The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 004 : FISCAL AFFAIRS(Cite as: 24 App. V.S.A. ch. 403, § 38)
§ 403-38. Indebtedness
(a) Short-term borrowing. The Board of Supervisors may borrow money through the issuance of notes of the District for the purpose of paying current expenses of the District. Such notes must mature within one year. The Board of Supervisors may also borrow money in anticipation of assessment to each member municipality in an amount not to exceed 90 percent of the amount assessed for that year, and may issue notes of the District, which must mature within one year. The Board of Supervisors may also borrow money in anticipation of grants-in-aid from any source and any revenues other than assessments through the issuance of notes of the District. Such notes must mature within one year, but may be renewed as provided by general law. The Board of Supervisors may also borrow money in anticipation of bond proceeds that have been authorized as provided in this chapter. These notes shall be issued as provided in 24 V.S.A. chapter 53.
(b) Bonded indebtedness and long-term contracts.
(1) Submission to voters. On a petition signed by at least five percent of the voters of the District, the proposition of incurring a bonded debt or other indebtedness to pay for public improvements or of authorizing a long-term contract in lieu of incurring indebtedness shall be submitted by the Board of Supervisors to the qualified voters thereof at a special meeting to be held for that purpose. In the alternative, when the Board of Supervisors, at a regular or special meeting of the Board of Supervisors called for such purpose, shall determine by resolution passed by a vote of a majority of members present and voting that the public interest on necessity demands improvements or a long-term contract, and that the costs of the same will be too great to be paid out of the ordinary annual income and revenue, it shall order the submission of the proposition of incurring indebtedness or of authorizing a long-term contract 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 over a term of more than three years 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 of Supervisors. The term "public improvements" includes improvements as defined in 24 V.S.A. chapter 53, 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 Supervisors may not submit to the voters more than twice in the same calendar year 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.
(2) 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 places where and the date on which the meeting shall be held and the hours of opening and closing the polls. The Board of Supervisors, 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.
(3) Notice of meeting. The Clerk of the District shall cause notice of such special meeting to be published in a newspaper 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 five public places within each member 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 clerk of the District prior to posting.
(4) 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 to authorize a long-term contract, the District shall be authorized to issue the bonds or other evidence of indebtedness as provided in 24 V.S.A. chapter 53 or other applicable statutes, or to enter into the long-term contract. The ballots cast in each member municipality shall be commingled and counted by members of the Board of Supervisors together with the town or city clerk from each member municipality, or the clerk's designee. Sections 48 (Australian ballot), 49 (Qualifications and registration of voters), 50 (Conduct of meetings), 51 (Reconsideration or rescission of vote), and 52 (Validation of District meetings) of this chapter shall apply to any District meeting called to incur long-term debt or to authorize a long-term contract.
(5) Assessment. The cost of debt service or of payments under a long-term contract shall be included in the annual budget of the District, and shall be allocated among the member municipalities as provided in subsection 35(c) of this chapter unless otherwise provided by applicable law and in the vote authorizing the same. The applicable provision 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 Supervisors shall be deemed a "legislative branch," and the District Treasurer shall be deemed a "municipal treasurer" within the purview of that chapter. Bonds or other evidence of indebtedness and long-term contracts shall be signed by the Treasurer and Chair of the Board of Supervisors of the District.
(6) Special limitation. The Board of Supervisors shall not submit to the legal voters of the District any proposition to issue bonds or other long-term indebtedness or to authorize a long-term contract less than 18 months after the District has become a body politic and corporate. (Amended 2017, No. M-1, § 1.)