For the promotion of local economic and industrial development of Covington County, the Covington County Commission, and the city councils of each municipality located in the county having a population of over 1,500 based on the 2000 decennial census, shall have, independently or in cooperation with one or more of such governmental entities, full and continuing power to do any of the following:
(1) Purchase, construct, develop, equip, operate, lease, or otherwise acquire real property, plants, buildings, factories, works, facilities, machinery, and equipment of any kind.
(2) Lease, sell for cash, or on credit, exchange, give, and convey any such property described in subdivision (1), to any person, firm, association, corporation or entity, public, or private, including, but not limited to, a duly authorized industrial development board or economic development commission or airport authority serving the county or any such municipalities.
(3) Promote local industrial, commercial, or agricultural development and the location of new industries or business therein.
(4) Become a stockholder or equity owner in any corporation, association, company, or entity.
(5) Lend its credit or grant public moneys and things of value in aid of any individual, firm, association, corporation, or entity whatsoever.
(6) Become indebted and issue and sell bonds, warrants, which may be payable from funds to be realized in future years, notes or other obligations, or evidences of indebtedness, to a principal amount not exceeding 50 percent of the assessed value of taxable property therein as determined for state taxation, in order to secure funds for the purchase, construction, lease, or acquisition of any of the property described in subdivision (1) or to be used in furtherance of any of the other powers or authorities granted in this amendment. Such obligations or evidences of indebtedness may be issued upon the full faith and credit of the county or any such municipality or may be limited as to the source of their payment.
(7) Create a public board, agency, authority, commission, corporation, or other entity having such powers, managed and governed by such board or governing body and subject to such limitations as the governing body of the county or any such municipality may impose, by approving and filing a certificate to that effect in the office of the judge of probate or the Secretary of State, or their respective successors in function, and delegate to such public board, agency, authority, commission, corporation, or other entity and its board or governing body all powers and authority conferred in this amendment upon the county or any such municipality.
In carrying out the purposes of this amendment, neither Covington County nor the municipalities shall be subject to Sections 93 or 94 of this Constitution. Each public corporation heretofore created by Covington County or by the municipalities, including specifically any industrial development board or authority, any economic development commission or authority, or any airport authority is validated and the powers granted to such board, commission, or authority under its respective enabling legislation are validated notwithstanding any other provision of law or of this Constitution. The powers granted in this amendment may be exercised as an alternative to, or cumulative with, and in no way restrictive of, powers otherwise granted by law to the county, or to any such municipality, or to any agency, board, corporation, commission, or authority created pursuant to the laws of this state.
Neither Covington County nor the municipalities shall lend its credit to or grant any public funds or thing of value to or in aid of any private entity under the authority of this amendment unless prior thereto: (i) the action proposed to be taken by Covington County or any such municipality is approved at a public meeting of the governing body of the county or municipality, as the case may be, by a resolution containing a determination by such governing body that the expenditure of public funds for such purpose will serve a valid and sufficient public purpose, notwithstanding any incidental benefit accruing to any private entity or entities; and (ii) at least seven days prior to the public meeting, a notice is published in the newspaper having the largest circulation in the county or in any such municipality, as the case may be, describing in reasonable detail the action proposed to be taken, a description of the public benefits sought to be achieved by such action, and identifying each individual, firm, corporation, or other business entity to whom or for whose benefit the county or the municipality proposes to lend its credit or grant public funds or thing of value. For purposes of the foregoing, any sale, lease, or other disposition of property for a price equal to the fair market value thereof shall not constitute the lending of credit or a granting of public funds or thing of value in aid of a private entity.
The recital in any bonds, warrants, notes, or other obligations or evidences or indebtedness that they were issued pursuant to this amendment or that they were issued to provide funds to be used in furtherance of any power or authority herein authorized shall be conclusive, and no purchaser or holder thereof need inquire further. The bonds, warrants, notes, or other obligations or evidences or indebtedness issued hereunder shall not be considered an indebtedness of the county or any such municipality for the purpose of determining the borrowing capacity of the county or any such municipality under Section 224 or Section 225 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901.
This amendment shall be self-executing, but notwithstanding any contrary provisions of Section 104 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, the Legislature may by general, special, or local act adopt laws supplemental to this amendment or in furtherance of the purposes and objectives hereinabove set forth. No such special or local act shall be subject to the provisions of Section 106 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901.