ACT 381 (1967)

 

Reprinted in composite form to include

the provisions of various amendments,

as listed at the end of this document.

 

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A SOUTHEASTERN

CONNECTICUT WATER AUTHORITY

 

 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

 

            SECTION 1.  It is determined and declared that the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority and the carrying out of its powers, purposes, and duties are for the benefit of the people of the Southeastern Connecticut Planning Region and the state of Connecticut and for the improvement of their health, welfare and prosperity, that the said purposes are public purposes, and that the authority is and will be performing an essential governmental function in the exercise of its powers under this act.

 

            SECTION 2.  As used in this act, unless a different meaning appears in the context: “District” means the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority District created by section 3 of this act; “treasurer” means the treasurer of the Authority; “properties” means the water supply and distribution system or systems of the authority; “bonds” means bonds, notes and obligations issued by the authority pursuant to this act; “revenues” means all rents, charges and other income derived from the operation of the properties of the authority; “service area” means all properties fronting on a water supply system owned or operated by a town, city or borough or by a private water company; “water supply system” means plants, structures and other real and personal property acquired, constructed or operated for the purpose of supplying water, including reservoirs, basins, dams, canals, aqueducts, standpipes, conduits, pipelines, mains, pumping stations, water distribution systems, compensating reservoirs, waterworks or sources of water supply, wells, purification or filtration plants or other plants and works, connections, rights of flowage or diversion, and other plants, structures, conveyances, and other real and personal property, and rights therein, and appurtenances necessary or useful and convenient for the accumulation, supply or distribution of water.

 

            SECTION 3.  There is created a district to be known as the “Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority District” which embraces the area and territory of the Southeastern Connecticut Planning Region as defined by the Connecticut development commission under the provisions of section 32-7 of the general statutes.

 

            SECTION 4.  (a) The representative advisory board to the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority shall consist of two electors from each town within the district who shall be appointed by the board of selectmen or town council, as the case may be, on September 1, 1969, and whose successors shall be so appointed on or before September first biennially thereafter.  One of such members of the advisory board from each town shall be appointed by the members of the board of selectmen or town council, as the case may be, of the political party having the greatest representation on such board, or council and the other member of said advisory board shall be appointed by the members of the board of selectmen or town council of the political party having the next greatest representation.  Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit any member of the Southeastern Connecticut Regional Council of Governments from serving as a member of the representative advisory board.  Members shall serve for a term of two years and until their successors are appointed and have qualified and shall serve without compensation.  They shall elect a chairman, a vice-chairman and a secretary and establish such bylaws as they deem necessary.  Members of the advisory board shall not vote on any matter before the advisory board other than in person.

 

(b) The advisory board shall meet at least quarterly with the authority to review the progress and financial condition of the authority, and may, as it deems necessary, call special meetings with the authority to review such progress and financial condition and to discuss issues relating to water supply and the operations of the authority.  The advisory board shall establish procedures and policies, jointly with the authority, to govern the basis on which the authority shall coordinate its activities to cooperatively develop the water supply and distribution system necessary for an integrated regional water supply system.  The advisory board shall select the certified public accountant to conduct the annual audit of the accounts, books and records of the authority.

 

            (c) There shall be established a technical advisory board to the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority and the representative advisory board of said authority.  Said technical advisory board shall advise and assist the authority and representative board in arriving at technical consensus on future regional water requirements, assist in the establishment and implementation of long-range programs, and provide technical advice in the consideration of major technical projects, the acquisition of utilities, utility operation, rate exchanges and in other appropriate matters.

 

            Each town in the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority district, having a water or waste water utility or such other board or commission having functions directly relating to water supply may appoint one member.  This member shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing municipality.  Such members shall elect a chairman who shall serve for a term of one year.

 

            Technical advisory board members may attend any and all meetings of the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority, the representative advisory board or committees thereof.  Such members shall offer such advice as may be requested or as they shall deem appropriate.  They shall, in liaison with the representative advisory board members of their respective communities, report to their municipalities any matters affecting those municipalities.  Technical advisory board members shall be representatives of their respective communities and shall be governed by instructions of their municipalities.  Technical advisory board members shall serve in an advisory capacity and have no vote as to the decisions of the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority or the representative advisory board.

 

            SECTION 5. A corporation known as the “Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority” is created for the purposes, charged with the duties and granted the powers provided in this act.  The authority shall be a body corporated and politic.  The authority shall consist of seven members who shall not be members of the advisory board, all of whom shall be residents of the district.  Five members shall be appointed directly by a majority of those members of the representative advisory board present and voting.  The remaining two members shall be appointed by the representative advisory board, subject to the conditions described in this section, from a slate of no fewer than three nominees provided by the Southeastern Connecticut Regional Council of Governments.  The term of appointment shall be five years and until their successors are appointed except that of the five members first appointed one shall be appointed for a term of five years, one for a term of four years, one for a term of three years, one for a term of two years and one for the term of one year and the two members selected from nominees provided by the Southeastern Connecticut Regional Council of Governments shall be appointed for terms of four years and three years, respectively.  Not more than four members of the authority shall be members of the same political party.  Vacancies on the authority shall be filled by appointments by the advisory board for the unexpired terms, including the replacement of members nominated by the Southeastern Connecticut Regional Council of Governments by selecting and appointing new members from a slate of nominees provided by the Southeastern Connecticut Regional Council of Governments.  Members of the authority may be removed from office by the advisory board for cause.  Members of the authority shall receive such compensation for their services as shall be fixed by the advisory board and shall be reimbursed for their necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any member of the Southeastern Connecticut Regional Council of Governments from serving as a member of the authority.

 

            SECTION 6. The duration of the authority and its corporate existence shall be perpetual unless its existence is terminated or altered by act of the general assembly, provided the general assembly shall not terminate the existence of the authority until all of its liabilities have been met and its bonds have been paid in full or such liabilities and bonds have otherwise been discharged.

 

            SECTION 7. The officers of the authority shall be a chairman, a vice chairman and a treasurer, who shall be members of the authority, and a secretary, who need not be a member of the authority.  The first chairman shall be designated by the advisory board for a three-year term and subsequent chairmen shall be elected by the authority for three-year terms.  All other officers shall be appointed by the authority for one-year terms and shall serve at the pleasure of the authority.  The treasurer shall execute a bond, conditioned upon the faithful performance of the duties of his office, the amount and sufficiency of which shall be approved by the authority and the premium therefore shall be paid by the authority.

 

            SECTION 8. The authority may employ such persons as it may require for the performance of its duties and may fix and determine their qualifications, duties and compensation.  The authority may also from time to time contract for expert professional services.

 

            SECTION 9. The powers of the authority shall be exercised by the members at a meeting duly called and held, and four members shall constitute a quorum.  No action shall be taken except pursuant to the favorable vote of at least four members.  The authority may delegate to one or more of its members, officers, agents or employees such powers and duties as it may deem proper.

 

            SECTION 10. The authority shall not sell water in the service area of a water supply system owned by the state or any political subdivision thereof or a private water company or association unless the legislative body of such body politic or the governing board of such private water company or association shall adopt a resolution requesting the authority to sell water in such area.

 

            SECTION 11. The properties of the authority which have been developed for water supply purposes may be used for conservation and recreation purposes, provided the state department of health shall find that such uses will not be harmful to the quality of water being provided by the authority.

 

            SECTION 12. The authority shall cooperate with both municipal and volunteer fire departments to assure adequate supplies of water for fire protection.  In so cooperating, the authority may reach agreements with the various fire departments to furnish fire hydrants where these are needed.

 

            SECTION 13. When a city, town, borough, corporation, company, association or person intends to develop for water supply purposes within the district a potential surface reservoir site with an estimated dependable yield of more than five hundred thousand gallons per day, or one or more potential wells having estimated combined yields of more than fifty gallons per minute, except for wells which are within one thousand feet of an existing water main belonging to such city, town, borough, corporation, company, association or person, it shall first declare such intention to the authority and shall indicate its anticipated water requirements.  Within three months of being so notified, the authority shall determine whether or not such water supply development would affect the regional water supply plan of the authority.  If in the authority’s judgment such plan will not be affected, the authority shall release such potential water supply site for development by such city, town, borough, corporation, company, association or person; otherwise the authority shall promptly select an engineer satisfactory to such city, town, borough, corporation, company, association or person to design and supervise construction of facilities to satisfy water requirements, construction of which shall be commenced by the authority upon approval of plans by such city, town, borough, corporation, company, or person.  Failure of the authority to act within the prescribed time limit shall constitute approval for development of the site or well field by the city, town, borough, corporation, company, association or person concerned.  Provisions of this section shall not apply to development of a water supply for a single dwelling for water requirements of less than fifty gallons per minute.

 

            (Special Act No. 73-133 added the following clarification)

 

            For the purpose of section 13 and number 381 of the special acts of 1967, as amended by section 2 of number 206 of the special acts of 1969, the intention to develop one or more wells having estimated yields of fifty gallons per minute shall be presumed if the city, town, borough, corporation, company, association or person (1) commences the development of a well water supply on the basis of studies which indicate a maximum requirement in excess of fifty gallons per minute; or (2) commences construction of two or more dwelling units consisting of, but not limited to, single family or duplex homes, apartments, condominiums or cooperatives, to be served by a single water supply, pursuant to a plan of lots which, together with any adjacent tracts owned or controlled by the same person or persons, contains fifty acres or more.  The cost of development of such a well shall be allocated between Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority and such city, town, borough, corporation, company, association or person in accordance with such regulations as said authority shall adopt.

 

            SECTION 14. The authority shall have the power: (a) to sue and be sued; (b) to have a seal and alter the same at pleasure; (c) to acquire, in the name of the authority, lease, hold and dispose of personal property or any interest therein for its corporate purposes, including the power to purchase prospective or tentative awards in connection with the exercise of the power of eminent domain granted; (d) to purchase, in the name of the authority, any water supply system or parts thereof situated within or outside the district, except in the town of Lebanon, for the purpose of supplying water for domestic, commercial and public purposes at retail to individual consumers within the district or at wholesale in the manner provided by subdivision (h) of this section.  As a means of so acquiring for such purposes and subject to the approval of the public utilities commission, the authority may purchase all of the stock of any existing privately owned water corporation or water company and thereafter such water corporation or water company shall be dissolved; (e) except for any property or interest in property located outside the district or in the town of Lebanon or for a water supply system the legal title or water rights to which are vested in the state or a political subdivision thereof, or for a water supply system the legal title to which is vested in a private corporation or association using such system wholly for its own use, to acquire by eminent domain such land, interest in land, real estate and other rights, hereinafter called such property, as it may require for the purpose of supplying water for domestic, commercial and public purposes at retail to individual consumers within the district or at wholesale in the manner provided by subdivision (h) of this section, subject to the terms and conditions hereinafter set forth, provided said authority shall be held to pay all damages, including reasonable legal costs and any moving expenses, that may arise to any person or persons from any such taking.  If such authority cannot agree with any owner upon the amount to be paid for any property to be acquired, said authority may, after ten days’ written notice to such owner, petition the superior court for the county in which such property is located, or, if said court is not then sitting, any judge of said court, and thereupon said court or such judge shall appoint a committee of three disinterested persons, who shall be sworn before commencing their duties.  Such committee, after giving reasonable notice to the parties, shall view the property in question, hear the evidence, ascertain the value, assess just damages to the owner or parties interested in the property, and report its doings to said court or such judge.  Said court or such judge may accept such report or may reject it for irregular or improper conduct by the committee in the performance of its duties.  If the report is rejected, the court or judge shall appoint another committee, who shall proceed in the same manner as did the first committee.  If the report is accepted, such acceptance shall have the effect of a judgment in favor of the owner of the property against said authority for the amount of such assessment, and, except as otherwise provided by law, execution may issue therefor.  Such property shall not be used by such authority until the amount of such assessment has been paid to the party to whom it is due or deposited for his use with the state treasurer and, upon such payment or deposit, such property shall become the property of the authority provided, if at any stage of condemnation proceedings brought hereunder, it appears to the court or judge before whom such proceedings are pending that the public interest will be prejudiced by delay, said court or such judge may direct that the authority be permitted to enter immediately upon the property to be taken and devote it temporarily the public use specified in such petition upon the deposit with said court of a sum to be fixed by said court or such judge, upon notice to the parties of not less than ten days, and such sum when so fixed and paid shall be applied so far as it may be necessary for the purpose of the payment of any award of damages which may be made, with interest thereon from the date of the order of said court or such judge, and the remainder if any returned to the authority.  If such petition is dismissed or no award of damages is made, said court or such judge shall direct that the money so deposited, so far as it may be necessary, shall be applied to the payment of any damages that the owner of such property or other parties in interest may have sustained by such entry upon and use of such property, and of the costs and expenses of such proceedings, such damages to be ascertained by said court or such judge or a committee to be appointed for that purpose, and if the sum so deposited is insufficient to pay such damages and all costs and expenses so awarded, judgment shall be entered against the authority for the deficiency, to be enforced and collected in the same manner as a judgment in the superior court; and the possession of such property shall be restored to the owner or owners thereof.  The expenses or costs of any such proceedings shall be taxed by said court or such judge and paid by the authority; (f) except as otherwise provided in this act, to construct and develop any water supply system within the district and to purchase land, land easements, rights in land and water rights, and rights of way in connection therewith, within such district; and to own and operate, maintain, repair, improve, reconstruct, enlarge and extend, subject to provisions of this act, any of its properties acquired or constructed under this act, all of which together with the acquisition are declared to be public purposes; (g) any provision in any general statue, special act or charter to the contrary notwithstanding, to sell water, however acquired, at retail to individual consumers within the district for domestic, commercial, industrial and public purposes, or at wholesale to any and all municipalities or to privately owned public water supply companies in the district.  All contracts for sale of water shall be binding for a period specified therein.  The fact that any municipality has procured or is about to procure an independent source of water supply shall not prevent such municipality from purchasing water from the authority.  The authority may sell any water not needed in such district to any municipality or to any privately owned public water supply company; (h) any provision in any general statute, special act or charter to the contrary notwithstanding, to purchase water approved by the commissioner of health for any person, private corporation or municipality when necessary or convenient for the operation of any water supply system developed by the authority, on such terms and conditions as the parties may agree upon, or when necessary or convenient for resale by the authority under the provisions of subdivision (g) of this section; (i) to make bylaws for the management and regulation of its affairs and for the use of its properties and, subject to the provisions of any bond issue, rules for the sale of water and the collection of rents and charges therefor.  A copy of such rules and bylaws and all amendments thereto, certified by the secretary of the authority, shall be filed in the office of the secretary of the state; (j) to make contracts and execute all necessary or convenient instruments, including evidence of indebtedness, negotiable or nonnegotiable; (k) to make surveys, soundings and examinations; (l) to borrow money and to issue negotiable bonds of notes and to fund and refund the same and to provide for the rights of the holders of the authority's obligations; (m) to fix rates and collect charges for the use of the facilities of, or services rendered by, or for any commodities furnished by the authority such as to provide revenues sufficient at all times to pay, as the same shall become due, the principle and interest on the bonds or notes of the authority together with the maintenance of proper reserves, in addition to paying, as the same shall become due, the expense of operating and maintaining the properties of the authority together with proper reserves for depreciation, maintenance and contingencies and all other obligations and indebtedness of the authority; (n) to enter into cooperative agreements with other water authorities, municipalities, water districts or utility or water supply companies within or without the district for interconnection of the facilities, exchange or interchange of services and commodities or for any other lawful purpose necessary or desirable to effect the purpose of this act, such agreements to be binding for a period specified therein; (o) to accept grants, loans or contributions from the United States, the state of Connecticut, or any agency or instrumentality of either of them, or an individual, by request or otherwise, and to expend the proceeds for any purposes of the authority; (p) to do all things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers expressly given in this act and including the powers granted by the general statutes to stock corporations except the power to issue stock; (q) at any time after the authority has, upon petition by property owners representing a majority in number and frontage to be assessed for present benefits, authorized the acquisition or construction of a water supply system or portion thereof, the authority may apportion and assess the whole or any portion of the cost thereof upon the lands and buildings in the district which, in its judgement, are especially benefited thereby, and upon the owners of such land and buildings, according to such rules as the authority adopts, subject to the right of appeal as hereinafter provided, and provided no assessment shall be made upon any land and buildings for which a water supply is currently available from any municipal water supply system.  Such assessment may include a proportionate share of the cost of any part of the water supply system, including the cost of preliminary studies and surveys, detailed working plans and specifications, acquiring necessary land or property or any interest therein, damage awards, interest charges during construction, legal and other fees, and any other expense incidental to the completion of the work, provided the authority shall not assess for the cost of transmission or feeder mains into which the authority will not permit service connection to be made, or for the cost of any main in excess of the cost of an eight-inch main, except where a larger main is required for the benefit of a particular property or group of properties, against which the authority may then assess the additional costs of such larger mains.  The basis for the assessment for such mains shall be determined by vote of the legislative body of the town within which the mains are laid.  The authority may divide the total territory to be benefited by a water supply system into local districts and may levy assessments against the property benefited in each local district separately.  In assessing benefits against property in any local district the authority may add to the cost of the part of the water supply system located in the local district a proportionate share of the cost of any part of the water supply system located outside the local district but deemed by the authority to be necessary or desirable for the operation of the part of the system within the local district.  In assessing benefits and apportioning the amount to be raised thereby among the properties benefited, the authority may give consideration to area, frontage, grand list valuation, present or permitted use or clarification of benefit properties and any other relevant factors.  The authority shall make a reasonable allowance in the case of a property having frontage on more than one street and whenever for any reason the particular situation of any property requires an allowance.  Revenue from assessment of benefits shall be used solely for acquisition or construction of the water supply system providing such benefits or for payment of principal of and interest on bonds or notes issued to finance such acquisition or construction.  No assessment shall be made against any property in excess of the special benefit to accrue to such property, an the aggregate of all assessments for the assessable portion of the entire water supply system of the authority shall at not time exceed the total construction cost of such assessable portion of such water supply system.  In case of a property other than commercial, industrial or institutional which exceeds by more than one hundred per cent the size of the smallest lot permitted in the lowest density residential zone allowed under zoning regulations, or, in the case of a town having no zoning regulations, a lot size of one acre in area and one hundred fifty feet in frontage, assessment of such excess land shall be deferred until such time as such excess land shall be built upon or a building permit issued therefor or until approval of a subdivision plan of such excess property by the planning commission having jurisdiction, whichever event occurs first, at which time assessment may be made as provided herein.  No lien securing payment shall be filed until the property is assessed.  No assessment or supplementary assessment shall be made until after a public hearing before the authority at which the owner of the property to be assessed shall have an opportunity to be heard concerning the proposed assessment.  Notice of the time, place and purpose of such hearing shall be published at least ten days before the date thereof in a newspaper having circulation in the district, and a copy of such notice shall be mailed to the owner of any property to be affected thereby, at least ten days before the date thereof, at such owner's address as shown in the last-completed grand list of the municipality in which such property is located or at any later address of which the authority may have knowledge.  A copy of the proposed assessment shall be on file in the office of the authority and in the office of the town clerk of the town in which the property to be assessed is located and such assessment shall be available for inspection by the public for at least ten days before the date of such hearing.  When the authority has determined the amount of the assessment to be levied, it shall file a copy thereof in the office of the authority and shall record a copy thereof in the office of such town clerk and, not later than five days after such filing and recording, shall cause the same to be published in a newspaper having circulation in the district.  Such publication shall state the date on which such assessment was filed and that any appeal from such assessment must be taken to the court of common pleas for the county wherein the property is located, within twenty-one days after such filing.  Such court may appoint three disinterested persons to appraise the benefits to such property and to make a report of their doings to the court.  Such appeal, during the pendency thereof, shall stay all proceedings for collection of the particular assessment upon which the appeal is predicated.  If any assessment is not valid or enforceable for any reason, a new assessment may be made.  If any assessment is made which is not sufficient to cover the entire cost of the work to be paid for by such assessment, a supplementary assessment may be made by the authority within six months after final completion of construction against those properties previously assessed, to the end that a sum sufficient to pay the cost of such work may be obtained, provided no such supplementary assessment, together with the original assessment, shall exceed the value of the special benefit to accrue to the property against which the benefit is assessed.  Assessments shall give notice of the date when assessments are due and payable by publication at least twice within a period of fifteen days in a newspaper having circulation in the district.  Such notice shall list the streets and describe the area within which are located any properties against which such assessments are due.  No assessment shall be due and payable earlier than thirty days after first publication of such notice.  The authority may provide for payment of any assessment in substantially equal annual installments, not exceeding twenty, and may provide for interest charges not exceeding six per cent for any deferred payments, provided the last installment of any assessment shall be due not later than one year prior to the date of the last maturity of any bonds or notes issued by the authority to finance acquisition or construction of any water supply system or portion thereof in respect to which the assessment was levied.  Any person may pay any installment for which he is liable at any time prior to the due date there of and no interest on any such installment shall be charged beyond the date of such payment.  Any assessment or benefits or any installment thereof not paid within thirty days after the due date shall be delinquent and shall be subject to interest from such due date at the interest rate and in the manner provided by the general statutes for delinquent property taxes.  Each addition of interest shall be collectable as a part of such assessment.  Whenever any installment of an assessment becomes delinquent, all remaining unpaid installments of such assessment shall also become delinquent.  Any unpaid assessment and any interest due thereon shall constitute a lien upon the real estate against which the assessment was levied from the date of such levy.  Each such lien may be continued, recorded and released in the manner provided by the general statutes for continuing, recording and releasing property tax liens.  Each such lien shall take precedence over all other liens and encumbrances except taxes and may be foreclosed in the same manner as property tax liens.  The authority may by resolution designate any person as collector of water supply systems assessments, and the authority may recover any such assessment in a civil action against any person liable therefor.  Whenever any person has become delinquent in the payment of any installment and has paid all such past-due installments together with any interest or other charges, the authority shall permit such person to pay any remaining installments without additional penalty, except for subsequent default, in accordance with the original installment schedule.  The authority may establish and revise fair and reasonable charges for connection with a water supply system.  The owner of property against which any such connection charge is levied shall be liable for payment thereof.  Municipally-owned and other tax-exempt property which uses the water supply system shall be subject to such charges under the same conditions as are the owners of other property.  No schedule of such charges for connection with a water supply system shall be established or revised until after a public hearing before the authority at which any parties having an interest in such charges shall have an opportunity to be heard.  Notice of the time, place and purpose of such hearing shall be published at least ten days before the date thereof in a newspaper having circulation in the district.  A copy of the proposed charges shall be on file in the office of the authority and in the office of the town clerk of the town in which the property being charges is located, and such charges shall be available for inspection by the public for at least ten days before the date of such hearing.  When the authority has established or revised such charges, it shall file a copy thereof in the office of the authority and in the office of such town clerk and, not later than five days after such filing, shall cause the same to be published in a newspaper having circulation in the district.  Such publication shall state the date on which such charges were filed and the time and manner of paying such charges and shall state that any appeal from such charges must be taken within twenty-one days after such filing.  Any person aggrieved by any charge for connection with a water supply system may appeal to the court of common pleas for the county wherein the local district is located.  In establishing or revising such charges the authority may classify the property connected or to be connected with the water supply system and may give consideration to any factors relating to the kind, quality or extent of use of any such property or classification of property including anticipated maximum rate of flow to the property; size of service pipe and meter; private fire protection to be provided by the service pipe and appurtenances; and any other factor affecting the cost of rendering water service to the property.  The authority may establish minimum charge for connection with a water supply system.  Any charge for connection with or for use of a water supply system not paid within thirty days of the due date shall thereupon be delinquent and shall bear interest from the due date at the rate and in the manner provided by the general statutes for delinquent property taxes.  Each addition of interest shall be collectable as a part of such connection or use charge.  Any such unpaid connection or use charge shall constitute a lien upon the real estate against which such charge was levied from the date it became delinquent.  Each such lien may be continued, recorded and released in the manner provided by the general statutes for continuing, recording and releasing property tax liens by the person designated as collector of connection charges.  Each such lien shall take precedence over all other liens and encumbrances except taxes and may be foreclosed in the same manner as a lien for property taxes.  The authority may by resolution designate any person as collector of water supply system connection and use charges, and such collector of water supply system connection and use charges may collect such charges in accordance with the provisions of the general statutes for the collection of property taxes.  The authority may recover any such charges in a civil action against any person liable therefor.  The authority shall have such other rights in connection with the sale of water including the right to discontinue water service for nonpayment of delinquent bills, as its bylaws or regulations shall provide.

 

            SECTION 15. All moneys of the authority from whatever source derived shall be paid to the treasurer of the authority.  Said moneys shall be deposited in the first instance by the treasurer in one or more banks or trust companies in one or more special accounts, and each of such special accounts, to the extent the same is not insured, shall be continuously secured by a pledge of direct obligations of the United States or of the state of Connecticut having an aggregate market value exclusive of accrued interest at all times at least equal to the balance on deposit in such account.  The trust indenture shall provide that, if at any time the above securities should for any reason prove to be insufficient to meet the payments as they become due and payable, the trustee shall transfer from any other source to said funds any such amounts as may be required to meet such deficiencies.  All banks and trust companies are authorized to give such security for such deposits.  The money in said account shall be paid out on the warrant or other order of the chairman of the authority, or of such other person or persons as the authority may authorize to execute such warrants or order.

 

            SECTION 16. (a) The authority shall have the power and is authorized from time to issue its negotiable bonds for any of its corporate purposes, including incidental expenses in connection therewith, and to secure the payment of the same by a lien or pledge covering all or parts of its contracts, earnings or revenues.  The authority shall have power from time to time, whenever it deems refunding expedient, to refund any bonds by the issuance of new bonds within the terms of any refunding provisions of its bonds, whether the bonds to be refunded have or have not matured, and may issue bonds partly to refund bonds then outstanding and partly for any of its corporate purposes.  Except as may be otherwise expressly provided by the authority, every issue of bonds by the authority shall be preferred obligations, taking priority over all other claims against the authority, and payable out of any moneys, earnings or revenues of the authority, subject only to any agreement with the holders of particular bonds pledging any particular moneys, earnings or revenues.  Notwithstanding the fact that bonds may be payable from a special fund, if they are otherwise of such form and character as to be negotiable instruments under the terms of the uniform commercial code, the bonds shall be negotiable instruments within the meaning of and for all the purposes of the uniform commercial code, subject only to the provisions if the bonds for registration.  (b) The bonds shall be authorized by resolution of the authority and shall bear such date or dates, mature at such time or times, not exceeding forty years from their respective dates, bear interest at such rates per annum, not exceeding statutory limitations, payable at such time, be in such denomination, be in such form, either coupon or registered, carry such registration privileges, be executed in such manner, be payable in lawful money of the United States of America, at such place or places, and be subject to such terms of redemption as such resolution or resolutions may provide.  All bonds of the authority shall be sold through a negotiated sale or public sale upon sealed bids to the bidder who shall offer the lowest net interest cost to the authority, to be determined by the authority.  The notice of sale shall be published at least once, not less than ten or more than forty days before the date of sale, in a financial newspaper circulated in the state of Connecticut and the city of New York and designated by the authority.  The notice shall call for the receipt of sealed bids and shall fix the date, time and place of sale.  (c) Any resolution or resolutions authorizing any bonds or any issue of bonds may contain provisions which shall be a part of the contract with the holders of the bonds thereby authorized as to (1) pledging all or any part of the moneys, earnings, income and revenues derived from all or any part of the properties of the authority to secure the payment of the bonds or any issue of the bonds subject to such agreement with the bondholders as may then exist; (2) the rates, rentals, fees and other charges to be fixed and collected and the amounts to be raised each year thereby, and the use and disposition of the earnings and other revenues; (3) the setting aside of reserves and the creation of sinking funds and the regulation and disposition thereof; (4) limitations on the right of the authority to restrict and regulate the use of the properties in connection with which such bonds are issued; (5) limitations on the purposes to which, and the manner in which, the proceeds of sale of any issue of bonds may be applied; (6) limitations on the issuance of additional bonds, the terms upon which additional bonds may be issued and secured, and the refunding of outstanding or other bonds; (7) the procedure, if any, by which the terms of any contract with bondholders may be amended or abrogated, the amount of the bonds the holders of which must consent thereto, and the manner in which such consent may be given; (8) the creation of special funds into which any earning or revenues of the authority may be deposited; (9) the terms ad provisions of any trust deed or indenture securing the bonds or under which bonds may be issued: (10) defining the acts or omission to act which shall constitute a default in the obligations and duties of the authority to the bondholders and provide the rights and remedies of the bondholders in the event of such default, including as a matter of right the appointment of a receiver, provided such rights and remedies shall not be inconsistent with the general laws of this state; (11) limitations on the power of the authority to sell or otherwise dispose of its properties; (12) any other matters, of like or different character, which is any way affect the security or protection of the bonds; (13) limitations on the amount of moneys derived from the properties to be expended for operating administrative or other expenses of the authority.  (d) It is the intention of the legislature that any pledge of earnings, revenues or other moneys made by the authority shall be valid and binding from the time when the pledge is made; that the earnings, revenues or other moneys so pledged and thereafter received by the authority shall immediately be subject to the lien of such pledge without any physical delivery thereof or further act, and than lien of any such pledge shall be valid and binding as against all parties having claims of any kind in tort, contract or otherwise against the authority irrespective of whether such parties have notice thereof.  Neither the resolution nor any other instruments by which a pledge is created need be recorded.  (e) Neither the members of the authority nor any person executing the bonds shall be liable personally on the bonds or be subject to any personal liability or accountability by reason of the issuance thereof.  (f) The authority shall have the power out of any funds available to purchase, as distinguished from the power of redemption above provided, any bonds issued by it at a price of not more than the principle amount thereof and accrued interest, and all such bonds shall be cancelled.  (g) In the discretion of the authority, the bonds may be secured by a trust indenture by and between the authority and corporate trustee, which may be any trust company or bank having the powers of a trust company.   Such trust indenture may contain such provisions for protecting and enforcing the rights and remedies of the bondholders as may be reasonable and proper and not in violation of any law, including covenants setting forth the duties of the authority in relation to the construction, maintenance, operation, repair and insurance of the properties, and the custody, safeguarding and application of all moneys, and may provide that the properties shall be constructed and paid for under the supervision and approval of consulting engineers.  The authority may provide by such trust indenture or other depository for the methods of disbursement thereof, with such safeguards and restrictions as it may determine.  All expenses incurred in carrying out such trust indenture may be treated as part of the cost of maintenance, operation and repairs of the properties.  If the bonds are secured by a trust indenture, bondholders shall have no authority to appoint a separate trustee to represent them.  Notwithstanding any other provisions of this act, any resolution or resolutions authorizing bonds or notes of the authority shall contain a covenant by the authority that will at all times maintains rates, fees, rentals or other charges sufficient to pay, and that any contracts entered into by the authority for the sale and distribution of water shall contain rates, fees, rentals or other charges sufficient to pay, the cost of operation and maintenance of the properties, the principle of and interest on any obligation issued pursuant to such resolution or resolutions as the same severally become due and payable, and to maintain any reserves or other funds required by the terms of such resolution or resolutions.

 

            SECTION 17.  The authority shall have the power and is authorized to issue negotiable bond anticipation notes and may renew the same from time to time, but the maximum maturity of any such note, including renewals thereof, shall not exceed five years from date of issue of such original note.  Such notes shall be paid from any moneys of the authority available therefor and not otherwise pledged, or from the proceeds of the same of the bonds of the authority in anticipation of which they were issued.  The notes shall be issued in the same manner as the bonds and such notes and the resolution or resolutions authorizing the same may contain any provisions, conditions or limitations which the bonds or a bond resolution of the authority may contain.  Such notes may be sold at public or private sale at not less than par and shall bear interest at a rate not exceeding five cent per annum.  Such notes shall be as fully negotiable as the bonds of the authority.

 

            SECTION 18.  (a) The authority, subject to any limitation on the amount of revenues available to be expended for such purposes, and subject to engineering and financial feasibility studies, shall plan, operate and maintain a water supply system and, where necessary, construct water supply systems for the Southeastern Connecticut Planning Region.  In no event is this act to be construed as requiring the authority to construct a water supply system in any area where expected revenues would not meet the expected expenditure for construction and operation of such a water supply system, provided, on the written request of the city council of the city of Groton, for the provision of water, said authority shall immediately proceed to establish a source of water supply for said city which will provide not less than four million gallons of water per day and shall connect such source to the water supply system of said city, the cost of such establishment and connection to be borne by said authority. (b) Notwithstanding any provision of subsection (a) of this section or any other provision of any special act or general statute, the authority shall, not later than July 1, 2003, either  (1) amend or revise such authority’s last water supply plan for the Southeastern Connecticut Planning Region, or (2) adopt a new water supply plan for the Southeastern Connecticut Planning Region.  The cost of such amendment, revision or adoption shall not exceed one hundred fifty thousand dollars.  In the amendment, revision or adoption of any such plan pursuant to this subsection, the authority shall conduct an analysis of the potential to more fully interconnect and integrate the Southeastern Connecticut Planning Region water supply system.  The authority shall submit for review any amendments, revisions or plan developed pursuant to this subsection to the water planning council established pursuant to public act 01-177, as amended by this act.

 

            SECTION 19.  The state of Connecticut does pledge to and agree with the holders of the bonds or notes that the state will not limit or alter the rights vested in the authority to require, construct, maintain, operate, reconstruct and improve the properties, to establish and collect the revenues, rates, rentals, fees and other charges referred to in this act and to fulfill the terms of any agreements made with the holders of the bonds or notes, or in any way impair the rights and remedies of the bondholders or noteholders until the bonds or notes together with interest thereon, interest on any unpaid installments of interest and all costs and expenses in connection with any action or proceeding by or on behalf of the bondholders or noteholders are fully met and discharged.  

 

            SECTION 20.  The bonds or notes of the authority shall not be debt of the state of Connecticut or of any municipality, and neither the state nor any municipality shall be liable therefor, nor shall they be payable out of funds other than those of the authority.

 

            SECTION 21.  The bonds and notes shall be securities in which all public officers and bodies of this state and all municipalities, all insurance companies and association, and other persons carrying on an insurance business, all banks, bankers, trust companies, savings banks and savings and loan associations, investment companies and other persons carrying on a banking business and all other persons whatever, except as hereinafter provided, who are now or may be authorized to invest in bonds or other obligations of the state, may properly and legally invest funds, including capital in their control or belonging to them; provided, not withstanding the provisions of any other general statute or special act to the contrary, such bonds shall not be eligible for the investment of funds including capital or trusts, estates or guardianships under the control of individual administrators, guardians, executors, trustees and other individual fiduciaries.  The bonds are also made securities which may be deposited with and may be received by all public officers and bodies of this state and all municipalities and municipal subdivisions for any purpose for which the deposit of bonds or other obligations of this state is now or may be authorized.

 

            SECTION 22.  It is determined and declared that the creation of the authority, and the carrying out of its corporate purposes is in all respects for the benefit of the people of the state of Connecticut, and is a public purpose, and the authority shall be regarded as performing a governmental function in the exercise of the powers conferred upon it by this act and shall not be required to pay taxes or assessments upon any of the properties acquired by it or under its jurisdiction or control or supervision or upon its activities, provided in lieu of such taxes or assessments the authority shall make annual payments to any municipality in which it owns land.  Such payments shall equal the amount of taxes that would be payable on the authority’s land at the current tax rate and rules governing assessment and under the classification of Grade A farm land.

 

            SECTION 23.  The state of Connecticut covenants with the purchasers and with all subsequent holders and transferees of bonds or notes issued by the authority pursuant to this act, in consideration of the acceptance of and payment for the bonds and notes, that the bonds and notes of the authority issued pursuant to this act and the income therefrom, and all moneys, funds and revenues pledged to pay or secure the payment of such bonds or notes, shall at all times be free from taxation.

 

            SECTION 24.  No certificate of convenience and necessity, permit, license, consent or other authorization shall be required to be obtained by the authority from any board, commission or other agency of the state in order that the authority may acquire lease, own or operate, maintain, improve, extend or enlarge any property or properties referred to in this act, except that nothing in this act contained shall be construed to deprive the water resources commission of any jurisdiction which that commission may now or hereafter have pursuant to the provisions of the water resources and flood and erosion control laws or of any jurisdiction which the commissioner of health may now or hereafter have pursuant to the provisions of the public health law or any code, rule or regulation promulgated pursuant  thereto.  The authority shall consult and cooperate with all state agencies, commissions and boards, including the state board of fisheries and game, in all matters affecting the interest of such agencies, commissions and boards.  Neither the public utilities commission nor any other board or commission of like character shall, unless expressly authorized herein, have jurisdiction over the authority in the management and control of its properties or operations or any power over the regulations of the rates fixed or charges collected by the authority.  The authority annually shall file a report with the public utilities commission outlining the authority’s organization, its financial position for the completed year, its physical plant, the amount, location and nature of its water sales, and its wholesale and retail rates.  The public utilities commission shall publish such report in its own annual report.

 

            SECTION 25.  Except as otherwise provided in this act, all contracts or orders for work, materials, or supplies performed or furnished in connection with construction shall be awarded by the authority as it may determine.  Such contracts or orders of work, material or supplies needed for any particular purpose involving an expenditure of more than two thousand dollars shall be awarded only after inviting sealed bids or proposals.  The notice inviting sealed bids or proposals shall be published at least once in a newspaper or trade paper selected by the authority for such purpose, such publication to be at least ten days before the receipt of bids.  If the authority shall not deem it for the interest of the authority to reject all bids, it shall award the contract to the lowest bidder, unless the authority shall determine that it is for the pubic interest that a bid other than the lowest bid shall be accepted.  In any contract for work, material or supplies there shall be inserted at the discretion of the authority a provision that additional work may be done or material or supplies furnished for the purpose of completing such contract at any expense not exceeding fifteen per cent of the amount of such contract if such additional work, materials or supplies shall be ordered by the authority.  The bidder whose bid is accepted shall give security for the faithful performance of the contract and such other security for such other purposes as the authority may require and may be required to maintain for such period as shall be stipulated any construction done under the contract, all in the manner prescribed and required by the authority; and the sufficiency of such security shall, in addition to the justification and acknowledgment, be approved by the authority.  All bids or proposals shall be publicly opened by the authority or its duly authorized agent.  If the bidder whose bid has been accepted after advertising neglects or refuses to accept the contract within the period of time established in the advertisement for bids after written notice that the same has been awarded to him on his bid or proposal, or if he accepts but does not execute the contract and give proper security, the authority may declare his deposit forfeited and it shall be readvertised and relet as above provided.  In case any work shall be abandoned by any contractor, the authority may, if the best interests of the authority be served, compel the surety to carry out the terms of the contract for which it has given security or the authority may adopt on behalf of the authority any or all subcontracts made by such contractor for such work and all such subcontractors shall be bound by such adoption if made, and the authority shall, in the manner provided herein, readvertise and relet the work specified in the original contract exclusive of so much thereof as shall be provided for in the subcontract or subcontractors so adopted.  No bid shall be accepted from or contracts awarded to any person or any corporation who is in arrears to the authority upon any debt or contract, or is a defaulter as surety or otherwise upon any obligation of the authority.  Every contract involving an expenditure of more than five hundred dollars when entered into as herein provided for shall be executed in duplicate, one copy of which shall be held by the authority and one copy of which shall be delivered to the contractor.

 

            SECTION 26.  Any member of the authority, or any officer, agent, servant or employee employed or appointed by the authority who in any manner is interested directly in the furnishing of work, materials, supplies or labor or in any contract which the authority is empowered by this act to make shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than six months or both.

 

            SECTION 27.  (a) The authority shall have an annual audit of its accounts, books and records by a certified public accountant selected by the representative advisory board.  A copy of the audit shall be delivered to the municipalities within the district and to the public utilities commission.  A concise financial statement shall be published annually, at least once, in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality where the principle office of the authority is located.  If such publication is not made by the authority, the representative advisory board shall publish such statement at the expense of the authority.  If the authority fails to make such an audit, the auditor or accountant designated by the representative advisory board shall examine, at the expense of the authority, the accounts and books of the authority, including its receipts, disbursements, contracts, leases, sinking funds, investments and any other matters relating to its finances, operation and affairs.  (b) The attorney general shall have the right to examine the books, accounts and records of the authority.

 

            SECTION 28.  Neither the members of the authority, nor any person acting in its behalf, while acting within the scope of their authority, shall be subject to any personal liabilities resulting from the erection, construction, reconstruction, maintenance or operation of the properties or any of the improvements of the authority or from carrying out any of the powers expressly given in this act.

 

            SECTION 29.  Nothing in this act shall preclude the right of the authority to enter into contracts and agreements with city, town or private water companies or associations concerning the retail sale and delivery of water.

 

            SECTION 30.  If the authority desires to sell any of its real assets, it shall first allow the state of Connecticut the right to purchase the same at the price and on the terms offered therefor by a bona fide purchaser for value.  If the state does not exercise this right of first refusal, such real assets shall be offered to the municipality wherein the same are located at the same price and terms.  If both the state and such municipality do not exercise this right of refusal, the authority shall be free to offer the same to a bona fide purchaser for value.

 

            SECTION 31.  (a) The state bond commission may insure in the name of the state and may make advance commitments to insure any sums borrowed by the authority not exceeding in the aggregate fifteen million dollars for the purpose of providing working capital and organizational funds for the authority.  In the event the state becomes liable as a result of default with respect to any such sums borrowed by the authority which were insured by the state, necessary payment shall be made by the state treasurer from funds appropriated for debt service.  For the purposes of this section and section 33 of special act 381 of 1967, as amended, organizational funds shall include, but shall not be limited to, cost of acquisition of private water companies having not more than four thousand five hundred service connections.  Whatever sums are borrowed by the authority under the provisions of this section shall be repaid to the lender or lenders of the same on or before July 1, 2045.  Whenever the authority applies to the state bond commission for insurance of borrowings to be insured by the state pursuant to this section, it shall submit to the state treasurer and the secretary of the state bond commission a financial plan evidencing the authority’s ability to support such indebtedness.  (b) For the period during which any sums borrowed and insured in accordance with subsection (a) of this section are outstanding, the authority shall submit to the state treasurer a copy of its adopted budget for each fiscal year showing revenues adequate to meet all debt service payable by the authority during such fiscal year.  Upon completion of the authority’s annual audit for each fiscal year, the authority shall submit a copy thereof to the state treasurer.

 

            SECTION 32.  The authority may construct water supply systems under or through any public highway or street, public park or reservation or other public property if the method of such construction and the plans and specifications therefor have been approved by the authority having jurisdiction over the maintenance of such public highway or street, public park or reservation or other public property.

 

            SECTION 33.  The sum of two hundred fifty thousand dollars is appropriated for the purpose of providing working capital and organizational funds for the authority.

 

            SECTION 34.  Insofar as the provisions of this act are inconsistent with the provisions of any other act, general or special, or any local law of any municipality, the provisions of this act shall be controlling.  Nothing contained in this act shall be held to alter or abridge the powers and duties of the state department of health or of the water resources commission over water supply matters.

 

 

ORIGINAL LEGISLATION

SPECIAL ACT 381 (1967) – Effective July 6, 1967

 

AMENDMENTS

SPECIAL ACT 206 (1969) – Approved June 30, 1969

SPECIAL ACT 73-64, Approved May 20, 1973

SPECIAL ACT 73-133, Approved June 11, 1973

SPECIAL ACT 73-95, Approved June 11, 1973

SPECIAL ACT 74-15

SPECIAL ACT 76-54, Approved May 25, 1976

SPECIAL ACT 81-38, Approved June 2, 1981

PUBLIC ACT 83-524

SPECIAL ACT 90-28, Approved July 1, 1990

PUBLIC ACT 02-76

PUBLIC ACT 03-7

SPECIAL ACT 04-2 Effective July 1, 2004

 

ADDITIONAL

Public Act 83-524 and Public Act 85-129 authorize SCWA to acquire and operate sewage systems; as detailed in Connecticut General Statute Sec. 22a-439b., shown below:

 

Sec. 22a-439b. Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority may acquire and operate sewerage systems. (a) The Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority may acquire and operate sewerage systems, provided that the service area of the sewerage system to be acquired is generally congruent with the service area of a water supply and distribution system owned and operated by Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority.

(b) All provisions of special act number 381 of 1967, as amended by special act number 206 of 1969, numbers 64, 133 and 95 of 1973, number 54 of 1976 and number 38 of 1981, which apply to acquisitions and operation of water systems, shall apply to sewerage systems.

(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to sewerage systems owned or operated by a municipality or a municipal water pollution control authority unless the municipal owner of such system voluntarily transfers the ownership of such system to the Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority.

(d) The Southeastern Connecticut Water Authority shall, in the operation of sewerage systems, comply with the laws and regulations of the United States of America and the state of Connecticut.

(P.A. 83-524, S. 5, 6; P.A. 85-129, S. 1, 2.)

History: P.A. 85-129 provided that the Authority may acquire and operate a municipal sewerage system if the municipal owner voluntarily transfers ownership to the Authority.

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