Senate Bill No. 543
(By Senators Laird, Browning, Miller, Green, Stollings and Chafin)
[Introduced February 8, 2012; referred to the Committee on Government Organization; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
A BILL authorizing a Prince Railroad Station Authority to acquire and maintain the railroad station building and the appurtenances thereto located in Prince, West Virginia; creating a public corporation; membership, terms and compensation of the board; powers; exemption from taxation; and dissolution of the authority.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
PRINCE RAILROAD STATION AUTHORITY.
§1. Legislative findings.
Since the railroad station located in Prince, West Virginia, will be the primary stop for Boy Scouts riding trains to attend the Bechtel Family Summit Scout Reserve in Fayette County, and since the railroad station located in Prince is a vital transportation facility for many residents in the area, and since the railroad station located in Prince has potential for passenger inter-modal operations, and since the railroad station located in Prince is rich in railroad history and has architectural significance, the Legislature finds that creating and empowering a statutory corporation to work with railroad officials to acquire, renovate and maintain the railroad station building and the appurtenances thereto located in Prince, West Virginia, would be in the public interest and would result in a better travel experience for all persons coming to and leaving southern West Virginia.
§2. Prince Railroad Station Authority authorized.
The Fayette County commission and the Raleigh County commission are hereby authorized to create and establish the Prince Railroad Station Authority for the purpose of acquiring, establishing, renovating, constructing, equipping, improving, financing, maintaining, operating and leasing the railroad station building and the appurtenances thereto located in Prince, West Virginia.
§3. The authority to be a public corporation.
The Prince Railroad Station Authority when created and established, and the members thereof, shall constitute a public corporation and as such, shall have perpetual succession, may contract and be contracted with, sue and be sued, and have and use a common seal.
§4. Appointment of board; terms.
(a) The authority shall be governed by a nine-member board which shall consist of the following members:
(1) A member of the Fayette County commission or a designee;
(2) A member of the Raleigh County commission or a designee;
(3) A member of the Southern West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau or a designee;
(4) A member of the State Rail Authority or a designee;
(5) A member of the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce or a designee;
(6) A member of the Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce or a designee;
(7) The director of the Historic Preservation Section of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History or a designee;
(8) One professional member of the Boy Scouts of America representing the Bechtel Family Summit Scout Reserve, appointed by the Fayette County commission; and
(9) One citizen member, appointed by the Raleigh County commission, who has a knowledge of and demonstrates an interest in passenger railroads and is from southern West Virginia.
(b) The initial appointment terms for the appointed members of the board shall be staggered. After the initial terms, the terms for the appointed members of the board shall be five years and they may be reappointed.
§5. Compensation of board members.
Each member of the board shall serve without compensation, but each member shall be entitled to reimbursement by the authority for all reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred in the performance of his or her duties as a board member.
§6. Board; quorum; bylaws.
(a) The board is the governing body of the authority and the board shall exercise all the powers given to the authority. The board shall meet at least quarterly and may meet on the call of the chairperson.
(b) A majority of the members of the board constitutes a quorum and a quorum must be present for the board to conduct business. Unless the bylaws require a larger number, action may be taken by majority vote of the members present.
(c) The board shall adopt bylaws and rules, as may be necessary for its operation and management, governing the manner in which the business of the authority is conducted and shall develop and approve an annual budget.
§7. Powers of the authority.
The authority shall have the following powers:
(1) To make and adopt all necessary bylaws and rules for its organization and operations not inconsistent with law;
(2) To elect its own officers, to appoint committees and to employ and fix the compensation for personnel necessary for its operation;
(3) To sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded and complain and defend in any court;
(4) To execute contracts with any person, firm, corporation or governmental agency;
(5) To obtain and maintain all necessary insurance;
(6) To insure that lessees maintain all necessary insurance;
(7) To delegate any authority given to it by law to any of its officers, committees, agents or employees;
(8) To purchase, acquire, own, hold, sell, convey, lease and dispose of property;
(9) To borrow money and execute negotiable notes and deeds of trust;
(10) To expend its funds in the execution of its powers;
(11) To apply for, accept, receive and use loans, grants, gifts, donations, contributions, technical assistance from any source;
(12) To insure that all applicable laws, rules and regulations are followed; and
(13) To do any and all things necessary or convenient for the purpose of acquiring, establishing, renovating, constructing, equipping, improving, financing, maintaining, operating and leasing the railroad station building and the appurtenances thereto located in Prince, West Virginia.
§8. Exemption from taxation.
The property, operations and activities of the authority are exempt from the payment of any taxes or fees to the state or any of its political subdivisions.
§9. Dissolution of authority.
When the railroad station building and the appurtenances thereto located in Prince, West Virginia, are no longer being used for the purpose of a railroad station, then the authority shall perform all its duties set out in the deed in which it acquired the railroad station building and the appurtenances thereto and also all the duties set out in the authority's bylaws to dispose of the railroad station building and the appurtenances thereto. At the conclusion of all of its duties, the authority shall dissolve.
NOTE: The purpose of this local bill is to authorize a Prince Railroad Station Authority to acquire and maintain the railroad station building and the appurtenances thereto located in Prince, West Virginia.