As the legislature marches on addressing “consumer protection” matters, HB 13-1186 was passed and signed into law on April 4, 2013. This Bill addresses transparency issues surrounding the creation and operation of Metropolitan Districts. The new law will appear in CRS 32-1-1001 and CRS 32-1-104.8, and becomes effective on August 7, 2013 unless referred to the voters of the State for approval.
In general, the Bill mandates that a metro district that provides water or sanitary sewer services may not increase rates without providing the service recipients at least 30 days prior notice of the meeting at which the rate increase will be discussed. The Bill allows the notice of the rate increase meeting to be provided in a number of ways, which includes:
- mailing the notice separately to each customer of the service on the billing rolls of the district;
- including the notice as a prominent part of a newsletter, annual report, billing insert, billing statement, letter or other notice of action, or other information mailing sent by the special district to the customers of the district;
- posting the information on the official web site of the special district if there is a link to the district’s web site on the official web site of the division; or
- for districts that are members of a statewide association of special districts, by mailing or electronically transmitting the notice to the statewide association of special districts, which association shall post the notice on a publically accessible section of the association’s web site.
Additionally, the Bill mandates that each special district record a public disclosure statement with the clerk and recorder of the County in which they provide services, which disclosure shall include the name of the district; the powers of the district as authorized in the service plan; a statement indicating where the service plan may be obtained; and a statement containing statutorily prescribed language concerning the manner in which revenue is raised and where information concerning the district is available.
This Bill requires the above statement to be recorded either upon formation for new districts or no later than December 31, 2014 for existing districts.