TOWNS, CITIES, VILLAGE DISTRICTS, AND UNINCORPORATED PLACES
53-G:5 Corporate Body; Powers.
A communications district established under this chapter shall be a body politic and corporate and a political subdivision and public instrumentality of the state carrying out a public purpose and an essential governmental function with the following powers, which are subject to the provisions and limitations of the district agreement:
I. To adopt a name and a corporate seal. The engraved or printed facsimile of the seal appearing on a bond or note of the district shall have the same legal effect as if it were impressed thereon.
II. To receive federal or state grants and loans, revenue from subscribers, access fees from subscribers, access to broadband infrastructure bonds, revenue bonds, pledge revenues, and accept member contributions or private investment.
III. To adopt a budget in accordance with 53-G:9.
IV. To establish and adjust fees.
V. To establish public/private partnerships and enter into broadband agreements with Internet service providers as necessary to build and operate the network.
VI. To provide or contract for communications infrastructure and services for its district members, including the residential and business locations located therein and provide for communications infrastructure and services for such other residential and business locations as its equipment, infrastructure, and obligations may allow, provided such other locations are in a municipality that is contiguous with the town limits of a district member.
VII. To cause to be operated, or contract for the construction, ownership, management, financing, and operation of a communications plant for the delivery of communications services.
VIII. To sue and be sued, but only to the same extent and upon the same conditions that a municipality may be sued.
IX. To hold, deal with, mortgage, pledge, encumber, purchase, acquire, lease, sell, convey, and otherwise dispose of real and personal property of all kinds in furtherance of the purposes of the district, subject to any and all operating agreements.
X. Each communications district shall have the power, by vote of the members, to borrow money and issue its notes or bonds in accordance with RSA 33, subject to the following:
(a) In the case of broadband infrastructure bonds, under RSA 33:3-g.
(b) In the case of revenue bonds, under RSA 33-B, when the board, at a regular or special meeting called for such purpose, determines by resolution passed by a vote of a majority of members present and voting that the public interest or necessity demands communications plant improvements, or a long-term contract, and that the cost of the same will be too great to be paid out of the ordinary annual income and revenue of the district, the board may pledge communications plant net revenues and enter into long-term contracts to provide for such improvements. In this chapter, a "long term contract" means an agreement in which the district incurs direct or conditional obligations for which the costs are too great to be paid out of the ordinary annual income and revenues of the district, in the judgment of the board. In this chapter, the term "communications plant improvements" includes improvements that may be used for the benefit of the public, whether or not publicly owned or operated. The pledge of communications plant net revenues and other obligations allowed by law may be authorized for any purpose permitted by this chapter, or any other applicable statutes.
XI. To receive and disburse funds for any district purpose.
XII. To incur temporary debt in anticipation of revenue to be received.
XIII. To engage legal counsel, accountants, engineers, contractors, consultants, agents, and other advisors.
XIV. To enter into contracts with any person consistent with the authority that a district has under this chapter.
XV. To utilize powers delegated to the district through the district agreement by member municipalities to enact bylaws and regulations concerning communications.
XVI. To insure against liability and other risks, and otherwise to obtain all insurance deemed by the governing board to be necessary or appropriate to the district and its operations.
XVII. To guarantee obligations and to give indemnities to third parties, when in the best interests of and for the benefit of the district.
XVIII. To make contracts, leases, or other agreements with any member municipality within which equipment or infrastructure, or both, is or is to be located. Such contracts, leases, or other agreements may provide for benefits, privileges, payments, or other considerations for such host member municipality which, with respect to that equipment or infrastructure, or both, are different from and not otherwise available to the other member municipalities. The governing body of each member municipality shall be given written notice of the general purposes of the long-term contract, a summary of the terms of the long-term contract, and a copy of the long-term contract within 7 days after the authorization.
Source. 2020, 28:7, eff. July 22, 2020.