[Rev. 11/22/2013 3:22:37 PM--2013]

POWER SYSTEMS

MINERAL COUNTY POWER SYSTEM ACT OF 1921

Chapter 45, Statutes of Nevada 1921

AN ACT to authorize the Board of County Commissioners of the County of Mineral, State of Nevada, to purchase, acquire and construct an electrical power and telephone line, extending from the Lundy Generating Plant of the Nevada-California Power Company situated in the County of Mono, State of California, to the Town of Hawthorne, Nevada, and thence via Luning and Mina to the Town of Simon in the County of Mineral, State of Nevada, and branches thereof; providing for the maintenance and operation of said line as a public utility; the issuance and sale of bonds therefor; the levy and collection of taxes for the payment of such bonds, and other matters properly relating thereto.

[Approved: March 4, 1921]

(Leadlines for sections have been supplied by the Legislative Counsel of the State of Nevada)

The People of the State of Nevada, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:

      Section 1.  Power of county to purchase electrical power and telephone lines extending from Lundy plant to Hawthorne; operation as public utility furnishing electrical energy; extension of line.  The County of Mineral, State of Nevada, acting by and through its Board of County Commissioners, is hereby authorized and empowered to purchase the electrical power and telephone lines now extending from the Lundy Generating Plant of the Nevada-California Power Company, situated near Lundy, in the County of Mono, State of California, to the town of Hawthorne, in the County of Mineral, State of Nevada, and known as the “Pacific Division” of the Nevada-California Power Company’s system of light and power lines within the State of Nevada, and thereafter to maintain and operate the same as a public utility for the transmission, sale and distribution of electrical energy to consumers, and to construct, operate and maintain an extension of said line from the Town of Hawthorne, via Luning and Mina, to the Town of Simon in said Mineral County, with branch from Mina to Candelaria, and the same shall be known as the “Mineral County Power System.”

      (Ch. 45, Stats. 1921 p. 80; A—Ch. 205, Stats. 1923 p. 366; Ch. 416, Stats. 2001 p. 2110)

      Sec. 2.  Operation and management of system by Board of Managers; requirements for contracts; loan from Federal Government for financing construction of facilities.  The Board of County Commissioners, hereinafter referred to as the “Board of Managers,” or the “Board,” shall have authority to enter into any and all necessary contracts with any person, firm or corporation, either within or without the State of Nevada, for the purchase of electric energy and current; or to purchase any existing light and power line or integral part thereof; or to purchase or construct any necessary telephone lines for use in connection with the Mineral County Power System; fix rates or tolls thereon; make any and all rules and regulations necessary and proper for the management, operation and control thereof, and may construct and operate branches or distributing lines, and operate substations, transformers and other electrical appliances under the conditions hereinafter provided; provided, however, that nothing herein contained referring to contracts shall be construed as in any way superseding or repealing the provisions of any of the statutes of this state requiring an advertisement for bids for the purchase of materials and supplies in excess of five hundred dollars, as now required by law, or to permit the Board to enter into contracts extending beyond their term of office, save and except contracts for the purchase of power or the sale of power; provided further, that in emergency cases the Board, by unanimous resolution and order to be entered upon their minutes and reciting such emergency, may direct the purchase of any necessary materials in excess of five hundred dollars value, required for immediate repair of said system, without advertising therefor; provided also, that all contracts entered into by said Board of Managers with consumers for power service upon an industrial or commercial basis shall specifically require an advance deposit to be made each month of not less than seventy-five percent (75%) of the estimated cost of power to be used by said consumer during the ensuing month, and shall also require that such advance payment must be made and paid to the county treasurer on or before the tenth day of each month, or the service shall be discontinued; such estimate shall be made by the Board upon the recommendation of the engineer or general manager of the System, and be based upon the amount of installed and connected motor equipment and hours of use of said consumer.

      The Board of Managers may also negotiate and enter into loan contracts with the Rural Electrification Administration as authorized by act of the Congress of the United States for the purpose of financing the construction of electrical transmission and generation facilities necessary to the fulfillment of service requirements and responsibilities.

      (Ch. 45, Stats. 1921 p. 81; A—Ch. 205, Stats. 1923 p. 366; Ch. 48, Stats. 1925 p. 55; Ch. 12, Stats. 1961 p. 11; Ch 416, Stats. 2001 p. 2111)

      Sec. 3.  Maintenance and operation of lines of system; extension of lines or installation of system for local distribution.

      (a) This act contemplates primarily the purchase, distribution and sale of electrical energy by the Mineral County Power System as a public utility in the towns of Luckyboy, Hawthorne, Luning, Mina, Candelaria, and Simon, over its lines, and the Board of County Commissioners are hereby authorized and empowered to maintain and operate said electric lines as a high tension electric power system, and purchase all necessary materials and supplies for use thereon or in connection therewith, and to operate transformers, substations and distributing systems at those points, or at other points to which the system lines may be hereafter extended, but nothing herein shall be construed so as to require or compel said Board to maintain and operate said System at any of said points if, in the judgment of said Board, as recorded in their minutes, it shall appear that so to do would be uneconomical and likely to result in an operating loss.

      (b) Whenever in the unanimous judgment of the Board of Managers (such opinion and the facts upon which it is based to be set forth in full upon their minutes), it shall appear that an extension of the lines of said System (either primary or secondary, as the same may be defined by the Board), would be a profitable investment for said utility and promote the general welfare of the community or section proposed to be served, they may authorize the same to be constructed, and enter into contracts therefor, upon the express conditions that such extension be built by or under the complete supervision and control of such Board, and that the cost of such extension and construction as required shall be advanced and paid to the County by the consumer or consumers whom it is proposed to serve, according to line extension rules and regulations filed with and approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada. All customer utility matters in relation to electric service shall be subject to the standard rules and regulations of the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada. The title to all such line extensions shall at all times be in, and remain with, the Mineral County Power System, whether the said cost shall have been fully rebated or not, and such extensions shall be considered as part of the Mineral County Power System authorized by this act.

      (c) The entire cost, including erection and installation of all operating equipment necessary on such line extensions, including transformers, substations, fixtures, lightning arresters and other necessary electrical equipment, shall be borne by the consumer or consumers served, and no part of such cost shall be rebated by the Board of Managers, either directly or indirectly; provided, however, that with the consent and approval of the Board of Managers, power may be sold and consumers served from the lines of said System, in cases where line extensions are built and necessary operating equipment installed (all to be of the standard required and approved by such Board), at the expense of said consumer or consumers and where the title to such extension and equipment remains in the consumer or consumers, but in every such case, no part of the cost of erection, installation or maintenance shall be paid or rebated, either directly or indirectly, to said consumer or consumers, nor shall such extension with its operating equipment be deemed or considered a part of the Mineral County Power System.

      (d) The Board as a condition precedent to entering into or authorizing any contract providing for extensions of their primary or secondary lines, shall specifically require that all electrical equipment proposed to be installed by such consumer or consumers shall be of the standard type and quality required and approved by the Mineral County Power System, and that the erection and installation thereof shall be under the complete supervision and control of said Board, and be made in accord with their standard of practice and requirements covering such installations.

      (e) If an extension of the system lines (either primary or secondary) to any particular point shall hereafter be built under the foregoing conditions, and it shall subsequently appear to such Board that the public convenience of such community or locality would be promoted and served and that it would be a profitable investment if a local distributing system were to be erected and installed thereat, the Board of Managers upon receiving and filing a petition signed by not less than sixty-five percent (65%) in number of the taxpayers of said community or locality proposed to be served (said percentage to be ascertained by an examination of the assessment rolls for the current year, and covering such community or locality) may, after causing all such facts to appear affirmatively upon their minutes, order the erection and installation of such local distributing system, and of all necessary operating equipment, and the same shall thereafter be a part of the Mineral County Power System, but subject nevertheless to the conditions set forth in paragraph (a) of this section as to suspension in case of unprofitable operation; provided, that in the event of an extension of the lines of the Mineral County Power System being proposed and authorized to any adjoining county within the State of Nevada, no license or franchise shall be required or exacted as a condition precedent by the Board of County Commissioners of such adjoining county to the making of such extension, and the authority granted by this act to the County of Mineral to operate the Mineral County Power System as a public utility, shall be full warrant for the making of any such extension, and the same shall be exempt from taxation.

      (f) It is the express intent of this section that the Board of Managers may consent to make and contract for line extensions of said System upon the entire cost thereof as above defined, being advanced to the County, and that said cost may be rebated, as hereinbefore provided, but that such line extension shall not be construed to include any transformer, substation or fixtures, lightning arresters or other electrical equipment necessary, no part of the cost of which shall or may be rebated, either directly or indirectly, to such consumer by the County.

      (Ch. 45, Stats. 1921 p. 81; A—Ch. 205, Stats. 1923 p. 367; Ch. 48, Stats. 1925 p. 56; Ch. 36, Stats. 1963 p. 33; Ch. 416, Stats. 2001 p. 2111)

      Sec. 4.  Power of Board to discontinue or restrict service.  The Board of Commissioners shall have the authority to discontinue the operation of said public utility at any point of operation whenever in their judgment the revenues derived therefrom shall not justify the continuance of service; provided, however, that any order of said board discontinuing or restricting service along or upon said public utility shall, in every case, be subject to review and confirmation by proper legal authority.

      (Ch. 45, Stats. 1921 p. 81)

      Sec. 5.  Cancellation of unsold bonds upon completion of line and payment of related debts.  Whenever said Mineral County power line shall have been completed as hereinbefore authorized, and all debts incurred in its construction have been paid, and the same is ready to commence operation as a public utility, any and all bonds authorized by this act which may then remain unsold shall forthwith be cancelled by the County Treasurer of Mineral County, and no further bonds shall be issued, it being the purpose of this act that no more of the bonds hereinafter authorized shall be sold than may be actually necessary to carry out the provisions hereof.

      (Ch. 45, Stats. 1921 p. 81)

      Sec. 6.  Issuance of bonds to finance acquisition, extension and completion of line; amount; form; interest and other requirements.  For the purpose of providing funds to acquire, extend and complete said Mineral County power line, as the same as hereinbefore described, the Board of County Commissioners of Mineral County are hereby authorized and empowered to prepare, issue and sell negotiable coupon bonds of said county, to be known and called “Mineral County Light and Power Bonds,” in an amount not exceeding the sum of one hundred and fifty thousand ($150,000) dollars, exclusive of interest.

      Said Bonds shall be numbered consecutively and shall be prepared in such denominations of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 and in such proportions as may be designated by the Board. They shall have interest coupons attached in such manner that they can be removed upon payment of the installments of interest without injury to the Bonds. Each coupon shall be numbered consecutively, and shall also bear the number of the Bond to which it is attached. Said Bonds and coupons shall be signed by the Chair of the Board of County Commissioners, and countersigned by the County Clerk, and attested with the Seal of the County. Lithographed facsimile signatures may be used on the coupons. Said Bonds shall bear interest, payable from the date of issuance and sale thereof, to the date of maturity only, at such rate of interest, not exceeding seven per cent (7%) per annum, as may be fixed and determined by the Board, payable semiannually on the first Monday of July and January in each year, and said Bonds and the interest thereon shall be payable in lawful money of the United States.

      (Ch. 45, Stats. 1921 p. 82)

      Sec. 7.  Bonds: Sale; redemption in order of issuance.  The Board of County Commissioners, acting as aforesaid, is hereby authorized to negotiate the sale of said Bonds, or such number thereof as they may deem necessary, to the highest and best bidder, giving preference to the State of Nevada, or by private sales, as they may deem best, and may reject any or all bids; provided, that no Bond shall be sold for less than par value. They shall be redeemed, paid and retired consecutively in the order of their issuance, according to the times specified therein.

      (Ch. 45, Stats. 1921 p. 82)

      Sec. 8.  Bonds: Time for redemption; notice of early redemption.  At least $10,000 of such Bonds, together with the interest due thereon, shall be redeemed, paid and retired on the first Monday of January, 1923, and not less than $10,000, with accrued interest, shall be redeemed, paid and retired annually thereafter until the whole thereof are paid and retired; provided, that the Board of Commissioners may at any time after ten years from the date of this act call in and redeem the whole or any part of such outstanding Bonds by payment of the face value thereof and accrued interest to the date of redemption. Notice of such intention shall be given by the County Treasurer, by mailing a copy thereof to bondholders of record, and shall also be published for at least thirty days in any newspaper published within the County of Mineral or the State of Nevada, and all said outstanding Bonds and interest due thereon shall thereupon become due and payable at the office of the County Treasurer. Should the holder of said Bonds, or any of them, for any cause whatever, fail to present said Bonds to the County Treasurer for payment when they become due, or be called in for redemption, all interest on such Bonds shall thereafter immediately cease and determine.

      (Ch. 45, Stats. 1921 p. 82)

      Sec. 9.  Bonds: Legal investments for boards and commissions of state.  Any and every board and commission of the State of Nevada, now existing or which may hereafter be created, charged with authority to loan or invest public moneys, is hereby authorized to purchase at par, plus accrued interest, all or any part of the said Bonds, using therefor any of such moneys not otherwise appropriated or reserved.

      (Ch. 45, Stats. 1921 p. 83)

      Sec. 10.  Levy of additional special tax for payment of Bonds; lien; collection of delinquent taxes.  To provide for the payment of said Bonds and the interest due thereon, whenever the revenues from the sale of service or power hereinafter provided for shall be insufficient for that purpose, the Board of County Commissioners of Mineral County shall, annually, at the time of making the regular tax levy for state and county purposes, levy an additional special tax upon all property, both real and personal, subject to taxation within the limits of said County, including the proceeds of mines, sufficient in their judgment to pay the interest upon such Bonds semiannually, as it shall become due, and to pay the principal of such Bonds as shall mature according to the time designated in such Bonds for the maturity thereof respectively, and all taxes levied and assessed for the purposes in this act provided shall constitute a lien on the property charges therewith from the date of the levy thereof by the County Commissioners, or the entry thereof on the assessment roll of the County Auditor, until the same are paid, and thereafter, if allowed to become delinquent, shall be enforced in the same manner as is now provided by law for the collection of state and county taxes.

      (Ch. 45, Stats. 1921 p. 83)

      Sec. 11.  Manner of levy, assessment and collection of taxes; deposit of proceeds in Mineral County Light and Power Bond Redemption Fund; use of proceeds.  Such taxes shall be levied, assessed and collected in the same manner as other taxes paid to the County Treasurer, and shall be placed by the County Treasurer in a fund, which is hereby created, to be known as “Mineral County Light and Power Bond Redemption Fund.” No moneys placed in said Fund shall be transferred therefrom, or used for any other purpose than the payment of principal and interest of the Bonds hereinabove provided for, and the money of said fund shall only be paid out by the County Treasurer upon warrants therefor issued by the County Auditor, in the payment of the principal and interest of such Bonds as they become due, upon the presentation and surrender thereof to the County Treasurer.

      (Ch. 45, Stats. 1921 p. 83)

      Sec. 12.  Cessation of taxes upon payment of Bonds; transfer of remaining money to general fund.  Whenever the Bonds with interest provided for in this act shall have been fully paid, the tax authorized by this act shall cease, and all moneys remaining in said Bond Fund shall, by order of the Board of County Commissioners, be transferred to the general fund.

      (Ch. 45, Stats. 1921 p. 83)

      Sec. 13.  Record of Bonds; public inspection.  It shall be the duty of the County Treasurer to make and keep a record of said Bonds in a book to be provided for that purpose, which shall show the date of issuance and sale, denomination, rate of interest, to whom sold (with address), date when redeemed, and to whom paid, which record shall also provide a place for pasting in the cancelled Bonds and coupons when redeemed, and the same shall be a record of said office and at all times open for public inspection.

      (Ch. 45, Stats. 1921 p. 84)

      Sec. 14.  Bonds: Procedure for cancellation upon redemption.  Whenever the County Treasurer shall redeem any of the Bonds issued under the provisions of this act, the County Treasurer shall cancel the same, and all interest coupons, by writing across the face thereof, “Paid,” together with the date of payment, sign his or her name thereto, and paste such cancelled Bonds and coupons in the bond register for that purpose provided.

      (Ch. 45, Stats. 1921 p. 84)

      Sec. 15.  Duties of County Treasurer, auditor and clerk; duties of Sheriff and District Attorney; records of Board of County Commissioners as ex officio Board of Managers.

      (a) The County Treasurer is hereby made ex officio Treasurer of the said utility, without additional compensation, and shall be liable upon his or her official bond for the safekeeping of all moneys which shall come into his or her hands, possession or control, under the provisions of this act, and for the faithful discharge of his or her duties hereunder; all moneys due to said utility shall be paid to said Treasurer, who shall issue a receipt in quadruplicate therefor, one copy to be given to the person making payment, one copy to be filed with the County Auditor, one copy with the General Manager of the said System for his or her office files, and one copy to be retained by said Treasurer in his or her office.

      (b) The County Auditor is hereby made ex officio Auditor of the said utility without additional compensation, and shall be liable on his or her official bond for the faithful discharge of his or her duties hereunder, or such additional duties as may be imposed upon him or her by the Board of County Commissioners; all bills against such utility shall, after their approval and allowance by the Board of County Commissioners, be audited and allowed by said Auditor in the same manner as other claims against the County.

      (c) The County Clerk is hereby made ex officio clerk of said utility, without additional compensation, and shall be liable upon his or her official bond for the faithful discharge of his or her duties hereunder, or such additional duties as may be imposed upon him or her by the Board of County Commissioners; the Clerk shall require all claims against such utility to be made and presented in duplicate, the original, after action thereon by the Board of County Commissioners, to be filed with the County Auditor, and the duplicate retained in the office files of said power system.

      (d) The Sheriff of Mineral County and his or her deputies shall, without additional compensation, perform such duties in connection with the operation of such utility as may be required by the Board of County Commissioners, and they shall be liable upon their official bond for the faithful discharge of such duties.

      (e) The District Attorney shall, without additional compensation, act as attorney and counselor for said utility, and perform such duties as attorney and counselor thereof as may be required by the Board of County Commissioners; provided, the District Attorney shall be allowed necessary expenses incurred when required by said Board to attend to matters connected with said utility away from his or her office, and such expenses shall be a charge against said utility, and be audited, allowed and paid as are other claims against the County. The District Attorney shall be liable upon his or her official bond for the faithful discharge of his or her duties hereunder.

      (f) The Board of County Commissioners are hereby made an ex officio Board of Managers of said utility, without additional compensation, unless otherwise provided by law, and they shall cause to be kept all necessary records and books thereof. The record of proceedings of the said Board of Managers shall be kept separate and apart from the minutes of the Board of County Commissioners in volumes to be provided for the purpose, and all matters relating to such utility which shall come before said Board for consideration and action shall be recorded therein, including claims approved for payment, and to which records a proper index shall be maintained. The Board shall cause to be transcribed from the minutes of the Board of County Commissioners, all matters and proceedings relating to such utility from the date of its inception that there may exist a separate and consecutive record of all acts and proceedings affecting such utility, which record shall remain in the Office of the County Clerk; provided, however, all claims against such utility approved for payment by the General Manager thereof shall be finally acted upon and be subject to allowance or rejection by the Board of County Commissioners, and be audited by the County Auditor as all other claims against such County.

      (Ch. 45, Stats. 1921 p. 84; A—Ch. 205, Stats. 1923 p. 368; Ch. 48, Stats. 1925 p. 58)

      Sec. 16.  Fixing of rates for services; lien for and collection of unpaid charges; use of money received; penalty for delinquent account.  The maintenance and operation of said Mineral County Power System shall be under the control, supervision and authority of the Board of Managers, and rates charged to consumers for sale and distribution of electrical energy and current, and the tolls for telephone service, with the terms and conditions thereof, shall be fixed by said Board, subject to the supervision of the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, who may revise, raise or lower the same. Unpaid charges of said power system for service or materials and supplies rendered or furnished a consumer shall constitute a lien against the property of such consumer, and shall have precedence over all other claims and demands save and except taxes; provided, that upon receiving a certificate from the General Manager of such System giving the names of delinquent consumers or ratepayers and the amounts due from each for unpaid service or material or supply bills, prior to the making up of the annual assessment rolls, the County Assessor shall place upon said rolls after or opposite the name of such delinquent, the amount so certified to be due, which sum shall be added by the County Auditor to the amounts levied as taxes, and the same shall be collected and paid at the same time and in the same manner as taxes, and all the provisions of law applicable to the collection and payment of taxes (either real or personal) and to delinquencies shall apply to the payment of such charges; provided further, that all sums so collected and due to the Mineral County Power System shall be credited by the County Treasurer to said system, but all sums collected as penalties, interest or costs shall be paid to the County General Fund; and provided further, that in the event of payment being made of such delinquent account, with penalties and interest, at any time prior to the final date set for the collection and payment of taxes, credit therefor shall be entered upon such tax-roll by the County Treasurer. Such accounts shall be deemed delinquent forty (40) days immediately following the month in which such service was rendered or material furnished, and the penalty for nonpayment shall be fifteen per cent (15%) additional, with three per cent (3%) per month interest thereafter on said total amount until paid, and such penalty and interest shall be added to the amount originally found to be due, when collection is made by the County Treasurer; provided, that uncollectable accounts may be ordered stricken from such rolls by the County Board of Equalization.

      (Ch. 45, Stats. 1921 p. 84; A—Ch. 48, Stats. 1925 p. 59; Ch. 416, Stats. 2001 p. 2113)

      Sec. 17.  General manager of System; additional employees; salvage of unused portion of System; restrictions on sale, purchase, rental and other transfers of equipment, supplies and other property; penalty.

      (a) The County Commissioners of Mineral County shall constitute the Board of Managers. The Board of Managers shall employ as General Manager of such System, and fix his or her compensation at not to exceed $1,000 per month, a qualified and competent person, but who must have had at least 3 years of practical engineering experience with an electric utility, or as a general or assistant manager or superintendent of an existing public utility, who shall qualify as required by law, and give bond in the sum of not less than $5,000 for the faithful discharge of his or her duties, who shall have complete charge of and be liable to the Board for his or her actions in connection with the operation of the System, and who shall devote his or her entire time thereto. The General Manager shall have charge of the System, and is responsible to the Board for his or her actions in connection with the operation thereof. The General Manager shall devote all necessary time thereto, or such time as may be required by the Board, and receive such compensation as may be fixed by the Board in its order appointing and designating him or her as General Manager of the System, except that the Board may also employ a technical adviser as consulting electrical engineer, and employ any other necessary employees, and fix their salary or compensation. No person who holds a public office may occupy the position of General Manager. If a General Manager is nominated or appointed to public office, he or she must be immediately removed from the position of General Manager and another appointed in his or her place.

      (b) The General Manager, with the approval of the Board of Managers, may employ such additional necessary employees as may from time to time be required, and fix their compensation. Every employee who may be charged with the collection or handling of the money of the power system shall furnish bond before assuming the duties of his or her office, in the sum of not less than $1,000 and qualify as required by law, and the bond of the general manager and other employees must be approved by the board and recorded and filed in the office of the County Clerk.

      (c) The General Manager shall make a monthly report to the Board of Managers, with duplicate thereof to the county auditor, giving full details of all business transacted during the preceding month, including receipts and disbursements and matters pertinent thereto, and shall also render to the Board an annual report on the first Monday of January of each year, showing the condition of the System, including its finances, in detail, and giving recommendations for the ensuing year. The General Manager shall keep such books and records as may be required by law or by the Board of Managers, and as will show at all times the exact status of the utility, giving the cost of construction, including branches, maintenance and operation, and all revenue and the source from which derived, and the classified disbursements. The General Manager shall also make such annual reports on behalf of the Board of Managers to the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada or its successors, as may be required, and copies thereof must be annexed to his or her annual report made to the Board of Managers. The General Manager shall maintain the office of the System in the court house at the County seat.

      (d) The Board of Managers may dismantle and salvage any portion of the System which has been out of use for a period of 6 years or more.

      (e) Neither the Board of County Commissioners acting as such or acting as the Board of Managers nor the General Manager may sell, lease, trade, rent, or otherwise deal with any equipment, supplies or property of any kind, character or description, purchased, salvaged or used for any purpose connected with the operation and maintenance of the Mineral County Power System, without first having submitted the proposition to the electors of Mineral County at a special, primary or general election, except that the Board of County Commissioners may sell any items of machinery, material or supplies that are no longer required or of use in the plant or the operation thereof by reason of being superfluous, worn out, obsolete or defective, without an election, on amounts less than $1,000. This section does not limit the sale of electrical energy and power as now provided by this act. The Board of County Commissioners, acting as the Board of Managers may purchase equipment or supplies, not in excess of $1,000, without receiving bids, but shall advertise for bids for all such purchases in excess of $2,500. If the value of the equipment or supplies to be purchased exceeds $1,000 but does not exceed $2,500, the Board may advertise for bids or may informally request bids from at least three persons who are capable of furnishing the equipment or supplies. The Board of County Commissioners may rent from any other owner any transmission lines, power lines, machinery, equipment or property for a term not exceeding 2 years. The rents and rentals or charges reserved in any such contract must be paid from time to time as an expense of operation of the Mineral County Power System. No such contract may be made by the Board of County Commissioners unless notice of intention to decide on the contract is published in a weekly newspaper published in the county for two consecutive insertions fixing a date for a public hearing thereon which must not be less than 15 days from the first publication and which must briefly describe the property to be rented, and the rental charge and specify from whom to be rented, except that all such contracts of less than $2,500 may be entered into without publication.

      (f) Any person violating the provisions of subsection (e) is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 1 year or more than 5 years. Upon conviction the office of such a person becomes vacant.

      (Ch. 45, Stats. 1921 p. 84; A—Ch. 205, Stats. 1923 p. 369; Ch. 48, Stats. 1925 p. 60; Ch. 70, Stats. 1929 p. 103; Ch. 236, Stats. 1931 p. 447; Ch. 113, Stats. 1933 p. 141; Ch. 105, Stats. 1939 p. 109; Ch. 30, Stats. 1943 p. 47; Ch. 189, Stats. 1945 p. 330; Ch. 218, Stats. 1955 p. 343; Ch. 374, Stats. 1959 p. 576; Ch. 371, Stats. 1963 p. 805; Ch. 560, Stats. 1969 p. 1045; Ch. 345, Stats. 1993 p. 1103)

      Sec. 17.5.  Special election authorized only if emergency exists; challenge of determination that emergency exists.

      1.  The Board of Managers may call a special election only if it determines, by a unanimous vote, that an emergency exists.

      2.  The determination made by the Board is conclusive unless it is shown that the Board acted with fraud or a gross abuse of discretion. An action to challenge the determination made by the Board must be commenced within 15 days after the Board’s determination is final.

      3.  As used in this section, “emergency” means any unexpected occurrence or combination of occurrences which requires immediate action by the Board to prevent or mitigate a substantial financial loss to the system or Mineral County or to enable the Board to provide an essential service to the residents of Mineral County.

      (Added—Ch. 345, Stats. 1993 p. 1102)

      Sec. 18.  Advice of expert engineers; compensation.  The Board of County Commissioners shall be entitled to have the advice of the expert engineer of the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, or of other expert electrical engineers, upon any and all matters connected with the purchase, construction, maintenance and operation of said Mineral County Power System as a public utility, and are hereby authorized and empowered to compensate such engineer for such services, which shall be a charge against said utility, and be allowed, audited and paid as are other claims against the County.

      (Ch. 45, Stats. 1921 p. 84; A—Ch. 205, Stats. 1923 p. 370)

      Sec. 19.  Creation and sources of Mineral County Light and Power Fund and Mineral County Light and Power Deposit Fund; annual payment to certain unincorporated towns in lieu of franchise tax.  All moneys received for service or the sale of electrical energy and current distributed by said system, and other revenues accruing therefrom or in connection therewith, shall be paid by the officer or person collecting the same to the County Treasurer of the County of Mineral, and shall be by him or her placed in the “Mineral County Light and Power Fund,” which is hereby created; provided, however, that all moneys deposited by users as meter deposits or line construction deposits shall be kept in a separate fund, to be known as the “Mineral County Light and Power Deposit Fund,” which is likewise hereby created; and the Board of Commissioners shall set aside 15 percent of the plant capital investment book value to provide for the maintenance and operation of the Mineral County Power System. The Mineral County Light and Power Fund operating balance shall not exceed $250,000.

      An amount of money in lieu of franchise tax shall be paid annually to the unincorporated towns of Hawthorne, Mina and Luning as follows:

      (a) Ten percent of the annual gross revenue from the sale of energy to each unincorporated town and the consumers therein up to $100,000;

      (b) Five percent of the annual gross revenue from the sale of energy to each unincorporated town and the consumers therein from $100,000 to $200,000;

      (c) Two and one-half percent of the annual gross revenue from the sale of energy to each unincorporated town and the consumers therein from $200,000 upwards. Moneys paid to the unincorporated town of Luning in lieu of franchise tax shall be paid into either the “Luning Water System Fund” or the “Luning Town Fund,” or divided between such funds, as the Board of County Commissioners may direct.

      (Ch. 45, Stats. 1921 p. 84; A—Ch. 48, Stats. 1925 p. 61; Ch. 70, Stats. 1929 p. 104; Ch. 189, Stats. 1945 p. 332; Ch. 293, Stats. 1951 p. 446; Ch. 259, Stats. 1953 p. 367; Ch. 5, Stats. 1960 p. 5; Ch. 4, Stats. 1961 p. 5; Ch. 7, Stats. 1967 p. 33)

      Sec. 19.5.  Payment by system to county in lieu of property tax; disposition of money received.

      1.  Notwithstanding the provisions of NRS 361.060 or the provisions of this or any other law, commencing July 1, 1967, the Mineral County Power System shall pay annually to Mineral County a fee in lieu of property tax equal to 5 percent of the amount of the System’s gross power sales made during the preceding fiscal year.

      2.  Until otherwise directed by law, all fees received by Mineral County pursuant to subsection 1 shall be deposited in the Mineral County Courthouse Construction Fund and may be expended therefrom only for the purposes for which that Fund was created.

      (Added—Ch. 113, Stats. 1967 p. 184)

      Sec. 20.  Powers of board: Acts and regulations to carry act into effect.  The Board of County Commissioners of said County is hereby authorized to perform such acts and make such rules and regulations as it may deem necessary or proper to carry this act into full force and effect.

      (Ch. 45, Stats. 1921 p. 85)

      Sec. 21.  Plant and works deemed public uses.  The plant or plants and the works herein provided for shall be deemed public uses, authorized by the Legislature, such as are assisted by the principle of eminent domain.

      (Ch. 45, Stats. 1921 p. 85)

      Sec. 22.  Applicability of other laws.  The provisions of existing laws respecting the manner of acquisition of public utilities, the duties of county commissioners to act upon proper applications and petitions, the collection and enforcement of rates for service, and all other provisions not superseded by this act shall apply to the acquisition, management, financing, and control of said system.

      (Ch. 45, Stats. 1921 p. 85)

      Sec. 23.  Net earnings of utility transferred to County General Fund; faith of State pledged against repeal; severability.  It is hereby declared to be the intent and purpose of this act that the earnings of such utility, after the payment of its outstanding bonds and interest, together with current indebtedness, and setting aside a suitable reserve for repairs, replacements and depreciation, shall be transferred to the County General Fund that general county taxes may thereby be reduced. The faith of the State of Nevada is hereby pledged that this act shall not be repealed, nor the taxation thereby imposed be omitted, until all the bonds and coupons issued under and by virtue thereof shall have been paid in full as in this act provided, and any section or part of any section of this act declared to be unconstitutional shall not be so construed so as to invalidate any other section thereof, nor said act in its entirety.

      (Ch. 45, Stats. 1921 p. 85; A—Ch. 48, Stats. 1925 p. 62)

      Sec. 24.  Effective date.  This act shall take effect and be in full force from and after its passage and approval.

      (Added—Ch. 48, Stats. 1925 p. 62)