Each director of the district shall receive compensation from the district for the director's services as a director at the rate of $10 for each day that the director attends meetings of the board or of any committee of the board of which the director is a member, when the meeting of the committee is authorized by vote or resolution of the board, except that the compensation paid to a director shall not exceed $1,000 in any one year. Each director shall also be entitled to be reimbursed for the actual and necessary traveling and hotel expenses incurred by the director whenever it shall be necessary for the director to travel outside of the municipality in which the director resides to attend meetings of the board or a committee of the board of which the director is a member or to render any other service or discharge any other duty to the district which may be required of the director by law or by vote or resolution of the board.
The compensation of directors and amounts due them as reimbursement for expenses shall be paid at the end of each month upon itemized statements duly verified. Such statements shall be in such form as the clerk of the district shall prescribe and shall be audited and, if found true and correct, approved by the clerk of the district. When so audited and approved the amounts so approved shall be paid to the directors entitled thereto by the treasurer of the district out of the general fund of the district.
History: 1993 a. 482
; 1997 a. 254
Corporate powers of district. 198.12(1)
Same as municipalities.
Any district organized under the provisions of this chapter, shall have the right of perpetual succession, may sue and be sued, may take by eminent domain, grant, purchase, gift, devise, or lease or otherwise acquire and hold real and personal property of every kind within or without the district necessary to the full or convenient exercise of its powers, and may make contracts and do such other acts as shall be necessary and proper in the exercise of the powers and privileges granted and in the performance of the duties charged upon it and exercise such other or different powers as shall be conferred by law.
(2) Service of process on, personal injury claims, venue.
The district shall sue or be sued in its corporate name and service of process upon the district shall be by service upon the chairperson of the board and the clerk of the district, but no action shall be brought or maintained against a district upon a claim or cause of action unless the claimant complies with s. 893.80
. Compliance with s. 893.80
is not required under this subsection in actions commenced under s. 19.37
. All actions by or against the district, except condemnation proceedings and actions to which the state or any officer or commission thereof is a party, shall be brought in the circuit court for the county in which its principal administrative office is located.
(3) Subject to chapter 102.
From the time when any district shall first operate any utility, it shall be held to be an employer, subject to ch. 102
(4) Mode of exercising powers.
The district shall act through and by ordinance, resolution or vote of its board of directors, or by its other duly constituted officers or agents acting within the scope of such authority as may be conferred upon them by law, or by lawful ordinance, resolution or vote of the board of directors.
(5) Chapter 196 applies.
Any utility operated by a district shall be held to be a "public utility" within the meaning of that term as used in and subject to ss. 196.01
(6) Utilities, acquire, construct, operate; water power; sale of service; use of streets.
The district shall have power and authority to own, acquire and, subject to the restrictions applying to a municipality under s. 196.50 (4)
, to construct any utility or portion thereof to operate, in whole or in part, in the district, and to own, acquire and, subject to ss. 196.01
where applicable, to construct any addition to or extension of any such utility, and to own, acquire and construct any water power and hydroelectric power plant, within or without the district, to be operated in connection with any such utility, and to operate, maintain and conduct such utility and water power and hydroelectric power plant and system both within and without the district, and to furnish, deliver and sell to the public and to any municipality and to the state and any state institution heat, light and power service and any other service, commodity or facility which may be produced or furnished thereby, and to charge and collect rates, tolls and charges for the same. For said purposes the district is granted and shall have and exercise the right freely to use and occupy any public highway, street, way or place reasonably necessary to be used or occupied for the maintenance and operation of such utility or any part thereof, subject, however, to such local police regulations as may be imposed by any ordinance adopted by the governing body of the municipality in which such highway, street, way or place is located.
Acquisition of private utilities; dissolution of power district. 198.13(1)(1)
Upon the completion of the creation and incorporation of any district every right existing by virtue of any law or by virtue of any franchise or indeterminate permit, granted by the state directly or through any municipality, to purchase or acquire, on behalf of the public or of any municipality in such district, in whole or in part any public utility operating in whole or in part in such district, shall henceforth inure to and vest in and be exercised by such district. Every public grant, either by the state directly or through any municipality heretofore or hereafter granted to or held, owned or exercised by the owner or by the lessee or receiver of the owner of any such utility or any permit, privilege, right, or franchise to operate the same is hereby made subject to the express conditions that such district may purchase, acquire and take such utility, in whole or in part, in the manner provided in this chapter, and the continued operation of any such utility from and after the organization of such district by the owner or by the lessee or receiver of the owner shall be held to be an acceptance of and consent by the owner to said condition.
From and after the organization of any district, no permit, privilege, right or franchise shall be granted to construct or operate any utility therein or to construct or operate therein any extension of or addition to any utility for which any permit, privilege, right or franchise may be required, except by the board of such district, except as to local ordinances governing the use of public streets, alleys, ways, and places. Every permit, privilege, right or franchise granted by any power district shall be subject to the condition prescribed in sub. (1)
with respect to purchase, acquisition and taking by the proper district and shall be an indeterminate permit subject to the terms and conditions of this chapter and of s. 196.50
Under any of the following circumstances a power district shall be considered dissolved:
If within 2 years of its creation a district has not become the owner or operator, or commenced construction, of a public utility. Any time consumed in any proceeding or contest before any commission or court shall not be included as part of the 2-year period.
If a district has disposed of all of its utility property and for one year thereafter has not owned or operated a public utility.
Any district dissolved in accordance with sub. (3)
shall nevertheless continue to be a body corporate, subject to the limitations on its activities under s. 181.1405
In the event of dissolution, a district shall first retire all outstanding obligations of the district insofar as the proceeds derived from the disposal of its utility property will permit. All assets or proceeds remaining, if any, shall be distributed to municipalities within the boundaries of the district in proportion to the taxes levied and collected by them for the district during the existence of the district, up to an amount sufficient to repay all of those taxes. Any proceeds remaining after repayment of the taxes shall be distributed to the municipalities within the boundaries of the district in proportion to the shares of the gross operating revenues of the district for its last full 5 years of operation derived from payments for services furnished within the boundaries of each such municipality.
Powers of district board.
The board of directors of any district shall have power and authority:
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
, 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.
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.
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:
The total amount of all indebtedness of the district shall not exceed 5% 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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)
District legislature, ordinances, officers. 198.145(1)(1)
The board of directors shall constitute the legislative body of such district and determine all questions of policy.
The enacting clause of all ordinances shall be as follows: "The board of directors of .... municipal power district do ordain as follows:". All ordinances shall be signed by the chairperson, or vice chairperson, and be attested by the clerk.
The board shall appoint a general manager and may appoint and fix the duties of an attorney, a clerk, a treasurer and any other officers that the board considers necessary. Each appointee shall hold office at the pleasure of the board and give a bond in an amount that the board may require.
History: 1993 a. 184
; 1997 a. 254
Board procedure. 198.15(1)(1)
The board shall elect one of their number chairperson for a term of one year, and a vice chairperson for a like term to act during the absence or disability of the chairperson. The principal duties of the chairperson of the board of directors of the district, other than the chairperson's duties as a director, shall be to preside at all meetings of the board, to sign all resolutions and ordinances adopted by the board and to sign, execute or acknowledge, as the case may require, all contracts, deeds, leases or other instruments authorized by the board to be executed by or on behalf of the district.
(2) Bylaws, meetings.
The board shall adopt bylaws to govern its proceedings, and shall fix the time and place of holding its meetings, which shall be held once each month. A special meeting may be held after 3 days' written notice to each member by the clerk at the call of the chairperson or any 2 members of the board.
A majority of the directors-elect shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and the votes of a majority of the directors present at any meeting, if a quorum be present, shall be sufficient to adopt any motion, resolution or ordinance, except that for the exercise of any power enumerated in s. 198.14 (9)
the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the directors-elect shall be required. The votes of directors on any action authorized in s. 198.14 (3)
shall be taken by ayes and noes and recorded in the minutes and shall likewise be taken and recorded on any other matter whenever requested by one-third of the directors present.
(4) Official paper.
The board shall designate an official newspaper and under ch. 985
shall publish therein all public notices of the district and all resolutions or ordinances adopted by the board.
(5) Financial interest voids contracts.
No contract or transaction shall be made, entered into or authorized by the board with any director, other officer or employee of the district or with any firm, corporation or association in which any director, other officer or employee of the district is financially interested, as a member or stockholder or otherwise adversely to the district, and any such contract or transaction if made, entered into or authorized shall be void and any director voting in favor thereof with knowledge of such interest shall be personally liable to the district for any loss sustained by the district by reason thereof.
History: 1993 a. 184
General manager. 198.16(1)(1)
The general manager shall be the chief executive officer of the district. The general manager shall be chosen by the board of directors solely on the basis of the general manager's executive and administrative qualifications and need not, when appointed, be a resident of the state. All other things being equal, the board of directors shall appoint as general manager a person with experience in the construction, operation or management of public utilities. No member of the board shall, during the time for which appointed, be chosen as general manager. In case of the absence or disability of the manager, the board may designate some qualified person to perform the duties of the office during such absence or disability.
The general manager shall have full charge and control of the construction of the works of said district and of their maintenance and operation, also of the administration of the business affairs of said district. The powers of the general manager shall be:
To see that all ordinances of the district are enforced;
To appoint or hire, except as otherwise provided herein, all heads of departments, subordinate officials and employees necessary for the administration of the affairs of said district, and to remove the same;
To attend all meetings of the board of directors and submit a general report of the affairs of the district, and to participate in the discussion of all matters coming before the board;
To keep the directors advised as to the financial condition and future needs of the district, and to prepare and submit an annual budget;
To prepare or cause to be prepared, all plans and specifications for the construction of the works of said district;
To devote his or her entire time to the business of the district;
To perform such other and additional duties as the board of directors may require.
(3) Financial report, publication.
The general manager shall within 60 days from the end of each fiscal year cause to be published as a class 1 notice, under ch. 985
, a financial report showing the result of operations for the preceding fiscal year and the financial status of the district on the last day thereof.
History: 1993 a. 482
District clerk, treasurer, attorney, duties. 198.165(1)(1)
The principal duties of the clerk of the district shall be to act as clerk of the board of directors and to record and sign all minutes of meetings of the board, including all resolutions and ordinances adopted by the board, to safely and systematically keep all records, files and papers of the board, to safely keep the corporate seal of the district and to affix the same on behalf of the board and to all certificates by the clerk made as clerk of the district, to sign, execute or acknowledge with the chairperson of the board all contracts, deeds, leases or other instruments authorized by the board to be executed by or on behalf of the district and, if authorized, to deliver the same, and to perform such other duties as may be imposed upon the clerk by law or by vote, resolution or ordinance adopted by the board.
The principal duties of the treasurer of the district shall be to demand, receive, keep and account for all moneys and credits of the district and to pay to the persons entitled thereto the amounts called for in the orders or warrants drawn upon the treasurer by the clerk of the district and to take and keep receipts, vouchers or other suitable evidences of payment therefor, to keep accurate account of all moneys received and disbursed by the treasurer and to render such accounts, statements and inventories of moneys and credits received and disbursed and on hand and generally of all matters pertaining to the treasurer's office as the board of directors may require and to perform such other duties as may be imposed upon the treasurer by law or by vote, resolution or ordinance adopted by the board.
The principal duties of the general counsel of the district shall be to appear for the district and prosecute or defend all actions or proceedings in which the district is interested or a party, to prepare and draft resolutions, ordinances, contracts and other instruments when and as required by the board and to render to the board and to any officer of the district counsel, advice and opinions on all legal matters and to perform such other duties as may be imposed upon the general counsel by law or by vote, resolution or ordinance adopted by the board of directors.
History: 1991 a. 316
; 1993 a. 184
Certified public accountant; annual report.
The directors of the district shall employ annually the commission or a certified public accountant licensed or certified under ch. 442
approved by said commission who shall be qualified to, and who shall with all due diligence, examine and report upon the system of accounts kept by the district, all the contracts of whatsoever kind made and entered into by the board of directors within the year immediately preceding, and the properties and investments of the district. The certified public accountant shall in the report make such recommendations and suggestions as to the certified public accountant shall seem proper and required for the good of the district, and the efficient and economical or advantageous management and operation of the public utility or utilities of the district; and the certified public accountant shall in the report make such recommendations and suggestions as to the system of accounts kept, or in the certified public accountant's judgment to be kept, by the district, in connection with each public utility, the classification of the public utilities of the district and the establishment of a system of accounts for each class, the manner in which such accounts shall be kept, the form of accounts, records, and memoranda kept or to be kept, including accounts, records, and memoranda of receipts and expenditures of money, and depreciation and sinking fund accounts, as in the certified public accountant's judgment may be proper and necessary, and shall not conflict with the requirements of the commission.
History: 1991 a. 316
; 2001 a. 16
Eminent domain procedure. 198.17(1)(a)
"Declaration" means a resolution or ordinance adopted by the directors of a district under sub. (1g)
which identifies the utility which the district seeks to acquire.
"Owner" means the owner of a utility, and, for purposes of the service of documents on the owner, includes all agents and representatives of the owner.
"Utility" includes a portion of a public utility, including any water power and hydroelectric power plant owned and operated with the utility.
(1g) Declaration of intention to acquire utility.
A district, by resolution or ordinance, adopted by the affirmative votes of two-thirds of its directors-elect, may declare the determination of the district to acquire any existing utility, which is operated in whole or in part in the district. Upon adoption of the declaration, the clerk of the district shall serve immediately on the commission and the owner a copy of the declaration, certified by the clerk under the seal of the district.
Within 30 days after service of the declaration upon the owner, the owner may propose to sell the utility to the district upon terms and conditions to be mutually agreed upon between the owner and the directors and approved by the commission. The owner shall serve a copy of the proposal upon the district and the commission. The commission shall fix a time and place for a public hearing and consideration of the proposal and notify the owner and the district of the hearing.
If terms and conditions of the sale of the utility to the district are agreed upon by the directors and the owner and approved by the commission, all of the following shall occur:
The commission shall announce its approval of the sale in writing.
The directors shall by resolution authorize and direct the written execution on the part of the district of each contract and instrument and the taking of every other action necessary to consummate the sale to the district of the utility in accordance with the terms of the agreement between the owner and the district.