This chapter may be cited as the Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority Act.
The executive director may hire employees of the authority. The board shall prescribe the duties and compensation of authority employees.
The attorney general is the legal counsel for the authority. The attorney general shall advise the authority in legal matters and represent it in suits.
Article 02. POWERS AND DUTIES
The authority shall maximize revenue from and deposit all money in depositories acceptable to the commissioner of revenue and otherwise safeguard the money under instructions as the commissioner of revenue may from time to time issue.
Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, the activities of the authority are exempt from land use planning, zoning, permitting, or other similar governmental powers of political subdivisions of the state.
The authority shall employ an executive director who may not be a member of the board. The executive director shall serve at the pleasure of the board. The board shall establish the duties and compensation of the executive director.
The authority shall obtain a fidelity bond in an amount determined by the board, for the members of the board and any official responsible for authority accounts and finances. A bond must be in effect for the tenure of the bonded person.
Article 03. GENERAL PROVISIONS
The executive director and employees of the authority are in the exempt service under AS 39.25 (State Personnel Act).
The legislative auditor annually shall audit, or cause to have audited, the financial records of the authority. The legislative auditor may prescribe the form and content of the financial records of the authority and shall have access to these records at any reasonable time.
The purpose of the authority created by this chapter is to develop, stimulate, and advance the economic welfare of the state and further the development of public transportation systems in the vicinity of the Upper Cook Inlet with construction of a bridge to span Knik Arm and connect the Municipality of Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.
The authority shall keep in force public liability insurance in an amount reasonably calculated to cover potential claims for bodily injury, death or disability, and property damage that may arise from or be related to its operation and activities, naming the state as an additional insured.
In this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise,
(1) 'authority' means the Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority;
(2) 'board' means the board of directors of the authority;
(3) 'department' means the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.
This chapter does not prevent the state from making appropriations for or in aid of the acquisition, design, construction, or operation of the Knik Arm bridge and its appurtenant facilities.
(a) There is established the Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority. The authority is a public corporation and an instrumentality of the state within the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, but the authority has a separate and independent legal existence from the state. The exercise by the authority of the powers in this chapter is considered an essential governmental function of the state.
(b) The authority may not be terminated as long as it has bonds, notes, or other obligations outstanding. Upon termination of the authority, its rights and property pass to the state.
The state pledges to and agrees with the holders of bonds issued under this chapter and with a federal agency that loans or contributes money in respect to the Knik Arm bridge that the state will not limit or alter the rights and powers vested in the authority under this chapter to fulfill the terms of a contract made by the authority with the holders or federal agency or in any way impair the rights and remedies of the holders until the bonds, together with the interest on them, with interest on unpaid installments of interest, and all costs and expenses in connection with an action or proceeding by or on behalf of the holders, are fully met and discharged. The authority may include this pledge and agreement of the state, insofar as it refers to holders of bonds of the authority, in a contract with the holders and, insofar as it relates to a federal agency, in a contract with the federal agency.
It is the intention of the legislature that a pledge made in respect of bonds shall be perfected and shall be valid and binding from the time the pledge is made, that the money or property so pledged and after that received by the authority shall immediately be subject to the lien of the pledge without physical delivery or further act, and that the lien of the pledge shall be valid and binding against all parties having claims of any kind in tort, contract, or otherwise against the authority irrespective of whether the parties have notice. Neither the resolution, trust agreement, nor any other instrument by which a pledge is created need be recorded or filed under the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code in order to be perfected or to be valid, binding, or effective against the parties. This section does not affect title to or conveyances of real property, and does not limit the applicability of AS 40.17.080 (b).
The authority may borrow money and issue bonds on which the principal and interest are payable from money derived from the fees, rents, tolls, rates, charges, and other revenue of the authority under this chapter. Before issuing bonds for the Knik Arm bridge, the authority shall submit to the state bond committee a description of the bond issue and a preliminary prospectus, offering circular, or official statement relating to the bond issue. Bonds may not be issued unless the state bond committee finds, based upon the information submitted by the authority under this section and other information that is reasonably available to the committee, that the Knik Arm bridge revenue and other revenue available to the authority can be reasonably expected to be adequate for payment of the principal and interest on the bonds to be issued and that issuance of the bonds by the authority would not be expected to adversely affect the ability of the state or its political subdivisions to market bonds. Bonds may not be issued unless the principal amount of the bond issue is authorized by law.
The bonds of the authority are securities in which all public officers and bodies of the state and all municipalities and municipal subdivisions, all insurance companies and associations and other persons carrying on an insurance business, all banks, bankers, trust companies, savings banks, savings associations, including savings and loan associations and building and loan associations, investment companies, and other persons carrying on banking business, all administrators, guardians, executors, trustees, and other fiduciaries, and other persons who are now or may afterward be authorized to invest in bonds or other obligations of the state may properly and legally invest money, including capital in their control or belonging to them. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the bonds of the authority are also securities that may be deposited with and may be received by all public officers and bodies of the state and all municipalities and municipal subdivisions for any purpose for which the deposit of bonds or other obligations of the state is now or may afterward be authorized.
(a) The powers of the authority are vested in the board.
(b) Three voting members of the board constitute a quorum.
(c) The governor shall designate one member of the board to serve as the chair of the board. The voting members of the board shall elect other officers they determine desirable.
(d) Action may be taken and motions and resolutions adopted by the board at a meeting by the affirmative vote of at least three voting members.
(e) The public members of the board shall receive a stipend of $300 a day while performing business of the authority.
(f) The members of the board serving under AS 19.75.031 (a)(1), (2), (6), and (7) serve without compensation but are entitled to per diem and travel expenses authorized by law under AS 39.20.180 .
The real and personal property of the authority and its assets, income, and receipts are declared to be the property of a political subdivision of the state and are exempt from all taxes and special assessments of the state or a political subdivision of the state. All bonds of the authority are declared to be issued by a political subdivision of the state and for an essential public and governmental purpose. The bonds, the interest on the bonds, the income from the bonds and the transfer of the bonds, and all assets, income, and receipts pledged to pay or secure the payment of the bonds or interest on the bonds are, at all times, exempt from taxation by or under the authority of the state, except for inheritance and estate taxes and taxes on transfers by or in contemplation of death. Nothing in this section affects or limits an exemption from license fees, property taxes, or excise, income, or other taxes provided under any other law, nor does it create a tax exemption with respect to the interest of any business enterprise or other person, other than the authority, in any property, assets, income, receipts, project, or lease, regardless of whether financed under this chapter.
(a) Neither the members of the board nor a person executing the bonds of the authority is liable personally on the bonds or is subject to personal liability or accountability by reason of the issuance of the bonds.
(b) The bonds issued by the authority do not constitute an indebtedness or other liability of the state or of a political subdivision of the state other than the authority, but shall be payable solely from the income, receipts, or other money or property of the authority.
(c) The authority may not pledge the faith or credit of the state or of a political subdivision of the state other than the authority, and the issuance of a bond by the authority does not directly, indirectly, or contingently obligate the state or a political subdivision of the state to apply money from, levy, or pledge any form of taxation to the payment of the bond.
(d) Each obligation issued under this chapter other than a state guaranteed bond shall contain on its face a statement that the authority is not obligated to pay it nor the interest on it except from the revenue or assets of the authority and that neither the faith and credit nor the taxing power of the state or of any political subdivision of the state is pledged to the payment of the principal of or the interest on the obligation.
(a) The authority shall be governed by a board of directors consisting of the following:
(1) the commissioner of transportation and public facilities or the commissioner's designee;
(2) the commissioner of revenue or the commissioner's designee;
(3) one public member, appointed by the governor, who is a state resident and United States citizen;
(4) one public member, appointed by the governor, who is a resident of the Municipality of Anchorage and who has knowledge of local transportation issues;
(5) one public member, appointed by the governor, who is a resident of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and who has knowledge of local transportation issues;
(6) one nonvoting member who is a member of the state house of representatives appointed by the speaker of the house and who serves at the pleasure of the speaker of the house; the speaker of the house shall consider the appointment of a legislator elected from a house district that lies entirely or partially within the Municipality of Anchorage or the Matanuska-Susitna Borough for appointment under this paragraph; and
(7) one nonvoting member who is a member of the state senate appointed by the president of the senate and who serves at the pleasure of the president of the senate; the president of the senate shall consider the appointment of a senator elected from a senate district that lies entirely or partially within the Municipality of Anchorage or the Matanuska-Susitna Borough for appointment under this paragraph.
(b) The public members of the board shall serve for staggered terms of five years and may be reappointed to a single successive five-year term. A public member may only be removed for cause.
(c) If a vacancy occurs in a public member's seat on the board, the governor shall make an appointment, effective immediately, for the unexpired portion of that member's term.
(a) In furtherance of its purposes, the authority may
(1) own, acquire, construct, develop, create, reconstruct, equip, operate, maintain, extend, and improve the Knik Arm bridge and its appurtenant facilities;
(2) sue and be sued;
(3) adopt a seal;
(4) adopt, amend, and repeal regulations under AS 44.62 and establish bylaws;
(5) make and execute agreements, contracts, and other instruments for the exercise of its powers and functions under this chapter, including contracts with any person, firm, corporation, governmental agency, or other entity;
(6) in its own name acquire, lease, rent, or convey real and personal property;
(7) issue bonds and otherwise incur indebtedness, in accordance with AS 19.75.211 , in order to pay the cost of the Knik Arm bridge and its appurtenant facilities; the authority may also secure payment of the bonds or other indebtedness as provided in AS 19.75.221 ;
(8) apply for and accept gifts, grants, or loans from a federal agency or an agency or instrumentality of the state, or from a municipality, private organization, or other source;
(9) fix and collect fees, rents, tolls, rates, or other charges for the use of the Knik Arm bridge and appurtenant facilities, or for a service developed, operated, or provided by the authority; notwithstanding AS 37.10.050 (a), fees, rents, tolls, rates, and other charges fixed and collected under this paragraph may exceed the actual operating cost of the use of the bridge, facility, or service;
(10) pledge fees, rents, tolls, rates, charges, or other revenue of the authority as security for bonds of the authority;
(11) deposit or invest its funds, subject to agreements with bondholders;
(12) procure insurance against any loss in connection with its operation;
(13) contract for and engage the services of consultants, experts, and financial and technical advisors that the authority considers necessary for the exercise of its powers and functions under this chapter;
(14) apply for, obtain, hold, and use permits, licenses, or approvals from appropriate agencies of the state, the United States, a foreign country, and any other proper agency in the same manner as any other person;
(15) perform reconnaissance studies and engineering, survey, and design studies with respect to the Knik Arm bridge and its appurtenant facilities;
(16) exercise powers of eminent domain or file a declaration of taking as necessary for the Knik Arm bridge and appurtenant facilities under AS 09.55.240 - 09.55.460 to acquire land or an interest in land;
(17) confer with municipal and other governments, metropolitan planning organizations, and the department, concerning the Knik Arm bridge;
(18) do all acts and things necessary to carry out the powers expressly granted or necessarily implied in this chapter.
(b) The authority shall
(1) prepare an annual report of its operations to include a balance sheet, an income statement, a statement of changes in financial position, a reconciliation of changes in equity accounts, a summary of significant accounting principles, an auditor's report, comments regarding the year's business, and prospects for the next year; the report shall be completed by the third day of each regular session of the legislature, and the authority shall notify the governor, the commissioner of the department, the presiding officers of each house of the legislature, and the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee that the report is available;
(2) comply with the provisions of AS 37.07 (Executive Budget Act), except that AS 37.07 does not apply to the activities of the authority that relate to the authority's borrowing of money as provided in this chapter, including the issuing of its obligations or evidence of that borrowing and the repayment of the debt obligation;
(3) establish a personnel management system for hiring employees and setting employee-benefit packages;
(4) establish procedures, rules, and rates governing per diem and travel expenses of the employees of the authority in substantial conformity to statutes, procedures, rules, and rates applicable to state employees of similar state entities;
(5) coordinate the exercise of its powers to plan, design, construct, operate, and maintain the Knik Arm bridge with the department, and with the mayors of the Municipality of Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.
(a) In the discretion of the authority, an issue of bonds may be secured by a trust indenture or trust agreement between the authority and a corporate trustee, by a secured loan agreement or other instrument, or by a resolution giving powers to a corporate trustee, by means of which the authority may
(1) make agreements with the trustee or the holders of the bonds that the authority determines to be necessary or desirable, including agreements as to the
(A) application, investment, deposit, use, and disposition of
(i) the proceeds of bonds of the authority;
(ii) money or other property of the authority; or
(iii) money or other property in which the authority has an interest;
(B) fixing and collecting of fees, rents, tolls, rates, or other charges;
(C) assignment by the authority of its rights in any contract with respect to the Knik Arm bridge or in a mortgage or other security interest created with respect to the Knik Arm bridge to a trustee for the benefit of bondholders;
(D) terms and conditions under which the authority may issue additional bonds;
(E) vesting in a trustee of rights, powers, duties, money, or property in trust for the benefit of bondholders, including the right to enforce payment, performance, and all other rights of the authority or of the bondholders, under a lease, power of contract, contract of sale, mortgage, security agreement, or trust by injunction or other proceeding or by taking possession by agent or otherwise, and operating the Knik Arm bridge and collecting rents or other consideration and applying the same in accordance with the trust agreement;
(2) pledge, mortgage, or assign money, leases, agreements, property, or other rights or assets of the authority either presently in hand or to be received in the future, or both; and
(3) provide for any other matters that affect the security or protection of the bonds.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, the trust agreement must contain an agreement by the authority that the authority will at all times maintain fees, rents, tolls, rates, or other charges sufficient to
(1) pay the costs of operation and maintenance of the Knik Arm bridge and its appurtenant facilities and the principal of and interest on bonds issued under the trust agreement as the bonds severally become due and payable;
(2) provide for debt service coverage as considered necessary by the authority for the marketing of its bonds; and
(3) provide for renewals, replacements, and improvements of the Knik Arm bridge, and to maintain reserves required by the terms of the trust agreement.
(c) For the purpose of securing one or more issues of its bonds, the authority may establish one or more special funds, called 'capital reserve funds,' and shall pay into those capital reserve funds the proceeds of the sale of its bonds and any other money that is available to the authority for the purposes of those funds. The funds shall be established only if the authority determines that the establishment would enhance the marketability of the bonds. All money held in a capital reserve fund, except as provided in this section, shall be used as required solely for (1) the payment of the principal of and interest on bonds or of the sinking fund payments with respect to those bonds, (2) the purchase or redemption of bonds, or (3) the payment of a redemption premium required to be paid when those bonds are redeemed before maturity. However, money in a fund may not be withdrawn from the fund at any time in an amount that would reduce the amount of the fund to less than the capital reserve requirement set out in (d) of this section, except for the purpose of making, with respect to those bonds, payment, when due, of principal, interest, redemption premiums, and the sinking fund payments for the payment of which other money of the authority is not available. Income or interest earned by or increment to a capital reserve fund due to the investment of the fund or any other amounts in the fund may be transferred by the authority to other funds or accounts of the authority to the extent that the transfer does not reduce the amount of the capital reserve fund below the capital reserve fund requirement.
(d) If the authority decides to issue bonds secured by a capital reserve fund, the bonds may not be issued if the amount in the capital reserve fund is less than the amount of the capital reserve fund requirement, if any, established by resolution of the authority, unless the authority, at the time of issuance of the obligations, deposits in the capital reserve fund from the proceeds of the obligations to be issued or from other sources an amount that, together with the amount then in the fund, will not be less than the capital reserve fund requirement.
(e) In computing the amount of a capital reserve fund for the purpose of this section, securities in which all or a portion of the fund is invested shall be valued by some reasonable method established by the authority by resolution. Valuation on a particular date shall include the amount of any interest earned or accrued to that date.
(f) If the authority decides to issue bonds secured by a capital reserve fund, the bonds may not be issued until 30 days after the authority has mailed notification to the state bond committee and the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee by certified mail of its intention to establish a capital reserve fund to secure the bond issue. The notification must include the amount of the capital reserve fund to be established, the amount of bonds proposed to be issued, and the total cost for which the bonds are to be issued. The notification shall be accompanied by an estimate by the authority of the need to withdraw money from the capital reserve fund during the term of the bond issue, the amount that may be necessary to withdraw, and the time at which withdrawals are estimated to be needed. By January 30 of each year, the authority shall prepare, and provide to the state bond committee and the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee, a revised estimate, considering the same factors, and a statement of all withdrawals that have occurred from the date of issuance of the bonds to the end of the preceding calendar year.
(g) Nothing in this section creates a debt or liability of the state.