(a) If the area to be annexed described in a resolution of intent passed under G.S. 160A-58.55(c) includes an area where a firm (i) meets the requirements of subsection (b) of this section, (ii) on the ninetieth day preceding the date of adoption of the resolution of intent or resolution of consideration was providing solid waste collection services in the area to be annexed, (iii) on the date of adoption of the resolution of intent is still providing such services, and (iv) by reason of the annexation the firm's franchise with a county or arrangements with third parties for solid waste collection will be terminated, the city shall do one of the following:
(1) Contract with the firm for a period of two years after the effective date of the annexation ordinance to allow the firm to provide collection services to the city in the area to be annexed for sums determined under subsection (f) of this section.
(2) Pay the firm for the firm's economic loss, with one-third of the economic loss to be paid within 30 days of the termination and the balance paid in 12 equal monthly installments during the next succeeding 12 months. Any remaining economic loss payment is forfeited if the firm terminates service to customers in the annexation area prior to the effective date of the annexation.
(3) Make other arrangements satisfactory to the parties.
(b) To qualify for the options set forth in subsection (a) of this section, a firm must have done one of the following:
(1) Subsequent to receiving notice of the annexation in accordance with subsection (d) of this section, filed with the city clerk at least 10 days prior to the public hearing a written request to contract with the city to provide solid waste collection services containing a certification, signed by an officer or owner of the firm, that the firm serves at least 50 customers within the county at that time.
(2) Contacted the city clerk pursuant to public notice published by the city, pursuant to G.S. 160A-58.55(d), at least 10 days before the hearing and provided to the city clerk a written request to contract with the city to provide solid waste collection services. The request must contain a certification signed by an officer or owner of the firm that the firm serves at least 50 customers within the county at that time.
(c) Firms shall file notice of provision of solid waste collection service with the city clerk of all cities located in the firm's collection area or within five miles thereof.
(d) At least four weeks prior to the date of the informational meeting, the city shall provide written notice of the resolution of intent to all firms serving the area to be annexed. The notice shall be sent to all firms that filed notice in accordance with subsection (c) of this section by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the address provided by the firm under subsection (c) of this section.
(e) The city may require that the contract contain:
(1) A requirement that the firm post a performance bond and maintain public liability insurance coverage;
(2) A requirement that the firm agree to service customers in the annexed area that were not served by that firm on the effective date of annexation;
(3) A provision that divides the annexed area into service areas if there were more than one firm being contracted within the area, such that the entire area is served by the firms, or by the city as to customers not served by the firms;
(4) A provision that the city may serve customers not served by the firm on the effective date of annexation;
(5) A provision that the contract can be cancelled in writing, delivered by certified mail to the firm in question with 30 days to cure substantial violations of the contract, but no contract may be cancelled on these grounds unless the Local Government Commission finds that substantial violations have occurred, except that the city may suspend the contract for up to 30 days if it finds substantial violation of health laws;
(6) Performance standards, not exceeding city standards existing at the time of notice published pursuant to G.S. 160A-49(b) [160A-58.55(d)] with provision that the contract may be cancelled for substantial violations of those standards, but no contract may be cancelled on those grounds unless the Local Government Commission finds that substantial violations have occurred;
(7) A provision for monetary damages if there are violations of the contract or of performance standards.
(f) If the services to be provided to the city by reason of the annexation are substantially the same as rendered under the franchise with the county or arrangements with the parties, the amount paid by the city shall be at least ninety percent (90%) of the amount paid or required under the existing franchise or arrangements. If such services are required to be adjusted to conform to city standards or as a result of changes in the number of customers and as a result there are changes in disposal costs (including mileage and landfill charges), requirements for storage capacity (dumpsters and/or residential carts), and/or frequency of collection, the amount paid by the city for the service shall be increased or decreased to reflect the value of such adjusted services as if computed under the existing franchise or arrangements. In the event agreement cannot be reached between the city and the firm under this subsection, the matters shall be determined by the Local Government Commission.
(g) The firm may, if it contends that no contract has been offered, appeal to the Local Government Commission within 30 days following passage of an annexation ordinance. The firm may appeal to the Local Government Commission for an order staying the operation of the annexation ordinance pending the outcome of the review. The Commission may grant or deny the stay upon such terms as it deems proper. If the Local Government Commission finds that the city has not made an offer which complies with this section, it shall remand the ordinance to the municipal governing board for further proceedings, and the ordinance shall not become effective until the Local Government Commission finds that such an offer has been made. Either the firm or the city may obtain judicial review in accordance with Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.
(h) A firm which has given notice under subsection (a) of this section that it desires to contract, and any firm that the city believes is eligible to give such notice, shall make available to the city not later than 30 days following a written request of the city, sent by certified mail return receipt requested, all information in its possession or control, including but not limited to operational, financial and budgetary information, necessary for the city to determine if the firm qualifies for the benefits of this section and to determine the nature and scope of the potential contract and/or economic loss. The firm forfeits its rights under this section if it fails to make a good faith response within 30 days following receipt of the written request for information from the city, provided that the city's written request so states by specific reference to this section.
(i) As used in this section, the following terms mean:
(1) Economic loss. - A sum equal to 15 times the average gross monthly revenue for the three months prior to the passage of the resolution of intent or resolution of consideration, as applicable under subsection (a) of this section, collected or due the firm for residential, commercial, and industrial collection service in the area annexed or to be annexed; provided that revenues shall be included in calculations under this subdivision only if policies of the city will provide solid waste collection to those customers such that arrangements between the firm and the customers will be terminated.
(2) Firm. - A private solid waste collection firm. (1985, c. 610, s. 4; 1987, c. 827, s. 1; 1989, c. 598, s. 9; 1998-150, s. 17; 2006-193, s. 2; 2006-259, s. 53; 2011-396, ss. 4, 9.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014