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Georgia State Code
Title      36
Chapter      60  
Section Navigation     1 ... 9          10 ... 18    
      19 ... 23      
Section<<< 19 20 21 22 23  
Title 36, Chapter 60, Section 21 (36-60-21)

(a) The General Assembly finds that allowing local government to license, contract with, or both license and contract with private companies to finance, construct, maintain, improve, own, or operate, or any combination thereof, private toll roads and bridges can provide significant public benefits to the citizens of this state in facilitating transportation of the general public without the need for additional public tax revenues. The General Assembly also finds that such facilitation of transportation of the public by private enterprise is an important public purpose and function. The General Assembly further finds that general law impediments to such arrangements should be removed. To implement these findings, this Code section shall control the subject matter thereof notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary.

(b) As used in this Code section, the term:

(1) "Local government" means any county or municipality of this state.

(2) "Person" means any natural person, partnership, corporation, trust, association, or any other legal entity, other than the state or a political subdivision thereof.

(3) "Project" means a toll road or toll bridge.

(c) A local government may contract with, license, or both contract with and license a person to finance, construct, maintain, improve, own, or operate, or any combination thereof, a project along the boundaries of or within such local government. In furtherance of the enhanced transportation for its residents and others which such project can provide, such local government may finance, construct, maintain, improve, own, or operate, or any combination thereof, within the boundaries of such local government any necessary highway approaches to such project. Such contract, license, or contract and license may be executed by a local government without complying with the contracting requirements of Chapter 10 of this title. A contract, license, or contract and license authorized by this subsection may extend for any period as determined by the local government notwithstanding the provisions of Code Section 36-60-13 or any other provision of law. Such contract, license, or contract and license shall not impose any debt upon such local government unless that debt is incurred in conformity with Article IX, Section V of the Constitution. Such local government shall not lend its credit as part or in furtherance of such contract, license, or contract and license. Neither the local government nor the state shall make any improvements or otherwise expend public funds upon property owned by or leased to a person for a project.

(d) Any property or rights therein of another person which are necessary for the project authorized by such contract, license, or contract and license may be procured by such local government exercising its power of eminent domain on behalf of and for the project and may be leased or sold to the person whom the local government has contracted with, licensed, or contracted with and licensed for such project, unless such property or rights therein are owned by the state or a political subdivision of the state. In all other respects such power of eminent domain shall conform to the requirements imposed by law. Any such property or rights therein owned by the state or a political subdivision thereof may be leased by such owner for any period, as determined by such owner, or sold by such owner and may only be leased or sold for fair market value. In determining such valuation, at least three written appraisals of the value of the property or rights therein shall be obtained by the owning state or political subdivision. Those appraisals shall be made by any person familiar with property values in the area where the property is situated, at least one of which appraisals shall be made by a member of a nationally recognized appraisal organization. If the state is the owner, such lease or sale shall be executed by the State Properties Commission and may be executed without competitive bidding upon written determination by that commission that such lease or sale is necessary for the project and the public interest is served by such use of state property; provided, however, that if the Department of Transportation is the owner, such lease or sale shall be handled by the Department of Transportation in accordance with its normal procedures for the acquisition and disposal of department rights of way.

(e) A contract authorized under this Code section shall provide, in addition to any other requirements:

(1) The right to finance, construct, maintain, improve, own, or operate, or any combination thereof, the project and that such right shall be irrevocable but need not be exclusive;

(2) The right to own the project and to set, fix, change, and collect tolls;

(3) Rights of assignment and amendment;

(4) The duty of the person to provide for design and construction of the project and standards therefor;

(5) Provisions for maintenance and operation, liability, and other operational matters;

(6) Rights and duties of the parties regarding connecting roads, highways, streets, bridges, or transitways; and

(7) Such other matters as shall be deemed appropriate or necessary.

(f) A project operated pursuant to a contract, license, or contract and license authorized under this Code section shall not be subject to regulation as to toll amounts or any other matters by the Public Service Commission, the Department of Transportation, or the State Road and Tollway Authority, except those matters related to the regulation of safety or hazardous materials as provided for in Title 46.

(g) Nothing in this Code section shall limit the exercise of the power of eminent domain by the state or a local government regarding a project.

Sunday May 24 19:37 EDT


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