(a) Every municipality has the power and is authorized to:

Terms Used In Tennessee Code 7-52-103. Powers of municipalities

  • Acquire: means to purchase, lease, construct, reconstruct, replace, or acquire by gift. See
  • Code: includes the Tennessee Code and all amendments and revisions to the code and all additions and supplements to the code. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Dispose: means to sell, lease, or otherwise transfer any interest in property. See
  • Electric plant: means generating, transmission, or distribution systems, together with all other facilities, equipment and appurtenances necessary or appropriate to any such systems for the furnishing of electric power and energy for lighting, heating, power or any other purpose for which electric power and energy can be used. See
  • Electric service: means the furnishing of electric power and energy for lighting, heating, power or any other purpose for which electric power and energy can be used. See
  • Federal agency: includes the United States, the president of the United States, the department of housing and urban development, Tennessee valley authority, or any other similar agency, instrumentality or corporation of the United States, that has heretofore been or may hereafter be created by or pursuant to any act or acts of the congress of the United States. See
  • Improve: means to acquire any improvement. See
  • Improvement: means any improvement, extension, betterment, or addition to any electric plant. See
  • Lands: includes lands, tenements and hereditaments, and all rights thereto and interests therein, equitable as well as legal. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Law: means any act or statute, general, special or local, of the state of Tennessee, including, but not limited to, the charter of any municipality. See
  • Municipality: means any county, metropolitan government, incorporated city or town in the state of Tennessee. See
  • Person: includes a corporation, firm, company or association. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • Property: includes both personal and real property. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105
  • State: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Tennessee Code 1-3-105

(1) Acquire, improve, operate and maintain within or without the corporate or county limits of such municipality, and within the corporate or county limits of any other municipality, with the consent of such other municipality, an electric plant and to provide electric service to any person, firm, public or private corporation, or to any other user or consumer of electric power and energy, and charge for the electric service;

(2) Acquire, improve or use jointly with any other municipality a transmission line or lines together with all necessary and appropriate facilities, equipment and appurtenances for the purpose of transmitting power and energy or connecting their respective electric plants with a wholesale source of supply and, to this end, such municipality may provide by contract for the method of holding title, for the allocation of responsibility for operation and maintenance and for the allocation of expenses and revenues;

(3) Accept grants, loans or other financial assistance from any federal agency, for or in aid of the acquisition or improvement of any electric plant;

(4) Contract debts for the acquisition or improvement of any electric plant, borrow money, and issue bonds and notes pursuant to title Code Sec. t9″>9, chapter 21, to finance such acquisition or improvements;

(5) Assess, levy and collect unlimited ad valorem taxes on all property subject to taxation to pay such bonds, and the interest on the bonds;

(6) Acquire, hold and, subject to the applicable provisions of any bonds or contracts, dispose of any property, real or personal, tangible or intangible, or any right or interest in any such property in connection with any electric plant, and whether or not subject to mortgages, liens, charges or other encumbrances, but no municipality shall dispose of all or substantially all of its electric plant, except as provided in § 7-52-132;

(7) Make contracts and execute instruments containing such covenants, terms and conditions as in the discretion of the municipality may be necessary, proper or advisable for the purpose of obtaining loans from any source, or grants, loans or other financial assistance from any federal agency; make all other contracts and execute all other instruments as in the discretion of the municipality may be necessary, proper or advisable in or for the furtherance of the acquisition, improvement, operation and maintenance of any electric plant and the furnishing of electric service; and carry out and perform the covenants and terms and conditions of all such contracts and instruments;

(8) Enter on any lands, waters and premises for the purpose of making surveys, soundings and examinations in connection with the acquisition, improvement, operation or maintenance of any electric plant and the furnishing of electric service; and

(9) Do all acts and things necessary or convenient to carry out the powers expressly given in this part.

(b) In addition to the powers listed in subsection (a), each municipality in any county having a population of:

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according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census has the power and is authorized to promote economic and industrial development through participation both as a borrower and a lender in various programs established by the rural electrification administration or other federal programs.

(c) In addition to the authority granted under otherwise applicable law, each municipality operating an electric plant has the power and is authorized within its service area and on behalf of its municipality, acting through the authorization of the board or supervisory body having responsibility for the municipal electric plant, to contract to establish a joint venture or other business relationship with one (1) or more third parties to provide the services authorized by § 7-52-601; provided, that, with respect to cable services, at least one (1) such third party shall be a current franchise holder that has been providing services in any state, either itself or its predecessor or predecessors, for not less than three (3) years at the time of the establishment of the joint venture or other business relationship. Any such joint venture or other business relationship shall be subject to the provisions of §§ 7-52-602 – 7-52-609.

(d) In addition to the authority granted under otherwise applicable law, each municipality operating an electric plant has the power and is authorized on behalf of its municipality, acting through the authorization of the board or supervisory body having responsibility for the municipal electric plant, to establish a joint venture or any other business relationship with one (1) or more third parties to provide related services, subject to the provisions of §§ 7-52-402 – 7-52-407. No contract or agreement between a municipal electric system and one (1) or more third parties for the provision of related services that provides for the joint ownership or joint control of assets, the sharing of profits and losses, or the sharing of gross revenues shall become effective or enforceable until the Tennessee regulatory authority approves such contract or agreement on petition, and, after notice and opportunity to be heard, has been extended to interested parties. Notwithstanding § 65-4-101(6)(B) or any other provision of this code or of any private act, to the extent that any such joint venture or other business relationship provides related services, such joint venture or business relationship and every member of such joint venture or business relationship shall be subject to regulation by the Tennessee regulatory authority in the same manner and to the same extent as other certified providers of telecommunications services, including, but not limited to, rules or orders governing anti-competitive practices, and shall be considered as and have the duties of a public utility, as defined in § 65-4-101, but only to the extent necessary to effect such regulation and only with respect to the provision of related services. This provision shall not apply to any related service or transaction that is not subject to regulation by the Tennessee regulatory authority.

(e) (1) In addition to the authority granted under otherwise applicable law, a municipality operating an electric plant has the power and is authorized, acting through the authorization of the board or supervisory body having responsibility for the municipal electric plant, to accept and distribute voluntary contributions for bona fide economic development or community assistance purposes pursuant to programs approved by the board or supervisory body, which programs may include, but shall not be limited to, programs in which utility bills are rounded up to the next dollar when such contribution is shown as a separate line on the utility bill.

(2) Contributions accepted by a municipal electric plant pursuant to programs authorized by subdivision (e)(1) shall not be considered revenue to the municipal electric plant or the municipality’s other utility systems, and such contributions shall be used only for economic development or community assistance purposes.

(f) For purposes of this section, “related services” means those services authorized by § 7-52-401.

[Acts 1935, ch. 32, § 3; C. Supp. 1950, § 3708.3; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 6-1503; Acts 1988, ch. 750, § 30; 1993, ch. 444, § 1; 1999, ch. 481, § 3; 2003, ch. 60, § 1.]