31-740. District; trustees or administrator; powers; plans or contracts; approval required; hearing; contracts authorized; audit; failure to perform audit; effect; connection with city sewerage system; rental or use charge; levy; special assessment.

(1) The board of trustees or the administrator of any district organized under sections 31-727 to 31-762 shall have power to provide for establishing, maintaining, and constructing gas and electric service lines and conduits, an emergency management warning system, water mains, sewers, and disposal plants and disposing of drainage, waste, and sewage of such district in a satisfactory manner; for establishing, maintaining, and constructing sidewalks, public roads, streets, and highways, including grading, changing grade, paving, repaving, graveling, regraveling, widening, or narrowing roads, resurfacing or relaying existing pavement, or otherwise improving any road, street, or highway within the district, including protecting existing sidewalks, streets, highways, and roads from floods or erosion which has moved within fifteen feet from the edge of such sidewalks, streets, highways, or roads, regardless of whether such flooding or erosion is of natural or artificial origin; for establishing, maintaining, and constructing public waterways, docks, or wharfs, and related appurtenances; and for constructing and contracting for the construction of dikes and levees for flood protection for the district.

(2) The board of trustees or the administrator of any district may contract for access to the facilities and use of the services of the library system of one or more neighboring cities or villages, for solid waste collection services, and for electricity for street lighting for the public streets and highways within the district and shall have power to provide for building, acquisition, improvement, maintenance, and operation of public parks, playgrounds, and recreational facilities, and, when permitted by section 31-727, for contracting with other sanitary and improvement districts for the building, acquisition, improvement, maintenance, and operation of public parks, playgrounds, and recreational facilities for the joint use of the residents of the contracting districts, and for contracting for any public purpose specifically authorized in this section. Power to construct clubhouses and similar facilities for the giving of private parties within the zoning jurisdiction of any city or village is not included in the powers granted in this section. Any sewer system established shall be approved by the Department of Health and Human Services. Any contract entered into on or after August 30, 2015, for solid waste collection services shall include a provision that, in the event the district is annexed in whole or in part by a city or village, the contract shall be canceled and voided upon such annexation as to the annexed areas.

(3) Prior to the installation of any of the improvements or services provided for in this section, the plans or contracts for such improvements or services, other than for public parks, playgrounds, and recreational facilities, whether a district acts separately or jointly with other districts as permitted by section 31-727, shall be approved by the public works department of any municipality when such improvements or any part thereof or services are within the area of the zoning jurisdiction of such municipality. If such improvements or services are without the area of the zoning jurisdiction of any municipality, plans for such improvements shall be approved by the county board of the county in which such improvements are located. Plans and exact costs for public parks, playgrounds, and recreational facilities shall be approved by resolution of the governing body of such municipality or county after a public hearing. Purchases of public parks, playgrounds, and recreational facilities so approved may be completed and shall be valid notwithstanding any interest of any trustee of the district in the transaction. Such approval shall relate to conformity with the master plan and the construction specifications and standards established by such municipality or county. When no master plan and construction specifications and standards have been established, such approval shall not be required. When such improvements are within the area of the zoning jurisdiction of more than one municipality, such approval shall be required only from the most populous municipality, except that when such improvements are furnished to the district by contract with a particular municipality, the necessary approval shall in all cases be given by such municipality. The municipality or county shall be required to approve plans for such improvements and shall enforce compliance with such plans by action in equity.

(4) The district may construct its sewage disposal plant and other sewerage or water improvements, or both, in whole or in part, inside or outside the boundaries of the district and may contract with corporations or municipalities for disposal of sewage and use of existing sewerage improvements and for a supply of water for fire protection and for resale to residents of the district. It may also contract with any corporation, public power district, electric membership or cooperative association, or municipality for access to the facilities and use of the services of the library system of one or more neighboring cities or villages, for solid waste collection services, for the installation, maintenance, and cost of operating a system of street lighting upon the public streets and highways within the district, for installation, maintenance, and operation of a water system, or for the installation, maintenance, and operation of electric service lines and conduits, and to provide water service for fire protection and use by the residents of the district. It may also contract with any corporation, municipality, or other sanitary and improvement district, as permitted by section 31-727, for building, acquiring, improving, and operating public parks, playgrounds, and recreational facilities for the joint use of the residents of the contracting parties. It may also contract with a county within which all or a portion of such sanitary and improvement district is located or a city within whose zoning jurisdiction the sanitary and improvement district is located for intersection and traffic control improvements, which improvements serve or benefit the district and which may be within or without the corporate boundaries of the district, and for any public purpose specifically authorized in this section.

(5) Each sanitary and improvement district shall have the books of account kept by the board of trustees of the district examined and audited by a certified public accountant or a public accountant for the year ending June 30 and shall file a copy of the audit with the office of the Auditor of Public Accounts by December 31 of the same year. Such audits may be waived by the Auditor of Public Accounts upon proper showing by the district that the audit is unnecessary. Such examination and audit shall show (a) the gross income of the district from all sources for the previous year, (b) the amount spent for access to the facilities and use of the services of the library system of one or more neighboring cities or villages, (c) the amount spent for solid waste collection services, (d) the amount spent for sewage disposal, (e) the amount expended on water mains, (f) the gross amount of sewage processed in the district, (g) the cost per thousand gallons of processing sewage, (h) the amount expended each year for (i) maintenance and repairs, (ii) new equipment, (iii) new construction work, and (iv) property purchased, (i) a detailed statement of all items of expense, (j) the number of employees, (k) the salaries and fees paid employees, (l) the total amount of taxes levied upon the property within the district, and (m) all other facts necessary to give an accurate and comprehensive view of the cost of carrying on the activities and work of such sanitary and improvement district. The reports of all audits provided for in this section shall be and remain a part of the public records in the office of the Auditor of Public Accounts. The expense of such audits shall be paid out of the funds of the district. The Auditor of Public Accounts shall be given access to all books and papers, contracts, minutes, bonds, and other documents and memoranda of every kind and character of such district and be furnished all additional information possessed by any present or past officer or employee of any such district, or by any other person, that is essential to the making of a comprehensive and correct audit.

(6) If any sanitary and improvement district fails or refuses to cause such annual audit to be made of all of its functions, activities, and transactions for the fiscal year within a period of six months following the close of such fiscal year, unless such audit has been waived, the Auditor of Public Accounts shall, after due notice and a hearing to show cause by such district, appoint a certified public accountant or public accountant to conduct the annual audit of the district and the fee for such audit shall become a lien against the district.

(7) Whenever the sanitary sewer system or any part thereof of a sanitary and improvement district is directly or indirectly connected to the sewerage system of any city, such city, without enacting an ordinance or adopting any resolution for such purpose, may collect such city's applicable rental or use charge from the users in the sanitary and improvement district and from the owners of the property served within the sanitary and improvement district. The charges of such city shall be charged to each property served by the city sewerage system, shall be a lien upon the property served, and may be collected from the owner or the person, firm, or corporation using the service. If the city's applicable rental or service charge is not paid when due, such sum may be recovered by the municipality in a civil action or it may be assessed against the premises served as a special assessment and may be assessed by such city and collected and returned in the same manner as other municipal special assessments are enforced and collected. When any such assessment is levied, it shall be the duty of the city clerk to deliver a certified copy of the ordinance to the county treasurer of the county in which the premises assessed are located and such county treasurer shall collect the assessment as provided by law and return the assessment to the city treasurer. Funds of such city raised from such charges shall be used by it in accordance with laws applicable to its sewer service rental or charges. The governing body of any city may make all necessary rules and regulations governing the direct or indirect use of its sewerage system by any user and premises within any sanitary and improvement district and may establish just and equitable rates or charges to be paid to such city for use of any of its disposal plants and sewerage system. The board of trustees may, in connection with the issuance of any warrants or bonds of the district, agree to make a specified minimum levy on taxable property in the district to pay, or to provide a sinking fund to pay, principal and interest on warrants and bonds of the district for such number of years as the board may establish at the time of making such agreement and may agree to enforce, by foreclosure or otherwise as permitted by applicable laws, the collection of special assessments levied by the district. Such agreements may contain provisions granting to creditors and others the right to enforce and carry out the agreements on behalf of the district and its creditors.

(8) The board of trustees or administrator shall have power to sell and convey real and personal property of the district on such terms as it or he or she shall determine, except that real estate shall be sold to the highest bidder at public auction after notice of the time and place of the sale has been published for three consecutive weeks prior to the sale in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. The board of trustees or administrator may reject such bids and negotiate a sale at a price higher than the highest bid at the public auction at such terms as may be agreed.

Source:Laws 1949, c. 78, § 14, p. 200; Laws 1955, c. 117, § 5, p. 314; Laws 1961, c. 142, § 5, p. 413; Laws 1963, c. 170, § 1, p. 585; Laws 1965, c. 158, § 1, p. 507; Laws 1967, c. 188, § 2, p. 515; Laws 1971, LB 188, § 4; Laws 1972, LB 1387, § 2; Laws 1973, LB 245, § 5; Laws 1974, LB 629, § 1; Laws 1974, LB 757, § 12; Laws 1976, LB 313, § 3; Laws 1979, LB 187, § 144; Laws 1982, LB 868, § 8; Laws 1985, LB 207, § 3; Laws 1994, LB 501, § 3; Laws 1996, LB 43, § 6; Laws 1996, LB 1044, § 92; Laws 1997, LB 589, § 1; Laws 1997, LB 874, § 10; Laws 2002, LB 176, § 2; Laws 2007, LB296, § 50; Laws 2008, LB768, § 2; Laws 2015, LB324, § 4; Laws 2015, LB361, § 52.

Annotations