[HISTORY: Adopted and amended as indicated in text.]
[1959 Code, sec. 62; 1965 Code, sec. 57; 1969 Code, sec. 59. P.L.L., 1959, ch. 724, sec. 84A]
For the purpose of promoting the public health, welfare and safety of the residents of Charles County through the promotion and development of commerce and industry in said County and the creation of employment for said residents, the following power and authority is hereby conferred on the County Commissioners of Charles County, in addition to all other power and authority heretofore conferred upon said County Commissioners:
To acquire, by purchase, lease, condemnation or otherwise, real, personal or mixed property or any interest therein or any buildings or improvements thereon for the purpose of constructing, reconstructing, improving or enlarging thereon any project as defined in § 119-2 of this chapter.
To construct, reconstruct, improve, repair, develop, redevelop, equip, furnish, maintain and operate any such project on any such property so acquired.
To sell, subject to the limitations contained in § 119-5 of this chapter, to lease or otherwise demise any project so acquired or constructed, pursuant to the foregoing authority, to any person, firm or corporation or to any public or private agency or municipality on such a basis as to fully reimburse the County, either at one time or over a period of years, for the cost of any such project as defined in § 119-2 of this chapter.
To fix, charge and collect, without obtaining the approval of any other agency of the state, tolls, rates, rentals or other charges for any such project on such basis as to enable the County to pay its expenses in providing any such project as aforesaid and to provide for the maintenance and operation thereof and for the payment of the principal of and interest on any revenue bonds or obligations issued or incurred by the County, pursuant to the authority hereof to finance the acquisition of any such project, and to enable the County to fulfill the terms and provisions of any agreements made by it with the purchasers or holders of any such bonds or obligations or with any trustee for any such purchasers or holders.
To borrow money and to evidence the same by the issuance of its revenue bonds, certificates or obligations and to secure the payment of the same and the interest thereon by pledge or indenture of trust of all or any part of the revenues, tolls, rentals and receipts from any such project.
To adopt appropriate resolutions authorizing the issuance of any such revenue bonds, certificates or obligations and to covenant in any such resolution that the same shall be treated as a binding contract with the holders from time to time of any such bonds, certificates or obligations and, in pursuance thereof, to provide in any such resolution for the security of said bonds, certificates or obligations and the rights of the holders thereof.
To make and enter into contracts of every kind and nature, including, without limiting the generality of this authority, leases, indentures of trust and other related instruments, and to execute all such instruments necessary or convenient for the purpose of carrying out the authority hereby conferred.
To pledge, hypothecate or otherwise encumber all or any of the tolls, rents, revenues or receipts realized by the County in the exercise of the authority hereby conferred as security for any or all of the revenue bonds, certificates or obligations issued by the County, pursuant to the authority hereof, including the establishment with independent trustees of separate sinking funds into which any such tolls, rents, revenues or receipts shall be periodically deposited and which shall be used for the payment or prior redemption, as agreed, of any such revenue bonds, or obligations and the interest thereon.
To employ and fix the duties and compensation of special engineers, attorneys, accountants, architects, planners and other persons necessary to enable the County to effectively carry out the powers hereby conferred.
To appoint, with respect to any project or projects, a committee of not more than five persons, residents of Charles County, of whom one shall be a member of the Board of County Commissioners, to represent the County in all matters relating to any such project or projects.
To accept grants or gifts of property or money from any state or federal agency for the purpose of providing any project as hereinafter defined and to make appropriate or necessary contracts with any such state or federal agency and generally to do all acts or things necessary or convenient in pursuance of the powers hereby conferred.
[1959 Code, sec. 63; 1965 Code, sec. 58; 1969 Code, sec. 60. P.L.L., 1959, ch. 724, sec. 84B]
Term defined. As used in this chapter, the term "project" shall mean and include any structure, facility, factory, manufacturing or industrial plant and any revenue-producing public facility needed or desirable for the welfare and comfort of the residents of Charles County and the land or site of such project and any appurtenant land which the County deems to be necessary for the efficient operation of any project, but such term shall not include any public facility or structure which the County or any agency or instrumentality thereof is authorized to construct or provide under any other law.
Determination of costs; appropriation. To the extent incurred with respect to any such project, the County shall include in the cost of such project the cost of all land, property, rights, easements and franchises deemed necessary for the construction, development or improvement of any project and the cost of all labor, materials, machinery and equipment, financing charges, costs of engineering, architectural and legal services and of plans, specifications, surveys, estimates of cost and of revenues and other expenses necessary or incident to determine the feasibility or practicability of any such project, administrative expenses and such other expenses as may be necessary or incident to financing any project herein authorized, including interest on money borrowed for a project prior to and during construction and for not more than one year after completion of construction. In order to provide further for the initiation of any project, the County may appropriate from its general funds such amounts as may be necessary for the purpose, not exceeding $10,000 for any one project, provided that, if and when any such project is undertaken and financed as provided in § 119-3 of this chapter, such appropriation shall be treated as part of the cost of the project and shall be reimbursed to the general funds of the County.
Applicability of provisions. None of the definitions contained in this section and none of the powers conferred by § 119-1 of this chapter shall be construed to include or confer upon the County the power to construct, maintain and operate any electric, gas or railroad utility or to acquire by condemnation any of the property of any such utility rendering electric, gas or railroad service.
[1959 Code, sec. 64; 1965 Code, sec. 59; 1969 Code, sec. 61. P.L.L., 1959, ch. 724, sec. 84C]
Issuance; determination of amount. The County shall have the power and it is hereby authorized at one time or from time to time to provide by resolution for the issuance of its negotiable revenue bonds, certificates or obligations for the purpose of paying all or any part of the cost or purchase price of any one or more projects. The resolution authorizing the issuance of such revenue bonds, certificates or obligations or the trust indenture hereinafter provided for shall state the estimated cost or purchase price of any project or projects involved or portion thereof to be financed by any such revenue bonds, certificates or obligations, and such revenue bonds, certificates or obligations shall be issued in such amount or amounts.
Payment of principal and interest; benefit assessments. The principal of and interest on such revenue bonds, certificates or obligations shall be payable solely from the funds and revenues received by the County from said project or projects, and no ad valorem tax or excise shall be levied by the County for the payment of such principal and interest, but special benefit assessments which are equitable and reasonable may be imposed for such purpose on properties specially benefited by any such project.
General information and procedures. The revenue bonds, certificates or obligations, herein collectively called "bonds," of each issue shall be dated, shall bear interest at such rate or rates not exceeding 6% per annum, payable semiannually, and shall mature at such time or times, not exceeding 40 years from their date or dates, as may be determined by the County. The bonds of each issue may be made redeemable before maturity at the option of the County at such price or prices, at or above par, and under such terms and conditions as may be fixed by the County prior to the issuance thereof. The County shall determine the form of the bonds, including any interest coupons to be attached thereto, and shall fix 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. The payment of the principal of and interest on the bonds thereby authorized may be made in any lawful medium. The County shall determine the manner of executing the bonds, which may be by facsimile signature of the President of the Board of County Commissioners, and the manner of executing the interest coupons attached thereto, which also may be by facsimile signature of said President The Official Seal of the County shall be affixed to or imprinted on the bonds, attested by the manual signature of the County Clerk. In case any officer of the County whose signature or a facsimile of whose signature appears on any bonds or coupons shall cease to be such officer before the delivery of such bonds or shall become such officer after the date of such bonds, such signature or such facsimile shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes.
Bonds considered negotiable instruments. All bonds issued hereunder shall have and are hereby declared to have all the qualities and incidents of negotiable instruments under the negotiable instruments laws of this state.
Form and registration. The bonds hereby authorized may be issued in coupon or in registered form, or both, as the County 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.
Sale; applicability of statutory provisions. The County may sell such revenue bonds in such manner, either at public or private sale, and for such price as it may determine to be for the best interest of the County, but no such sale shall be made at a price so low as to require the payment of interest on the money received therefor at more than 6% per annum, computed with relation to the absolute maturity of the bonds in accordance with standard tables of bond values; excluding, however, from such computation the amount of any premium to be paid on redemption of any revenue bonds prior to maturity. None of the provisions of Article 31, §§ 10 and 11, of the Annotated Code of Maryland, 1957 Edition, and any amendments thereto, shall apply to the revenue bonds issued hereunder.
Disposition of proceeds. The proceeds of the revenue bonds of each issue shall be used solely for the payment of the cost of the project or projects for which such bonds have been issued and shall be distributed in such manner and under such restrictions, if any, as the County may provide in the resolution authorizing the issuance of such bonds or in the trust indenture securing the same. If the proceeds of the bonds of any issue, by error of estimates or otherwise, shall be less than such cost, additional bonds may in like manner be issued to provide the amount of such deficit and, unless otherwise provided in the resolution authorizing the issuance of such bonds or in the trust indenture securing the same, 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. If the proceeds of the bonds of any issue shall exceed the cost of the project or projects for which the same shall have been issued, the surplus shall be deposited into the sinking fund provided for the payment of principal of and interest on such revenue bonds.
Temporary bonds; replacement. Prior to the preparation of definitive revenue bonds, the County may, under like restrictions, issue interim receipts or temporary bonds, with or without coupons, to be exchanged for definitive bonds when such bonds have been executed and are available for delivery. The County may also provide, by resolution, for the replacement of any bonds which shall become mutilated, destroyed or lost.
Other proceedings. The revenue bonds authorized to be issued hereunder may be issued without any other proceedings or the happening of any other conditions or things than those proceedings, conditions or things which are specified and required herein.
Refunding bonds; issuance. The County is hereby authorized to provide by resolution for the issuance of its revenue refunding bonds for the purpose of refunding any revenue bonds then outstanding and issued hereunder. The issuance of such revenue refunding bonds, the maturities and other details thereof, the rights of the holders thereof and the duties of the County in respect of the same shall be governed by the provisions hereof insofar as they may be applicable.
Issuance of a single issue for combined purposes. The County is further authorized to provide by resolution for the issuance of a single issue of its revenue bonds for the combined purposes of paying the cost of any improvement, extension, enlargement or reconstruction of any of its existing projects and of refunding its revenue bonds which shall theretofore have been issued for the purpose of providing funds for the cost of such project which shall then be outstanding and which shall then have matured or be subject to redemption or can be acquired for retirement.
[1959 Code, sec. 65; 1965 Code, sec. 60; 1969 Code, sec. 62. P.L.L., 1959, ch. 724, sec. 84D]
Any resolution or resolutions authorizing any such project or the issuance of any such revenue bonds therefor may contain provisions which may be made part of the contract with the holders of such bonds and which may relate to the following:
Recitals which may specify that the revenues received or to be received from the project or projects, the cost of which have or are to be financed from the proceeds of any such issue of revenue bonds, certificates or other evidence of indebtedness, may not be used to service any other revenue bonds authorized hereunder issued to finance the cost of any other project or projects.
The construction, improvement, operation, extension, enlargement, equipping, furnishing, maintenance and repair of any project or projects and the duties of the County with reference thereto.
The terms and provisions of the bonds.
Any limitations on the purposes to which the proceeds of the bonds then or thereafter to be issued may be applied.
The rate of tolls, rentals and other charges for the use of the projects, including limitations upon the power of the County to modify any leases or other agreements pursuant to which any tolls, rentals or other charges are payable.
The setting aside of reserves or sinking funds and the regulation and disposition thereof.
The limitations on the issuance of additional bonds.
The terms and provisions of any deed of trust or indenture securing the bonds or under which the same may be issued.
The continuance of tolls, rentals and other charges for the use of a project and the use or application thereof after all revenue bonds issued to pay the cost of a project and the interest thereon shall have been fully paid or provision made for such payment.
Any other or additional agreements with holders of the bonds.
[1959 Code, sec. 66; 1965 Code, sec. 61; 1969 Code, sec. 63. P.L.L., 1959, ch. 724, sec. 84E]
It is hereby found and declared that the provision of self-liquidating projects, as defined in § 119-2 of this chapter, in Charles County, including especially any factories or industrial plants leased to private operators, will result in benefit to the public and that, accordingly, the acquisition or construction of such projects by the County Commissioners of Charles County is an essential public purpose and that all property acquired for any such project will constitute an acquisition for public use. If, in the sole judgment of the County Commissioners of Charles County, the sale of any such project or of any of the property acquired therefor will further promote the public interest by better securing the permanent establishment of industry in the County, then such project and property may be sold by the County, at public or private sale, provided only that the proceeds of such sale, plus any other funds available for the purpose, shall be at least sufficient to fully liquidate any bonds issued by the County for the cost of such project pursuant to the authority of § 119-1 of this chapter, including the interest on such bonds to the date of payment and any redemption premium payable for such bonds. Likewise and subject to the same proviso, any such project and the property acquired therefor may be sold by the County if it shall find that said project and property are no longer needed for the public purposes and use aforesaid, provided that any such sale shall only be made to the highest responsible competitive bidder at public sale after the County shall have given at least two weeks' published notice thereof. The proceeds of any such sale over and above the amounts needed to liquidate said bonds and the interest and premium thereon as aforesaid shall become part of the general funds of the County, free of any trust or other lien and available for expenditure by the County on any of its corporate purposes, including those set forth in § 119-1 of this chapter.
[1959 Code, sec. 67; 1965 Code, sec. 62; 1969 Code, sec. 64. P.L.L., 1959, ch. 724, sec. 84F]
No project shall be undertaken or financed by the County Commissioners of Charles County pursuant to §§ 119-1 and 119-3 of this chapter unless, prior to such undertaking, the County shall have made a finding with respect to any public service project that the estimated fees, assessments, rents, tolls, charges and revenues from such project will be sufficient to pay the maturing principal of and interest on any revenue bonds issued by the County for such project, the sinking funds and other reserves required to be established under any trust indenture entered into or any resolution passed by the County with respect to such project and the costs of operation and maintenance of such project and, with respect to any project to be leased to a private operator, unless the County shall have entered into a binding lease with such operator providing for an annual rental which will likewise be sufficient to pay the maturing principal of and interest on bonds issued by the County for such project and the sinking fund payments and reserves and other charges required to be established or paid under any trust indenture or resolution executed or passed by the County to secure any such issue of bonds. All moneys received by the County from the sale of any revenue bonds issued under the provisions of § 119-3 of this chapter shall be applied solely for the purpose for which such bonds or other obligations shall be authorized or to the sinking fund created for the payment of such bonds, and such funds are hereby declared to be trust funds for such purposes. Accordingly, there shall be and hereby is created and granted a lien upon any such moneys, until so applied, in favor of the holders of such bonds or other obligations or in favor of the trustee appointed under any indenture of trust securing any such bonds or other obligations.
[1959 Code, sec. 68; 1965 Code, sec. 63; 1969 Code, sec. 65. P.L.L., 1959, ch. 724, sec. 84G]
The revenue bonds issued under the provisions of § 119-3 of this chapter shall not be deemed to constitute a pledge of the faith and credit of the County or of the State of Maryland or any political subdivision thereof, but such revenue bonds shall be obligations of the County, payable solely from revenues of the project or projects securing the same. All such revenue bonds shall contain a statement on their face to the effect that the County Commissioners of Charles County are not obligated to pay such bonds or the interest thereon, except from such revenues. The issuance of such revenue bonds shall not directly, indirectly or contingently obligate or empower the County Commissioners of Charles County to levy or pledge any form of taxation whatever therefor, other than special benefit assessments, or to make any appropriation for their payment.
[1959 Code, sec. 69; 1965 Code, sec. 64; 1969 Code, sec. 66. P.L.L., 1959, ch. 724, sec. 84H]
The County is hereby authorized, in its discretion, to secure any revenue bonds issued to provide funds for any project or projects by a trust indenture by and between the County and a corporate trustee, which may be any trust company or bank having the powers of a trust company within or outside the state. At any one time, the County may, in its discretion, be a party to one or more of such trust indentures if revenue bonds have been issued to finance more than a single project as defined in § 119-2 of this chapter. Such trust indenture or indentures may pledge or assign all revenues to be received from any project or projects. Either the resolution providing for the issuance of revenue bonds or such trust indenture or indentures may contain such provisions for protecting and enforcing the rights and remedies of the bondholders as may be reasonable and proper, not in violation of law, including covenants setting forth the duties of the County in relation to the construction, acquisition, improvement, installation, maintenance, operation, repair and insurance of any project or projects and the custody, safeguarding and application of all moneys, and may provide that any project or projects shall be constructed and paid for under the supervision and approval of consulting engineers employed or designated by the County and satisfactory to the trustee appointed as provided herein and, if none, the original purchasers of the bonds. Such trust indenture or indentures may further provide that the security given by contractors and by any depositary of the proceeds of the bonds or revenues of any project or other moneys pertaining thereto be satisfactory to the trustee appointed as provided herein and, if none, the original purchasers of the bonds. It shall be lawful for any bank or trust company incorporated under the laws of this state to act as depositary of the proceeds of the bonds or revenues. Such resolution or such trust indenture or indentures may set forth the rights and remedies of the bondholders and of the trustee and may restrict the individual right of action of bondholders as is customary in trust indentures securing bonds and debentures of corporations. All expenses incurred in carrying out such trust indenture may be treated as a part of the cost of maintenance, operation and repair of any project or projects.
[1959 Code, sec. 70; 1965 Code, sec. 65; 1969 Code, sec. 67. P.L.L., 1959, ch. 724, sec. 84-I]
In the event that the County shall default in the payment, when due at maturity or upon redemption, of the principal of and interest or premium on any revenue bonds or other obligations issued by it for a project pursuant to §§ 119-1 and 119-3 of this chapter or shall fail to perform any of its covenants made by it in a resolution or trust indenture authorized by § 119-4 of this chapter, then and in either event:
Any trustee, whether appointed by the County pursuant to § 119-3 of this chapter or acting under a deed of trust or other agreement with bondholders and whether or not all such revenue bonds have been declared due and payable by said trustee, shall be entitled as of right to the appointment by the Circuit Court for Charles County of a receiver, who may, to the same extent that the County itself could so do, enter and take possession of any project, the revenues, rentals or receipts from which are or may be applicable to the payment of the bonds so in default, and operate and maintain said project and collect and receive all rentals and other revenues thereafter arising therefrom in the same manner as the County might do and deposit all such moneys in a separate account and apply the same in such manner as the court shall direct. In any such suit, action or proceeding by the trustee, the fees, counsel fees and expenses of the trustees and of the receiver, if any, and all costs and disbursements allowed by the court shall be a first charge on any revenues and receipts derived from the project, the revenues or receipts from which are or may be applicable to the payment of the bonds so in default.
Any such trustee shall, in addition to the foregoing, have and possess all of the powers necessary or appropriate for the exercise of any functions of the County specifically set forth in § 119-1 of this chapter or incident to the general representation of the bondholders in the enforcement and protection of their rights.
Any holder or group of holders or trustee therefor of revenue bonds or other obligations of the County issued under § 119-3 of this chapter shall have the right, subject to such limitations as may be imposed thereon by any resolution passed or trust indenture executed pursuant to § 119-4 of this chapter, by mandamus or other suit, action or proceeding at law or in equity, to enforce his or their rights against the County, including the right to require the County to collect tolls, fees, rentals and other charges adequate to carry out any agreement as to or pledge of such tolls, fees, rentals or other charges or income, revenues and receipts; the right to require the County to carry out any of its covenants and agreements with a trustee or with the bondholders and to perform its duties thereunder; the right to enjoin the County from violating any such covenants and agreements; and the right to require the County to account with respect to any project as though it were the trustee of an express trust.
[1959 Code, sec. 71; 1965 Code, sec. 66; 1969 Code, sec. 68. P.L.L., 1959, ch. 724, sec. 84J]
The state does hereby pledge to and agree with any person, firm or corporation or federal agency subscribing to or acquiring the revenue bonds to be issued by the County for any project or part thereof that the state will not limit or alter the rights hereby vested in the County until all such bonds at any time issued to provide funds for such project or part thereof, together with the interest thereon, are fully met and discharged, it being the intent hereof that the County shall continue to have and may exercise all powers herein granted so long as the same shall be necessary or desirable for the carrying out of such purposes.
[1959 Code, sec. 72; 1965 Code, sec. 67; 1969 Code, sec. 69. P.L.L., 1959, ch. 724, sec. 84K]
It is hereby found, determined and declared that the establishment of a project or projects under the provisions of § 119-1 of this chapter is in all respects for the benefit of the inhabitants of Charles County and of the State of Maryland and is a public purpose and that neither the County Commissioners of Charles County nor any receiver appointed under § 119-9 of this chapter shall be required to pay any taxes or assessments upon any project owned or acquired by the County or on any part thereof or upon its or his activities in the operation and maintenance of any project or upon any revenues derived by it or him therefrom, and, in addition, the revenue bonds or other obligations of the County issued pursuant to § 119-1 of this chapter, the interest thereon and any gain realized from the sale or exchange thereof shall be and remain forever exempt from all state, municipal and local taxation.
[1959 Code, sec. 73; 1965 Code, sec. 68; 1969 Code, sec. 70. P.L.L., 1959, ch. 724, sec. 84L]
The provisions of this chapter 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 and authority conferred by other laws and shall not be regarded as in derogation of any powers now existing, and such provisions shall be liberally construed to effect the purposes thereof.