It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 of an act passed by the general assembly at its January session 1955 and approved March 30, 1955 entitled, "An act to incorporate the Greenville Water District" are hereby amended to read as follows:
Section 1. Description.
All that part of the town of Smithfield enclosed by a line beginning at a point at the intersection of the Washington Highway and the Farnum Pike, said point located where a line parallel with and 200 feet north of northerly highway line of Washington Highway intersects with a line parallel with and 200 feet west of the westerly highway line of Farnum Pike; thence running in a southerly direction to the flow line of the Stillwater Reservoir at the Mann School House Road, and thence 200 feet northwesterly of the north highway line of said Mann School House Road; thence running on said line in a southwesterly direction to a point on a line parallel with and 200 feet of the Westerly highway line of Tarklin Road; thence running on a said line in a southerly direction to a point on a line parallel with and 200 feet southerly on Mapleville Road; thence running on southerly direction to a point on a line parallel with and 200 feet south of the southerly highway line of Sydney Winsor Road; thence running in a southwesterly direction along said road to a point where a line parallel with and 200 feet west intersects with the easterly town line of Glocester; thence in a southerly direction to a point on the southerly boundary line of the town of Johnston; thence running in an easterly direction along the boundary line of the town of Johnston to a point on a line parallel with and 200 feet east to the rear of the former Route 44 Drive In Theater; thence in a straight line in a northerly direction; across Putnam Pike to 200 feet north of the northerly highway line of Sebille Road; thence running on said line in a northerly direction; crossing a portion of Mountaindale Road and Wolf Hill Road to the point of beginning at the Washington Highway and the Farnum Pike; is hereby incorporated into a district to be called the Greenville Water District.
In addition, the territory formerly served by the Oakview Water Company including the assets, rights and franchise of said company, is included in and became a part of the territory of the district for all purposes and the qualified electors resident in said territory are qualified electors of the district.
Section 2. Purpose -- Purchase of water -- Seal.
The purpose of the district shall be to secure, maintain and provide a water supply and water services for all purposes including fire protection, manufacturing and domestic uses in the town of Smithfield, within and without the district except such portions of the town as are now served by the Smithfield or East Smithfield water districts; provided, however, that the district may, if it so desires, sell water to and purchase water from a city or town, any municipal or quasi-municipal corporation, any incorporated water company and/or water company owned and operated by a town or city. The district may have a common seal, sue and be sued and enjoy the other powers generally incident to corporations.
Section 3. Eligible Voters.
The qualified electors of the town of Smithfield resident within the Greenville Water District shall be eligible to vote and act in all meetings of the corporation.
Section 4. Annual meetings -- Notice -- Place.
An annual meeting of the district shall be held on the third Saturday in April of each year. Special meetings may be called and held in accordance with the provisions of the by-laws. All meetings of the district shall be warned by posting a notice of the call of the meetings, which notice shall specify the time and place of the meeting with a reference to the business to be transacted or acted upon at the meeting, in at least three conspicuous places within the district, at least ten days next prior to the date of the meeting. All meetings shall be held within the limits of the district, at such place as specified in the notice of the call or as provided in the by-laws.
Section 5. Elected and appointed officers -- Compensation -- Terms of office.
The officers of the district as specified herein, and such other officers as the district may from time to time deem necessary to conduct its business and affairs, their duties and compensation may be fixed and provided for by the by-laws or by vote of the district. An executive committee consisting of seven (7) members shall be elected at the annual meeting of the district for such terms as shall be set by the by-laws.
The executive committee shall elect a moderator, a clerk, a treasurer, a tax collector, three (3) tax assessors, a board of canvassers consisting of three (3) persons, and such other officers as the committee deems necessary. The officers, as specified herein, or as determined by the executive committee to be necessary shall serve for a term of three (3) years. All office holders shall serve until their successors are elected and qualified.
The board of canvassers shall obtain from the Smithfield board of canvassers a list of the qualified electors within the district containing the names of persons qualified to vote on propositions to impose a tax or to expend money in the town. If any person, whose right to vote at an annual or special meeting, is challenged, his or her name shall be referred by the moderator to the executive committee, who shall forthwith determine the question as to whether the person is qualified to vote and take part in the proceedings of the annual or special meeting and shall so report forthwith to the moderator.
All elected and appointed officers shall be empowered to carry out duties similar to those carried out by officials in towns except the executive committee which shall have and perform such duties in addition to those which may be described in this act and as shall be prescribed by the by-laws and shall be in accordance with law and not inconsistent with the provisions of this act. Any vacancy occurring in any office may be filled for the unexpired term in accordance with the provisions of the by-laws. The enactment of this act shall not vacate the office of any individual serving under a term of office which presently exists, but the adoption of this act shall authorize and empower the executive committee to appoint such officials after the next annual meeting.
No individual is to hold more than one (1) office, be it appointed or elective. The executive committee shall meet as often and conduct its meetings in such manner as shall be prescribed by the by-laws; provided, however, that the executive committee shall hold at least one (1) meeting a month in a public building within the district and the meeting shall be open to the public except as provided in the Open Meeting Law.
The district shall cause proper books of record to be kept by its officials and the books of record shall be open to inspection at all reasonable times with proper notice.
Section 6. Powers of the District -- Contract and Land Acquisition.
For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this act, the district shall have the right and power to purchase, rent, lease or otherwise acquire, and to hold, rent, lease, sell or otherwise dispose of any real or personal estate or of any interest, claim or other rights therein, including the property, assets, rights and privileges of any existing water company, or company furnishing water.
The district may distribute and/or provide water for all purposes including fire protection, domestic and manufacturing uses, within or without the district, or may authorize the same to be done, and may regulate the use thereof and the price to be paid therefor, within and without the district. The district, for the purpose of purposes aforesaid, may carry any works to be constructed or authorized to be constructed by it, over or under any highway, turnpike, road, street or right of way in such manner as not to obstruct permanently or impede travel thereon; and may enter upon and dig up any highway, turnpike, road, right of way or street for the purpose of laying pipes or building aqueducts upon or beneath the surface thereof, or for the purpose of repairing the same; all such work upon or in the highway or street to be under the direction of the town council of the town in which the road or street is located. The district shall also have all the powers and privileges conferred upon corporations in the general laws by chapter 7-6 and such other provisions as shall apply to municipal and quasi-municipal corporations as provided in titles 44 and 45 of the general laws, insofar as the same are applicable to, consistent with and not repugnant to the nature and purpose of this act.
The district is hereby authorized to contract for and to procure water for the purposes specified in this act, in such lawful manner as may seem necessary and proper, and for such purposes and in such manner may erect or cause to be erected for its use any buildings, tanks, containers, or other storage and any pipes, pipelines and other equipment that it may deem necessary for its purposes under this act.
The Greenville Water District is hereby authorized and empowered to condemn land not exceeding five (5) acres in the Town of Smithfield for the purpose of the Greenville Water District.
Section 7. By-laws. -- Fines and costs.
The district shall have power to enact by-laws for the regulation and conduct of its meetings and its business, which may include rules and regulations for the purposes of the district and the rates and conditions upon which service shall be supplied; also the rules may describe provisions under which constables or other officers for the enforcement of law may be engaged for the protection of the property and rights of the district, and for any breach of its by-laws, may provide a penalty not to exceed a fine of one hundred dollars ($100) for each violation of its rules to be recovered for the use of the district or imprisonment for a term not exceeding thirty (30) days for the protection of its property within the district, which penalty may be enforced by prosecution by complaint of any officer of the district before any court of competent jurisdiction. The district may recover from any party breaching its rules and regulations the costs of reasonable attorney's fees and costs attendant to the prosecution of each violation.
Section 8. Charges and assessments. -- Fiscal year. -- Liens.
The fiscal year of the district shall begin on April 1 and end on March 31. The qualified electors of the district at any legal meeting shall have power and authority to order such taxes, and provide for assessing and collecting the same, on the taxable inhabitants and upon the ratable real estate and tangible personal property and ratable intangible personal property of said district, as they shall deem necessary for purchasing and procuring real estate or any other property or any rights therein and for undertaking and carrying out any business or thing lawfully authorized by this act, for the current expenses of the district, for the payment of such police services as they may deem necessary for the protection of the property and operation of the business of the district and also for the payment of any indebtedness that has been incurred by the district and for interest thereon; and such taxes so ordered shall be assessed by the assessors of the district on the taxable inhabitants and upon ratable real estate and tangible personal property and ratable real estate and tangible personal property and ratable intangible personal property therein accordance with the last valuation made by the assessors of the town wherein the property is located, next previous to the district assessment adding, however, any ratable property which may have been omitted by the town assessors or which has been acquired after the assessment; and in all cases where the town assessors have included property within the district and property without the district in one valuation the assessors of the district shall make an equitable valuation of that portion of the same lying within the district; and in assessing and collecting said taxes such proceedings shall be had by the officers of said district, as near as may be, as are required to be had by the corresponding officers of towns in assessing and collecting town taxes; and the collector of taxes for the district shall, for the purposes of collecting taxes assessed by the district, have the same powers and authority as are now, by law, conferred on collectors of taxes for the towns in this state.
The district may provide for such deduction from the tax assessed against any person, if paid by appointed time and/or for such penalty by way of percentage on the tax if not paid at the appointed time, as it shall deem necessary to insure punctual payment, provided, however, that the total tax assessed and payable in any one year under the provisions of this section, except for the purposes of paying principal, interest and premiums, if any, if respect of outstanding bonds of the district or notes issued by the district in anticipation of bonds, shall not exceed fifteen mills on each dollar of the valuation of real and tangible personal property or four mills on each dollar of the valuation of intangible personal property.
The owner of any house, building, tenement, or estate shall be liable for the payment of the price of rates fixed by the Greenville Water District for the use of water furnished by the water district to the owner or occupant of the house, building, tenement, or estate; and the price or rates shall be a lien upon the house, building, tenement, and estate in the same way and manner as taxes assessed on real estate are liens, and, if not paid as required by the water district, shall be collected in the same manner that taxes assessed on real estate are, by law, collected; provided, however, that the Greenville Water District may charge interest on delinquent payments at a rate of not more than twelve (12%) per annum on charges for gallons of water already used by the owner or occupant of the house, building, tenement, or estate and such interest on delinquent payments shall not apply to surcharges or to gallons advanced to users.
The owner of any house, building, tenement, or estate shall be liable for the payment of the price, including charges and interest, for the installation or extension of a main or water meter by the Greenville Water District; and such price, charges and interest shall be a lien upon such house, building, tenement or estate in the same way and manner as taxes assessed on real estate are liens, and, if not paid as required by the Greenville Water District, shall be collected in the same manner that taxes assessed on real estate are by law collected; provided, however, the district may charge an interest on delinquent payments at a rate not more than twelve percent (12%) per annum.
The Greenville Water District is authorized and empowered to file any agreements evidencing any indebtedness for water main or meter charges.
Section 9. Borrowing Authority -- Temporary Notes.
The district is hereby authorized and empowered to borrow temporarily by issuing and selling temporary revenue anticipation notes as hereinafter provided to raise funds for any proper corporate purpose of the district and to review such notes from time to time by the issuance of other notes. The aggregate principal amount of notes shall not exceed the amount of taxes and other revenues, from whatever source derived expected to be received by the district during the remainder of the fiscal year in which the notes are issued and in the next following fiscal year. All notes and any renewals thereof shall be paid by the end of the fiscal year following the year in which they are issued. Any notes not so paid may be renewed for one additional year, but there shall be during such additional year an assessment of taxes in sufficient amount to finally pay and discharge the principal of an interest on the notes. Taxes shall be assessed and collected as provided in section 8, but such action shall not require an order of the electors as provided therein and shall not be subject to the limitation therein contained in said section.
Temporary notes issued under this section and renewals thereof may bear interest or be sold at discount at such rate as the executive committee of the district shall determine. The interest or discount on temporary notes, including renewals thereof, and the expense of preparing, issuing and marketing the same shall be included in the operating expenses of the district. The period, the discount or interest rate, the times and amounts of issue and sale, and other particulars of the temporary notes and renewal notes, including the form of execution thereof, shall be fixed by the executive committee of the district by majority vote of all the members thereof.
Temporary revenue anticipation notes and renewals thereof issued under the provisions of this section shall be valid and general obligations of the district in accordance with the terms thereof. Any notes issued under the provisions of this section, if properly executed by officers of the district as hereinbefore provided, and in the office on the date of execution, shall be valid and binding according to their terms, notwithstanding that before the delivery thereof and payment therefor, any or such officers shall, for any reason, have ceased to hold office.
Section 10. Retirement of Employees.
The district may enact by-laws to permit employees of the district to join the Municipal Employees Retirement System as provided in Chapter 45-21 of the Rhode Island General Laws.
SECTION 2 This act shall take effect upon passage.