A. A private entity may request approval of a qualifying project by the responsible public entity. Any such request shall be accompanied by the following material and information unless waived by the responsible public entity:
1. A topographic map (1:2,000 or other appropriate scale) indicating the location of the qualifying project;
2. A description of the qualifying project, including the conceptual design of such facility or facilities or a conceptual plan for the provision of services or technology infrastructure, and a schedule for the initiation of and completion of the qualifying project to include the proposed major responsibilities and timeline for activities to be performed by both the public and private entity;
3. A statement setting forth the method by which the private entity proposes to secure necessary property interests required for the qualifying project;
4. Information relating to the current plans for development of facilities or technology infrastructure to be used by a public entity that are similar to the qualifying project being proposed by the private entity, if any, of each affected local jurisdiction;
5. A list of all permits and approvals required for the qualifying project from local, state, or federal agencies and a projected schedule for obtaining such permits and approvals;
6. A list of public utility facilities, if any, that will be crossed by the qualifying project and a statement of the plans of the private entity to accommodate such crossings;
7. A statement setting forth the private entity’s general plans for financing the qualifying project including the sources of the private entity’s funds and identification of any dedicated revenue source or proposed debt or equity investment on the behalf of the private entity;
8. The names and addresses of the persons who may be contacted for further information concerning the request;
9. User fees, lease payments, and other service payments over the term of the interim or comprehensive agreement pursuant to § 56-575.9 or 56-575.9:1 and the methodology and circumstances for changes to such user fees, lease payments, and other service payments over time; and
10. Such additional material and information as the responsible public entity may reasonably request.
B. The responsible public entity may request proposals or invite bids from private entities for the development or operation of qualifying projects.
C. The responsible public entity may grant approval of the development or operation of the education facility, technology infrastructure or other public infrastructure or government facility needed by a public entity as a qualifying project, or the design or equipping of a qualifying project so developed or operated, if the responsible public entity determines that the project serves the public purpose of this chapter. The responsible public entity may determine that the development or operation of the qualifying project as a qualifying project serves such public purpose if:
1. There is a public need for or benefit derived from the qualifying project of the type the private entity proposes as a qualifying project;
2. The estimated cost of the qualifying project is reasonable in relation to similar facilities; and
3. The private entity’s plans will result in the timely development or operation of the qualifying project.In evaluating any request, the responsible public entity may rely upon internal staff reports prepared by personnel familiar with the operation of similar facilities or the advice of outside advisors or consultants having relevant experience.
D. The responsible public entity may charge a reasonable fee to cover the costs of processing, reviewing and evaluating the request, including without limitation, reasonable attorney’s fees and fees for financial, technical, and other necessary advisors or consultants.
E. The approval of the responsible public entity shall be subject to the private entity’s entering into an interim or comprehensive agreement pursuant to § 56-575.9 with the responsible public entity.
F. In connection with its approval of the qualifying project, the responsible public entity shall establish a date for the commencement of activities related to the qualifying project. The responsible public entity may extend such date from time to time.
G. The responsible public entity shall take appropriate action to protect confidential and proprietary information provided by the private entity pursuant to an agreement under subdivision 11 of § 2.2-3705.6.
H. Nothing in this chapter or in an interim or comprehensive agreement entered into pursuant to this chapter shall be deemed to enlarge, diminish or affect the authority, if any, otherwise possessed by the responsible public entity to take action that would impact the debt capacity of the Commonwealth.
I. Prior to entering into the negotiation of an interim or comprehensive agreement, each responsible public entity that is an agency or institution of the Commonwealth shall submit copies of detailed proposals to the Public-Private Partnership Advisory Commission as provided by Chapter 42 (§ 30-278 et seq.) of Title 30.
J. Any proposed comprehensive agreement for a qualifying project where the responsible public entity is an agency or institution of the Commonwealth that (i) creates state tax-supported debt, (ii) requires a level of appropriation significantly beyond the appropriation received by the responsible public entity in the most recent appropriation act, or (iii) significantly alters the Commonwealth’s discretion to change the level of services or the funding for such services over time, shall be reviewed by the appropriating body prior to execution.
2002, c. 571; 2003, c. 1034; 2004, c. 690; 2005, c. 865; 2007, c. 764.