§ 42-98-17. Appropriation, fees and grants.
(a) There is created an account to be known as the "energy facility siting account", an account within the public utilities commission in the general fund, hereinafter referred to as the "account", for the purpose of providing the financial means for the board to purchase materials and to employ on a contract or other basis legal counsel, official stenographers, engineers, accountants, and expert witnesses and for other necessary expenses of the board in investigations and hearings on applications for licensure under this chapter. The general assembly shall annually appropriate to the account the amounts as may be required to bring the balance of the account to the sum of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000); provided, however, that if at June 30 in any year the balance in the account shall be in excess of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), the amount of the excess shall be transferred to the general account of the state. The controller is authorized and directed to draw his or her orders upon the general treasurer for the payment from the account of the sums as may be required from time to time upon receipt by the controller of proper vouchers approved by the chairperson of the board or the secretary.
(b) The board shall be authorized to establish reasonable fees for investigations, applications and hearings. Applicants shall pay those fees in full prior to the hearing process commencing unless the board agrees to an alternative payment schedule. All fees collected by the board shall be deposited with the general treasurer and appropriated to the board. The state controller is authorized and directed to draw his or her orders upon the general treasurer for payment of any sum or sums as may be necessary from time to time and upon receipt by him or her of authenticated vouchers presented by the coordinator of the board.
(c) All moneys collected by the chairperson or the secretary pursuant to this section shall be paid by him or her monthly to the general treasurer to be added to the energy facility siting account.
(d) Failure of the applicant to pay expenses lawfully assessed by the board shall constitute grounds for suspension of licensing proceedings or revocation of any license granted, until the applicant has paid the expenses.
(e) The board shall be empowered to draw upon this account and to distribute monies from the fees to and bodies of state and local government participating in licensing actions or acting as the board's agents for the purposes of insuring compliance with license provisions and for employing staff or consultants and for carrying out the provisions of this chapter.
(f) The board shall be authorized to receive any grants made for the purpose of planning for or regulating the siting of energy facilities and to disburse and administer the grants under the terms of the grants.
(P.L. 1986, ch. 531, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 321, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 133, art. 44, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 456, § 1; P.L. 1995, ch. 370, art. 40, § 145.)