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OK, I have cited this forever as the reason we can't have multi-year contracts / committments without a sinking fund -- using the second part of the section.

Counsel is trying to tell me that none of the section applies because is has to do with seawalls (in the first part) Has anyone else had to fight this battle?

Lisa L. Peterson
Nolan County Attorney
Posts: 736 | Location: Sweetwater TX | Registered: January 30, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It appears counsel is being a bit cheeky. The "sea wall" scope limitation will come as news to the Texas Supreme Court and courts of appeals that have applied art. 11, sec. 7 to cities and counties like Fort Worth, Terrell, Bonham, Wink, Bexar County, Ochiltree County, Ector County and Nacogdoches County, none of which is located on the Gulf of Mexico or has anything remotely resembling a sea wall (though Wink is not too far from the Monahans dunes).

The argument might have had traction if it weren't for more than 100 years of jurisprudence applying the section, per its own language, to debt for "any purpose," incurred in "any manner by any city or county", not just a city or county bordering the Gulf that is proposing to build storm surge protection. The recently-approved amendment to the section, which authorizes legislation permitting interlocal contracts with other cities and counties to be exempt from the interest and sinking fund requirement, notably does not contain language limiting its scope to the Gulf Coast or to seawall or breakwater projects. If the section was intended to be restricted to coastal governments, and the case law applying it statewide was to be reversed, the amendment vote last year would have been the chance to do it.
Posts: 1233 | Location: Amarillo, Texas, USA | Registered: March 15, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Lisa, isn't Nolan County on the edge of the Permian Basin? Maybe you should tell this attorney to google the Permian Sea and then explain to you why Sea Wall law doesn't apply to Nolan County.

Bad jokes aside, Scott is 100% correct as usual. I have had to go down this road with attorneys before, but after getting them to read some cases they have always relented. You might just refer them to AG Opinion GA-0176 which cites the relevant case law.
Posts: 63 | Location: Midland, TX | Registered: September 09, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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