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SB427 SUB1 Senate Bill 427 History

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SB427 SUB1 SB427 SUB1
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE

FOR

Senate Bill No. 427

(By Senators Tomblin (Mr. President) and Caruth,

By Request of the Executive)

____________

[Originating in the Committee on Government Organization;

reported February 25, 2010.]

____________


A BILL to amend and reenact §17-16A-3, §17-16A-5, §17-16A-6, §17-16A-10, §17-16A-11, §17-16A-13a, §17-16A-19, §17-16A-26 and §17-16A-29 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to the West Virginia Parkways, Economic Development and Tourism Authority; renaming the West Virginia Parkways, Economic Development and Tourism Authority; reorganizing the membership of the authority; redefining terms; authorizing issuance of revenue bonds for parkway projects; prohibiting the authority from constructing new tourism projects or new economic development projects; clarifying certain powers of the authority relating to parkway projects, tourism projects and economic development projects; clarifying certain powers of the Department of Transportation with respect to parkway projects; clarifying the power of the authority to reimburse the Department of Transportation for costs associated with parkway projects; clarifying certain powers of the authority with respect to real and personal property; clarifying the powers of the authority to fix and revise tolls for transit over certain parkway projects; requiring notice and public hearings prior to fixing initial rates or tolls on parkway projects; requiring an annual legislative audit of the Parkways Authority; requiring the Parkways Authority to provide certain information; and requiring a discount program for purchasers of EZ Pass transponders prior to fixing initial rates or tolls on parkway projects.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §17-16A-3, §17-16A-5, §17-16A-6, §17-16A-10, §17-16A-11, §17-16A-13a, §17-16A-19, §17-16A-26 and §17-16A-29 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 16A. WEST VIRGINIA PARKWAYS AUTHORITY.
§17-16A-3. West Virginia Parkways Authority.
(a) The West Virginia Parkways, Economic Development and Tourism Authority is continued as an agency of the state, and commencing July 1, 2010, it shall be known as the West Virginia Parkways Authority. Any reference to the West Virginia Parkways, Economic Development and Tourism Authority within this code shall mean the West Virginia Parkways Authority.
(b) To be effective on July 1, 2010, the Governor shall appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate:
(1) A public member representing the first congressional district for a term of five years;
(2) A public member representing the first congressional district for a term of four years; and
(3) A public member representing the second congressional district for a term of five years to replace the public member's term that expires in 2010.
(c) The public member representing the second congressional district whose term expires in 2011 may be reappointed for a term of five years.
(d) To be effective on July 1, 2014, the Governor shall appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, an at- large public member for a term of five years to replace the public member's term that expires in 2014.
(e) Commencing July 1, 2014, the Authority shall consist of the following nine members:
(1) The Governor or a designee;
(2) The Secretary of the Department of Transportation or a designee;
(3) Two public members representing the first congressional district;
(4) Two public members representing the second congressional district;
(5) Two public members representing the third congressional district; and
(6) One at-large public member.
(f) After the initial appointment term, the term for the public members shall be five years. All public members' appointments shall be made by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
(g) A public member may not serve more than two consecutive full terms. A public member may continue to serve until a successor has been appointed and has qualified.
(h) Each public member shall be a resident of this state during the appointment term and shall have been a qualified elector for a period of at least one year next preceding the appointment. (i) A vacancy on the Authority shall be filled by appointment by the Governor for the unexpired term of the public member whose office is vacant and the appointment shall be made within sixty days of the vacancy.
(j) The Governor may remove any public member from the Authority for neglect of duty, incompetency or official misconduct.
(k) A public member immediately and automatically forfeits membership to the Authority if he or she is convicted of a felony under the laws of any jurisdiction, or becomes a nonresident of this state.
(l) The Governor or designee shall serve as chair of the Authority. The Authority shall annually elect one of the public members as vice chair, and shall also elect a secretary and treasurer who need not be members of the Authority.
(m) The Governor shall appoint an Executive Director of the Authority, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Executive Director serves at the will and pleasure of the Governor. The Executive Director is responsible for managing and administering the daily functions of the Authority and performing all other functions necessary to the effective operation of the Authority. The compensation of the Executive Director is annually set by the Governor.
(n) The public members of the Authority are not entitled to compensation for their services, but shall be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred in the performance of their duties in a manner consistent with guidelines of the Travel Management Office of the Department of Administration.
(o) Five members of the Authority constitutes a quorum and the vote of a majority of members present shall be necessary for any action taken by the Authority. No vacancy in the membership of the Authority shall impair the right of a quorum to exercise all the rights and perform all the duties of the Authority.
(p) The Authority shall meet at least monthly. The chair or any five members of the Authority may call a special meeting: Provided, That notice shall be given to all members of the Authority not less than ten days prior to any special meeting.
(q) Prior to commencing his or her duties as a member of the Authority, each public member shall take and subscribe to the oath required by section five, article IV of the Constitution of this state.
(r) Before the issuance of any revenue bonds or revenue refunding bonds under the provisions of this article, each public member of the Authority shall execute a surety bond in the penal sum of twenty-five thousand dollars. The secretary and treasurer of the Authority shall execute a surety bond in the penal sum of fifty thousand dollars. Each surety bond shall be conditioned upon the faithful performance of the duties of his or her office, shall be executed by a surety company authorized to transact business in West Virginia as a surety, shall be approved by the Governor and filed in the Office of the Secretary of State.
(s) All expenses incurred in carrying out the provisions of this article shall be paid solely from funds provided under this article and no liability or obligation shall be incurred by the Authority beyond the extent to which moneys shall have been provided under this article.
§17-16A-5. Definitions.
As used in this article, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings, unless the context shall indicate another or different meaning or intent:
(o) The word (a) "Cost" as applied to any project, including without limitation the West Virginia Turnpike in sections eleven and twenty-two of this article, embraces means the cost of construction, reconstruction, maintenance, improvement, repair and operation of the project, the cost of the acquisition of all land, rights-of-way, property, rights, easements and interests acquired by the Parkways Authority for such construction, reconstruction, maintenance, improvement and repair, the cost of all machinery, equipment, material and labor which are deemed essential thereto, the cost of improvements, the cost of financing charges, interest prior to and during construction and for one year after completion of construction, the cost of traffic estimates and of engineering, consultant, accounting, architects', trustees' and legal fees and expenses, plans, specifications, surveys, estimates of cost and of revenues, other costs and expenses necessary or incident to determining the feasibility or practicability of constructing any such project, administrative expenses and such other costs and expenses as may be necessary or incident to the construction of the project, the financing of such construction and the placing of the project in operation or to the operation of the project. Any obligation or expense hereafter incurred by the commissioner of the department of highways Department of Transportation with the approval of the Parkways Authority, regardless of whether the approval was authorized before or after the obligation or expense was incurred, for traffic surveys, borings, preparation of plans and specifications, and other engineering and consulting services in connection with the construction of a parkway project shall be regarded as a part of the cost of such project and shall may be reimbursed to the state out of the proceeds of parkway revenue bonds or revenue refunding bonds hereinafter authorized.
(b) "Department of Transportation" means the West Virginia Department of Transportation and each of its respective divisions and subordinate agencies, including, without limitation, the Division of Highways.
(d) The words (c) "Economic development project" mean means any land or water site, structure, facility or equipment which the Parkways Authority may at any time determine to acquire, create, develop, construct, reconstruct, improve or repair under the provisions of this article to promote the agricultural, economic or industrial development of the state, together with all property rights, easements and interests which may be acquired by the Parkways Authority for the development, construction or operation of such project.
(j) The word (d) "Expressway" means any road serving major intrastate and interstate travel, including federal interstate routes.
(l) The words (e) "Feeder roads" mean means any road serving community to community travel or collects and feeds traffic to an expressway or turnpike.
(m) The words (f) "Local service road" mean means any local arterialized and spur roads which provide land access and socioeconomic benefits to abutting properties.
(p) The word (g) "Owner" includes means all individuals, co- partnerships, associations or corporations having any title or interest in any property, rights, easements and interests authorized to be acquired by this article.
(n) The words (h) "Park and forest roads" mean means any road serving travel within state parks, state forests and public hunting and fishing areas.
(a) The words (i) "Parkways Authority" or "Authority" mean means the West Virginia Parkways Economic Development and Tourism Authority, created by section three of this article or if said the Parkways Authority shall be is abolished, the board, body, commission or authority succeeding to the principal functions thereof or to whom the powers given by this article to the Parkways Authority shall be given by law.
(b) The words (j) "Parkway project" mean means any expressway, turnpike, bridge, tunnel, trunkline, feeder road, state local service road or park and forest road, or any portion or portions of any expressway, turnpike, trunkline, feeder road, state local service road or park and forest road, whether contiguous or noncontiguous to the West Virginia Turnpike or to any such portion or portions, which the Parkways Authority may at any time determine to acquire, construct, reconstruct, maintain, operate, improve or repair under the provisions of this article, which shall include for all purposes of this article, any acquisition, construction, reconstruction, maintenance, operation, improvement or repair that the authority may undertake by agreement with the Department of Transportation, or any expressway, turnpike or other road constructed by the West Virginia Turnpike Commission pursuant to the authority granted to it under the laws of this state prior to June 1, 1989, and shall embrace all bridges, tunnels, overpasses, underpasses, interchanges, entrance plazas, approaches, toll houses, service stations and administration, storage and other buildings, which the Parkways Authority may deem necessary for the operation of the parkway project, or which is used in the operation of a parkway project constructed prior to June 1, 1989, together with all property, rights, easements and interests which may be acquired by the Parkways Authority for the construction or the operation of the parkway project or which were acquired in connection with or are used in the operation of a parkway project constructed prior to June 1, 1989.
(e) The words (k) "Project" or "projects" mean means a parkway project, economic development project or tourism project, or any combination thereof.
(f) The words (l) "Transportation secretary" mean means the Secretary of the State Department of Transportation.
(c) The words (m) "Tourism project" mean means:
(i) (1) Any park or tourist facility and attraction which the Parkways Authority may at any time determine to create, develop, construct, reconstruct, improve, maintain or repair under the provisions of this article, and shall embrace include all roads, interchanges, entrance plazas, approaches, service stations, administration, storage and any other buildings or service stations, structures which the Parkways Authority may deem necessary for the operation of the tourism project, together with all property rights, easements and interests which may be acquired by the Parkways Authority for the construction or operation of the tourism project; and
(ii) (2) The construction, reconstruction, improvement, maintenance and repair of any park or tourist facility and attraction owned by the state as of June 1, 1989.
(h) The words (n) "Tourist facility and attraction" mean cabins, lodges, recreational facilities, restaurants, and other revenue producing facilities, any land or water site, and any information center, visitors' center or rest stop which the Parkways Authority determines may improve, enhance or contribute to the development of the tourism industry in the state.
(k) The word (o) "Trunkline" means any road serving major city to city travel.
(i) The word (p) "Turnpike" means the West Virginia Turnpike or any other toll road in the state.
(g) The words (q) "West Virginia Turnpike Commission" mean means the State Turnpike Commission existing as of June 1, 1989.
(q) The words (r) "West Virginia Turnpike" mean means the turnpike from Charleston to a point approximately one mile south of the intersection of Interstate 77 and U.S. Route 460 near Princeton in Mercer County, West Virginia, which road is presently a part of the federal interstate highway system.
§17-16A-6. Parkways Authority's powers.
(a) The Parkways Authority is hereby authorized and empowered:

(1) To adopt bylaws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business;
(2) To adopt an official seal and alter the same at pleasure;
(3) To maintain an office at such place or places within the state as it may designate;
(4) To sue and be sued in its own name, plead and be impleaded. Any and all actions against the Parkways Authority shall be brought only in the county in which the principal office of the Parkways Authority shall be is located;
(5) To construct, reconstruct, improve, maintain, repair and operate projects, at such locations within the state as may be determined by the Parkways Authority: Provided, That the Parkways Authority shall be prohibited from constructing motels or any other type of lodging facility within five miles of the West Virginia Turnpike Provided, That after July 1, 2010, the Parkways Authority is prohibited from constructing new tourism projects or new economic development projects, but this prohibition shall not prevent the Authority from entering into lease agreements, development agreements or other agreements with private businesses or companies allowing and providing for such private businesses or companies to acquire, develop, construct and operate motels, lodging facilities or other businesses and business facilities on land owned by the Authority and located adjacent to the Tamarack project and facilities at Exit 45 of the West Virginia Turnpike;
(6) To issue parkway revenue bonds of the State of West Virginia, payable solely from revenues, for the purpose of paying all or any part of the cost of any one or more parkway projects, which costs may include, with respect to the West Virginia Turnpike, such funds as are necessary to repay to the State of West Virginia all or any part of the state funds used to upgrade the West Virginia Turnpike to federal interstate standards; Provided, That upon the effective date of the amendments to this section enacted during the regular session of the Legislature in two thousand six, the authorization to issue bonds pursuant to this subsection is limited to that of refunding bonds pursuant to subdivision seven of this subsection
(7) To issue parkway revenue refunding bonds of the State of West Virginia, payable solely from revenues, for any one or more of the following purposes:
(i) (A) Refunding any bonds which shall have been issued under the provisions of this article or any predecessor thereof; and
(ii) (B) Repaying to the state all or any part of the state funds used to upgrade the West Virginia Turnpike to federal interstate standards;
(8) To fix and revise, from time to time, tolls for transit over each parkway project constructed or improved by it, by the Department of Transportation, or by the West Virginia Turnpike Commission;
(9) To fix and revise, from time to time, rents, fees or other charges, of whatever kind or character, for the use of each tourism project or economic development project constructed by it or for the use of any building, structure or facility constructed by it in connection with a parkway project;
(10) To acquire, hold, lease and dispose of real and personal property in the exercise of its powers and the performance of its duties under this article; Provided, That the authority may not finance any transaction to acquire, hold or lease real property
(11) To acquire in the name of the state by purchase or otherwise, on such terms and conditions and in such manner as it may deem proper, or by the exercise of the right of condemnation in the manner hereinafter provided, such public or private lands, including public parks, playgrounds or reservations, or parts thereof or rights therein, rights-of-way, property, rights, easements and interests, as it may deem necessary for carrying out the provisions of this article. Provided, That the authority may not finance any transaction to acquire real property No compensation shall be paid for public lands, playgrounds, parks, parkways or reservations so taken, and all public property damaged in carrying out the powers granted by this article shall be restored or repaired and placed in its original condition as nearly as practicable;
(12) To designate the locations, and establish, limit and control such points of ingress to and egress from each project as may be necessary or desirable in the judgment of the Parkways Authority to ensure the proper operation and maintenance of such project, and to prohibit entrance to such project from any point or points not so designated;
(13) To make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and the execution of its powers under this article, and to employ consulting engineers, attorneys, accountants, architects, construction and financial experts, trustees, superintendents, managers and such other employees and agents as may be necessary in its judgment, and to fix their compensation. All such expenses shall be payable solely from the proceeds of parkway revenue bonds or parkway revenue refunding bonds issued under the provisions of this article, tolls or from revenues;
(14) To make and enter into all contracts, agreements or other arrangements with any agency, department, division, board, bureau, commission, authority or other governmental unit of the state to operate, maintain, or repair any project;
(15) To receive and accept from any federal agency grants for or in aid of the construction of any project, and to receive and accept aid or contributions from any source of either money, property, labor or other things of value, to be held, used and applied only for the purposes for which such grants and contributions may be made;
(16) To do all acts and things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers expressly granted in this article; and
(17) To file the necessary petition or petitions pursuant to Title 11, United States Code, Sec. 401 (being section 81 of the Act of Congress entitled "An act to establish a uniform system of bankruptcy throughout the United States", approved July 1, 1898, as amended) and to prosecute to completion all proceedings permitted by Title 11, United States Code, Secs. 401-403 (being sections 81 to 83, inclusive, of said Act of Congress). The State of West Virginia hereby consents to the application of said Title 11, United States Code, Secs. 401-403, to the Parkways Authority.
(b) Nothing in this article shall be construed to prohibit the issuance of parkway revenue refunding bonds in a common plan of financing with the issuance of parkway revenue bonds. Provided, That upon the effective date of the amendments to this section enacted during the regular session of the Legislature in two thousand six, the authorization to issue bonds pursuant to this subsection is limited to that of refunding bonds pursuant to sections twenty-one and twenty-two of this article
§17-16A-10. Parkway revenue bonds generally.
(a) The Parkways Authority is authorized to provide by resolution for the issuance of parkway revenue bonds of the state for the purpose of paying all or any part of the cost of one or more parkway projects: Provided, That this section shall not be construed as authorizing the issuance of parkway revenue bonds for the purpose of paying the cost of the West Virginia Turnpike, which parkway revenue bonds may be issued only as authorized under section eleven of this article. The principal of and the interest on bonds shall be payable solely from the funds provided for payment.
(b) The bonds of each issue shall be dated, shall bear interest at a rate as may be determined by the Parkways Authority in its sole discretion, shall mature at a time not exceeding forty years from their date or of issue as may be determined by the Parkways Authority, and may be made redeemable before maturity, at the option of the Parkways Authority at a price and under the terms and conditions as may be fixed by the Parkways Authority prior to the issuance of the bonds.
(c) The Parkways Authority shall determine the form of the bonds, including any interest coupons to be attached thereto, and shall fix the denomination of the bonds and the place of payment of principal and interest, which may be at any bank or trust company within or without the state.
(d) The bonds shall be executed by manual or facsimile signature by the chair of the Parkways Authority, and the official seal of the Parkways Authority shall be affixed to or printed on each bond, and attested, manually or by facsimile signature, by the secretary and treasurer of the Parkways Authority. Any coupons attached to any bond shall bear the manual or facsimile signature of the chair of the Parkways Authority.
(e) In case any officer whose signature or a facsimile of whose signature appears on any bonds or coupons shall cease to be an officer before the delivery of the bonds, the signature or facsimile shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes the same as if he had remained in office until delivery. In case the seal of the Parkways Authority has been changed after a facsimile has been imprinted on the bonds, then the facsimile seal will continue to be sufficient for all purposes.
(f) All bonds issued under the provisions of this article shall have all the qualities and incidents of negotiable instruments under the negotiable instruments law of the state. The bonds may be issued in coupon or in registered form, or both, as the Parkways Authority may determine, and provision may be made for the registration of any coupon bonds as to principal alone and also as to both principal and interest, and for the recorders into coupon bonds of any bonds registered as to both principal and interest.
(g) The Parkways Authority may sell the bonds at a public or private sale at a price it determines to be in the best interests of the state.
(h) The proceeds of the bonds of each issue shall be used solely for the payment of the cost of the parkway project or parkway projects for which the bonds were issued, and shall be disbursed in a manner consistent with the resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds or in the trust agreement securing the bonds.
(i) If the proceeds of the bonds of any issue, by error of estimates or otherwise, shall be less than the cost, then additional bonds may in like manner be issued to provide the amount of the deficit. Unless otherwise provided in the resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds or in the trust agreement securing the bonds, the additional bonds shall be deemed to be of the same issue and shall be entitled to payment from the same fund without preference or priority of the bonds first issued.
(j) If the proceeds of the bonds of any issue exceed the cost of the parkway project or parkway projects for which the bonds were issued, then the surplus shall be deposited to the credit of the sinking fund for the bonds.
(k) Prior to the preparation of definitive bonds, the Parkways Authority may, under like restrictions, issue interim receipts or temporary bonds, with or without coupons, exchangeable for definitive bonds when the bonds have been executed and are available for delivery. The Parkways Authority may also provide for the replacement of any bonds that become mutilated or are destroyed or lost.
(l) Bonds may be issued under the provisions of this article without obtaining the consent of any department, division, commission, board, bureau or agency of the state in accordance with this article: Provided, That the Parkways Authority shall comply with the provisions of section twenty-eight, article one, chapter five of this code.
(m) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, the authority may not issue parkway revenue bonds after the effective date of the amendments to this section enacted in the regular session of the Legislature in two thousand six: Provided, That the authority may issue revenue refunding bonds pursuant to sections twenty-one and twenty-two of this article for parkway revenue bonds previously issued prior to the effective date of the amendments to this section enacted in the regular session of the Legislature in two thousand six.
§17-16A-11. Parkway revenue bonds -- West Virginia Turnpike; related projects.

(a) The Parkways Authority is authorized to provide by resolution, at one time or from time to time, for the issuance of parkway revenue bonds of the state in an aggregate outstanding principal amount not to exceed, from time to time, $200 million for the purpose of paying:
(i) (1) All or any part of the cost of the West Virginia Turnpike, which may include, but not be limited to, an amount equal to the state funds used to upgrade the West Virginia Turnpike to federal interstate standards;
(ii) (2) All or any part of the cost of any one or more parkway projects that involve improvements to or enhancements of the West Virginia Turnpike, including, without limitation, lane-widening on the West Virginia Turnpike and that are or have been recommended by the Parkways Authority's traffic engineers or consulting engineers or by both of them prior to the issuance of parkway revenue bonds for the project or projects; and
(iii) (3) To the extent permitted by federal law, all or any part of the cost of any related parkway project.
(b) For purposes of this section only, a "related parkway project" means any information center, visitors' center or rest stop, or any combination thereof, and any expressway, turnpike, trunkline, feeder road, state local service road or park and forest road which connects to or intersects with the West Virginia Turnpike and is located within seventy-five miles of the turnpike as it exists existed on June 1, 1989, or any subsequent expressway, trunkline, feeder road, state local service road or park and forest road constructed pursuant to this article: Provided, That nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the Parkways Authority from issuing parkway revenue bonds pursuant to section ten of this article for the purpose of paying all or any part of the cost of any related parkway project: Provided, however, That none of the proceeds of the issuance of parkway revenue bonds under this section shall be used to pay all or any part of the cost of any economic development project, except as provided in section twenty- three of this article: Provided further, That nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the Parkways Authority from issuing additional parkway revenue bonds to the extent permitted by applicable federal law for the purpose of constructing, maintaining and operating any highway constructed, in whole or in part, with money obtained from the Appalachian Regional Commission as long as the highway connects to the West Virginia Turnpike as it existed as of on June 1, 1989: And provided further, That, for purposes of this section, in determining the amount of bonds outstanding, from time to time, within the meaning of this section: Original par amount or original stated principal amount at the time of issuance of bonds shall be used to determine the principal amount of bonds outstanding, except that the amount of parkway revenue bonds outstanding under this section may not include any bonds that have been retired through payment, defeased through the deposit of funds irrevocably set aside for payment or otherwise refunded so that they are no longer secured by toll revenues of the West Virginia Turnpike: And provided further, That the authorization to issue bonds under this section is in addition to the authorization and power to issue bonds under any other section of this code: And provided further, That, without limitation of the authorized purposes for which parkway revenue bonds are otherwise permitted to be issued under this section, and without increasing the maximum principal par amount of parkway revenue bonds permitted to be outstanding, from time to time, under this section, the Authority is specifically authorized by this section to issue, at one time or from time to time, by resolution or resolutions under this section, parkway revenue bonds under this section for the purpose of paying all or any part of the cost of one or more parkway projects that:
(i) (1) Consist of enhancements or improvements to the West Virginia Turnpike, including, without limitation, projects involving lane widening, resurfacing, surface replacement, bridge replacement, bridge improvements and enhancements, other bridge work, drainage system improvements and enhancements, drainage system replacements, safety improvements and enhancements, and traffic flow improvements and enhancements; and
(ii) (2) Have been recommended by the Authority's consulting engineers or traffic engineers, or both, prior to the issuance of the bonds.
(c) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this section, the issuance of parkway revenue bonds pursuant to this section, the maturities and other details of the bonds, the rights of the holders of the bonds, and the rights, duties and obligations of the Parkways Authority in respect of the bonds shall be governed by the provisions of this article insofar as the provisions are applicable.
(b) (d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, the Authority may not issue parkway revenue bonds after the effective date of the amendments to this section enacted in the regular session of the Legislature in 2006 under this section for projects on the West Virginia Turnpike after June 30, 2010: Provided, That the authority may issue revenue refunding bonds pursuant to sections twenty-one and twenty-two of this article. for parkway revenue bonds previously issued prior to the effective date of the amendments to this section enacted during the regular session of the Legislature in two thousand six
§17-16A-13a. Public notice and hearing requirements.
(a) Notwithstanding any provision of the law to the contrary, on and after July 1, 2006, unless 2010, the Parkways Authority satisfies the is authorized after prior public notice and hearing, requirements as set forth in this section, it may not to:
(1) Fix initial rates, tolls or charges along any portion of a parkway project, or approve any proposal or contract that would require the Parkways Authority to fix any initial rates, tolls or charges along any portion of a parkway project;
(1) (2) Increase any rates, tolls or charges along any portion of the parkway project, or approve any proposal or contract that would result in or require an increase in any rates or tolls along any portion of the parkway project;
(2) (3) Issue any refunding bond pursuant to sections twenty-one and twenty-two of this article which would require the Parkways Authority to increase rates, tolls or charges;
(3) (4) Approve any contract or project which would require or result in an increase in the rates, tolls or charges along any portion of the parkway project; or
(4) (5) Take any other action which would require or result in an increase in the rates, tolls or charges along any portion of the parkway project.
(b) The Parkways Authority shall publish notice of any proposed contract, project or bond which would result in or require an increase in the Parkways Authority to fix any initial toll rates or charges, result in an increase of any toll rates or charges or the extension of extend any bond repayment obligation, along with the associated initial rate, rate increase or revised bond repayment period, by a Class II legal advertisement in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, published and of general circulation in each county which borders the parkway project or proposed parkway project affected by the proposed contract, project or bond.
(c) Once notice has been provided in accordance with the provisions of this section, the Parkways Authority shall conduct a public hearing in each county which borders the parkway project or proposed parkway project affected by the proposed contract, project or bond, and any citizen may communicate by writing to the Parkways Authority his or her opposition to or approval of such proposal, or initial rate or toll, rate or toll increase or amended bond terms. The public notice and written public comment period shall be conducted not less than forty-five days from the publication of the notice and the affected public must be provided with at least twenty days' notice of each scheduled public hearing.
(d) All studies, records, documents and other materials which were considered by the Parkways Authority before recommending the approval of any such project or recommending the adoption of any such initial rate or increase shall be made available for public inspection for a period of at least twenty days prior to the scheduled hearing at a convenient location in each county where a public hearing shall be is held.
(e) At the conclusion of all required public hearings, the Parkways Authority shall render a final decision which shall include written findings of fact supporting its final decision on any proposed project which would result in or require initial rates, a rate increase, or prior to finally approving any proposed initial rate or toll or rate or toll increase, and such required findings and conclusions must reference and give due consideration to the public comments and additional evidence offered during the public hearings.
(f) On and after July 1, 2006 2010, any final action taken by the Parkways Authority to approve or implement any proposed initial rate, rate increase, contract or project which would require or result in a proposed initial rate or toll or a proposed increase of any rate or tolls along any portion of the parkway project without first satisfying the public notice and hearing requirements of this section, shall be null and void.
§17-16A-19. Preliminary expenses.
(a) The commissioner of the state department of highways Secretary of the Department of Transportation is hereby authorized in his or her discretion to expend out of any funds available for the purpose, such moneys as may be necessary for the study of any parkway, economic development or tourism project or projects and to use the department of highway's Department of Transportation's engineering and other forces, including consulting engineers and traffic engineers, for the purpose of effecting such study and to pay for such additional engineering and traffic and other expert studies as he or she may deem expedient. and
(b) All such expenses incurred by the state department of highways Department of Transportation prior to the issuance of parkway revenue bonds or revenue refunding bonds under the provisions of this article shall be paid by the state department of highways Department of Transportation and charged to the appropriate project or projects, and the state department of highways Department of Transportation shall keep proper records and accounts showing each amount so charged.
(c) Upon the sale of parkway revenue bonds or revenue refunding bonds for any project or projects, the funds so expended by the state department of highways Department of Transportation in connection with such project or projects shall may be reimbursed to the state department of highways Department of Transportation from the proceeds of such bonds.
§17-16A-26. Annual report; audit.
(a) Annually, the Parkways Authority shall prepare on an annual basis and provide to each member of the West Virginia Legislature who so requests, an annual report detailing the financial condition and operations of the Parkways Authority. The Parkways Authority shall provide to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance any financial statements as may be that are required under any trust agreement to which the Parkways Authority is a party.
(b) Annually, the Parkways Authority shall file with the Legislative Auditor's office a full and complete accounting of its activities, including the collection of all revenues, expenditures, liabilities, assets, bonds and disbursement of funds. The Legislative Auditor shall conduct an annual audit of the information provided by the Parkways Authority and the audit report of the Legislative Auditor shall be provided to each member of the Legislature requesting a copy.
§17-16A-29. Discount program for purchasers of West Virginia EZ Pass transponders.

(a) The Parkways Authority is hereby authorized to create a discount program for purchasers of West Virginia EZ Pass transponders: Provided, That prior to the fixation of any initial rates, tolls or charges or any increase in any rates, tolls or charges along any portion of the parkway project, the Parkways Authority shall create a discount program for purchasers of West Virginia EZ Pass transponders. Any discount program created pursuant to this section shall provide discounts for each class of motor vehicles.
(b) The Authority must shall provide public notice and hold public hearings on any proposed discount program as required in section thirteen-a of this article prior to implementation of such program.
(c) For purposes of this section, a "West Virginia EZ Pass transponder" means a device sold by the Parkways Authority which allows the purchaser to attach the device to his or her motor vehicle and travel through a Parkways toll facility and be billed for such travel by the Authority.
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