Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2571
By: McReynolds
Natural Resources


The Wildwood community, located in the southern part of Angelina County,
lacks a basic infrastructure, and most of its residents have low income
levels.  The Wildwood community is currently in need of a sewer system, but
its tax base is not sufficient to provide an adequate system.  This
community would qualify for a combination grant and low interest loan from
the United States Department of Agriculture/Rural Development to install
this sewer system, but the community must have a governmental entity with
taxing authority before it can receive such funds.  House Bill 2571 creates
a water control and improvement district in Angelina County to be a
governmental taxing authority.  


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


House Bill 2571 amends law to create the Angelina County Water Control and
Improvement District No.4 (district) in Angelina County and sets forth the
boundaries of the district (SECTIONS 1.01, 1.03 and 1.04).  The bill
provides that the powers, rights, duties, and functions of the district are
exercised by a board of five directors (board) and sets forth provisions
regarding the composition and administration of the board and the election,
qualifications, compensation, and terms of the directors.  The bill sets
forth the names of the temporary board directors.  The bill requires a
director who is financially interested in a contract proposed to be
executed by the district to disclose such interest to the board and
prohibits the director from voting on acceptance of the contract (SECTIONS

The board is authorized to employ a general manager as the chief executive
officer of the district.  The bill requires the general manager and each
employee of the district who is charged with the collection, custody, or
payment of any money of the district to execute a fidelity bond and the
district to pay the premiums on the employees' fidelity bonds.  The bill
requires the district to maintain its principal office in Angelina County
and to keep records at its principal office for public inspection.
(SECTIONS 2.09-2.12). 

The bill sets forth the general powers and duties of the district and
requires a district to adopt and enforce rules reasonably required to
implement these provisions, stipulating that rules adopted which apply to
electric, gas, and telecommunications facilities, pipes, and lines must be
consistent with and no more stringent than state or federal requirements.
The bill provides that a person who violates a rule, permit, or order of
the district is subject to a civil penalty of not less than $50 and not
more than $1,000 for each violation or each day of a continuing violation.
The bill authorizes the district to sue to recover penalties or for
injunctive relief and to be sued by a person who is adversely affected by a
rule, act, or order of the district.  The bill authorizes the district to
enter public or private property in the district's territory for the
purpose of inspecting and investigating conditions relating to its
authorized purposes under the same provisions and restrictions applicable
to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (SECTIONS 2.14,

 The bill authorizes the district, by rule, to regulate septic tanks to
prevent water pollution or to protect the public health.  The bill sets
forth provisions relating to the acquisition, construction, and operation
of disposal systems (SECTIONS 3.06-3.08). 

The bill authorizes the district to exercise the power of eminent domain to
acquire property of any kind in Angelina County that is appropriate for the
exercise of the district's functions and sets forth provisions relating to
the relocation of facilities, including the use of public easements
(SECTIONS 3.09-3.11). 

The bill sets forth provisions relating to the annexation of territory and
the acquisition and disposition of facilities or property (SECTIONS
3.12-3.14).  The bill authorizes the district to make contracts or enter
into cooperative agreements as necessary to perform its duties or functions
(SECTIONS 3.15 and 3.16).  
The bill sets forth provisions relating to fiscal matters of the district.
The bill authorizes the district to establish fees and charges to enable
the district to fulfill the obligations of these provisions and to borrow
money and accept grants for the corporate purposes of the district
(SECTIONS 4.01-4.06).  The bill authorizes the district to issue revenue
and refunding bonds (SECTIONS 5.01-5.04).  The bill provides that the
district has the power to impose ad valorem taxes (SECTION 5.05).   

These provisions do not impair, limit, supersede, or alter the powers,
rights, privileges, duties, functions, or jurisdiction of a river authority
which includes at least three counties and includes all or part of the
district, except that such a river authority is prohibited from imposing or
applying any regulatory ordinance, rule or regulation without the agreement
of the district (SECTION 6.02).      


June 16, 2001.