that the refunding bonds or any part thereof are to run.


55582. In the resolution the board shall call an election and submit to the qualified voters of the district the question whether the refunding bonds should be issued.


55583. The resolution shall fix the time of the election, establish one or more voting precincts, designate the polling place or places, appoint an inspector, judge, and clerk for each precinct, and fix the hours during the day in which the polls will be open and the manner of voting for and against the issuance of the refunding bonds.


55584. In all particulars not set forth in this article the election shall be held and conducted as provided in Chapter 4 of Part 2 of this division.

55585. The resolution shall be published pursuant to Section 6066 of the Government Code in a newspaper of general circulation in the county designated by the board for that purpose, the last publication to be at least one week before the date of the election. No other notice of the election need be given.

55586. If at the election a majority of the votes cast are in favor of the issuance of the refunding bonds, the board shall be authorized to issue refunding bonds of the district not exceeding the maximum amount set forth in the resolution, payable out of the funds of the district to be provided as prescribed in Section 55591.


55587. The board shall, by order entered in its minutes, prescribe the form of the refunding bonds and of the interest coupons to be attached, and fix the date of the refunding bonds, the date of maturity, and the rate or rates of interest to be paid. The bonds and the interest coupons thereof shall be signed as provided in Article 1 of this chapter.


55588. Refunding bonds may be exchanged at par value for any outstanding bonds to be refunded at their par value or less, upon such terms as may be agreed upon by the board and the holders of such bonds, subject to adjustment of accrued interest to the date of exchange. Any moneys required for the adjustment of interest may be paid from any funds of the district.


55589. In lieu of the exchange for outstanding bonds, the refunding bonds may be sold by the board for cash at not less than par and accrued interest, and the proceeds used for the purchase or retirement of the outstanding bonds upon terms agreed upon by the board and the holders of the bonds, but not to exceed par and accrued interest.


55590. Any bonds refunded and all interest coupons appurtenant thereto shall be canceled immediately by the county treasurer. Expenses of the refunding proceedings may be paid from any funds of the district.

55591. Taxes for the payment of principal and interest of refunding bonds shall be levied as provided in Chapter 3 of this part except that if the bonds refunded were payable from taxes levied upon land only, the taxes for the payment of principal and interest of refunding bonds shall likewise be levied upon land only.



Article 4. Adoption Of The Revenue Bond Law Of 1941

Ca Codes (wat:55610) Water Code Section 55610



55610. The Revenue Bond Law of 1941 is applicable to districts for the purpose of financing the production, transmission and distribution of water for public or private purposes.


Article 5. Validating Proceedings

Ca Codes (wat:55630) Water Code Section 55630



55630. An action to determine the validity of bonds may be brought pursuant to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 860) of Title 10 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure.


Article 5.5. Bonds As Legal Investments

Ca Codes (wat:55640) Water Code Section 55640



55640. The bonds of the district or those issued for any zone pursuant to this act are entitled to the same force or value or use as bonds issued by any municipality.


Article 6. Zones

Ca Codes (wat:55650-55679) Water Code Section 55650-55679



55650. Zones may be established within a district for any of the following purposes: (a) Incurring a bonded indebtedness within the zone sufficient to pay the cost of constructing a water system and any other necessary improvements incidental thereto for the purpose of supplying the inhabitants of the zone with water, where the water system and the improvements, in the judgment of the board, will not be of district-wide benefit, and levying a special tax within the zone for the payment of the principal and interest on the bonds. (b) Fixing and collecting special rates or charges for the use and supply of water furnished by the system of the district within the zone, and applying the receipts from the special rates or charges to the expense of constructing a water system, replacing a water system, acquiring an existing water system, or extending or enlarging the mains of an existing water system, where, in the judgment of the board, the improvement will not be of district-wide benefit. (c) Incurring a bonded indebtedness and levying a special tax within the zone for payment of the principal and interest on the bonds or fixing and collecting special rates or charges to finance the construction, maintenance, and operation of sewage collection and treatment facilities and disposal of effluent therefrom, where, in the judgment of the board, the improvement will not be of district-wide benefit.

55651. Zones may be established within the district by either of the following methods: (1) A petition for the formation of a zone within a district may be presented to the board, signed by owners representing at least 25 percent of the total assessed valuation of the real property within the proposed zone as shown by the last equalized assessment roll of the county, or by not less than 25 percent of the taxpayers residing within the proposed zone. (2) A resolution may be adopted by the board containing the matters required by Section 55652. If bonds are proposed to be issued under the authority of Section 55677, the resolution shall state the amount of the proposed indebtedness, the maximum maturity date, and the maximum interest rate.


55652. The petition shall contain: (a) The boundaries of the proposed zone. (b) A general description of the improvement desired. (c) An estimate of the cost of the proposed improvement and of the incidental expenses in connection therewith. (d) Either: (1) A request that an election be called in the proposed zone for the purpose of submitting to the qualified voters thereof the proposition of establishing the zone and incurring a bonded indebtedness therein, the principal and interest of which shall be paid by special taxes levied on the taxable property in the zone, to pay the cost and expense of the proposed improvement; or (2) A request that an election be called in the proposed zone for the purpose of submitting to the qualified voters thereof the proposition of establishing the zone and fixing and collecting special rates or charges therein for the use and supply of water and applying the receipts therefrom to the cost and expense of the proposed improvement. If the petition contains such a request, it shall specify the maximum rate or charge permissible and the length of time during which the special rates or charges may be made.


55653. The petition shall be accompanied by a map showing the exterior boundaries of the district and of the proposed zone and containing a general description of the proposed improvement.


55654. The failure of the petition to contain any of the matters specified in Sections 55651 and 55652 shall not affect the legality of the establishment of the zone if it is thereafter established.


55655. The petition shall be presented at a regular meeting of the board, and the board shall thereupon set a time for hearing the petition, which time shall be not less than 21 days nor more than 30 days after the date of presentation of the petition.


55656. Notice of the filing and hearing of the petition shall be given by the clerk of the board by publishing in the county pursuant to Section 6066 of the Government Code a notice containing a copy of the petition, stating when the petition was filed, and specifying the time set for the hearing of the petition and protests of interested parties.


55657. The clerk shall also cause a notice, similar in substance, to be posted in three of the most public places within the proposed zone.

55658. The date set for the hearing shall be at least 13 days after the date of the posting and the date of last publication of the notice.

55659. A copy of the petition shall be filed with the county engineer of waterworks districts, or district engineer if one has been appointed, at least two weeks before the petition is presented to the board. The county engineer of waterworks districts or district engineer, as the case may be, shall prepare and file with the board, at least one week before the date set for the hearing on the petition, a report containing cost estimates and preliminary plans and specifications for the proposed improvements, together with any recommendations as to the boundaries of the proposed zone, and any other pertinent information relating to the feasibility of the proposed improvements or proposed zone. The engineer's report shall be available in the office of the board for public inspection, and may be considered by the board at the hearing on the petition.


55660. At the time fixed for the hearing, the board shall hear and pass upon the petition and any protests in writing that have been filed with the clerk before or at the time set for the hearing, and its decision thereon shall be final and conclusive.


55661. If the board determines that the proposed improvement will be of district-wide benefit, the proceedings shall terminate, and the proposed zone shall not be established.


55662. If the board determines that the proposed improvement will not be of district-wide benefit, the board may make such changes in the boundaries of the proposed zone as may be deemed advisable and shall define and establish the boundaries, but shall not modify the boundaries so as to exclude from the proposed zone any territory which will be benefited by the improvement, nor to include in the proposed zone any territory which, in its judgment, will not be benefited by the proposed improvement.


55663. The board shall not modify the boundaries except after notice of its intention has been published pursuant to Section 6061 of the Government Code in a newspaper of general circulation printed and published in the county and designated by the board for that purpose, describing the proposed modification, and specifying a time for hearing objections to the modification, which time shall be at least 10 days after the publication of the notice.


55664. Written objections to the proposed modification may be filed with the clerk of the board by any interested person at or before the time set for hearing the objections.


55665. The board shall hear and pass upon the objections at the time appointed, or at any time to which the hearing may be adjourned, and its decision thereon shall be final and conclusive.


55666. If the objections, or any of them, be sustained, no further proceedings pursuant to the petition shall be taken, but a new petition for the same or a similar purpose may be filed at any time.


55667. If no protests are filed, or if all protests filed are heard and denied, or if authorized modifications are made in the boundaries of the proposed zone and the boundaries are finally established, the board shall have jurisdiction to proceed.


55668. If the board determines that the petition is signed by owners representing at least 60 percent of the total assessed valuation of the real property within the proposed zone as shown by the last equalized assessment roll of the county, or by at least 60 percent of the taxpayers resident within the proposed zone, as its boundaries shall have been established upon the hearing on the petition, the board may by resolution reciting the finding declare that an election is unnecessary and that the zone is established.


55668.5. Notwithstanding Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 2201) of Part 4 of Division 1 of the Revenue and Taxation code, or any other provisions of law to the contrary, the board may levy, without an election, a tax rate within a zone to pay the cost of interest and redemption charges on bonded indebtedness incurred prior to July 1, 1974, where a valid petition is presented pursuant to Section 55668. This section shall only apply the Ventura County Waterworks District No. 1. It is hereby declared to be necessary to enact this special law with respect to such district because of special facts and circumstances existing therein: It has recently been discovered that due to the lowering of the water table, ranchers in certain areas of Ventura County are threatened with drought and a loss of crops. In order to expedite the provision of water to the areas, the landowners in the areas petitioned for annexation to Ventura County Waterworks District No. 1, for the formation of improvement zones, and for authorization of bonded indebtedness. Registered voters and owners of land approved such actions, and the Board of Supervisors of Ventura County approves. In order to insure, however, that the bonds may be immediately sold without the requirement of an election, it is necessary to exempt the district from the provisions of Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 2201) of Part 4 of Division 1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code with respect to such bonded indebtedness. Thus, this special law is necessary in order to permit bonds to be sold and water to be provided to the affected areas in time to avoid severe crop losses in the area.


55669. The board shall thereupon be authorized to issue bonds of the zone, to fix and collect special rates or charges, as prayed for in the petition, and proceed with the proposed improvement.


55670. If the petition for formation of the zone is signed by owners representing less than 60 percent of the total assessed valuation of the real property within the proposed zone as shown by the last equalized assessment roll of the county, and by less than 60 percent of the taxpayers resident within the proposed zone, as its boundaries shall have been established upon the hearing on the petition, or if for any other reason the board deems it advisable to conduct an election, the board shall by resolution order that a special election be held in the proposed zone to determine whether or not the zone shall be established.

55671. The board shall appoint three qualified electors residing in the proposed zone to conduct the election.


55672. The election shall be called by posting in three of the most public places in the proposed zone, and by publishing in the county pursuant to Section 6066 of the Government Code, a notice specifying the time, place and purposes of the election, and giving the purposes and boundaries of the proposed zone.

55673. The date set for the election shall be at least 13 days after the date of the posting and the date of last publication of the notice. No other notice of the election need be given.


55674. The election shall be conducted in accordance with the general election laws of this State, where applicable.


55675. The proposition submitted shall be in accordance with the petition and shall be either: (a) "Shall the proposed zone described in the resolution of the board of ________ adopted on the ________ day of ________, 19___, be established within County Waterworks District No. ___, and shall the zone incur a bonded indebtedness in the sum of ________ dollars ($________) for the purpose of (stating the purpose for which the amount so raised is to be used) " or (b) "Shall the proposed zone described in the resolution of the board of ________ adopted on the ___ day of ________, 19___, be established within County Waterworks District No. ____, and shall special rates or charges for (the use and supply of water or sewage facilities, as the case may be), not to exceed ________, be fixed and collected in the zone for the period of time not to exceed ________, to pay the cost and expense of (describing generally the proposed improvement) "

55676. If 60 percent of the votes cast at the election are in favor of the zone, and of incurring the bonded indebtedness, or fixing and collecting the special rates or charges, as the case may be, the board shall by resolution establish the zone.


55677. Upon the establishment of the zone the board shall be authorized and empowered to issue bonds of the zone, or to fix and collect special rates and charges, as voted on at the election, and to proceed with the proposed improvement.

55678. The provisions in this division for the form, issuance, and sale of bonds, the levying and collecting of taxes for the payment thereof and of other matters relating to bonds of the district shall govern in the case of bonds authorized by proceedings under this article except that all taxes for payment of interest and principal on the bonds shall be levied solely upon the taxable property within the zone.


55679. The taxes and special rates or charges authorized by this article are in addition to all other taxes and rates or charges authorized by this division, and shall be subject to the provisions of Sections 55108, 55182, and 55702.


Chapter 3. Taxes

Ca Codes (wat:55700-55704) Water Code Section 55700-55704



55700. The board of supervisors may in any year levy a tax upon the taxable property in the district, sufficient to pay the cost and expenses of maintaining, operating, extending and repairing the waterworks of the district for the ensuing fiscal year.


55701. The board of supervisors shall levy a tax, each year, upon the taxable property in the district, sufficient to pay the interest on the bonds for that year authorized at the time of formation of the district, and that portion of the principal which is to become due before the time for making the next general tax levy.


55702. Where the petition for formation contained a statement that taxes shall be levied only upon the land within the district, all taxes levied under the provisions of this division in a district shall be levied upon the land within the district, and in any extension or additions thereto, and upon no other property.


55703. If the maturity of the indebtedness created by the issue of the bonds is made to begin more than one year after the date of issue, the tax shall be levied and collected each year, sufficient to pay the interest on the indebtedness as it falls due, and also to constitute a sinking fund for the payment of the principal on or before maturity.


55704. All taxes pursuant to this chapter shall be levied and collected at the time and in the same manner as the general tax levy for county purposes, and when collected shall be paid into the county treasury to be used for the payment of the principal and interest on bonds, or paid into the county treasury to the credit of the proper fund of the district.


Chapter 4. Claims

Ca Codes (wat:55720) Water Code Section 55720



55720. All claims for money or damages against the district are governed by Part 3 (commencing with Section 900) and Part 4 (commencing with Section 940) of Division 3.6 of Title 1 of the Government Code except as provided therein, or by other statutes or regulations expressly applicable thereto.


Part 5. Changes In Organization

Chapter 1. Inclusion Generally

Ca Codes (wat:55800-55801) Water Code Section 55800-55801



55800. Any portion or portions of a county containing unincorporated territory, or containing the whole or any portion of one or more incorporated cities, and not included in a district, may be added to any district as prescribed in this chapter.


55801. Territory within the same county but not contiguous with the district may be annexed to the district if the board determines that the district resulting from the annexation may be more efficiently and economically operated than if a separate district were formed. No parcel of noncontiguous territory which contains less than 10 acres may be annexed to any district.


Part 6. Repeals

Ca Codes (wat:55990-55991) Water Code Section 55990-55991



55990. Chapter 370 of the Statutes of 1913 is hereby repealed.


55991. The repeal effected by this part shall not be construed to deprive any district or any person or other entity of any substantial right which would have existed or hereafter exists had such repeal not be effected.


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