SENATE BILL NO. 92
AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 2 AND
SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 121, VOLUME 32, LAWS OF DELAWARE, AS AMENDED, ENTITLED, "AN ACT TO ESTABLISH A BOARD OF WATER AND LIGHT COMMISSIONERS FOR THE CITY OF NEW CASTLE" RELATING TO THE DESIGNATION OF THE BOARD OF WATER AND LIGHT COMMISSIONERS AS THE MUNICIPAL SERVICES COMMISSIONS, AND THE AUTHORITY OF THE MUNICIPAL SERVICE COMMISSION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :
WHEREAS, the City of New Castle, as an incorporated municipality, seeks authority to manage and operate systems for the furnishing of steam, manufactured gas, natural gas, heat, power, and wired and wireless telecommunications or other communication services within the City of New Castle's corporate limits;
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):
Section 1. Amend Chapter 121, Volume 32, Laws of Delaware, as amended, by striking said Chapter in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
"Section 1. Municipal Services Commission; Appointments; Vacancies; Definitions
(a) A Municipal Services Commission for the City of New Castle is hereby created, the business and affairs of which shall be managed by or under the direction of a Board composed of three Commissioners who shall be residents of and qualified voters of the City of New Castle and who shall have resided in said City for at least three years prior to their appointment.
(b) The Commissioners shall serve until their successors shall have been appointed and qualified. One of said Commissioners shall be appointed by the Mayor of the City, one by the Council of the City, and one by the Trustees of the New Castle Common of said City. In the month of March in each year a successor to the Commissioner whose term expires on April 1 in that year shall be appointed for the term of three years by the power who appointed the member whose term is to expire.
(c) Any vacancy during a term shall be filled for the remainder of the term by appointment of the power who made the original appointment. In exercising the above appointing power, the Mayor shall not appoint himself, the Council shall not appoint one of its own members, and the Trustees of the Common shall not appoint one of its own members.
(d) Definitions. The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this Chapter, shall have meanings ascribed to them in this section:
(i) 'Additional Systems' shall include, but is not limited to, systems for the purpose of furnishing steam, manufactured gas, natural gas, heat, power, and wired and wireless telecommunications or other communication services.
(ii) 'Board' shall mean the Board of the Municipal Services Commission of the City of New
(iii) 'City' shall refer to the City of New Castle;
'Commission' shall refer to the Municipal Services Commission of the City of New
(iv) 'Commissioner' shall refer to a member of the Municipal Services Commission of the City of New Castle;
(v) 'Municipal Corporation' shall refer to the City of New Castle as an incorporated
(vi) 'Telecommunications' shall include, but is not limited to, internal communications;
communication services to the City of New Castle, schools, and non-profit institutions;
and commercial and residential voice, data, and video services.
Section 2. Board Elections and Appointments; Secretary and Treasurer
(a) The Board, in April of each year, shall elect one of their number as President, and shall appoint a Secretary and a Treasurer, neither of whom need be a Commissioner.
(b) The Treasurer of the Commission shall hold the funds of the Commission in one or more separate accounts at such banks and trust companies and upon such terms and conditions as the Board may by resolution from time to time prescribe, and shall pay the same out on orders signed by the President and Secretary. The Treasurer shall give such additional bond as the Board may require.
(c) No Commissioner shall hold any office of profit under the Commission, except as otherwise provided in Section 11, or contract with it for work or supplies.
Section 3. Commission Authority; Water, Light and Additional Systems; Board Authority
(a) The Commission shall have control of the water and electric light supply in the City of New Castle, and the management and operation of the City water system and the City light system shall be entirely under its control, direction and supervision.
(i) The Commission, in addition to the power and authority which it now has to supply and distribute water within the corporate limits of the City of New Castle, may, in its discretion, supply and distribute water throughout all of that territory included within three miles of the corporate limits of said City.
(ii) The Commission shall determine the person or persons, firm or firms, corporation or corporations, to which it shall supply and distribute water throughout said territory included within three miles of the boundary of said corporate limits; shall fix the rates therefor; shall regulate the use of said water; and shall supply the same upon such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon by such person or persons, firm or firms, corporation or corporations, and the Commission.
(iii) The Commission shall have and exercise all the power and authority necessary to the accomplishment of said supplying and distributing of water throughout the territory included within three miles of the boundary of said corporate limits as it now has and exercises in the installation, operation and maintenance of its systems for supplying and distributing water in the City of New Castle.
(iv) Whenever the Commission shall deem it necessary or expedient to obtain private
property either within the limits of the City of New Castle or without such limits to a distance not exceeding three miles for the purpose of constructing facilities for the supplying and distributing of water and shall advise the Council of the Mayor and Council of New Castle, in writing, of the location, description and estimated fair value for which such property is deemed necessary or expedient, the said Council shall be empowered to acquire such property by agreement with the owner thereof or if such agreement cannot be reached, the said property or land may be acquired by condemnation proceedings as prescribed and fully set forth in Section 25 of an Act entitled "An Act Amending, Revising and Consolidating the Charter of the City of New Castle" being Chapter 216 of Volume 27, Laws of Delaware, and all Acts amendatory thereof and supplemental thereto for condemning and taking land for the purpose of laying out, opening, extending or widening of any street, road, lane or alley in the City of New Castle.
(b) The Commission may, in its discretion, manage and operate, as the sole provider or in conjunction
with any person, firm, association, corporation, or entity, one or more Additional Systems within the corporate limits of the City of New Castle.
(c) For the purposes set forth in Section 3(a) and Section 3(b) of this Chapter, the Commission shall have the power to enter into contracts on behalf of the City and in the name of the Municipal Corporation. The Commission shall have charge of the collection of and shall receive revenue due for water and light and any other Additional System managed and operated by it, and shall fix the rates for water and light and for goods and/or
services furnished by any such Additional System from time to time.
(d) The Board shall appoint a superintendent and regulate his duties, and shall provide for such other employees as may from time to time be necessary, and shall fix the salary or pay of all employees.
(e) The Board shall provide for all supplies and work that may from time to time be necessary, and in general shall have full charge of the maintenance and operation of the City water and light system and the Additional System managed and operated by it.
(f) The Commission shall have the power to borrow temporarily from time to time on the faith and credit of the City in order to provide for the expenses of maintenance, replacement and operation of the water and light system, as well as any Additional System that the Commission, in its discretion, chooses to manage and operate; but the Commission shall have no power to enlarge or extend the water and light system, plant, mains, lines, or apparatus, or Additional System, except out of surplus earnings, without the authority and approval of the Council of the City first had and obtained.
Section 4. Board Meetings; Promulgation of Rules and Regulations; Collection of Sums Due
(a) The Board shall meet at least once every month, and shall have power to make all needful rules and regulations for their meetings and for the regulation of the employees.
(b) The Board shall have the power to make rules regulating the use and supply of water and light by and to consumers, and the goods and/or services furnished by any Additional System(s).
(c) The Board shall establish regulations for the payment of bills for water and light, and any Additional System(s), and may cause suit to be brought in the name of the Municipal Corporation for all bills overdue. All sums due for water shall be a lien upon the property to which such water was furnished in the same ways as the taxes due the City of New Castle.
(d) The Board shall arrange for the prompt collection of all sums due for water and light, and for services and/or goods furnished by any Additional System(s), and shall have power to make rules for cutting off the service when bills are overdue.
Section 5. Quarterly Statement; Annual Statement and Report
(a) The Commission shall furnish to the Mayor, the Council of the City and the Trustees of the Common, quarterly, a full statement of their receipts and expenses.
(b) The Commission, in July of each year, shall publish an annual statement and report for the benefit of the Citizens of the City of New Castle.
Section 6. Superintendent
(a) 'The Board shall appoint a superintendent. The superintendent shall perform such services and duties upon such terms and conditions as the Board shall deem appropriate.
Section 7. Sufficiency of Revenue; Fixed Rental to City; Payment of Expenses Relating to Water and Light Systems
(a) In lieu of water and light rental for the water and light supply to the City itself, the Council of the City shall turn over from time to time to the credit of the Commission such sums as may be necessary to meet any deficiency for current bills of the Commission. In July of each year, or oftener in their discretion if the revenue warrants, the Commission shall turn over to the Council of the City such sum in their hands as may not be required
to provide for current expenses and operation, which sums shall be used by the Council of the City for the payment
of interest on the water and light bonds and for a sinking fund for the payment of said bonds.
(b) The Council of the City and the Commission may, by mutual agreement if deemed desirable, arrange that the City shall pay a fixed rental to the Commission for the water and light supplied to the City in lieu of the above payments to meet a deficiency.
(c) The Commission shall aim, in the operation of the water and light systems and in fixing the rates
therefor, to produce revenue at least sufficient, when supplemented by fair allowances by the City for the water and light furnished for public purposes, to pay the operating expenses of the system and the interest on the water and light bonds as well as provide for ordinary maintenance.
Section 8. Municipal Services Commission as Agency of the City of New Castle
(a) The Commission is intended to be merely a separate agency of the City for the operation of the water and light systems and Additional Systems, and all contracts and bills shall be in the name of and on behalf of the Municipal Corporation, through the agency of the Commission.
Section 9. Removal of Commissioners
(a) The Council of the City shall have the power to remove any Commissioner upon proper cause shown, but such removal shall be only after charges made and hearing thereon and by vote of two-thirds of all the members of the Council of the City.
Section 10. Expenditures for Alteration or Improvement of Water and Light Systems; Control
(a) The Commission shall have full control and direction of all money borrowed by the City, by bond issue or otherwise, for the improvement or alteration of the City's water and light systems.
(b) All money borrowed by the City, by bond issue or otherwise, for the alteration or improvement of the City's water and light systems, shall be held by the City Treasurer subject to the direction of the Board.
Section 11. Rates; Compensation of Commissioners
(a) The Commission annually, when making its estimates and budget and fixing the rates for water and electric current, shall fix such rates for water and electric current as will produce an annual sum of at least Three Thousand Dollars to provide a sinking fund for the payment of all the water and light bonds of the City when the same shall become due, such fund so raised to be turned over to the Treasurer of the City and held as a sinking fund for the payment of said bonds and used for no other purpose, and such sum shall be annually raised until adequate provision has been made for the payment of all of the water and light bonds at maturity.
(b) The President of the Commission shall receive an annual salary of Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) and each other Commissioner, shall receive an annual salary of Two Thousand Four Hundred Dollars ($2,400.00) for their services, payable monthly out of the funds of the Commission, and in addition to their necessary expenses in the performance of their duties.
Section 12. Discretionary Payments to the Mayor and Council of New Castle
(a) Anything in this Act to the contrary notwithstanding, the Commission is hereby authorized, from time to time and in the Commissioners' sole discretion, to make payments out of surplus earnings to the Mayor and Council of New Castle."
Section 2. As of the enactment of this Act into law, the current members of the Board of Water and Light Commissioners of the City of New Castle shall constitute the Board of the Municipal Services Commission and shall continue in that capacity for the remainder of their current terms of appointment.
Approved July 01,1999