California Public Utilities Code
As used in this chapter "acquisition of public utility works" includes construction, completion, or acquisition of public utilities or public utility works.
Whenever any petition signed by electors of the district equal in number to 15 percent of all votes cast within the district at the last preceding general election of state and county officers is presented to the board asking for the acquisition of public utility works therein named, the clerk shall immediately examine and verify the signatures and certify the result of the examination to the board. If the required number of signatures is found genuine, the clerk shall transmit to the president of the board an authentic copy of the petition, without the signatures thereto.
Upon receiving a petition certified to contain the required number of signatures, the board shall formulate for submission to the electors of the district at a general district election or at a special election called for that purpose a separate proposition for the acquisition of each public utility works named in the petition.
In the formulation of a proposition the board shall procure plans and estimates of the cost of original construction and completion by the district of the public utility or, in case of the proposed acquisition of an existing utility works, the cost of original construction and completion by the district of similar works. The board shall also procure an estimate of the revenues that can be expected from the public utility works named in the petition.
In securing estimates of the cost of original construction and completion of water works by the district, the board shall procure and place on file plans and estimates of the cost of obtaining from such sources as the board finds and designates as available a sufficient supply of good, pure water for the district.
Before submitting propositions to the electors for the acquisition of any public utility works, the board shall solicit and consider offers for the sale to the district of existing utilities, or utility works of the same character, or such portion thereof as would be useful to the district, in order that the district may have the benefit of acquiring them at the lowest possible cost.
The board may apply to the Public Utilities Commission to ascertain the value of existing utility works for the purpose of submitting to the electors estimates of the cost of acquiring them.
Upon application by the board the commission without delay shall make a valuation in accordance with Chapter 8, Part 1 of Division 1 of this code.
When the commission has made and filed its findings and decision, the board may have the findings reviewed in accordance with Chapter 8, Part 1 of Division 1, or the board may immediately adopt the findings and decision as the basis of its estimate of the cost of acquiring the public utility works by purchase or by condemnation.
Upon the filing of plans and estimates the board shall determine whether the cost of the public utility works proposed for acquisition can be paid from revenues of the district from the operation of its public utilities in addition to the other necessary expenses of the district.
When the cost of any public utility works named in a petition can be paid out of the revenues of the district derived from the operation of its public utilities, in addition to the other necessary expenses of the district, each proposition therefor submitted to the electors shall specify the cost of the public utility works proposed for acquisition by the district, the proposed method and manner of its payment, and the question whether the utility works shall be acquired upon such terms.
If the cost of any public utility works named in a petition so far exceeds the revenues of the district derived from the operation of its public utilities, in addition to the other necessary expenses of the district, that it is necessary to incur a district bonded indebtedness, each proposition shall specify the amount of the necessary bonded indebtedness, its rate of interest, and the question whether such bonded indebtedness shall be incurred.
At the next regular meeting after formulation of a proposition for the acquisition of the public utility works, the board by ordinance shall submit the proposition to the electors of the district at a general district election or at a special district election called for the purpose.
All propositions formulated pursuant to Section 16803 shall be submitted within six months after filing of the petitions, unless more time is required for obtaining a valuation requested of the Public Utilities Commission, in which case the propositions shall be submitted as soon as possible after the valuation becomes final.
The affirmative vote of a majority of the electors voting upon the proposition is necessary to accept a proposition submitted under Section 16811.
The affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the electors voting upon the proposition is necessary to approve a proposition submitted under Section 16812 and to warrant the issuance of district bonds therefor.
At as early a date after determination of the election result as the board deems is for the best interests of the district, it shall undertake proceedings and enter into the negotiations and contracts necessary for the acquisition of the public utility works named in any proposition approved by the majority of the electors voting at the election.