H. B. 3068
(By Delegates Staton, R. Thompson and Perdue)
[Passed March 7, 2003; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend and reenact section twenty-five, article
thirteen-a, chapter sixteen of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to
contracts for the provision of engineering, design or
feasibility studies by public service districts.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section twenty-five, article thirteen-a, chapter sixteen
of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one,
as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 13A. PUBLIC SERVICE DISTRICTS FOR WATER SEWERAGE AND GAS
§16-13A-25. Borrowing and bond issuance; procedure.
(a) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this article to
the contrary, a public service district may not borrow money, enter
into contracts for the provision of engineering, design or feasibility studies, issue or contract to issue revenue bonds or
exercise any of the powers conferred by the provisions of section
thirteen, twenty or twenty-four of this article, without the prior
consent and approval of the public service commission.
(b) The public service commission may waive the provision of
prior consent and approval for entering into contracts for
engineering, design or feasibility studies pursuant to this section
for good cause shown which is evidenced by the public service
district filing a request for waiver of this section stated in a
letter directed to the commission with a brief description of the
project, a verified statement by the board members that the public
service district has complied with chapter five-g of this code, and
further explanation of ability to evaluate their own engineering
contract, including, but not limited to: (1) Experience with the
same engineering firm; or (2) completion of a construction project
requiring engineering services. The district shall also forward an
executed copy of the engineering contract to the commission after
receiving approval of the waiver.
(c) An engineering contract that meets one or more of the
following criteria is exempt from the waiver or approval
(1) A contract with a public service district that is a Class
A utility on the first day of April, two thousand three, or
subsequently becomes a Class A utility as defined by commission rule;
(2) A contract with a public service district that does not
require borrowing and that can be paid out of existing rates;
(3) A contract where the payment of engineering fees are
contingent upon the receipt of funding, and commission approval of
the funding, to construct the project which is the subject of the
(4) A contract that does not exceed fifteen thousand dollars.
(d) Requests for approval or waivers of engineering contracts
shall be deemed granted thirty days after the filing date unless
the staff of the public service commission or a party files an
objection to the request. If an objection is filed, the public
service commission shall issue its decision within one hundred
twenty days of the filing date. In the event objection is received
to a request for a waiver, the application shall be considered a
request for waiver as well as a request for approval in the event
a waiver is not appropriate.
(e) Unless the properties to be constructed or acquired
represent ordinary extensions or repairs of existing systems in the
usual course of business, a public service district must first
obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the
public service commission in accordance with the provisions of
chapter twenty-four of this code, when a public service district is
seeking to acquire or construct public service property.
Thirty days prior to making formal application for the
certificate, the public service district shall prefile with the
public service commission its plans and supporting information for
the project in a manner prescribed by public service commission
rules and regulations.