Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 3. Regional Water and Wastewater Authority Act

Joint Exercise Of Powers By Certain Public Agencies -- Agreements Among Agencies -- Filing Of Agreement -- Prohibition Against Competition -- Retirement Of Bonds -- Consent Of Public Agency

75-6-305. Joint exercise of powers by certain public agencies -- agreements among agencies -- filing of agreement -- prohibition against competition -- retirement of bonds -- consent of public agency. (1) Any powers, privileges, or authority of a public agency of this state relating to public water supplies or the transportation or treatment of wastewater may be exercised jointly with any other public agency of this state or with any agency of the United States to the extent that the laws of the United States permit. An agency of the state government when acting jointly with any public or private agency may exercise all of the powers, privileges, and authority conferred by this part upon a public agency.

(2) A public agency may enter into agreements with one or more other public agencies for the purpose of organizing an authority. Appropriate action by ordinance, resolution, or otherwise pursuant to law of the governing bodies of the participating public agencies is necessary before any agreement may take effect.

(3) An agreement must specify the following:

(a) its duration;

(b) the precise organization, composition, and nature of the authority created, together with the powers delegated to the authority;

(c) its purpose or purposes;

(d) the manner of financing for the authority and of establishing and maintaining a budget for the authority;

(e) the permissible methods for partial or complete termination of the agreement and for disposing of property upon partial or complete termination;

(f) the manner of acquiring, holding, and disposing of real and personal property of the authority; and

(g) any other necessary and proper matters.

(4) An agreement may be amended to include additional public agencies by consent of two-thirds of the signatories to the agreement, if the terms of the agreement are not changed. Otherwise, a new agreement with the new public agency must be made. When only two public agencies form an authority, both parties shall consent to the amendment of the agreement to include additional public agencies.

(5) Prior to taking effect, an agreement made under this part must be filed with the clerk of the county commission of each county in which a member of the authority is located and the agreement then must also be filed with the secretary of state, accompanied by a certificate from the clerk of the county commission of the county or counties where filed, stating that the agreement has been filed in that county.

(6) A public agency that enters into an agreement made under this part may not offer or provide water or wastewater services in competition with another public agency entering into the agreement.

(7) A public agency that enters into an agreement made under this part may not withdraw from the agreement until the outstanding bonded indebtedness of the authority is retired or the bondholders are otherwise protected.

(8) (a) An authority may not provide water or wastewater services to end users located within the jurisdiction of a public agency that owns or operates a community water system or a public sewage system, as those terms are defined in 75-6-102, without the consent of the governing body of the public agency through the adoption of a resolution or ordinance.

(b) The governing body may not adopt a resolution or ordinance without first holding a public hearing. The hearing must address relevant factors relating to the provision of the water or wastewater services, including but not limited to the scope of the proposed service, rates and charges, the indebtedness of the public agency and the authority, and the rights and obligations of the persons or entities to be served. Notice must be given as provided in 7-1-2121 or 7-1-4127.

(c) For purposes of this subsection (8), "governing body" means the council, commission, board of directors, or other legislative body charged with governing the public agency.

History: En. Sec. 4, Ch. 498, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 13, L. 2011.