The general powers of the district include all of the following:
(1) To sue and be sued.
(2) To have a seal.
(3) To make rules not inconsistent with this Article, for its organization and internal management.
(4) To employ persons deemed necessary to carry out the functions and duties assigned to them by the district and to fix their compensation, within the limit of available funds.
(5) With the approval of the unit of local government's chief administrative official, to use officers, employees, agents, and facilities of the unit of local government for such purposes and upon such terms as may be mutually agreeable.
(6) To retain and employ counsel, auditors, engineers, and private consultants on an annual salary, contract basis, or otherwise for rendering professional or technical services and advice.
(7) To acquire, lease as lessee with or without option to purchase, hold, own, and use any franchise, property, real or personal, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein and to sell, lease as lessor with or without option to purchase, transfer (or dispose thereof) whenever the property is no longer required for purposes of the district, or exchange it for other property or rights which are useful for the district's purposes. Except as provided in any covenant or debt instrument designed to protect the creditor, if any loans or grants by the Department of Commerce have not been repaid, all or a substantial part of an operating natural gas district may not be disposed of without the approval of the Department of Commerce. If the sale is approved by the Department of Commerce, the district shall repay the State the lesser of the amount of any capital grant made by the State or one-half of the amount of the proceeds.
(8) To acquire by gift, purchase, lease as lessee with or without option to purchase or otherwise to construct, improve, maintain, repair, operate, or administer any component parts of a natural gas system. The district also may contract for the maintenance, operation, or administration thereof or to lease as lessor the same for maintenance, operation, or administration by private parties.
(9) To make or enter into contracts, agreements, deeds, leases with or without option to purchase, conveyances, or other instruments, including contracts and agreements with the United States, the State of North Carolina, and units of local government.
(10) To develop and make data, plans, information, surveys, and studies of natural gas systems within the territorial jurisdiction of the district and to prepare and make recommendations in regard thereto.
(11) To enter in a reasonable manner lands, waters, or premises for the purpose of making surveys, soundings, drillings, and examinations. This entry shall not be deemed a trespass except that the district shall be liable for any actual and consequential damages resulting from the entry.
(12) To develop and carry out demonstration projects.
(13) To make, enter into, and perform contracts with private parties and natural gas companies with respect to the management and operation of natural gas systems.
(14) To make, enter into, and perform contracts with any public utility, railroad, or transportation company for the joint use of property or rights.
(15) To own, lease, and operate natural gas systems. These systems may also include the purchase or lease, or both, of natural gas fields and natural gas reserves within the State, and the purchase of natural gas supplies within or without the State. A district may operate that part of a gas system involving the purchase or lease, or both, of natural gas fields, natural gas reserves, and natural gas supplies, in an operating agreement, partnership or joint venture arrangement with natural gas utilities and private enterprise. The district may acquire, purchase, construct, receive, own, operate, maintain, enlarge, and improve natural gas systems and transport and sell at wholesale all or any part of its gas supply.
(16) To purchase or finance real or personal property under G.S. 160A-20.
(17) To obtain grants, loans, and assistance from the United States, the State of North Carolina, any public body, or any private source.
(18) To enter into and perform contracts and agreements with other natural gas districts, regional natural gas districts, or units of local government pursuant to the provisions of Part 1 of Article 20 of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes and to enter into contracts and agreements with private natural gas companies, but this subdivision does not authorize the operation of, or contracting for the operation of, service of a natural gas system outside the service area of the district. A district may provide service or contract for the providing of service to a city geographically located within a district, notwithstanding that the city did not join the district pursuant to G.S. 160A-663(a) or G.S. 160A-672.
(19) Except as restricted by covenants in bonds, notes, security interests, or trust certificates, to set in its sole discretion rates, fees, and charges for use of its natural gas system in accordance with G.S. 160A-676.
(20) To do all related things necessary to carry out its purpose and to exercise the powers granted to the district.
(21) To issue revenue bonds and notes and to incur other obligations as authorized by this Article. (1997-426, s. 2.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014