House Bill No. 197

Introduced By krenzler, lynch, crippen, keating

A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act revising certain provisions relating to lighting districts; clarifying that the mailing address for property assessment purposes is the appropriate mailing address with respect to creating a lighting district; allowing the termination of a lighting district by a majority vote of a city or town council as well as by a petition of property owners; increasing from 8 years to 20 years the period over which a lighting district bond may be amortized; clarifying the meaning of "minor modifications" to a lighting district; and amending sections 7-12-4303, 7-12-4311, 7-12-4342, and 7-12-4354, MCA; and providing an effective date."

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:

Section 1.  Section 7-12-4303, MCA, is amended to read:

"7-12-4303.   Notice of resolution of intent to create lighting district. (1) Upon having passed the resolution required by 7-12-4302, the council must shall give notice of the passage of such the resolution of intention. The notice of the passage of such the resolution must be published for 5 days in a daily newspaper or in some one issue of a weekly newspaper in the city or town or, in case no newspaper be is published in such the city or town, then by posting for 5 days in three public places in the city or town. A copy of such the notice shall must be mailed to every person, firm, or corporation having property within the proposed district, AS LISTED ON THE CURRENT PROPERTY TAX RECORD, at his last-known the property owner's address as the address is listed on the current property assessment role TAX RECORD, upon on the same day such that the notice is first published or posted.

(2)  Such The notice must describe the general character of the improvement so proposed to be made, state the estimated cost thereof of the improvement and the estimated cost of maintaining the lights and supplying the electrical current therefor for the improvement and lights within such the district for the first year, and designate the time when and the place where the council will hear and pass upon all protests that may be made against the making of such the improvement or the creation of such the district. Such The notice shall must refer to the resolution on file in the office of the city clerk for a description of the boundaries."

Section 2.  Section 7-12-4311, MCA, is amended to read:

"7-12-4311.   Termination of special improvement lighting district. If at any time after the creation of any a special improvement lighting district, a petition shall be is presented to the city or town council, signed by the owners or agents of more than three-fourths of the total amount of property embraced within the district, asking that the maintenance and operation of such the special lighting system and the furnishing of electrical current therefor in such in the district be discontinued, or if a majority of the city or town council votes to discontinue a special improvement lighting district, the city or town council shall, by resolution, provide for discontinuing the maintenance and operation of the lighting system. If the council shall have has, prior to the presentation of such a petition or by a majority vote of the council to discontinue the district, entered into any contract for the maintenance and operation of such the lighting system, such the maintenance and operation shall may not be discontinued until after the expiration of the contract."

Section 3.  Section 7-12-4342, MCA, is amended to read:

"7-12-4342.   Details relating to lighting district bonds and warrants. (1) Said warrants Warrants or bonds shall issued pursuant to 7-12-4341 must be in the denomination of $100 or fractions or multiples thereof of $100 and may be issued in installments.

(2)  Such The warrants or bonds shall must be redeemed by the treasurer when there is money available therefor for redemption in the fund against which said the warrants or bonds are issued and shall must bear interest from the date of registration thereof of the warrants or bonds until called for redemption or paid in full, interest to be payable annually on January 1 of each year as expressed by the interest coupon attached thereto to the warrant or bond, which may bear the engraved facsimile signature of the mayor and city clerk.

(3)  Such The warrants or bonds may extend over a period not to exceed 8 20 years.

(4)  The requirements of this section and 7-12-4341 shall and this section apply to all special improvement lighting districts, including those now in the process of formation or to be formed hereafter on or after [the effective date of this act]."

Section 4.  Section 7-12-4354, MCA, is amended to read:

"7-12-4354.   Minor modifications exempt. Nothing in 7-12-4351 through 7-12-4354 prevents the city or town council from eliminating unnecessary lights, relocating individual lights, upgrading lights and lighting-related facilities in the interest of energy conservation, or making other minor modifications in a special improvement lighting district without following the procedures described in 7-12-4351 through 7-12-4353. For the purposes of this section, "minor modifications" includes but is not limited to adding properties or lights if the additions:

(1) reduce assessments within the maintenance district; or

(2) increase the assessment on a property AVERAGE ASSESSMENTS WITHIN THE MAINTENANCE DISTRICT by 3% or less in a fiscal year."

NEW SECTION. Section 5.  Effective date. [This act] is effective July 1, 1997.