160A-312. Authority to operate public enterprises.

(a) A city shall have authority to acquire, construct, establish, enlarge, improve, maintain, own, operate, and contract for the operation of any or all of the public enterprises as defined in this Article to furnish services to the city and its citizens. Subject to Part 2 of this Article, a city may acquire, construct, establish, enlarge, improve, maintain, own, and operate any public enterprise outside its corporate limits, within reasonable limitations, but in no case shall a city be held liable for damages to those outside the corporate limits for failure to furnish any public enterprise service.

(b) A city shall have full authority to protect and regulate any public enterprise system belonging to or operated by it by adequate and reasonable rules. The rules shall be adopted by ordinance, shall apply to the public enterprise system both within and outside the corporate limits of the city, and may be enforced with the remedies available under any provision of law.

(c) A city may operate that part of a gas system involving the purchase and/or lease of natural gas fields, natural gas reserves and natural gas supplies and the surveying, drilling or any other activities related to the exploration for natural gas, in a partnership or joint venture arrangement with natural gas utilities and private enterprise. (1971, c. 698, s. 1; 1973, c. 426, s. 51; 1975, c. 821, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1247, s. 29; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 836, s. 1.)