Truly Agreed, 2015

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SB 497, 2015    (Amended Section - Proposed Language)

67.950. 1. Any special purpose district formed under the provisions of a statute of this state requiring approval by the voters of the district, and for which no specific procedure is provided to terminate or dissolve such a district, may be dissolved as provided in this section and section 67.955.
     2. A petition describing the boundaries of the district sought to be dissolved shall be filed with the clerk of the circuit court of the county in which the subject district is located or, if the subject district embraces lands in more than one county, with the clerk of the circuit court of the county having the largest acreage within the boundaries of the subject district. Such petition, in addition to such boundary description, shall allege that further operation of the subject district is inimical to the best interests of the inhabitants of the district and that the district should, in the interest of the public welfare and safety, be dissolved, and such other information as may be useful to the court in determining whether the petition should be granted and a decree of dissolution entered. Such petition shall also include a detailed plan for payment of all debt and obligations of the district at the time of dissolution. Such petition shall be accompanied by a cash deposit of fifty dollars as an advancement of the costs of the proceeding, and the petition shall be signed by eight percent or more of the voters of the district. The petition shall be verified by at least one of the signers thereof and shall be served upon the governing board of the district. The district shall be a party, and if the governing board in its discretion determines that such dissolution is not in the public interest, the district shall oppose such petition and pay all cost and expense thereof.
     3. Upon the filing of the petition, the petition shall be presented to the circuit court and such court shall fix a date for a hearing on such petition. The clerk of the court shall give notice of the filing of the petition in some newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the proceedings are pending, and if the district extends into any other county or counties, such notice shall also be published in some newspaper of general circulation in such other county or counties. The notice shall contain a description of the subject boundary lines of the district and the general purposes of the petition, and shall set forth the date fixed for the hearing on the petition, which shall not be less than seven nor more than twenty-one days after the date of the last publication of the notice and shall be on some regular judicial day of the court in which the petition is pending. Such notice shall be signed by the clerk of the circuit court and shall be published in three successive issues of a weekly newspaper or in twenty successive issues of a daily newspaper.
     4. The court, for good cause shown, may continue the case or the hearing thereon from time to time until final disposition thereof.
     5. Exceptions to the dissolution of a district may be made by any voter or landowner of the district, and by the district as provided in this section. Such exceptions shall be filed not less than five days prior to the date set for the hearing on the petition. Such exceptions shall specify the grounds upon which the exceptions are filed, and the court shall take them into consideration in passing upon the petition and shall also consider the evidence in support of the petition and in support of the exceptions made. Unless petitioners prove that all debts and financial obligations of the district can be paid in full upon dissolution, the petition shall be dismissed at the cost of the petitioners.
     6. Should the court find that it would not be to the public interest to dissolve a district, the petition shall be dismissed at the costs of the petitioners. If, however, the court should find in favor of the petitioners, the court shall enter its interlocutory decree of dissolution, which decree shall provide for the submission of the question to the voters of the district. The decree of dissolution shall not become final and conclusive until it has been submitted to the voters residing within the boundaries described in such decree and approved by a majority of the votes cast. The decree shall provide for the submission of the question and shall fix the date thereof.
     7. The question shall be submitted in substantially the following form:
     Shall the ....... district be dissolved?
     8. The returns shall be certified by the election authority to the circuit court having jurisdiction in the case. Upon receiving such certification, the court shall enter its order canvassing the returns and declaring the result of such election. If a majority of the votes cast on the question by the qualified voters voting thereon are in favor of the question, then the court shall, in such order declaring the result of the election, enter a further order declaring the decree of dissolution to be final and conclusive. If a majority of the votes cast on the question by the qualified voters voting thereon are opposed to the question, then the court shall enter a further order declaring such decree of dissolution to be void and of no effect. No appeal shall lie from any of such orders. In the event that the court declares the decree of dissolution to be final as provided in this subsection, the clerk of the circuit court shall file certified copies of such decree of dissolution and of such final order with the secretary of state, the recorder of deeds of the county or counties in which the district is located, and with the clerk of the county commission of the county or counties in which the district is located.
     9. Notwithstanding any other provision of law in this section to the contrary, no district shall be dissolved until all of its outstanding indebtedness has been paid, and the court in its decree of dissolution shall provide for the disposition of the remaining property of the district.


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