CA 14 38     

NOTE:  Section 38 as proposed by Acts 1950, No. 565, adopted Nov. 7, 1950.

§38.  Jefferson Parish; public improvement districts; levee systems, pumps, etc.; indebtedness; bonds

Section 38.  Acting under the provisions of this article of the Constitution and Chapter 4 of Title 39 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950,1  insofar as applicable thereto, the Public Improvement Districts organized in the Parish of Jefferson, State of Louisiana, under the provisions of Act No. ____ 2 of the Legislature of Louisiana for the year 1950, may, through their governing authorities, incur debt and issue bonds, secured by and payable from ad valorem taxation as prescribed under the constitutional limitations on all the property situated within the said districts sufficient in amount for the purpose of purchasing, acquiring, constructing and erecting levee systems, pumps, flood gates and appliances necessary therefor, and to fill lands and construct soil erosion works, title to which shall be in the public.  Said Public Improvement Districts are hereby declared to be political subdivisions of the state and shall have and exercise such further powers as may be authorized by the legislature.

Added by Acts 1950, No. 565, adopted Nov. 7, 1950.

1R.S. 39:471 et seq.

2 Acts 1950, No. 117, authorizing the creation of public improvement districts in Jefferson Parish, defining their powers, etc.

NOTE:  Section 38 as proposed by Acts 1952, No. 529, adopted Nov. 4, 1952.

§38.  Jefferson Parish; public improvement districts

Section 38.  (A).  Projects authorized.  The Parish of Jefferson, acting by and through its governing authority, is authorized and empowered to create, alter and abolish Public Improvement Districts within said Parish in the manner provided by the Legislature under the provisions of Act 117 of 1950, as the same now exists or may hereafter be amended (which Act is hereby ratified and confirmed except as herein modified without affecting the right of the Legislature to amend said Act).  Such Public Improvement Districts which include land fronting any body of water lying wholly or partially within said Parish, as now or hereafter created, in addition to the powers now conferred on such districts by law, shall have the power to construct and undertake reclamation projects as herein provided, to locate, relocate, construct, maintain, extend and improve levees, embankments, seawalls, jetties, breakwaters, water-basins, and other works in relation to such projects, and to conduct all dredging and filling operations necessary in connection therewith and incidental thereto, along, over and on the shores, bottom and bed of such waters within the Parish of Jefferson, at a distance from the present shore line, as the governing authority of said districts may determine, and along and on the shores adjacent to said waters; the said levees, embankments, seawalls, jetties, break-waters, water-basins and other works to be of such character and extent and of such height, width, slope, design and material as said governing authority of such district may deem necessary and proper.

Said districts shall also have the power to construct, acquire, extend and improve water systems, sewer systems, garbage and waste disposal facilities, drains and drainage works, fire protection, road lighting facilities, boat harbors, marinas, stadiums, golf courses, boulevards, streets, roads, buildings and all other buildings and types of permanent improvement and construction necessary to render the property usable to the maximum extent.

The Parish Council for the Parish of Jefferson, State of Louisiana, or its successors in law, shall be the governing authority of any such Public Improvement District created under the provisions of this Section and the said Act 117 of 1950.

Nothing herein contained shall add to or detract from the present provisions of the Constitution and Laws of the state relative to the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans, its rights under all of said provisions being preserved.

(B).  Jurisdiction and powers.  In planning, designing and executing said projects, the governing authority of said Districts in each case shall have jurisdiction, power and authority, within the territorial limits of its District to dedicate to public use and to lay out, construct, embellish and maintain a system of parks, beaches, tracts of land and streets, with the necessary and related buildings, and the usual adjuncts to the kind of development contemplated hereunder; to construct, equip and maintain playgrounds, places of amusement and entertainment, gymnasiums, swimming pools, bathing beaches, aviation fields and other like places.

(C).  Contracts with public utilities.  Such Districts may contract with any agency, public or private, providing public utilities within the Parish of Jefferson, on such terms as may be agreed upon between said Districts and said respective utilities, for the financing, construction and extension of sewerage, water, drainage, electric, gas and other necessary public utilities in, on and through said development.

(D).  Property acquisition; expropriation; state property.  Such Public Improvement Districts may acquire by donation, purchase, exchange or expropriation, and include in any development and improvements, any private property within three hundred feet of the present shore line of said waters situated within the respective district, which may be considered by the governing authority to be necessary to accomplish the purposes of the respective district.  Said districts may acquire by expropriation any real property in fee, leaving the ownership of any minerals or mineral rights in private landowners, and the prescription of nonuse shall not run against said minerals or mineral rights.  In the event of expropriation the compensation to be paid shall be the actual market value of the property as of the time of the taking thereof.

To enable the said districts to perform the work herein provided for and to assist in defraying the cost and expenses thereof, the State of Louisiana, acting by and through the Register of the State Land Office, is hereby authorized, empowered and directed to grant to districts now or hereafter created in accordance herewith, the title to all property owned by the State of Louisiana, or the title to which stands in the name of the State, and all property which, by its nature, situation and location, is not susceptible of private ownership under the present laws and Constitution of the State, and which land is to be reclaimed or filled in within any levee embankments, slopes, retaining walls, seawalls and break-waters to be constructed hereunder; provided, however, that the mineral rights on any and all of said lands shall be reserved to the State of Louisiana.  When any such district shall have been formed and notice of the creation thereof published one time in a newspaper published in the Parish, the vesting of the title in and to said lands shall be evidenced by a certificate of title and patent which shall be issued by the Register of the State Land Office.  Upon receipt of a request from the governing authority of the district describing the lands to be reclaimed, it is hereby made the mandatory duty of said Register to issue a certificate of title and patent granting to the district title to the land described in the request.

No Levee District may expropriate (or appropriate) any property of such a Public Improvement District without paying full compensation therefor computed at the actual current market value of the property so acquired.

(E).  Levee district rights.  Nothing herein contained shall be construed to deprive the Pontchartrain Levee District and the Lafourche Basin Levee District of any rights or powers that such districts presently have or exert in connection with the present levee systems within the Parish of Jefferson.  Public Improvement Districts may enter into contracts with the said Levee Districts in connection with the doing of any act which each such district is empowered to perform.

(F).  Reclamation, construction and improvement contracts.  The work of reclamation, construction and improvement herein and heretofore authorized and provided for shall be accomplished by letting out contracts therefor from time to time in accordance with law at the time of the letting of said contracts.

(G).  Land grants.  Public Improvement Districts undertaking projects contemplated hereunder, and receiving title to property as herein provided, shall have complete jurisdiction, power and authority to sell and lease, or sell or lease, or otherwise dispose of such portion of the lands reclaimed and other property acquired for the purpose of said improvement (except the land herein required to be dedicated by it for public use) together with any building, improvements or other work constructed thereon, under such terms and conditions and by such methods as the governing authority may deem proper; and to establish and impose such servitudes, restrictions, rules and regulations as to such lands sold and leased, or otherwise disposed of, as said governing authority may determine; provided that said lands may be subdivided in lots and may be offered for sale or lease or sold or leased as soon as practicable after the adoption of this amendment without awaiting the completion of said projects as a whole; provided, that there shall be reserved and dedicated forever by said governing authority for public parks, parkways, boulevards, playgrounds, aviation fields, yacht harbors, beach purposes, and places of amusement, along the entire water frontage of the project, a continuous strip of land averaging at least 300 feet in depth and at no point less than 200 feet in depth; provided that when said Districts shall have established and located the front line of said development, including the line or location of piers, break-waters, or other like extensions, and shall have sold or leased, or otherwise disposed of, any land or granted any rights based upon said line, or location, or when any party shall have for a valuable consideration, acquired rights based on said line or location, then no further reclamation shall be made, or other works constructed, by said District or each respective district as herein provided.  However, beyond said established front line or location in the bed of said waters, the State of Louisiana shall not itself undertake, authorize or permit said Districts or any other governmental agency or person, association, firm or corporation whatsoever, to reclaim the bed of said waters, or any part thereof, or to construct any works thereon; provided, however, that the foregoing restrictions and limitations shall not prevent or preclude the State of Louisiana, or other governmental agency authorized by law, or any person, firm or corporation authorized by law, from building any bridges, or crossings connecting the shores of said waters with any land reclaimed or works constructed in said waters.  For the sale and disposal of said property, such Districts shall employ such persons, agents or agencies, as said Districts' sound discretion may dictate; and shall pay said agents such compensation as shall have been previously agreed upon; provided, however, that in no case shall such compensation exceed the maximum tariff, or rate in force and established at the time by the New Orleans Real Estate Exchange or its successor and allowed for sales of privately owned property within the Parish of Jefferson.

(H).  Bonds, notes, etc.  In order to carry out the objects and purposes of this section and to enable said Districts to finance and carry on the work of development, improvement, maintenance and operation herein authorized, or otherwise authorized by law, said Districts are authorized and empowered, and shall have the authority and power, to issue, sell and deliver, from time to time, bonds, notes or certificates of indebtedness, not exceeding Thirty Million Dollars in aggregate principal amounts at one time outstanding, to be signed in its behalf by its duly authorized officers, to be payable in lawful money of the United States of America, to bear such rate of interest not to exceed six (6%) per cent per annum, to be payable at such times and at such place or places and to be issued under all such terms and conditions, not inconsistent herewith, as said Districts may determine; and to secure such bonds, notes and certificates of indebtedness, at any time issued, or to be issued and outstanding, but not to exceed the sum of Thirty Million Dollars principal amount outstanding, the said Districts are authorized to mortgage and pledge:

(1)  Any and all lands reclaimed or to be reclaimed, or otherwise acquired by said Districts as part of said development, except such part of said land as is required by the provisions hereof to be reserved and dedicated for public parks, parkways, boulevards, playgrounds or places of amusement, or beach purposes, together with all buildings or improvements made or constructed, or to be made or constructed thereon, and all rights, ways, privileges, servitudes or appurtenances, thereunto belonging, or in anywise appertaining, and

(2)  Cash, notes, or other evidences or indebtedness received, or to be received, by said Districts in consideration for the sale or sales of any lands, lots, and improvements forming part of said development; and

(3)  Any lease or leases and the rents, incomes and other advantages arising out of any lease or leases, made or granted by said Districts in connection with said development; and

(4)  Generally any and all rights of said Districts and to any lands, property, incomes, revenues, claims and other choses in action, forming part of and arising out of said development.

Said Districts shall have the power and authority to sign, execute and deliver any act or acts of mortgage and pledge containing all such terms, conditions and stipulations, not inconsistent herewith, as they may deem proper to secure any bonds, notes or other certificates of indebtedness issued, or to be issued by it in pursuance hereof.  The said bonds, notes or certificates of indebtedness shall be exempt from all taxation for state, parish and municipal purposes, and savings banks and insurance companies shall be authorized to invest funds in their hands therein, and said bonds, notes and certificates of indebtedness may be used for deposit with any officer, board, municipality or other political subdivision of the State of Louisiana, in any case whereby any present or future laws deposit of security may be required.  Said bonds, notes and certificates of indebtedness, shall be deemed to be negotiable instruments and incontestable in the hands of bona fide holders for value; provided, however, nothing herein contained shall be construed as pledging the credit of the State of Louisiana for the payment of said bonds, notes or certificates of indebtedness, nor shall said bonds, notes or certificates of indebtedness be construed as obligations of the State of Louisiana.

(I).  General provisions.  In addition to the power and authority to issue bonds or other evidences of indebtedness and to borrow money as provided in Section 38 and Section 38(h), said Districts shall also have the authority to issue revenue bonds under the provisions of Article XIV, Section 14 of the Constitution of the State of Louisiana for the year 1921 and Sub-Parts B and C, Part I, Chapter 10, Title 33 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, for any lawful purpose of the District, and in connection with the issuance of revenue bonds pursuant to said authority, any revenue producing property or facility or other structure owned by or to be acquired by such Districts is hereby declared to be a revenue producing public utility as that term is used and defined by the Constitution and Laws of the State with respect to the issuance of revenue bonds of political subdivisions of the State.

Refunding bonds may be issued for the purpose of refunding, extending and unifying the whole or any part of the principal, interest and redemption premiums on any outstanding bonds issued under Sub-Paragraphs (h) and (i) hereof, and the proceeds applied to or deposited in escrow for the retirement of the outstanding bonds or may be delivered in exchange for the outstanding bonds; provided, however, no bonds may be refunded hereunder unless the holders thereof voluntarily surrender them for exchange or payment or unless the bonds being refunded mature or are callable for prior redemption under the terms of their issuance within ten (10) years from the date of the issuance of the refunding bonds.  When the proceeds of refunding bonds are deposited in escrow to pay and redeem the bonds refunded, any interest earned on the investment of such proceeds in direct obligations of the United States of America may be calculated as a part of the funds required to pay and redeem the bonds refunded.  No election shall be necessary to authorize the issuance of refunding bonds hereunder.

For a period of thirty (30) days from the date of publication of the proceedings of the governing authority of any District hereunder, authorizing the issuance of any bonds, notes or certificates of indebtedness, any person in interest shall have the right to contest the legality of such proceedings, the bonds, notes or certificates of indebtedness provided for, for any cause; after which time no one shall have any cause or right of action to contest the regularity, formality or legality of said proceedings or authorization for any cause whatsoever.  If the validity of any proceedings or issue authorized or provided for, held under the provisions of this section, is not raised within thirty (30) days from the date of publication of the proceedings taken in connection therewith, the legality thereof shall be conclusively presumed, and no court shall have authority to inquire into such proceedings.

(J).  Construction of section; self-executing provisions.  Sections 38(a) to 38(j), inclusive, are intended to constitute sub-sections of Section 38.  Section 38 and said sub-sections shall be construed as a unit and wherever the words "hereunder," "hereby," "herein" and the like are used in said section and sub-sections, they shall be construed to refer to the entire section and sub-sections as a unit.  Said section and sub-sections are self-executing and no additional legislation other than the said Act 117 of the Legislature of 1950, which is hereby ratified and confirmed, except as modified herein, shall be required for effective use of said section and sub-sections; provided, however, nothing contained in said section of sub-sections shall be construed to prevent the use by any public improvement district of Jefferson Parish of any other available authority for its establishment, operation and the financing of its facilities.  Except when a public improvement district subject hereto is acting pursuant to and in dependence on authority contained in such other law, no legislation or restriction contained in any other law shall be applicable to the operation of any public improvement district operating under this section and these subsections nor to the issuance of the obligations of any such district.

(Added by Acts 1952, No. 529, adopted Nov. 4, 1952.  Amended by Acts 1964, No. 555, adopted Nov. 3, 1964; Acts 1966, No. 554, adopted Nov. 8, 1966.)