§8-12-17. Sale or lease of municipal public utility.
In any case where a municipality shall own a gas system, an electric system, a waterworks or other public utility, and the governing body thereof shall deem it for the best interest of such municipality that such utility be sold or leased, the governing body shall, by ordinance legally adopted, submit to the qualified voters of such municipality, at any regular municipal election or at any special municipal election called for that purpose, the question of making or effecting such sale or lease. In such case the governing body shall, in the ordinance submitting such question to a vote, set forth in full the terms of such proposed sale or lease, the name of the proposed purchaser or lessee and the date of such election, and a notice containing this information shall be published as a Class II-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be such municipality. Such election shall be held in all respects in compliance with the provisions of chapter three of this code, so far as the same are applicable and not inconsistent herewith, and the provisions of article five of this chapter. If a majority of the legal votes cast at such election upon such question be in favor of the proposed sale or lease of such utility, the governing body, upon the ascertainment of the result of such election, shall have full power and authority to proceed to execute or effect such sale or lease in accordance with the terms and conditions prescribed in the ordinance as aforesaid, and shall have power to do any and all things necessary or incident thereto: Provided, That if at any time after such election and before the execution of the authority under the ordinance, any person should present to the governing body an offer to buy such public utility at a price which exceeds by at least five percent the sale price which shall have been so voted upon and authorized or to lease the same upon terms which the governing body, in its discretion, shall consider more advantageous to the municipality than the terms of the lease which shall have been authorized by vote as aforesaid, the governing body shall have the power to accept such subsequent offer, and to make such sale or such lease to the person making the offer, without resubmitting the question to a vote; but, if a sale shall have been authorized by vote as aforesaid, and such subsequent proposition be for a lease, or, if a lease shall have been so authorized, and the subsequent proposition shall be for a sale, the governing body shall have no power to accept the same without submitting the question thereof to a vote of the people as first above provided. Before any such second or subsequent proposition shall be submitted to a vote, after a sale or lease shall have been authorized at an election held hereunder, the person making such proposition shall furnish bond, with security to be approved by the governing body, in a penalty of not less than twenty-five percent of such proposed bid, conditioned to carry such proposition into execution, if the same shall be approved at the election to be called thereon. In any case where any such public utility shall be sold or leased by the governing body as hereinabove provided, no part of the moneys derived from such sale or lease shall be applied to the payment of current expenses of the municipality, but the proceeds of such sale or lease shall be applied in payment and discharge of any bonded indebtedness created in respect to such public utility, and in case there be no bonded indebtedness, the governing body, in its discretion, shall have the power and authority to expend all such moneys when received for the purchase or construction of fire-fighting equipment and buildings for housing such equipment, a municipal building or city hall, and the necessary land upon which to locate the same, or for the construction of paved streets, avenues, roads, alleys, ways, sidewalks, sewers and other like permanent improvements, and for no other purposes. In case there be a surplus after the payment of such bonded indebtedness, the surplus shall be used as aforesaid.

The requirements of this section shall not apply to the sale or lease of any part of the properties of any such public utility determined by the governing body to be unnecessary for the efficient rendering of the service of such utility.