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TITLE 30ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
PART 1TEXAS COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
CHAPTER 293WATER DISTRICTS
SUBCHAPTER EISSUANCE OF BONDS
RULE §293.47Thirty Percent of District Construction Costs to be Paid by Developer

(a) It has been determined by experience that some portion of the cost of district water, wastewater, drainage, and recreational facilities in certain districts should be paid by a developer to insure the feasibility of the construction projects of such districts. Accordingly, this section applies to all districts except:

  (1) a district which has a ratio of debt (including proposed debt) to certified assessed valuation of 10% or less; provided, however, that any bond issue proposed to be exempted on this basis must include funds to provide sufficient capacity in facilities exempted in subsection (d) of this section to serve all connections upon which the feasibility is based or to be financed by the bond issue;

  (2) a district which obtains an acceptable credit rating on its proposed bond issue pursuant to the provisions hereof;

  (3) a district which obtains a credit enhanced rating on its proposed bond issue and which the executive director, in his discretion, finds to be feasible and justified, based upon satisfactory evidence submitted by the district, without such developer contribution; or

  (4) a district which has entered into a strategic partnership agreement, interlocal agreement, or other contract with a political subdivision or an entity created to act on behalf of a political subdivision under which the political subdivision or other entity has agreed to provide sales and use taxes or other revenues generated by a project to the district as consideration for the district's development or acquisition of water, wastewater, and drainage facilities and:

    (A) water, sewer, drainage, and street and road construction are complete in accordance with §293.59(k)(6)(A) - (E) of this title (relating to Economic Feasibility of Project);

    (B) the projected value of houses, buildings, and/or other improvements are complete in accordance with §293.59(k)(7) of this title;

    (C) the district can demonstrate a history of revenue generated by the project;

    (D) the district's projected ad valorem tax rate necessary to amortize the district's debt at the district's current assessed valuation after accounting for the contract payments pledged to the district's debt would be equal to or less than the projected ad valorem tax rate for a district with an assessed valuation sufficient to qualify under paragraph (1) of this subsection; and

    (E) the district's combined no-growth tax rate does not exceed the amounts prescribed in §293.59(k)(11)(C) of this title.

(b) For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

  (1) Developer is as defined in Texas Water Code (TWC), §49.052(d);

  (2) Debt includes all outstanding bonds of the district, all bonds approved by the commission and not yet sold (less such portions thereof for which the authority to issue such bonds has lapsed or been voluntarily canceled), all bonds of the district approved by other entities which are exempt from commission approval and not yet sold, all proposed bonds with respect to which applications for project and bond approvals are presently on file and pending with the commission, and all outstanding bond anticipation notes which are not to be redeemed or paid with proceeds derived from such pending bond application(s). If more than one application for approval of project and bonds is pending, the ratio of debt to value shall be calculated consecutively with respect to each application in the order of filing of each application. For the purpose of this subsection, the amount of such outstanding bond anticipation notes shall be deemed to be the sum of:

    (A) the principal amount of the bond anticipation notes;

    (B) the accrued interest thereon; and

    (C) all bond issuance costs relating to the refunding of such bond anticipation notes, including capitalized interest.

  (3) Certified assessed valuation is a certificate provided by the central appraisal district in which the district is located either certifying the actual assessed valuation as of January 1, or estimating the assessed valuation as of any other date.

  (4) Acceptable credit rating is a rating of Baa3 or higher from Moody's Investors Service, Inc., or BBB- or higher from Standard and Poors Corporation or BBB- or higher from Fitch IBCA, which rating is obtained by the district independent of any municipal bond guaranty insurance, guarantee, endorsement, assurance, letter of credit, or other credit enhancement technique furnished by or obtained through any other party.

  (5) Credit enhanced rating is a rating of Aa or higher from Moody's Investors Service, Inc. or AA or higher from Standard and Poors Corporation, or AA or higher from Fitch IBCA, which rating is obtained by the district by virtue of municipal bond guaranty insurance, furnished by or obtained through any other party; provided, however, that such municipal bond guaranty insurance shall be unconditional, irrevocable, and in full force and effect for the scheduled maturity of the entire bond issue; and provided, further, that payment of the premium on such municipal bond guaranty insurance shall not be made from district funds except through the establishment of the interest rate or premium or discount on such bonds.

(c) If a district anticipates receipt of a certified assessed valuation evidencing a debt ratio of 10% or less or an acceptable credit rating, or a credit enhanced rating, as provided in subsection (a) of this section, prior to the bond sale identified in the bond application being considered, the district may, at its discretion, request a conditional waiver to the developer cost participation requirements of this section as follows.

  (1) At the time the district makes application for approval of its project and bonds, the district may include a written request for a conditional waiver of the 30% developer cost participation requirements of this section to be considered by the commission, which request shall specifically state on which basis the district requests such waiver. The waiver request shall be accompanied by a written statement from the district's financial advisor stating that, in his opinion, the district can reasonably be expected to qualify for either an acceptable credit rating or a credit enhanced rating, and that the district financing is feasible without the developer contribution.

  (2) Except for districts which have achieved a debt ratio of 10% or less at the time of application, the cost summary in support of any bond application proposed to be exempted by virtue of subsection (a) of this section must show the district bond issue requirement, cash flow, and tax rate with and without the developer contribution.

  (3) If a conditional waiver is granted by the commission in anticipation of the district obtaining an acceptable credit rating, a credit enhanced rating, or a certified assessed valuation evidencing a ratio of debt to certified assessed valuation of 10% or less, no bonds shall be sold by the district unless such acceptable or enhanced credit rating is obtained or such debt ratio is achieved.

  (4) If a bond issue is approved on the basis of obtaining an acceptable credit rating, and an acceptable credit rating is not obtained, and if the district wishes to proceed with such bond issue on the basis of an enhanced credit rating, the district shall not issue the bonds unless the district requests and obtains a commission order approving the bonds to be sold with an enhanced credit rating and finding the financing to be feasible without the developer contribution.

  (5) Upon request by the district, the commission order approving a bond issue without developer contribution may authorize an alternative amount of bonds to be issued with developer contribution in the event compliance with subsection (a) of this section is not achieved. Such order may contain other conditions otherwise applicable to a bond issue requiring developer contribution.

(d) Except as provided in subsection (a) of this section or in the remaining provisions of this subsection, the developer shall contribute to the district's construction program an amount not less than 30% of the construction costs for all water, wastewater, drainage, and recreational facilities, including attendant engineering fees and other related expenses, with the following exemptions:

  (1) wastewater treatment plant facilities, including site costs;

  (2) water supply, treatment and storage facilities, including site costs;

  (3) stormwater pump stations associated with levee systems, including site costs;

  (4) that portion of water and wastewater lines from the district's boundary to the interconnect, source of water supply, or wastewater treatment facility as necessary to connect the district's system to a regional, city, or another district's system;

  (5) pump stations and force mains located within the boundaries of the district which directly connect the district's wastewater system to a regional trunkline or a regional plant, regardless of whether such line or plant is located within or without the boundaries of the district;

  (6) segments of water transmission or wastewater trunk lines of districts or other authorities which are jointly shared or programmed to be jointly shared between the district and another political subdivision whether inside or outside of a participating district or authority;

  (7) water and wastewater lines serving or programmed to serve 1,000 acres or more within the district;

  (8) drainage channels, levees and other flood control facilities and stormwater detention facilities, or contributions thereto, meeting the requirements of §293.52 of this title (relating to Storm Water Detention Facilities) or §293.53 of this title (relating to District Participation in Regional Drainage Systems), and which are serving or are programmed to serve either areas of 2,000 acres or more or, at the discretion of the commission, areas of less than 2,000 acres, as the commission may deem appropriate to encourage regional drainage projects. Construction cost paid in lieu of such a contribution does not qualify as an exemption unless the facility constructed is itself exempt;

  (9) land costs for levees or stormwater detention facilities; and

  (10) alternate water supply interconnects between a district and one or more other entities.

  (11) lease payments for central plant capacity not included in operating expenses; and

  (12) the district's financing of recreational facilities costs that do not involve reimbursement to a developer of property in the district as defined by TWC, §49.052(d).

(e) A developer will also be required to contribute toward construction costs in districts which are within the limits of a city, except for:

  (1) facilities that were completed or under construction as of December 1, 1986;

  (2) districts previously created or in the process of creation which, prior to December 1, 1986, have submitted petitions to the executive director requesting creation; or

  (3) districts that are providing facilities and services on behalf of, in lieu of, or in place of the city and which have contracted with the city to receive rebates of 65% or more of the city taxes actually collected on property located within the district.

(f) The developer's contribution toward construction cost shall be reduced by the amount that the developer is required by a city, state, or federal regulatory agency to pay toward costs that are otherwise eligible for district financing.

(g) The developer must enter into an agreement with the district, secured by an escrow of funds in the name of the district, a letter of credit or a deferral of reimbursement of bond funds owed (as provided in subsection (k) of this section) prior to advertisement for sale of the district's bonds specifying that if the construction project is not completed because of the developer's failure to pay its share of construction costs and/or engineering costs within a reasonable and specified period of time, the district may draw upon the financial guarantee to pay the developer's share of construction costs and/or engineering costs. The agreement shall also provide that a default by the developer under the agreement shall be deemed to have occurred if: the letter of credit is not renewed for an additional year at least 45 days prior to its expiration date; or the construction project has not been completed as certified by the district's engineer at least 45 days prior to its date of expiration. The letter of credit must be from a financial institution meeting the qualifications and specifications as specified in §293.56 of this title (relating to Requirements for Letters of Credit (LOC)), must be valid for a minimum of one year from the date of issuance, and should provide that upon default by the developer under the agreement, the financial institution shall pay to the district, upon written notice by the district or the executive director, the remaining balance of the letter of credit. Although such letters of credit provide for payment to the district upon notice by the executive director, the district remains solely responsible for the administration of such letters of credit and for assuring that letters of credit do not expire prior to completion of the construction project(s) specified therein.

(h) Actual payment of funds for the district's construction project shall be made by the developer to the district within 10 days following the developer's receipt of billing. The developer's applicable share will be adjusted by the overruns or underruns on developer participation items and will be shared by the developer at the same percentage utilized in determining his initial contribution.

Cont'd...

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