Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 414

    January Session, 2017

Substitute Senate Bill No. 945

Senate, April 4, 2017

The Committee on Planning and Development reported through SEN. CASSANO, S. of the 4th Dist. and SEN. LOGAN of the 17th Dist., Chairpersons of the Committee on the part of the Senate, that the substitute bill ought to pass.

AN ACT CONCERNING THE SOUTH CENTRAL CONNECTICUT REGIONAL WATER AUTHORITY.

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

Section 1. Section 1 of special act 77-98, as amended by section 5 of special act 99-12, section 2 of public act 02-85 and section 1 of special act 13-20, is amended to read as follows (Effective from passage):

It is found and declared as a matter of legislative determination that the creation of the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority for the primary purpose of providing and assuring the provision of an adequate supply of pure water and the safe disposal of wastewater at reasonable cost within the South Central Connecticut Regional Water District and such other areas as may be served pursuant to cooperative agreements and acquisitions authorized by section 11 of special act 77-98, as amended by section 5 of special act 78-24, section 3 of special act 84-46, [and] section 7 of public act 02-85 and section 3 of this act, and, to the degree consistent with the foregoing, of advancing water conservation and the conservation and compatible recreational use of land held by the authority, conducting [water or environmental related activities within or without the district] or investing in noncore businesses, provided, at the time of any [additional] investment in such [activities] businesses, the authority's [outstanding principal debt] investment, less returns of or on such investments in such [activities] businesses made on and after June 30, 2013, shall not exceed the greater of five per cent of the authority's net utility plant devoted to its water [supply and distribution] and wastewater [collection and treatment] utility businesses or such higher amount approved by a majority of the total weighted votes of the membership of the representative policy board and the carrying out of its powers, purposes, and duties under sections 1 to 33, inclusive, of special act 77-98, as amended by special act 78-24, special act 84-46, sections 5 to 7, inclusive, of special act 99-12, sections 2 to 21, inclusive, of public act 02-85, special act 13-20 and this act, and for the benefit of the people residing in the South Central Connecticut Regional Water District and the State of Connecticut, and for the improvement of their health, safety and welfare, that said purposes are public purposes, and that the authority will be performing an essential governmental function in the exercise of its powers under sections 1 to 33, inclusive, of special act 77-98, as amended by special act 78-24, special act 84-46, sections 5 to 7, inclusive, of special act 99-12, section 2 of public act 02-85, special act 13-20 and this act. The authority shall have the power to conduct or invest in noncore businesses authorized pursuant to this section, either directly or through an affiliated business entity.

Sec. 2. Section 2 of special act 77-98, as amended by section 1 of special act 78-24, section 3 of public act 02-85 and section 2 of special act 13-20, is amended to read as follows (Effective from passage):

As used in sections 1 to 33, inclusive, of special act 77-98, as amended by special act 78-24, public act 02-85, special act 13-20 and this act, unless a different meaning appears in the context: "Authority" means the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority created by section 5 of special act 77-98, as amended by section 4 of special act 78-24; "district" means the South Central Connecticut Regional Water District created by section 3 of special act 77-98, as amended by section 2 of special act 78-24: "Representative policy board" means the representative policy board of the South Central Connecticut Regional Water District created by section 4 of special act 77-98, as amended by section 3 of special act 78-24; "chief executive officer" means that full time employee of the authority responsible for the execution of the policies of the authority and for the direction of the other employees of the authority; "treasurer" means the treasurer of the authority; "customer" means any person, firm, corporation, company, association or governmental unit furnished water or wastewater service by the authority or any owner of property who guarantees payment for water or wastewater service to such property; "properties" means the water supply and distribution system or systems, wastewater collection and treatment systems and other real or personal property of the authority; "bonds" means bonds, notes and other obligations issued by the authority; "revenues" means all rents, charges and other income derived from the operation of the properties of the authority; "wastewater" means any substance, liquid or solid, which may contaminate or pollute or affect the cleanliness or purity of any water; "water supply system" means plants, structures and other real and personal property acquired, constructed or operated for the purpose of supplying water, including land, 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, real or personal property or rights therein and appurtenances necessary or useful and convenient for the accumulation, supply or distribution of water or for the conduct of water or environment related activities; "wastewater system" means plants, structures and other real and personal property acquired, constructed or operated for the purpose of collecting, treating and discharging or reusing wastewater, whether or not interconnected, including wastewater treatment plants, pipes and conduits for collection of wastewater, pumping stations and other plants, works, structures, conveyances, real or personal property or rights therein and appurtenances necessary or useful and convenient for the collection, transmission, treatment and disposition of wastewater; "subsidiary corporation" means a corporation organized under the general statutes or by special act which owns or operates all or part of a water supply system or a wastewater system within the district and all of the voting stock of which is owned by the authority, "noncore business" means an activity to be located on property other than class I or class II land owned by the authority that is related to water, environment, agriculture or an energy project consisting of either a class I renewable energy source, as defined in subdivision (20) of subsection (a) of section 16-1 of the general statutes, or a class III source, as defined in subdivision (38) of said section, but excluding wind sources located within the district; "affiliated business entity" means a corporation, a limited liability company or a limited partnership controlled directly or indirectly by the authority that conducts or invests in a noncore business. A reference in sections 1 to 33, inclusive, of special act 77-98, as amended by special act 78-24, special act 84-46, public act 02-85 and this act, to any general statute, public act or special act shall include any amendment or successor thereto.

Sec. 3. Section 11 of special act 77-98, as amended by section 5 of special act 78-24, section 3 of special act 84-46 and section 7 of public act 02-85, is amended to read as follows (Effective from passage):

Subject to the provisions of sections 1 to 33, inclusive, of special act 77-98, as amended by special act 78-24, special act 84-46, sections 5 to 7, inclusive, of special act 99-12, public act 02-85, special act 13-20 and this act, the authority shall have the power: (a) To sue and be sued; (b) to have a seal and alter the same at its pleasure; (c) to acquire in the name of the authority by purchase, lease or otherwise and to hold and dispose of personal property or any interest therein, including shares of stock of a subsidiary corporation; (d) to acquire in the name of the authority by purchase, lease or otherwise and to hold and dispose of any real property or interest therein, including water rights and rights of way and water discharge rights, which the authority determines to be necessary or convenient, and to acquire any existing wastewater system or water supply system or parts thereof which are wholly or partially within the district as described under section 3 of special act [78-24] 77-98, as amended by section 2 of special act 78-24, section 1 of special act 84-46 and [this act] public act 02-85. As a means of so acquiring, the authority or a subsidiary corporation may purchase all of the stock or all or any part of the assets and franchises of any existing privately owned water or wastewater company, whereupon the authority or such subsidiary corporation shall succeed to all rights, powers and franchises thereof. Sections 16-43, 16-50c and 16-50d of the general statutes shall not apply to any action by the authority or a subsidiary corporation or any action by any privately owned water company or sewage company, as defined in section 16-1 of the general statutes, taken to effectuate the acquisition of the stock or all or any part of the assets and franchises of such water company or sewage company by the authority, provided section 16-43 shall apply to any action taken to effectuate the acquisition of the stock or all or any part of the assets and franchises of the Ansonia Derby Water Company by the authority. Notwithstanding any provision of section 25-32 of the general statutes, land may be transferred to the authority or a subsidiary corporation of the authority as part of such an acquisition. The commissioner of health services shall not grant a permit for a change in the use of any class I or class II land owned by the Ansonia Derby Water Company on the effective date of this section and not transferred to the authority or a subsidiary corporation or a permit for the sale, lease or assignment of any such class II land, unless (1) all provisions of section 25-32 are complied with, and (2) the commissioner of health services determines, after holding a hearing, notice of which shall be published not later than thirty days before the hearing in one or more newspapers having a substantial circulation in the municipalities in which the land is located, that such change in the use or sale, lease, or assignment of the land will not have a significant adverse impact upon present and future water supply needs of the authority or a subsidiary corporation of the authority; (e) to construct and develop any water supply system or any wastewater system; (f) to own, operate, maintain, repair, improve, construct, reconstruct, replace, enlarge and extend any of its properties; (g) any provision in any general statute, special act or charter to the contrary notwithstanding, but subject to the provisions of section 12 of special act 77-98, as amended by [this act] section 8 of public act 02-85, and section 28 of special act 77-98, as amended by section 9 of special act 78-24, to sell water, however acquired, to customers within the district or to any municipality or water company; (h) any provisions in any general statute, special act or charter to the contrary notwithstanding, to purchase water approved by the commissioner of health from any person, private corporation or municipality when necessary or convenient for the operation of any water supply system operated by the authority; (i) to adopt and amend bylaws, rules and regulations for the management and regulation of its affairs and for the use and protection of the water and properties of the authority or a subsidiary corporation and, subject to the provisions of any resolution authorizing the issuance of bonds, rules for the sale of water, the collection and processing of wastewater and the collection of rents and charges for both water supply and wastewater functions. A copy of such bylaws, rules and regulations and all amendments thereto, certified by the secretary of the authority, shall be filed in the office of the secretary of the state and with the clerk of each town and city within the district. Any superior court located within the district shall have jurisdiction over any violation of such bylaws, rules or regulations and the authority may prosecute actions before the superior court to enforce such bylaws, rules and regulations; (j) to make contracts and to execute all necessary or convenient instruments, including evidences of indebtedness, negotiable or non-negotiable; (k) to borrow money, to issue negotiable bonds or notes, to fund and refund the same and to provide for the rights of the holders of the authority's obligations; (l) to open the grounds in any public street or way or public grounds for the purpose of laying, installing, maintaining or replacing pipes and conduits, provided upon the completion of such work the grounds shall be restored to the condition they were in previously; (m) to enter into cooperative agreements with other water authorities, municipalities, water districts, water companies or water pollution control authorities within or without the district for interconnection of facilities, for exchange or interchange of services and commodities or for any other lawful purpose necessary or desirable to effect the purposes of sections 1 to 33, inclusive, of special act 77-98, as amended by special act 78-24, special act 84-46 and sections 5 to 7, inclusive, of special act 99-12, special act 13-20 and this act, such agreements to be binding for a period specified therein; (n) to acquire, hold, develop and maintain land and other real estate and waters for conservation and for compatible active and passive recreational purposes and to levy charges for such uses, provided the state department of health finds that such uses will not harm the quality of water provided by the authority; (o) to apply for and accept grants, loans or contributions from the United States, the state of Connecticut or any agency, instrumentality or subdivision of either of them or from any person, and to expend the proceeds for any of its purposes; (p) to create programs and policies for the purpose of conserving water; (q) to do any and all things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers expressly given in sections 1 to 33, inclusive, of special act 77-98, as amended by special act 78-24, special act 84-76, and sections 5 to 7, inclusive, of special act 99-12, public act 02-85, special act 13-20, and this act, including the powers granted by the general statutes to stock corporations, except the power to issue stock, and the powers granted by the general statutes to water pollution control authorities.

Sec. 4. Subsection (a) of section 13 of special act 77-98, as amended by section 9 of public act 02-85, is amended to read as follows (Effective from passage):

(a) Except with respect to (1) any real or personal property or interest therein, the legal title to which is vested in the state or a political subdivision thereof, (2) any existing water supply system, or (3) any existing wastewater system, if such authority cannot agree with any owner upon the terms of acquisition by the authority of any real or personal property or interest therein which the authority is authorized to acquire, the authority may proceed, at its election, in the manner provided in subsection (b) or in the manner provided in subsection (c) of this section, except that the authority may not proceed in the manner described in subsections (b) and (c) of this section with respect to property to be acquired for noncore businesses.

Sec. 5. Section 14 of special act 77-98, as amended by section 6 of special act 78-24, section 6 of special act 99-12 and section 10 of public act 02-85, is amended to read as follows (Effective from passage):

With the approval of the representative policy board, the authority shall establish just and equitable rates or charges for the use of the water supply system and the wastewater system authorized herein, to be paid by any customer, and may change such rates or charges from time to time. Such water supply system rates or charges shall be established so as to provide funds sufficient in each year, with other water supply related revenues, if any, (a) to pay the cost of maintaining, repairing and operating the water supply system and each and every portion thereof, to the extent that adequate provision for the payment of such cost has not otherwise been made, (b) to pay the principal of and the interest on outstanding water supply bonds of the authority as the same shall become due and payable, (c) to meet any requirements of any resolution authorizing, or trust agreement securing, such bonds of the authority, (d) to make payments in lieu of taxes as provided in section 21 of special act 77-98, as amended by section 8 of special act 78-24 and [this act] public act 02-85, as the same become due and payable, upon the water supply system properties of the authority or of a subsidiary corporation to the municipalities in which such properties are situated, (e) to provide for the maintenance, conservation and appropriate recreational use of the land of the authority, and (f) to pay all other reasonable and necessary expenses of the authority and of the representative policy board to the extent that such expenses are allocable to the water supply system activities of the authority and the representative policy board. Such wastewater system rates or charges shall be established so as to provide funds sufficient in each year with other wastewater related revenues, if any, (1) to pay the cost of maintaining, repairing and operating the wastewater system and each and every portion thereof, to the extent that adequate provision for the payment of such cost has not otherwise been made, (2) to pay the principal of and the interest on outstanding wastewater bonds of the authority as the same shall become due and payable, (3) to meet any requirements of any resolution authorizing, or trust agreement securing, such bonds of the authority, (4) to pay all other reasonable and necessary expenses of the authority and of the representative policy board to the extent that such expenses are allocable to the wastewater activities of the authority and of the representative policy board. No such rate or charge shall be established until it has been approved by the representative policy board, after said board has held a public hearing at which all the users of the waterworks system or the wastewater system, the owners of property served or to be served and others interested have had an opportunity to be heard concerning such proposed rate or charge. The representative policy board shall approve such rates and charges unless it finds that such rates and charges will provide funds in excess of the amounts required for the purposes described previously in this section, or unless it finds that such rates and charges will provide funds insufficient for such purposes. The rates or charges so established for any class of users or property served shall be extended to cover any additional premises thereafter served which are within the same class, without the necessity of a hearing thereon. Any change in such rates or charges shall be made in the same manner in which they were established. The rates or charges levied upon any customer of any water supply system acquired pursuant to subsection (d) of section 11 of special act 77-98, as amended by section 5 of special act 78-24, section 3 of special act 84-46, public act 02-85 and this act or served pursuant to a cooperative agreement pursuant to subsection (m) of said section 11 shall not be required to be equalized with the authority's existing rates, but may be set on a separate basis, provided such rates are just, equitable and nondiscriminatory. Such rates or charges, if not paid when due, shall constitute a lien upon the premises served and a charge against the owners thereof, which lien and charge shall bear interest at the same rate as would unpaid taxes. Such lien shall take precedence over all other liens or encumbrances except taxes and may be foreclosed against the lot or building served in the same manner as a lien for taxes, provided all such liens shall continue until such time as they shall be discharged or foreclosed by the authority without the necessity of filing certificates of continuation, but in no event for longer than [ten] fifteen years. The amount of any such rate or charge which remains due and unpaid for thirty days may, with interest thereon at [the same rate as unpaid taxes] a rate approved by the representative policy board but not to exceed the maximum interest rate allowed pursuant to the Connecticut general statutes for unpaid property taxes and with reasonable attorneys' fees, be recovered by the authority in a civil action in the name of the authority against such owners. Any municipality shall be subject to the same rate or charges under the same conditions as other users of the water supply system or the wastewater system. The assets or the revenues of the water system shall not be available to satisfy debts, judgments or other obligations arising out of the operation of the wastewater system and the assets or the revenues of the wastewater system shall not be available to satisfy debts, judgments or other obligations arising out of the operation of the water system.

Sec. 6. Section 16 of special act 77-98, as amended by section 12 of public act 02-85 and section 4 of special act 13-20, is amended to read as follows (Effective from passage):

All contracts in excess of fifty thousand dollars for any supplies, materials, equipment, construction work or other contractual services shall be in writing and shall be awarded upon either sealed bids or proposals or electronic submission of bids or proposals, and in each case made in compliance with a public notice duly advertised by publication in one or more newspapers of general circulation or, if there are no such newspapers, in appropriate electronic media, including, without limitation, the authority's Internet web site, as are likely to reach a broad segment of potential vendors, at least ten days before the time fixed for [opening] review of said bids or proposals, except for (1) contracts for professional services, (2) when the supplies, materials, equipment or work can only be furnished by a single party, (3) when the authority determines by a two-thirds vote of the entire authority that the award of such contract by negotiation without public bidding will be in the best interest of the authority, or (4) when the procurement is made as a result of participation in a procurement group, alliance or consortium made up of other state or federal governmental entities in which the state of Connecticut is authorized to participate. The authority may in its sole discretion reject all such bids or proposals or any bids received from a person, firm or corporation the authority finds to be unqualified to perform the contract, and shall award such contract to the lowest responsible bidder qualified to perform the contract.

Sec. 7. Section 17 of special act 77-98, as amended by section 13 of public act 02-85, is amended to read as follows (Effective from passage):

(a) If any member or employee of the representative policy board or of the authority or any employee of a subsidiary corporation or an affiliated business entity is financially interested in or has any personal beneficial interest, directly or indirectly, in any proposed contract or proposed purchase order for any supplies, materials, equipment or contractual services to be furnished to or used by the representative policy board, [or] the authority, a subsidiary corporation or an affiliated business entity such member or authority shall immediately so inform the representative policy board, [or] the authority, the subsidiary corporation or the affiliated business entity whichever he or she is a member or employee of, and shall take no part in the deliberations or vote concerning such contract or purchase order. The representative policy board, as to its members and employees, and the subsidiary corporation or affiliated business entity as to its employees, [and] the authority, as to its members and employees, may terminate the membership or employment of any person who violates this subsection.

(b) No member or employee of the representative policy board, [or of] the authority, a subsidiary corporation or an affiliated business entity shall accept or receive, directly or indirectly, from any person, firm or corporation to which any contract or purchase order may be awarded, by rebate, gift or otherwise, any promise, obligation or contract for future reward or compensation or any money or any thing of value in excess of ten dollars, provided the aggregate value of all such things provided by a donor to a recipient in any calendar year shall not exceed fifty dollars and, excluding any food or beverage or food and beverage, costing less than fifty dollars in the aggregate per recipient in a calendar year, and consumed on an occasion or occasions at which the person paying, directly or indirectly, for the food or beverage, or his representative, is in attendance. Any person who violates any provision of this subsection shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months or both.

Sec. 8. Subsection (c) of section 18 of special act 77-98, as amended by section 7 of special act 78-24, section 14 of public act 02-85 and section 5 of special act 13-20, is amended to read as follows (Effective from passage):

(c) After approval of land use standards and disposition policies in the manner provided in subsection (b) of this section, the authority shall not: [sell] (1) Sell or otherwise transfer any real property or any interest or right therein, except for (A) access, or (B) utility purposes or, (C) to dedicate land as open space by conveying a conservation restriction, as defined in section 47-42a of the general statutes, to the federal, state or a municipal government or a nonprofit land-holding organization, as defined in section 47-6b of the general statutes, or (2) develop such property for any use not directly related to a water supply function, other than for public recreational use not prohibited by section 25-43c of the general statutes, without the approval of a majority of the weighted votes of all of the members of the representative policy board, excluding vacancies, in the case of a parcel of twenty acres or less, and by three-fourths of the weighted votes of all of the members of said board, excluding vacancies, in the case of a parcel in excess of twenty acres. The representative policy board shall not approve such sale or other transfer or development unless it determines, following a public hearing, that the proposed action [(1)] (A) conforms to the established standards and policies of the authority, [(2)] (B) is not likely to affect the environment adversely, particularly with respect to the purity and adequacy of both present and future water supply, and [(3)] (C) is in the public interest, giving due consideration, among other factors, to the financial impact of the proposed action on the customers of the authority and on the municipality in which the real property is located.

Sec. 9. Section 19 of special act 77-98, as amended by section 15 of public act 02-85 and section 6 of special act 13-20, is amended to read as follows (Effective from passage):

The authority shall not (1) acquire, by purchase, lease or otherwise, any existing water supply system or parts thereof or any wastewater system or parts thereof, (2) commence any project costing more than two million dollars to repair, improve, construct, reconstruct, enlarge and extend any of its properties or systems, or (3) acquire or make a subsequent investment in any [water or environment related] noncore business in an amount more than one million dollars without the approval, following a public hearing, of a majority of the total weighted votes of the membership of the representative policy board. In the case of the first acquisition by the authority of an existing water supply system or part thereof, after such approval by the representative policy board the authority shall file with the town clerk of each city and town in the district its plan for such acquisition. The legislative body of each such city and town shall approve or disapprove such acquisition plan within sixty days after such filing, provided failure to disapprove within such sixty days shall be deemed approval of such acquisition plan. The authority shall not first acquire an existing water supply system or part thereof except in accordance with an acquisition plan approved by at least sixty per cent of such legislative bodies.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

from passage

SA 77-98, Sec. 1

Sec. 2

from passage

SA 77-98, Sec. 2

Sec. 3

from passage

SA 77-98, Sec. 11

Sec. 4

from passage

SA 77-98, Sec. 13(a)

Sec. 5

from passage

SA 77-98, Sec. 14

Sec. 6

from passage

SA 77-98, Sec. 16

Sec. 7

from passage

SA 77-98, Sec. 17

Sec. 8

from passage

SA 77-98, Sec. 18(c)

Sec. 9

from passage

SA 77-98, Sec. 19

Statement of Legislative Commissioners:

In Section 8, subparagraph designators were inserted for clarity.

PD

Joint Favorable Subst.

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact:

Municipalities

Effect

FY 18 $

FY 19 $

Various Municipalities

Potential Savings

See Below

See Below

Explanation

The bill authorizes the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority to invest in certain businesses, including energy projects.

Investing in other businesses may generate additional revenue for the water authority which could offset rate increases. To the extent this occurs, there could be a savings to its 15 member municipalities.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to investments and rate increases.

OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 945

AN ACT CONCERNING THE SOUTH CENTRAL CONNECTICUT REGIONAL WATER AUTHORITY.

SUMMARY

The Office of Legislative Research does not analyze Special Acts.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Planning and Development Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

22

Nay

0

(03/17/2017)

TOP