Urban-Type Public Facilities

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Counties are authorized to establish, construct, install, acquire, operate, and maintain urban-type public facilities.  These include pipelines, docks, and water treatment systems, as well as operations to dispose of wastewater, sewage, garbage, and other waste matter.  T.C.A. § 5-16-101. In order to exercise this authority, the county legislative body, by resolution, may designate an existing agency, create a public works department, or establish a board of public utilities to oversee the project.  The composition of this board varies depending on the county's population (T.C.A. § 5-16-103), although a superintendent with specific statutory powers and duties is its head. T.C.A. §§ 5-16-104, 5-16-105.  The statute also provides for bond issues (T.C.A. § 5-16-106), and addresses the relationship between cities and counties in the operation of these facilities.  T.C.A. §§ 5-16-107, 5-16-110, 5-16-111.  Before the county legislative body can authorize any of these services, it must submit plans to the regional planning commission for study.  T.C.A. § 5-16-112.