HB484: Water or sewer companies; serving more than 25 customers to incorporate as public service company.

HOUSE BILL NO. 484
Offered January 13, 2010
Prefiled January 12, 2010
A BILL to amend and reenact § 13.1-620 of the Code of Virginia, relating to small water or sewer companies.
Patron-- Lingamfelter

Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That § 13.1-620 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 13.1-620. Special kinds of business.

A. If any corporation is to conduct the business of a bank or trust company, that shall be stated in the articles of incorporation and the corporation shall not have power to conduct other business except as may be related to or incidental to the banking or trust company business.

B. If any corporation is to conduct the business of an insurance company, that shall be stated in the articles of incorporation and the articles shall further set forth the class or classes of insurance the corporation proposes to undertake and the corporation shall not have power to conduct other business except as may be related to or incidental to the insurance business.

C. If any corporation is to conduct the business of a savings and loan association or savings bank, that shall be stated in the articles of incorporation and the corporation shall not have power to conduct other business except as may be related to or incidental to the stated business.

D. If any corporation is to conduct the business of a railroad or other public service company, that shall be stated in the articles of incorporation and a brief description of the business shall be included. Otherwise the corporation shall not have the power to conduct a public service business or to exercise any of the privileges of a public service company. No corporation shall be organized under this chapter for the purpose of conducting in this Commonwealth more than one kind of public service business except that the telephone and telegraph businesses or the water and sewer businesses may be combined, but this provision shall not limit the powers of domestic corporations existing on January 1, 1986. No corporation organized under this chapter to conduct the business of a public service company shall have general business powers in this Commonwealth. Corporations organized under this chapter to conduct the business of a public service company may, however, conduct in this Commonwealth other public service business or nonpublic service business so far as may be related to or incidental to its stated business as a public service company and in any other state such business as may be authorized or permitted by the laws thereof. Nothing in this subsection shall limit the powers of such corporation in respect of the securities of other corporations or of limited liability companies.

E. If one or more of the purposes set forth in the articles of incorporation is to own, manage or control any plant or equipment or any part of a plant or equipment within the Commonwealth for the conveyance of telephone messages or for the production, transmission, delivery or furnishing of heat, light, power or water, including heated or chilled water, or sewerage facilities, either directly or indirectly, to or for the public, the Commission shall not issue a certificate of incorporation unless the articles of incorporation expressly state that the corporation is to conduct business as a public service company.

F. Whether or not classified elsewhere in the Code as public service companies the following are not required to incorporate as public service companies: a person authorized by the Federal Communications Commission to provide commercial mobile service, household goods carriers, petroleum tank truck carriers, bottled gas companies, taxicab companies, community television companies, charter party carriers, restricted parcel carriers, sight-seeing carriers, companies excluded from the definition of "public utility" by subdivision (b) (4) of § 56-265.1 (b)(4) or by § 56-1.2 and compressed natural gas filling stations.

G. A water or sewer company that proposes to serve more than fifty 25 customers shall incorporate as a public service company. A water or sewer company shall not serve more than fifty 25 customers unless its articles of incorporation state that the corporation is to conduct business as a public service company. The two preceding sentences shall not apply to a water or sewer company incorporated before and operating a water or sewer system on January 1, 1970; however, as to any water or sewer system serving more than fifty 25 customers, upon application to the Commission by a majority of the customers or by the company, a hearing may be held after thirty 30 days' notice to the company and the system's customers or a majority thereof, and the Commission may order such, if any, improvements or rate changes or both as are just and reasonable. Upon ordering into effect any rate changes or improvements found to be just and reasonable, the water or sewer system shall remain subject to the Commission's regulatory authority in the same manner as a public utility for such reasonable period as the Commission may direct. Nothing in this subsection shall apply to persons described in § 56-1.2.