2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 197. Municipal acquisition of utilities.
197.10 Cities of first class; contracts; utilities.
197.10 Cities of first class; contracts; utilities.
(1) Any 1st class city, however incorporated, may enter into contract, upon any terms not repugnant to the constitution of this state, with the owner or owners of any public utility, as defined in s. 196.01, except utilities for the operation of telephone or telegraph lines, operated in whole or in part within the corporate limits of said city, for any or all of the following purposes:
(a) To provide for the leasing, public operation or joint operation of any part or all of the properties of such public utility by said city.
(b) To provide for the control, operation, service or management of such properties by either party or by both parties acting jointly.
(c) To determine and fix by the terms of such contract the value of the properties of such utility to be used as a basis for the computation and distribution of earnings, rates and rate of return to the owner or owners of such public utility.
(d) To provide for the stabilization of the rate of return to the owner or owners of such properties.
(e) To provide for the extension and improvement of existing properties by the municipality or otherwise.
(f) To provide for the purchase of all or any part of such properties by the city, to fix the purchase price or the basis or method for computing the same and to provide for the payment thereof and the method of such payment out of funds provided by the city whether derived out of the earnings of such properties or otherwise, or derived in part from such earnings and in part from other sources.
(g) To provide for the purchase by the city of mortgage or revenue bonds issued by such public utility.
(h) To provide for the submission of matters of difference arising between the parties to the public service commission or to a board of arbitrators as the parties may agree.
(i) To provide for such further or additional matters as will enable the parties to accomplish any object agreed upon between them relating to the use, operation, service, management, control, sale, lease, purchase, extension, improvement, rates, value or earnings of such properties.
(2) Such contract when adopted by the common council of said city and accepted by the owner or owners of such public utility shall be submitted to the public service commission for its approval and upon such approval the same shall be filed as provided in s. 8.37 and submitted in such manner as the common council shall determine to a vote of the electors of such city at the next regular municipal election or at a special election called for that purpose, and such contract shall not become binding upon such city until approved by a majority vote of the qualified electors of such city voting thereon. No bonds shall in any case be issued by said city under the contract or contracts mentioned in sub. (1), until the proposition of their issue shall have been submitted to the people of such city and adopted by a majority of the electors voting thereon.
(3) It shall be the duty of the public service commission upon request joined in by both parties to any such contract to advise and cooperate with them in the making of audits, estimates and other determinations of fact which will aid the parties in reaching an agreement or in the operation of the property under such agreement.
(4) Insofar as the use, operation, service, management, control, sale, lease, purchase, extension, improvement, rates, value or earnings of the properties of the public utility or provisions looking toward the ultimate acquisition of the same are made subject to the terms of any contract provided for in sub. (1), and so long as said contract remains in force, the following sections of the statutes shall be inapplicable to the same: ss. 196.02 (1) and (2), 196.05, 196.09, 196.10, 196.11, 196.15, 196.16, 196.19 (6), 196.20, 196.22, 196.26, 196.28, 196.30, 196.37, 196.39, 196.40, 196.58, 196.70, 197.01 (2) to (4), 197.02, 197.03, 197.04, 197.05, 197.06, 197.08 and 197.09; provided that nothing in any contract made hereunder shall operate to prevent an appeal to the public service commission by any person, other than a party to said contract, upon any complaint alleging that any rate, fare, charge or classification, or any joint rate, or any regulation, act or practice relating to the production, transmission, delivery or furnishing of gas, heat, light or power, or any service in connection therewith, is unjustly discriminatory, or that any such service is inadequate or cannot be obtained. Upon said appeal the commission shall, as provided by law, determine and by order fix a rate, fare, charge, classification, joint rate or regulation, act or practice or service to be imposed, observed or followed in the future in lieu of that found to be unjustly discriminatory or inadequate.
(5) Nothing in this section shall operate to deprive the public service commission of its jurisdiction over service, rates and other matters, as provided in chs. 196 and 197, outside of the limits of said 1st class city. If any complaint or investigation before the commission as to service, rates or other matters arising outside of any such city necessarily shall involve any contract authorized in sub. (1), or any specifications, rules, regulations or acts in its conduct or administration such city shall be made a party to such proceeding and to the extent that such contract or its administration shall be determined by the commission to be unreasonable or unjustly discriminatory as regards any person or municipality outside of such city, the same shall be changed to conform to the rates, service or regulations provided by the commission outside of such city.