Section 11-97-1

Legislative declarations and findings.

It is hereby found and declared as follows:

(1) That the health, safety, and welfare of the people of this state require the provision of certain utility services, including water and sewer services;

(2) That it is necessary for the Legislature to provide additional methods by which the cities and counties in the state may provide new and improve existing utility services facilities;

(3) That historically a significant portion of the funding of the costs of construction of such utility services facilities has been provided through grants from the United States of America;

(4) That, in recent years, funds available to cities and counties from the United States of America for payment of costs of construction of utility services facilities has been substantially reduced, and it is anticipated that, in coming years, such funds may be further reduced or eliminated;

(5) That the result of the elimination of funding from the United States of America will be to place the entire burden of payment of costs of constructing and improving utility services facilities solely upon the cities and counties in the state;

(6) That the users of utility services facilities will be forced to pay increased charges in amounts sufficient to enable the cities and counties to provide funds to pay costs of constructing new and improved utility services facilities;

(7) That it may be impossible for cities and counties to raise rates with respect to the use of such utility services facilities to such levels as will provide funds sufficient to enable such cities and counties to pay substantially all of the costs of constructing and improving such utility services facilities;

(8) That the legislatures in other states of the United States of America, including surrounding states, have enacted or are considering legislation making available to cities and counties new and different methods of financing the costs of such utility services facilities, to the end that the entire burden of the loss of funds from the United States of America will not be placed directly on the users of such utility services in the form of substantially increased charges;

(9) That among the alternatives available to cities and counties in the construction of new and improved utility services facilities is the encouragement of private investment in the construction, ownership, and operation of utility services facilities;

(10) That to the extent that the provision of utility services facilities in connection with private ownership and operation reduces the cost of service, the people of this state are greatly benefited by lower cost to the users of such utility services facilities;

(11) That to the extent that utility services charges in this state are substantially higher than in surrounding states, the industrial development of the state is adversely affected and the improvement of the quality of the environment of the state impeded.The

Legislature, therefore, finds and declares that it is necessary, desirable, and in the public interest that additional and alternative methods of providing for the construction and improvement of certain utility services facilities be provided; and that the provisions of this chapter are in the public interest and promote the health, welfare, and safety of the citizens of this state.

(Acts 1984, No. 84-314, p. 695, §1.)