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11.1905 Powers of the Authority

Cite as [A.S.C.A. 11.1905]

(a) The Authority has the following specific powers with respect to any project together with all other powers incidental, necessary or appropriate for the implementation of these projects not in conflict with the provisions of this chapter:
(1) to acquire, whether by construction, devise, purchase, gift, lease, condemnation or otherwise or any one or more of such methods, and to construct, improve, maintain, equip., and furnish one or more projects other than a project involving governmental facilities, located within the Territory or within the coastal waters of the Territory;
(2) to lease or lease-purchase to a lessee or from a lessor all or any part of a project for rentals upon terms and conditions which its members consider advisable;
(3) to sell or acquire by installment payments or otherwise and convey or receive conveyance of all or any part of a project other than a project involving government facilities, for a purchase price upon the terms and conditions which its members consider advisable;
(4) to lease for a term coterminous with the term of any bonds issued by the Authority, from the government all or any part of a project for governmental facilities provided that any lease of ten years or more submitted to the Legislature as may be required by section 37.2030 A.S.C.A.;
(5) to make secured or unsecured loans for the purposes of providing temporary or permanent financing or refinancing of all or part of the cost of a project, including the refunding of any outstanding obligations, mortgages, or advances issued, made, or given by any person for the cost of a project; and to charge and collect interest on these loans for the loan payments upon the terms and conditions which its members consider advisable;
(6) to issue bonds for the purpose of financing any project as provided in this chapter and to sell bonds at a price determined by the members or to exchange bonds for property, labor, services, material or equipment, comprising a project or incidental to the acquisition of a project, and those bonds may bear interest at any rate or rates, including variable rates, and contain other terms, provisions or conditions determined by the members to be necessary or appropriate;
(7) as security for the payment of the principal of and interest on any bonds issued and any agreements made in connection with that issuance, to mortgage and pledge all or part of these projects, whether then owned or later acquired, and to assign, mortgage, and repledge security available to the authority to secure a loan made by or to the Authority and to pledge the revenues, rentals, receipts and other payments therefrom;
(8) to enter into any contracts or agreements, in addition to the bond documents, which it deems necessary or appropriate on terms and conditions the members deem appropriate;
(9) to charge to applicants for bond financing and other services reasonable application, administration and other fees:
(10) to agree, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this chapter or in any other provision of law, to any conditions attached to federal government financial assistance in the development or operation of projects; and the authority may include in any contract, made in connection with a project, stipulations requiring that the contractor and any subcontractors comply with requirements as to maximum hours of labor, and comply with any conditions which the Federal Government may have attached to its financial aid to the project:
(11) to obligate itself, as required by the Federal Government or as necessary to acquire mortgage insurance, in any contract with the Federal Government for contributions to the Authority, to transfer or convey to the federal government possession of or title to the project to which such contract relates, to the extent that the Authority has obtained possession or title to a project, upon the occurrence of a substantial default (as defined in such contract) with respect to the covenants or conditions to which the authority is subject: and such contract may further provide that in case of such transfer or conveyance, the Federal Government may complete, operate, manage, lease, convey or otherwise deal with the project and funds in accordance with the terms of such contract, provided that the contract requires that, as soon as practicable after the Federal Government is satisfied that all defaults with respect to the project have been or will be cured and that the project will thereafter be operated in accordance with the terms of the contract, the Federal Government shall transfer back, or reconvey to the Authority the project as then constituted;
(12) to lease real property to or from private entities or the government, for such periods as are authorized by law, and to hold and manage or to sublease said property;
(13) to borrow or lend money, to issue temporary or long term evidence of indebtedness, and to repay the same;
(14) to pledge the assets and receipts of the authority as security for debts, and to acquire, sell, lease, exchange, transfer or assign, real, personal or mixed property, or any interest therein;
(15) the Authority shall have no authority to purchase or otherwise acquire communal or native land;
(16) to undertake and carry out studies and analyses of housing needs, to prepare plans to remedy housing needs, to execute the same, to operate projects and to provide for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, extension, alteration or repair of any housing project or any part thereof;
(17) with respect to any dwellings, accommodations, lands, buildings or facilities embraced within any housing project (including individual cooperative or condominium units), to lease or rent, sell, enter into lease-purchase agreements or lease with option to purchase; to establish and revise rents or required monthly payments; to make rules concerning the selection of tenants or homebuyers, including the establishment of priorities, and concerning the occupancy, rental, care and management of housing units; and to promulgate further rules as the Board of Directors may deem necessary and desirable to effectuate the powers granted by this chapter;
(18) to finance the purchase of a home by an eligible homebuyer in accordance with regulations and requirements of the Federal Government;
(19) to terminate any lease or rental agreement or lease-purchase agreement when the tenant or homebuyer has violated the terms of such agreement, or failed to meet any of its obligations thereunder, or when such termination is otherwise authorized under the provisions of such agreement; and to bring action for eviction against such tenant or homebuyer;
(20) to establish income limits for admission that insure that dwelling accommodations in a housing project shall be made available only to persons of low income or moderate income;
(21) to purchase insurance from any stock or mutual company for any property or against any risk or hazards;
(22) to invest such funds as are not required for immediate disbursement;
(23) to establish and maintain such batik accounts and other banking relationships as may be necessary or convenient;
(24) to employ an executive director, technical and maintenance personnel and such other officers and employees, permanent or temporary, as the Authority may require and to delegate to such officers and employees such powers or duties as the Board of Directors shall deem proper;
(25) to join or cooperate with any other public housing agency or agencies operating under the laws or ordinances of a state, territory or Indian tribe in the exercise, either .jointly or otherwise, of any or all of the powers of the Authority and such other public housing agency or agencies for the purposes of financing, (including but not limited to the issuance of notes or other obligations and giving security therefor), planning, undertaking, owning, constructing, operating or contracting with respect to a housing project or projects of the Authority or such other public housing agency or agencies, so joining or cooperating with the Authority, in the name of the Authority or in the name of such agency or agencies;
(26) to take such further actions as the Board of Directors may deem necessary and desirable to effectuate the purposes of the Authority.
(b) The Authority may not own or operate any industrial enterprise, commercial enterprise, or utility, other than as lessor, seller, or lender or pursuant to the requirements of any bond documents or other contract or agreement deemed appropriate by the Board of Directors of the Authority. Accordingly, the lessee, purchaser, or borrower pursuant to any lease, sale or loan agreement related to an industrial enterprise, a commercial enterprise, or utility is considered the owner of the project for the purposes of the application of any- property, sales, or use taxes or any other taxes levied or imposed by the Territory and its political subdivision. The purchase and holding by the authority of mortgages, deeds of trust, or other security interests and contracting for any servicing of them may not be construed as the operation of any such project.
(c) The Authority shall receive applications for approval of projects which must contain such information as is required by the authority. After an application is submitted which meets the requirements of the Authority, the Authority shall hold a public hearing on the application. Notice of the hearing must be published no less than 3 days nor more than 30 days prior to the hearing. All interested persons who appear at the hearing shall be given reasonable opportunity to be heard. The hearing shall be conducted by either the Board of Directors, one of its members, an employee of the Authority, or another person designated by the Board of Directors as the hearing examiner. The person conducting the hearing may administer oaths and question witnesses, and shall make a recommendation to the Board of Directors regarding the project. The Board of Directors shall then make a recommendation to the Governor regarding which projects should be approved, and may make a determination that the project is necessary and appropriate to the implementation of the purposes of this chapter. The Governor must give final approval of each project. Following approval by the Governor, and execution of bond documents by all parties, the authority may deliver its bonds. Neither the recommendations of the persons conducting the hearings nor the determination by the Board of Directors, nor actions of the Governor regarding approval, are reviewable by a court except in cases of fraud. The bonds of the authority, when delivered, shall be incontestable for any cause and shall be valid, binding and enforceable in accordance with their terms and conditions.
(d) In undertaking any project, the Authority shall adhere to the following criteria and requirements:
(1) the project, in the determination of the Authority, is appropriate for the needs and circumstances of, and makes a significant contribution to, the economic well-being of the Territory, and serves a public purpose by advancing the economic prosperity, public health, safety or general welfare of the Territory or its inhabitants;
(2) financing of a project involving an industrial enterprise, a commercial enterprise or utility may not be entered into with a person who is not financially responsible and fully capable and willing to fulfill its obligations to make payments in the amounts and at the times required, to fulfill the obligation to operate, repair and maintain any project involving an industrial enterprise, commercial enterprise or utility at its own expense, and to serve the purposes of this chapter, and other responsibilities as imposed under the bond documents. In determining financial responsibility of the party, consideration must be given to the party’s ratio of current assets to current liabilities, net worth earning trends, coverage of all fixed charges, the nature of the industry or actively involved and its inherent stability, and guarantee of the obligations by some other financially responsible corporation, firm or person, and other factors determinative of the capability of the party, financially and otherwise, to fulfill its obligations consistently with the purposes of this chapter.
(e) The Authority is authorized to issue each year the full amount of bonds available under federal law for industrial development projects, including, but not limited to, private activity bonds, as well as the full amount of bonds available under federal law for housing projects.
(f) The obligations of the Authority are declared to be issued for an essential public and governmental purpose and to be public instrumentalities, and, together with interest thereon and income therefrom, shall be exempt from taxes imposed by the Territory or the Government and any local unit or political subdivision of the Territory or the Government. The tax exemption provisions of this chapter shall be considered part of the security for the repayment of obligations and shall constitute, by virtue of this chapter and without necessity of being restated in the obligations, a contract between the Authority and the Government, and the holders of obligations and each of them, including all transferees of the obligations from time to time.
(g) Obligations of the Authority shall be issued and sold in the following manner:
(1) obligations of the Authority shall be authorized by a resolution adopted by the vote of a majority of the full Board of Directors and may be issued in one or more series;
(2) the obligations shall bear such dates, mature at such times, bear interest at such rates, be in such denominations, be in such form, either coupon or registered, carry such conversion or registration privileges, have such rank or priority, be executed in such manner, be payable in such medium of payment and at such places, and be subject to such terms of redemption, with or without premium, as such resolution may provide;
(3) the obligations may be sold at public or private sale at no less than par.
(h) Obligations of the Authority shall be fully negotiable. In any suit, action or proceeding involving the validity or enforceability of any obligation of the Authority or the security therefor, any such obligation reciting in substance that it has been issued by the Authority to aid in financing a project pursuant to this chapter shall be conclusively deemed to have been issued for such purpose, and the project for which such obligation was issued shall be deemed to have been planned, located and carried out in accordance with the purposes and provisions of this chapter.
(i) In connection with the obligations set forth in bond documents or other contracts and obligations, the Authority, subject to the limitations in this chapter may:
(1) pledge all or any part of its gross or net rents, fees or revenues to which its rights then exist or may thereafter come into existence;
(2) provide for the powers and duties of obligees and limit their liabilities; and provide the terms and conditions on which such obligees may enforce any covenant or rights securing or relating to the obligations;
(3) covenant against pledging all or any part of its rents, fees and revenues or personal property to which it is already entitled to or may thereafter be entitled to or permitting or suffering any lien on such revenues or property;
(4) covenant with respect to limitations on its right to sell, lease or otherwise dispose of any project or any part thereof;
(5) covenant as to the obligations to be issued and as to the issuance of such obligations in escrow or otherwise, and as to the use and disposition on the proceeds thereof:
(6) provide for the replacement of lost, destroyed or mutilated obligations;
(7) covenant against extending the time for payment of its obligations or interest thereon:
(8) covenant concerning the rents and fees to be charged in the operation of a project or projects, the amount to be raised each year or other period of time by rents, fees and other revenues, and as to the use and disposition to be made thereof;
(9) create or authorize the creation of special funds for moneys held for construction or operating costs, debt service, reserves or other purposes and covenant as to the use and disposition of the moneys held in such funds;
(10) prescribe the procedure, if any, by which the terms of any contract with holders of the obligations may be amended or abrogate;
(11) covenant as to the use, maintenance and replacement of its real, personal or mixed property, the insurance to be carried thereon and the use and disposition of insurance moneys;
(12) covenant as to the rights, liabilities, powers and duties arising upon the breach of any covenant, condition or obligation;
(13) covenant and prescribe as to events of default and the terms and conditions upon which any or all of its obligations become or may be declared due for maturity, and as to the terms and conditions upon which such declaration and its consequences may be waived;
(14) vest in any obligees or any portion of them the right to enforce the payment of the obligations or any covenants securing or relating to the obligations;
(15) exercise all or any part or combination of the powers granted in this section;
(16) make covenants other than and in addition to the covenants expressly authorized in this section, of like or different character;
(17) make any covenants and do any acts and things necessary, covenient or desirable in order to secure its obligations, or in the absolute discretion of the Authority, tending to make the obligations more marketable although the covenants, acts or things are not enumerated in this section.
(i) American Samoa and all its public officers, municipal corporations, political subdivisions, and public bodies, all banks, bankers, trust companies, savings banks and institutions, including savings and loan associations, all investment companies, insurance companies, annual contributions or other financial assistance to be paid by the federal government or any agency thereof, and the obligations of the Authority and the bonds and other obligations of any such public housing authority or agency shall be authorized security for all public deposits and shall be fully negotiable in American Samoa. It is the purpose of this section to authorize any of the foregoing to use any funds owned or controlled by them, including (but not limited to) sinking, insurance, investment, retirement, compensation, pension, and trust funds and funds held on deposit, for the purchase of any such bonds or other obligations, provided that nothing contained in this section shall operate to relieve any person, firm, or corporation from liability for failure to exercise reasonable care in selecting investments or in the case of a guardian or trustee from liability for failure to exercise the judgment and care to observe the duties required of a guardian or trustee.

History: 1986, PL 19-69 § 1; amd 1987, PL 20-38 § 1.

Amendments: 1987 Subsection (a)(4); replaces provision that leases are subject to approval of the Legislature with requirement for compliance with 37.2030 A.S.C.A.