Rural Utilities

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Kennedy, Kennedy, Robbins & Yarbro, LC is developing one of Missouri’s most comprehensive practices in providing legal services to rural utilities and municipalities. Our rural utility clients include water districts, sewer districts, electric cooperatives, fire protection districts, drainage districts and county health departments. From initial planning, formation, bonding, design and construction, day-to-day operation to litigation, our firm understands the issues facing these Missouri entities. Unlike other firms who may help a district here or there, representation of rural utility districts is a key component of our practice. The firm acts as general counsel for many rural utilities, as listed below in the representative client section.

The elected directors, trustees or supervisors of these districts have very difficult jobs. Many of these positions do not allow for compensation under Missouri law, so the board members, to their credit, volunteer to take on this responsibility in addition to full-time jobs and family. Kennedy, Kennedy Robbins & Yarbro, LC, recognizes these sacrifices and we strive to make their jobs less of a burden and more of an enjoyable public service.

The majority of the firm’s district clientele are either rural water districts or sewer districts. The provision of quality water and sewer service is an issue for every property owner, real estate developer, business, city, and county in the State of Missouri. There can be no real growth or progress without accessible, affordable water and sewer services. The firm is well versed with the statutory requirements contained in Chapters 204, 247, 249 and 250 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri for the formation of public water supply districts, common sewer districts and reorganized common sewer districts. The issues facing water and sewer issues are universal, but each district and the community it serves requires a different approach and solution. Our attorneys will take the time to meet with you, to help determine the district’s needs, and formulate a solution. The services provided include the following:

District Organization and Management – Districts are a tool that the community can use to assist in financing improvements. Rural utilities can fulfill a variety of public needs, including water, sewer, road, drainage and fire protection services. Our firm is experienced and knowledgeable in the formation of these districts, from the initial setup, to bond issues, to daily operations. The firm has been successful in drafting and helping to obtain temporary and permanent easements, for both water and sewer lines.

Budgeting and Financing – Districts are governmental entities, and thus they are required to prepare annual budgets that balance the district’s service obligations with its obligations to the taxpayers. The majority of start-up districts are funded through USDA-Rural Development, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and Missouri Department of Economic Development, through the Community Development Block Grant program. Our firm can assist districts with any budget and financing needs.

Bond Financing – Most districts have the ability to issue special revenue bonds to finance improvements. Our firm has worked with bond counsel on multiple projects to secure financing for districts. Kennedy, Kennedy, Robbins & Yarbro, LC, is also knowledgeable with regard to the provisions of the Missouri Constitution and district enabling statutes regarding bond elections and other actions that must be taken prior to issuing a bond.

Sunshine Law Compliance – Districts, as political subdivisions of the state of Missouri, are required to comply with the Sunshine Law, found in Chapter 610 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri. These requirements include public notice of meetings, open records and production of documents upon request. Our lawyers are well versed in the requirements of the Sunshine law and can help your District remain in compliance.

Elections – Most districts, political subdivisions of the state of Missouri, are required to hold elections for board members. Our firm can assist with compliance regarding Missouri’s election laws.

Intergovernmental Agreements – Many times, different districts can combine forces to assist one another in the provision of services. For example, one water district may buy water from another district for resale to its customers. The attorneys of Kennedy, Kennedy, Robbins & Yarbro, LC, can draft the documents required by Article 16 of the Missouri Constitution and Chapter 70 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri to create intergovernmental agreements between districts to maximize efficiency.

Condemnation/Eminent Domain – Missouri law provides most districts with the power to take private property for public purposes. Our firm is well versed regarding the issues presented and can work with the board to maintain a good relationship with the community while also obtaining the necessary easements or fee simple for the project.

Litigation – Districts often become involved in disputes over issues such as rates, damage to property, construction contracts and other similar matters. Our firm has more than 75 years in combined experience representing districts in court to ensure that the district’s interests and rights are preserved.

If you need legal assistance, or for further information about rural utilities, please contact us or call Kennedy, Kennedy, Robbins & Yarbro, LC, at (573) 686-2459. Our commitment is to earn your confidence by answering all questions and providing quality representation.

Representative Districts:

Butler County Fire Protection District
Butler County Health Center
Cape Girardeau County Reorganized Common Sewer District
City of Birch Tree, Missouri
City of Irondale, Missouri
Drainage District No. 7 of Butler County
Drainage District No. 10 of Butler County
Dunklin County Reorganized Common Sewer District No. 1
Missouri Association of Sewer Districts
Naylor Drainage District
Ozark Border Electric Cooperative
Pike Creek Reorganized Common Sewer District
Public Water Supply District No. 1 of Dent County
Public Water Supply District No. 3 of Butler County
Public Water Supply District No. 104 of Butler County
Public Water Supply District No. 12 of Jefferson County
Public Water Supply District No. 3 of Laclede County
Public Water Supply District No. 2 of New Madrid County
Public Water Supply District No. 4 of Phelps County
Public Water Supply District No.1 of Washington County
Public Water Supply District No.4 of Washington County
South Dunklin County Reorganized Common Sewer District
Southeast Sewer District of Johnson County, Missouri
Wayne County Health Center