In this chapter the following words shall have the following meanings:
(1) APPOINTING GOVERNMENT. The municipality or county that approves the creation of a district and appoints members to the board.
(2) BOARD. The board of directors of a district.
(3) CONTIGUOUS. Two tracts of land if touching for a continuous distance of not less than 200 feet. The term includes tracts of land divided by bodies of water, streets, railroad, or utility rights-of-way, or by land owned by any public person. In determining whether land is contiguous with a municipality, (i) land separated by bodies of water, streets, or railroad, or utility rights-of-way is contiguous even though the bodies of water, streets, or rights-of-way are within the city limits of another municipality and (ii) land separated by land owned by a public person is not contiguous if the land owned by the public person is within the city limits of another municipality.
(4) COUNCIL. The governing body of a county or municipality.
(5) DISTRICT. A body corporate formed in accordance with this chapter, having the powers granted under this chapter.
(6) IMPROVEMENTS. Any improvement to land within a district, or outside a district providing benefit to land within the district, including, without limitation, any of the following:
a. Any system for providing water to the occupants of land within the district, and extensions of any existing water system for providing water, including, without limitation, wells, water treatment facilities, water transportation and distribution lines, water mains, water tanks, pumps, and any other water storage, treatment, purification, and distribution facilities or systems.
b. Sanitary sewer systems and extensions to existing sewer systems, including, without limitation, sewer treatment facilities and sanitary sewer lines pump stations.
c. Storm sewer systems, including extensions to existing storm sewer systems, including drains, aboveground drainage systems, underground drainage systems, sewer lines and mains, and culverts.
d. Utilities providing benefit to property within the district, including, without limitation, customer-owned electrical substations, gas lines, garbage and solid waste disposal plants, and any other utilities and facilities for providing such utilities.
e. Streets, bridges, curbs, gutters, drainage, both above and below ground, grading, on or off street parking, sidewalks, street lighting, lighting for any public place, traffic control systems, traffic lights, signage, guardrails, any and all other improvements for providing transportation within and into or out of or otherwise benefiting the land within the district.
f. Public parks, public lakes, dams, public recreational facilities, including, without limitation, facilities for athletics, golf, and boating, and driving ranges, ballfields, tennis courts, swimming pools, concession stands, and any associated or useful facilities in connection therewith.
g. Flood control dams, dikes, levies, rip rap, embankments, berms, and other improvements to control flooding or erosion.
h. Fire protection facilities, including fire hydrants, fire stations, and fire monitoring equipment.
i. Railroad lines and spurs.
j. Docks, harbors, wharves, and any related facilities for transferring goods to or from boats, barges, and other forms of water transport.
k. Facilities for providing police protection, police or sheriff stations, police or sheriff substations, and security monitoring equipment.
l. Schools, school grounds, playgrounds, athletic fields, and cafeterias.
n. Fountains, distinctive lighting, and signs.
o. Acquiring, constructing, improving, widening, narrowing, closing, or rerouting of sidewalks, streets, or their rights-of-way.
p. Acquisition, construction, installation, or improvement of pedestrian malls.
q. Acquisition and installation of pieces of art.
r. Acquisition, construction, or improvement of public libraries.
s. Acquisition, construction, or improvement or rerouting of mass transportation facilities.
t. Airports, air traffic control, and other air transportation facilities.
u. Any improvements benefiting the general public or residents or anticipated residents of the district, including provision of utilities, improving their health and sanitation, hospitals and other medical facilities, public safety, security, facilitating business recruitment, industrial recruitment, cultural enhancement, or otherwise improving the quality of life, whether or not otherwise described in this definition or this chapter and whether or not sui generis with the remaining provisions of this definition.
v. Payment of expenses incurred in the establishment, administration, and operation of the district, including reasonable reserves and replacement funds and the cost of issuance of bonds, whether or not incurred before the establishment of the district, including reimbursement of costs paid by private persons to the extent approved by the board.
w. The maintenance, repair, or replacement, extension, extension reconstruction, improvements, capital or otherwise, modification, razing, or other modification of any improvement.
x. Any or all of the above within the territorial boundaries of the district or, to the extent providing benefit to land within the district, outside the district, whether or not within the corporate limits of the municipality or the boundaries of the county creating the district.
Nothing in this chapter shall authorize the use of bonds, assessments, or tax exemptions for the acquisition, equipping, or construction of property to be owned by any person other than a utility company, the district, or another public person. By way of example and not limitation, "improvements" shall not include gambling or gaming establishments.
(7) MUNICIPALITY. An incorporated city or town in the state.
(8) OWNER. The person or persons in whose name property within a district is assessed for ad valorem property tax purposes. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, in the case of a trust, the owner of the property is the trustee; in the case of an estate, the owner of the property is the executor or administrator; in the case of a minor, the owner of the property is the guardian, or other personal representative. "Owner" only includes the holders of present interests, and not the holders of future interests in property. In the case of land with respect to which a person owns an option to purchase or a contract to purchase, the holder of the option or purchase contract shall be considered the owner, rather than the person holding legal title to the real estate, provided that the person owning an option or real estate contract certifies under oath that the person will purchase real estate in accordance with the option or purchase contract within 30 days after formation of the district and demonstrates to the reasonable satisfaction of the municipality or county that the person is capable of making a purchase.
(9) PUBLIC NOTICE. Notice published in a newspaper of general circulation within the appointing government. If there is no newspaper, at the option of the board or council giving public notice, as appropriate, public notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the appointing government or by posting in three prominent locations within the municipality or county, at least one of which shall be in the city or town hall of the municipality or county courthouse of the county, as applicable. Public notice shall be published in two consecutive weeks commencing at least eight days before the meeting for which public notice is being given.
(10) PUBLIC PERSON. The United States of America, the state, any county, any municipality, and any public corporation a majority of the members of which are appointed by any public person, and any agency or political subdivision of any public person.
(11) STATE. The State of Alabama.
(12) STREET. Any road, highway, alleyway, street, or other public right-of-way.
(13) BONDS. Bonds, warrants, negotiable instruments, and any other evidences of indebtedness, whether or not negotiable.