(a) Legislative findings. The Legislature of Alabama finds that the Tombigbee Waterway will soon be completed, and the transportation opportunities afforded thereby must be fully utilized if Alabama is to benefit from economic growth and job development potential afforded by this project, and that local governments need broader authorization to participate in the development of river port facilities necessary to accomplish this purpose.
(b) Municipalities authorized to construct port facilities; limitations thereon. The council or other governing body of any Class 1 municipality may alter and change the channel of any watercourse within 25 miles of such municipality and may construct and maintain wharves and construct buildings and other improvements on and near wharves and wharf sites, within such municipality or within 25 miles of the limits thereof, and may collect wharfage dues and other charges thereon and rentals with respect thereto. Said council or other governing body may lease to others all or any part of wharves or sites for wharves constructed, maintained, or owned by such municipality and any buildings and other improvements so constructed on or near any wharf or wharf site for public or private use for a period or periods not exceeding 40 years from the completion of such construction or for a period or periods not exceeding 40 years from the delivery of the lease if such construction shall have been completed before the date of delivery of the lease, and may authorize the lessees in such leases and their sublessees to construct or maintain buildings, and other improvements upon the properties so leased and collect wharfage dues thereon and to sublet all or any part of said wharves, buildings and other improvements.
(c) When authorization required by other municipalities and county governing body. No municipality shall construct or develop any facilities under the provisions of this section within the police jurisdiction of another municipality or in any unincorporated area of any county without obtaining consent from such municipality and such county evidenced by a resolution adopted by the governing body thereof approving the site of such development or construction.
(d) Bond authorized. To finance such construction and development, any such municipality may issue its general obligation bonds, or may authorize an industrial development board created and operating under the provisions of Sections 11-54-80 through 11-54-101, to issue bonds secured by rentals and other income to be produced therefrom to finance such improvements.
(e) Municipal and county contributions. Any municipality or county governing body may contribute public funds to any project undertaken under this section, and any municipality authorized to act under this section may contract with any county governing body and/or one or more other municipalities to jointly construct and operate facilities authorized under subsection (a) hereof.