Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 15.2. Counties, Cities and Towns
Chapter 51. Virginia Water and Waste Authorities Act
11/26/2020

Article 2. Creation and Dissolution of Authorities.

§ 15.2-5102. One or more localities may create authority.

A. The governing body of a locality may by ordinance or resolution, or the governing bodies of two or more localities may by concurrent ordinances or resolutions or by agreement, create a water authority, a sewer authority, a sewage disposal authority, a stormwater control authority, a refuse collection and disposal authority, or any combination or parts thereof. The name of the authority shall contain the word "authority." The authority shall be a public body politic and corporate and a political subdivision of the Commonwealth. The ordinance, resolution or agreement creating the authority shall not be adopted or approved until a public hearing has been held on the question of its adoption or approval, and after approval at a referendum if one has been ordered pursuant to this chapter.

B. Any authority, or any subsidiary thereof, organized pursuant to this section to operate a refuse collection and disposal system that, pursuant to statute, is specifically authorized to include in the system (i) facilities for processing solid waste as a fuel and (ii) facilities for generating steam and electricity for sale, shall not be subject to regulation under the Utilities Facilities Act (§ 56-265.1 et seq.), provided that sales of electricity generated at such facilities are made only to a federal agency whose primary responsibility is national defense and the energy is delivered directly from the generator to the customer's facilities or to a public utility.

Code 1950, § 15-764.3; 1950, p. 1315; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1241; 1972, c. 370; 1973, c. 478; 1993, c. 850; 1995, c. 402; 1996, c. 897; 1997, cc. 527, 573, 587; 1999, cc. 896, 925; 2011, c. 199.

§ 15.2-5102.1. (Contingent expiration date, see Editor's note) Hampton Roads area refuse collection and disposal system authority.

Any authority, or any subsidiary thereof, organized pursuant to § 15.2-5102 to operate a refuse collection and disposal system that has among its members the Cities of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, and Franklin, and the Counties of Isle of Wight, Southampton, and Suffolk, shall, notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, comply with the following requirements:

1. Each locality that is a member of the authority shall be entitled to nominate individuals to fill one position on the Board of Directors (the Board) by submitting a list of three potential directors, each of whom shall possess general business knowledge and shall not be an elected official, to the Governor. The Governor shall then select and appoint one director from each of the lists of nominees prepared by the member localities. In addition, each member locality shall be authorized to directly appoint, upon a majority vote of the governing body of the member locality, one ex officio member of the Board who shall be an employee of the member locality. The members of the Board shall be appointed for terms of four years each. Vacancies occurring other than by expiration of a term shall be filled for the unexpired term. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments. No member shall serve for more than two consecutive four-year terms, except that (i) any member appointed to the unexpired term of another shall be eligible to serve two consecutive four-year terms and (ii) a member directly appointed by the governing body of a member locality shall not be subject to a term limit.

2. The authority shall develop and maintain an overall strategic plan that shall cover a period of at least five years forward from the year in which it is submitted and approved by the Board. The plans shall be reviewed annually to determine whether amendments are needed. Any such amendments shall be submitted to the board of directors for approval.

3. The authority's core purpose shall be defined as "management of the safe and environmentally sound disposal of regional waste." The authority shall devote its time and effort to activities associated with its core purpose. A vote of a majority of the Board shall be required prior to undertaking any activities not associated with the authority's core purpose.

4. The authority shall develop and maintain a strategic operating plan identifying all elements of its core business units and core purpose, how each business and administrative unit will support the overall strategic plan, and how the authority will achieve its stated mission and core purpose. The strategic operating plan shall be subject to review and approval of the Board on an annual basis.

5. The authority shall consider outsourcing any or all functions that may result in reduced costs to the authority, and the authority shall annually issue requests for proposals that potentially reduce the costs of any of its programs. In addition, the authority shall accept and review any proposals under the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002 (§ 56-575.1 et seq.) that potentially reduce the costs of any of the authority's programs.

6. The authority shall evaluate its landfill capacity annually, taking into consideration and projecting future changes in the quantity of waste disposed of in its landfill, or landfills reasonably situated or contractually obligated to accept its waste.

7. The authority shall keep records of its costs, revenue, debts, and capital expenses by fiscal year for each program. The authority shall also keep records of costs for each individual capital project.

8. The authority shall maintain a detailed financing plan that shall include a plan for the retirement of all debt and a plan for the funding of all planned capital projects. The plan for the funding of all planned capital projects shall specify the amount of debt the authority will issue in furtherance of the projects and the debt repayment plan for any new debt created by the capital projects, including the revenue source that will be used to repay the debt. The detailed financing plan shall be updated and approved annually by the Board and reviewed and certified annually by an external certified public accountant.

9. Prior to issuance of new debt, the Board shall perform a due diligence investigation of the appropriateness of issuing the debt, including an analysis of the costs of repaying the debt. Such analysis shall be certified by an external certified public accountant, reviewed by the Board, and approved by a vote of a minimum of 75 percent of the Board. The issuance of new debt shall require a vote of a minimum of 75 percent of the Board of Directors of the authority. The authority shall not issue long-term bond indebtedness to fund operational expenses. The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to the issuance of new debt issued for the purpose of refunding or refinancing debt incurred by the authority prior to September 30, 2009.

10. In the interest of open and transparent government, the authority shall adhere strictly to the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.).

11. The executive director of the authority shall not be permitted to execute or commit the authority to any contract, memorandum of agreement or memorandum of understanding without an informed vote of approval by the Board. This subdivision shall not apply in the case of (i) contracts for the purchase of goods and services for an aggregate sum of less than $30,000, which are subject to the Virginia Procurement Act (Va. Code § 2.2-4300 et seq.) but exempted from competitive negotiation or competitive sealed bidding by a duly adopted policy of the Board and (ii) sole source and emergency procurements made pursuant to subsections E and F of § 2.2-4303.

2009, c. 742; 2018, c. 547.

§ 15.2-5103. Ordinance, agreement or resolution creating authority to include articles of incorporation.

A. The ordinance, agreement or resolution creating an authority shall include articles of incorporation which shall set forth:

1. The name of the authority and address of its principal office.

2. The name of each participating locality and the names, addresses and terms of office of the first members of the board of the authority.

3. The purposes for which the authority is being created and, to the extent that the governing body of the locality determines to be practicable, preliminary estimates of capital costs, proposals for any specific projects to be undertaken by the authority, and preliminary estimates of initial rates for services of such projects as certified by responsible engineers.

4. If there is more than one participating locality, the number of board members who shall exercise the powers of the authority and the number from each participating locality.

B. Any such ordinance, agreement or resolution that does not set forth the information required in subdivision 3 of subsection A regarding capital cost estimates, project proposals and project service rate estimates shall set forth a finding by the governing body that inclusion of such information is impracticable.

C. Any ordinance, agreement or resolution adopted pursuant to §§ 15.2-5152 through 15.2-5157 shall provide that any bonds issued by the community development authority shall be a debt of the authority, not the local government. Unless otherwise provided in the ordinance which establishes the authority, the local government shall not retire any part of the bonds or pay any debt service of an authority out of revenues or funds derived from sources other than those set out in § 15.2-5158, except that, where the authority finances improvements not contemplated by the original ordinance, the local government may, by ordinance or resolution, make such provisions for repayment as are otherwise permitted under general law. This subsection shall have no effect upon authorities formed pursuant to § 15.2-5102.

Code 1950, § 15-764.4; 1950, p. 1315; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1242; 1972, cc. 370, 544; 1984, c. 239; 1997, cc. 363, 587.

§ 15.2-5104. Advertisement of ordinance, agreement or resolution and notice of hearing.

The governing body of each participating locality shall cause to be advertised at least one time in a newspaper of general circulation in such locality a copy of the ordinance, agreement or resolution creating an authority, or a descriptive summary of the ordinance, agreement or resolution and a reference to the place within the locality where a copy of the ordinance, agreement or resolution can be obtained, and notice of the day, not less than thirty days after publication of the advertisement, on which a public hearing will be held on the ordinance, agreement or resolution.

Code 1950, § 15-764.5; 1950, p. 1315; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1243; 1972, c. 370; 1983, c. 80; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5105. Hearing; referendum.

If at the hearing, in the judgment of the governing body of the participating locality, substantial opposition is heard, the governing body may at its discretion petition the circuit court to order a referendum on the question of adopting or approving the ordinance, agreement or resolution. The provisions of § 24.2-684 shall govern the order for a referendum. When two or more localities are participating in the formation of such authority, the referendum, if ordered, shall be held on the same date in all participating localities. If ten percent of the qualified voters in a locality file a petition with the governing body at the hearing calling for a referendum, such governing body shall petition the circuit court to order a referendum in that locality as provided in this section.

Code 1950, § 15-764.6; 1950, p. 1315; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1244; 1970, c. 617; 1972, c. 370; 1973, c. 478; 1975, c. 517; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5106. Voters' petition requesting agreement and referendum.

The qualified voters of any locality whose governing body has not acted to create an authority under § 15.2-5102 may file with the governing body of such locality a petition asking the governing body to effect an agreement in accordance with § 15.2-5102 with the localities named in the petition. Such petition shall be signed by at least ten percent of the number of the locality's voters who voted in the last presidential election and in no case be signed by fewer than fifty voters. The petition shall ask the governing body to petition the circuit court for a referendum on the question of the creation of the authority.

If the governing body is unable, or for any reason fails, to perfect such agreement within three months of the day the petition was filed with such governing body, then the circuit court for the locality shall appoint a committee of five representative citizens of the locality to act for and in lieu of the governing body in perfecting the agreement and in petitioning for a referendum. The agreement shall not take effect unless approved in the referendum by a majority of the voters voting in the referendum.

1972, c. 370, § 15.1-1244.1; 1975, c. 517; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5107. Filing articles of incorporation.

After adoption or approval of an ordinance, resolution or agreement creating an authority, the governing bodies of the participating localities shall file with the State Corporation Commission the authority's articles of incorporation.

Code 1950, § 15-764.7; 1950, p. 1316; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1245; 1973, c. 478; 1997, c. 587.

§ 15.2-5108. Issuance of certificate or charter.

The State Corporation Commission shall issue a certificate of incorporation or charter to the authority if it finds that:

1. The articles of incorporation conform to law; and

2. The estimated costs and rates for services of the proposed projects are fair and equitable, and have been advertised under § 15.2-5104 or subsection A of § 15.2-5156, as applicable.

Upon the issuance of the certificate or charter such authority shall be conclusively deemed to have been lawfully and properly created and established and authorized to exercise its powers under this chapter.

Code 1950, § 15-764.8; 1950, p. 1316; 1962, c. 623, § 15.1-1246; 1973, c. 478; 1983, c. 80; 1984, c. 239; 1997, c. 587; 2009, c. 473.

§ 15.2-5109. Dissolution and termination of authority.

Whenever the board of an authority determines that the purposes for which it was created have been completed or are impractical or impossible or that its functions have been taken over by one or more political subdivisions and that all its obligations have been paid or have been assumed by one or more of such political subdivisions or any authority created thereby or that cash or United States government securities have been deposited for their payment, it shall adopt and file with the governing body of each political subdivision which is a member of the authority a resolution declaring such facts. If all the governing bodies adopt resolutions concurring in such declaration and finding that the authority should be dissolved, they shall file appropriate articles of dissolution with the State Corporation Commission. When the affairs of the authority have been wound up and all of its assets have been distributed, the governing bodies shall file appropriate articles of termination of corporate existence with the State Corporation Commission.

If any of the governing bodies refuse to adopt resolutions concurring in such declaration, then the authority may petition the circuit court for any locality which is a member of the authority to order one or more of such governing bodies to create a new authority. The circuit court may order the governing body of the political subdivision requesting dissolution of the existing authority to adopt an ordinance establishing a new authority to which the provisions of §§ 15.2-5102 through 15.2-5106 shall not apply. Thereafter, the court may order that the assets be divided among the authorities and, subject to the approval of any debt holder, require the assumption of a proportionate share of the obligations of the existing authority by the new authority.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision 1 of § 15.2-5114, an authority shall continue in existence and shall not be dissolved because the term for which it was created, including any extensions thereof, has expired, unless all of such authority's functions have been taken over and its obligations have been paid or have been assumed by one or more political subdivisions or by an authority created thereby, or cash or United States government securities have been deposited for their payment.

1970, c. 617, § 15.1-1269.1; 1982, c. 662; 1997, c. 587; 2009, c. 216.