Senate Bill No. 519
(By Senator Chafin)
[Introduced March 11, 2005; referred to the Committee
on the Judiciary; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated §7-16A-1, §7-16A-2,
§7-16A-3, §7-16A-4, §7-16A-5 and §7-16A-6, all relating to the
establishment of countywide programs intended to remove
abandoned and junked automobiles.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new article, designated §7-16A-1, §7-16A-2,
§7-16A-3, §7-16A-4, §7-16A-5 and §7-16A-6
, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 16A. STATE AND COUNTY REMOVAL OF ABANDONED AUTOMOBILE
§7-16A-1. Establishment of authority to initiate and manage
The county commission of every county is hereby authorized to
create and establish a public agency to be known as a "State and
County Removal of Abandoned Automobile Project" (SCRAAP) to carry
out the powers and duties conferred by law upon the county relating to seizure, removal and disposal of abandoned and junked motor
The purposes for which a project is created are to provide for
the necessary, dependable, effective and efficient seizure, removal
and disposal of abandoned motor vehicles and to assist and
cooperate with the state and local governments in achieving these
§7-16A-3. Management and control vested in project; appointment
and terms of members; vacancies; removal of members;
The management and control of the project, its property,
operations, business and affairs shall be lodged in an authority of
the county sheriff and three persons who shall be known as "members
of the project," each of whom shall be appointed by the county
commission for a term of three years. Each member holds office
until the expiration of the term for which he or she is appointed
or until a successor is duly appointed. Vacancies are filled by
appointment by the county commission for the unexpired term of the
member whose office becomes vacant.
No member may be an elected official or employee of the county
or engaged in the business of buying and selling scrap metal or
repairing or restoring motor vehicles. Project members may be
reappointed to serve additional terms. All members of the project
shall be residents in the county where the particular project is
The county Commission may at any time remove any member of the
project and may appoint a successor.
The Sheriff shall act as chairman of the project and the
sheriff's office shall keep an accurate accounting of the business
of the project. Members of the project, other than the Sheriff,
shall serve without remuneration.
§7-16A-4. Project to be a public corporation; name; power to
contract and sue; seal.
The project when created, and its members, constitute a public
corporation, the name of which contains the words "State and County
Removal of Abandoned Automobile Project" (SCRAAP). The project
has perpetual succession, may contract and be contracted with, sue
and be sued, plead and be impleaded and have and use a common seal.
§7-16A-5. Powers, duties and responsibilities of project
The project may exercise all powers necessary or appropriate
to carry out and effectuate its corporate purpose. The project
(1) Adopt, and from time to time, amend and repeal bylaws
necessary and proper for the regulation of its affairs and the
conduct of its business and rules to implement and make effective
its powers and duties.
(2) Acquire, construct, reconstruct, enlarge, improve,
furnish, equip, maintain, repair, operate, lease or rent to, or
contract for operation by a governmental agency or person, holding
facilities for motor vehicles that have been removed, awaiting disposal by the county, and, adopt rules for the: (A)Use of the
holding facilities; (B) procedures to reduce and recycle abandoned
motor vehicles to salvage or scrap, to be resold in the market
place, and to dispose of parts not amenable to reuse or salvage;
(C) legal procedures for notifying known or unknown persons who may
have an ownership interest in motor vehicles designated as subject
to seizure, removal and disposal under the provisions of this
(3) Make available the use or services of any holding facility
to one or more persons, one or more governmental agencies, or any
(4) Acquire by gift or purchase, hold and dispose of real and
personal property in the exercise of its powers and the performance
of its duties.
(5) Make and enter into all contracts and agreements and
execute all instruments necessary or incidental to the performance
of its duties and the execution of its powers in selling the
salvage or scrap of abandoned or junked motor vehicles which have
(6) Receive and accept from any federal or state agency grants
for or in aid of the purposes of this article.
(7) Purchase fire and extended coverage and liability
insurance for holding facilities.
(8) Charge, alter and collect rentals, fees, service charges
and other charges for the use or services of any holding facility
as provided in this article.
(9) Develop and implement guidelines designed to identify
abandoned motor vehicles, provide adequate notice to any possible
owner or owners that an abandoned motor vehicle has been so
identified and is designated for removal and disposal by the
(10) Do all acts necessary and proper to carry out the powers
expressly granted to the authority by this article.
§7-16A-6. Procedure for designation, removal and disposal of
abandoned and junked automobiles.
(a) The sheriff shall direct the employees of his or her
office to record any observations personally made by them or
reports by others concerning the existence of abandoned and junked
motor vehicles in the county. Upon ascertaining that a motor
vehicle is abandoned, the sheriff shall place a sticker prominently
in a conspicuous place on the body of the motor vehicle, clearly
designating the motor vehicle for removal and disposal under the
authority of the State and County Removal of Abandoned Automobile
Project. The sheriff shall thereafter direct that the motor
vehicle be removed to a holding facility to await processing and
disposal in accordance with the provisions of this article. Within
ten days after the motor vehicle is removed to a holding facility,
the sheriff, in minimum lots of ten motor vehicles previously
designated as abandoned, shall notify prospective owners, by Class
II publication in a county-wide newspaper, of the intention to
dispose of the motor vehicle. The notice shall include the make,
model and color of the motor vehicle, the vehicle identification number - if ascertainable, and the location of the holding facility
where the motor vehicle is currently held. The notice shall also
provide that any person claiming ownership of the automobile must
notify the sheriff within thirty days of their intention to reclaim
the vehicle. In the event no person makes a verifiable claim
within thirty days of the second publication of notice, the vehicle
will be processed for disposal accordingly. In the event a person
presents a verifiable claim of ownership to a motor vehicle, he or
she shall be assessed all reasonable costs associated with the
removal and storage of the motor vehicle before it may be released
to him or her.
(b) The sheriff and project members shall take all necessary
steps to convert abandoned motor vehicles, that are appropriately
processed for disposal, to salvage, including any reusable parts,
or scrap metal with intrinsic value, and offer same for sale on the
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish county-wide
programs intended to remove abandoned and junked automobiles to be
chaired and implemented by the sheriff.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.