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year 1899, added to the proceeds, on the same basis, of one half the surplus of the present one per cent. debt tax, levied by virtue of Article 314 of the Constitution of the State of Louisiana of 1898, shall be capitalized by issuing the bonds of the city of New Orleans, to be styled the “Public Improvement Bonds of the City of New Orleans," dated July 1, 1900, having fifty years to run, bearing as low a rate of interest as can be negotiated for, but not in any event to exceed 4 per cent. per annum, which bonds are to be sold only as needed, at not less than par and accrued interest, and the proceeds thereof applied exclusively to the purpose above set forth. The proceeds of the two funds aforesaid shall be applied by preference in each year to the payment of the interest on said bonds, and any surplus remaining after tne payment of such interest, and all arrears of interest, may be used, 'less 20 per cent. reserve from each year's surplus, in extending and completing the public works aforesaid. Whenever the aggregate of the surplus aforesaid shall equal a sum sufficient to pay one-half the annual interest on the bonds aforesaid, then no such surplus shall be reserved as long as the amount of this aggregate remains intact; and this reserve shall be used only when necessary to insure the prompt and regular payment of interest on said bonds. So much of the special tax to be levied in the year 1899 as may be necessary shall be used in such acquisitions of property, preliminary investigations, surveys and experiments as the “Sewerage and Water Board,” hereinafter constituted, may in their judgment find necessary and proper to enable them to plan, devise and prepare to contract for the construction of the permanent public works aforesaid. Said bonds shall contain a clause authorizing the City of New Orleans, after July 1, 1942, to call and pay the principal of the same at par and accrued interest, in such manner and form as it may deem best. The interest on said ibonds after July 1, 1942, and the principal thereof shall be paid by the levy after the year 1942 of the 1 per cent. debt tax aforesaid until all the principal and interest said bonds are fully and finally paid, and the proceeds of said 1 per cent. debt tax are specially dedicated to said purpose on and after July 1, 1942. In case there should be in any year a deficiency in the funds aforesaid to pay the full interest upon all of the bonds outstanding, such deficiency of interest shall be funded into bonds of such denominations as may be found convenient, bearing the same rate of interest as the original bonds, and having a term to run equal to the balance of the term on the original bonds, but subject to call at will by the City of New Orleans; and in case any such bonds are issued they shall be stamped across their face, "Interest Funding Bonds issued subject to immediate call"; and all surplus revenues thereafter arising from said taxes shall be applied to the retirement of such bonds numerically as fast as such surplus accrues. Said interest funding bonds shall have all the guarantees and secur. ities provided for the original bonds in said Ordinance 15,391, C. S., and in this act for their payment, principal and interest.
Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, etc., That as soon as constitutional authority above mentioned for issuance of said bonds is obtained, it shall be the duty of the Board of Liquidation of the City Debt, at the expense of the special tax fund in their possession, to advertise for sixty days in London, Amsterdam, New York, Chicago and New Or. leans, for sealed proposals to buy the whole issue of said bonds, to-wit: Twelve millions bearing 4 per cent., or fourteen millions bearing 316 per cent., or sixteen millions bearing 3 per cent., the purchaser or pur. chasers to take the bonds from time to time, on sixty days' notice, and pay the cash therefor as the exigencies of the Sewerage and Water Board may require; and it shall accept the bid or bids, or aggregate of bids or parts of bids covering the whole issue, not less than par and accrued interest, that agrees to take such bonds at the best price and
the lowest rate of interest; such acceptance, however, shall be subject to the ratification of the City Council by a formal ordinance. Both the Board of Liquidation and the Council shall have power to reject any and all bids and to advertise for new bids in the manner above provided.
Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, etc., That when the rate of interest which said bonds are to bear has been fixed by the bid aforesaid, and the acceptance thereof by the City Council, the Board of Liquidation shall cause said bonds to be engraved of proper designs, at the expense of the special tax fund in their possession. Said bonds shall be of denominations of $1000 each, payable in lawful money of the United States, with semi-annual interest coupons annexed, payable January 1, and July 1. They shall be signed by the Mayor and Comptroller of the City of New Orleans, and countersigned by the president or vice-president and secretary of the Board of Liquidation of the City Debt. They may be registered and released from registry under the rules and regulations prescribed by said Board of Liquidation, and no registered bond shall be negotiable. Like other city bonds, they shall be exempt from all taxation, State, parish and municipal, and the tutors of minors and curators of interdicts shall be authorized to invest the funds in their hands in such bonds.
Sec. 4. Be it further enacted, etc., That inasmuch as the surplus of the 1 per cent. debt tax aforesaid has heretofore by Act No. 114 of the Acts of 1896, and Act No. 63 of the Acts of 1898, been devoted exclusively to drainage purposes, and the Drainage Commission, constituted by said acts, has issued bonds, callable after December 1, 1899, payable out of said fund, there shall be sold and delivered as aforesaid, as soon as possible, Public Improvement Bonds enough to provide for the retirement of said drainage bonds, and the first funds that reach the hands of the Board of Liquidation from the sale of said public improvement bonds shall be exclusively and sacredly devoted to the payment and retirement of said outstanding drainage bonds, and any other debts created by the Drainage Commission against said fund, so as to free the said surplus of the 1 per cent. debt tax from all lawful claims and demands thereon, in order that the dedication of said funds to the purposes of this act may have full force and effect.
On and after the adoption of the Constitutional Amendment aforesaid, the Drainage Commission shall not issue or dispose of any more
under the acts aforesaid, and when the bonds issued by it have been retired as aforesaid, the proceeds of the sale of all franchises now required by law to inure to said commission shall revert to the City of New Orleans, to be used for permanent public improvements. After the passage of this act the Drainage Commission shall make no contracts payable out of the bonds issued or to be issued by it or payable out of the half surplus of the 1 per cent. for the extension of the drain-age system beyond those now made.
Sec. 5 (Amd.) Be it further enacted, etc., That the Board of Liquidation of the City Debt shall immediately on the expiration of any contract existing between the City of New Orleans and the fiscal agency deposit the proceeds of the sale of the Public Improvement Bonds aforesaid, and the proceeds of the special tax aforesaid and the surplus of the 1 per cent. debt tax aforesaid, and of the proceeds of the 1 per cent. tax after July 1, 1942, in such bank or banks, as the Board of Liquidation shall elect "viva voce" paying the highest rate of interest therefor, consistent with the safety of such deposits, with the approval of the City Council, to the credit of a special fund, called the "Public Improvement Fund”, and said Board of Liquidation are specially charged with the payment of the interest and principal of the bonds aforesaid.
All payments made by the “Sewerage and Water Board” aforesaid are to be made in the form of warrants or drafts on the Board of Liquidation of the City Debt, setting forth the amount thereof, the person to whom payable, and the purpose for which the payment is made; and the said Board of Liquidation is hereby charged with the duty of taking care that no irregular or improper or unlawful payments are made out of said special tax fund. Said Board of Liquidation shall have no authority or right to use or to pay out any portion of said special tax fund, or the half surplus of the said 1 per cent. debt tax, for any purpose whatever, except for the purposes specially designated in this act.
(As amended by Act No. 85 of 1902.)
Sec. 6. Be it further enacted, etc., That the powers, duties and functions of the Board of Liquidation of the City Debt as set forth in Act No. 110 of the Acts of 1890, shall continue in full force, until the bonds authorized by this act are fully and finally paid and retired, and all the provisions of said act with reference to the power and duty of said board, in certain contingencies, to levy and collect the said special tax of 1 per cent. are hereby extended to the said special tax of two mills, and to the said 1 per cent. debt tax, after the year 1942; and said taxes and their proper levy and collection, are hereby declared to be the vested right of all the holders of bonds, issued under this act; provided, that nothing in this act shall be construed so as to authorize or empower the Board of Liquidation or any other body to levy and collect the said special tax of two mills after the year 1942.
Sec. 7. Be it further enacted, etc., That said Board of Liquida. tion shall semi-annually, the 1st of January and the 1st of July, of each year, present to the City Council a detailed report of all receipts and disbursements coming into its hands under the provisions of this act.
Sec. 8. (As amended by Act 111 of 1892, held unconstitutional. State ex rel Saunders vs. Kohnke, 109 L. 838. The seculon as enacted in Act 6 of 1899 E. S. is inserted here). Be it further enacted, etc., That for the purpose of constructing, controlling, maintaining and operating the public water system and public sewerage system of the City of New Orleans, there is hereby organized and constituted a “Sewerage and Water Board,” to be composed of the members of the Drainage Commission as now constituted, and a citizen property taxpayer possessing property assessed in his own name and situated in the City of New Orleans of two years' previous residence in each of the seven municipal districts of the City of New Orleans, to be appointed by the Mayor for twelve years, with the consent of the Council. The first appointment to be made under this act shall be one for two, one for four, one for six, one for eight, one for ten, one for twelve, and one for fourteen years, so that one new commissioner will be appointed every two years; and on the expiration of each commissioner's term his successor shall be appointed for twelve years. All vacancies shall be filled by appointment by the Mayor, with the consent of the Council, for the unexpired term. In case any taxpayer member of the Sewerage and Water Board shall be elected to any office, or receive any appoint. mnt which would make him a member of the Drainage Commission or shall remove his residence from the district from which he was appointed, or shall cease to be a property taxpayer, his membership of said board as such taxpayer shall be ipso facto vacated, and his successor shall be immediately appointed as aforesaid: provided, how. ever, that no person who is a stockholder or bond holder in any sew. erage or waterworks company shall be eligible by appointment to said board.
In case any additional memberships are hereafter added to the Drainage Commission as now constituted, the incumbents thereof shall not constitute part of said board; and in case any of the present meni. berships of said Drainage Commission are stricken therefrom the said board shall remain diminished by such reduced membership; provided, however, that the Mayor of the City and the chairman of the three city committees of finance, budget, and water and drainage, and the president and one designated member of the Board of Liquidation shall always be members of said board, even if they should be excluded from the Drainage Commission, or the said commission should be abolished.
The said “Sewerage and Water Board” shall be appointed and organized immediately after the passage of this act, and shall forthwith proceed to execute the powers granted to and duties imposed upon it so far as the same can be done before the constitutional authority aforesaid can be obtained. It shall make rules fixing its own meetings and procedure, and these rules shall be changed only by the vote of twelve members at a regular meeting.
Sec. 9. Be it further enacted, etc., That the meinbers of said board shall be removed from office only in the manner and for the causes enumerated in Articles 217 and 222 of the State Constitution.
Sec. 10. (Amd.). Be it further enacted, etc., That the Mayor of the City of New Orleans shall be ex-officio president of said Board, and said Board shall elect a competent and responsible person as secretary, whose salary and bond shall be fixed by the Board, the said salary not to exceed three thousand ($3,000) dollars per annum, payable monthly in equal installments, and the bond to be made satisfactory to the Board. He shall hold office at the pleasure of the Board. The election or removal of said secretary, the amount of his salary, and the acceptance of his bond shall be determined by a majority vote of the entire Board at one of its regular monthly meetings. The duties of said secretary shall be fixed by the Board. No member of said Board shall receive any salary or compensation whatever for his services, except actual expenses incurred in traveling by authority of, or for the benefit of the Board. The Board shall have power to elect one of its members president pro tempore, who shall act in the absence or disability of the president.
(As amended by Act No. 111 of 1902).
Sec. 11. (Amd.) Be it further enacted, etc., That all meetings of said Board shall be held in the City Council Chamber, and shall be open and public, and all its transactions shall be recorded in the minutes thereof to be kept in writing by the Secretary; and its records shall be public records. Seven members thereof shall constitute a quorum.
(As amended by Act No. 111 of 1902 and Act No. 69 of 1904.)
Sec. 12. (Amd.). Be it further enacted, etc., That said Board shall elect a competent and skillful engineer as general superintendent and shall fix his salary, and shall from time to time define his duties and powers. He shall hold office during the pleasure of said Board. It shall also have power to organize and employ a board of advisory engineers in order to arrange and devise an efficient public sewerage system in the City of New Orleans, and an adequate public water supply of pure water and to fix the compensation of such advisory board. The said board also to advise as to the completion and extension of the present drainage system.
(As amended by Act No. 111 of 1902).
Sec. 13. (Amd.). Be it further enacted, etc., That said Board shall have power and authority to employ all the necessary clerks, engineers, firemen and other skilled and unskilled employees neces. sary and proper to the efficient administration, operation and control of the said public sewerage and said public water and drainage sys. tems. All such employees, except unskilled laborers, shall be appointed only after they have passed the civil service examination by the Civil Service Commissioners of the City of New Orleans. They shall hold
their positions during good behavior and shall be removed only for cause, and after hearing by the Civil Service Commission. The general superintendent shall have authority to suspend an employee for cause until trial before the Commission. Nothing herein shall be construed as preventing the Board from dispensing with the services of unnecessary employees. Civil Service rules shall not apply to the secretary, the general superintendent or to the Board of Advisory Engineers.
(As amended by Act No. 111 of 1902).
Sec. 14. (Amd.). Be it further enacted, etc., That the city attor. ney of the City of New Orleans shall be the legal adviser of said Board. The city attorney shall be paid a salary, for his services to said board, from May 1, 1902, to August 26, 1902, when said salary shall cease, at the rate of twenty-five hundred dollars ($2500) per annum, payable monthly out of the funds of said board. The city attorney 'shall appoint, with the advice and consent of the Board previously had, a special counsel who shall have charge and conduct of the legal business of the Board, and who shall receive a compensation for his services, a sum not exceeding three thousand five hundred dollars ($3500) per annum, payable monthly out of the funds of said Board. The city attorney shall have power and authority to remove said special counsel only with the advice and consent of the Board previously had, and shall remove him when requested so to do by resolution of said Board adopted at a regular meeting of said Board by a vote of two-thirds of the members constituting said Board.
(As amended by Act No. 111 of 1902).
Sec. 15. (Amd.). Be it further enacted, etc., That said Board shall have power by a vote of seventeen of its members, to acquire in the name and for the benefit of the City of New Orleans the plant and franchise of any water or sewerage companies in the City of New Orleans, but no contract for that purpose shall be valid until ratified by ordinance of the Common Council of the City of New Orleans. In case no agreement can be reached between said Board and the City Council on the one side, and the representatives of the said companies on the other, as to the price to be paid said companies for their properties and franchises, and it shall become necessary for the City of New Orleans to expropriate the same, the price to be paid on such expropriation shall be paid by said Board out of the proceeds of the bonds aforesaid. The outstanding mortgage bonds of such companies may be assumed by the city as part of the price.' Nothing in this act shall be held to effect the right of either the State of Louisiana or the City of New Orleans, in any pending litigation, against any water. works company or any sewerage company.
(As amended by Act No. 111 of 1902).
Sec. 16. (Amd.). Be it further enacted, etc., That in case any of the outstanding mortgages upon the property mentioned in the fore. going section are assumed by the City of New Orleans as part of the purchase price thereof, the city shall in the ordinance of assumption, make provision for the payment of the interest and sinking fund of said debts out of the water rates to be collected by the Sewerage and Water Board. The City Council shall further have the power to extend and renew and refund said mortgage debts, with the concurrence of said Sewerage and Water Board; but both bodies are prohibited from increasing the amount of any assumed mortgage or from putting any additional mortgage debt on said property, or from mortgaging any water or sewerage plant that may be constructed.
(As amended by Act No. 111 of 1902).
Sec. 17. (Amd.). Be it further enacted, etc., That whenever It becomes necessary to expropriate any property convenient or neces. sary for the public work aforesaid, it shall be the duty of the city attor.