Law:Title 9. Safety. Subtitle B. Emergencies from Chapter 772. Local Administration Of Emergency Communications (Texas)

From Law Delta

Revision as of 21:20, 28 September 2011 by Admin (Talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Subtitle B. Emergencies

Contents

Chapter 772. Local Administration Of Emergency Communications

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section  772.001.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "Automatic location identification" means a feature corresponding to automatic number identification by which the number provided by the automatic number identification feature is matched with the address or location of the telephone from which the call is made and is presented to the public safety answering point along with the number in a computerized 9-1-1 system.

(2)  "Automatic number identification" means a feature that enables a service supplier to identify the telephone number of a caller and that operates by forwarding the caller's telephone number to the public safety answering point, where the data is received by equipment that translates it into a visual display.

(3)  "Base rate" means the rate or rates billed by a service supplier, as stated in the service supplier's charges approved by the appropriate regulatory authority, that represent the service supplier's recurring charges for local exchange access lines or their equivalent, exclusive of all taxes, fees, license costs, or similar charges.

(4)  "Dispatch method" means the method of responding to a telephone request for emergency service by which a public safety answering point decides on the proper action to be taken and dispatches, when necessary, the appropriate emergency service unit.

(5)  "Local exchange access lines" means all types of lines or trunks that connect a service user to the service supplier's local telephone exchange office.

(6)  "9-1-1 service" means a telecommunications service through which the user of a public telephone system has the ability to reach a public safety answering point by dialing the digits 9-1-1.

(7)  "9-1-1 system" means a system of processing emergency 9-1-1 calls.

(8)  "Participating jurisdiction" means a public agency that by vote consents to receive 9-1-1 service from an emergency communication district.

(9)  "Principal service supplier" means the entity that provides the most central office lines to an emergency communication district.

(10)  "Private safety entity" means a private entity that provides emergency fire-fighting, ambulance, or medical services.

(11)  "Public agency" means a municipality or county in this state that provides or has authority to provide fire-fighting, law enforcement, ambulance, medical, or other emergency services.

(12)  "Public safety agency" means the division of a public agency that provides fire-fighting, law enforcement, ambulance, medical, or other emergency services.

(13)  "Public safety answering point" means a communications facility that:

(A)  is operated continuously;

(B)  is assigned the responsibility to receive 9-1-1 calls and, as appropriate, to dispatch emergency response services directly or to transfer or relay emergency 9-1-1 calls to other public safety agencies;

(C)  is the first point of reception by a public safety agency of a 9-1-1 call; and

(D)  serves the jurisdictions in which it is located or other participating jurisdictions.

(14)  "Relay method" means the method of responding to a telephone request for emergency service by which a public safety answering point notes pertinent information and relays that information to the appropriate public safety agency or other provider of emergency services for appropriate action.

(15)  "Selective routing" means the feature provided with computerized 9-1-1 service by which 9-1-1 calls are automatically routed to the answering point serving the place from which the call originates.

(16)  "Service supplier" means an entity providing local exchange access lines to a service user in an emergency communication district.

(17)  "Service user" means a person that is provided local exchange access lines, or their equivalent, in an emergency communication district.

(18)  "Transfer method" means the method of responding to a telephone request for emergency service by which a public safety answering point transfers the call directly to the appropriate public safety agency or other provider of emergency services for appropriate action.

(19)  "Data base" means the information stored in a management system that is a system of manual procedures and computer programs used to create, store, and update the data required for the selective routing and automatic location identification features in the provision of computerized 9-1-1 service.

(20)  "Business service user" means a user of business service that provides telecommunications service, including 9-1-1 service, to end users through a publicly or privately owned telephone switch.

(21)  "Business service" means a telecommunications service classified as a business service under rules adopted by the Public Utility Commission of Texas or under the applicable tariffs of the principal service supplier.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 7, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section 772.002.  Information Relating To Collection And Remittance Of 9-1-1 Emergency Service Fee.

(a) This section applies only to a district created under this chapter that collects a 9-1-1 emergency service fee from a service supplier or business service user.  This section does not apply to an incumbent local exchange company as defined in Section 51.002, Utilities Code.

(b)  The board of managers of a district by order may require a service supplier or business service user to provide to the district any information the board requires so long as that information and the format requested are readily available for the service provider's records to determine whether the service provider or business service user is correctly billing and collecting the 9-1-1 emergency service fee and remitting the fee to the district.  The information required from a service provider under this subsection may include:

(1)  the number of local exchange access lines that the service provider has in the district; and

(2)  the number of those local exchange access lines that the Commission on State Emergency Communications excluded from the definition of a local exchange access line or an equivalent local exchange access line under Section 771.063.

(c)  The district shall maintain the confidentiality of information provided under this section that a service provider or business service user claims is confidential for competitive purposes.  The confidential information is exempt from disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code.

(d)  The district may bring suit to enforce this section or to collect fees billed and collected by a service provider or business service user but not remitted to the district.  In a proceeding to collect unremitted fees, a sworn affidavit of the district specifying the amount of unremitted fees is prima facie evidence that the fees were not remitted and of the amount of the unremitted fees.

(e)  The Public Utility Commission of Texas may impose an administrative penalty under Subchapter B, Chapter 15, Utilities Code, against a service provider who is a person regulated under the Utilities Code if the person:

(1)  does not provide information required by a district under this section; or

(2)  bills and collects a 9-1-1 emergency service fee as required by this chapter but does not remit the fee to the appropriate district.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 952, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.



Subchapter B. Emergency Communication Districts: Counties With Population Over Two Million

Section  772.101.  Short Title.

This subchapter may be cited as the 9-1-1 Emergency Number Act.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.102.  Purpose.

It is the purpose of this subchapter to establish the number 9-1-1 as the primary emergency telephone number for use by certain local governments in this state and to encourage units of local government and combinations of the units to develop and improve emergency communication procedures and facilities in a manner that makes possible the quick response to any person calling the telephone number 9-1-1 seeking police, fire, medical, rescue, and other emergency services. To this purpose the legislature finds that:

(1)  it is in the public interest to shorten the time required for a citizen to request and receive emergency aid;

(2)  there exist thousands of different emergency telephone numbers throughout the state, and telephone exchange boundaries and central office service areas do not necessarily correspond to public safety and political boundaries;

(3)  a dominant part of the state's population is located in rapidly expanding metropolitan areas that generally cross the boundary lines of local jurisdictions and often extend into two or more counties; and

(4)  provision of a single, primary three-digit emergency number through which emergency services can be quickly and efficiently obtained would provide a significant contribution to law enforcement and other public safety efforts by making it less difficult to notify public safety personnel quickly.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.103.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Board" means the board of managers of a district.

(2)  "District" means a communication district created under this subchapter.

(3)  "Principal municipality" means the municipality with the largest population in a county.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.104. 

 APPLICATION OF

Subchapter

. This subchapter applies to a county with a population of more than 3.3 million and the adjacent territory described by Section 772.105 in which a district was created under Chapter 97, Acts of the 68th Legislature, Regular Session, 1983, before January 1, 1988.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 669, Sec. 41, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  772.105.  Territory Of District.

(a) The territory of a district consists of:

(1)  the territory of the county for which the district is established; and

(2)  for each municipality partially located in the county for which the district is established, the territory of that municipality located in another county.

(b)  If a municipality that is part of a district annexes territory that is not part of the district, the annexed territory becomes part of the district.

(c)  A public agency located wholly or partly in a county adjoining the county for which the district is created and that has received 9-1-1 service through a regional planning commission interlocal agreement with the district for at least 10 years may become part of the district by resolution of the agency's governing body and approval by the board.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 314, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  772.106.  Board Of Managers.

(a) The district is governed by a board of managers consisting of:

(1)  one member appointed by the commissioners court of the county;

(2)  two members appointed by the mayor of the principal municipality, with approval of the city council;

(3)  one member appointed jointly by the volunteer fire departments operating in whole or part in the district, with the selection process coordinated by the county fire marshal;

(4)  one member appointed jointly by the municipalities other than the principal municipality that are participating jurisdictions; and

(5)  one member appointed by the principal service supplier.

(b)  The board member appointed by the principal service supplier is a nonvoting member.

(c)  Board members are appointed for staggered terms of two years, with three members' terms expiring each year.

(d)  A board member may be removed from office at will by the entity that appointed the member.

(e)  A vacancy on the board shall be filled for the remainder of the term in the manner provided for the original appointment to that position.

(f)  Board members serve without compensation. The district shall pay all expenses necessarily incurred by the board in performing its functions under this subchapter.

(g)  The board may appoint from among its membership a presiding officer and any other officers it considers necessary.

(h)  The director of the district or a board member may be appointed as secretary of the board. The board shall require the secretary to keep suitable records of all proceedings of each board meeting. After each meeting the presiding officer or other member presiding at the meeting shall read and sign the record and the secretary shall attest the record.

(i)  A majority of the voting members of the board constitutes a quorum.

(j)  Voting members of the board may meet in executive session in accordance with Chapter 551, Government Code.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(82), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  772.107.  Powers And Duties Of Board.

(a) The board shall name, control, and manage the district.

(b)  The board may adopt rules for the operation of the district.

(c)  The board may contract with any public or private entity to carry out the purposes of this subchapter, including the operation of a 9-1-1 system.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.108.  Director Of District.

(a) The board shall appoint a director of the district and shall establish the director's compensation. The director must be qualified by training and experience for the position.

(b)  The board may remove the director at any time.

(c)  With the board's approval, the director may employ any experts, employees, or consultants that the board considers necessary to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.

(d)  The director shall perform all duties that the board requires and shall supervise as general manager the operations of the district subject to any limitations prescribed by the board.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.109.  Budget; Annual Report; Audit.

(a) The director shall prepare under the direction of the board an annual budget for the district. To be effective, the budget must be approved by the board and then presented to and approved by the commissioners court of the county for which the district is established and the governing body of the principal municipality. A revision of the budget must be approved by the same entities in the same manner as the budget.

(b)  As soon as practicable after the end of each district fiscal year, the director shall prepare and present to the board and to all participating public agencies in writing a sworn statement of all money received by the district and how the money was disbursed or otherwise disposed of during the preceding fiscal year. The report must show in detail the operations of the district for the period covered by the report.

(c)  The board shall perform an independent financial audit of the district annually.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.110.  Establishment Of 9-1-1 Service.

(a) A district shall provide 9-1-1 service to each participating jurisdiction through one or a combination of the following methods and features or equivalent state-of-the-art technology:

(1)  the transfer method;

(2)  the relay method;

(3)  the dispatch method;

(4)  automatic number identification;

(5)  automatic location identification; or

(6)  selective routing.

(b)  A district shall provide 9-1-1 service using one or both of the following plans:

(1)  the district may design, implement, and operate a 9-1-1 system for each participating jurisdiction with the consent of the jurisdiction; or

(2)  the district may design, implement, and operate a 9-1-1 system for two or more participating jurisdictions with the consent of each of those jurisdictions if a joint operation would be more economically feasible than separate systems for each jurisdiction.

(c)  Under either plan authorized by Subsection (b), the final plans for the particular system must have the approval of each participating jurisdiction covered by the system.

(d)  The district shall recommend minimum standards for a 9-1-1 system. A 9-1-1 system in a district under this subchapter must be computerized.

(e)  9-1-1 service is mandatory for each individual telephone subscriber in the district and is not an optional service under any definitions of terms relating to telephone service.

(f)  A service supplier involved in providing 9-1-1 service, a manufacturer of equipment used in providing 9-1-1 service, or an officer or employee of a service supplier involved in providing 9-1-1 service is not liable for any claim, damage, or loss arising from the provision of 9-1-1 service unless the act or omission proximately causing the claim, damage, or loss constitutes gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  772.111.  Primary Emergency Telephone Number.

The digits 9-1-1 are the primary emergency telephone number in a district. A public safety agency whose services are available through a 9-1-1 system may maintain a separate number or numbers for emergencies and shall maintain a separate number or numbers for nonemergency telephone calls.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.112.  Transmitting Requests For Emergency Aid.

(a) A 9-1-1 system established under this subchapter must be capable of transmitting requests for fire-fighting, law enforcement, ambulance, and medical services to a public safety agency or agencies that provide the requested service at the place from which the call originates. A 9-1-1 system may also provide for transmitting requests for other emergency services such as poison control, suicide prevention, and civil defense.

(b)  A public safety answering point may transmit emergency response requests to private safety entities.

(c)  With the consent of a participating jurisdiction, a privately owned automatic intrusion alarm or other privately owned automatic alerting device may be installed to cause the number 9-1-1 to be dialed in order to gain access to emergency services.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.113.  Powers Of District.

(a) The district is a public body corporate and politic, exercising public and essential governmental functions and having all the powers necessary or convenient to carry out the purposes and provisions of this subchapter, including the capacity to sue or be sued.

(b)  To fund the district, the district may receive federal, state, county, or municipal funds and private funds and may spend those funds for the purpose of this subchapter. The board shall determine the method and sources of funding for the district.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.114.  9-1-1 Emergency Service Fee.

(a) The board may impose a 9-1-1 emergency service fee on service users in the district if authorized to do so by a majority of the votes cast in the election to confirm the creation of the district and by a majority vote of the governing body of each participating jurisdiction. For purposes of this subsection, the jurisdiction of the county is the unincorporated area of the county.

(b)  The fee may be imposed only on the base rate charge or its equivalent, excluding charges for coin-operated telephone equipment. The fee may not be imposed on more than 100 local exchange access lines or their equivalent for a single business entity at a single location, unless the lines are used by residents of the location. The fee may also not be imposed on any line that the Advisory Commission on State Emergency Communications excluded from the definition of a local exchange access line or an equivalent local exchange access line pursuant to Section 771.063. If a business service user provides residential facilities, each line that terminates at a residential unit and that is a communication link equivalent to a residential local exchange access line, shall be charged the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. The fee must have uniform application and must be imposed in each participating jurisdiction.

(c)  The rate of the fee may not exceed six percent of the monthly base rate charged a service user by the principal service supplier in the participating jurisdiction.

(d)  The board shall set the amount of the fee each year as part of the annual budget. The board shall notify each service supplier of a change in the amount of the fee not later than the 91st day before the date the change takes effect.

(e)  In imposing the fee, the board shall attempt to match the district's revenues to its operating expenditures and to provide reasonable reserves for contingencies and for the purchase and installation of 9-1-1 emergency service equipment. If the revenue received from the fee exceeds the amount of money needed to fund the district, the board by resolution shall reduce the rate of the fee to an amount adequate to fund the district as required by this subsection or suspend the imposition of the fee. If the board suspends the imposition of the fee, the board by resolution may reinstitute the fee if money received by the district is not adequate to fund the district.

(f)  In a public agency whose governing body at a later date votes to receive 9-1-1 service from the district, at a later date, the fee is imposed beginning on the date specified by the board. The board may charge the incoming agency an additional amount of money to cover the initial cost of providing 9-1-1 service to that agency. The fee authorized to be charged in a district applies to new territory added to the district under Section 772.105(b) when the territory becomes part of the district.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 8, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1203, Sec. 3, eff. June 18, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1342, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  772.115.  Collection Of Fee.

(a) Each billed service user is liable for the fee imposed under Section 772.114 until the fee is paid to the service supplier. The fee must be added to and stated separately in the service user's bill from the service supplier. The service supplier shall collect the fee at the same time as the service charge to the service user in accordance with the regular billing practice of the service supplier. A business service user that provides residential facilities and owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to provide telephone service to facility residents shall collect the 9-1-1 emergency service fee and transmit the fees monthly to the district.

(b)  The amount collected by a service supplier from the fee is due quarterly. The service supplier shall remit the amount collected in a calendar quarter to the district not later than the 60th day after the last day of the calendar quarter. With each payment the service supplier shall file a return in a form prescribed by the board.

(c)  Both a service supplier and a business service user under Subsection (a) shall maintain records of the amount of fees it collects for at least two years after the date of collection. The board may require at the board's expense an annual audit of a service supplier's books and records or the books and records of a business service user described by Subsection (a) with respect to the collection and remittance of the fees.

(d)  A business service user that does not collect and remit the 9-1-1 emergency service fee as required is subject to a civil cause of action under Subsection (g). A sworn affidavit by the district specifying the unremitted fees is prima facie evidence that the fees were not remitted and of the amount of the unremitted fees.

(e)  A service supplier is entitled to retain an administrative fee from the amount of fees it collects. The amount of the administrative fee is two percent of the amount of fees it collects under this section.

(f)  A service supplier is not required to take any legal action to enforce the collection of the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. However, the service supplier shall provide the district with an annual certificate of delinquency that includes the amount of all delinquent fees and the name and address of each nonpaying service user. The certificate of delinquency is prima facie evidence that a fee included in the certificate is delinquent. A service user account is considered delinquent if the fee is not paid to the service supplier before the 31st day after the payment due date stated on the user's bill from the service supplier.

(g)  The district may institute legal proceedings to collect fees not paid and may establish internal collection procedures and recover the cost of collection from the nonpaying service user. If legal proceedings are established, the court may award the district court costs, attorney's fees, and interest to be paid by the nonpaying service user. A delinquent fee accrues interest at an annual rate of 12 percent beginning on the date the payment becomes due.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 9, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  772.116.  District Depository.

(a) The board shall select a depository for the district in the manner provided by law for the selection of a county depository.

(b)  A depository selected by the board is the district's depository for two years after the date of its selection and until a successor depository is selected and qualified.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.117.  Allowable Expenses.

Allowable operating expenses of a district include all costs attributable to designing a 9-1-1 system and to all equipment and personnel necessary to establish and operate a public safety answering point and other related answering points that the board considers necessary.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.118.  Number And Location Identification.

(a) As part of computerized 9-1-1 service, a service supplier shall furnish for each call the telephone number of the subscribers and the address associated with the number.

(b)  A business service user that provides residential facilities and owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to provide telephone service to facility residents shall provide to those residential end users the same level of 9-1-1 service that a service supplier is required to provide under Subsection (a) to other residential end users in the district.

(c)  Information furnished under this section is confidential and is not available for public inspection.

(d)  A service supplier or a business service user under Subsection (b) is not liable to a person who uses a 9-1-1 system created under this subchapter for the release to the district of the information specified in Subsections (a) and (b).

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 10, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  772.119.  Public Review.

(a) Periodically, the board shall solicit public comments and hold a public review hearing on the continuation of the district and the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. The first hearing shall be held three years after the date the order certifying the creation of the district is filed with the county clerk. Subsequent hearings shall be held three years after the date each order required by Subsection (d) is adopted.

(b)  The board shall publish notice of the time and place of the hearing once a week for two consecutive weeks in a daily newspaper of general circulation published in the district. The first notice must be published not later than the 16th day before the date set for the hearing.

(c)  At the hearing, the board shall also solicit comments on the participation of the district in the applicable regional plan for 9-1-1 service under Chapter 771. After the hearing, the board may choose to participate in the regional plan as provided by that chapter.

(d)  After the hearing, the board shall adopt an order on the continuation or dissolution of the district and the 9-1-1 emergency service fee.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.120.  Dissolution Procedures.

(a) If a district is dissolved, 9-1-1 service must be discontinued on the date of the dissolution. The commissioners court of the county in which the principal part of the district was located shall assume the assets of the district and pay the district's debts. If the district's assets are insufficient to retire all existing debts of the district on the date of dissolution, the commissioners court shall continue to impose the 9-1-1 service fee, and each service supplier shall continue to collect the fee for the commissioners court. Proceeds from the imposition of the fee by the county after dissolution of the district may be used only to retire the outstanding debts of the district.

(b)  The commissioners court shall retire the district's debts to the extent practicable according to the terms of the instruments creating the debts and the terms of the orders and resolutions authorizing creation of the debts.

(c)  The commissioners court by order may adopt the rules necessary to administer this section.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.121.  Issuance Of Bonds.

The board may issue and sell bonds in the name of the district to finance:

(1)  the acquisition by any method of facilities, equipment, or supplies necessary for the district to begin providing 9-1-1 service to all participating jurisdictions; or

(2)  the installation of equipment necessary for the district to begin providing 9-1-1 service to all participating jurisdictions.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.122.  Repayment Of Bonds.

The board may provide for the payment of principal of and interest on the bonds by pledging all or any part of the district's revenues from the 9-1-1 emergency service fee or from other sources.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.123.  Additional Security For Bonds.

(a) The bonds may be additionally secured by a deed of trust or mortgage lien on part or all of the physical properties of the district and rights appurtenant to those properties, vesting in the trustee power to sell the properties for payment of the indebtedness, power to operate the properties, and all other powers necessary for the further security of the bonds.

(b)  The trust indenture, regardless of the existence of the deed of trust or mortgage lien on the properties, may contain provisions prescribed by the board for the security of the bonds and the preservation of the trust estate, may make provisions for amendment or modification, and may make provisions for investment of funds of the district.

(c)  A purchaser under a sale under the deed of trust or mortgage lien is the absolute owner of the properties and rights purchased and may maintain and operate them.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.124.  Form Of Bonds.

(a) A district may issue its bonds in various series or issues.

(b)  Bonds may mature serially or otherwise not more than 25 years after their date of issue and shall bear interest at any rate permitted by state law.

(c)  A district's bonds and interest coupons, if any, are investment securities under the terms of Chapter 8, Business & Commerce Code, may be issued registrable as to principal or as to both principal and interest, and may be made redeemable before maturity, at the option of the district, or contain a mandatory redemption provision.

(d)  A district may issue its bonds in the form, denominations, and manner and under the terms, and the bonds shall be signed and executed, as provided by the board in the resolution or order authorizing their issuance.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.125.  Provisions Of Bonds.

(a) In the orders or resolutions authorizing the issuance of bonds, including refunding bonds, the board may provide for the flow of funds and the establishment and maintenance of the interest and sinking fund, the reserve fund, and other funds, and may make additional covenants with respect to the bonds, the pledged revenues, and the operation and maintenance of any facilities the revenue of which is pledged.

(b)  The orders or resolutions of the board authorizing the issuance of bonds may also prohibit the further issuance of bonds or other obligations payable from the pledged revenue or may reserve the right to issue additional bonds to be secured by a pledge of and payable from the revenue on a parity with or subordinate to the lien and pledge in support of the bonds being issued.

(c)  The orders or resolutions of the board issuing bonds may contain other provisions and covenants as the board may determine.

(d)  The board may adopt and have executed any other proceedings or instruments necessary and convenient in the issuance of bonds.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.126.  Approval And Registration Of Bonds.

(a) Bonds issued by a district must be submitted to the attorney general for examination.

(b)  If the attorney general finds that the bonds have been authorized in accordance with law, the attorney general shall approve them. On approval by the attorney general, the comptroller shall register the bonds.

(c)  After the approval and registration of bonds, the bonds are incontestable in any court or other forum for any reason and are valid and binding obligations in accordance with their terms for all purposes.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.127.  Refunding Bonds.

(a) A district may issue bonds to refund all or any part of its outstanding bonds, including matured but unpaid interest coupons.

(b)  Refunding bonds shall mature serially or otherwise not more than 25 years after their date of issue and shall bear interest at any rate or rates permitted by state law.

(c)  Refunding bonds may be payable from the same source as the bonds being refunded or from other sources.

(d)  The refunding bonds must be approved by the attorney general in the same manner as the district's other bonds and shall be registered by the comptroller on the surrender and cancellation of the bonds being refunded.

(e)  The orders or resolutions authorizing the issuance of the refunding bonds may provide that they be sold and the proceeds deposited in the place or places at which the bonds being refunded are payable, in which case the refunding bonds may be issued before the cancellation of the bonds being refunded. If refunding bonds are issued before cancellation of the other bonds, an amount sufficient to pay the principal of the bonds being refunded and interest on those bonds accruing to their maturity dates or to their option dates if the bonds have been duly called for payment before maturity according to their terms shall be deposited in the place or places at which the bonds being refunded are payable. The comptroller shall register the refunding bonds without the surrender and cancellation of bonds being refunded.

(f)  A refunding may be accomplished in one or in several installment deliveries. Refunding bonds and their interest coupons are investment securities under Chapter 8, Business & Commerce Code.

(g)  In lieu of the method set forth in Subsections (a)-(f), a district may refund bonds, notes, or other obligations as provided by the general laws of the state.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.128.  Bonds As Investments And Security For Deposits.

(a) District bonds are legal and authorized investments for:

(1)  a bank;

(2)  a savings bank;

(3)  a trust company;

(4)  a savings and loan association;

(5)  an insurance company;

(6)  a fiduciary;

(7)  a trustee;

(8)  a guardian; and

(9)  a sinking fund of a municipality, county, school district, and other political subdivision of the state and other public funds of the state and its agencies, including the permanent school fund.

(b)  District bonds are eligible to secure deposits of public funds of the state and municipalities, counties, school districts, and other political subdivisions of the state. The bonds are lawful and sufficient security for deposits to the extent of their value when accompanied by all unmatured coupons.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.129.  Tax Status Of Bonds.

Because a district created under this subchapter is a public entity performing an essential public function, bonds issued by the district, any transaction relating to the bonds, and profits made in the sale of the bonds are exempt from taxation by the state or by any municipality, county, special district, or other political subdivision of the state.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Subchapter C. Emergency Communication Districts: Counties With Population Over 860,000

Section  772.201.  Short Title.

This subchapter may be cited as the Emergency Communication District Act.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.202.  Purpose.

It is the purpose of this subchapter to establish the number 9-1-1 as the primary emergency telephone number for use by certain local governments in this state and to encourage units of local government and combinations of those units to develop and improve emergency communication procedures and facilities in a manner that will make possible the quick response to any person calling the telephone number 9-1-1 seeking police, fire, medical, rescue, and other emergency services. To this purpose the legislature finds that:

(1)  it is in the public interest to shorten the time required for a citizen to request and receive emergency aid;

(2)  there exist thousands of different emergency telephone numbers throughout the state, and telephone exchange boundaries and central office service areas do not necessarily correspond to public safety and political boundaries;

(3)  a dominant part of the state's population is located in rapidly expanding metropolitan areas that generally cross the boundary lines of local jurisdictions and often extend into two or more counties; and

(4)  provision of a single, primary three-digit emergency number through which emergency services can be quickly and efficiently obtained would provide a significant contribution to law enforcement and other public safety efforts by making it less difficult to notify public safety personnel quickly.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.203.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Board" means the board of managers of a district.

(2)  "Director" means the director of communication for a district.

(3)  "District" means an emergency communication district created under this subchapter.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.204. 

 APPLICATION OF

Subchapter

. This subchapter applies to a county with a population of more than 860,000 in which an emergency communication district was created under Chapter 7, Acts of the 68th Legislature, 2nd Called Session, 1984, before January 1, 1988.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.205.  Additional Territory.

(a) If a municipality that is part of a district annexes territory that is not part of the district, the annexed territory becomes part of the district.

(b)  A public agency located in the county for which the district is created or a public agency located in whole or part in a county adjoining the county for which the district is created, by resolution adopted by its governing body and approved by the board of the district, may become part of the district and subject to its benefits and requirements.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.206.  Board Of Managers.

(a) A district is governed by a board of managers consisting of:

(1)  one member appointed by the commissioners court of the county for which the district is established;

(2)  two members appointed by the governing body of the most populous municipality located wholly or partly in the county for which the district is established, if that municipality has a population of more than 150,000, or, if that municipality has a population of 150,000 or less, one member appointed by the governing body;

(3)  one member appointed by the governing body of the second most populous municipality located wholly or partly in the county for which the district is established;

(4)  one member appointed by the governing body of the third most populous municipality located wholly or partly in the county for which the district is established;

(5)  one member appointed by the principal service supplier;

(6)  one member appointed by the governing body of the most populous municipality that is a member of the district and is located wholly outside the county for which the district is established; and

(7)  one member appointed as provided by this section to represent the other municipalities located wholly or partly in the district.

(b)  The board member appointed by the principal service supplier is a nonvoting member.

(c)  The board member appointed under Subsection (a)(7) is appointed by the mayor's council established to administer urban development block grant funds, if one exists in the district. Otherwise, the member is appointed by the other members of the board on the advice and recommendation of the governing bodies of all the municipalities represented by the member. The governing bodies of those municipalities, by agreement of their presiding officers, shall set the time and place to meet and the procedures for selecting the board member.

(d)  Board members are appointed for staggered terms of two years, with as near as possible to one-half of the members' terms expiring each year.

(e)  A board member may be removed from office at will by the entity that appointed the member.

(f)  A vacancy on the board shall be filled for the remainder of the term in the manner provided for the original appointment to that position.

(g)  Board members serve without compensation. The district shall pay all expenses necessarily incurred by the board in performing its functions under this subchapter.

(h)  The board may appoint from among its membership a presiding officer and any other officers it considers necessary.

(i)  The director or a board member may be appointed as secretary of the board. The board shall require the secretary to keep suitable records of all proceedings of each board meeting. After each meeting the presiding officer at the meeting shall read and sign the record and the secretary shall attest the record.

(j)  Voting members of the board may meet in executive session in accordance with Chapter 551, Government Code.

(k)  A majority of the voting members of the board constitutes a quorum.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 238, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(82), eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1288, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  772.207.  Powers And Duties Of Board.

(a) The board shall control and manage the district.

(b)  The board may adopt rules for the operation of the district.

(c)  The board may contract with any public or private entity to carry out the purposes of this subchapter, including the operation of a 9-1-1 system.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.208.  Director Of District.

(a) The board shall appoint a director of communication for the district and shall establish the director's compensation. The director must be qualified by training and experience for the position.

(b)  The board may remove the director at any time.

(c)  With the board's approval, the director may employ any experts, employees, or consultants that the director considers necessary to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.

(d)  The director shall perform all duties that the board requires and shall supervise as general manager the operations of the district subject to any limitations prescribed by the board.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.209.  Budget; Annual Report; Audit.

(a) The director shall prepare under the direction of the board an annual budget for the district. To be effective, the budget must:

(1)  be approved by the board;

(2)  be presented to the commissioners court of the county in which the majority of the district is located;

(3)  be presented to the governing body of each municipality eligible to appoint a member of the board of managers under Sections 772.206(a)(2)-(4) and (6);

(4)  be presented to the governing body of each other participating jurisdiction as provided by Subsection (b); and

(5)  subject to Subsection (c), be approved by a majority of the entities to which the budget must be presented under Subdivisions (2) through (4).

(b)  For purposes of Subsection (a)(4), the proposed budget must be presented to:

(1)  the mayor's council established to administer urban development block grant funds, if one exists in the district; or

(2)  if a mayor's council does not exist in the district, the governing bodies of the other participating jurisdictions.

(c)  For the purpose of determining approval by a majority under Subsection (a)(5) if the budget is required to be presented under Subsection (b)(2), the other participating jurisdictions are considered to be acting jointly as one entity.

(d)  A revision of the budget must be approved in the same manner as the budget.

(e)  As soon as practicable after the end of each district fiscal year, the director shall prepare and present to the board and to each participating jurisdiction in writing a sworn statement of all money received by the district and how the money was used during the preceding fiscal year. The report must state in detail the operations of the district for the fiscal year covered by the report.

(f)  The board shall have an independent financial audit of the district performed annually.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1288, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  772.210.  Establishment Of 9-1-1 Service.

(a) A district shall provide 9-1-1 service to each participating jurisdiction through one or a combination of the following methods and features:

(1)  the transfer method;

(2)  the relay method;

(3)  the dispatch method;

(4)  automatic number identification;

(5)  automatic location identification;

(6)  selective routing; or

(7)  any equivalent method.

(b)  A district shall provide 9-1-1 service using one or both of the following plans:

(1)  the district may design, implement, and operate a 9-1-1 system for each participating jurisdiction with the consent of the jurisdiction; or

(2)  the district may design, implement, and operate a 9-1-1 system for two or more participating jurisdictions with the consent of each of those jurisdictions if a joint operation would be more economically feasible than separate systems for each jurisdiction.

(c)  Under either plan authorized by Subsection (b), the final plans for the particular system must have the approval of each participating jurisdiction covered by the system.

(d)  The district shall recommend minimum standards for a 9-1-1 system. A 9-1-1 system in a district created under this subchapter must be computerized.

(e)  A service supplier involved in providing 9-1-1 service, a manufacturer of equipment used in providing 9-1-1 service, or an officer or employee of a service supplier involved in providing 9-1-1 service is not liable for any claim, damage, or loss arising from the provision of 9-1-1 service unless the act or omission proximately causing the claim, damage, or loss constitutes gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  772.211.  Primary Emergency Telephone Number.

The digits 9-1-1 are the primary emergency telephone number in a district. A public safety agency whose services are available through a 9-1-1 system may maintain a separate number or numbers for emergencies and shall maintain a separate number or numbers for nonemergency telephone calls.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.212.  Transmitting Requests For Emergency Aid.

(a) A 9-1-1 system established under this subchapter must be capable of transmitting requests for fire-fighting, law enforcement, ambulance, and medical services to a public safety agency or agencies that provide the requested service at the place from which the call originates. A 9-1-1 system may also provide for transmitting requests for other emergency services, such as poison control, suicide prevention, and civil defense, with the approval of the board and the consent of the participating jurisdiction.

(b)  A public safety answering point may transmit emergency response requests to private safety entities, with the approval of the board and the consent of the participating jurisdiction.

(c)  With the consent of a participating jurisdiction, a privately owned automatic intrusion alarm or other privately owned automatic alerting device may be installed to cause the number 9-1-1 to be dialed in order to gain access to emergency services.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.213.  Powers Of District.

(a) The district is a body corporate and politic, exercising public and essential governmental functions and having all the powers necessary or convenient to carry out the purposes and provisions of this subchapter, including the capacity to sue or be sued.

(b)  To fund the district, the district may apply for, accept, and receive federal, state, county, or municipal funds and private funds and may spend those funds for the purposes of this subchapter. The board shall determine the method and sources of funding for the district.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.214.  9-1-1 Emergency Service Fee.

(a) The board may impose a 9-1-1 emergency service fee on service users in the district.

(b)  The fee may be imposed only on the base rate charge or its equivalent, excluding charges for coin-operated telephone equipment. The fee may not be imposed on more than 100 local exchange access lines or their equivalent for a single business entity at a single location, unless the lines are used by residents of the location. The fee may also not be imposed on any line that the Advisory Commission on State Emergency Communications excluded from the definition of a local exchange access line or an equivalent local exchange access line pursuant to Section 771.063. If a business service user provides residential facilities, each line that terminates at a residential unit and that is a communication link equivalent to a residential local exchange access line shall be charged the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. The fee must have uniform application and must be imposed in each participating jurisdiction.

(c)  The rate of the fee may not exceed six percent of the monthly base rate charged a service user by the principal service supplier in the participating jurisdiction.

(d)  The board shall set the amount of the fee each year as part of the annual budget. The board shall notify each service supplier of a change in the amount of the fee not later than the 91st day before the date the change takes effect.

(e)  In imposing the fee, the board shall attempt to match the district's revenues to its operating expenditures and to provide reasonable reserves for contingencies and for the purchase and installation of 9-1-1 emergency service equipment. If the revenue received from the fee exceeds the amount of money needed to fund the district, the board by resolution shall reduce the rate of the fee to an amount adequate to fund the district or suspend the imposition of the fee. If the board suspends the imposition of the fee, the board by resolution may reinstitute the fee if money received by the district is not adequate to fund the district.

(f)  In a public agency whose governing body at a later date votes to receive 9-1-1 service from the district, the fee is imposed beginning on the date the board approves making the public agency a participating jurisdiction. The fee authorized to be charged in a district applies to new territory added to the district when the territory becomes part of the district.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 11, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1203, Sec. 4, eff. June 18, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1340, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  772.215.  Collection Of Fee.

(a) Each billed service user is liable for the fee imposed under Section 772.214 until the fee is paid to the service supplier. The fee must be added to and stated separately in the service user's bill from the service supplier. The service supplier shall collect the fee at the same time as the service charge to the service user in accordance with the regular billing practice of the service supplier. A business service user that provides residential facilities and owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to provide telephone service to facility residents shall collect the 9-1-1 emergency service fee and transmit the fees monthly to the district.

(b)  The amount collected by a service supplier from the fee is due monthly. The service supplier shall remit the amount collected in a calendar month to the district not later than the 60th day after the last day of the calendar month. With each payment the service supplier shall file a return in a form prescribed by the board.

(c)  Both a service supplier and a business service user under Subsection (a) shall maintain records of the amount of fees it collects for at least two years after the date of collection. The board may require at the board's expense an annual audit of a service supplier's books and records or the books and records of a business service user described by Subsection (a) with respect to the collection and remittance of the fees.

(d)  A business service user that does not collect and remit the 9-1-1 emergency service fee as required is subject to a civil cause of action under Subsection (g). A sworn affidavit by the district specifying the unremitted fees is prima facie evidence that the fees were not remitted and of the amount of the unremitted fees.

(e)  A service supplier is entitled to retain an administrative fee from the amount of fees it collects. The amount of the administrative fee is two percent of the amount of fees it collects under this section.

(f)  A service supplier is not required to take any legal action to enforce the collection of the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. However, the service supplier shall provide the district with an annual certificate of delinquency that includes the amount of all delinquent fees and the name and address of each nonpaying service user. The certificate of delinquency is prima facie evidence that a fee included in the certificate is delinquent. A service user account is considered delinquent if the fee is not paid to the service supplier before the 31st day after the payment due date stated on the user's bill from the service supplier.

(g)  The district may institute legal proceedings to collect fees not paid and may establish internal collection procedures and recover the cost of collection from the nonpaying service user. If the district prevails in legal proceedings instituted to collect a fee, the court may award the district court costs, attorney's fees, and interest in addition to other amounts recovered. A delinquent fee accrues interest at an annual rate of 12 percent beginning on the date the payment becomes due.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 12, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  772.216.  District Depository.

(a) The board shall select a depository for the district in the manner provided by law for the selection of a county depository.

(b)  A depository selected by the board is the district's depository for two years after the date of its selection and until a successor depository is selected and qualified.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.217.  Allowable Expenses.

Allowable operating expenses of a district include all costs attributable to designing and operating a 9-1-1 system and costs for related services that the board considers necessary.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 39, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  772.218.  Number And Location Identification.

(a) As part of computerized 9-1-1 service, a service supplier shall furnish for each call the telephone number of the subscriber and the address associated with the number.

(b)  A business service user that provides residential facilities and owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to provide telephone service to facility residents shall provide to those residential end users the same level of 9-1-1 service that a service supplier is required to provide under Subsection (a) to other residential end users in the district.

(c)  Information furnished under this section is confidential and is not available for public inspection.

(d)  A business service user that owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to provide telephone services to nonaffiliated businesses shall provide to those business end users the same level of 9-1-1 service that a service supplier is required to provide under Subsection (a) to other business end users in the district.

(e)  A business service user that owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to consolidate telephone services at two or more physical addresses shall provide a level of 9-1-1 service that identifies an accurate physical address and telephone number for each 9-1-1 call. For purposes of this section, each floor of a multitenant building is a different physical address.

(f)  A hotel, motel, or similar lodging facility that does not operate with a 24-hour, seven-day on-site telephone operator must use a system that furnishes the telephone number and location of the individual unit from which a 9-1-1 call is placed.

(g)  A service supplier, business service user, or lodging facility that implements the network and database enhancements necessary to provide a service described in Subsection (b), (d), (e), or (f), including a supplier, user, or facility that is not required to provide the service, is not liable to a person who uses a 9-1-1 system created under this subchapter for the release to the district of the information specified in this section.

(h)  Subsections (d) and (e) do not apply to a telecommunications system installed by a public school district or a state agency.

(i)  Subsections (d), (e), and (f) apply only to a telecommunications system installed on or after September 1, 2003.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 13, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 84, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  772.219.  Public Review.

(a) Periodically, the board shall solicit public comments and hold a public review hearing on the continuation of the district and the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. The first hearing shall be held three years after the date the order certifying the creation of the district is filed with the county clerk. Subsequent hearings shall be held three years after the date each order required by Subsection (d) is adopted.

(b)  The board shall publish notice of the time and place of the hearing once a week for two consecutive weeks in a daily newspaper of general circulation published in the district. The first notice must be published not later than the 16th day before the date set for the hearing.

(c)  At the hearing, the board shall also solicit comments on the participation of the district in the applicable regional plan for 9-1-1 service under Chapter 771. After the hearing, the board may choose to participate in the regional plan as provided by that chapter.

(d)  After the hearing, the board shall adopt an order on the continuation or dissolution of the district and the 9-1-1 emergency service fee.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.220.  Dissolution Procedures.

(a) If a district is dissolved, 9-1-1 service must be discontinued on the date of the dissolution. The commissioners court of the county in which the district was located shall assume the assets of the district and pay the district's debts. If the district's assets are insufficient to retire the outstanding bonded indebtedness of the district, the commissioners court shall continue to impose the 9-1-1 service fee, and each service supplier shall continue to collect the fee for the commissioners court. Proceeds from the imposition of the fee after dissolution of the district may be used only to retire the outstanding bonded indebtedness of the district.

(b)  The commissioners court shall retire the district's indebtedness to the extent practicable according to the terms of the bonds and the terms of the orders and resolutions authorizing issuance of the bonds.

(c)  The commissioners court by order may adopt the rules necessary to administer this section.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.221.  Issuance Of Bonds.

The board may issue and sell bonds in the name of the district to finance:

(1)  the acquisition by any method of facilities, equipment, or supplies necessary for the district to begin providing 9-1-1 service to all participating jurisdictions; and

(2)  the installation of equipment necessary for the district to begin providing 9-1-1 service to all participating jurisdictions.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.222.  Repayment Of Bonds.

The board may provide for the payment of the principal of and interest on the bonds by pledging all or any part of the district's revenues from the 9-1-1 emergency service fee or from other sources.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.223.  Additional Security For Bonds.

(a) The bonds may be additionally secured by a deed of trust or mortgage lien on part or all of the physical properties of the district and rights appurtenant to those properties, vesting in the trustee power to sell the properties for payment of the indebtedness, power to operate the properties, and all other powers necessary for the further security of the bonds.

(b)  The trust indenture, regardless of the existence of the deed of trust or mortgage lien on the properties, may include provisions prescribed by the board for the security of the bonds and the preservation of the trust estate and may make provisions for investment of funds of the district.

(c)  A purchaser under a sale under the deed of trust or mortgage lien is the absolute owner of the properties and rights purchased and may maintain and operate them.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.224.  Form Of Bonds.

(a) A district may issue its bonds in various series or issues.

(b)  Bonds may mature serially or otherwise not more than 25 years after their date of issue and shall bear interest at any rate permitted by state law.

(c)  A district's bonds and interest coupons, if any, are investment securities under the terms of Chapter 8, Business & Commerce Code, may be issued registrable as to principal or as to both principal and interest, and may be made redeemable before maturity, at the option of the district, or contain a mandatory redemption provision.

(d)  A district may issue its bonds in the form, denominations, and manner and under the terms, and the bonds shall be signed and executed, as provided by the board in the resolution or order authorizing their issuance.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.225.  Provisions Of Bonds.

(a) In the orders or resolutions authorizing the issuance of bonds, including refunding bonds, the board may provide for the flow of funds and the establishment and maintenance of the interest and sinking fund, the reserve fund, and other funds and may make additional covenants with respect to the bonds, the pledged revenues, and the operation and maintenance of any facilities, the revenue of which is pledged.

(b)  The orders or resolutions of the board authorizing the issuance of bonds may also prohibit the further issuance of bonds or other obligations payable from the pledged revenue or may reserve the right to issue additional bonds to be secured by a pledge of and payable from the revenue on a parity with or subordinate to the lien and pledge in support of the bonds being issued.

(c)  The orders or resolutions of the board issuing bonds may contain other provisions and covenants as the board may determine.

(d)  The board may adopt and have executed any other proceedings or instruments necessary and convenient in the issuance of bonds.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.226.  Approval And Registration Of Bonds.

(a) Bonds issued by a district must be submitted to the attorney general for examination.

(b)  If the attorney general finds that the bonds have been authorized in accordance with law, the attorney general shall approve them. On approval by the attorney general, the comptroller shall register the bonds.

(c)  After the approval and registration of bonds, the bonds are incontestable in any court or other forum for any reason and are valid and binding obligations according to their terms for all purposes.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.227.  Refunding Bonds.

(a) A district may issue bonds to refund all or any part of its outstanding bonds, including matured but unpaid interest coupons.

(b)  Refunding bonds shall mature serially or otherwise not more than 25 years after their date of issue and shall bear interest at any rate or rates permitted by state law.

(c)  Refunding bonds may be payable from the same source as the bonds being refunded or from other sources.

(d)  The refunding bonds must be approved by the attorney general as provided by Section 772.226 and shall be registered by the comptroller on the surrender and cancellation of the bonds being refunded.

(e)  The orders or resolutions authorizing the issuance of the refunding bonds may provide that they be sold and the proceeds deposited in the place or places at which the bonds being refunded are payable, in which case the refunding bonds may be issued before the cancellation of the bonds being refunded. If refunding bonds are issued before cancellation of the other bonds, an amount sufficient to pay the principal of the bonds being refunded and interest on those bonds accruing to their maturity dates or to their option dates if the bonds have been duly called for payment before maturity according to their terms shall be deposited in the place or places at which the bonds being refunded are payable. The comptroller shall register the refunding bonds without the surrender and cancellation of bonds being refunded.

(f)  A refunding may be accomplished in one or in several installment deliveries. Refunding bonds and their interest coupons are investment securities under Chapter 8, Business & Commerce Code.

(g)  In lieu of the method set forth in Subsections (a)-(f), a district may refund bonds, notes, or other obligations as provided by the general laws of this state.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.228.  Bonds As Investments And Security For Deposits.

(a) District bonds are legal and authorized investments for:

(1)  a bank;

(2)  a savings bank;

(3)  a trust company;

(4)  a savings and loan association;

(5)  an insurance company;

(6)  a fiduciary;

(7)  a trustee;

(8)  a guardian; and

(9)  a sinking fund of a municipality, county, school district, and other political subdivision of the state and other public funds of the state and its agencies, including the permanent school fund.

(b)  District bonds are eligible to secure deposits of public funds of the state and municipalities, counties, school districts, and other political subdivisions of the state. The bonds are lawful and sufficient security for deposits to the extent of their value when accompanied by all unmatured coupons.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.229.  Tax Status Of Bonds.

Because a district created under this subchapter is a public entity performing an essential public function, bonds issued by the district, any transaction relating to the bonds and profits made in the sale of the bonds are exempt from taxation by the state or by any municipality, county, special district, or other political subdivision of the state.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Subchapter D. Emergency Communication Districts: Counties With Population Over 20,000

Section  772.301.  Short Title.

This subchapter may be cited as the Emergency Telephone Number Act.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.302.  Purpose.

It is the purpose of this subchapter to establish the number 9-1-1 as the primary emergency telephone number for use by certain local governments in this state and to encourage units of local government and combinations of those units to develop and improve emergency communication procedures and facilities in a manner that will make possible the quick response to any person calling the telephone number 9-1-1 seeking police, fire, medical, rescue, and other emergency services. To this purpose the legislature finds that:

(1)  it is in the public interest to shorten the time required for a citizen to request and receive emergency aid;

(2)  there exist thousands of different emergency telephone numbers throughout the state, and telephone exchange boundaries and central office service areas do not necessarily correspond to public safety and political boundaries;

(3)  a dominant part of the state's population is located in rapidly expanding metropolitan areas that generally cross the boundary lines of local jurisdictions and often extend into two or more counties; and

(4)  provision of a single, primary three-digit emergency number through which emergency services can be quickly and efficiently obtained would provide a significant contribution to law enforcement and other public safety efforts by making it less difficult to notify public safety personnel quickly.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.303.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Board" means the board of managers of a district.

(2)  "Director" means the director of communication for a district.

(3)  "District" means an emergency communication district created under this subchapter.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.304. 

 APPLICATION OF

Subchapter

. (a) This subchapter applies only to a county with a population of more than 20,000 or to a group of two or more contiguous counties each with a population of 20,000 or more in which an emergency communication district was created under Chapter 288, Acts of the 69th Legislature, Regular Session, 1985, before January 1, 1988, or to a public agency or group of public agencies that withdraws from participation in a regional plan under Section 771.058(d).

(b)  This subchapter does not affect the authority of a public agency to operate under another law authorizing the creation of a district in which 9-1-1 service is provided.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1405, Sec. 32, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  772.305.  Additional Territory.

(a) If a municipality that is part of a district annexes territory that is not part of the district, the annexed territory becomes part of the district.

(b)  A public agency located in whole or part in a county adjoining the district, by resolution adopted by its governing body and approved by the board of the district, may become part of the district and subject to its benefits and requirements.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.306.  Board Of Managers.

(a) A district is governed by a board of managers.

(b)  If the most populous municipality in the district has a population of more than 140,000, the board consists of:

(1)  one member for each county in the district appointed by the commissioners court of each county;

(2)  two members appointed by the governing body of the most populous municipality in the district;

(3)  one member appointed by the governing body of the second most populous municipality in the district;

(4)  one member appointed as provided by this section to represent the other municipalities located in whole or part in the district; and

(5)  one member appointed by the principal service supplier.

(c)  If Subsection (b) does not apply to a district, the board consists of:

(1)  the following members representing the county or counties in the district:

(A)  if the district contains only one county, two members appointed by the commissioners court of the county;

(B)  if the district originally contained only one county but contains more than one county when the appointment is made, two members appointed by the commissioners court of the county in which the district was originally located, and one member appointed by the commissioners court of each other county in the district; or

(C)  if the district originally contained more than one county and the district contains more than one county when the appointment is made, one member appointed by the commissioners court of each county in the district;

(2)  two members appointed jointly by the majority vote of the municipalities voting on the appointment and located in whole or part in the district;

(3)  one member appointed jointly by the volunteer fire departments operating wholly or partly in the district, with the appointment process coordinated by the county fire marshal or marshals of the county or counties in the district; and

(4)  one member appointed by the principal service supplier.

(d)  The board member appointed by the principal service supplier is a nonvoting member. If the board is appointed under Subsection (c), the principal service supplier may waive its right to appoint the board member and designate another service supplier serving all or part of the district to make the appointment.

(e)  The board member appointed under Subsection (b)(4) is appointed by the mayor's council established to administer urban development block grant funds, if one exists in the district. Otherwise, the member is appointed by the other members of the board on the advice and recommendation of the governing bodies of all the municipalities represented by the member.

(f)  The initial board members appointed by municipalities under Subsection (c)(2) are appointed by all the municipalities located in whole or part in the district.

(g)  Board members are appointed for staggered terms of two years, with as near as possible to one-half of the members' terms expiring each year.

(h)  A board member may be removed from office at will by the entity that appointed the member.

(i)  A vacancy on the board shall be filled for the remainder of the term in the manner provided for the original appointment to that position.

(j)  Board members serve without compensation. The district shall pay all expenses necessarily incurred by the board in performing its functions under this subchapter.

(k)  The board may appoint from among its membership a presiding officer and any other officers it considers necessary.

(l)  The director or a board member may be appointed as secretary of the board. The board shall require the secretary to keep suitable records of all proceedings of each board meeting. After each meeting the presiding officer at the meeting shall read and sign the record and the secretary shall attest the record.

(m)  Voting members of the board may meet in executive session in accordance with Chapter 551, Government Code.

(n)  A majority of the voting members of the board constitutes a quorum.

(o)  In an emergency communication district subject to this subchapter located entirely in a county with a population of less than 30,000, the board consists of:

(1)  the appropriate members listed in Subsection (c); and

(2)  a peace officer licensed under Chapter 1701, Occupations Code, appointed by the county sheriff.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, Sec. 5.95(82), eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 901, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 622, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section  772.307.  Powers And Duties Of Board.

(a) The board shall control and manage the district.

(b)  The board may adopt rules for the operation of the district.

(c)  The board may contract with any public or private entity to carry out the purposes of this subchapter, including the operation of a 9-1-1 system.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.308.  Director Of District.

(a) The board shall appoint a director of communication for the district and shall establish the director's compensation. The director must be qualified by training and experience for the position.

(b)  The board may remove the director at any time.

(c)  With the board's approval, the director may employ any experts, employees, or consultants that the director considers necessary to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.

(d)  The director shall perform all duties that the board requires and shall supervise as general manager the operations of the district subject to any limitations prescribed by the board.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.309.  Budget; Annual Report; Audit.

(a) The director shall prepare under the direction of the board an annual budget for the district. To be effective, the budget must:

(1)  be approved by the board;

(2)  be presented to and approved by the commissioners court of each county in the district;

(3)  be presented to and approved by the governing body of the most populous municipality in the district, if that municipality has a population of more than 140,000; and

(4)  be presented to the governing body of each other participating jurisdiction and approved by a majority of those jurisdictions.

(b)  The board shall submit a draft of the proposed budget to the governing bodies of the participating jurisdictions not later than the 45th day before the date the board adopts the budget. The participating jurisdictions shall review the proposed budget and submit any comments regarding the budget to the board.

(c)  If the governing body of a county, municipality, or other participating jurisdiction does not approve or disapprove the budget before the 61st day after the date the body received the proposed budget for review, the budget is approved by operation of law.

(d)  A revision of the budget must be approved in the same manner as the budget.

(e)  As soon as practicable after the end of each district fiscal year, the director shall prepare and present to the board and to each participating jurisdiction in writing a sworn statement of all money received by the district and how the money was used during the preceding fiscal year. The report must show in detail the operations of the district for the fiscal year covered by the report.

(f)  The board shall have an independent financial audit of the district performed annually.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1406, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.



Section  772.310.  Establishment Of 9-1-1 Service.

(a) A district shall provide 9-1-1 service to each participating jurisdiction through one or a combination of the following methods and features:

(1)  the transfer method;

(2)  the relay method;

(3)  the dispatch method;

(4)  automatic number identification;

(5)  automatic location identification;

(6)  selective routing; or

(7)  any equivalent method.

(b)  A district shall provide 9-1-1 service using one or both of the following plans:

(1)  the district may design, implement, and operate a 9-1-1 system for each participating jurisdiction with the consent of the jurisdiction; or

(2)  the district may design, implement, and operate a 9-1-1 system for two or more participating jurisdictions with the consent of each of those jurisdictions if a joint operation would be more economically feasible than separate systems for each jurisdiction.

(c)  Under either plan authorized by Subsection (b), the final plans for the particular system must have the approval of each participating jurisdiction covered by the system.

(d)  The district shall recommend minimum standards for a 9-1-1 system.

(e)  A service supplier involved in providing 9-1-1 service, a manufacturer of equipment used in providing 9-1-1 service, or an officer or employee of a service supplier involved in providing 9-1-1 service is not liable for any claim, damage, or loss arising from the provision of 9-1-1 service unless the act or omission proximately causing the claim, damage, or loss constitutes gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  772.311.  Primary Emergency Telephone Number.

The digits 9-1-1 are the primary emergency telephone number in a district. A public safety agency whose services are available through a 9-1-1 system may maintain a separate number or numbers for emergencies and shall maintain a separate number or numbers for nonemergency telephone calls.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.312.  Transmitting Requests For Emergency Aid.

(a) A 9-1-1 system established under this subchapter must be capable of transmitting requests for fire-fighting, law enforcement, ambulance, and medical services to a public safety agency or agencies that provide the requested service at the place from which the call originates. A 9-1-1 system may also provide for transmitting requests for other emergency services such as poison control, suicide prevention, and civil defense.

(b)  A public safety answering point may transmit emergency response requests to private safety entities.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.313.  Powers Of District.

(a) The district is a body corporate and politic, exercising public and essential governmental functions and having all the powers necessary or convenient to carry out the purposes and provisions of this subchapter, including the capacity to sue or be sued.

(b)  To fund the district, the district may apply for, accept, and receive federal, state, county, or municipal funds and private funds and may spend those funds for the purposes of this subchapter. The board shall determine the method and sources of funding for the district.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.314.  9-1-1 Emergency Service Fee.

(a) The board may impose a 9-1-1 emergency service fee on service users in the district.

(b)  The fee may be imposed only on the base rate charge or its equivalent, excluding charges for coin-operated telephone equipment. The fee may not be imposed on more than 100 local exchange access lines or their equivalent for a single business entity at a single location, unless the lines are used by residents of the location. The fee may also not be imposed on any line that the Advisory Commission on State Emergency Communications excluded from the definition of a local exchange access line or an equivalent local exchange access line pursuant to Section 771.063. If a business service user provides residential facilities, each line that terminates at a residential unit and that is a communication link equivalent to a residential local exchange access line shall be charged the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. The fee must have uniform application and must be imposed in each participating jurisdiction.

(c)  The rate of the fee may not exceed six percent of the monthly base rate in a service year charged a service user by the principal service supplier in the participating jurisdiction. For purposes of this subsection, the jurisdiction of the county is the unincorporated area of the county.

(d)  The board shall set the amount of the fee each year as part of the annual budget. The board shall notify each service supplier of a change in the amount of the fee not later than the 91st day before the date the change takes effect.

(e)  In imposing the fee, the board shall attempt to match the district's revenues to its operating expenditures and to provide reasonable reserves for contingencies and for the purchase and installation of 9-1-1 emergency service equipment. If the revenue generated by the fee exceeds the amount of money needed to fund the district, the board by resolution shall reduce the rate of the fee to an amount adequate to fund the district or suspend the imposition of the fee. If the board suspends the imposition of the fee, the board by resolution may reinstitute the fee if money generated by the district is not adequate to fund the district.

(f)  In a public agency whose governing body at a later date votes to receive 9-1-1 service from the district, the fee is imposed beginning on the date specified by the board. The board may charge the incoming agency an additional amount of money to cover the initial cost of providing 9-1-1 service to that agency. The fee authorized to be charged in a district applies to new territory added to the district when the territory becomes part of the district.

(g)  For the purposes of this section, the jurisdiction of the county is the unincorporated area of the county.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 14, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1203, Sec. 5, eff. June 18, 1999.



Section  772.315.  Collection Of Fee.

(a) Each billed service user is liable for the fee imposed under Section 772.314 until the fee is paid to the service supplier. The fee must be added to and stated separately in the service user's bill from the service supplier. The service supplier shall collect the fee at the same time as the service charge to the service user in accordance with the regular billing practice of the service supplier. A business service user that provides residential facilities and owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to provide telephone service to facility residents shall collect the 9-1-1 emergency service fee and transmit the fees monthly to the district.

(b)  The amount collected by a service supplier from the fee is due monthly. The service supplier shall remit the amount collected in a calendar month to the district not later than the 60th day after the last day of the calendar month. With each payment the service supplier shall file a return in a form prescribed by the board.

(c)  Both a service supplier and a business service user under Subsection (a) shall maintain records of the amount of fees it collects for at least two years after the date of collection. The board may require at the board's expense an annual audit of a service supplier's books and records or the books and records of a business service user described by Subsection (a) with respect to the collection and remittance of the fees.

(d)  A business service user that does not collect and remit the 9-1-1 emergency service fee as required is subject to a civil cause of action under Subsection (g). A sworn affidavit by the district specifying the unremitted fees is prima facie evidence that the fees were not remitted and of the amount of the unremitted fees.

(e)  A service supplier is entitled to retain an administrative fee from the amount of fees it collects. The amount of the administrative fee is two percent of the amount of fees it collects under this section.

(f)  A service supplier is not required to take any legal action to enforce the collection of the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. However, the service supplier shall provide the district with an annual certificate of delinquency that includes the amount of all delinquent fees and the name and address of each nonpaying service user. The certificate of delinquency is prima facie evidence that a fee included in the certificate is delinquent. A service user account is considered delinquent if the fee is not paid to the service supplier before the 31st day after the payment due date stated on the user's bill from the service supplier.

(g)  The district may institute legal proceedings to collect fees not paid and may establish internal collection procedures and recover the cost of collection from the nonpaying service user. If the district prevails in legal proceedings instituted to collect a fee, the court may award the district court costs, attorney's fees, and interest in addition to other amounts recovered. A delinquent fee accrues interest at an annual rate of 12 percent beginning on the date the payment becomes due.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 15, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 17, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  772.316.  District Depository.

(a) The board shall select a depository for the district in the manner provided by law for the selection of a county depository.

(b)  A depository selected by the board is the district's depository for two years after the date of its selection and until a successor depository is selected and qualified.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.317.  Allowable Expenses.

Allowable operating expenses of a district include all costs attributable to designing a 9-1-1 system and to all equipment and personnel necessary to establish and operate a public safety answering point and other related answering points that the board considers necessary.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.318.  Number And Location Identification.

(a) As part of computerized 9-1-1 service, a service supplier shall furnish current telephone numbers of subscribers and the addresses associated with the numbers on a call-by-call basis.

(b)  A business service user that provides residential facilities and owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to provide telephone service to facility residents shall provide to those residential end users the same level of 9-1-1 service that a service supplier is required to provide under Subsection (a) to other residential end users in the district.

(c)  Information furnished under this section is confidential and is not available for public inspection.

(d)  A service supplier or business service user under Subsection (b) is not liable to a person who uses a 9-1-1 system created under this subchapter for the release to the district of the information specified in Subsections (a) and (b).

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 16, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 18, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  772.319.  Public Review.

(a) Periodically, the board shall solicit public comments and hold a public review hearing on the continuation of the district and the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. The first hearing shall be held three years after the date the order certifying the creation of the district is filed with the county clerks. Subsequent hearings shall be held three years after the date each order required by Subsection (d) is adopted.

(b)  The board shall publish notice of the time and place of the hearing once a week for two consecutive weeks in a daily newspaper of general circulation published in the district. The first notice must be published not later than the 16th day before the date set for the hearing.

(c)  At the hearing, the board shall also solicit comments on the participation of the district in the applicable regional plan for 9-1-1 service under Chapter 771. After the hearing, the board may choose to participate in the regional plan as provided by that chapter.

(d)  After the hearing, the board shall adopt an order on the continuation or dissolution of the district and the 9-1-1 emergency service fee.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.320.  Dissolution Procedures.

(a) If a district is dissolved, 9-1-1 service must be discontinued on the date of the dissolution. The commissioners court of the county in which the district was located or, if the district contains more than one county, the commissioners courts of those counties acting jointly, shall assume the assets of the district and pay the district's debts. If the district's assets are insufficient to retire all existing debts of the district on the date of dissolution, the commissioners court or courts acting jointly shall continue to impose the 9-1-1 service fee, and each service supplier shall continue to collect the fee for the commissioners court or courts. Proceeds from the imposition of the fee after dissolution of the district may be used only to retire the outstanding debts of the district.

(b)  The commissioners court or courts shall retire the district's debts to the extent practicable according to the terms of the instruments creating the debts and the terms of the orders and resolutions authorizing creation of the debts.

(c)  The commissioners court or courts by order may adopt the rules necessary to administer this section.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.321.  Issuance Of Bonds.

The board may issue and sell bonds in the name of the district to finance:

(1)  the acquisition by any method of facilities, equipment, or supplies necessary for the district to begin providing 9-1-1 service to all participating jurisdictions; and

(2)  the installation of equipment necessary for the district to begin providing 9-1-1 service to all participating jurisdictions.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.322.  Repayment Of Bonds.

The board may provide for the payment of the principal of and interest on the bonds by pledging all or any part of the district's revenues from the 9-1-1 emergency service fee or from other sources.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.323.  Additional Security For Bonds.

(a) The bonds may be additionally secured by a deed of trust or mortgage lien on part or all of the physical properties of the district and the rights appurtenant to those properties, vesting in the trustee power to sell the properties for payment of the indebtedness, power to operate the properties, and all other powers necessary for the further security of the bonds.

(b)  The trust indenture, regardless of the existence of the deed of trust or mortgage lien on the properties, may include provisions prescribed by the board for the security of the bonds and the preservation of the trust estate and may make provisions for investment of funds of the district.

(c)  A purchaser under a sale under the deed of trust or mortgage lien is the absolute owner of the properties and rights purchased and may maintain and operate them.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.324.  Form Of Bonds.

(a) A district may issue its bonds in various series or issues.

(b)  Bonds may mature serially or otherwise not more than 25 years after their date of issue and shall bear interest at any rate permitted by state law.

(c)  A district's bonds and interest coupons, if any, are investment securities under the terms of Chapter 8, Business & Commerce Code, may be issued registrable as to principal or as to both principal and interest, and may be made redeemable before maturity, at the option of the district, or contain a mandatory redemption provision.

(d)  A district may issue its bonds in the form, denominations, and manner and under the terms, and the bonds shall be signed and executed, as provided by the board in the resolution or order authorizing their issuance.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.325.  Provisions Of Bonds.

(a) In the orders or resolutions authorizing the issuance of bonds, including refunding bonds, the board may provide for the flow of funds and the establishment and maintenance of the interest and sinking fund, the reserve fund, and other funds and may make additional covenants with respect to the bonds, the pledge revenues, and the operation and maintenance of any facilities the revenue of which is pledged.

(b)  The orders or resolutions of the board authorizing the issuance of bonds may also prohibit the further issuance of bonds or other obligations payable from the pledged revenue or may reserve the right to issue additional bonds to be secured by a pledge of and payable from the revenue on a parity with or subordinate to the lien and pledge in support of the bonds being issued.

(c)  The orders or resolutions of the board issuing bonds may contain other provisions and covenants as the board may determine.

(d)  The board may adopt and have executed any other proceedings or instruments necessary and convenient in the issuance of bonds.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.326.  Approval And Registration Of Bonds.

(a) Bonds issued by a district must be submitted to the attorney general for examination.

(b)  If the attorney general finds that the bonds have been authorized in accordance with law, the attorney general shall approve them. On approval by the attorney general, the comptroller shall register the bonds.

(c)  After the approval and registration of bonds, the bonds are incontestable in any court or other forum for any reason and are valid and binding obligations according to their terms for all purposes.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.327.  Refunding Bonds.

(a) A district may issue bonds to refund all or any part of its outstanding bonds, including matured but unpaid interest coupons.

(b)  Refunding bonds shall mature serially or otherwise not more than 25 years after their date of issue and shall bear interest at any rate or rates permitted by state law.

(c)  Refunding bonds may be payable from the same source as the bonds being refunded or from other sources.

(d)  The refunding bonds must be approved by the attorney general as provided by Section 772.326 and shall be registered by the comptroller on the surrender and cancellation of the bonds refunded.

(e)  The orders or resolutions authorizing the issuance of the refunding bonds may provide that they be sold and the proceeds deposited in the place or places at which the bonds being refunded are payable, in which case the refunding bonds may be issued before the cancellation of the bonds being refunded. If refunding bonds are issued before cancellation of the other bonds, an amount sufficient to pay the principal of the bonds being refunded and interest on those bonds accruing to their maturity dates or to their option dates if the bonds have been duly called for payment before maturity according to their terms shall be deposited in the place or places at which the bonds being refunded are payable. The comptroller shall register the refunding bonds without the surrender and cancellation of bonds being refunded.

(f)  A refunding may be accomplished in one or in several installment deliveries. Refunding bonds and their interest coupons are investment securities under Chapter 8, Business & Commerce Code.

(g)  In lieu of the method set forth in Subsections (a)-(f), a district may refund bonds, notes, or other obligations as provided by the general laws of this state.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.328.  Bonds As Investments And Security For Deposits.

(a) District bonds are legal and authorized investments for:

(1)  a bank;

(2)  a savings bank;

(3)  a trust company;

(4)  a savings and loan association;

(5)  an insurance company;

(6)  a fiduciary;

(7)  a trustee;

(8)  a guardian; and

(9)  a sinking fund of a municipality, county, school district, and other political subdivision of the state and other public funds of the state and its agencies, including the permanent school fund.

(b)  District bonds are eligible to secure deposits of public funds of the state and municipalities, counties, school districts, and other political subdivisions of the state. The bonds are lawful and sufficient security for deposits to the extent of their value when accompanied by all unmatured coupons.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.329.  Tax Status Of Bonds.

Because a district created under this subchapter is a public entity performing an essential public function, bonds issued by the district, any transaction relating to the bonds, and profits made in the sale of the bonds are exempt from taxation by the state or by any municipality, county, special district, or other political subdivision of the state.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Subchapter E. Emergency Communication Service: Counties With Population Over 1.5 Million

Section  772.401.  Definition.

In this subchapter, "9-1-1 service" means a telecommunications service that enables the user of a public telephone system, by dialing the digits 9-1-1, to reach a communications facility having the responsibility to receive emergency calls and, as appropriate, to dispatch public safety services or to extend, transfer, or relay 9-1-1 calls to appropriate public service agencies.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.402. 

 APPLICATION OF

Subchapter

. This subchapter applies only to a county having a population of more than 1.5 million in which a communication district has not been created under Subchapter B.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.403.  Implementation Of 9-1-1 Service And Fee. (a)

A county to which this subchapter applies may implement a system for providing 9-1-1 service in the unincorporated areas of the county and may impose a service fee on local exchange telephone service customers in the area served. The fee may not be imposed on any line that the Advisory Commission on State Emergency Communications excluded from the definition of a local exchange access line or an equivalent local exchange access line pursuant to Section 771.063. If a business service user provides residential facilities, each line that terminates at a residential unit and that is a communication link equivalent to a residential local exchange access line shall be charged the 9-1-1 emergency service fee.

(b)  The commissioners court shall set the fee in an amount reasonable to cover the costs of providing the 9-1-1 service.

(c)  Revenue from the fee may be used only for the planning, development, and provision of 9-1-1 service.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 17, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1203, Sec. 6, eff. June 18, 1999.



Section  772.404.  Collection Of Fee.

(a) A telecommunications carrier providing local exchange service in a county that imposes a fee under this subchapter shall collect the fees and deliver them to the commissioners court not later than the 60th day after the last day of the month during which the fees were collected.

(b)  A customer on whom a fee is imposed under this subchapter is liable for the fee in the same manner the customer is liable for charges for service provided by the local exchange service provider. The fee must be stated separately in the customer's bill.

(c)  A business service user that provides residential facilities and owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to provide telephone service to facility residents shall collect the 9-1-1 emergency service fee and transmit the fees monthly to the county.

(d)  A local exchange service provider collecting fees under this subchapter may retain as an administrative fee an amount equal to two percent of the total amount of the fees it collects.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 18, eff. Aug. 30, 1993; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 19, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  772.405.  Audit Of Service Provider.

The commissioners court of a county may require at the county's expense an audit of a local exchange service provider collecting fees or surcharges under this subchapter. The audit must be limited to the collection and remittance of money collected under this subchapter.

Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989.



Section  772.406.  Number And Location Identification.

A business service user that provides residential facilities and owns or leases a publicly or privately owned telephone switch used to provide telephone service to facility residents shall provide to those residential end users the same level of 9-1-1 service relating to number and location identification that a service supplier provides to other residential end users in the county.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 19, eff. Aug. 30, 1993. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 20, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  772.407.  Liability Of Service Providers.

A service supplier involved in providing 9-1-1 service, a manufacturer of equipment used in providing 9-1-1 service, or an officer or employee of a service supplier involved in providing 9-1-1 service is not liable for any claim, damage, or loss arising from the provision of 9-1-1 service unless the act or omission proximately causing the claim, damage, or loss constitutes gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 638, Sec. 21, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Subchapter F. Consolidated Districts

Section  772.451.  Consolidation Procedure.

(a) Two or more districts governed by this chapter may consolidate into a single district as provided by this section.

(b)  If the board of managers of each district to be consolidated finds that the consolidation of the districts would benefit the participating jurisdictions of the district, the board may call and hold an election in the district's participating jurisdictions to approve the consolidation.

(c)  The election in each district must be held on the same uniform election date provided by Chapter 41, Election Code.

(d)  Each district shall pay the election expenses for its participating jurisdictions.

(e)  The ballot for the election to approve the consolidation must be printed to permit voting for or against the proposition that the district may consolidate with other named districts.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1406, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.



Section  772.452.  Consolidation Planning.

(a) If a majority of the voters voting at the election approve the consolidation, the board of managers of the district shall conduct a planning meeting with the boards of managers of the other districts whose voters have approved the consolidation.

(b)  The meeting must be a public meeting. At the meeting, the boards of managers shall devise a consolidation plan to:

(1)  combine the debts and assets of the districts;

(2)  pay outstanding bonds of the districts and issue refunding bonds as necessary to pay the bonds;

(3)  impose a uniform 9-1-1 emergency service fee; and

(4)  adjust the membership and qualifications of the board of managers of the consolidated district.

(c)  If a consolidated district is not created under Section 772.453 before the first anniversary of the date of the election held under Section 772.451, a consolidated district may not be created until:

(1)  the districts make another finding that the consolidation would benefit the participating jurisdictions; and

(2)  the consolidation is approved at another election held under Section 772.451.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1406, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.



Section  772.453.  Creation Of Consolidated District.

(a) When the board of managers of each district has adopted the same consolidation plan, the combined boards of managers shall declare the consolidated district created.

(b)  If the board of managers of a district does not agree to a consolidation plan, the remaining districts may consolidate on the terms of a mutually agreeable consolidation plan.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1406, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.



Section  772.454.  Board Of Managers.

(a) The consolidated district is governed by a board of managers appointed in accordance with the order issued by the temporary board of managers under Subsection (b). The members of the boards of managers of all the districts consolidated serve as a temporary board until all members of the initial board of managers are appointed and qualify. The temporary board has all authority necessary to operate and administer the district.

(b)  Before the 45th day after the date the district is created, the temporary board of managers by order shall adjust the membership of the board. The order must be substantially in accordance with the consolidation plan and must specify:

(1)  the number of members of the board;

(2)  the entity or combination of entities that appoints each member;

(3)  whether each member may or may not vote; and

(4)  the term of each member of the initial board so that as near to one-half of the members as is practical serve terms that expire in even-numbered years and the remaining members serve terms that expire in odd-numbered years.

(c)  The order issued under Subsection (b) must preserve as nearly as possible the proportional representation of interests exhibited by the memberships of the boards of managers of the several districts before consolidation.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1406, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.



Section  772.455.  Governance Of Consolidated District.

The consolidated district and its board of managers are governed by the provisions of this chapter that governed the most populous of the districts before the consolidation, except as provided by this subchapter.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1406, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.


Personal tools
Laws
Variants
Actions
Navigation
Toolbox