That approval of funding set forth in section eleven, article two, chapter twenty-four of this code or this section is not required if the funding is for a project which has received a certificate of public convenience and necessity after the eighth day of July, two thousand five, from the commission and where the cost of the project changes but the change does not affect the rates established for the project.
(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 requirements:
(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 contract; or
(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 provision of chapter twenty-four of this code when a public service district is seeking to acquire or construct public service property.