Judicial review of compliance schedules.
Validation of debt; liability for diverting funds.
Metropolitan sewerage districts, definitions.
Unless the context requires otherwise, for the purposes of this subchapter, the following terms have the designated meanings:
“Commission" means a metropolitan sewerage district commission.
“Department" means the department of natural resources.
“District" means a metropolitan sewerage district.
“Municipality" means town, village, city or county.
History: 1971 c. 276
; 1999 a. 150
; Stats. 1999 s. 200.01.
This subchapter applies to all areas of the state except those areas included in a metropolitan sewerage district created under ss. 200.21
History: 1971 c. 276
; 1981 c. 282
; 1999 a. 150
; Stats. 1999 s. 200.03.
Proceedings to create a district may be initiated by resolution of the governing body of any municipality setting forth:
A general description of the territory proposed to be included in the district;
A general description of the functions which are proposed to be performed by such district;
A general description of the existing facilities and works which are proposed to be placed under jurisdiction of the district; and
Such other facts and statements as are deemed by the governing body to be relevant to the standards of sub. (4) (a)
A governing body which adopts a resolution under sub. (1)
shall immediately transmit a copy thereof to the department.
Upon receipt of the resolution, the department shall:
Schedule a public hearing in the county of the petitioning municipality, providing at least 30 days' written notice of the hearing and a copy of the resolution by mail to the clerk of all affected municipalities, town sanitary or utility districts, and to the affected regional planning commissions and state agencies; and publish an official notice of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the proposed district as a class 1 notice under ch. 985
Conduct the hearing to permit any person to present any oral or written pertinent and relevant information relating to the purposes and standards of this subchapter; and
Undertake research and collect other information and request advisory reports from regional planning commissions, other state agencies and citizen groups.
Within 90 days following the hearing, the department shall either order or deny creation of the proposed district. An order creating the district shall be issued by the department if:
The territory consisting of at least one municipality in its entirety and all or part of one or more other municipalities can be identified and can be determined to be conducive to fiscal and physical management of a unified system of sanitary sewage collection and treatment;
The formation of the district will promote sewerage management policies and operation and will be consistent with adopted plans of municipal, regional and state agencies; and
The formation of the district will promote the public health and welfare and will effect efficiency and economy in sewerage management, based upon current generally accepted engineering standards regarding prevention and abatement of environmental pollution and federal and state rules and policies in furtherance thereof.
An order creating the district shall state the name and boundaries of the district, which may be different than those originally proposed if each municipality affected by the district received written notice of the hearing under sub. (3) (a)
and if each municipality which jointly or separately owns or operates a sewerage collection and disposal system which has territory included in the revised district boundaries has filed with the department a certified copy of a resolution of its governing body consenting to the inclusion of that territory within the revised district. No territory of a city, village or town jointly or separately owning or operating a sewerage collection and disposal system may be included in the district unless it has filed with the department a certified copy of a resolution of its governing body consenting to inclusion of such territory within the proposed district. The order shall be effective on the date issued and the existence of the district shall commence on such date.
No resolution for the formation of a district encompassing the same or substantially the same territory shall be made by any municipality for one year following the issuance of an order denying the formation under this subchapter.
The orders of the department under this section shall be subject to review under ch. 227
History: 1971 c. 276
; 1993 a. 246
; 1999 a. 150
; Stats. 1999 s. 200.05.
If a district has been inactive for at least 2 years and if the department receives certified copies of a resolution recommending the dissolution of the district adopted by the governing bodies of every municipality owning or operating the district, upon a finding that all outstanding indebtedness of the district has been paid and all unexpended funds returned to the municipality which supplied them, or that adequate provision has been made therefor, the department shall either order or deny dissolution of the district.
History: 1983 a. 27
; 1999 a. 150
; Stats. 1999 s. 200.07.
Except as provided in par. (b)
, a district formed under this subchapter shall be governed by a 5-member commission appointed for staggered 5-year terms. Except as provided in par. (b)
and sub. (11)
, commissioners shall be appointed by the county board of the county in which the district is located. Except as provided in par. (b)
, if the district contains territory of more than one county, the county boards of the counties not having the greatest population in the district shall appoint one commissioner each and the county board of the county having the greatest population in the district shall appoint the remainder. Of the initial appointments under this paragraph, the appointments for the shortest terms shall be made by the counties having the least amount of population, in reverse order of their population included in the district. Commissioners shall be residents of the district. Initial appointments shall be made no sooner than 60 days and no later than 90 days after issuance of the department order forming a district or after completion of any court proceedings challenging such order.
A district that contains a 2nd class city with a population of 200,000 or more shall be governed by a 9-member commission appointed for staggered 3-year terms. The mayor of the 2nd class city shall appoint 5 individuals as members of the commission. An executive council composed of the elected executive officers of each city and village that is wholly or partly within the boundaries of the district, except the 2nd class city, shall appoint 3 members of the commission by a majority vote of the members of the executive council. An executive council composed of the elected executive officers of each town that is wholly or partly within the boundaries of the district shall appoint one member of the commission by a majority vote of the members of the executive council.
Each member of the commission shall take and file the official oath.
A majority of such commission shall constitute a quorum to do business; and in the absence of a quorum, those members present may adjourn any meeting and make announcement thereof. All meetings and records of the commission shall be published.
All actions of a commission under sub. (1) (b)
shall be approved by a majority vote of the members present, except that the following actions require the affirmative vote of three-fourths of the members who are entitled to a seat on the commission:
Any policy, rule, regulation, ordinance, rate, or charging structure that does not by its terms apply uniformly to all geographical areas of the district.
Any change in the methods in effect on May 1, 2015, that are used to finance capital projects or to finance operations of the district.
Such commission, when all of its members have been duly sworn and qualified, shall have charge of all the affairs of the district.
Such commission shall organize by electing one of its members president and another secretary.
The secretary shall keep a separate record of all proceedings and accurate minutes of all hearings.
A per diem compensation may be paid to commissioners in an amount the commission specifies by resolution. Any change in the per diem amount after its initial establishment applies only to subsequently appointed or reappointed commissioners. Commissioners shall be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred as commissioners in carrying out the work of the commission.
The treasurer of the city, village or town having the largest equalized valuation within the district shall act as treasurer of the district, shall receive such additional compensation therefor as the commission may determine, and shall at the expense of the district furnish such additional bond as the commission may require. Such treasurer shall keep all moneys of the district in a separate fund to be disposed of only upon order of the commission signed by the president and secretary.
(9) Chapter 276, laws of 1971
, shall apply to every metropolitan sewerage district that had been operating, prior to April 30, 1972, under ss. 66.20
, 1969 stats. Commissioners for such districts who were in office on April 30, 1972 shall continue to serve until their respective terms are completed. The county board of the county having the greatest population in the district shall appoint 2 additional members to each such commission no sooner than 60 days and no later than 90 days after April 30, 1972. One such member shall have a 5-year term and one such member shall have a 4-year term. The county board of those counties having population within the district that did not appoint the preceding 2 members if any shall, each in turn according to their population in the district, appoint successors to each of the 3 commissioners who held office on April 30, 1972, until their allotted number of appointments, as specified under sub. (1)
is filled. The governor may adjust terms of the successors to the 3 original commissioners in order that the appointment schedules are consistent with this section.
do not affect the continued validity of contracts and obligations previously entered into by a metropolitan sewerage district operating under ss. 66.20
, 1969 stats., before April 30, 1972, nor the validity of the district.
Notwithstanding sub. (1)
the governing bodies of cities, towns and villages comprising a sewerage district may make the initial appointments of the commissioners under this section.
If the governing bodies of each city, town and village comprising a district pass a resolution authorizing the election of commissioners to terms succeeding the initial appointments, commissioners shall be chosen to fill vacant seats at spring elections, as defined in s. 5.02 (21)
, of the district at large. Each commissioner may hold office until a successor is elected and qualified, except as provided in s. 17.27 (1m)
. Any commissioner elected for a regular or unexpired term shall take office after filing the official oath on the 4th Monday in April.
No resolution passed under subd. 1.
may authorize election of commissioners sooner than 6 months after the date of passage. The metropolitan sewerage district commission shall immediately notify the elections commission under s. 5.05
upon passage of a resolution under subd. 1.
If the governing bodies of each city, town, and village comprising the district pass a resolution to discontinue election of commissioners, each commissioner may hold office until a successor is appointed and qualified. The metropolitan sewerage district commission shall immediately notify the elections commission under s. 5.05
upon passage of a resolution under this subdivision.
This subsection shall apply only if all the governing bodies of the cities, villages and towns comprising the sewerage district agree by resolution to elect its provisions.
Powers and duties. 200.11(1)(a)(a)
The district shall be a municipal body corporate and shall be authorized in its name to contract and to be contracted with, and to sue and to be sued. The commission may employ persons or firms performing engineering, legal or other necessary services, require any employee to obtain and file with it an individual bond or fidelity insurance policy, and procure insurance. A commission may employ engineers or other employees of any municipality as its engineers, agents or employees.
The commission shall prepare and by resolution adopt plans and standards of planning, design and operation for all projects and facilities which will be operated by the district or which affect the services to be provided by the district. Commissions may and are encouraged to contract with regional or area-wide planning agencies for research and planning services. The commission's plans shall be consistent with adopted plans of a regional planning commission or area-wide planning agency organized under s. 66.0309
The commission may project and plan scientific experiments, investigations and research on treatment processes and on the receiving waterway to ensure that an economical and practical process for treatment is employed and that the receiving waterway meets the requirements of regulating agencies. The commission may conduct such scientific experiments, investigations and research independently or by contract or in cooperation with any public or private agency including any political subdivision of the state or any person or public or private organization.
The commission may adopt rules for the supervision, protection, management and use of the systems and facilities operated by the district. Such rules may, in the interest of plan implementation, restrict or deny the provision of utility services to lands which are described in adopted master plans or development plans of a municipality or county as not being fit or appropriate for urban or suburban development. Rules of the district shall be adopted and enforced as provided by s. 200.45
. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, such rules or any orders issued thereunder, may be enforced under s. 823.02
and the violation of any rule or any order lawfully promulgated by the commission is declared to be a public nuisance.
(e) Annual report.
The commission shall prepare annually a full and detailed report of its official transactions and expenses and of all presently planned additions and major changes in district facilities and services and shall file a copy of such report with the department of natural resources, the department of health services and the governing bodies of all cities, villages and towns having territory in such district.
(2) Metropolitan sewerage collection and treatment.
The commission shall plan, project, construct and maintain within the district interceptor and other main sewers for the collection and transmission of sewage. The commission shall also cause the sewage to be treated, disposed or recycled and may plan, project, construct and maintain works and facilities for this purpose.
(3) Connections with system.
The commission may require any person or municipality in the district to provide for the discharge of its sewage into the district's collection and disposal system, or to connect any sanitary sewerage system with the district's disposal system wherever reasonable opportunity therefor is provided; may regulate the manner in which such connections are made; may require any person or municipality discharging sewage into the system to provide preliminary treatment therefor; may prohibit and impose a penalty for the discharge into the system of any substance which it determines will or may be harmful to the system or any persons operating it; and may, with the prior approval of the department, after hearing upon 30 days' notice to the municipality involved, require any municipality to discontinue the acquisition, improvement or operation of any facility for disposal of any wastes or material handled by the commission wherever and so far as adequate service is or will be provided by the commission. The commission shall have access to all sewerage records of any municipality in the district and shall require all such municipalities to submit plans of existing systems and proposed extensions of local services or systems. The commission or its employees may enter upon the land in any municipality within the district for the purpose of making surveys or examinations.
(4) Property acquisition.
Commissions may acquire by gift, purchase, lease or other like methods of acquisition or by condemnation under ch. 32
, any land or property necessary for the operations of the commission or in any interest, franchise, easement, right or privilege therein, which may be required for the purpose of projecting, planning, constructing and maintaining the system. Any municipality and state agency is authorized to convey to or permit the use of any facilities owned or controlled by the municipality or agency subject to the rights of the holders of any bonds issued with respect thereto, with or without compensation, without an election or approval by any other government agency. Property, or any part or interest therein, when acquired, may be sold, leased or otherwise disposed of by the district whenever in the discretion of the commission the property or any part or portion thereof or interest therein is not needed to carry out the requirements and powers of the commission.
The district may construct, enlarge, improve, replace, repair, maintain and operate any works determined by the commission to be necessary or convenient for the performance of the functions assigned to the commission.
The district may enter upon any state, county or municipal street, road or alley, or any public highway for the purpose of installing, maintaining and operating the system, and it may construct in any such street, road or alley or public highway necessary facilities without a permit or a payment of a charge. Whenever the work is to be done in a state, county or municipal highway, the public authority having control thereof shall be duly notified, and the highway shall be restored to as good a condition as existed before the commencement of the work with all costs incident thereto borne by the district. All persons, firms or corporations lawfully having buildings, structures, works, conduits, mains, pipes, tracks or other physical obstructions in, over or under the public lands, avenues, streets, alleys or highways which block or impede the progress of district facilities, when in the process of construction, establishment or repair shall upon reasonable notice by the district, promptly so shift, adjust, accommodate or remove the same at the cost and expense of such individuals or corporations, as fully to meet the exigencies occasioning such notice. Any entry upon or occupation of any state freeway right-of-way after relocation or replacement of district facilities for which reimbursement is made under s. 84.295 (4m)
shall be done in a manner which is acceptable to the department of transportation.
The district shall have power to lay or construct and to forever maintain, without compensation to the state, any part of the utility system, or of its works, or appurtenances, over, upon or under any part of the bed of any river or of any land covered by any of the navigable waters of the state, the title to which is held by the state, and over, upon or under canals or through waterways, and if the same is deemed advisable by the commission, the proper officials of the state are authorized and directed upon application of the commission to execute, acknowledge and deliver such easements, or other grants, as may be proper for the purpose of carrying out the district operations.
Whenever plans and specifications for any facilities have been completed and approved by the commission and by any other agency which must approve the plans and specifications, and the commission has determined to proceed with the work of the construction thereof, it shall advertise by a class 2 notice under ch. 985
, for bids for the construction of the facilities. Contracts for the work shall be let to the lowest responsible bidder, or the agency may reject any and all bids and if in its discretion the prices quoted are unreasonable, the bidders irresponsible or the bids informal, it may readvertise the work or any part of it. All contracts shall be protected by such bonds, penalties and conditions as the district shall require. The commission may itself do any part of any of the works.
(6) Acquisition of existing facilities.
The commission may order that the district shall assume ownership of such existing utility works and facilities within the district as are needed to carry out the purposes of the commission. Appropriate instruments of conveyance for all such property shall be executed and delivered to the district by the proper officers of each municipality concerned. All persons regularly employed by a municipality to operate and maintain any works so transferred, on the date on which the transfer becomes effective, shall be employees of the district, in the same manner and with the same options and rights as were reserved to them in their former employment. The commission, upon assuming ownership of any works, shall become obligated to pay to the municipality amounts sufficient to pay when due all remaining principal of and interest on bonds issued by the municipality for the acquisition or improvement of the works taken over. Such amounts may be offset against any amounts due to be paid by the municipality to the district. The value of any works and facilities taken over by a commission may be agreed upon by the commission and the municipality owning the same. Should the commission and the governing body of the municipality be unable to agree upon a value, the value shall be determined by and fixed by the public service commission after a hearing to be held upon application of either party, and upon reasonable notice to the other party, to be fixed and served in such manner as the public service commission shall prescribe.
(7) Storm water drainage.
The commission may plan, project, construct and maintain storm sewers, works and facilities for the collection, transmission, treatment, disposal or recycling of storm water effluent to the extent such is permitted for sewage.
(8) Solid waste management.
The district may engage in solid waste management and shall for such purposes have all powers granted to county boards under s. 59.70 (2)
, except acquisition of land by eminent domain, if each county board having jurisdiction over areas to be served by the district has adopted a resolution requesting or approving the involvement of the district in solid waste management. County board approval shall not be required for the management by the district of such solid wastes as are contained within the sewage or storm water transmitted or treated by the district or as are produced as a by-product of sewerage treatment activities.
(9) Extraterritorial service by contract.
A district may provide service to territory outside the district, including territory in a county not in that district, under s. 66.0301
, subject to ss. 200.01
, except that s. 200.09 (1)
does not require the appointment of a commissioner from that territory.
Sub. (5) (c) does not exempt a sewerage district from the requirements of s. 30.12. Cassidy v. DNR, 132 Wis. 2d 153
, 390 N.W.2d 81
(Ct. App. 1986).
The commission may make a special assessment against property which is served by an intercepting or main sewer or any other appropriate facility at any time after the commission votes, by resolution recorded in the minutes of its meeting, to construct the intercepting or main sewer or any other appropriate facility, either before or after the work of constructing the sewer or other appropriate facility is done.
The commission shall view the premises and determine the amount properly assessable against each parcel of land and shall make and file, in their office, a report and schedule of the assessment so made, and file a duplicate copy of the report and schedule in the office of the clerk of the town, village or city wherein the land is situated.
The commission shall give notice that the report and schedule are on file in its office and in the office of the clerk of the town, village or city in which the land is situated, and that the notice will remain in those offices for a period of 10 days after the date on which the notice is issued; that on the date named in the notice, which shall not be more than 3 days after the expiration of the 10 days, the commission will be in session at its office, the location of which shall be specified in the notice, to hear all objections to the report.
The notice shall be published as a class 2 notice, under ch. 985
, and a copy of the notice shall be mailed at least 10 days before the hearing or proceeding to every interested person whose post-office address is known, or can be ascertained with reasonable diligence.
No irregularity in the form of the report, nor of such notice, shall affect its validity if it fairly contains the information required to be conveyed thereby.
At the time specified for hearing objections to the report, the commission shall hear all parties interested who may appear for that purpose.