History: 1983 a. 27
; 1999 a. 150
; Stats. 1999 s. 200.07.
Except as provided in par. (b)
, a district formed under this subchapter shall be governed by a 5-member commission appointed for staggered 5-year terms. Except as provided in par. (b)
and sub. (11)
, commissioners shall be appointed by the county board of the county in which the district is located. Except as provided in par. (b)
, if the district contains territory of more than one county, the county boards of the counties not having the greatest population in the district shall appoint one commissioner each and the county board of the county having the greatest population in the district shall appoint the remainder. Of the initial appointments under this paragraph, the appointments for the shortest terms shall be made by the counties having the least amount of population, in reverse order of their population included in the district. Commissioners shall be residents of the district. Initial appointments shall be made no sooner than 60 days and no later than 90 days after issuance of the department order forming a district or after completion of any court proceedings challenging such order.
A district that contains a 2nd class city with a population of 200,000 or more shall be governed by a 9-member commission appointed for staggered 3-year terms. The mayor of the 2nd class city shall appoint 5 individuals as members of the commission. An executive council composed of the elected executive officers of each city and village that is wholly or partly within the boundaries of the district, except the 2nd class city, shall appoint 3 members of the commission by a majority vote of the members of the executive council. An executive council composed of the elected executive officers of each town that is wholly or partly within the boundaries of the district shall appoint one member of the commission by a majority vote of the members of the executive council.
Each member of the commission shall take and file the official oath.
A majority of such commission shall constitute a quorum to do business; and in the absence of a quorum, those members present may adjourn any meeting and make announcement thereof. All meetings and records of the commission shall be published.
All actions of a commission under sub. (1) (b)
shall be approved by a majority vote of the members present, except that the following actions require the affirmative vote of three-fourths of the members who are entitled to a seat on the commission:
Any policy, rule, regulation, ordinance, rate, or charging structure that does not by its terms apply uniformly to all geographical areas of the district.
Any change in the methods in effect on May 1, 2015, that are used to finance capital projects or to finance operations of the district.
Such commission, when all of its members have been duly sworn and qualified, shall have charge of all the affairs of the district.
Such commission shall organize by electing one of its members president and another secretary.
The secretary shall keep a separate record of all proceedings and accurate minutes of all hearings.
A per diem compensation may be paid to commissioners in an amount the commission specifies by resolution. Any change in the per diem amount after its initial establishment applies only to subsequently appointed or reappointed commissioners. Commissioners shall be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred as commissioners in carrying out the work of the commission.
The treasurer of the city, village or town having the largest equalized valuation within the district shall act as treasurer of the district, shall receive such additional compensation therefor as the commission may determine, and shall at the expense of the district furnish such additional bond as the commission may require. Such treasurer shall keep all moneys of the district in a separate fund to be disposed of only upon order of the commission signed by the president and secretary.
(9) Chapter 276, laws of 1971
, shall apply to every metropolitan sewerage district that had been operating, prior to April 30, 1972, under ss. 66.20
, 1969 stats. Commissioners for such districts who were in office on April 30, 1972 shall continue to serve until their respective terms are completed. The county board of the county having the greatest population in the district shall appoint 2 additional members to each such commission no sooner than 60 days and no later than 90 days after April 30, 1972. One such member shall have a 5-year term and one such member shall have a 4-year term. The county board of those counties having population within the district that did not appoint the preceding 2 members if any shall, each in turn according to their population in the district, appoint successors to each of the 3 commissioners who held office on April 30, 1972, until their allotted number of appointments, as specified under sub. (1)
is filled. The governor may adjust terms of the successors to the 3 original commissioners in order that the appointment schedules are consistent with this section.
do not affect the continued validity of contracts and obligations previously entered into by a metropolitan sewerage district operating under ss. 66.20
, 1969 stats., before April 30, 1972, nor the validity of the district.
Notwithstanding sub. (1)
the governing bodies of cities, towns and villages comprising a sewerage district may make the initial appointments of the commissioners under this section.
If the governing bodies of each city, town and village comprising a district pass a resolution authorizing the election of commissioners to terms succeeding the initial appointments, commissioners shall be chosen to fill vacant seats at spring elections, as defined in s. 5.02 (21)
, of the district at large. Each commissioner may hold office until a successor is elected and qualified, except as provided in s. 17.27 (1m)
. Any commissioner elected for a regular or unexpired term shall take office after filing the official oath on the 4th Monday in April.
No resolution passed under subd. 1.
may authorize election of commissioners sooner than 6 months after the date of passage. The metropolitan sewerage district commission shall immediately notify the elections commission under s. 5.05
upon passage of a resolution under subd. 1.
If the governing bodies of each city, town, and village comprising the district pass a resolution to discontinue election of commissioners, each commissioner may hold office until a successor is appointed and qualified. The metropolitan sewerage district commission shall immediately notify the elections commission under s. 5.05
upon passage of a resolution under this subdivision.
This subsection shall apply only if all the governing bodies of the cities, villages and towns comprising the sewerage district agree by resolution to elect its provisions.
Powers and duties. 200.11(1)(a)(a)
The district shall be a municipal body corporate and shall be authorized in its name to contract and to be contracted with, and to sue and to be sued. The commission may employ persons or firms performing engineering, legal or other necessary services, require any employee to obtain and file with it an individual bond or fidelity insurance policy, and procure insurance. A commission may employ engineers or other employees of any municipality as its engineers, agents or employees.
The commission shall prepare and by resolution adopt plans and standards of planning, design and operation for all projects and facilities which will be operated by the district or which affect the services to be provided by the district. Commissions may and are encouraged to contract with regional or area-wide planning agencies for research and planning services. The commission's plans shall be consistent with adopted plans of a regional planning commission or area-wide planning agency organized under s. 66.0309
The commission may project and plan scientific experiments, investigations and research on treatment processes and on the receiving waterway to ensure that an economical and practical process for treatment is employed and that the receiving waterway meets the requirements of regulating agencies. The commission may conduct such scientific experiments, investigations and research independently or by contract or in cooperation with any public or private agency including any political subdivision of the state or any person or public or private organization.
The commission may adopt rules for the supervision, protection, management and use of the systems and facilities operated by the district. Such rules may, in the interest of plan implementation, restrict or deny the provision of utility services to lands which are described in adopted master plans or development plans of a municipality or county as not being fit or appropriate for urban or suburban development. Rules of the district shall be adopted and enforced as provided by s. 200.45
. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, such rules or any orders issued thereunder, may be enforced under s. 823.02
and the violation of any rule or any order lawfully promulgated by the commission is declared to be a public nuisance.
(e) Annual report.
The commission shall prepare annually a full and detailed report of its official transactions and expenses and of all presently planned additions and major changes in district facilities and services and shall file a copy of such report with the department of natural resources, the department of health services and the governing bodies of all cities, villages and towns having territory in such district.
(2) Metropolitan sewerage collection and treatment.
The commission shall plan, project, construct and maintain within the district interceptor and other main sewers for the collection and transmission of sewage. The commission shall also cause the sewage to be treated, disposed or recycled and may plan, project, construct and maintain works and facilities for this purpose.
(3) Connections with system.
The commission may require any person or municipality in the district to provide for the discharge of its sewage into the district's collection and disposal system, or to connect any sanitary sewerage system with the district's disposal system wherever reasonable opportunity therefor is provided; may regulate the manner in which such connections are made; may require any person or municipality discharging sewage into the system to provide preliminary treatment therefor; may prohibit and impose a penalty for the discharge into the system of any substance which it determines will or may be harmful to the system or any persons operating it; and may, with the prior approval of the department, after hearing upon 30 days' notice to the municipality involved, require any municipality to discontinue the acquisition, improvement or operation of any facility for disposal of any wastes or material handled by the commission wherever and so far as adequate service is or will be provided by the commission. The commission shall have access to all sewerage records of any municipality in the district and shall require all such municipalities to submit plans of existing systems and proposed extensions of local services or systems. The commission or its employees may enter upon the land in any municipality within the district for the purpose of making surveys or examinations.
(4) Property acquisition.
Commissions may acquire by gift, purchase, lease or other like methods of acquisition or by condemnation under ch. 32
, any land or property necessary for the operations of the commission or in any interest, franchise, easement, right or privilege therein, which may be required for the purpose of projecting, planning, constructing and maintaining the system. Any municipality and state agency is authorized to convey to or permit the use of any facilities owned or controlled by the municipality or agency subject to the rights of the holders of any bonds issued with respect thereto, with or without compensation, without an election or approval by any other government agency. Property, or any part or interest therein, when acquired, may be sold, leased or otherwise disposed of by the district whenever in the discretion of the commission the property or any part or portion thereof or interest therein is not needed to carry out the requirements and powers of the commission.
The district may construct, enlarge, improve, replace, repair, maintain and operate any works determined by the commission to be necessary or convenient for the performance of the functions assigned to the commission.
The district may enter upon any state, county or municipal street, road or alley, or any public highway for the purpose of installing, maintaining and operating the system, and it may construct in any such street, road or alley or public highway necessary facilities without a permit or a payment of a charge. Whenever the work is to be done in a state, county or municipal highway, the public authority having control thereof shall be duly notified, and the highway shall be restored to as good a condition as existed before the commencement of the work with all costs incident thereto borne by the district. All persons, firms or corporations lawfully having buildings, structures, works, conduits, mains, pipes, tracks or other physical obstructions in, over or under the public lands, avenues, streets, alleys or highways which block or impede the progress of district facilities, when in the process of construction, establishment or repair shall upon reasonable notice by the district, promptly so shift, adjust, accommodate or remove the same at the cost and expense of such individuals or corporations, as fully to meet the exigencies occasioning such notice. Any entry upon or occupation of any state freeway right-of-way after relocation or replacement of district facilities for which reimbursement is made under s. 84.295 (4m)
shall be done in a manner which is acceptable to the department of transportation.
The district shall have power to lay or construct and to forever maintain, without compensation to the state, any part of the utility system, or of its works, or appurtenances, over, upon or under any part of the bed of any river or of any land covered by any of the navigable waters of the state, the title to which is held by the state, and over, upon or under canals or through waterways, and if the same is deemed advisable by the commission, the proper officials of the state are authorized and directed upon application of the commission to execute, acknowledge and deliver such easements, or other grants, as may be proper for the purpose of carrying out the district operations.
Whenever plans and specifications for any facilities have been completed and approved by the commission and by any other agency which must approve the plans and specifications, and the commission has determined to proceed with the work of the construction thereof, it shall advertise by a class 2 notice under ch. 985
, for bids for the construction of the facilities. Contracts for the work shall be let to the lowest responsible bidder, or the agency may reject any and all bids and if in its discretion the prices quoted are unreasonable, the bidders irresponsible or the bids informal, it may readvertise the work or any part of it. All contracts shall be protected by such bonds, penalties and conditions as the district shall require. The commission may itself do any part of any of the works.
(6) Acquisition of existing facilities.
The commission may order that the district shall assume ownership of such existing utility works and facilities within the district as are needed to carry out the purposes of the commission. Appropriate instruments of conveyance for all such property shall be executed and delivered to the district by the proper officers of each municipality concerned. All persons regularly employed by a municipality to operate and maintain any works so transferred, on the date on which the transfer becomes effective, shall be employees of the district, in the same manner and with the same options and rights as were reserved to them in their former employment. The commission, upon assuming ownership of any works, shall become obligated to pay to the municipality amounts sufficient to pay when due all remaining principal of and interest on bonds issued by the municipality for the acquisition or improvement of the works taken over. Such amounts may be offset against any amounts due to be paid by the municipality to the district. The value of any works and facilities taken over by a commission may be agreed upon by the commission and the municipality owning the same. Should the commission and the governing body of the municipality be unable to agree upon a value, the value shall be determined by and fixed by the public service commission after a hearing to be held upon application of either party, and upon reasonable notice to the other party, to be fixed and served in such manner as the public service commission shall prescribe.
(7) Storm water drainage.
The commission may plan, project, construct and maintain storm sewers, works and facilities for the collection, transmission, treatment, disposal or recycling of storm water effluent to the extent such is permitted for sewage.
(8) Solid waste management.
The district may engage in solid waste management and shall for such purposes have all powers granted to county boards under s. 59.70 (2)
, except acquisition of land by eminent domain, if each county board having jurisdiction over areas to be served by the district has adopted a resolution requesting or approving the involvement of the district in solid waste management. County board approval shall not be required for the management by the district of such solid wastes as are contained within the sewage or storm water transmitted or treated by the district or as are produced as a by-product of sewerage treatment activities.
(9) Extraterritorial service by contract.
A district may provide service to territory outside the district, including territory in a county not in that district, under s. 66.0301
, subject to ss. 200.01
, except that s. 200.09 (1)
does not require the appointment of a commissioner from that territory.
Sub. (5) (c) does not exempt a sewerage district from the requirements of s. 30.12. Cassidy v. DNR, 132 Wis. 2d 153
, 390 N.W.2d 81
(Ct. App. 1986).
The commission may make a special assessment against property which is served by an intercepting or main sewer or any other appropriate facility at any time after the commission votes, by resolution recorded in the minutes of its meeting, to construct the intercepting or main sewer or any other appropriate facility, either before or after the work of constructing the sewer or other appropriate facility is done.
The commission shall view the premises and determine the amount properly assessable against each parcel of land and shall make and file, in their office, a report and schedule of the assessment so made, and file a duplicate copy of the report and schedule in the office of the clerk of the town, village or city wherein the land is situated.
The commission shall give notice that the report and schedule are on file in its office and in the office of the clerk of the town, village or city in which the land is situated, and that the notice will remain in those offices for a period of 10 days after the date on which the notice is issued; that on the date named in the notice, which shall not be more than 3 days after the expiration of the 10 days, the commission will be in session at its office, the location of which shall be specified in the notice, to hear all objections to the report.
The notice shall be published as a class 2 notice, under ch. 985
, and a copy of the notice shall be mailed at least 10 days before the hearing or proceeding to every interested person whose post-office address is known, or can be ascertained with reasonable diligence.
No irregularity in the form of the report, nor of such notice, shall affect its validity if it fairly contains the information required to be conveyed thereby.
At the time specified for hearing objections to the report, the commission shall hear all parties interested who may appear for that purpose.
The commission may at the meeting, or at an adjourned meeting, confirm or correct the report, and when the report is so confirmed or corrected, it shall constitute and be the final report and assessment against such lands.
When the final determination has been reached by the commission it shall publish a class 1 notice, under ch. 985
, that a final determination has been made as to the amounts assessed against each parcel of real estate.
The owner of any parcel of real estate affected by the determination and assessments may, within 20 days after the date of such determination, appeal to the circuit court of the county in which the land is situated, and s. 66.0703 (12)
shall apply to and govern such appeal, however the notice therein required to be served upon the city clerk shall be served upon the district, and the bond therein provided for shall be approved by the commission and the duties therein devolving upon the city clerk shall be performed by the president of the commission.
The commission may provide that the special assessment may be paid in annual installments not more than 10 in number, and may, for the purpose of anticipating collection of the special assessments, and after said installments have been determined, issue special improvement bonds payable only out of the special assessment, and s. 66.0713
shall apply to and govern the installment payments and the issuance of said bonds, except that the assessment notice shall be substantially in the following form:
INSTALLMENT ASSESSMENT NOTICE
Notice is hereby given that a contract has been (or is about to be) let for (describe the improvements) and that the amount of the special assessment therefor has been determined as to each parcel of real estate affected thereby, and a statement of the same is on file with the commission; that it is proposed to collect the same in .... installments, as provided by s. 66.0713
, with interest thereon at ....% per year; that all assessments will be collected in installments, as above provided, except such assessments as the owners of the property shall, within 30 days from the date of this notice, file with the commission a statement in writing that they elect to pay in one installment, in which case the amount of the installment shall be placed upon the next ensuing tax roll.
The installment assessment notice shall be published as a class 1 notice, under ch. 985
The commission shall, on or before October 1 in each year, certify in writing to the clerks of the several cities, towns or villages, the amount of the special assessment against lands located in their respective city, town or village for the ensuing year. Upon receipt of such certificate the clerk of each such city, town or village shall forthwith place the same on the tax roll to be collected as other taxes and assessments are collected. Such moneys when collected shall be paid to the treasurer of the district. The provisions of law applicable to the collection of delinquent taxes upon real estate, including sale of lands for nonpayment of taxes, shall apply to and govern the collection of the special assessments and the collection of general taxes levied by the commission.
The commission may provide for a deferred due date on the levy of the special assessment as to real estate which is in agricultural use or which is otherwise not immediately to receive actual service from the sewer or other facility for which the assessment is made. Such assessments shall be payable as soon as such lands receive actual service from the sewer or other facility. Any such special assessments shall be a lien against the property from the date of the levy. For the purpose of anticipating collection of special assessments for which the due date has been deferred, the commission may issue special improvement bonds payable only out of the special assessments. Section 66.0713
shall apply to and govern the issuance of bonds, except that the assessment notice shall be substantially in the following form:
DEFERRED ASSESSMENT NOTICE
Notice is hereby given that a contract has been (or is about to be) let for (describe the improvements) and that the amount of the special assessment therefor has been determined as to each parcel of real estate affected thereby, and a statement of the same is on file with the commission. It is proposed to collect the same on a deferred basis consistent with actual use of the improvements. All assessments will be collected in installments, as above provided, except such assessments for which the owners of the property, within 30 days from the date of this notice, file with the commission a statement in writing that they elect not to have the due date deferred, in which case the amount of the levy shall be placed upon the next ensuing tax roll.
(2) Tax levy.
The commission may levy a tax upon the taxable property in the district as equalized by the department of revenue for state purposes for the purpose of carrying out and performing duties under this subchapter but the amount of any such tax in excess of that required for maintenance and operation and for principal and interest on bonds or promissory notes shall not exceed, in any one year, one mill for each dollar of the district's equalized valuation, as determined under s. 70.57
. The tax levy may be spread upon the respective real estate and personal property tax rolls of the city, village and town areas included in the district taxes, and shall not be included within any limitation on county or municipality taxes. Such moneys when collected shall be paid to the treasurer of such district.
The commission may establish service charges in such amount as to meet all or part of the requirements for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, extension, operation, maintenance, repair and depreciation of functions authorized by this subchapter, and for the payment of all or part of the principal and interest of any indebtedness incurred thereof.
The district may charge to the state, county or municipality the cost of service rendered to any state institution, county or municipality.
A district under this subchapter may borrow money and issue municipal obligations under ss. 66.0621
and ch. 67
(5) Borrowing; tax collection.
After the issue of any municipal obligation under ch. 67
, the commission shall, on or before October 1 in each year, certify in writing to the clerks of the several cities, villages or towns having territory in the district, the total amount of the tax to be raised by each such municipality, and upon receipt of such certificate the clerk of each such municipality shall place the same on the tax roll to be collected as other taxes are collected, and such moneys, when collected, shall be paid to the treasurer of the district.
(12) Exemption from levies.
Lands designated as permanent open space, agricultural protection areas or other undeveloped areas not to be served by public sanitary sewer service in plans adopted by a regional planning commission or other area-wide planning agency organized under s. 66.0309
and approved by the board of supervisors of the county in which the lands are located shall not have property taxes, assessments or service charges levied against them by the district.
(13) Application of other laws.
shall apply to all districts now or hereafter organized and operating under this subchapter.
A metropolitan sewerage district cannot collect a service charge against a vocational school district. Green Bay Metropolitan School District v. VTAE District 13, 58 Wis. 2d 628
, 207 N.W.2d 623
Addition of territory.
Territory not originally within a district may be added thereto in the following ways:
Except as provided in par. (b)
, upon receipt by the commission, and the regional planning commission of the region within which the district or the greatest portion of the district is located, of official notice from the city, village, or town sanitary district for any of the following territories:
Territory that is annexed to a city or village that is located entirely within the original district prior to the annexation.
Territory that is added to a town sanitary district under s. 60.785 (1)
that is located entirely within the original district prior to the addition.
Territory that is annexed or attached to a city or village or added to a town sanitary district under s. 60.785 (1)
if a portion of the city, village, or town sanitary district is located within a district that contains a 2nd class city with a population of 200,000 or more.
If, within 30 days after receipt of a notice under par. (a)
, the regional planning commission files with the commission a written objection to any part of the annexation or addition or the commission issues a written determination disapproving the addition of the territory, the territory proposed to be added or annexed under this subsection may be added or annexed only under sub. (2)
Failure of the commission to disapprove the addition of the territory under this subsection is subject to review under ch. 227
Proceedings leading to the addition of other territory to a district may be initiated by petition from a municipal governing body or upon motion of the commission. Upon receipt of the petition or upon adoption of the motion, the commission shall hold a public hearing preceded by a class 2 notice under ch. 985
. The commission may approve the annexation upon a determination that the standards of ss. 200.05 (4) (b)
and 200.15 (3)
are met. Approval actions by the commission under this section shall be subject to review under ch. 227
Annexations under subs. (1)
may be subject to reasonable requirements as to participation by newly annexed areas toward the cost of existing or proposed district facilities.
Section 200.09 (1)
does not require the appointment of a commissioner from territory annexed under this section if that territory, on the day before the annexation, has a population of less than 8.5 percent of the total population served by the district.
History: 1971 c. 276
; 1987 a. 399
; 1991 a. 39
; 1999 a. 150
; Stats. 1999 s. 200.15; 2015 a. 55