Authorities

Authorities
6/27/2017

Coalfield Economic Development Authority, Virginia

§ 15.2-6000. Authority created; name

The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, hereinafter referred to as the Authority, is created as a body politic and corporate, a political subdivision of the Commonwealth. As such it shall have, and is hereby vested with, the powers and duties hereinafter conferred in this chapter.

1988, c. 833, § 15.1-1635; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-6001. Findings of fact

The economy of Southwest Virginia has not kept pace with that of the rest of the Commonwealth. The economic problems of Southwest Virginia are due in large part to its present inability to diversify. The Southwest has suffered, and continues to suffer, widespread unemployment in great disproportion to the rest of the Commonwealth.

The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority will assist the seven county and one city coal producing areas of the Commonwealth to achieve some degree of economic stability.

It is hereby further declared that the foregoing is a public purpose and use for which public moneys may be spent and such activity will serve a public purpose in providing jobs to the citizens of the Commonwealth.

1988, c. 833, § 15.1-1636; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-6002. Purpose of Authority; performs governmental function

The primary purpose of the Authority is to enhance the economic base for the seven county and one city coalfield region of Virginia (Lee, Wise, Scott, Buchanan, Russell, Tazewell and Dickenson Counties and the City of Norton).

The Authority shall provide financial support for the purchase of real estate, construction of buildings for sale or lease, installation of utilities, direct loans and grants to private for-profit basic employers; may apply for matching funds from the state or federal government, or the private sector; and any other support improvements it deems necessary, including flood control dams. All such loans and grants may be managed by the LENOWISCO and Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commissions in their respective service areas.

The exercise of the powers granted by this chapter shall be in all respects for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Commonwealth, particularly the aforesaid seven county and one city areas, for the increase of their commerce, and for the promotion of their safety, health, welfare, convenience and prosperity.

1988, c. 833, § 15.1-1637; 1990, c. 341; 1992, c. 32; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-6003. Board of Authority; members and officers; staff; annual report

All powers, rights and duties conferred by this chapter, or other provisions of law, upon the Authority shall be exercised by the Board of the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, hereinafter referred to as the Board or the Board of the Authority. Board members shall serve for terms of four years except that all vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term. All terms shall commence July 1 of the year of appointment. Initial appointments shall begin July 1, 1988. The Board shall consist of sixteen members, residents of the Commonwealth, as follows:

Three initial members shall be the sitting chairmen of the county boards of supervisors of the three counties which are the three largest contributors to the coal and gas road improvement fund for the fiscal year immediately preceding July 1, 1988, as reported by the treasurers of the affected counties and city. Every four years thereafter, the three members shall be supervisors from the county boards of supervisors of the three counties which are the three largest contributors to the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Fund for the fiscal year immediately preceding July 1 of the year in which new terms of members are to begin. Such supervisors shall be selected by their respective county boards of supervisors.

Five members shall be appointed by the Governor at large; however, if there is any participating county or city in which there resides no member of the Board appointed by the other methods herein specified, the Governor shall include at least one member who is a resident of each such county or city among his appointees. For the first four-year terms these five members shall be selected to the extent possible from former members of the Southwest Virginia Economic Development Commission who reside in Planning District 1 or 2.

One member shall be a representative of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, as designated by the Chief Executive Officer of the Partnership.

One member shall be a representative named by the Virginia Coal and Energy Alliance.

Two members shall be the Executive Directors of the LENOWISCO and Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commissions.

Three initial members shall be representatives named by the three largest coal producers determined by the dollar value of their contribution to the respective county coal and gas road improvement funds for the fiscal year immediately preceding July 1, 1988, as reported by the treasurers of the affected counties and city. Every four years thereafter, the three members shall be representatives named by the three largest coal producers determined by the dollar value of their contributions to the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Fund for the fiscal year immediately preceding July 1 of the year in which new terms of members are to begin.

One member shall be a representative named by the largest oil and gas producer determined by the dollar value of its contributions to the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Fund for the fiscal year immediately preceding July 1 of the year in which new terms of members are to begin.

Should a member who is a member solely by virtue of his office as member of a board of supervisors or executive director of a planning district commission cease to hold such office, then an immediate vacancy shall occur, and the vacancy shall be filled for the remainder of the term by his successor selected by the board of supervisors of his county or as executive director.

Each member of the Board shall, before entering upon the discharge of the duties of this office, take and subscribe the oath prescribed in § 49-1. They shall receive their expenses spent on business of the Authority.

Ten members of the Authority shall constitute a quorum and the affirmative vote of a majority of the quorum present shall be necessary for any action taken by the Authority. No vacancy in the membership of the Authority shall impair the right of a quorum to exercise all the rights and perform all the duties of the Authority.

The Board shall elect from its membership a chairman, a vice-chairman, a treasurer and a secretary for each calendar year. The secretary shall keep the minutes of the Board and affix the seal of the Authority.

The Board may also appoint an executive director, an assistant treasurer and an assistant secretary, and staff to assist same, who shall discharge such functions as may be directed by the Board.

Staff functions of the Authority may be undertaken by the LENOWISCO and Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commissions, as agreed by the Board and participating Commissions.

The Board, promptly following the close of the calendar year, shall submit an annual report of the Authority's activities for the preceding year to the Governor, the General Assembly, the boards of supervisors of the seven coalfield counties and the Norton City Council. Each such report shall set forth a complete operating and financial statement covering the operation of the Authority during such year. The Authority shall cause an audit of its books and accounts to be made at least once each year by a certified public accountant and the cost thereof may be treated as part of the expense of operation.

1988, c. 833, § 15.1-1638; 1989, c. 281; 1990, c. 341; 1995, c. 334; 1996, cc. 590, 598, 607; 1997, c. 587; 2010, c. 869; 2014, c. 438.

§ 15.2-6004. Office of Authority; title to property

The Authority shall have and maintain its principal office as determined by the Board, within the participating counties and one city at which all of its records shall be kept, and from which its business shall be transacted. The title to all property of every kind belonging to the Authority shall be titled to the Authority, which shall hold it for the benefit of the member localities and the Commonwealth.

1988, c. 833, § 15.1-1639; 1990, c. 341; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-6005. General powers of Authority; regulations; enforcement of statutes, rules, etc

In order to enable it to carry out the purposes of this chapter, the Authority acting through its Board:

1. Is vested with the powers of a body corporate, including the power to sue and be sued, to plead and be impleaded, to make contracts, and to adopt and use a common seal and to alter the same as may be deemed expedient;

2. May retain legal counsel to represent the Authority in hearings, controversies, or matters involving the interests of the Authority and the furtherance of its purpose; and

3. Is vested with power to adopt, alter or repeal its own bylaws, regulations governing the manner in which its business may be transacted and in which the power granted to it may be enjoyed, and may provide for the appointment of such committees, and the functions thereof, as the Authority may deem necessary to facilitate its business. Such committees shall consist of such number of persons as the Authority shall deem advisable. Members of committees shall receive no compensation for their services, but may be reimbursed their necessary traveling and other expenses incurred while on business of the Authority. The Authority may set flat fees for expenses for a member's attendance at all meetings of the Authority or at its other functions. Such fees shall not exceed $100 per day.

1988, c. 833, § 15.1-1640; 1990, c. 341; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-6006. Further powers

The Authority, to accomplish its general purpose, is given the following powers, namely:

1. To enter into contractual agreements in furtherance of its purpose;

2. To rent, lease, buy, own, acquire and dispose of such property, real or personal, as the Authority deems proper to carry out any of the purposes and provisions of this chapter, including the execution of leases with option to purchase;

3. To apply for and accept grants or loans of money or other property from any federal agency for any of the purposes authorized in this chapter, and to expend or use the same in accordance with the directions and requirements attached thereto or imposed thereon by any such federal agency;

4. To engage in economic development marketing and business attraction activities and to pay from the Authority's funds any and all expenses incurred in connection with such economic development marketing and business attraction activities;

5. To pay from the Authority's funds any and all expenses incurred by the Authority including, but not limited to, administrative, operational, personnel, consultant, legal, marketing, business attraction, advertising, promotional, and any other expenses incurred in furtherance of the purposes of this chapter; and

6. To do and perform any act or function that is in accord with the purposes of the chapter, including (i) borrowing money and (ii) employing such persons as the Board deems necessary to carry on the business of the Authority.

1988, c. 833, § 15.1-1641; 1990, c. 341; 1997, c. 587; 2004, cc. 36, 177.

§ 15.2-6007. Acceptance of funds, property and grants or loans

The Authority may accept funds and property from the federal government, the Commonwealth, persons and localities, and may use the same for any of the purposes for which the Authority is created.

Localities are hereby authorized to lend or donate money or other property to the Authority for any of its purposes. The locality making the grant or loan may restrict the use of such grants or loans to a specific project, within or outside that locality.

1988, c. 833, § 15.1-1642; 1990, c. 341; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-6008. Forms of accounts and records; audit of same

The accounts and records of the Authority showing the receipt and disbursement of funds from whatever source derived shall be in such form as the Auditor of Public Accounts prescribes, provided that such accounts shall correspond as nearly as possible to the accounts and records for such matters maintained by corporate enterprises. The accounts and records of the Authority shall be subject to audit by the Auditor of Public Accounts on an annual basis and the costs of such audit services shall be borne by the Authority. The Authority's fiscal year shall be the same as the Commonwealth's.

1988, c. 833, § 15.1-1643; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-6009. Capitalization of Authority

On September 1, 1988, and on the first day of each month thereafter, each county and city shall remit to the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Fund 25 percent of the revenues collected during the next to last calendar month from the (i) gas road improvement tax pursuant to § 58.1-3713 and (ii) local coal road improvement severance license tax pursuant to subsection B of § 58.1-3741.

1988, c. 833, § 15.1-1644; 1997, c. 587; 2013, cc. 305, 618.

§ 15.2-6010. Proceeds held

The treasurer may invest and reinvest funds of the Authority pending their need. All moneys received by the Authority pursuant to § 15.2-6009, together with any matching funds received from state or federal sources, shall be applied and used only in the county or city from which the funds were received, unless the governing body of the county or city consents to their use in another county or city.

Moneys received pursuant to § 58.1-3713.4 may be used at the discretion of the Authority for purposes and projects as determined by the Authority.

1988, c. 833, § 15.1-1645; 1990, c. 341; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-6011. Eligible use of funds

The Authority is hereby empowered to pledge its funds, and make loans and grants to or for the benefit of for-profit enterprises or entities; governmental or corporate instrumentalities in the coalfield region of Virginia (including any political subdivision of the Commonwealth and the Breaks Interstate Park); not-for-profit enterprises or entities; nonprofit industrial development corporations; economic development authorities; or industrial development authorities for financing the following:

1. Purchase of real estate;

2. Grading of site(s);

3. Construction of flood control dams;

4. Water, sewer, natural gas and electrical line replacement and extensions;

5. Construction or rehabilitation or expansion of buildings;

6. Construction of parking facilities;

7. Access roads construction and street improvements;

8. Purchase, lease, or relocation of machinery, tools, equipment, furniture, software, or other personal property;

9. Construction of improvements outside the Commonwealth if in the Breaks Interstate Park;

10. Feasibility studies, site studies, preliminary engineering or architectural reports, and other studies and plans;

11. Such other improvements, projects, activities, or purposes as the Authority deems necessary to accomplish its purpose; and

12. Costs and expenses associated with any item listed in subdivisions 1 through 11, including, but not limited to, architectural, engineering, consulting, legal, closing, installation, delivery, and assembly expenses.

1988, c. 833, § 15.1-1646; 1990, c. 341; 1992, c. 32; 1993, c. 771; 1994, cc. 615, 674; 1997, c. 587; 2004, cc. 36, 177.

§ 15.2-6012. Dissolution of Authority

Whenever the Board determines that the purpose for which the Authority was created has been substantially fulfilled or is impractical or impossible of accomplishment and that all obligations incurred by the Authority have been paid or that cash or a sufficient amount of United States government securities has been deposited for their payment or provisions satisfactory for the timely payment of all its outstanding obligations have been arranged, the Board may adopt resolutions declaring and finding that the Authority shall be dissolved. Appropriate attested copies of such resolutions shall be delivered to the Governor so that legislation dissolving the Authority may be introduced in the General Assembly. The dissolution of the Authority shall become effective according to the terms of such legislation. The title to all funds and other property owned by the Authority at the time of such dissolution shall vest in the counties and cities which have contributed to the fund in proportion to their respective contributions.

1988, c. 833, § 15.1-1647; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-6013. Chapter liberally construed

This chapter, being necessary for the welfare of the Commonwealth and its inhabitants, shall be liberally construed to effect the purposes thereof.

1988, c. 833, § 15.1-1648; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-6014. Inconsistent laws inapplicable

All other general or special laws inconsistent with any provision of this chapter are hereby declared to be inapplicable to the provisions of this chapter.

1988, c. 833, § 15.1-1649; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-6015. City of Norton deemed contributing jurisdiction of Wise County

For the purpose of this chapter the City of Norton shall be deemed a contributing jurisdiction of Wise County and moneys collected from Wise County may be used in the City of Norton.

1988, c. 833, § 15.1-1650; 1997, c. 587.