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Laws of Interest

The State of Alabama has many laws which may affect your utility's operation. A synopsis of several of these laws is printed below.

If you are interested in additional information, please call us at (334) 396-5511.
 

                  

 

Storm Sewer Regulations

Act No. 2014-439

Legislation amends and expands Alabama’s Storm Water Bill to support businesses and the regulated community against regulatory overreach from the eEnvironmental Protection Agency. Read the full text (pdf).

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One Time Lump Sum

Act No. 2014-429

Enacted and grants a one-time, $2 per service month bonus to be paid to all state employees who have retired on or prior to October 1, 2013, and beneficiaries of retirees who currently receive benefits.  This bonus is optional for ERS’s local units. Read the entire Act (pdf).

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Public Works Law Amendments

Act No. 2014-404

To amend Section 39-2-2, Code of Alabama 1975, and Section 39-2-12, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to public works contracts; to require pre-bid meetings to be held at least seven days prior to bid opening; to prohibit the modification of specifications within 24 hours of the opening of a bid; to reduce the timeframe for payment of completed work; to remove the provision in current law that provides that the prompt payment provisions will not apply until an awarding authority is in receipt of funds as provided in the contract; to provide for the review and approval of the progress of completed work; to provide procedures for the dispute of a submitted invoice; and to provide for the alteration of contract terms upon the discovery of certain material changes in the property where work is to be performed.Read the entire Act (pdf).

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Drought Assessment Bill

Act No. 2014-400

Relating to droughts; to codify the establishment of the Alabama Drought Assessment and Planning Team created by the Governor's June 24, 2011, Executive Order Number 19, and provide for its membership, duties, responsibilities, and powers; to establish the Monitoring and Impacts Group Subcommittee and provide for its membership, duties, responsibilities, and powers; to codify the charges given to the Alabama Office of Water Resources which is a division of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, with the responsibility of developing a State Drought Plan and periodically issuing drought declarations; to reaffirm the Governor's ability to respond to extreme drought conditions under the powers provided under the Alabama Emergency Management Act of 1955; and to allow the Office of Water Resources to promulgate rules. (HB49). Read full text (pdf).

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Municipal Employees Direct Deposit

Act No. 2014-334

Relating to municipalities; to allow a municipality to require its new employees to participate in direct deposit of the employee's wages in a financial institution selected by the employee under certain conditions. Read the entire Act (pdf).

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Promotes Fairness

Act No. 2014-297

Promotes fairness in the application of the return-to-work limitations by applying the limitations not only to retirees who return to work as employees, but also retirees who return to work as independent contractors.  As a result, retirees who work as independent contractors for ERS and TRS employers will be subject to the same compensation caps that are currently applied to retirees who work as employees for these employers.  This legislation further requires retirees to provide written notice of post-retirement employment with ERS or TRS employers he or she will be performing duties on a permanent or full-time basis, or will earn an amount above the compensation cap. Read the entire Act (pdf).

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One Call Legislation

Act No. 2014-220

To amend Sections 37-15-2, 37-15-4, 37-15-5, 37-15-6, 37-15-7, 37-15-8, 37-15-9, and 37-15-10 of the Code of Alabama 1975, relating to the "One-Call Notification System," established for the purpose of receiving notifications by persons conducting excavations or demolitions on or near certain property where underground facilities may be located, to further provide for definitions and for operational provisions of the underground damage prevention process; to provide for notification of underground facility operators of design and survey locate requests; to provide certain civil and criminal penalties; and in connection therewith would have as its purpose or effect the requirement of a new or increased expenditure of local funds within the meaning of Amendment 621 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, now appearing as Section 111.05 of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended. Read the entire Act (pdf).

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Disclosure of Purchase Real Estate

Act No. 2014-133

Relating to real property; to require the state, a county, a municipality, any other governmental entity, or any quasi-governmental entity to disclose certain information
following the purchase of real property (SB173). Read full text (pdf).

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Fair & Open Competition in
Government Construction of Public Buildings

Act No. 2014-107

Relating to public buildings and public works; to create the Fair and Open Competition in Governmental Construction Act; to prohibit public agencies from entering into certain contracts; to prohibit certain terms in certain documents; to prohibit public agencies from making certain awards; to prohibit certain persons from placing certain terms in certain documents; and more. Read the entire Act (pdf).

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Prichard Water Board Constitutional Amendment

Act No. 2014-086

Relating to Mobile County; to propose a local constitutional amendment to provide for the transfer of the assets and liabilities of the Water and Sewer Board of the City of Prichard to the Board of Water and Sewer Commissioners of the City of Mobile, presently known as the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System and provide for an election upon the proposed amendment in June 2014. Read the entire Act (pdf).

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Water, Sewer, and Fire Protection Service

Act No. 2013-334

To amend Section 11-88-1, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to water, sewer, and fire protection authorities, to specify that the definition of "fire protection service," includes searching for, testing for, drilling for, installation of necessary access ways, electric, gas, sewer, telephone and water lines to, from and for the construction, operation, and maintenance of buildings and accessory structures used for pumping from a well, a spring, a creek, a river or tributary thereof, a reservoir, or a tank by an authority (HB 251). Read full text (pdf).

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Competitive Bid Law

Act No. 2009-760

Relating to competitive bidding on contracts of certain state and local agencies; to increase the minimum amount of contracts subject to competitive bid from $7,500 to $15,000; to include city and county boards of education in the list of awarding authorities that may establish local preference zones; to change from mandatory to permissive the furnishing of a bid bond by a bidder; to exempt from competitive bidding requirements purchases made by city and county boards of education under certain joint purchasing agreements; to authorize an awarding authority to make purchases or contracts through a reverse auction procedure; to provide for the award of the remainder of an award period to the second lowest responsible bidder in the event of the default of the lowest responsible bidder; and to specify that the lowest responsible bid may be the bid offering the lowest life cycle costs (SB 418). Read entire Act as amended (pdf).

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Utility Board Member Compensation

Act No. 2010-580

To amend Section 11-88-6, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to Boards of Directors of water, sewer and fire protection authorities, to provide further for the compensation of members and chairpersons of such boards.
 

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Alabama Volunteer Fire Department Check-off Contribution

Act No. 2006-203

Relating to county water systems incorporated pursuant to Chapter 88 or other portions of Title 11, Code of Alabama 1975, and municipal water systems incorporated pursuant to Chapter 50 or other portions of Title 11, Code of Alabama 1975; to authorize such systems to solicit their customers, through their periodic billings, for voluntary contributions for local fire departments; to require prior authorization of the board of directors to participate; to provide for the distributions of such contributions; and to require volunteer fire departments to provide monthly estimates of water used to the water system providing water.

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Alabama Sunset Law

Act No. 92-182

Relating to the Alabama Sunset Law; to continue the existence and functioning of the Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board with certain modifications; to amend Sections 34-37-6, 34-37-8, 34-37-9, 34-37-12, and 34-37-15, Code of Alabama 1975, so as to provide minimum times for holding a lower classification before being examined for certification as a journeyman plumber, master plumber or master pipe fitter: extend the time period for certification without an examination (grandfather clause); require the board to adopt a program of continuing education by October 1, 1994; require the board to adopt a late renewal penalty and levy administrative fines; and permit property owners to perform plumbing work on their own property.
 

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Alabama Open Meeting Act

Act No. 2005-40 

Under existing law, meetings of governmental entities are required to be held in the open. There are certain exceptions to that requirement. This bill would require all meetings held by a governmental body to be open to the public with certain exceptions, would provide for civil penalties, and would prohibit certain agencies and other governmental bodies from meeting in executive or secret sessions.
 

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ALABAMA LAW - CERTIFICATE OF INCORPORATION
OF WATER, SEWER AND FIRE PROTECTION AUTHORITIES

Act No. 91-599

To amend Section 11-88-5 of the Code of Alabama 1975, as amended, relating to the authorization and procedure for amendment of the certificate of incorporation of water, sewer and fire protection authorities with a service area that lies solely within one determining county so as to permit changes in the number of directors of such authorities to any odd number thereof that the board shall deem appropriate, and to provide that the total number of directors of any such authority shall be not less than three or more than five; to validate the membership of the boards of directors of all such authorities as are presently in existence: and to provide an effective date.
 

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ALABAMA LAW - PROHIBITING DUPLICATION OF SERVICES

Act No. 82-624

To prohibit any municipality from acquiring, or duplicating any services of, any waterworks system, or any part thereof, operated by a corporation or association which has been organized under Sections 10-4-190 through 10-4-194; Sections 11-88-1 through 11-88-21; Sections 11-88-40 through 11-88-111; or Sections 11-89-1 through 11-89-19, Code of Alabama 1975, without the consent of a majority of the members of the governing board of said corporation or association.
 

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ALABAMA LAW - RELATING TO USE OF RIGHTS OF WAY

HB112
To amend Section 11-88-14, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to the use of rights-of-way of public roads by water, sewer, and fire protection authorities; to allow counties to develop regulations for use of a right-of-way within the jurisdiction of a governmental entity under certain circumstances. 
 

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ALABAMA LAW - TO UPGRADE SERVICES

S. 129

 To provide for water authorities to upgrade services, including fire hydrants; and to further provide for any savings as a result of lower insurance rates.
 

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ALABAMA LAW - TO UPGRADE SERVICES

Act No. 97-417

SYNOPSIS: Under existing law, a water authority may develop, improve, maintain, equip, and operate water, sewer, and fire protection facilities or combine the services, and may charge reasonable rates for the services. Also, the water authority may fix, collect, and revise reasonable fees and other charges for water, sewer, and fire protection services.

This bill would specifically authorize the water authority to upgrade water sewage service, including fire hydrants. The bill also would provide for a certain portion of the savings from lower insurance rates to the company and customer to go to the authority to pay for the upgrade.
 

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ALABAMA LAW - ON USE OF THE STATE EMPLOYEE'S
HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN

S. 131

Enrolled, An Act,
To amend Act No. 90-624, H.570, 1990 Regular Session, codified as Section 36-29-14, Code of Alabama 1975, which provides the procedure for officers, employees and retirees of certain cities, towns, fire districts, water and fire authority districts and the Alabama League of Municipalities to be covered under the state employees' health insurance plan, so as to authorize certain additional state, county and municipal agencies and regional planning and development commissions to participate in the plan; to provide additional eligibility requirements for those entities wishing to participate in said plan; to provide procedures regarding revocation of participation in said plan.
 

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ALABAMA LAW-TAMPERING WITH METERS AND
OTHER UNLAWFUL DIVERSION OF UTILITY SERVICES

Act 86-429

Enrolled, An Act
To prohibit certain activities related to tampering with meters and other facilities of public utilities furnishing utility services or otherwise diverting or using utility services unlawfully; to provide felony criminal punishment for violations; and to provide that the provisions of this act are cumulative to Section 13A-8-10, Code of Alabama 1975.
 

AMENDING EARLIER ALABAMA LAW ON TAMPERING WITH
METERS AND OTHER UNLAWFUL DIVERSION OF UTILITY SERVICES

Act 2013-74

Enrolled, An Act
To amend Sections 13A-7-24 and 13A-7-25, Code of Alabama 1974; to further define criminal tampering. Full text of the act.

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ALABAMA LAW - RELATING TO NOTIFICATION OF
EXCAVATION AND DEMOLITION ACTIVITIES

S. 299

Enrolled, An Act,
To provide for a means to safeguard the public against injury and loss of life or the interruption of public services caused by damage to various underground facilities by communicating and coordinating adequate prior notification of excavation or demolition activities that might damage or interrupt services provided by certain underground facilities; to prohibit certain activities without first having ascertained the location of any potentially affected underground facilities; to prescribe procedures for notification of an intent to undertake certain activities; to prescribe certain activities to be included in an underground damage prevention program; to prescribe procedures for response to both emergency and routine notification and for reporting damage resulting from certain activities; to prescribe civil penalties for violations and exceptions to such penalties; to provide for the liberal construction and severability of any part of this act and to provide that this act shall become effective on January 1, 1995.
 

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ALABAMA LAW - RELATING TO MOBILE COUNTY

Act No. 91-500

Relating to Mobile County, providing for additional compensation to members of the board of directors of certain public utility authorities.

Be It Enacted by the Legislature of Alabama:
   Section 1. In Mobile County, the members of the board of directors of any authority, created or operated pursuant to Sections 11-88-1 through 11-88-21, Code of Alabama 1975, which operates a public water system, a public sewer system or a fire protection facility and which serves 6,500 or more customers, shall, in addition to any other compensation and if authorized by resolution of the board of directors of the authority, be compensated for performance of their duties as follows:
      (a) The chairman of the board shall be compensated in an additional amount not to exceed $400.00 per month; and
      (b) Each member of the board shall be compensated in an additional amount not to exceed $300.00 per month.
 

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ALABAMA LAW - RELATING TO ST CLAIR COUNTY

Act No. 79

To provide in St. Clair County, Alabama, for the creation and maintenance of districts for fighting or preventing fires and for the collection and disposal of garbage, providing medical rescue services and systems, and providing parks and recreational facilities: to provide that any such district may be created for any area upon the conditions and in the manner provided for in the Act; to provide that upon the petition of the qualified electors residing within any proposed district the Probate Judge shall call an election at which there shall be submitted to the qualified electors residing within the proposed district the question of whether the proposed district shall be created; to provide what the petition for such election shall contain; to provide for the time and the conduct of such election; to provide that the County shall pay the expense of conducting such election; to provide that if the district is created the district shall reimburse the County for the expenses incurred by the County in respect to the election; to provide that after a district has been established the district shall pay the expense of any election held in the district or held in any area which it is proposed be added to the district; to provide that no district shall be created unless the creation thereof has been approved by the majority of votes cast at the election; to provide that if the creation of the proposed district is approved by the majority of votes cast at the election, the proposed district shall be created and shall constitute a public corporation; to provide that a district may be enlarged by the inclusion of additional area therein, provided the inclusion of such area in the district is approved by the majority of votes cast by the qualified electors residing within the proposed additional area; to provide for the time and conduct of such election; to provide that the affairs and business of the district shall be managed by a Board of Trustees consisting of five members appointed by the governing body of the County; to provide for the terms of office of the members of the Board; to provide that the Board of Trustees shall elect from its own number a president and a secretary; to provide that the members of the Board of Trustees shall not be entitled to any compensation for their services but shall be entitled to reimbursement for all expenses incurred by them in the performance of their duties; to define the rights, powers and authority of the districts; to authorize any such district to pledge all or any part of its revenues, or to mortgage or otherwise encumber all or any part of its property for the purpose of securing the payment of the principal of and interest on any of its obligations; to authorize any such district to levy and collect service charges as provided for in the Act and, subject to the limitations prescribed in the Act; to provide for the dissolution of any such district; to provide that the provisions of the Act are severable; to repeal all laws or parts of laws, in conflict with the Act; and to provide when the Act shall take effect.
 

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ALABAMA LAW - RELATING TO WORTHLESS CHECKS

Act No. 80-200

 To provide further for the crime of negotiation of worthless checks and other negotiable instruments; to provide for written notice to makers or drawers of such worthless instruments; to provide further for matters of proof as to persons issuing such worthless instruments; prescribing penalties for violations, and specifically repealing and superseding Section 13A-9-13, Code of Alabama 1975.
 

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FEDERAL LAW - RELATING TO DEBTS OWED TO FMHA

1926(b)

 The basic statute here is 7 U.S.C. 1926(b), which states: The service provided or made available through any such [water] association [indebted to the FmHA] shall not be curtailed or limited by the inclusion of the area within the boundaries of any municipal corporation or other public body. . .during the term of said loan. . . 
 

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