(a) The governing body of any county or municipality, on its own motion or upon the receipt of a petition signed by at least twenty-five percent of the total number of persons owning property located within the boundaries of an area described in the petition, by metes and bounds or otherwise in a manner sufficient to describe the area, and which requests that the area be constituted as an assessment district in accordance with this article, may authorize and cause at any time, or from time to time, a study to be prepared to determine the necessity and economic feasibility of creating an assessment district for such area and of developing, constructing, extending or improving a project within such proposed assessment district. All such studies shall be prepared or reviewed under the supervision of a professional engineer or such other person or governmental agency charged by the governing body to prepare or review the study. The study shall describe the boundaries of the proposed assessment district and the nature of the project proposed therefore; list the names and address of all owner of property located within the proposed assessment district; set forth the necessity and economic feasibility of the project and the findings in support of such determinations; and also include plans, drawings and specifications with respect to the project, an estimate of the cost of the project and the amount of the assessments required to be levied against each lot or parcel of land located within the assessment district to pay for the cost of the project. The estimate shall specify the interest rate used in the calculation of the assessments and such other data as may be necessary for owners of property within the proposed assessment district to estimate the proportionate part of the cost of the project that may be assessed against their property.
(b) In the case of an assessment district created, in whole or in part, to construct a wastewater or water project, the study shall also identify the utility or governmental agency operating the wastewater or water facility, as the case may be, which would serve the assessment district upon completion of the project, and confirm that such wastewater or water facility has the capacity to serve the proposed project.
(c) In the case of an assessment district created, in whole or in part, to construct a flood relief project as defined in subparagraph (1) or (2), subsection (g), section two of this article, the study shall also set forth the minimum number of property owners who must elect to have the cost of the proposed project assessed against their property for the project to be economically feasible, and an estimate of the assessments which may be levied against the property owned by such persons if only the minimum number of property owners elect to have the project completed.
(d) After reviewing the study prepared pursuant to this section and considering alternative methods of financing the proposed project, the governing body may by order or ordinance determine the necessity and economic feasibility of creating an assessment district and developing, constructing, improving or extending a project therein. If the governing body determines that the creation of an assessment district and construction of the project is necessary and economically feasible, it shall set a date for the public meeting required under section five of this article and shall cause the study to be filed with the clerk of the county commission or the recorder of the municipality, as the case may be, and with the executive secretary of the public service commission, and made available for inspection by interested persons before the hearing.
(e) In determining the necessity and economic feasibility of an assessment district and the construction of a project, the governing body may rely, in whole or in part, on studies or reports prepared by or for any other governmental agency.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session