Board of directors, boundaries.
Vacancies, declared, filled.
Compensation and expenses of directors.
Corporate powers of district.
Acquisition of private utilities; dissolution of power district.
Powers of district board.
District legislature, ordinances, officers.
District clerk, treasurer, attorney, duties.
Certified public accountant; annual report.
Eminent domain procedure.
Annexation of territory.
Consolidation of districts.
District obligations inviolate.
Municipal water districts.
In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
"Board of directors," "directors" or "board" means the board of directors of a municipal power district selected as provided in this chapter, duly constituted and organized and acting as a board.
"Chief executive" means mayor or city manager, village president, or chairperson of the town.
"Commission" means the public service commission and any other body, commission or agency of the state which may at any time hereafter succeed to the general powers and jurisdiction of said commission.
"County clerk" means the clerk of the county containing the largest number of voters within a district or proposed district.
"Governing body," whenever used in relation to any municipality, means in the case of any town or village, the town or village board, and, in the case of any city, the common council or commissioners, as the case may be, of such city, and shall be held to include the mayor or other chief executive officer of such municipality in any case wherein the concurrence or approval of such officer is required by the law governing such municipality for the adoption of any municipal ordinance or resolution or other municipal act provided for in this chapter.
"Municipality" means any town, city, or village.
"Municipal power district," "power district" or "district" means a municipal power district organized under this chapter, either as originally organized or as the same may be from time to time altered or amended.
"Public utility" or "utility" means the plant, equipment, materials, supplies and any other or different property, including contract rights, used and useful primarily for the production, transmission or furnishing of electric power to or for the public for any purpose by a person, firm, association, corporation or a municipality and whether operated by a person, firm, association, corporation, a municipality or by trustees or by receivers appointed by any court.
"Voters" means vote for governor at the last general election.
District, creation, powers.
A municipal power district may be created as provided in this chapter and when so created shall be considered a municipal corporation and may exercise the powers granted in this chapter. Any 2 or more municipalities, whether contiguous or otherwise or in the same or different counties, may organize and incorporate as a municipal power district. No municipality may be divided in the formation of a municipal power district, and no municipality shall be included in a municipal power district unless approved by a majority of the votes cast in that municipality at an election under s. 198.06
on the proposition of whether a district should be created.
History: 1997 a. 254
Plan for district.
It shall be the duty of the commission upon request of the governing body of any city, village or town to work out with the municipality, or with any group of municipalities interested with it in the creation of a municipal power district, a feasible working plan for a proposed district.
History: 1997 a. 254
Procedure for organizing district; initiation.
The procedure for organizing, incorporating, and creating a municipal power district under the provisions of this chapter is as follows:
(1) Initial resolution.
The governing bodies of one-half or more of the municipalities proposed to be included in the district shall first pass resolutions, declaring that public interest or necessity demands the creation and maintenance of a municipal power district to be known as "the .... (giving the name) municipal power district". The resolutions shall name the municipalities to be included in the proposed district. Certified copies of the resolutions shall be presented to the county clerk, requesting the county clerk to call an election without delay for determining whether the district shall be created.
(2) Petition in lieu of resolution.
In lieu of the resolutions provided for by sub. (1)
, a petition may be presented to the county clerk signed by at least 10% of the voters in the proposed district. The petition shall declare that, in the opinion of the petitioners, public interest or necessity demands the creation and maintenance of a municipal power district. The petition may be on separate sheets of paper, but each sheet shall contain the affidavit of the person who circulated the sheet, certifying that each name signed on that sheet is the true signature of the person whose name it purports to be.
History: 1997 a. 254
Procedure for organizing district; 2nd step. 198.04(1)(1)
Notice to commission.
Upon receipt of the certified copies of the resolutions adopted under s. 198.03 (1)
or the petition presented under s. 198.03 (2)
, the county clerk shall immediately notify the commission in writing that the municipalities filing the resolutions or those named in the petition as constituting the proposed power district had petitioned the county clerk to call an election without delay for determining whether the district should be created.
(2) Report of commission.
Within 90 days after receipt of the notice of the county clerk under sub. (1)
, the commission shall file with the county clerk its written recommendations as to the feasibility or nonfeasibility of the proposed district with reasons for the commission's recommendations. Certified copies of the commission's recommendations shall at the same time be filed by the commission with the clerk of each municipality included within the proposed district.
(3) Election called.
Upon receipt of the commission's recommendations, or upon expiration of the 90-day period referred to in sub. (2)
, the county clerk shall call without delay an election within the proposed district for the purpose of determining whether the proposed district shall be created.
History: 1993 a. 482
; 1997 a. 254
Every petition or resolution provided for in s. 198.03
shall divide the proposed district into 5 subdistricts, giving each a number, except as provided in s. 198.07 (3)
. In the event that the boundaries of the district as originally proposed are changed at the election, provided for by s. 198.06
, and approved by the commission pursuant to s. 198.06 (5)
, the commission shall make adjustments in the boundaries of the subdistricts that are necessary to comply with s. 198.07
History: 1997 a. 254
Notice of election, publication.
Upon the establishment of subdistricts the county clerk shall give notice of an election to be held within the proposed district for the purpose of determining whether the proposed district shall be created. Such notice shall state the name of the proposed district, and describe its boundaries. The notice shall be published once a week for at least 3 consecutive weeks before the day of the election in some newspaper or newspapers having a general circulation within the proposed district.
(2) Ballot requirements.
The ballot for the election shall be in such form and contain such instructions and shall be of the size required by ss. 5.51
for the referendum ballot, except that there shall appear on the ballot the following:
Shall the.... (giving the name thereof) "municipal power district" be created and established?
YES ⍽ NO ⍽
(3) Election procedure, electors, canvass.
The election, and all matters pertaining to the election not otherwise provided for in this section, shall be conducted and the result ascertained in accordance with the election laws governing the conduct of local elections in the several election districts embraced in such proposed municipal power district, as nearly as may be, and no person may vote at the election unless he or she is a qualified elector of the territory included in the proposed district. The election may be held on the same day as any other state, city, village, town or county election and may be consolidated therewith. The ballots shall be transmitted by the local election authorities to the county board of canvassers of the county containing the largest number of voters within the proposed district, within 5 days after the election.
(4) County canvass of votes, declare result.
The county board of canvassers of the county shall meet on the Monday next succeeding the day of the election and shall canvass the votes cast, and in so doing shall canvass the returns of each municipality separately, and shall order and declare the district created of the municipalities in which a majority of those voting on the proposition voted in favor of the creation of the district, provided, that the total number of voters in the approving municipalities shall be not less than two-thirds of the number of voters within the district as first proposed.
(5) Filing of result, commission approval. 198.06(5)(a)(a)
The board of canvassers shall cause a certified copy of the order declaring the result of the election to be filed in the office of the secretary of state. A certified copy of the order shall also be filed with the clerk of each municipality included in the district, with the county clerk, and with the commission.
If the district as finally constituted comprises a smaller area than originally proposed because of the failure of one or more municipalities to approve the district at the election, the commission shall, within 10 days following the filing of the order under par. (a)
with the commission, file its approval or disapproval of the district as created by the election with the secretary of state, the clerk of each municipality included in the district and the county clerk. If the commission approves, upon the filing of the approval the creation and incorporation of the district shall be considered complete. If the commission disapproves, the district shall be considered dissolved. Except as provided in par. (c)
, the approval or disapproval of the commission shall be final.
In the case of municipal water districts created under s. 198.22
, the approval or disapproval of the commission shall be final unless objection to the commission's decision is made to the commission by one or more of the governing bodies of the municipalities which would otherwise be included in the district.
If a district has been approved by all of the municipalities within the district as proposed, the creation and incorporation of the district shall be considered complete upon the filing of the result of the election with the secretary of state by the board of canvassers.
(6) Expenses of election, payment.
All amounts properly incurred and actually expended by any municipality in publishing notices of any election, in employing persons to conduct the election or in performing other duties imposed upon the municipality or upon the clerk of the municipality by any provision of this chapter shall be paid as other similar expenses of the municipality are paid and shall be a charge in favor of the municipality against the district to be repaid, together with interest thereon at the rate of 6% per year, upon the presentation of proper vouchers for the charges by the clerk of the municipality to the district, when and as the district has funds available for that purpose.
(7) Informalities disregarded, limitation of action to test validity of district.
No informality in any proceeding or in the conduct of the election, not substantially affecting adversely the legal rights of any citizen, shall be held to invalidate the creation of any district, and any proceedings wherein the validity of the creation is denied shall be commenced within 3 months from the date of filing the order of the board of canvassers with the secretary of state, otherwise the creation and the legal existence of the district shall be held to be valid and in every respect legal and incontestable.
Board of directors, boundaries. 198.07(1)
The government of each district shall be vested in a board of 5 directors.
The boundaries of the subdistricts shall be drawn so that each shall contain approximately an equal number of voters, except that no municipality shall contain more than 2 subdistricts, nor shall any municipality be divided unless it shall comprise more than one subdistrict.
Where a district includes a municipality that contains more than 50% of the voters in the entire district, all of the following apply:
The territory in the district, other than that contained in the municipality described in sub. (3) (intro.)
, shall be divided into 2 subdistricts.
History: 1997 a. 254
Director for each subdistrict.
There shall be a director for each subdistrict who shall be appointed by the chief executives of the municipalities included within said subdistrict.
(2) Appointment; meeting of municipal executive officers.
Within 10 days after the creation and incorporation of a municipal power district is completed the chief executives in each subdistrict containing more than one municipality shall meet for the selection of a director for the subdistrict. The time and place of the meeting shall be designated by the county clerk.
(3) Appointment, vote by municipal executive officers.
In the selection of a director for a subdistrict each chief executive shall have one vote for each 1,000 voters within that chief executive's municipality, or the part of the municipality that is located in the subdistrict. A three-fourths vote shall be necessary for the selection of a director. The result of the selection of the director shall be certified to by the chairperson and clerk of the meeting and immediately filed with the secretary of state and the clerk of each municipality in the district.
Such meeting may adjourn from time to time.
(5) Appointment by executive.
Where a municipality contains 2 subdistricts or where a subdistrict includes only one municipality, the chief executive of the municipality shall select a director for each such subdistrict, and shall immediately file a certified copy of the selection as provided by sub. (3)
(6) Director at large.
Where the selection of a director at large is required such selection shall be made by the governor. A certified copy of such selection shall be filed forthwith by the governor as provided in sub. (3)
(7) Term, oath.
The regular term of directors of the district after the first term shall be 4 years. Each director shall hold office until the director's successor is selected and qualifies. Each director shall, before entering upon the discharge of the director's duties, take and subscribe to the constitutional oath of office. Each director's oath shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the district.
(8) Biennial elections.
The meeting of chief executives for the selection of directors subsequent to the initial selection of directors shall be held within the district on the second Tuesday in April in even numbered years prior to the expiration of the term of any director. The clerk of the district shall designate the time and place of each such meeting. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection and in s. 198.09
, every selection of a director subsequent to the initial selection of directors shall be made in the manner provided by this chapter for the initial selection of directors.
Directors selected from odd-numbered subdistricts shall for the first term serve for a period that shall end 2 years after the first Monday of May of the next even-numbered year. Directors selected from even-numbered subdistricts shall for the first term serve for a period which shall end 4 years after the first Monday of May of the next even-numbered year. For the purposes of this section directors at large shall be considered to be from odd-numbered subdistricts.
(10) Election statistics.
The clerk of the district shall seasonably obtain, compile, and file in his or her office, for the information of the public, a statement showing the total number of votes cast for the office of governor in the last preceding general election in each subdistrict of the district. The clerk of every municipality and the government accountability board shall furnish such information so far as obtainable from their records, duly certified, to the clerk of the district upon request therefor by the clerk of the district. If the total number of votes cast in any subdistrict for the office of governor in the last preceding election cannot, because of an intervening change of boundaries of election wards or for any reason, be ascertained from any official record the clerk of the district shall fairly estimate such number for the purposes of such statement to be filed in his or her office.
Vacancies, declared, filled.
A director's death, resignation, inability to continue for any cause to act as director or change of residence from the subdistrict in which the director was selected shall vacate that director's office. The board shall by resolution declare the office vacant and a certified copy of the resolution shall be filed immediately by the clerk of the district with the clerk of each municipality included within the district. A successor for the unexpired term shall, within 20 days after the filing of the resolution, be selected by the officer or officers who selected the director whose office has been declared vacant.
History: 1993 a. 482
; 1997 a. 254
Taxable property, taxes.
All real property situated in and all personal property the situs of which for purposes of general property taxation is in the district shall be subject to taxation in and by the district for a direct annual tax sufficient to pay the interest on any indebtedness of the district, and to pay and discharge the principal of the indebtedness within 20 years from the time of contracting the indebtedness.
(2) Annual tax levy, collection.
On or before the first day of October in each year after any indebtedness shall have been incurred by any municipal power district, the board of directors shall certify in writing to the clerks of the several municipalities having territory in said district, the total amount necessary to pay the interest and debt retirement charges on outstanding indebtedness of said district for the ensuing year, and the share thereof that each such municipality must pay. For failure to pay such taxes the same penalties shall apply as for failure to pay other taxes. If any of such taxes shall remain unpaid and become delinquent the same shall be collected and payment thereof enforced in the same manner and by the same officers as other delinquent taxes are collected and payment thereof enforced and the proceeds of such collection and enforcement shall be paid over by the proper officers to the treasurer of the district. All officers of municipalities charged by this section with any duty or authority with respect to the assessment of property for taxation or the collection of any taxes for the benefit of any district shall have the same duties and liabilities with respect to the assessment of property and collection of taxes for the benefit of such district as are imposed upon them by law with respect to the assessment of property and collection of taxes for state and county purposes, except when inconsistent herewith, and shall be subject to the same penalties for any breach or neglect of duty or violation of law with respect thereto as in other cases.
(3) Apportionment of taxes.
Said share shall be determined upon the basis of the proportion which the assessed valuation of any municipality as equalized by the department of revenue bears to the total assessed valuation in all municipalities within said district as equalized by the department of revenue.
(4) Municipal tax levy, clerks' duties.
Upon the receipt of the report from the board of directors as provided for in sub. (2)
each such clerk shall submit the same to the next regular or special meeting of the governing board of said city, village or town and such board shall, by resolution, levy and assess taxes sufficient to pay the same, against all of the taxable property included within the power district in the clerk's municipality. Following such assessment and levy, the clerk of each such municipality shall place the same upon the tax roll to be collected as other taxes are collected upon all of the taxable property within said municipality, and such moneys when collected shall be paid by the treasurer of each such municipality to the treasurer of such municipal power district.