1-1     By:  Armbrister                                        S.B. No. 834

 1-2           (In the Senate - Filed February 27, 1997; March 4, 1997, read

 1-3     first time and referred to Committee on Intergovernmental

 1-4     Relations; April 1, 1997, reported favorably, as amended, by the

 1-5     following vote:  Yeas 11, Nays 0; April 1, 1997, sent to printer.)

 1-6     COMMITTEE AMENDMENT NO. 1                                By:  Lucio

 1-7     Amend S.B. No. 834 beginning on page   , line   , by striking

 1-8     proposed Subsection (d) and inserting proposed Subsection (d) in

 1-9     lieu thereof:

1-10           (d)  A county must comply with all requirements of a public

1-11     utility under Chapter 13, Water Code.

1-12                            A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

1-13                                   AN ACT

1-14     relating to the authority of a county to operate a water or sewer

1-15     utility in unincorporated areas of a county, including the

1-16     authority to issue bonds and to acquire property through eminent

1-17     domain.


1-19           SECTION 1.  Subchapter B, Chapter 412, Local Government Code,

1-20     is amended by adding Section 412.016 to read as follows:

1-21           Sec. 412.016.  COUNTY WATER AND SEWER SYSTEM.  (a)  Except as

1-22     provided by this section, a county may acquire, own, or operate a

1-23     water or sewer utility system to serve an unincorporated area of

1-24     the county in the same manner and under the same regulations as a

1-25     municipality under Chapter 402.

1-26           (b)  A county may issue bonds payable solely from the revenue

1-27     generated by the water or sewer utility system, and such revenue

1-28     bonds and notes of the county shall not be deemed an indebtedness,

1-29     a liability, a general, special, or moral obligation, or a pledge

1-30     or loan of the faith or credit or taxing power of the state, the

1-31     county, or any other political subdivision or governmental unit,

1-32     nor shall such revenue bonds and notes constitute an indebtedness

1-33     within the meaning of any constitutional or statutory debt

1-34     limitation or restriction or an agreement, obligation, or

1-35     indebtedness of the county or the state within the meaning of any

1-36     constitutional or statutory provision.  Nothing in this subsection

1-37     shall be construed to mean that a county is authorized to issue

1-38     general obligation bonds payable from ad valorem taxes for the

1-39     purpose of acquiring, owning, or operating a water or sewer utility

1-40     system to serve an unincorporated area of the county, a county

1-41     being specifically prohibited from issuing general obligation bonds

1-42     payable from ad valorem taxes for such purposes.

1-43           (c)  A county may acquire any interest in property necessary

1-44     to operate a system authorized by this section through any means,

1-45     including eminent domain. A county shall not exercise the power of

1-46     eminent domain inside the corporate limits of a municipality.

1-47           (d)  A county may not provide water or sewer service to an

1-48     area in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of a municipality or an

1-49     area to which a holder of a certificate of public convenience and

1-50     necessity must provide service under Section 13.250, Water Code,

1-51     without the consent of the municipality or the holder of the

1-52     certificate.

1-53           SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 1997.

1-54           SECTION 3.  The importance of this legislation and the

1-55     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an

1-56     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the

1-57     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several

1-58     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.

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