2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 198. Municipal power and water districts.
198.14 Powers of district board.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 198.14 (2017)

198.14 Powers of district board. The board of directors of any district shall have power and authority:

(1)Seal. To adopt a corporate seal for the district and prescribe the style thereof.

(2)Mode of exercise. To exercise by vote, ordinance or resolution all of the general powers of the district.

(3)Grant permits. To grant by ordinance indeterminate permits, subject to the conditions prescribed in ss. 196.50 and 198.12, for the construction or operation of utilities and extensions and additions thereto in the district but subject to local ordinances governing the use thereby of public streets, alleys, ways and places therein, but such ordinance shall be published as a class 1 notice, under ch. 985, not more than 20 nor less than 10 days before its adoption.

(4)Purchases, sales, conveyances. To lease, purchase, sell, convey and mortgage the property of the district and to authorize and order all instruments, contracts, deeds or mortgages to be executed on behalf of the district by the chairperson of the board and the clerk of the district, except that the sale or lease of any public utility equipment in excess of 10 percent of the book value of the utility property of the district shall be made as nearly as may be in accordance with s. 66.0817, except that the commission shall have no power to determine whether the interests of the district and the residents thereof will be best served by the sale or lease nor to fix the price and terms thereof other than to furnish the clerk of said district with its written recommendations thereon within 90 days.

(5)Employees. To authorize to be appointed and employed and fix the compensation of such employees as may be required for carrying on the business of the district.

(6)Depositories. To designate and appoint a suitable and responsible depository or depositories for the deposit and safekeeping of the funds of the district and to contract with such depository or depositories with respect thereto and the rate of interest to be paid the district on such deposits.

(7)Temporary loans. To borrow money for terms not exceeding ninety days, subject to the limitation of total indebtedness of the district contained in s. 198.14 (9). Such temporary loans shall constitute a first lien on the revenue of the district after the payment of interest on, and retirement of, bonds, and after the payment of taxes.

(8)Eminent domain. To exercise the power of eminent domain and to condemn lands or any interest in lands including water powers, whether located within or without the district, whenever the same are necessary for the construction, operation, improvement or extension of any utility owned, or to be owned by the district and, in that behalf, to authorize condemnation proceedings to be instituted and prosecuted by the general counsel of the district in the name of the district and at its cost and expense and otherwise in the manner prescribed by law.

(9)Bond issues, debt limit. To provide by ordinance for the issuance and sale of bonds of the district to finance the purchase, acquisition or construction of any utility or parts of the utility or additions, extensions or betterments to the utility, that may be authorized, to authorize and require the execution of the bonds by the chairperson of the board and the clerk of the district under the corporate seal of the district and to approve the form of the bonds and prescribe the duties of the clerk and treasurer of the district with respect to the sale of the bonds and the application of the proceeds to the purposes for which the bonds were issued. Bonds issued under this subsection shall be subject to all of the following:

(a) The total amount of all indebtedness of the district shall not exceed 5 percent of the assessed value of the taxable property in the district, to be ascertained by the last preceding assessment for the state and county taxes.

(b) The ordinance authorizing the indebtedness shall levy a direct, annual, district tax sufficient to pay the interest on the debt as it becomes due, and to pay the principal of the debt within 20 years from the time of contracting the debt.

(c) All of the bonds shall mature in annual installments. The first installment of principal shall be due and payable not later than 2 years after the date of issue. The sum of the principal and interest due in any year after the first year shall not exceed the sum of the principal and interest due in any previous year by more than a denomination of a single bond issued.

(d) All of the bonds shall contain a provision requiring redemption of the bond, in whole or in part, at the option of the district on any interest payment date after 3 years from the date of the bonds.

(e) The authorization by the board of any bonds shall be approved by a majority vote of the electors of the district voting at a referendum election noticed, held, conducted and canvassed and the returns thereof made as nearly as may be in the manner provided for a referendum vote on the issuance of county bonds under ch. 67.

(f) The income of a district from any source other than taxation may be applied for the payment of part or all of the installments of interest on and principal of the bonds due in any year. Any surplus remaining may be redistributed at any time to municipalities within the boundaries of the district in proportion to, and in a total amount not more than, the taxes levied and collected by the municipalities for the district during the existence of the district, or the surplus may be held by the district for the payment of its expenses, including the payment of subsequent installments of interest and principal as they become due.

(g) Any sums collected by taxation to be used for the payment of interest on and principal of the bonds, and not required in any year for that purpose, shall be held by the district to be used for that purpose in any succeeding year, and the tax provided for in this section shall be collected in the succeeding year only in an amount sufficient, together with any balance remaining over from the proceeds of taxation in previous years, to pay the installments of interest on and principal of the bonds due in that year.

(h) Except as otherwise provided by this chapter, the bonds shall be issued as nearly as may be in the manner provided by ch. 67 for county bonds.

(10)Revenue bonds. As an alternative method of financing, to provide by ordinance or resolution for the issuance, upon the purchase, acquisition or construction by the district of any utility, or parts thereof, or additions, extensions or betterments thereto, of revenue bonds secured by mortgage or deed of trust upon the acquired property in the form and character prescribed by s. 66.0621, to provide for payment of any part of the cost of such property and to authorize the execution of such mortgage or deed of trust by the chairperson of the board and the clerk of the district on behalf of the district.

(11)Acquisition of utilities, financing same. To acquire for the district any property which it has authority to acquire, subject to any funded or mortgage indebtedness outstanding against and secured by any bond, note, mortgage or deed of trust upon such property, without assuming any obligations with respect to such indebtedness, or to acquire such property and assume, or assume and promise to pay any such indebtedness, or to enter into any contract with any parties concerned, for the creation and substitution of such new obligations of the district as it is authorized to create, for any such indebtedness, and to pay and provide for the payment by the district of any sums due on account of any such indebtedness, and to provide by ordinance or resolution for and authorize the execution of any contract or other instrument required to enter into or carry out any such transactions on behalf of the district, subject to the limitation of total indebtedness of the district contained in s. 198.14 (9).

(12)Contract to furnish service. To enter into and authorize to be executed on behalf of the district with the governing body of any municipality contracts, leases and conveyances for the furnishing, delivery, production, leasing, sale or operation of any public utility property, facility or service either by such municipality to or for the district or by the district to or for such municipality, and to enter into and authorize to be executed any like contract, lease or conveyance with the owner or owners of any privately owned utility or public corporation.

(13)Act on claims, reports, budget. To examine and act upon all claims against the district, to require, examine and approve or disapprove monthly reports of operation and recommendations by the general manager, to require, examine and approve or disapprove periodical reports by the clerk, to adopt a budget of district general and operating expense and expenses for interest charges and for capital account and make appropriations.

(14)Advice from commission. To apply for and obtain the counsel, advice or opinion in writing of the commission upon any proposed action of the board and to be entitled to the same upon reasonable request therefor accompanied by an offer to reimburse the commission the amount of its necessary expense in obtaining, preparing and furnishing the same, to approve and order paid by the district the amount of the commission's charges therefor.

(15)Omnibus provision. To do or authorize to be done all things necessary to be done or authorized for the proper execution of any power conferred upon the district and not vested in any other officer thereof and of any power conferred upon the board by the provisions of this chapter.

(16)Change boundaries. To change from time to time by a two-thirds vote the boundaries of the subdistricts to meet with the requirements of s. 198.07 (2).

History: 1981 c. 390 s. 252; 1983 a. 207; 1993 a. 184; 1997 a. 254; 1999 a. 150 s. 672; 2009 a. 177.

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