Law:Title 10. Parks And Other Recreational And Cultural Resources. Subtitle B. County Parks And Other Recreational And Cultural Resources from Chapter 327. Zoological Operation And Maintenance Boards (Texas)

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Subtitle B. County Parks And Other Recreational And Cultural Resources

Contents

Chapter 327. Zoological Operation And Maintenance Boards

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section  327.001.  Definitions.

In this chapter:

(1)  "County" means the county that created the zoo board.

(2)  "Director" means a zoo board member.

(3)  "Zoo board" means a zoological operation and maintenance board created under this chapter.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Subchapter B. Creation Of Zoo Board

Section  327.051.  Counties Authorized To Create Zoo Board.

The commissioners court of a county with a population of more than 1.5 million that is adjacent to a county with a population of more than one million by order may authorize the creation of a zoo board under this chapter to establish, finance, and manage facilities and services to provide conservation, education, research, public recreation, and care relating to the study and display of animals and other specimens in a public zoological park.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.052.  Order Creating Zoo Board.

(a) The order authorizing the creation of a zoo board must specify that the zoo board:

(1)  is being created under this chapter; and

(2)  has the powers and duties provided in this chapter.

(b)  The order authorizing the creation of the zoo board may also serve as the election order under Section 327.054.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.053.  Authority To Tax; Election Required.

The county may assess and collect a separate ad valorem tax to provide revenue for a zoo board that it has created. The tax may not exceed a rate of three cents per $100 valuation of taxable property, and the amount of the tax must be approved by a majority of the voters of the county voting at an election held for that purpose by the county.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.054.  Election Order.

(a) An order for an election under Section 327.053 must state:

(1)  the nature of the election, including the proposition that is to appear on the ballot;

(2)  the date of the election;

(3)  the hours during which the polls will be open;

(4)  the location of the polling places; and

(5)  the proposed maximum ad valorem tax rate.

(b)  The election order may contain additional information about the zoo board that the county commissioners court considers appropriate to inform the voters of, including information about the zoo board's mission or finances.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.055.  Conduct Of Election.

(a) The county shall hold the election under the Election Code to the extent not inconsistent with this chapter.

(b)  The ballot for the election shall be printed to permit voting for or against the following summary of the proposition: "Authorizing __________ (name of county) to assess and collect a separate ad valorem tax, in an amount not to exceed __________ (rate, not to exceed three cents) cents per $100 valuation of taxable property, to fund the acquisition, construction, operation, and maintenance of one or more zoos to be operated for the county by the __________ (name of zoo board)."

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.056.  Election Results.

(a) Not earlier than the second day or later than the 13th day after the election date, the county shall canvass the election returns.

(b)  If a majority of the votes cast favor the proposition under Section 327.055, the county may use the ad valorem taxing authority as provided in the proposition and this chapter.

(c)  If less than a majority of the votes cast favor the proposition, the county may not order another election on the matter earlier than the anniversary of the date of the preceding election.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Subchapter C. Organization Of Board Of Directors

Section  327.101.  Board Of Directors.

(a) A zoo board consists of seven directors appointed by the county commissioners court as follows:

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

(2)  two directors appointed jointly by the county commissioners court.

(b)  Each director serves at the pleasure of the county commissioners court.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.102.  Vacancy.

A vacancy on the zoo board is filled in the same manner as the original appointment.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.103.  Officers.

(a) The county commissioners court shall designate the presiding officer for the zoo board to serve in that capacity at the pleasure of the commissioners court.

(b)  The zoo board shall elect a vice presiding officer, secretary, and treasurer from among its members.

(c)  The offices of secretary and treasurer may be held by the same director. If either the secretary or treasurer is unavailable, the other officer, if the offices are held by different directors, may act for and perform the duties of the unavailable officer.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.104.  Meetings.

A zoo board shall hold regular meetings at times to be fixed by the zoo board or special meetings as necessary.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.105.  Compensation; Expenses.

(a) A director serves without compensation but may be reimbursed for a reasonable and necessary expense, including a travel expense, incurred in performing an official duty.

(b)  To receive reimbursement under Subsection (a):

(1)  the director must report the expense in the zoo board's minute book or other zoo board record; and

(2)  the zoo board must approve the expense.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.106.  Immunity From Liability.

A director is not liable for civil damages or criminal prosecution for any act performed in good faith in the execution of the director's duties or for any action taken by the zoo board.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Subchapter D. Zoo Board Powers And Duties

Section  327.151.  General Powers.

A zoo board may exercise any power necessary or appropriate to further a zoo board purpose, including establishing or operating one or more zoos.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.152.  Rules.

The zoo board may adopt rules to implement this chapter, including rules to govern the zoo board or manage zoos.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.153.  Executive Director; Rules.

(a) A zoo board may appoint an executive director to manage the zoo board's operations.

(b)  The zoo board by rule may define the powers, duties, and compensation of the executive director.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.154.  Employees; Rules.

(a) A zoo board may delegate to the executive director the power to hire and fire persons necessary to carry out the zoo board's duties.

(b)  The zoo board may adopt rules regarding the powers, duties, qualifications, and compensation of zoo board employees.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.155.  Contracts--general; Approval Required.

(a) A zoo board may contract with any person, including a governmental entity, private vendor, or foreign state, for any zoo board purpose, including contracting with the following entities to furnish staff, facilities, equipment, programs, utilities, and services the board considers necessary or appropriate to effectively operate the zoo board or a zoo under its control:

(1)  a municipality, county, special district, or other political subdivision of the state;

(2)  a state or federal agency;

(3)  an individual; or

(4)  an entity in the private sector.

(b)  A contract may be on terms and conditions and for the length of time as agreed to by the zoo board.

(c)  Before entering into a contract under this section, the zoo board must obtain the approval of the county commissioners court.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.156.  Agreement To Operate District.

(a) In selecting a person to operate a zoo under Section 327.155, the zoo board shall consider:

(1)  the financial capability of the person;

(2)  the experience and qualifications of the person; and

(3)  the likelihood that the person will obtain from the United States Department of Agriculture:

(A)  accreditation of a zoo; and

(B)  necessary permits.

(b)  The agreement may allow a reasonable time after it becomes effective for the person to obtain accreditation and permits under Subsection (a)(3).

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.157.  Property; Approval Required.

A zoo board may acquire and sell property for any zoo board purpose. Before the acquisition or sale, the zoo board must obtain the approval of the county commissioners court.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.158.  Public Purpose Of Donations, Agreements, Or Transfers With Or From Other Political Entities; Exception To Competitive Bidding.

(a) A governmental entity, including a municipality, county, special district, or other political subdivision of the state, may sell, lease, donate, or otherwise transfer to a zoo board a zoo, zoo-related property, or any other property on a finding by the transferring entity that the action is being carried out to further the public purpose of providing and maintaining the zoo-related property.

(b)  The entity may make the transfer without complying with laws on competitive bids or proposals.

(c)  Before making a transfer under this section, the governmental entity must obtain the approval of the county commissioners court.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.159.  Zoo Board Records.

(a) A zoo board shall:

(1)  keep a complete account of each zoo board meeting or other proceeding; and

(2)  maintain zoo board records in a secure manner.

(b)  The records are the property of the zoo board.

(c)  The commissioners court of the county and other county officers may inspect zoo board records at all reasonable times during regular business hours.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.160.  Donations.

(a) A zoo board may accept a donation, grant, or other gift from any person for any zoo board purpose.

(b)  Before accepting a donation, grant, or other gift under this section, the zoo board must obtain the approval of the county commissioners court.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.161.  Suits; Service Of Process; Legal Services.

(a) A zoo board may sue and be sued.

(b)  In a suit against a zoo board, process may be served on a director or registered agent.

(c)  The county or district attorney may perform any necessary legal services for the zoo board.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.162.  Supervision By County.

(a) The county commissioners court may supervise the zoo board in the exercise of all powers and duties under this chapter, including Subchapter E.

(b)  The county commissioners court may decide to approve all zoo board budgets or contracts, leases, deeds, or other agreements. An appropriate entry in the minutes of the commissioners court of the county is sufficient evidence of approval.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.163.  Seal.

A zoo board shall adopt a seal for the zoo board.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Subchapter E. General Fiscal Provisions

Section  327.201.  General Zoo Board And County Power Over Funds. A Z

oo board shall manage and control zoo board funds subject to the supervision or approval of the county commissioners court under Section 327.162 and subject to the approval of the county commissioners court of a budget under Section 327.207.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.202.  Accounting And Control Procedures. A Z

oo board by rule may adopt accounting and control procedures for the zoo board, subject to the supervision of the county commissioners court under Section 327.162.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.203.  Purchasing And Expenditure Method.

A zoo board by rule may prescribe the zoo board's method of making purchases and expenditures.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.204.  Fiscal Year.

(a) A zoo board by rule shall establish the zoo board's fiscal year.

(b)  The zoo board may not change the fiscal year more than once in a two-year period.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.205.  Annual Audit Required.

A zoo board shall have an annual audit of the zoo board's financial condition performed by an independent auditor.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.206.  Annual Budget Proposal.

(a) A zoo board shall propose an annual budget.

(b)  The proposed budget must contain a complete financial statement, including the:

(1)  outstanding zoo board obligations;

(2)  amount of cash on hand to the credit of each zoo board fund;

(3)  amount of money received by the zoo board from all sources during the previous year;

(4)  estimated amount of money available to the zoo board from all sources during the current fiscal year;

(5)  amount of money needed to fund programs approved for funding by the zoo board;

(6)  amount of the balances expected at the end of the fiscal year in which the budget is being prepared; and

(7)  estimated amount of revenue and balances available to cover the proposed budget.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.207.  Adoption Of Annual Budget; Hearings.

(a) Not later than the 100th day before the date each fiscal year begins, the zoo board shall hold a public hearing on the proposed annual budget.

(b)  The zoo board shall publish notice of the hearing in a newspaper with general circulation in the county not later than the 10th day before the date of the hearing.

(c)  Any county resident is entitled to be present and participate at the hearing.

(d)  Not later than the 80th day before the date each fiscal year begins, the zoo board shall adopt a budget. The zoo board may make any changes in the proposed budget that in its judgment the interests of the taxpayers demand.

(e)  Not later than the 10th day after the date the budget is adopted, the zoo board shall submit the budget, with any revisions, to the county commissioners court.

(f)  The budget is not considered final until the county commissioners court has approved the budget, including any revisions, after a public hearing and a vote by the commissioners court in favor of approval.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.208.  Limitations On Expenditures And Investments.

(a) A zoo board may not spend money unless the expense is included in the annual budget.

(b)  A zoo board may not incur a debt payable from zoo board revenue except for revenue in the current or immediately following fiscal year.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.209.  Account Of Zoo Board Disbursements.

Not later than the 60th day after the last day of each fiscal year, a zoo board employee shall prepare for the zoo board a sworn statement showing:

(1)  the zoo board's funds; and

(2)  the disbursements of those funds.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Subchapter F. Bonds

Section  327.251.  General Obligation Bonds.

The county commissioners court may issue and sell bonds to acquire, construct, equip, or enlarge any zoo or zoo-related property, including a zoo board building or other facility.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.252.  Taxes To Pay Bonds.

(a) When the county issues bonds under this chapter, the county commissioners court shall impose an ad valorem tax on all property subject to county taxation.

(b)  The tax amount must be sufficient to create an interest and sinking fund to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds as they mature.

(c)  The proceeds of the tax shall be used to pay the principal of, interest on, and other fees and charges relating to the bonds.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.253.  Authority For Bond Election.

The county commissioners court may order a bond election on its own motion or on the zoo board's request.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.254.  Execution Of Bonds.

The county judge shall execute the bonds and the county clerk shall countersign the bonds.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Subchapter G. Taxes

Section  327.301.  Annual Property Taxes.

(a) The county annually shall impose a separate ad valorem tax in an amount not to exceed the limit approved by the voters under Subchapter B.

(b)  The taxes may be used to pay:

(1)  the bonds issued by:

(A)  the county under Subchapter F; or

(B)  any other governmental entity for property transferred by that entity under Section 327.158; or

(2)  maintenance or other expenses of the zoo board.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  327.302.  Tax Rate.

In adopting the tax rate, the county may consider the zoo board's income from sources other than taxation.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Subchapter H. Dissolution

Section  327.351.  Dissolution By County.

(a) The county commissioners court may dissolve the zoo board if all zoo board debts and obligations have been discharged.

(b)  Any property remaining after dissolution is transferred to the county.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1235, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.


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