In addition to any indebtedness now authorized, Jefferson county may become indebted and may issue bonds therefor in an amount not exceeding 3 percent of the assessed valuation of the taxable property in said county in order to pay the expenses of constructing, improving, extending and repairing sewers and sewerage treatment and disposal plants in said county. Said bonds shall be general obligations of Jefferson county but shall also be payable primarily from and secured by a lien upon the sewer rentals or service charges, which shall be levied and collected in an amount sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on such bonds, replacements, extensions and improvements to, and the cost of operation and maintenance of, the sewers and sewerage treatment and disposal plants. Such sewer rentals or service charges shall be levied upon and collected from the persons and property whose sewerage is disposed of or treated by the sewers or the sewerage treatment or disposal plants and whether served by the part of the sewer system then being constructed, improved, or extended or by some other part of such system; and such charges or rentals shall be a personal obligation of the occupant of the property the sewerage from which is disposed of by such sewers or treated in such plants and shall also be a lien upon such property, enforceable by a sale thereof.
Before issuing any bonds or levying or collecting any such sewer service charges or rentals, the proposal shall first be submitted to and approved by a majority of the voters of the county voting at an election to be called by the governing body thereof. Notice of such election shall be given by publication once a week for four successive weeks immediately prior to such election in a newspaper published and of general circulation in Jefferson county. Such notice and the ballot shall set forth the purpose for which the bonds are proposed to be issued, the estimated cost of the proposed undertaking, the amount of bonds to be issued, the serial maturities thereof, and the maximum rate of interest such bonds are to bear, and a recital that the proposal includes the levying of sewer service charges or rentals to be secured by liens upon the property served. Such elections shall in all respects not herein otherwise provided be conducted and the results thereof ascertained and declared in accordance with the law then in force relating to county bond elections. If at any such election a majority of the voters vote in favor of the proposed undertaking and the bonds, the bonds so voted may be issued at one time or from time to time as the governing body of the county shall deem advisable.
With the prior approval of the governing body of any incorporated municipality therein, Jefferson county may take over, own, possess, control, expand, improve, maintain and operate any sewers or sewerage treatment or disposal plants of such incorporated municipality or, if such incorporated municipality has no sewers, Jefferson county may construct sewers therein. Such sewers and plants shall thereupon become a part of a combined and consolidated sewer system for Jefferson county.
The governing body of Jefferson county shall have full power and authority to manage, operate, control and administer the sewers and plants herein provided for and, to that end, may make any reasonable and nondiscriminatory rules and regulations fixing rates and charges, providing for the payment, collection and enforcement thereof, and the protection of its property. Liens for sewer rentals or service charges shall be foreclosed in such manner as may be provided by law for foreclosing municipal assessments for public improvements. This amendment is self-executing.
The authority to issue bonds shall cease December 31, 1958. The authority to levy and collect sewer charges and rentals shall be limited to such charges as will pay the principal of and interest on the bonds and the reasonable expense of extending, improving, operating and maintaining said sewers and plants; and when the bonds shall have been paid off, service charges and rentals shall be accordingly reduced, it being the intent and purpose of this amendment that the expenses of needed improvements and extensions and maintenance and operation of the sewers and sewerage treatment and disposal plants and no other expenditures shall be paid from such service charges and rentals.