2018 Arkansas Code
Title 18 - Property
Subtitle 2 - Real Property
Chapter 15 - Eminent Domain
Subchapter 3 - Municipal Corporations Generally
§ 18-15-301. Municipal corporations -- Power to condemn generally -- Definitions

Universal Citation: AR Code § 18-15-301 (2018)
  • (a) The right and power of eminent domain is conferred upon municipal corporations to enter upon, take, and condemn private property for the construction of wharves, levees, parks, squares, market places, or other lawful purposes.

  • (b)

    • (1) For waterworks systems, it shall be no objection to the exercise of power that the property to be condemned is located in a different county from the municipal corporation.

    • (2) In addition, for electric transmission systems and electric distribution systems, it shall be no objection to the exercise of power that the property to be condemned is located outside the corporate limits of the municipal corporation or in a county other than the one wherein the municipal corporation is located.

    • (3) A municipal corporation shall have the power of eminent domain for its electric transmission system and electric distribution system, outside of its corporate limits without annexation of such territory, regardless of whether the territory has been allocated to an electric public utility or electric cooperative corporation, pursuant to a certificate of convenience and necessity or other authority from the Arkansas Public Service Commission, as long as the electric transmission system or electric distribution system being constructed by the municipal corporation is only for the purpose of serving customers of the municipal corporation and not for the purpose of serving electric public utility customers or electric cooperative customers at retail inside the territory allocated to an electric public utility or electric cooperative corporation pursuant to a certificate of convenience and necessity or other authority from the commission.

    • (4)

      • (A) Before a municipal corporation exercises the power of eminent domain under this section, the municipal corporation shall provide written notice to any electric public utility or electric cooperative corporation that has received a certificate of convenience and necessity or other authority from the commission to serve retail customers in any area in which the power of eminent domain is to be exercised.

      • (B)

        • (i) The municipal corporation shall also file a copy of the written notice required under subdivision (b)(4)(A) with the commission.

        • (ii) The notice shall contain information regarding the facilities to be constructed by the municipal corporation in conjunction with the exercise of eminent domain, including without limitation routing, size, and voltage, in sufficient detail to reasonably allow the electric public utility or electric cooperative corporation to fully evaluate the impact of the facilities on public safety, reliability of the system of the electric public utility or electric distribution cooperative, or future system expansion plans of the electric public utility or electric cooperative corporation.

      • (C)

        • (i) A municipal corporation shall not exercise the power of eminent domain under this section without obtaining a certificate of convenience and necessity from the commission if the electric public utility or electric cooperative corporation notifies the municipal corporation in writing within forty-five (45) days of its receipt of such notice that the exercise of the power of eminent domain would specifically endanger public safety, negatively impact reliability, or conflict with future construction plans of the electric public utility or electric cooperative corporation.

        • (ii)

          • (a) The written notice shall be in sufficient detail to reasonably allow the municipal corporation to fully evaluate the problems identified.

          • (b) In such event, the municipal corporation may seek from the commission, in accordance with law, a certificate of convenience and necessity and exercise the power of eminent domain as may be required by the municipal corporation.

          • (c)

            • (1) It shall be no objection to the exercise of power that the property to be condemned is a cemetery, if the purpose for which the cemetery is being taken is for an impounding lake for a supply of water or to supplement a supply of water for the waterworks system of the municipality, including land occupied by the cemetery adjacent to the impounding lake taken to prevent pollution of the supply or for an impounding dam to create the impounding lake.

            • (2) The power of a municipality to condemn a cemetery for those purposes shall extend to all cemeteries except those owned by the United States of America, the State of Arkansas, a county of the State of Arkansas, or a municipality of the State of Arkansas.

          • (d)

            • (1) In case of water pipelines, electric transmission facilities, or electric distribution facilities, a right-of-way or easement therefor may be condemned, and rights-of-way and easements for the pipelines, electric transmission facilities, or electric distribution facilities may be condemned along and under railroad rights-of-way, if the ordinary use of the railroad rights-of-way are not obstructed thereby.

            • (2) The water pipelines, electric transmission facilities, or electric distribution facilities may be constructed and maintained across and under lands and waters of the state, but the ordinary use of the lands and waters shall not be unduly obstructed thereby.

            • (3)

              • (A) The water pipelines, electric transmission facilities, or electric distribution facilities may be constructed and maintained under, across, and along public highways, roads, streets, and alleys, but the ordinary use of the public highways, roads, streets, and alleys shall not be unduly obstructed thereby.

              • (B) At its own expense, the municipality constructing the water pipelines, electric transmission facilities, or electric distribution facilities shall properly backfill the trench in which the pipeline, electric transmission lines, or electric distribution lines are laid and shall restore any sidewalks, curbs, gutters, pavements, or surfacing cut or damaged by the construction or maintenance.

          • (e) As used in this section:

            • (1) "Electric distribution system", "electric distribution facilities", and "electric distribution lines" mean electric utility properties and facilities necessary for distributing electricity below sixty-nine kilovolts (69 kV) phase-to-phase to a municipal corporation's retail customers within its corporate limits or within any other area served by the municipal corporation pursuant to any grant of authority by the commission or any other contiguous municipal corporation pursuant to a franchise agreement or other grant of authority for retail electric service;

            • (2) "Electric transmission system or systems", "electric transmission facilities", and "electric transmission lines" mean electric utility properties and facilities necessary for transmitting electricity at sixty-nine kilovolts (69 kV) phase-to-phase or higher and not for service to a directly tapped, retail, end-use customer or customers or any wholesale customer or customers except municipal corporations. Any electric utility properties and facilities necessary for transmitting electricity at sixty-nine kilovolts (69 kV) phase-to-phase or higher constructed on lands acquired in whole or in part by the municipal corporation utilizing the power of eminent domain granted in this section may be connected only with the following defined entities for the life of the properties and facilities and no others:

              • (A) The municipal corporation's electric generation or transmission or distribution system;

              • (B) Any electric utility or an independent transmission system operator, independent transmission company, independent regional transmission group, or other independent transmission entity operating transmission facilities in this state; and

              • (C) The electric generation or transmission or distribution system owned by other municipal corporations owning an electric system;

            • (3) "Municipal corporations" includes consolidated municipal utility improvement districts owning an electric system; and

            • (4) "Or other lawful purposes" includes a waterworks system, an electric transmission system, or an electric distribution system in its entirety or any integral part thereof or any extension, addition, betterment, or improvement to an existing waterworks system, an electric transmission system, or an electric distribution system owned or operated by a municipal corporation.

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