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Body:Section 45-8-90

Economic Development Council - Creation; composition; powers and duties.

(a)(1) For the purposes of promoting industry and trade and economic development and to assist Calhoun County and the municipalities located therein in their pursuits therefor and to provide for the exercise by the county and the municipalities of certain powers and authority proposed to be granted to them by an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama, the act proposing such amendment being adopted at the same session of the Legislature at which the act adding this section was adopted, there is hereby created an economic development council for Calhoun County, which council shall constitute a public corporation under the name Calhoun County Economic Development Council.

(2) This section shall be liberally construed in conformity with the purposes.

(b)(1) The powers and authorities of the Calhoun County Economic Development Council shall be vested in and performed by a board of directors.

(2) The board shall be composed of 11 appointed members and one ex officio non-voting member, appointed as follows: Six of the directors shall be appointed by the Calhoun County Legislative Delegation, with each legislator appointing one member; two of the directors shall be appointed by the governing body of the county; two of the directors shall be appointed by an appointing body composed of the mayors from each of the municipalities in the county; and one of the directors shall be appointed by the chair of the economic development council. The non-voting ex officio member shall be the chair of the oversight committee. Three of the initial members shall be appointed for a term of two years, three for a term of four years, and the remaining three for a term of six years. All successor members shall be appointed for terms of office of six years each. In determining who shall be appointed for an initial term of two, four, or six years, the following procedure shall apply: The positions on the board shall be numbered as indicated hereinabove, and, by lot, shall be designated as having initial terms of two, four, or six years, respectively. Of the two members added in 2004, one shall be appointed by the Calhoun County Legislative Delegation for an initial term of four years and one shall be appointed by the chair of the economic development council for an initial term of six years. All successor appointments shall be made by the entity originally entitled to make the appointment to the initial term.

(3) Each appointee shall reside either within the county or within any municipality located in the county, shall not hold any elective office, shall be a duly qualified elector of the county or of any municipality located within the county, and shall possess a background in business and financial affairs.

(4) If, for any reason, other than an illness which shall be documented in writing to the council by a physician, a board member is absent for more than 25 percent of regular monthly council meetings in any calendar year, his or her term shall automatically expire on December 31 of the calendar year in which he or she has missed the meetings. The entity originally making the appointment of the member whose term has expired pursuant to this subdivision shall make a successor appointment no later than 60 days after the date on which the defaulting member's term expires. If the appointing entity does not make a successor appointment within 60 days, the Calhoun County Legislative Delegation may make the appointment.

(5) If at the expiration of any term of office of any director a successor thereto has not been elected, then the director whose term of office has expired shall continue to hold office until a successor is elected.

(c) The affairs and operations of the Calhoun County Economic Development Council shall be supervised and monitored by the Calhoun County Economic Development Council Oversight Committee. This committee shall be composed of all the members of the legislative delegation from the county, as well as the members of the governing body of the county, and the mayors of each of the municipalities located in the county. The chairman of the oversight committee shall be a member of the legislative delegation elected by the oversight committee. The oversight committee shall meet not less often than semiannually, and otherwise at the call of its chairman or a majority of its membership. The approval of the oversight committee shall not be essential to the validity of any action taken by the board of directors in the exercise of any of the powers granted the council in this section.

(d) The council shall hold an organizational meeting within 30 days after the appointment of all its directors and shall elect a chairman, vice chairman, secretary, and treasurer from among its members. Such officers shall serve for such terms as the council by rule or regulation may prescribe. After the organizational meeting, the council shall meet at such time and place as shall be designated in the call. The chairman or a majority of the directors may call a meeting of the council, and at least four meetings shall be held annually. The chairman shall preside at each meeting of the council. In the absence of the chairman, the vice chairman or other person elected in accordance with any rule or regulation adopted by the board of directors shall preside. A majority of the directors shall constitute a quorum. Members of the board of directors shall receive no compensation for their services, but they shall be entitled to reimbursement for their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties under this section.

(e) Upon the organization of the council the council shall be constituted an instrumentality for the exercise of public and essential governmental functions and the exercise of the powers conferred by this section, and the economic and industrial development of the county shall be deemed to be an essential governmental function of the county.

(f) The council shall have the following powers, together with all power incidental thereto or necessary to the discharge thereof: The council or its agents and employees may (1) cooperate with municipal, regional, state, or federal planning or other industrial and economic development authorities; (2) contract with other agencies, individuals, or corporations to promote the purposes of this section; provided, however, that no funds of the council be expended for any purpose other than purchase and/or development of industrial property except expenses as provided in subsection (d); (3) act as the industrial development agency for the entire county and as such agency to exercise all powers granted to municipal development agencies under the general laws of the state; (4) enter upon any land in the county, with consent of the owner, and make examinations and surveys, and place, and maintain necessary monuments, and markings thereon; (5) accept gifts, grants, bequests, or devises; (6) acquire, develop, improve, sell, or lease land for industrial development only; (7) to borrow money and to pledge as security therefor its assets, and anticipated revenues; (8) to maintain civil actions and have civil actions maintained against it and to defend civil actions against it; (9) to adopt and alter bylaws for the regulation and conduct of its affairs and business; (10) to acquire, receive, and take title to, by purchase, gift, lease, devise, or otherwise, to hold, keep, and develop and to transfer, convey, lease, assign, or otherwise dispose of property of every kind and character, real, personal, and mixed, and any and every interest therein, located within the area of operation of the council, to any person; (11) to make, enter into, and execute such contracts, agreements, leases, and other legal arrangements and to take such steps and actions as may be necessary or convenient in the furtherance of any purpose or the exercise of any power provided or granted to it by law; (12) to borrow money for any council purpose, function, or use and to issue in evidence of the borrowing, interest-bearing bonds payable solely from the revenues derived from the operation or leasing or sale of any of its property; (13) to pledge for the payment of any bonds issued or obligations assumed by the council any revenues from which those bonds or obligations are made payable and to execute and deliver, security for such bonds and obligations, mortgages, deeds of trust, trust indentures, and pledge indentures as provided for by law or hereafter; (14) to provide for such insurance as the council may deem advisable; (15) to invest any of its funds deemed by the authority to be not presently needed in the operation of its properties and undertakings and bonds, bills, or notes of the United States of America, bonds of the state, bonds of any county or municipality within the state and interest-bearing deposits in banks and savings and loan institutions or any thereof; (16) to cooperate with the United States of America and any agency, or instrumentality thereof, any state and its agencies and instrumentalities, any county or municipality, or other political subdivision of a state and any other person, and to make and enter into contracts and all manner of legal arrangements with them or any of them and to obtain money by way of loans, grants, or payments from them or any of them or property or other forms of assistance as the council may deem advisable to accomplish the purposes for which the council was created; and (17) in furtherance of the purposes, the council shall have all powers conferred on corporations, entities, or institutions of like nature by the laws of the State of Alabama and any amendments thereof or supplementary thereto.

(g) Neither the county nor any municipality therein shall in any event be liable for the payment of any indebtedness of the council or for the performance of any pledge, mortgage, obligation, or agreement of any kind whatsoever which may be undertaken by the council, and no indebtedness of the council and none of its agreements or obligations shall be construed to constitute an indebtedness of the county or any municipality within the meaning of any constitutional or statutory provision whatsoever.

(h) Whenever the board of directors shall by resolution determine that the purposes for which the council was formed have been substantially complied with and all bonds theretofore issued and all obligations theretofore incurred by the council have been fully paid, the members of the board of directors shall thereupon execute and file for record in the office of the judge of probate of the county a certificate of dissolution reciting such facts and declaring the council to be dissolved.

(i) The certificate of incorporation of the council, any deed or other documents whereby properties are conveyed to the council, any mortgages or deed of trust executed by the council, any leases made by the council, and the certificate of dissolution of the council may all be filed for record in the office of the judge of probate of the county without the payment of any tax or fees other than such fees as may be authorized by law for the recording of such instruments.

(j) The council and all properties at any time owned by it and the income therefrom and all bonds issued by it and the income therefrom shall be exempt from all taxation in the State of Alabama.

(k) All funds of the economic development council shall be received by the treasurer of the economic development council, and expended by the council only for the purposes described herein. All proceeds from the sale, lease or other disposition of assets of the council shall be reinvested in like purposes. The economic development council shall receive all funds (1) appropriated to it under the provisions of House Bill 165, Regular Session 1982 of the Alabama Legislature; (2) all funds collected and remitted to the State Department of Revenue under the provisions of House Bill 221, Regular Session 1982 of the Alabama Legislature which would otherwise be distributed to the Calhoun County Commission and municipalities in Calhoun County.

(l) The council is hereby exempted from the laws of the State of Alabama governing usury or prescribing or limiting interest rates, including, without limitation, the provisions of Chapter 8 of Title 8, as amended.

(m) The council and all contracts made by it shall be exempt from the provisions and requirements of Sections 41-16-50 through 41-16-63, which sections provide for competitive bids in connection with certain contracts.

(Act 82-222, p. 269, §§1-13; Act 99-667, 2nd Sp. Sess., p. 166, §1; Act 2004-454, p. 808, §1; Act 2005-119, p. 199, §1.)