(a) An authority may enter into an agreement with a public or private entity, including a toll road corporation, the United States, a state of the United States, the United Mexican States, a state of the United Mexican States, another governmental entity, or a political subdivision, to permit the entity, independently or jointly with the authority, to study the feasibility of a transportation project or to acquire, design, finance, construct, maintain, repair, operate, extend, or expand a transportation project. An authority and a private entity jointly may enter into an agreement with another governmental entity to study the feasibility of a transportation project or to acquire, design, finance, construct, maintain, repair, operate, extend, or expand a transportation project.
(b) An authority has broad discretion to negotiate provisions in a development agreement with a private entity. The provisions may include provisions relating to:
(1) the design, financing, construction, maintenance, and operation of a transportation project in accordance with standards adopted by the authority; and
(2) professional and consulting services to be rendered under standards adopted by the authority in connection with a transportation project.
Terms Used In Texas Transportation Code 370.302
- Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
- Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
- Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
- Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
- Property: means real and personal property. See Texas Government Code 311.005
- United States: includes a department, bureau, or other agency of the United States of America. See Texas Government Code 311.005
(c) An authority may not incur a financial obligation on behalf of, or guarantee the obligations of, a private entity that constructs, maintains, or operates a transportation project.
(d) An authority or a county in an authority is not liable for any financial or other obligation of a transportation project solely because a private entity constructs, finances, or operates any part of a transportation project.
(e) An authority may authorize the investment of public and private money, including debt and equity participation, to finance a function described by this section.
(f) An authority may not directly provide water, wastewater, natural gas, petroleum pipeline, electric transmission, electric distribution, telecommunications, information, or cable television services.
(g) Nothing in this chapter, or any contractual right obtained under a contract with an authority authorized by this chapter, supersedes or renders ineffective any provision of another law applicable to the owner or operator of a public utility facility, including any provision of the Utilities Code regarding licensing, certification, and regulatory jurisdiction of the Public Utility Commission of Texas or Railroad Commission of Texas.
(h) If an authority enters into an agreement with a private entity that includes the collection by the private entity of tolls for the use of a transportation project, the private entity shall submit to the authority for approval:
(1) the methodology for:
(A) the setting of tolls; and
(B) increasing the amount of the tolls;
(2) a plan outlining methods the entity will use to collect the tolls, including:
(A) any charge to be imposed as a penalty for late payment of a toll; and
(B) any charge to be imposed to recover the cost of collecting a delinquent toll; and
(3) any proposed change in an approved methodology for the setting of a toll or a plan for collecting the toll.
(i) An agreement with a private entity that includes the collection by the private entity of tolls for the use of a transportation project may not be for a term longer than 50 years from the later of the date of final acceptance of the project or the start of revenue operations by the private entity, not to exceed a total term of 52 years. The agreement must contain an explicit mechanism for setting the price for the purchase by the authority of the interest of the private entity in the contract and related property, including any interest in a highway or other facility designed, developed, financed, constructed, operated, or maintained under the agreement.