HBA-MSH H.B. 3474 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3474 By: Eiland County Affairs 4/1/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Erosion is a problem for many communities along the Texas coast. The federal government provides matching funds for erosion control projects, but projects must compete for local funds before the federal government will match the funds. Conservation and improvement districts are created by the authority provided by the Texas Constitution. A conservation district will allow Galveston to secure local funds to compete for federal matching funds for erosion control projects. House Bill 3474 creates the Galveston Seawall Conservation District. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency or institution. ANALYSIS House Bill 3474 amends law to create the Galveston Seawall Conservation District (SECTION 1). The bill defines "district" for the purposes of the Act as the Bolivar Conservation District (district) (SECTION 3). The bill provides that the district is governed by a board of five directors (board) and sets forth provisions regarding the appointment, qualifications, and terms of the directors as well as the administration of the board (SECTIONS 10-18). The bill sets forth the general powers of the district and authorizes the district to issue bonds and impose ad valorem taxes upon approval by the voters of the district, and impose assessments upon approval by the county commissioners court (SECTIONS 19, 26, 42, 44, 46, and 47). The bill authorizes the board to impose a special assessment on property in an area that receives a special benefit from an improvement project or service (SECTION 26). The bill prohibits the district from imposing an assessment on the property, equipment, or facilities of a public utility (SECTION 40). The bill sets forth specific powers and limitations of the district including the authority to borrow money and add or exclude territory (SECTIONS 8, 9, and 20). The bill authorizes the district to contract with a political subdivision, corporation, or other person to accomplish the purposes of the district (SECTIONS 19, 20, and 53). The bill prohibits the district from exercising the power of eminent domain, and authorizes the county to exercise its power of eminent domain to implement a district facility or improvement (SECTION 22). The bill authorizes the board to adopt and enforce reasonable rules and regulations governing the administration of the district and its programs and projects (SECTION 24). The bill prohibits the board from financing improvement projects or services unless a written petition has been filed with the board signed by at least 25 district property owners (SECTION 29). The bill authorizes the board to issue temporary notes to pay the costs of an improvement project or service and issue bonds on completion (SECTION 45). The bill provides for the dissolution of the district (SECTIONS 50 and 51). The bill authorizes a municipality, county, or other political subdivision of the state to contract with the district to implement a project of the district or aid and assist the district in providing authorized services (SECTION 53). EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001.