Other persons, firms, unincorporated associations, and corporations, who reside, maintain offices, or have economic interests, as the case may be, in the county, shall be eligible to participate in and request the county commission to appoint members to the development authority as the said authority shall by its bylaws provide.
In addition to the appointing agencies hereinbefore named, such other persons, firms, unincorporated associations, and corporations, who reside, maintain offices, or have economic interests, as the case may be, in the municipality, are eligible to participate in and request the governing body to appoint members to the development authority as the said authority by its bylaws provides.
(b) Any person employed by, owning an interest in, or otherwise associated with a public utility company as defined in section two, article one, chapter twenty-four of this code or bank as defined in section two, article one, chapter thirty-one-a of this code may serve as a board member and shall not be disqualified from serving as a board member because of conflict of interest as defined in section fifteen, article ten, chapter sixty-one of this code and shall not be subject to prosecution under the provisions of said section when the violation is created solely as a result of his or her relationship with the bank or public utility. This member must recuse himself or herself from board participation regarding the conflicting issue as provided for in section five of this article.
(b) Whenever a person associated with a public utility or bank as set out in section four of this article has a conflict of interest between the board and that public utility or bank, then he or she must recuse himself or herself from any vote, discussion or other activity associated with the board or its members that creates the conflict of interest.
(a) The development authority is hereby given power and authority as follows: (1) To make and adopt all necessary bylaws and rules for its organization and operations not inconsistent with laws; (2) to elect its own officers, to appoint committees and to employ and fix compensation for personnel necessary for its operation; (3) to enter into contracts with any person, agency, governmental department, firm or corporation, including both public and private corporations, and generally to do any and all things necessary or convenient for the purpose of promoting, developing and advancing the business prosperity and economic welfare of the county in which it is intended to operate, its citizens and industrial complex, including, without limiting any of the foregoing, the construction of any building or structure for lease to the federal government or any of its agencies or departments, and in connection therewith to prepare and submit bids and negotiate with the federal government or such agencies or departments in accordance with plans and specifications and in the manner and on the terms and conditions and subject to any requirements, regulations, rules and laws of the United States of America for the construction of said buildings or structures and the leasing thereof to the federal government or such agencies or departments; (4) to amend or supplement any contracts or leases or to enter into new, additional or further contracts or leases upon such terms and conditions, for such consideration and for such term of duration, with or without option of renewal, as may be agreed upon by the authority and such person, agency, governmental department, firm or corporation; (5) unless otherwise provided for in, and subject to the provisions of, such contracts, or leases, to operate, repair, manage and maintain such buildings and structures and provide adequate insurance of all types and in connection with the primary use thereof and incidental thereto to provide such services, such as barber shops, newsstands, drugstores and restaurants, and to effectuate such incidental purposes, grant leases, permits, concessions or other authorizations to any person or persons, upon such terms and conditions, for such consideration and for such term of duration as may be agreed upon by the authority and such person, agency, governmental department, firm or corporation; (6) to delegate any authority given to it by law to any of its officers, committees, agents or employees; (7) to apply for, receive and use grants-in-aid, donations and contributions from any source or sources and to accept and use bequests, devises, gifts and donations from any person, firm or corporation; (8) to acquire real property by gift, purchase or construction, or in any other lawful manner, and hold title thereto in its own name and to sell, lease or otherwise dispose of all or part of such real property which it may own, either by contract or at public auction, upon the approval by the board of directors of the development authority: Provided, That the funds received by the authority as a result of selling, leasing or otherwise disposing of all or part of such real property owned by the authority may be invested by the authority in a manner determined by the authority's board of directors to be in the best interest of the authority under an investment policy adopted and maintained by the board that is consistent with the standards of the Uniform Prudent Investor Act set forth in article six-c, chapter forty-four of this code: Provided, however, That for short-term investments the board of directors shall consult with the State Treasurer prior to investing funds; for long-term investments, the board shall consult with the Investment Management Board and compare the rate of return on investment for the previous three years and compare the expense loads for the past three years; if the comparison for the Investment Management Board is more favorable, the Board must invest the funds with the Investment Management Board; (9) to purchase or otherwise acquire, own, hold, sell, lease and dispose of all or part of any personal property which it may own, either by contract or at public auction: Provided further, That the funds received by the authority as a result of selling, leasing or otherwise disposing of all or part of such personal property owned by the authority may be invested by the authority in a manner determined by the authority's board of directors to be in the best interest of the authority under an investment policy adopted and maintained by the board that is consistent with the standards of the Uniform Prudent Investor Act set forth in article six-c, chapter forty-four of this code: And provided further, That for short-term investments the board of directors shall consult with the State Treasurer prior to investing funds; for long-term investments, the board shall consult with the Investment Management Board and compare the rate of return on investment for the previous three years and compare the expense loads for the past three years; if the comparison for the Investment Management Board is more favorable, the board must invest the funds with the Investment Management Board; (10) pursuant to a determination by the board that there exists a continuing need for programs to alleviate and prevent unemployment within the county in which the authority is intended to operate or aid in the rehabilitation of areas in said county which are underdeveloped, decaying or otherwise economically depressed and that moneys or funds of the authority are necessary therefor, to borrow money and execute and deliver the authority's negotiable notes, mortgage bonds, other bonds, debentures and other evidences of indebtedness therefor, on such terms as the authority shall determine and give such security therefor as shall be requisite, including giving a mortgage or deed of trust on its real or personal property and facilities in connection with the issuance of mortgage bonds; (11) to raise funds by the issuance and sale of revenue bonds in the manner provided by the applicable provisions of article sixteen, chapter eight of this code, it being hereby expressly provided that a development authority created under this article is a governing body within the definition of that term as used in article sixteen, chapter eight of this code; and (12) to expend its funds in the execution of the powers and authority herein given, which expenditures, by the means authorized herein, are hereby determined and declared as a matter of legislative finding to be for a public purpose and use, in the public interest, and for the general welfare of the people of West Virginia, to alleviate and prevent economic deterioration and to relieve the existing critical condition of unemployment existing within the state.
(b) The amendment of this section enacted in the year 1998 is intended to clarify the intent of the Legislature as to the manner in which an authority may sell, lease or otherwise dispose of real and personal property owned by an authority and shall be retroactive to the date of the prior enactment of this section.
(c) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, any development authority participating in the Appalachian Region Interstate Compact pursuant to chapter seven-a of this code may agree to a revenue and economic growth-sharing arrangement with respect to tax revenues and other income and revenues generated by any facility owned by an authority. Any development authority or member locality may be located in any jurisdiction participating in the Appalachian Region Interstate Compact or a similar agreement for interstate cooperation for economic and workforce development authorized by law. The obligations of the parties to any such agreement shall not be debt within the meaning of section eight, article X of the Constitution of West Virginia. Any such agreement shall be approved by a majority vote of the governing bodies of the member localities reaching such an agreement but does not require any other approval.
(d) "Member localities" means the counties, municipalities or combination thereof which are members of an authority.
(b) Any county development authority heretofore or hereafter created by a county commission pursuant to the authority of this article is hereby authorized and empowered to exercise the right of eminent domain if an order of such county commission authorizing exercise of the right of eminent domain as to any proposed acquisition is first made and entered and at least three fourths of the entire tract has either been purchased, optioned, or is under contract to be purchased: Provided, That prior to the issuance of the order by the county commission, it shall hold a public hearing on the public necessity of the exercise of eminent domain and shall cause a Class II legal advertisement to be published in accordance with the provisions of section two, article three, chapter fifty-nine, prior to the hearing: Provided, however, That a separate hearing must be held and a separate order promulgated for each parcel over which the authority wishes to exercise the power of eminent domain: Provided further, That the right of eminent domain shall not be exercised to acquire real property which exceeds one fourth of any land development site proposed by the county development authority, and the aforesaid order of a county commission shall specifically state the anticipated size of the entire site with respect to which the exercise by a county development authority of the right of eminent domain is authorized.
(b) Any three or more county development authorities may contract to share expenses for and revenues derived from joint economic development projects within their respective geographic territories. Notwithstanding any other section of the code to the contrary, county development authorities may contract to distribute on a pro rata basis proceeds derived from joint economic development projects.
(c) Each county development authority participating in a joint economic development project contract must contribute at least fifteen thousand dollars in cash to the project.
(d) In the event that a county development authority desires to withdraw from participation, then the remaining participants may jointly choose a successor. No withdrawing county development authority shall be entitled to the return of any money or property advanced to the project, unless specifically provided for in the contract.
(e) In the event that a joint economic development project is terminated, all funds, property and other assets shall be returned to the county development authorities in the same proportion as contributions of funds, property and other assets were made by the county development authorities.
(f) A grant, which may not exceed one hundred thousand dollars, may be made by the West Virginia development office to any county economic development authority which enters into such contracts.
(b) Any combination of two or more county governing bodies, municipal governing bodies, municipal development authorities or county development authorities may jointly form and hold all of the partnership, ownership or membership interests in a partnership, corporation or limited liability company, the sole purpose of which is to develop and own one or more joint economic development projects (for purposes of this section, a "joint development entity"). No person or entity other than a county governing body, municipal governing body, municipal development authority or county development authority may own any ownership or membership interest in a joint development entity. Any existing partnership, corporation or limited liability company is a joint development entity on and after the effective date of this section if: (i) It was organized for the purposes described in this subsection prior to the effective date of this section; and (ii) the partnership, ownership or membership interests in it meet the requirements of this subsection on and after the effective date of this section.
(c) To the extent consistent with and not prohibited by or in conflict with the restrictions and limitations on, or the rights and attributes of, a joint development entity set forth in this section, the applicable general law governing partnerships, corporations or limited liability companies govern the organization, existence, duration, powers, governance and dissolution of a joint development entity and the rights and responsibilities of the partners, owners or members of a joint development entity.
(d) A joint development entity is a public corporation and a political subdivision and instrumentality of its partners, owners or members and has the powers, rights and privileges of an authority set forth in sections seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve and fourteen of this article in addition to those granted to partnerships, corporations and limited liability companies under applicable general law.
(e) For West Virginia tax purposes, a joint development entity is a political subdivision of the State of West Virginia and is exempt from all state and local taxation and all real and personal property owned by a joint development entity, or which the joint development entity may acquire to be leased, sold or otherwise disposed of, is exempt from taxation by the state or any county, municipality or other levying body as public property.
The county commission of the county or municipal corporations therein are hereby authorized and empowered to transfer and convey to the said authority property of any kind acquired by said county commission or municipal corporation for or adaptable to use in industrial, economic and recreational development, such transfers or conveyances to be without consideration or for such price and upon such terms and conditions as the said county commission or municipal corporation deems proper.
The amendment of this section in the year one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight, is intended to clarify the intent of the Legislature as to the manner in which an authority may sell, lease or otherwise dispose of real and personal property owned by an authority, and shall be retroactive to the date of the prior enactment of this section.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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