The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 004 : ANNUAL BUDGETS AND ASSESSMENTS(Cite as: 24 App. V.S.A. ch. 405, § 38)
§ 405-38. Long-term indebtedness; long-term contracts
(a) Submission to voters. On a petition signed by at least five percent of the voters of the District at the last general election, the proposition of incurring a bonded debt or other indebtedness to pay for public improvements or of authorizing a long-term contract shall be submitted by the Board of Commissioners to the voters thereof at a special meeting to be held for that purpose. In the alternative, when the Board of Commissioners, at a regular or special meeting of the Board of Commissioners called for such purpose, shall determine, by resolution passed by a vote of the Board, the public interest or necessity demands improvements or a long-term contract, and the cost of the same will be too great to be paid out of the ordinary annual income and revenue, it shall order the proposition of incurring indebtedness or of authorizing a long-term contract to be submitted to the qualified voters of the District at a meeting to be held for that purpose. A "long-term contract" means a contract in which the District incurs obligations for which the costs are too great to be paid out of the ordinary annual income and revenues of the District, in the judgment of the Board. The term "long-term contracts" shall not include any contract that is subject to annual renewal or extension at the election of the District, or any contract pursuant to which payment by the District shall be subject to annual appropriations in accordance with the annual budget, or any contract for services or the purchase or lease of equipment, materials, or supplies needed in the ordinary course of business of the District. The term "public improvements" shall include improvements which may be used for the benefit of the public, whether or not publicly owned or operated. Bonded debt or other indebtedness may be authorized for any purpose permitted by 24 V.S.A. chapter 53 or 119 and 10 V.S.A. chapter 12 or any other applicable statutes for any purpose for which the District is organized. The Board of Commissioners may not submit to the voters more than twice in any 12-month period the proposition of incurring bonded or other indebtedness to pay for the same or similar public improvement or of entering the same or similar long-term contract.
(b) Sale of evidence of indebtedness. Any bonds, notes, or other evidence of indebtedness of the District may be sold at par, premium, or discount, at public or private sale or to the Vermont Municipal Bond Bank, as the District, acting through the Board of Commissioners shall determine.
(c) Warnings of meeting. The warning calling the special meeting of the District to incur bonded debt or other indebtedness or to authorize a long-term contract shall state the object and purpose for which the indebtedness or long-term contract is proposed to be incurred or authorized, the estimated cost of the improvements or service, the amount of bonds or other evidence of indebtedness proposed to be authorized, a summary of the terms of any contract proposed to be authorized, and means of raising or apportioning costs entailed thereby for debt service or payments under a long-term contract. The warning shall fix the place where and the date on which the meeting shall be held and the hours of opening and closing the polls. The Board of Commissioners, in cooperation with the board of civil authority of each member municipality, shall determine the number and location of polling places; provided, however, there shall be at least one polling place in each member municipality.
(d) Notice of meeting. The Secretary of the District shall cause notice of such special meeting to be published in one or more newspapers of known circulation in the District once a week for three consecutive weeks on the same day of the week, the last publication to be not less than five nor more than 10 days before such meeting. Notice of such meeting shall also be posted in at least two public places within each member municipality, and in or near the office of the clerk of the municipality, at least 30 and not more than 40 days before the meeting, and be filed with the clerk of each member municipality and the Secretary of the District prior to posting. The notice shall also be mailed by certified mail to the chairperson of the legislative body of each member municipality.
(e) Authorization. When a majority of all the voters present and voting on the question from all the member municipalities at such special meeting vote to authorize the issuance of bonds or other evidence of indebtedness, or entry into a long-term contract, the District shall be authorized to issue bonds or other evidence of indebtedness as provided in 24 V.S.A. chapter 53 or other applicable statutes. The ballots cast in each member municipality shall be counted by the election officials of each member municipality, preserved and secured with the checklist, and thereafter the results shall be certified to the District Secretary within 48 hours. The applicable provisions of Title 17 shall apply to any District meeting called pursuant to this section.
(f) Elements of issued evidence of indebtedness. The District may issue such bonds, notes, or other evidence of indebtedness from time to time in one or more series or separate series, as determined by the Board of Commissioners, provided the aggregate principal amount does not exceed the principal amount for which voter approval was obtained. Such bonds, notes, or other evidence of indebtedness may bear such date or dates, mature at such time or times not exceeding 40 years from their respective dates, bear interest at such rate or rates (including variable rates) payable semiannually, monthly, or at such other time as determined by the Board of Commissioners, be in such denominations, be in such form, either coupon or registered, carry such conversion or registration privileges, have such rank or priority, be executed in such manner, be payable in such medium of payment, at such place or places, and be subject to such terms of redemption, with or without premium, be declared or become due before the maturity date thereof, as such resolutions authorizing their issuance may provide.
(g) Assessment. The cost of debt service, or of payments under a long-term contract, shall be allocated among the member municipalities unless otherwise provided in the vote authorizing the same. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the applicable provisions of 24 V.S.A. chapter 53 or other enabling law under which debt is incurred or long-term contracts authorized shall apply to the issuance of bonds or other evidence of indebtedness by the District and for that purpose the District shall be deemed a "municipal corporation," the Board of Commissioners shall be deemed a "legislative branch," and the District Treasurer shall be deemed a "municipal treasurer" within the purview of chapter 53. Bonds or other evidence of indebtedness and long-term contracts shall be signed by the Treasurer and Chairperson of the Board of Commissioners of the District.
(h) Bonds eligible for investment. Bonds and notes issued by the District shall be legal investments for all persons without limit as to the amount held, regardless of whether they are acting for their own account or in a fiduciary capacity; such bonds and notes shall likewise be legal investments for all public officials authorized to invest in public funds.
(i) Tax exemption. All bonds, notes, and other evidence of indebtedness issued by the District are issued by a body corporate and public of the State and for an essential public and governmental purpose, and those bonds, notes, and other evidence of indebtedness and the interest thereon and the income therefrom, and all fees, charges, funds, revenues, income, and other moneys pledged or available to pay or secure the payment of those bonds, notes, and other evidence of indebtedness or interest thereon, are exempt from taxation except for transfer, inheritance, and estate taxes.
(j) Purchases and disposition of own obligations. The District may purchase bonds, notes, and other evidence of indebtedness of the District out of any of its funds or money available therefor. The District may hold, cancel, or resell the bonds, notes, and other evidence of indebtedness subject to and in accordance with agreements with holders of its bonds, notes, and other evidence of indebtedness.
(k) Presumption of validity. After issuance, all bonds, notes, and other evidence of indebtedness of the District shall be conclusively presumed to be fully authorized and issued by all the laws of this State, and any person or governmental unit shall be stopped from questioning their authorization, sale, issuance, execution, or delivery by the District.
(l) Specific provisions. In connection with the issuance of any bonds, notes, or other evidence of indebtedness, in addition to the powers it may now have or hereafter have, the District may make such covenants and agreements and exercise such powers as contained in 24 V.S.A. chapter 53, whether or not the District's bonds, notes, or other evidence of indebtedness are payable solely and exclusively from net revenues of a District solid waste management facility.