Municipal utility contracts.

Authors: Senator Ed Charbonneau


Provides that where: (1) a municipal utility is providing service to properties located outside the municipality under contracts requiring the owners of the properties to make payments in lieu of annexation; and (2) the contracts expire; the municipal utility may not terminate utility service to the properties and, as a condition of continuing to receive the municipal utility service, the owners of the properties must continue paying for the utility service at the rate specified in the expired contracts, for one year or until the municipal utility and the owners of the properties enter into new contracts or the area in which the properties are located is annexed into the municipality. Provides that if, one year after the expiration of the contracts, the parties have not entered into new contracts for the provision of municipal utility service in the area, the parties are required to submit the matter to arbitration. Provides that: (1) the arbitration must be conducted by an arbitrator mutually chosen by the parties; (2) the arbitrator's award must establish reasonable and just terms of a new contract between the parties; and (3) if either party fails or refuses to enter into a new contract according to the terms of the award, the other party may commence legal action to enforce the award.