[HISTORY: Adopted and amended as indicated in text (Ch. 79 of the 1984 Code).]
[1971, ch. 507, sec. 631A; 1972, ch. 8, sec. 631A(d)]
Creation. Pursuant to the provisions of § 9-101 et seq. of the Environment Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, the Allegany County Water Commission is hereby created and authorized to exercise, for the purposes herein set forth, all powers herein delegated to it. The word "Commission" as used herein is defined to mean the Allegany County Water Commission.
[Amended 2-6-1976 by Bill No. 2-76; effective 4-1-1976]
Membership; terms. The Commission shall be composed of 13 members, all of whom shall be appointed by the County Commissioners of Allegany County. Two members shall be residents of the City of Cumberland, one shall be a resident of the City of Frostburg, and one shall be a resident of the Town of Westernport, all of whom shall be selected from lists provided by the Mayors and City Councils of the respective municipalities; one member shall be a resident of the central Georges Creek area, one a resident of the Mount Savage area, one a resident of Cresaptown, one a resident of the Bel Air — Rawlings area, one a resident of the Luke-McCoole area, one a resident of the Flintstone-Oldtown area, one a resident of the LaVale area, one a resident of the Eckhart-Clarysville area and one a resident of the Corriganville-Ellerslie area. All new appointees shall serve for a term of three years or until their successors are appointed and have qualified. All members appointed prior to the effective date of this chapter shall serve pursuant to their original appointment; however any reappointments shall be made for a three-year term. Any vacancy occurring at any time in the personnel of the Commission shall be filled for the unexpired term by the County Commissioners of Allegany County.
Compensation. All members shall serve without compensation, but they shall be allowed any reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their duties under this chapter.
Officers and other personnel; books and accounts open to public inspection. The members of the Commission shall elect suitable officers for the Commission to hold office on an annual basis. The Commission, subject to the approval of the County Commissioners, shall appoint, discharge and fix the compensation of such engineering, legal, clerical and other force and help as, from time to time, in its judgment, may be deemed necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter. The Commission shall annually publish, in at least one daily newspaper in Allegany County, a full and true account of its receipts, expenses and expenditures. The Commission shall employ a certified public accountant to audit its books and accounts, which shall always be kept available and open to public inspection during business hours of the office of the County Commissioners.
Removal. Any member of the Commission may be removed from office for misfeasance or nonfeasance by the County Commissioners of Allegany County.
Editor's Note: Original Subsection (d), Initial appointments, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 2-6-1976 by Bill No. 2-76, effective 4-1-1976.
[1971, ch. 507, sec. 631B; 2-6-1976 by Bill No. 2-76; effective 4-1-1976]
The members of the Commission shall be a body corporate by the name of "Allegany County Water Commission," with the right to use a common seal, to sue and to be sued and to do any and all other corporate acts for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this chapter. The Commission, subject to the approval of the County Commissioners, shall have the power and authority to acquire, develop and operate a permanent water supply, which shall include the construction and operation of plants, systems, facilities and properties used or useful or having the present capacity for future use in connection with the supply or distribution of water and any integral part thereof, including water supply systems, water distribution systems, reservoirs, dams, wells, intakes, mains, laterals, pumping stations, standpipes, tunnels, filtration plants, purification plants, hydrants, meters, valves and equipment, appurtenances and all properties, rights, easements and franchises relating thereto and deemed necessary or convenient by the Commission for the operation thereof. The Commission, subject to the approval of the County Commissioners, shall also have the power to acquire any existing water or distribution systems by purchase or otherwise, whether privately or publicly owned. The Commission, subject to the approval of the County Commissioners, shall also have the power to take, acquire and hold any land, structures or buildings or any streambed, waterway, water rights or watershed in the State of Maryland, either in fee or as an easement, which may be deemed necessary to carry out the provisions or intentions of this chapter. If the Commission may be unable to purchase any of the foregoing from the owners thereof, it shall have the right to condemn it through the method provided for condemnation of and by public corporations under Title 12, Eminent Domain, of the Real Property Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland or as it is amended from time to time, excluding transmission, treatment and distribution facilities of existing municipal corporate water supply systems.
[1971, ch. 507, sec. 631C]
On any watershed where any municipal corporation special taxing district at the time of July 1, 1971, has impoundment and withdrawal rights, these withdrawal rights, without cost, shall be preserved in perpetuity unto that municipal corporation so long as it uses its own transmission lines.
[1971, ch. 507, sec. 631D]
The Commission is hereby authorized to accept from any state or any state or federal agency or from any political subdivision of any state or from any persons or corporations grants of money or anything else for the purpose of aiding in the acquisition and construction of the water supply system heretofore mentioned in this chapter.
[1971, ch. 507, sec. 631E]
Immediately after the organization of the Commission, it shall enter into those negotiations with federal, state, County or municipal agencies as may be empowered to grant and/or furnish funds to the Commission to carry out the purposes of this chapter, and it is empowered to make any and all contracts and agreements requisite for the purpose of attaining, by grant or gift, all or part of the amount of money necessary for the acquisition and construction of the water supply system mentioned in this chapter and for surveys and preliminary operations incidental to that acquisition and construction and also to accept it outright in the form of a grant or gift. In the event that the Commission shall be successful in such negotiations and shall make contracts or agreements for the obtaining of that aid, then and in that event it shall begin the operations required under the contracts or agreements and in the manner set forth in the contracts or agreements, it being the intention of this chapter that the Commission shall not bind itself nor the County Commissioners of Allegany County to the expenditure of any moneys for the capital outlay necessary for a water supply system or the preliminaries necessary for the acquisition or construction thereof, except as is hereinafter provided for.
[1971, ch. 507, sec. 631F]
Control by Commission; rules and regulations. Either before, during or upon the completion of the water supply system deemed necessary for the supply of an abundance of water for the environs of Allegany County, Maryland, the Commission is empowered to take over, acquire, control, maintain and operate the water supply system in its own name and at its own expense and to make and enforce those rules and regulations as may be required by reason of the contracts or agreements or as the Commission may deem necessary to properly supply Allegany County and its environs with an adequate water supply.
Tax levy. The County Commissioners of Allegany County shall provide sufficient funds to accomplish the preliminary surveying, engineering and optioning of land necessary to provide a source of adequate water supply for the County. They may issue bonds for the purchase of that land, for the erection of impoundments and appurtenant structures in connection therewith to the extent of the County's share in the costs and shall levy upon the assessed property of the County a tax sufficient to service and retire those bonds, when and if issued, and to protect, preserve and maintain the source of water supply.
[1971, ch. 507, sec. 631G]
Issuance. The Commission is hereby authorized and empowered to provide by resolution for the issuance at one time or in series from time to time revenue bonds of the Commission for the purpose of providing funds for paying the cost of acquisition and construction of transmission, treatment and distribution facilities of the water supply system as provided for in this chapter, and the bonds and any interest coupons to be attached thereto shall be executed in a manner as may be determined by the Commission.
Interest; maturity. The bonds of each series issued under the provisions of this section shall bear interest and shall be stated to mature at that time or times, not exceeding 40 years from their date, as may be determined by the Commission.
Payment of proceeds. The proceeds of the bonds of each series issued under the provisions of this section shall be paid to the trustee under the trust agreements securing those bonds and shall be disbursed in the manner and under those restrictions, if any, as may be provided in the trust agreement.
Bonds payable from revenues. Bonds issued under the provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to constitute a debt of the state or of any political subdivision thereof or a pledge of the faith and credit of the state or of any political subdivision, but those bonds shall be payable solely from the funds herein provided therefor from revenues of the facilities. All of those revenue bonds shall contain on the face thereof a statement to the effect that neither the Commission nor the state nor any political subdivision thereof shall be obligated to pay them or the interest thereon except from revenues and that neither the faith and credit nor the taxing power of the state or any political subdivision thereof is pledged to the payment of the principal of or the interest on those bonds.
[1971, ch. 507, sec. 631H]
Form; redemption. The Commission shall determine the form of the bonds of each series issued under the provisions of this chapter, including any interest coupons to be attached thereto, the date of the bonds, the denomination or denominations of the bonds and the place or places of payment of principal and interest, which may be at any bank or trust company within or without the State of Maryland. The bonds of each of these series may be made redeemable before their maturity or maturities, at the option of the Commission, at the price or prices and under the terms and conditions as may be fixed by the Commission prior to the issuance of the bonds.
Signatures; negotiability. In case an officer whose signature or a facsimile of whose signature shall appear on any bonds or coupons shall cease to be such officer before the delivery of the bonds, that signature or facsimile shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes, the same as if he had remained in office until such delivery. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter or any recitals in any bonds issued under the provisions of this chapter, all of those bonds shall be deemed to be negotiable instruments under the laws of the state. The bonds may be issued in coupon or in registered form, or both, as the Commission may determine, and provision may be made for the registration of any coupon bonds as to principal alone and also as to both principal and interest, for the reconversion into coupon bonds of any bonds registered as to both principal and interest and for the interchange of coupon and registered bonds.
Sale of bonds. The bonds of each series issued under the provisions of this chapter shall be exempt from the provisions of §§ 9, 10 and 11 of Article 31 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, 1957 Edition, as amended, and the Commission may sell those bonds in a manner, either at public or private sale, and for such price as it may determine, but no sale of revenue bonds shall be made at a price so low as to require the payment of interest on the money received therefor at more than the then-prevailing interest rates, computed with relation to the absolute maturity of the bonds in accordance with standard tables of bond values, excluding, however, from the computation the amount of any premium to be paid on redemption of any bonds prior to maturity.
Temporary bonds. Prior to the preparation of definitive bonds, the Commission may, under like restrictions, issue interim receipts or temporary bonds, with or without coupons, exchangeable for definitive bonds when those bonds shall have been executed and are available for delivery. The Commission may also provide for the replacement of any bonds which shall become mutilated or shall be destroyed or lost.
Issuance. Bonds may be issued by the Commission under the provisions of this chapter without obtaining the consent of any department, division, commission, board, bureau or agency of the state and without any other proceedings or the happening of any other conditions or things than those proceedings, conditions or things which are specifically required by this chapter.
[1971, ch. 507, sec. 631-1]
Revenue bonds issued under the provisions of this chapter shall be secured by a trust agreement by and between the Commission and a corporate trustee, which may be any trust company or bank having the powers of a trust company within or without the state. The trust agreement may pledge or assign the rentals and other revenues of the Commission but shall not convey or mortgage the facilities or any part thereof. The trust agreement shall contain such provisions for protecting and enforcing the rights and remedies of the bondholders as may be reasonable and proper and not in violation of law, including covenants setting forth the duties of the Commission in relation to the acquisition or construction of the facilities and the extension, enlargement, improvement, maintenance, operation, repair and insurance of the facilities and the custody, safeguarding and application of all moneys, and may contain provisions for the employment of consulting engineers in connection with the construction and operation of the facilities. It shall be lawful for any bank or trust company incorporated under the laws of this state which may act as depository of the proceeds of the bonds or revenues to furnish the indemnifying bonds or to pledge those securities as may be required by the Commission. The trust agreement shall set forth the rights and remedies of the bondholders and of the trustee and may restrict the individual right of action by bondholders. In addition to the foregoing, the trust agreement may contain those other provisions as the Commission may deem reasonable and proper for the security of the bondholders. All expenses incurred in carrying out the provisions of the trust agreement may be treated as an item of current expenses.
[1971, ch. 507, sec. 631J]
Rates and rentals; disposition. The Commission is hereby authorized to fix, revise, charge and collect rentals, rates, fees or other charges for the use of water and to contract with any municipality or political subdivision of this or any other state and any person, partnership, association or corporation desiring the use of water and to fix the terms, conditions, rentals and rates of charges for that use. The rentals and other rates, fees and charges shall be so fixed and adjusted as to provide funds sufficient with other revenues, if any, to pay the Commission's current expenses in connection with the facilities, to pay the principal of and the interest on all revenue bonds issued under the provisions of this chapter as they become due and payable and to create reserves for those purposes. Those rentals and other rates, fees and charges shall not be subject to supervision or regulation by any department, division, commission, board, bureau or agency of the state or any political subdivision thereof.
Pledge of receipts. The Commission is further authorized to pledge the amount of those rentals and other revenues, over and above any amounts necessary to pay current expenses and to provide the reserves therefor as may be provided for in the trust agreement, to the payment of the interest on and the principal of the revenue bonds issued under the provisions of this chapter. The moneys so pledged shall be set aside at the regular intervals and in those amounts as may be provided in the trust agreement in a sinking fund for the payment of the interest, principal and the redemption price or purchase price of the bonds. The pledge shall be valid and binding from the time when it is made. The rentals or other revenues so pledged and thereafter received by the Commission shall immediately be subject to the lien of the pledge without any physical delivery thereof or further act, and the lien of any pledge of that kind shall be valid and binding as against all parties having claims of any kind in tort, contract or otherwise against the Commission, irrespective of whether those parties have notice thereof.
Filing and recordation. Neither the resolution nor any trust agreement by which a pledge is created need be filed or recorded except in the records of the Commission. The use and disposition of moneys to the credit of the sinking fund shall be subject to the provisions of the trust agreement. Except as may otherwise be provided in the trust agreement, the sinking fund shall be a fund for all of those revenue bonds without distinction or priority of one over another.
[1971, ch. 507, sec. 631K]
All moneys received by the Commission pursuant to the provisions of this chapter as proceeds from the sale of revenue bonds and as revenues shall be deemed to be trust funds, to be held and applied solely as provided in this chapter. Any officer to whom or any bank or trust company to which those moneys shall be paid shall act as trustee of the moneys and shall hold and apply them for the purposes hereof, subject to the regulations that this chapter and the trust agreement may provide.
[1971, ch. 507, sec. 631L]
Any holder of bonds issued under the provisions of this chapter or of any of the coupons appertaining thereto and the trustee, except to the extent that the rights herein given may be restricted by the trust agreement, may, either at law or in equity, by suit, action, mandamus or other proceedings, protect and enforce any and all rights under the laws of this state or granted hereunder or under the trust agreement and may enforce and compel the performance of all duties required by this chapter or by the trust agreement to be performed by the Commission or by any officer thereof, including the fixing, charging and collecting of rentals and other rates, fees and charges for the use of the projects.
[1971, ch. 507, sec. 631M]
Bonds issued under the provisions of this chapter are hereby made securities in which all public officers and public agencies of the state and its political subdivisions and all banks, trust companies, savings and loan associations, investment companies and others carrying on a banking business; all insurance companies and insurance associations and others carrying on an insurance business; all administrators, executors, guardians, trustees and other fiduciaries; and all other persons may legally and properly invest funds, including capital in their control or belonging to them. Those bonds are hereby made securities which may properly and legally be deposited with and received by any state or municipal officer or any agency or political subdivision of the state for any purpose for which the deposit of bonds or other obligations of the state is now or may hereafter be authorized by law.
[1971, ch. 507, sec. 631N]
The Commission is authorized to provide by resolution for the issuance of its revenue-refunding bonds for the purpose of refunding any revenue bonds then outstanding which shall have been issued under the provisions of this chapter, including the payment of any redemption premium thereon and any interest accrued or to accrue to the date of redemption of the bonds.
[1971, ch. 507, sec. 631-O]
The exercise of the powers granted by this chapter will be in all respects for the benefit of the people of the State of Maryland for the increase of their commerce and prosperity and for the improvement of their health and living conditions, and as the operation and maintenance of the facilities by the Commission will constitute the performance of essential governmental functions, the Commission shall not be required to pay any taxes or assessments upon any facilities constructed, purchased or otherwise acquired, maintained and operated by it under the provisions of this chapter or upon the income therefrom, and the bonds issued under the provisions of this chapter, their transfer and the income therefrom, including any profit made on the sale thereof, shall at all times be free from taxation by the State of Maryland or any of its political subdivisions or by any town or municipality or any other public agency of or within the state.
[Added 4-21-1978 by Bill No. 3-78]
Upon the express consent, by resolution, of the Board of County Commissioners of Allegany County, the Commission may, from time to time, issue bonds in its name, upon the full faith and credit of the Commission and the County, for any corporate purpose. The bonds of each issue shall be dated, shall bear interest at such rate or rates and shall mature at such time or times not exceeding 40 years from their date or dates of issue, all as may be determined by the Commission. Such bonds may be made redeemable before maturity, at the option of the Commission, at such price or prices and under such terms and conditions as may be fixed by the Commission prior to the issuance of the bonds. The Commission shall determine the form of the bonds, including any interest coupons to be attached thereto, and the manner of execution of the bonds and shall fix the denomination or denominations of the bonds and the place or places of payment of principal and interest. In case any officer whose signature or a facsimile of whose signature shall appear on any bonds or coupons shall cease to be such officer before the delivery of such bonds, such signature or such facsimile shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes, the same as if he had remained in office until such delivery. All bonds issued under the provisions of this section shall have all the attributes of negotiable instruments as provided in the Maryland Uniform Commercial Code — Investment Securities. The bonds may be issued in coupon or in registered form, or both, as the Commission may determine, and provision may be made for the registration of any coupon bonds as to principal alone and also as to both principal and interest and for the reconversion into coupon bonds of any bonds registered as to both principal and interest. The issuance of such bonds shall not be subject to any limitations or conditions contained in any other law, and the Commission may sell such bonds in such manner, either at public or private sale, and for such price as it may determine. Such bonds shall be issued under the signature and Seal of the Commission and shall be guaranteed as to payment of principal and interest by County Commissioners of Allegany County, which guaranty shall be endorsed on each of said bonds in the following language: "The payment of interest when due and the principal at maturity is guaranteed by County Commissioners of Allegany County, Maryland." Such endorsement shall be signed on each of said bonds by the President of the Board of County Commissioners, or other officer designated by resolution of the Board of County Commissioners, and by the Clerk to said Board. Such bonds, so endorsed, shall be and they shall so recite unconditional general obligations of the County Commissioners of Allegany County, and this section shall be construed as a specific grant of authority to said County to issue and sell such bonds in the manner herein prescribed.
Editor's Note: See Commercial Law Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, § 8-101 et seq.
The proceeds of such bonds shall be disbursed in such manner and under such restrictions, if any, as the Commission may provide in the authorizing resolution. If the proceeds of such bonds, by error of estimates, or otherwise, shall be less than the cost of the project or projects on account of which such bonds are issued, additional bonds may, in like manner, be issued to provide the amount of such deficit and, unless otherwise provided in the authorizing resolution, shall be deemed to be of the same issue and shall be entitled to payment from the same fund without preference or priority of the bonds first issued for the same purpose.
Prior to the preparation of definitive bonds, the Commission may issue interim receipts or temporary bonds, with or without coupons, exchangeable for definitive bonds when such bonds have been executed and are available for delivery. The Commission may also provide for the replacement of any bonds which shall become mutilated or shall be destroyed or lost.
In the event that the funds available to the Commission from all sources for the payment of the principal of and interest on outstanding bonds of the Commission issued under this section are insufficient for any reason to meet such principal and interest payments, the Board of County Commissioners of Allegany County shall levy and collect, in each and every fiscal year in which such bonds are outstanding, ad valorem taxes upon all the assessable property within the corporate limits of Allegany County in a rate and amount sufficient to provide for such payments, when due, together with accrued interest to the date of payment. In the event that the proceeds from the taxes so levied in any such fiscal year shall prove inadequate for the above purposes, said Board of County Commissioners shall levy additional taxes in the succeeding fiscal year to make up any deficiency.
The Commission may from time to time issue bonds to refund, pay or discharge all or any part of its outstanding bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness, including the payment of any redemption premium thereon and any interest accrued or to accrue to the earliest or any subsequent date of redemption, purchase or maturity of such bonds. The relevant provisions of this section pertaining to bonds shall be equally applicable in the authorization and issuance of such refunding bonds, including their terms, rates and other aspects thereof.
Bonds issued under the provisions of this section shall be general obligations of the Commission, a body politic and corporate of the State of Maryland performing essential governmental functions, and of the County Commissioners of Allegany County, a body politic and corporate and a political subdivision of the State of Maryland. Accordingly, the principal of and interest on any bonds in the hands of the owner or owners thereof from time to time shall be and remain exempt from taxation of any kind or nature whatsoever by the State of Maryland and by any County, municipal corporation or other political subdivision thereof.
The authority granted under this section shall not be exercised nor shall any of the proceeds of the sale of bonds issued under this section be used or applied in any manner which would cause any bonds, refunding bonds or temporary bonds issued hereunder to be deemed arbitrage bonds within the meaning of Section 103 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or the regulations prescribed thereunder.
This section shall be deemed to provide an additional and alternative method for the doing of the things authorized thereby and shall be regarded as supplemental and additional to powers conferred by other laws, including, without limitation, the Commission's power to issue its revenue bonds pursuant to this chapter, and shall not be regarded as in derogation of any powers now existing.
Editor's Note: This bill further provided that it shall take effect 45 days after enactment.