GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA

SESSION 1991

 

 

CHAPTER 861

SENATE BILL 1069

 

AN ACT TO AMEND AND RESTATE THE CHARTER OF THE GREENVILLE UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF GREENVILLE.

 

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

 

Section 1.  For the proper management of the public utilities of the City of Greenville, both within the corporate limits of the City and outside the said corporate limits, a commission to be designated and known as the "Greenville Utilities Commission", is hereby created and established.

Sec. 2.  The Greenville Utilities Commission shall consist of eight members, six of whom shall be bona fide residents of the City of whom one shall at all times be the City Manager of Greenville, and two of whom shall be bona fide residents of Pitt County but residing outside the city limits of Greenville, and all of whom shall be customers of the Greenville Utilities Commission.  Each Greenville Utilities Commissioner shall hold office for an initial term of three years and, except as set forth herein, will be automatically reappointed to a single additional term of three years, with each term of three years expiring June 30 at the end of the designated term or until reappointed or replaced by the City Council.  The first appointees shall hold their offices as follows:  the Greenville City Council shall appoint an individual to serve until June 30, 1995; John W. Hughes, Sr. is hereby appointed a Greenville Utilities Commissioner to serve until June 30, 1995, and shall not be eligible for a second term; Bernard E. Kane is hereby appointed a Greenville Utilities Commissioner to serve until June 30, 1995; R. Richard Miller is hereby appointed a Greenville Utilities Commissioner to serve until June 30, 1994, and shall not be eligible for a second term; and the Greenville City Council shall appoint an individual to serve until June 30, 1993; all of whom are bona fide residents of the City.  William G. Blount is hereby appointed a Greenville Utilities Commissioner to serve until June 30, 1993, and shall not be eligible for a second term; and the Pitt County Board of Commissioners shall nominate an individual under the procedure established in Section 3 of this act, to be appointed by the Greenville City Council to serve until June 30, 1994; both of whom are Greenville Utilities Commission customers and bona fide residents of Pitt County residing outside the Greenville city limits.

Sec. 3.  The Greenville Utilities Commissioners otherwise than as herein provided shall be appointed by the City Council at their regularly monthly meeting in June of each year.  It is the intention of this charter that the City Council shall appoint Greenville Utilities Commission members who have utilities expertise.  Representation should include some members with financial, engineering, environmental, technical, or development backgrounds.  The two members of the Greenville Utilities Commission residing outside the city limits shall be nominated by the Pitt County Board of Commissioners and appointed by the City Council.  The City Council has the right to reject any nominee(s) from the Pitt County Board of Commissioners and to request additional nominees.  If the Pitt County Board of Commissioners fails to recommend a nominee to the City Council within 60 days of the original date requested by the City Council, then the City Council may appoint any individual meeting the residency requirement.  No person shall be eligible for appointment to the Greenville Utilities Commission who is an officer or employee of the City or Pitt County except that the City Manager of the City of Greenville shall at all times be a full member of the Greenville Utilities Commission.  In the event a Greenville Utilities Commissioner resigns, dies, or otherwise becomes incapable of performing his or her duties, the City Council shall appoint, according to the same process described herein for regular appointments, a Greenville Utilities Commissioner to fill the unexpired term at any regular or special meeting of the City Council.  Any Greenville Utilities Commissioner filling an unexpired term shall be deemed to have filled said term for the full three-year term.  Except as otherwise permitted herein, no Greenville Utilities Commissioner shall serve more than two three-year terms.  Greenville Utilities Commissioners filling the first three-year term will automatically fill a second three-year term unless the City Council initiates the replacement process.

Sec. 4.  The Greenville Utilities Commissioners shall organize by electing one of their members Chair, whose term of office as Chair shall be for one year unless the Chair's term on the Greenville Utilities Commission shall expire earlier, in which event his or her term as Chair shall expire with the Chair's term on the Greenville Utilities Commission.  The Chair shall not be entitled to vote on any proposition before the Greenville Utilities Commission except in case of a tie vote and only for the purpose of breaking the tie.  The members of the Greenville Utilities Commission are authorized to fix their own salaries provided, however, that said salaries shall not exceed one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00) per month for the members and two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) per month for the Chair provided, however, the City Council may, at its own discretion, increase these caps from time to time as is appropriate to reflect inflation, and provided, however, the City Manager shall receive no pay as a member of the Greenville Utilities Commission other than his or her salary as City Manager.  The Greenville Utilities Commission shall meet at least once each month at a designated time and place unless the Chair designates some other meeting time and so notifies the other members of the Greenville Utilities Commission.  The Greenville Utilities Commission and the Greenville City Council shall meet at least once each year to discuss mutual interests of the City of Greenville and the Greenville Utilities Commission.  Minutes shall be kept for all regular meetings of the Greenville Utilities Commission.

Sec. 5.  The Greenville Utilities Commission shall have entire supervision and control of the management, operation, maintenance, improvement, and extension of the public utilities of the City, which public utilities shall include electric, natural gas, water, and sewer services, and shall fix uniform rates for all services rendered; provided, however, that any person affected by said rates may appeal from the decision of the Greenville Utilities Commission as to rates to the City Council.  With approval by the City Council, the Greenville Utilities Commission may undertake any additional public enterprise service which may lawfully be operated by a municipality.

Sec. 6.  The Greenville Utilities Commission shall employ a competent and qualified General Manager whose duties shall be to supervise and manage the said public utilities, subject to the approval of the Greenville Utilities Commission.  The General Manager, under the direction of and subject to the approval of the Greenville Utilities Commission, shall cause the said utilities to be orderly and properly conducted; the General Manager shall provide for the operation, maintenance, and improvement of utilities; the General Manager shall provide for the extension of all utilities, except sewer extensions made beyond the area regulated by the City of Greenville are subject to the approval of the City Council, and shall furnish, on application, proper connections and service to all citizens and inhabitants who make proper application for the same, and shall in all respects provide adequate service for the said utilities to the customers thereof; the General Manager shall attend to all complaints as to defective service and shall cause the same to be remedied, and otherwise manage and control said utilities for the best interests of the City of Greenville and the customers receiving service, and shall provide for the prompt collection of all rentals and charges for service to customers and shall promptly and faithfully cause said rentals and charges to be collected and received, all under such rules and regulations as the Greenville Utilities Commission shall, from time to time, adopt and in accordance with the ordinances of the City of Greenville in such case made and provided.

Sec. 7.  All monies accruing from the charges or rentals of said utilities shall be deposited into the appropriate enterprise fund of the Greenville Utilities Commission and the Greenville Utilities Commission's Director of Finance shall keep an account of the same.  The Greenville Utilities Commission shall at the end of each month make a report to the City Council of its receipts and disbursements; the Greenville Utilities Commission shall pay out of its receipts the cost and expense incurred in managing, operating, improving, maintaining, extending, and planning for future improvements and expansions of said utilities; provided, however, that should the funds arising from the charges and rentals of said utilities be insufficient at any time to pay the necessary expenses for managing, operating, improving, and extending said utilities, then and in that event only, the City Council of the City of Greenville shall provide and pay into the appropriate enterprise fund of the Greenville Utilities Commission a sum sufficient, when added to the funds that have accrued from the rents and charges, to pay the costs and expenses of managing, operating, improving, maintaining, extending, and planning for future improvements and expansions of said utilities; the Greenville Utilities Commission shall pay the principal on all such funds provided by the City Council with interest thereon; provided, further, that the Greenville Utilities Commission shall annually transfer to the City, unless reduced by the City Council, an amount equal to six percent (6%) of the difference between the electric and natural gas system's net fixed assets and total bonded indebtedness plus annually transfer an amount equal to fifty percent (50%) of the Greenville Utilities Commission's retail cost of service for the City of Greenville's public lighting.  Public lighting is defined herein to mean City of Greenville street lights and City of Greenville Parks and Recreation Department recreational outdoor lighting.  The preparation of a joint financial audit of the City of Greenville and the Greenville Utilities Commission operations by a single auditing firm is intended under the provisions of this charter and existing North Carolina statutes.

Sec. 8.  In compliance with the time requirements of Chapter 159 of the General Statutes, the Greenville Utilities Commission shall prepare and submit to the City Council, for approval, a budget for the coming year showing its estimated revenue, expenses, capital expenditures, debt service, and turnover to the City of Greenville.  In addition, the budget ordinance must identify construction projects of the Greenville Utilities Commission which include individual contracts in excess of one-half of one percent (%) of the Greenville Utilities Commission's annual budget.  City Council approval of the Greenville Utilities Commission's budget will constitute approval of projects so identified and the contracts contained therein.  Contracts in excess of one-half of one percent (%) of the Greenville Utilities Commission's annual budget not so identified and approved in the budget ordinance will require separate City Council approval.

Sec. 9.  The Greenville Utilities Commission shall approve the employment and remuneration of all officers, agents, independent contractors, and employees necessary and requisite to manage, operate, maintain, improve, and extend the service of said utilities.  It is, however, the intention of this Charter that the Greenville Utilities Commission and the City of Greenville will implement and maintain mutual pay plans, personnel policies, and benefits for their respective employees.  The Greenville Utilities Commission may require bond in such sum as it may deem necessary, which shall be approved by the City Council, of all officers, agents, and employees having authority to receive money for the Greenville Utilities Commission.  The Greenville Utilities Commission shall have the authority to name and designate a person in its employ as secretary of the Greenville Utilities Commission.

Sec. 10.  The Greenville Utilities Commission shall have authority at all times to discharge and remove any officer, agent, independent contractor, or employee of the Greenville Utilities Commission.

Sec. 11.  All laws and clauses of laws in conflict with this act are hereby repealed, expressly including Chapter 146 of the Public-Local Laws of 1941, entitled "AN ACT TO PROVIDE A PERMANENT UTILITIES COMMISSION FOR THE CITY OF GREENVILLE, IN PITT COUNTY, AND TO REPEAL CHAPTER TWO HUNDRED AND ELEVEN OF THE PRIVATE LAWS OF ONE THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED AND FIVE, AND AMENDMENTS THERETO, RELATING TO THE WATER AND LIGHT COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF GREENVILLE.", except that this act does not revive any act repealed by that act.

The purpose of this act is to revise the charter of the Greenville Utilities Commission and to consolidate herein certain acts concerning the Greenville Utilities Commission.  It is intended to continue without interruption those provisions of prior acts which are consolidated into this act so that all rights and liabilities that have accrued are preserved and may be enforced.  This act shall not be deemed to repeal, modify, or in any manner affect any act validating, confirming, approving, or legalizing official proceedings, actions, contracts, or obligations of any kind.

No provision of this act is intended nor shall be construed to affect in any way any rights or interest, whether public or private:

(1)       Now vested or accrued in whole or in part, the validity of which might be sustained or preserved by reference to law to any provisions of law repealed by this act.

(2)       Derived from or which might be sustained or preserved in reliance upon action heretofore taken pursuant to or within the scope of any provisions of law repealed by this act.

All existing ordinances of the City of Greenville and all existing rules and regulations of the Greenville Utilities Commission not inconsistent with provisions of this act shall continue in full force and effect until repealed, modified, or amended.

No action or proceeding of any nature, whether civil or criminal, judicial or administrative, or otherwise pending at the effective date of this act by or against the City of Greenville or the Greenville Utilities Commission shall be abated or otherwise affected by the adoption of this act.  If any provisions of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are declared to be severable.

Sec. 12.  This act is effective upon ratification.

In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 7th day of July, 1992.

 

James C. Gardner

President of the Senate

 

Daniel Blue, Jr.

Speaker of the House of Representatives