2015 Wyoming Code
SECTION 15-1-103. - General powers of governing bodies.

WY Stat § 15-1-103. (2015) What's This?

15-1-103. General powers of governing bodies.

(a) The governing bodies of all cities and towns may:

(i) Sue and be sued;

(ii) Have and use a common seal;

(iii) Purchase and hold real and personal property for their use including real estate sold for taxes;

(iv) Sell, convey and lease any estate owned and make any orders respecting it deemed to be in their best interest;

(v) Perform all acts in relation to the property and concerns of the city or town necessary to the exercise of its corporate powers;

(vi) Receive bequests, gifts and donations of all kinds of property in fee simple, or in trust for public, charitable or other purposes and do all things necessary to carry out their intended purpose;

(vii) Control the finances of the corporation, including providing by ordinance for:

(A) The preparation, maintenance and retention of required records and accounts;

(B) Any required reports to the director of the state department of audit's office; and

(C) If deemed necessary the preparation of independent audits of the financial condition of the city or town, which shall be conducted by a certified public accountant or a public accountant who has been in the practice of public accounting for a period of five (5) years as a principal.

(viii) Appropriate money by ordinance only and pay all necessary expenses, including supplies, salaries of employees and debts;

(ix) Levy and collect special assessments against persons or property to the extent allowed by the constitution and the law;

(x) Borrow money on the credit of the corporation for corporate purposes as allowed by the constitution and the laws and issue warrants and bonds therefor in such amounts and forms and on such conditions as they determine;

(xi) Take all necessary action to plan, construct or otherwise improve, modify, repair, maintain and regulate the use of streets, including the regulation of any structures thereunder, alleys, any bridges, parks, public grounds, cemeteries and sidewalks;

(xii) In the manner provided in W.S. 15-7-301 through 15-7-305 vacate from public use any property acquired or held for park purposes, if:

(A) Repealed by Laws 1984, ch. 15, 2.

(B) Repealed by Laws 1984, ch. 15, 2.

(C) Repealed by Laws 1984, ch. 15, 2.

(D) The city or town has held title to the property for more than ten (10) years and no substantial use has been made thereof for park purposes; or

(E) The property will be used for public school or public educational purposes after the vacation.

(xiii) License, tax and regulate any business whatsoever conducted or trafficked in within the limits of the city or town for the purpose of raising revenue, and any license taxes imposed shall be uniform in respect to the class of business upon which imposed;

(xiv) Regulate or prohibit the running at large within the city limits of any animals, impose a license fee for the keeping or harboring of dogs and establish and provide for the operation of a pound;

(xv) Regulate, license, tax or prohibit saloons and shooting galleries or places;

(xvi) Suppress or prohibit:

(A) All gambling games or devices except antique gambling devices as defined in W.S. 6-7-101(a)(x) and authorize the destruction thereof;

(B) Houses of prostitution and other disorderly houses and punish the keeper thereof and persons resorting thereto; and

(C) Other disorderly and vicious practices or conduct.

(xvii) Restrain and punish vagrants, mendicants and prostitutes;

(xviii) Regulate, prevent or suppress riots, disturbances, disorderly assemblies or parades, or any other conduct which disturbs or jeopardizes the public health, safety, peace or morality, in any public or private place;

(xix) Declare and abate nuisances and impose fines upon parties who create, continue or permit nuisances to exist;

(xx) Compel the attendance of witnesses for the investigation of matters before it and the presiding officer may administer the requisite oaths;

(xxi) Purchase, lease or rent land within or without the corporate limits for the deposit of refuse matter, govern the use of the land and make reasonable rules and requirements for hauling refuse;

(xxii) Establish and regulate parks, zoological gardens and recreation areas within the city limits and upon land owned, leased or controlled outside of the city limits provided:

(A) The municipal court of the city or town has jurisdiction to punish any violator of the ordinances of the city or town governing those areas;

(B) The state game and fish commission is authorized to furnish to any city or town any game or animals requested, and the city or town shall pay the necessary expenses.

(xxiii) Provide for the organization, support and equipping of a fire department and:

(A) Prescribe rules, regulations and penalties for governing the department;

(B) Establish regulations for the prevention of and extinguishing of fires;

(C) Make cooperative agreements or execute contracts for fire protection in accordance with W.S. 15-1-121.

(xxiv) Prevent the dangerous construction and condition of chimneys, fireplaces and any other heating appliance or apparatus used in and about dwellings, factories and other buildings, and cause any such dangerous condition or appliance to be removed or replaced in a safe condition, regulate and prevent the carrying on of manufacturing likely to cause fires and prevent the deposit of ashes in unsafe places;

(xxv) Prescribe the thickness, strength and manner of constructing any buildings and the construction of fire escapes therein, and provide for their inspection;

(xxvi) Provide for the repair, removal or destruction of any dangerous building or enclosure;

(xxvii) Define fire limits and prescribe limits within which no building may be constructed except of brick, stone, or other incombustible material, without permission and cause the destruction or removal of any building constructed or repaired in violation of any ordinance;

(xxviii) Regulate or prevent the storage, use and transportation of any combustible or explosive material within the corporate limits or within a given distance thereof;

(xxix) Appoint a board of health and prescribe its powers and duties and:

(A) Establish quarantine ordinances;

(B) Own and regulate convalescent homes, rest homes and hospitals;

(C) Contract for treatment and preventive services for the mentally ill, substance abuser and developmentally disabled as provided in W.S. 35-1-611 through 35-1-628.

(xxx) Divide the city or town into suitable districts for establishing a system of drainage including surface water drainage, sanitary sewers and water mains and:

(A) Provide and regulate the construction, repair and use of sewers and drains;

(B) Provide penalties for violations of regulations;

(C) Assess against the property concerned any penalty or costs and expenses in compliance with regulations.

(xxxi) Take any action to establish, alter and regulate as deemed necessary the channels of streams, water courses and any other public water sources or supplies within the city;

(xxxii) Establish, maintain and in a manner the governing body determines provide for the housing of public libraries and reading rooms and in connection therewith or separately public museums and:

(A) Purchase books and other appropriate material;

(B) Purchase and receive as gifts or on loan any books, pictures, articles or artifacts relating to the history, resources and development of the United States and its parts and lands;

(C) Place a museum temporarily in charge of donors; and

(D) Receive donations and bequests for the museum, in trust or otherwise, and make contracts and regulations for the care, protection and government thereof.

(xxxiii) Grant franchises for such terms as the governing body deems proper to any utility company, provided no franchise may be entered into with any person in which that person is given an exclusive right for any purpose whatsoever and:

(A) Grant to any franchisee utility company the privilege to install and maintain necessary installations under or over any streets, alleys or avenues;

(B) Contract for a specified time period with any franchisee electric light or gas company for the necessary energy and service for the lighting of streets, public buildings or other requirements of the city or town;

(C) Upon renewal or initial grant or renewal after condemnation of a franchise, may provide in the franchise that the franchisee shall furnish a gas distribution system through which any supplier, including the franchisee, may sell and distribute natural gas as provided by subsection (b) of this section, to any person served by the distribution system, provided that before any city or town implements this subparagraph, the question of whether or not to do so shall be submitted to and approved by a majority of the electors of the city or town voting on the question at a one-time election called for that purpose.

(xxxiv) Establish and regulate a police department, pass ordinances relating to the department and adopt job descriptions for all department personnel;

(xxxv) Exercise the power of eminent domain and take property for public use within and without the city limits for any necessary or authorized public purpose as defined by W.S. 1-26-801(c);

(xxxvi) Require all buildings to be numbered by the owners, lessees, occupants or agents and in case of failure to comply with such requirements, cause the numbering to be done and assess the costs against the property or premises numbered;

(xxxvii) In addition to the appointed officers and employees provided by law, establish other positions as are necessary for the efficient operation of the city or town and:

(A) Prescribe duties and rules of all appointees;

(B) Determine working conditions or pay scales and supplementary benefits, as long as those provisions are not in conflict with existing statutes;

(C) During an emergency or special conditions warranting, make additional temporary appointments;

(D) Specify by ordinance that if any person is removed from office for incompetency, neglect of duty or otherwise for cause, the charges against that person shall be specified and the person removed shall be provided an opportunity for a hearing on the charges under procedures established in the ordinance;

(E) Make the cause of removal a matter of record.

(xxxviii) Cause compilations, codifications and comprehensive revisions to be made of all ordinances in force and provide for their distribution, sale and exchange;

(xxxix) Lease lands owned or possessed outside the corporate limits which contain caves, caverns, or other natural formations to any person for the development and use of the natural formations on terms and conditions approved by the governing body;

(xl) With written permission of the landowner or governmental agency involved, reclaim for beneficial use substandard lands by filling excavations and other depressions with refuse from the cities and towns, provided the deposit of refuse and the reclamation of the lands shall be done in a manner approved by the landowner, adjoining landowners and in accordance with any applicable laws or ordinances;

(xli) Adopt ordinances, resolutions and regulations, including regulations not in conflict with this act and necessary for the health, safety and welfare of the city or town, necessary to give effect to the powers conferred by this act and, except as provided by paragraph (xlvi) of this subsection, enforce all ordinances by imposing fines not exceeding seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), or imprisonment not exceeding six (6) months, or both. The governing body of a city or town may by ordinance impose a term of probation for battery which may exceed the maximum term of imprisonment established for the offense provided the term of probation, together with any extension thereof, shall in no case exceed one (1) year;

(xlii) Subject to subsection (d) of this section, take any action necessary to acquire any needed or useful property, or to construct, maintain, repair or replace any lawful improvement, development, project or other activity of any kind, or to participate, join or cooperate with other governments or political subdivisions, or departments or agencies thereof, for which funds may be borrowed from, granted or made available in whole or in part, on a matching basis or otherwise, by the United States of America or the state of Wyoming, or any subdivision, department or agency of either;

(xliii) License and regulate pawnbrokers and junk or secondhand dealers and provide for the examination of premises and business property of such persons pursuant to law for the purpose of discovering stolen property;

(xliv) Take into custody abandoned, or junk motor vehicles and parts or remains thereof which are nuisances and are on public property or on public streets, alleys and ways and:

(A) Remove and store the vehicles or parts at the expense of the owner;

(B) Permit redemption of the vehicles or parts;

(C) If not redeemed after giving public notice sell the vehicles or parts without warranty;

(D) Pay expenses from the sale; and

(E) After lapse of a reasonable length of time, deposit unclaimed proceeds from the sale of vehicles or parts into the general fund of the municipality.

(xlv) Contract with nonprofit corporations, hospitals and clinics to provide human services for persons within its jurisdiction;

(xlvi) Adopt ordinances establishing pretreatment standards and requirements for municipal waste water collection systems and provide for enforcement of the standards and requirements through:

(A) Injunctive relief; and

(B) The assessment against industrial users of civil or criminal penalties for violations of, or noncompliance with, the pretreatment standards and requirements, provided the civil penalty shall not be less than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) and shall not exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) a day for each day of violation. The proceeds of any civil penalty imposed by a district court under any ordinance adopted pursuant to this paragraph shall be deposited in the general fund of the city or town.

(xlvii) By ordinance, prohibit or authorize and regulate the operation of golf carts as defined under W.S. 31-5-102(a)(lxi) on public streets and roadways within the corporate boundaries of the city or town;

(xlviii) Repealed By Laws 1999, ch. 22, 2.

(xlix) Unless specifically prohibited by statute, accept negotiable paper in payment of any tax, assessment, license, permit, fee, fine or other money owing to the city or town or collectible by the city or town on behalf of the state or other unit of government, or in payment of any bail deposit or other trust deposit. As used in this paragraph, negotiable paper means money orders, paper arising from the use of a lender credit card as defined in W.S. 40-14-140(a)(ix), checks and drafts, including, without limitation, sales drafts and checks and drafts signed by a holder of a lender credit card issued by a bank maintaining a revolving loan account as defined in W.S. 40-14-308, for lender credit card holders. The acceptance of negotiable paper by the governing body under this subsection shall be in accordance with and subject to the same terms and conditions provided by W.S. 18-3-505. Any fees assessed for processing a credit card payment may be borne by the governing body of the city or town or person tendering payment. Any fees assessed for processing a credit card payment collected on behalf of the state shall be borne by the governing body of the city or town or person tendering payment and not by the state;

(l) Appoint special municipal officers, who are not certified as peace officers, to issue citations to individuals for the limited purpose of enforcing ordinances, resolutions and regulations in the areas of animal control, parking and municipal code enforcement. Special municipal officers are not law enforcement officers:

(A) For purposes of employee benefits provided in title 9 of Wyoming statutes;

(B) Are not peace officers for purposes of title 6 or title 7 of Wyoming statutes;

(C) Are not peace officers for purposes of W.S. 1-39-112;

(D) Shall not be required to carry a firearm;

(E) Shall not have the power of arrest;

(F) Shall not be issued a peace officer's badge; and

(G) Shall not represent themselves to be peace officers.

(b) Any franchise granted pursuant to subparagraph (a)(xxxiii)(C) of this section is subject to the following:

(i) The franchise agreement shall specify who is responsible for deliverability;

(ii) The distribution system shall continue to be a public utility whose charges are regulated by the public service commission. The charges shall reflect the reasonable nongas costs subject to management audit as the public service commission deems necessary plus a reasonable return on investment;

(iii) Any city or town or its authorized representative shall act as an agent for any person served by the system in negotiating terms and conditions for the supply of natural gas to that person, and the franchisee distribution system shall accept for delivery to any person served by the system, natural gas from any supplier;

(iv) The public service commission shall designate a place or places in the vicinity of the distribution system for the acceptance of natural gas not supplied by franchisee;

(v) The public service commission shall adopt and enforce minimum quality standards for all gas delivered to the distribution system. These standards shall reflect the practices of the operators of the distribution system unless good cause is shown for different standards. The standards shall be designed to facilitate the commingling of gas from different suppliers;

(vi) As soon as there are at least two (2) suppliers offering natural gas to all customers served by the franchisee and as soon as the additional supplier or suppliers are capable of delivering gas in at least one-third (1/3) of the volume required by the entire distribution system provided that the public service commission finds that the suppliers own or control, and have committed to guaranteed delivery, reserves of natural gas sufficient to supply ten (10) years of demand at that level, then all persons supplying gas shall have the authority to set their own prices. The proposed supplier has the burden of proving adequate reserves and deliverability. The Wyoming oil and gas commission shall report to the public service commission on the adequacy and deliverability when a utility gas supply is proposed to be displaced under this act;

(vii) Subject to the availability of pipeline capacity and the requirements of federal law and regulations the public service commission may, after notice and hearing if necessary, designate any point in the state on a gas pipeline operated for the purpose of delivering gas to the distribution system or its parent or subsidiary company as a point for receipt of gas to the system and regulate the charges for shipping gas from that point to the system. If a pipeline has insufficient capacity the public service commission consistent with W.S. 30-5-125 may require it to accept gas that has a lower price to the consumer in preference to higher price gas. The public service commission may impose any conditions or requirements pursuant to this subsection that are necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare, to ensure the efficient operation of the natural gas distribution and supply system and to ensure the lowest possible price to retail customers, including but not limited to proper assignment of costs of connecting suppliers to the system;

(viii) When a city renews or grants a franchise for the supply of natural gas under subparagraph (a)(xxxiii)(C) of this section, the public service commission may require that the distribution of gas in surrounding unincorporated areas also be made subject to the terms of the same franchise;

(ix) If a distribution system has only one (1) supplier of natural gas all prices charged in that franchise are subject to W.S. 37-2-121 and 37-2-122;

(x) All suppliers of gas to the distribution system shall annually report to the public service commission the annual consumption of natural gas by their customers of record at the date of the report and their natural gas reserves. If their natural gas reserves are less than a five (5) year supply, the public service commission may forbid any supplier from serving new customers until the reserves are equal to a five (5) year supply for all customers;

(xi) Any supplier entering the system under this subsection is liable for injuries, damages or other losses to the extent to which the injuries, damages or other losses are proximately caused by the supplier's operations within the system and are due to failure of the supplier to exercise that standard of care which a reasonable, prudent person would exercise under the same or similar circumstances to avoid an undue risk of harm or are due to the supplier's failure to deliver contracted amounts of natural gas.

(c) Any provision in a gas purchase contract which contains or creates an indefinite escalator clause, otherwise known as a "favored nation treaty" provision, is contrary to the public policy of the state and is void and unenforceable if:

(i) The contract is to sell gas to the holders of a municipality franchise which supplies retail customers in the state;

(ii) The contract provides for the sale in the state of gas produced within the state;

(iii) The contract gas price is in excess of the general market price which would otherwise exist in the absence of the indefinite escalator clause; and

(iv) The higher price resulting from the application of the escalator clause is not required by any enforceable provision of statutes or regulations enacted or adopted pursuant to the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 or other appropriate statutes and regulations of the United States.

(d) Before the governing body of a city or town enters into an agreement to borrow money from the United States of America or from the state of Wyoming, or from any subdivision, agency or department of either, to fund a public improvement project to be repaid solely from revenues generated by the enterprise with which the financed project is associated, the proposal to enter into the loan agreement shall be submitted to and approved by the electors of the city or town in the same manner and pursuant to the same procedures as provided for bond issues under the Political Subdivision Bond Election Law, if the total amount to be borrowed for the project exceeds the greater of:

(i) Five million dollars ($5,000,000.00); or

(ii) An amount calculated by multiplying the number of individuals to be served by the proposed public improvement project times one thousand two hundred dollars ($1,200.00).

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