CHAPTER 103
MUNICIPAL SEWERAGE SYSTEMS

Table of Contents

Sec. 7-246f. Community sewerage systems.
Sec. 7-254. Delinquent assessments. Liens. Assignment of liens.
Sec. 7-261. Full faith and credit.
Sec. 7-263a. Bonds to finance portion of sewage system project.

      Sec. 7-246f. Community sewerage systems. (a) Any municipal water pollution control authority may ensure the effective management of a community sewerage system as defined in section 7-245 and not owned by a municipality by requiring that the system be owned and managed as provided in this subsection. The ownership and management of the system shall meet the following requirements: (1) The owners of all properties served by the system shall be members of a property owners' association which is organized and operated in accordance with chapter 602 and which shall exist as long as any property is served by the system; (2) the association shall have the authority and the responsibility to operate, maintain, repair and improve the system in accordance with all applicable requirements, and in a manner which will prevent pollution of the waters of the state. Such association shall have the power to borrow money to finance such activities, and to defray the cost of such activities by levying assessments against the properties served by the system. Any such unpaid assessment shall constitute a lien upon the property against which such assessment was levied. 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, and such lien may be foreclosed in the same manner as a lien for property taxes, but shall not be construed to have any greater priority than any ordinary lien upon such property; (3) all of the properties to be served by the system, and all other land upon which is located any part of the system, shall be owned in fee or shall be subject to a long-term leasehold or to a system of perpetual easements, held by the association or by the members thereof. Such title or easements shall be sufficient to allow such properties to be served by the system and to allow the association to operate, maintain, repair and improve the system as required under subdivision (2) of this subsection; (4) such association shall assure the availability of funds that are of actuarial adequacy for the continued operation, maintenance, repair and improvement of the system without pollution of the waters of the state, and (5) prior to any discharge to the system, the following requirements shall be met: (A) The association shall be created and a document or documents establishing its duties and powers as provided in this section shall be filed on the land records of the municipality in which the system and properties to be served thereby are located; (B) the system shall be owned by the association as provided in this section and rights of a mortgagee or similar interest in the system shall be subordinated to the ownership of association; (C) the association shall obtain a permit to discharge as provided by section 22a-430, and (D) the association shall certify to the water pollution control authority and the building official of the municipality that a permit to discharge has been obtained.

      (b) If the association owning a community sewerage system fails to take any action in accordance with requirements of subsection (a) of this section, the municipal water pollution control authority may take any such action on behalf of the association or any other action within the powers granted to such authority which is necessary to ensure the effective operation of the system and to prevent pollution of the waters of the state. For the purposes of this section, the authority shall have the right to enter upon the properties and land subject to subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of this section. Except where delay would result in pollution of the waters of the state, no such action shall be taken unless the association has been given written notice ten days prior to any such proposed action, and has been afforded an opportunity to be heard on such proposed action. A municipal water pollution control authority may recover the cost of taking any action pursuant to this subsection by levying assessments, in the manner described in section 7-249, or charges, in the manner described in section 7-255, against the properties served by the system. Control over the operation, maintenance, repair and improvement of the system shall be returned to the association, or to a successor thereto, upon provision to the municipal water pollution control authority of adequate assurances that the requirements of subsection (a) of this section will be met, providing that nothing contained in this subsection shall limit the powers conferred on municipal water pollution control authorities by section 7-247. Should the system be designed or intended to serve additional properties that subsequently are to be subject to subsection (a) of this section, such properties and the owner or owners thereof shall be subject to the provisions of this section in the same manner as were the properties held by the association or the members thereof.

      (c) Certification by a municipal water pollution control authority to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, in a form satisfactory to the commissioner, that it will require a community sewerage system not owned by the municipality to be owned and managed in accordance with the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall be sufficient for the municipal water pollution control authority to establish that it will ensure effective management of such system as required by subsection (b) of section 7-246, provided that nothing contained in this section shall limit the power and duties conferred on the Commissioner of Environmental Protection by sections 22a-427 to 22a-438, inclusive.

      (P.A. 81-331; P.A. 96-256, S. 170, 209; P.A. 07-217, S. 19.)

      History: P.A. 96-256 amended Subsec. (a) to replace reference to Ch. 600 with Ch. 602, effective January 1, 1997; P.A. 07-217 made technical changes in Subsec. (b), effective July 12, 2007.

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      Sec. 7-254. Delinquent assessments. Liens. Assignment of liens. (a) Any assessment of 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 collectible as a part of such assessment.

      (b) Whenever any installment of an assessment becomes delinquent, the interest on such delinquent installment shall be as provided in subsection (a) of this section or five dollars, whichever is greater. 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 enforced in the same manner as property tax liens. The tax collector of the municipality may collect such assessments in accordance with any mandatory provision of the general statutes for the collection of property taxes and the municipality may recover any such assessment in a civil action against any person liable therefor.

      (c) Any municipality, by resolution of its legislative body, may assign, for consideration, any and all liens filed by the tax collector to secure unpaid sewer assessments as provided under the provisions of this chapter. The consideration received by the municipality shall be negotiated between the municipality and the assignee. The assignee or assignees of such liens shall have and possess the same powers and rights at law or in equity as such municipality and municipality's tax collector would have had if the lien had not been assigned with regard to the precedence and priority of such lien, the accrual of interest and the fees and expenses of collection. The assignee shall have the same rights to enforce such liens as any private party holding a lien on real property, including, but not limited to, foreclosure and a suit on the debt. Costs and reasonable attorneys' fees incurred by the assignee as a result of any foreclosure action or other legal proceeding brought pursuant to this section and directly related to the proceeding shall be taxed in any such proceeding against each person having title to any property subject to the proceedings. Such costs and fees may be collected by the assignee at any time after demand for payment has been made by the assignee.

      (1949 Rev., S. 745; 1949, S. 321d; 1971, P.A. 279, S. 1; P.A. 95-228, S. 9, 15; P.A. 99-283, S. 2, 10; P.A. 07-217, S. 20.)

      History: 1971 act divided section into subsections, deleted provisions concerning delinquency of remaining installments upon delinquency of any installment and stated that interest charged is to be a minimum of $5; P.A. 95-228 amended Subsec. (b) to provide that liens and encumbrances be enforced, rather than foreclosed, effective July 6, 1995, and applicable to tax sale notices posted, filed or published on and after that date; P.A. 99-283 added new Subsec. (c) re assignment of liens, effective July 1, 1999; P.A. 07-217 made a technical change in Subsec. (b), effective July 12, 2007.

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      Sec. 7-261. Full faith and credit. Bonds or notes issued under the authority of this chapter, except those which are secured only by sewerage system use charges, shall be obligatory upon the municipality and the inhabitants and property thereof according to the tenor and purport of the same and the full faith and credit of the municipality shall be pledged to the payment thereof, whether or not such pledge is stated in the bonds or notes or in the vote authorizing their issuance, and thereafter the municipality shall appropriate in each year during which any such bonds or notes are outstanding, and there shall be available on or before the date when the same are payable, an amount of money which, together with other revenue available for such purpose, shall be sufficient to pay the principal and interest on such bonds or notes payable in that year, and there shall be included in the tax levy for each such year an amount which, together with other revenues available for such purpose, shall be sufficient to meet such appropriation.

      (1949, S. 328d; P.A. 07-51, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 07-51 added reference to Sec. 7-263a, included in existing reference to "this chapter", effective May 22, 2007.

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      Sec. 7-263a. Bonds to finance portion of sewage system project. (a) As used in this section:

      (1) "Bonds" means any bonds, notes or other obligations authorized to be issued by a municipality pursuant to this section;

      (2) "Legislative body" means (A) the board of selectmen in a town that does not have a charter, special act or home rule ordinance relating to its government, (B) the council, board of aldermen, representative town meeting, board of selectmen or other elected legislative body described in a charter, special act or home rule ordinance relating to government in a city, consolidated town and city, consolidated town and borough or a town having a charter, special act, consolidation ordinance or home rule ordinance relating to its government, and (C) the board of burgesses or other elected legislative body in a borough;

      (3) "Sewage system project" means the acquisition, purchase, construction, reconstruction, improvement or extension of a sewage system or sewage system facility and includes repair, improvement, acquisition or extension, and road, water and drainage improvements customarily made in connection therewith; and

      (4) "Sewer revenue" means revenue derived by a water pollution control authority from the operation of a sewage system, including, but not limited to, revenue from sewage system use or connections and benefit assessments.

      (b) For the purpose of financing any portion of a sewage system project under this section, a municipality may authorize and issue general obligation bonds in the principal amount not exceeding three million dollars, provided (1) such bonds are secured by a pledge of sewer system revenue to pay the bonds when due, or (2) the water pollution control authority agrees to levy, collect and pay to the municipality the amount of debt service on the bonds from sewer revenues. If the legislative body of the municipality is a town meeting, no bonds shall be issued under this section except upon recommendation of the board of finance of the municipality. An agreement pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection may provide that the water pollution control authority shall pay the municipality at such times and in such amounts that vary from the debt service payments, except that the total amount to be paid by the water pollution control authority over the term of the bonds shall be not less than the total amount due on the general obligation bonds issued pursuant to this section. The bonds authorized under this section may be issued pursuant to the terms, conditions and provisions applicable to other bonds authorized under this chapter.

      (c) (1) If the water pollution control authority does not comply with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, the municipality may seek reimbursement from the water pollution control authority and such municipality possesses and may exercise all rights against the water pollution control authority to enforce said subsection (b) that a bond holder would have under this chapter.

      (2) Any agreement under subsection (b) of this section may (A) contain any provision, term or covenant, including provisions for a pledge of and lien upon sewer revenues, (B) be executed by any member, director or agent, (C) be evidenced by any document or agreement, and (D) have the same effect that would be authorized or effected if the agreement were made to bond holders.

      (3) The water pollution control authority shall be liable for all costs of collection, including attorney's fees, in any action brought by a municipality to enforce the provisions of subsection (b) of this section.

      (d) Notwithstanding any provisions of the general statutes or any charter or special act, bonds issued pursuant to this section may be authorized, after a public hearing conducted by the water pollution control agency, upon a two-thirds vote of such legislative body and a two-thirds vote of the water pollution control authority. Notice of the time, place and purpose of such hearing shall be published at least five days before the date thereof in a newspaper having a general circulation in the municipality. Such hearing may be conducted in conjunction with any other public hearing required under this chapter.

      (e) The provisions of this section shall apply to municipal water supply system improvements and bonds issued under chapter 102 except that (1) the votes shall be taken and the public hearings conducted by the agency having authority to implement water improvements and set water rates, (2) the term "water revenue" shall be substituted for "sewer revenue", and (3) the terms and conditions of bonds, notes and other obligations issued for sewer projects shall apply to water supply system improvements.

      (P.A. 07-51, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 07-51 effective May 22, 2007.

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