Law:Title 6. Water And Wastewater. Subtitle C. Special Utility Districts (Texas)

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Subtitle C. Special Utility Districts

Contents

Chapter 7201. Agua Special Utility District

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section 7201.001.  Definitions.

Unless the context otherwise requires, in this chapter:

(1)  "Board" means the board of directors of the district.

(2)  "Corporation" means the La Joya Water Supply Corporation.

(3)  "Director" means a member of the board.

(4)  "District" means the Agua Special Utility District.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1057, Sec. 2.01, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1430, Sec. 9.02, eff. June 16, 2007.



Section 7201.002.  Nature Of Corporation And District.

(a) The corporation is a water supply corporation in Hidalgo and Starr Counties created under and essential to accomplish the purposes of Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution, and operating in accordance with Chapter 67, Water Code.

(b)  The district is:

(1)  a special utility district in Hidalgo and Starr Counties created under and essential to accomplish the purposes of Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution, and operating in accordance with Chapters 49 and 65, Water Code;

(2)  a retail public utility as defined by Section 13.002, Water Code; and

(3)  the successor in interest to the corporation.

(c)  The corporation shall be dissolved and succeeded without interruption by the district as provided by Subchapter A1.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1057, Sec. 2.01, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1430, Sec. 9.03, eff. June 16, 2007.



Section 7201.003.  Applicability Of Other Law.

Except as otherwise provided by this chapter, Chapters 49 and 65, Water Code, including Sections 49.211(a) and 65.201(a), Water Code, apply to the district.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1057, Sec. 2.01, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section 7201.004.  Regulatory Conflicts.

(a) If a municipality asserts regulatory authority over any geographic area in the district and a municipal regulation applicable to that geographic area conflicts with a rule of the district, the regulation of the municipality prevails.

(b)  This section does not apply to:

(1)  rules or regulations concerning potable water quality standards; or

(2)  conflicts relating to service areas or certificates issued to the corporation or district by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1057, Sec. 2.01, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section 7201.005.  Initial District Territory.

(a) The district is composed of the territory described by Section 9.12 of the Act enacted by the 80th Legislature, Regular Session, 2007, amending this subsection.

(b)  The boundaries and field notes contained in Section 9.12 of the Act enacted by the 80th Legislature, Regular Session, 2007, amending this subsection form a closure. A mistake made in the field notes or in copying the field notes in the legislative process does not affect:

(1)  the organization, existence, or validity of the district;

(2)  the right of the district to issue bonds; or

(3)  the legality or operation of the district.

(c)  District boundaries may be modified in accordance with Chapters 13 and 49, Water Code, except that the boundaries must include all territory in any area included under a certificate of convenience and necessity issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the district.

(d)  The territory of the district does not include and the district does not have jurisdiction over land that has never been in the service area of the corporation regardless of any erroneous inclusion of that land in the boundaries and field notes in Section 9.12 of the Act enacted by the 80th Legislature, Regular Session, 2007, amending this section.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1057, Sec. 2.01, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1430, Sec. 9.04, eff. June 16, 2007.



Subchapter A1. Temporary Provisions

For expiration of this subchapter, see Sec. 7201.022


Section 7201.021.  Transfer Of Assets; Dissolution.

(a) Except as provided by this subsection, after the appointment of initial directors under Section 7201.051, the receiver for the corporation shall transfer the assets, debts, and contractual rights and obligations of the corporation, including all legal claims against the corporation in effect on the date of the transfer, to the district and provide notices and make recordings of the transfer required by the Water Code and general law.  If the transfer of any debt requires the permission of the lender, the receiver shall initiate proceedings to obtain that permission.

(b)  In accordance with the orders of the receivership court and not later than the 30th day after the date of the transfer under Subsection (a), the receiver for the corporation shall commence dissolution proceedings of the corporation.

(c)  On dissolution of the corporation, Certificates of Convenience and Necessity Nos. 10559 and 20785 are considered to be held by the district.

(d)  The receiver for the corporation shall notify the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality of the dissolution of the corporation and its succession in interest by the district in order to effect the transfer of Certificates of Convenience and Necessity Nos. 10559 and 20785 to the district.

(e)  On receipt of notice under Subsection (d), the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality shall note in its records that Certificates of Convenience and Necessity Nos. 10559 and 20785 are held by the district.  The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality shall, as a ministerial act, transfer the certificates to the district without further application, notice, or hearing.  A person, party, or entity does not have any right of protest, objection, or administrative review of the transfer prescribed by this section.

(f)  After the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality takes the action required by Subsection (e), the court shall terminate the receivership.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1057, Sec. 2.01, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1430, Sec. 9.05, eff. June 16, 2007.



Section 7201.022. 

 EXPIRATION OF

Subchapter

. This subchapter expires September 1, 2012.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1057, Sec. 2.01, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1430, Sec. 9.06, eff. June 16, 2007.



Subchapter B. Board Of Directors

Section 7201.051.  Appointment Of Initial Directors.

(a) As soon as practicable after the effective date of the Act enacted by the 80th Legislature, Regular Session, 2007, amending this section, seven initial directors shall be appointed as provided by this section.

(b)  To be eligible to be appointed as an initial director, an individual must meet the same requirements as a candidate for an elected position as director under Section 7201.052.  The initial directors shall be appointed as follows:

(1)  one director to represent the residents of the district in the City of Mission appointed by the governing body of that city;

(2)  one director to represent the residents of the district in the City of Palmview appointed by the governing body of that city;

(3)  one director to represent the residents of the district in the City of Penitas appointed by the governing body of that city;

(4)  one director to represent the residents of the district in the City of Sullivan City appointed by the governing body of that city; and

(5)  three directors to represent the residents of the district outside the municipalities listed in Subdivisions (1)-(4) appointed by the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court.

(c)  An initial director serves a term that expires on June 1 of the year in which the director's successor is elected under Section 7201.052.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1057, Sec. 2.01, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1430, Sec. 9.07, eff. June 16, 2007.



Section 7201.0512.  Initial Board Training.

(a) Not later than the 60th day after the first date on which all of the initial directors have been appointed, each initial director shall complete at least 12 hours of training on district management and compliance with laws applicable to the district as determined by the receiver for the corporation.

(b)  The district shall reimburse an initial director for the reasonable expenses incurred by the director in attending the training.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1430, Sec. 9.08, eff. June 16, 2007.



Section 7201.0513.  Education Program.

(a) Before the first election of directors under Section 7201.052, the initial board shall establish a program of education for directors that includes information on:

(1)  the history of the district;

(2)  the district's enabling legislation;

(3)  Chapters 49 and 65, Water Code, and other laws that apply to the district, including the requirements of the:

(A)  open meetings law, Chapter 551, Government Code; and

(B)  public information law, Chapter 552, Government Code;

(4)  relevant legal developments related to water district governance;

(5)  the duties and responsibilities of the board;

(6)  the requirements of conflict of interest laws and other laws relating to public officials; and

(7)  any applicable ethics policies adopted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality or the Texas Ethics Commission.

(b)  The district shall pay any costs associated with the development of the education program from district revenue.

(c)  The education program may include training provided by an organization offering courses that have been approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

(d)  The board may adopt bylaws modifying the education program as necessary to meet district needs.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1430, Sec. 9.08, eff. June 16, 2007.



Section 7201.052.  Board Of Directors.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (l), the district shall be governed by a board of seven directors, elected as follows:

(1)  one director elected by the voters of the part of the City of Mission inside the district to represent that part of the city;

(2)  one director elected by the voters of the City of Palmview to represent that city;

(3)  one director elected by the voters of the City of Penitas to represent that city;

(4)  one director elected by the voters of the City of Sullivan City to represent that city; and

(5)  three directors elected at-large to numbered positions on the board by the district voters who do not reside in any of the municipalities listed in Subdivisions (1)-(4) to represent the part of the district that is not included in those municipalities, unless the number of at-large directors is increased under Subsection (l).

(b)  A candidate for one of the numbered director positions:

(1)   must reside in the part of the service area of the district that is not included in any of the municipalities listed in Subsections (a)(1)-(4); and

(2)  must be eligible to hold office under Section 141.001, Election Code.

(c)  A candidate for one of the director positions representing a municipality listed in Subsection (a)(1), (2), (3), or (4):

(1)  must reside in the municipality the candidate seeks to represent; and

(2)  must be eligible to hold office under Section 141.001, Election Code.

(d)  It is the policy of the district that the directors shall represent and reside in as broad a cross-section of the geographic area of the district as possible.

(e)  The district shall fill a vacancy on the board in accordance with Section 49.105, Water Code.

(f)  Except for the initial directors appointed under Section 7201.051 or elected at the first election under Subsection (g), directors serve staggered terms of four years.

(g)  On the uniform election date in May 2008, or in May 2010, if the election is postponed under Subsection (h), the district shall hold an election to elect seven directors.  On the uniform election date in May of each even-numbered year after that date, the district shall hold an election to elect the appropriate number of directors.

(h)  The initial board by order may postpone until the uniform election date in May 2010 the first election for directors under Subsection (g) if the initial board determines that there is not sufficient time to comply with the requirements of law and to order the election of directors to be held on the first uniform election date specified by that subsection.

(i)  The directors elected at the first election under Subsection (g) shall cast lots to determine which three directors shall serve terms expiring June 1 of the first even-numbered year after the year in which the directors are elected and which four directors shall serve terms expiring June 1 of the second even-numbered year after the year in which the directors are elected.

(j)  A director may not serve consecutive terms.

(k)  A person who has served as a member of the board of directors of the corporation is not eligible to serve as a district director.

(l)  If, before the expiration of the term of a director elected to represent a municipality under Subsection (a)(1), (2), (3), or (4), the district determines that all of the incorporated territory of the municipality is outside the boundaries of the district, the position immediately becomes an at-large numbered position to be filled at the next general election of the district in accordance with Subsections (a)(5) and (b).

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1057, Sec. 2.01, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1430, Sec. 9.09, eff. June 16, 2007.



Section 7201.053.  District Treasurer.

(a) The board shall elect from among its members one director to serve as district treasurer.

(b)  The district treasurer shall comply with the training requirements provided by Section 49.1571, Water Code, for an investment officer of a district.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1430, Sec. 9.10, eff. June 16, 2007.



Section 7201.054.  Education For Directors.

(a) Except for an initial director whose term expires in 2008, each director shall complete the education program established under Section 7201.0513 before the first anniversary of the date on which the director was appointed or elected.

(b)  The district shall reimburse a director for the reasonable expenses incurred by the director in attending the education program.

(c)  A director who is elected to serve a subsequent term shall fulfill the education requirements specified by district bylaws.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1430, Sec. 9.10, eff. June 16, 2007.



Subchapter C. Powers And Duties

Section 7201.101.  General Powers And Duties.

Except as otherwise provided by this chapter, the district has all of the rights, powers, privileges, authority, functions, and duties provided by the general law of this state, including Chapters 49 and 65, Water Code, applicable to districts created under Section 59, Article XVI, Texas Constitution.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1057, Sec. 2.01, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section 7201.102.  Provision Of Service.

The district shall at all times operate and construct necessary improvements within the certificated areas established by the commission to provide uninterrupted, continuous, and adequate service to existing and future customers for water, sewer, and contract services.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1057, Sec. 2.01, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section 7201.103.  Interlocal Contracts.

In accordance with Chapter 791, Government Code, the district and the Rio Grande Regional Water Authority may enter into a contract under which the Rio Grande Regional Water Authority may provide administrative or any other contract activities for or with the district.  The district may enter into interlocal cooperation contracts with any public or private entity, request any necessary regulatory approval required, and charge fees and rates adequate to generate revenue sufficient to cover all expenses of the district based on cost-of-service principles.  For purposes of Chapter 791, Government Code, performance under a contract is a governmental function or service.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1057, Sec. 2.01, eff. September 1, 2005.



Subchapter D. Operating Provisions

Section 7201.201.  Audit Of District.

(a) Subchapter G, Chapter 49, Water Code, applies to the district.

(b)  An individual licensed by the state as a certified public accountant with not less than five years of government accounting experience shall perform the audit required by Section 49.191, Water Code.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1057, Sec. 2.01, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section 7201.202.  Records Of District.

The district shall comply with all rules and regulations pertaining to records preservation, retention, and destruction promulgated by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission under Chapter 441, Government Code, as made applicable to water districts and utilities.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1057, Sec. 2.01, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section 7201.203.  Maintaining Necessary Records.

The district shall maintain necessary records and follow cost-of-service principles with respect to provision of retail public water or sewer service or any other service authorized by Chapter 49 or 65, Water Code, or an interlocal contract entered into in accordance with Chapter 791, Government Code.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1057, Sec. 2.01, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section 7201.204.  Newsletter, Website, And Annual Financial Information.

The district shall maintain an Internet website with current information concerning agendas, minutes, policies, monthly financial information concerning revenues and expenses, and quarterly summaries.  The district shall provide information, including summary financial information based on the preceding year's annual audit, to district customers at an annual meeting.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1057, Sec. 2.01, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section 7201.205.  Disconnection Of Service And Customer Fees.

(a) The district may not disconnect service of a customer for late payment before the 31st day after the date the district notifies the customer of the overdue payment.

(b)  After a disconnection caused by the customer's late payment, the district may not charge a customer a fee for restoring or reinstalling service that exceeds $25 or twice the amount of the late payment owed, whichever is less.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1057, Sec. 2.01, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section 7201.206.  Rates And Fees For Services.

(a) The district, in connection with water or sewer retail public utility services, shall establish lifeline, senior citizen, or minimum consumption level rates for services.  The rate impact of such services shall be allocated on the basis of costs of services to achieve conservation principles, while securing necessary reserves for the payment of operating expenses, sinking funds, principal, interest, and debt coverage factors, and any other objective established by the district's annual budget.

(b)  Chapter 395, Local Government Code, does not apply to any fee, charge, or assessment that, before the corporation's dissolution and conversion to a district, is adopted by the receiver for the purpose of generating revenue to fund or recoup the costs of capital improvements or facility expansions necessitated by and attributable to new developments.

(c)  Notwithstanding Subsection (b), beginning on December 31, 2009, the district may not impose any fee, charge, or assessment that, before the corporation's dissolution and conversion to a district, is adopted by the receiver for the purpose of generating revenue to fund or recoup the costs of capital improvements or facility expansions necessitated by and attributable to new developments unless the district readopts the fee, charge, or assessment or adopts a new fee, charge, or assessment in accordance with Chapter 395, Local Government Code.  This subsection does not apply to a retail water or sewer rate adopted by the receiver or the district.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1057, Sec. 2.01, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1430, Sec. 9.11, eff. June 16, 2007.



Section 7201.207.  Service Contract Allocation Of Cost And Immunity From Claims.

(a) In connection with intergovernmental, interlocal, or wholesale service contracts, including cooperative billing for any contract-based service, the district shall allocate costs of service ratably for the service, and the district shall secure indemnity from the contracting party to the extent allowed by law.

(b)  The district is a governmental unit, as that term is defined by Section 101.001(3), Civil Practice and Remedies Code, and, to the fullest extent provided by law, enjoys immunity from suit and liability, consistent with general law, the Texas Tort Claims Act, Chapter 101, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, and Chapter 49, Water Code, including Section 49.066 of that code.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1057, Sec. 2.01, eff. September 1, 2005.


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