SPONSOR: Sen. Connor
& Rep. Mulrooney
DELAWARE STATE SENATE
140th GENERAL ASSEMBLY
SENATE BILL NO. 92
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 121, VOLUME 32, LAWS OF DELAWARE, AS AMENDED, ENTITLED, "AN ACT TO ESTABLISH A BOARD OF WATER AND LIGHT COMMISSIONERS FOR THE CITY OF NEW CASTLE" RELATING TO THE DESIGNATION OF THE BOARD OF WATER AND LIGHT COMMISSIONERS AS THE MUNICIPAL SERVICES COMMISSIONS, AND THE AUTHORITY OF THE MUNICIPAL SERVICE COMMISSION.
WHEREAS, the City of New Castle, as an incorporated municipality, seeks authority to manage and operate systems for the furnishing of steam, manufactured gas, natural gas, heat, power, heating oil, and wired and wireless telecommunications or other communication services within the City of New Castle's corporate limits;
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):
Section 1. Amend Chapter 121, Volume 32, Laws of Delaware, as amended, by striking said Chapter in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
"Section 1. Municipal Services Commission; Appointments; Vacancies; Definitions
(i) 'Additional Systems' shall include, but is not limited to, systems for the purpose of furnishing steam, manufactured gas, natural gas, heat, power, heating oil, and wired and wireless telecommunications or other communication services.
(ii) 'Board' shall mean the Board of the Municipal Services Commission of the City of New
(iii) 'City' shall refer to the City of New Castle;
'Commission' shall refer to the Municipal Services Commission of the City of New
(vi) 'Telecommunications' shall include, but is not limited to, internal communications;
communication services to the City of New Castle, schools, and non-profit institutions;
and commercial and residential voice, data, and video services.
Section 2. Board Elections and Appointments; Secretary and Treasurer
Section 3. Commission Authority; Water, Light and Additional Systems; Board Authority
property either within the limits of the City of New Castle or without such limits to a distance not exceeding three miles for the purpose of constructing facilities for the supplying and distributing of water and shall advise the Council of the Mayor and Council of New Castle, in writing, of the location, description and estimated fair value for which such property is deemed necessary or expedient, the said Council shall be empowered to acquire such property by agreement with the owner thereof or if such agreement cannot be reached, the said property or land may be acquired by condemnation proceedings as prescribed and fully set forth in Section 25 of an Act entitled "An Act Amending, Revising and Consolidating the Charter of the City of New Castle" being Chapter 216 of Volume 27, Laws of Delaware, and all Acts amendatory thereof and supplemental thereto for condemning and taking land for the purpose of laying out, opening, extending or widening of any street, road, lane or alley in the City of New Castle.
with any person, firm, association, corporation, or entity, one or more Additional Systems within the corporate limits of the City of New Castle.
services furnished by any such Additional System from time to time.
Section 4. Board Meetings; Promulgation of Rules and Regulations; Collection of Sums Due
Section 5. Quarterly Statement; Annual Statement and Report
(b) The Commission, in July of each year, shall publish an annual statement and report for the benefit of the Citizens of the City of New Castle.
Section 6. Superintendent
(a) 'The Board shall appoint a superintendent. The superintendent shall perform such services and duties upon such terms and conditions as the Board shall deem appropriate.
Section 7. Sufficiency of Revenue; Fixed Rental to City; Payment of Expenses Relating to Water and Light Systems
(a) In lieu of water and light rental for the water and light supply to the City itself, the Council of the City shall turn over from time to time to the credit of the Commission such sums as may be necessary to meet any deficiency for current bills of the Commission. In July of each year, or oftener in their discretion if the revenue warrants, the Commission shall turn over to the Council of the City such sum in their hands as may not be required
to provide for current expenses and operation, which sums shall be used by the Council of the City for the payment
of interest on the water and light bonds and for a sinking fund for the payment of said bonds.
(b) The Council of the City and the Commission may, by mutual agreement if deemed desirable, arrange that the City shall pay a fixed rental to the Commission for the water and light supplied to the City in lieu of the above payments to meet a deficiency.
(c) The Commission shall aim, in the operation of the water and light systems and in fixing the rates
therefor, to produce revenue at least sufficient, when supplemented by fair allowances by the City for the water and light furnished for public purposes, to pay the operating expenses of the system and the interest on the water and light bonds as well as provide for ordinary maintenance.
Section 8. Municipal Services Commission as Agency of the City of New Castle
(a) The Commission is intended to be merely a separate agency of the City for the operation of the water and light systems and Additional Systems, and all contracts and bills shall be in the name of and on behalf of the Municipal Corporation, through the agency of the Commission.
Section 9. Removal of Commissioners
(a) The Council of the City shall have the power to remove any Commissioner upon proper cause shown, but such removal shall be only after charges made and hearing thereon and by vote of two-thirds of all the members of the Council of the City.
Section 10. Expenditures for Alteration or Improvement of Water and Light Systems; Control
(a) The Commission shall have full control and direction of all money borrowed by the City, by bond issue or otherwise, for the improvement or alteration of the City's water and light systems.
(b) All money borrowed by the City, by bond issue or otherwise, for the alteration or improvement of the City's water and light systems, shall be held by the City Treasurer subject tot he direction of the Board.
Section 11. Rates; Compensation of Commissioners
(a) The Commission annually, when making its estimates and budget and fixing the rates for water and electric current, shall fix such rates for water and electric current as will produce an annual sum of at least Three Thousand Dollars to provide a sinking fund for the payment of all the water and light bonds of the City when the same shall become due, such fund so raised to be turned over to the Treasurer of the City and held as a sinking fund for the payment of said bonds and used for no other purpose, and such sum shall be annually raised until adequate provision has been made for the payment of all of the water and light bonds at maturity.
(b) The President of the Commission shall receive an annual salary of Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) and each other Commissioner, shall receive an annual salary of Two Thousand Four Hundred Dollars ($2,400.00) for their services, payable monthly out of the funds of the Commission, and in addition to their necessary expenses in the performance of their duties.
Section 12. Discretionary Payments to the Mayor and Council of New Castle
(a) Anything in this Act to the contrary notwithstanding, the Commission is hereby authorized, from time to time and in the Commissioners' sole discretion, to make payments out of surplus earnings to the Mayor and Council of New Castle."
Section 2. As of the enactment of this Act into law, the current members of the Board of Water and Light Commissioners of the City of New Castle shall constitute the Board of the Municipal Services Commission and shall continue in that capacity for the remainder of their current terms of appointment.
The purpose of this Act is to grant to the City of New Castle, in its capacity as a municipal corporation, the authority to manage and operate systems for the furnishing of steam, manufactured gas, natural gas, heat, power, heating oil, and wired and wireless telecommunications or other communication services within the City of New Castle's corporate limits.
Additionally, the Act changes the name of the Board of Water and Light Commissioners to the Municipal Services Commission.
Author: Sen. Connor