[Rev. 6/3/2018 1:03:59 PM--2017]

DOUGLAS COUNTY LAKE TAHOE SEWER AUTHORITY ACT

Chapter 335, Statutes of Nevada 2017

AN ACT relating to improvement districts; revising provisions governing the merger, consolidation or dissolution of certain general improvement districts; repealing the Nevada Improvement District Act; creating the Douglas County Lake Tahoe Sewer Authority and its governing Board of Trustees; setting forth the powers and duties of and procedures governing the Authority and the Board; abolishing Douglas County Sewer Improvement District No. 1; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.

[Approved: June 3, 2017]

(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:

      Sec. 12.  Short title.  This act may be cited as the Douglas County Lake Tahoe Sewer Authority Act.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2038)

      Sec. 13.  Legislative findings and declaration.  The Legislature hereby finds and declares that:

      1.  The provisions of section 22 of this act describe a region which is distinguished by the governance of the only local improvement district currently in existence which is organized under chapter 309 of NRS and the presence of Lake Tahoe, a water system which is governed by a unique combination of state and federal laws.

      2.  The unique conditions of the area described by section 22 of this act are special circumstances and conditions to which a general law cannot be made applicable and necessitate this special act to enact changes to the management of sewage in that area.

      3.  Adequate and efficient sewage service is vital to the economic development and well-being of residents in the area described by section 22 of this act.

      4.  There are currently several different general improvement districts organized under chapter 318 of NRS that administer sewage collection services in the area described by section 22 of this act, which has caused problems in administering sewage services.

      5.  The well-being of the residents of the area described by section 22 of this act and the long-term economic development of the area described by section 22 of this act are best served by the creation of a single governmental entity, the purpose of which is to secure and develop sustainable sewage services.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2038)

      Sec. 14.  Definitions.  As used in this act, unless the context otherwise requires, the words and terms defined in sections 15 to 21, inclusive, of this act have the meanings ascribed to them in those sections.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2039)

      Sec. 15.  “Authority” defined.  “Authority” means the Douglas County Lake Tahoe Sewer Authority created by section 23 of this act.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2039)

      Sec. 16.  “Board” defined.  “Board” means the Board of Trustees of the Douglas County Lake Tahoe Sewer Authority.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2039)

      Sec. 17.  “Douglas County” defined.  “Douglas County” means the county created by and described in NRS 243.045.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2039)

      Sec. 18.  “Lake Tahoe Basin” defined.  “Lake Tahoe Basin” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 538.600.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2039)

      Sec. 19.  “Project” defined.  “Project” means any structure, facility, undertaking or system which the Authority is authorized to acquire, construct, improve, equip, maintain or operate under the provisions of this act, including, without limitation, sewers, sewage disposal plants, sewage treatment plants and septic tanks and any other materials or construction connected therewith or with the handling or disposal of sewage. A project may consist of all kinds of personal and real property, including, without limitation, land, elements and fixtures thereon, property of any nature appurtenant thereto or used in connection therewith, and every estate, interest and right therein, legal or equitable, including terms for years, or any combination thereof.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2039)

      Sec. 20.  “Service area” defined.  “Service area” means the area described by section 22 of this act.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2039)

      Sec. 21.  “Wastewater Reclamation Facility” defined.  “Wastewater Reclamation Facility” means the treatment facility located in Zephyr Cove, Nevada, that treats and disposes of sewage from the service area.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2039)

      Sec. 22.  Boundaries of service area; jurisdiction.

      1.  The service area in which plans for the management of sewage are to be made, pursuant to this act, is the entire area of the Lake Tahoe Basin within the boundaries of Douglas County, except that the Board may:

      (a) Exclude from the service area any land which the Board determines is unsuitable for inclusion because of its inability to connect with the Wastewater Reclamation Facility; and

      (b) Include in the service area any land otherwise excluded if the owners of the land agree to be governed by this act.

      2.  The Authority and the Board shall have jurisdiction over the treatment and disposal of sewage and wastewater in the service area.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2039)

      Sec. 23.  Creation of Douglas County Lake Tahoe Sewer Authority.

      1.  The Douglas County Lake Tahoe Sewer Authority is hereby created. The Authority is a public body corporate and politic and a municipal corporation. The purpose of the Authority is to furnish the service area and its inhabitants with an adequate system of sewage collection and treatment and disposal of wastewater by acquiring, holding, constructing, improving, maintaining and operating, owning, leasing, either in the capacity of lessor or lessee, sewers, sewer systems, sewage treatment works, waste mains, tunnels, drains and every form of sewer and sewage treatment or disposal facility, to be devoted wholly or partially for public uses or for revenue producing purposes.

      2.  The property and revenues of the Authority, any interest of any creditor therein and any possessory interest in or right to use that property which the Authority may grant are exempt from all state, county and municipal taxation.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2039)

      Sec. 24.  Cooperative agreement.  By entering into a cooperative agreement pursuant to NRS 277.080 to 277.180, inclusive, public entities, including, without limitation, a general improvement district organized pursuant to chapter 318 of NRS, may jointly authorize the Authority to exercise such powers, privileges or authority that each of those entities may individually exercise pursuant to the laws of this State which are not inconsistent with the provisions of this act.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2040)

      Sec. 25.  Authority is public employer.  The Authority is a public employer within the meaning of NRS 286.070 and the provisions of chapter 286 of NRS apply to the Authority and its employees.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2040)

      Sec. 26.  Board of trustees; membership; appointment; term; vacancy.

      1.  The Authority must be directed and governed by a Board of Trustees consisting of the following five trustees appointed pursuant to this section:

      (a) One member of the Board of Trustees of the Kingsbury General Improvement District;

      (b) One member of the Board of Trustees of the Round Hill Improvement District;

      (c) One member of the Board of Trustees of the Tahoe-Douglas District;

      (d) One member of the Board of County Commissioners of Douglas County; and

      (e) One person representing the business community within Stateline, Nevada, appointed by the other four trustees.

      2.  The Board of County Commissioners of Douglas County shall appoint a trustee from its membership for an initial term of 3 years.

      3.  The Boards of Trustees of the Kingsbury General Improvement District, the Round Hill Improvement District and the Tahoe-Douglas District shall each appoint a trustee from their respective memberships for an initial term of 2 years.

      4.  The representative of the business community within Stateline, Nevada, appointed by the other trustees pursuant to paragraph (e) of subsection 1 shall serve for an initial term of 1 year.

      5.  After the initial terms, each trustee who is appointed to the Board serves for a term of 3 years. A trustee may be reappointed.

      6.  If any position on the Board becomes vacant, including, without limitation, upon the trustee’s loss of any of the qualifications required for his or her appointment, the appointing authority shall appoint a successor to fill the remainder of the unexpired term.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2040)

      Sec. 27.  Board: Oath and bond.  Each trustee on the Board shall file with the County Clerk of Douglas County:

      1.  His or her oath of office; and

      2.  A corporate surety bond furnished at the Authority’s expense, in an amount not to exceed $5,000, and conditioned for the faithful performance of his or her duties as a member of the Board.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2040)

      Sec. 28.  Board: Election of Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.

      1.  The Board shall elect one of its members as Chair, one of its members as Secretary, and one of its members as Treasurer. The Secretary and Treasurer may be the same person. The terms of the officers expire on December 31 of each year. Trustees may serve consecutive terms in any of the three officer positions.

      2.  The Secretary shall keep audio recordings or transcripts of all meetings of the Board and, in a well-bound book, a record of all the proceedings of the Board, minutes of all meetings, certificates, contracts, bonds given by employees and all other acts of the Board. Except as otherwise provided in NRS 241.035, the minute book, audio recordings, transcripts and records must be open to the inspection of all interested persons, at all reasonable times and places.

      3.  The Treasurer shall keep, in permanent records, strict and accurate accounts of all money received by and disbursed for and on behalf of the Board and the Authority.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2041)

      Sec. 29.  Board: Meetings; quorum.

      1.  The Board shall meet regularly at a time and in a place to be designated by the Board. The Board shall provide for the calling of a special meeting when action is required before a regular meeting would occur.

      2.  Except as otherwise provided in this section, a majority of the members of the Board constitutes a quorum at any meeting. Each motion and resolution of the Board must be adopted by at least a majority of the members present at the meeting.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2041)

      Sec. 30.  Powers of Authority.  The Authority has perpetual succession. The Authority, acting pursuant to the Board’s direction, may do all things necessary to accomplish the purposes of this act, including, without limitation:

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, administer all activity and business related to the collection and treatment of sewage and wastewater in the service area and the transportation and disposal of sewage and wastewater both within and outside of the service area. If a public entity within the boundaries of the service area is performing an activity or business related to the collection of sewage and wastewater on the effective date of this act, the Authority may not administer any activity or business related to the collection of sewage and wastewater within the boundaries of that public entity unless otherwise provided by agreement between the public entity and the Authority.

      2.  Fix, alter, charge and collect rates, rentals and other charges for the use of facilities controlled by the Authority, including, without limitation, the Wastewater Reclamation Facility, or for the services rendered by the Authority or projects thereof, at reasonable rates, to be determined by the Authority, for the purpose of providing for the payment of the expenses of the Authority, the construction, improvement, repair, maintenance and operation of its facilities and properties, the payment of the principal of and interest on its obligations and to fulfill the terms and provisions of any agreements made with the purchasers or holders of any such obligations, and to make such rates, rentals and other charges a lien upon the property using such facilities, and provide for a method of enforcing collection of such rates, rentals and other charges.

      3.  Borrow money, make and issue negotiable notes, bonds and other evidences of indebtedness or obligations of the Authority, and to secure the payment of such bonds, or any part thereof, by pledge or deed of trust of all or any of its revenues and receipts, and to make such agreements with the purchasers or holders of such bonds or with others in connection with any such bonds, whether issued or to be issued, as the Authority shall deem advisable, and in general to provide for the security of said bonds and the rights of the holders thereof.

      4.  To acquire, purchase, hold, lease as lessee and use any franchise, property, real, personal or mixed, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein, within or without the boundaries of the service area, necessary or desirable for carrying out the purposes of the Authority, and to sell, lease as lessor, transfer and dispose of any property or interest therein, at any time acquired by it.

      5.  Acquire by purchase, lease or otherwise, and to construct, improve, maintain, repair and operate projects within or without the service area.

      6.  Pledge, hypothecate or otherwise encumber all or any of the revenues or receipts of the Authority as security for all or any of its obligations.

      7.  Contract with public entities, including, without limitation, a general improvement district organized under chapter 318 of NRS, for the provision of services by the Authority and, in the performance of its functions, use the officers, agents, employees, services, facilities, records and equipment of Douglas County or any public governing body therein, with the consent of the respective public entity and subject to such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon.

      8.  Install and maintain sewer and effluent pipelines, together with all related or necessary improvements along, under or upon public highways, roads, streets and alleys, and to build and erect sewage treatment or disposal facilities and improvements, either within or without the service area, and to compel all property owners within the service area to connect their sewer systems with such system or sewers of the Authority.

      9.  Acquire by eminent domain proceedings, either the fee or such right, title, interest or easement in such lands and premises, within the service area, as the Authority may deem necessary for any of the purposes mentioned in this act. The right of eminent domain must be exercised by the Authority in the manner provided by law for the exercise of such right, except insofar as such law may be inconsistent with the provisions of this act.

      10.  Make bylaws for the management and regulation of its affairs.

      11.  Employ or contract with such persons as it deems necessary and hire and retain officers, agents and employees, including, without limitation, fiscal advisors, engineers, attorneys or other professional or specialized personnel.

      12.  Seek, apply for and otherwise solicit and receive from any source, public or private, such contributions, gifts, grants, devises and bequests of money and personal property, or any combination thereof, as the Authority determines is necessary or convenient for the exercise of any of its powers.

      13.  Participate with relevant agencies of the United States, the State of Nevada and other entities on issues concerning the disposal of wastewater and sewage.

      14.  Make and enforce all necessary and proper regulations for the collection of sewage, and to make all other sanitary regulations in connection therewith.

      15.  Sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, complain and defend in all courts.

      16.  Adopt, use and alter at will a corporate seal.

      17.  Except as otherwise provided in section 33.5 of this act, merge or consolidate with a general improvement district organized under chapter 318 of NRS.

      18.  Perform such other functions conferred on the Authority by the provisions of this act.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2041)

      Sec. 31.  Powers of Board.  The Board has and may exercise all rights and powers necessary or incidental to or implied from the specific powers granted in this act. Such specific powers are not a limitation upon any power necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes and intent of this act.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2043)

      Sec. 32.  Adoption of ordinance financing Authority.  The Board shall adopt an ordinance relative to the financing of the Authority, which ordinance shall in itself use the method of financing best suited to the financial condition and welfare of the service area. In this connection, such ordinance may use any of the following methods of financing, or any combination thereof:

      1.  Current revenue, reserves, state funds or federal funds which may be available and which may by law be used for furthering the purposes of this act.

      2.  Issuing bonds as provided in NRS 318.320.

      3.  Borrowing funds from the State or Federal Government, when such funds are available, for carrying out the purposes of this act.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2043)

      Sec. 33.  Exempt from regulation by Public Utilities Commission of Nevada.  The Authority is exempt from regulation by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2043)

      Sec. 33.5.  Merger or consolidation.  The merger or consolidation of the Authority with a general improvement district pursuant to section 30 of this act must be approved by:

      1.  A majority of the owners of property located within the boundaries of the service area of the Authority; and

      2.  Resolution of the Board.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2043)

      Sec. 34.  Assumption of certain debts, obligations, liabilities and assets.  The Authority shall assume the debts, obligations, liabilities and assets of Douglas County Sewer Improvement District No. 1, which was organized pursuant to chapter 309 of NRS in 1953 and was abolished on October 1, 2017.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2043)

      Sec. 34.5.  Severability.  If any provision of this act or the application thereof to any person, thing or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect the provisions or application of the act that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are declared to be severable.

      (Ch. 335, Stats. 2017 p. 2043)