Q May a municipal utility commission enter into a contract with a third party to sell advertisements, which would be placed in the monthly bills of its customers? In exchange, the third party would be paid a percentage of the advertisement sales and the balance would be transferred to the utility commission for the purpose of providing financial assistance to its needy customers.
A No, there is no authority which would permit the utility commission to enter into a contract with a third party company for the purpose of selling advertisements to be included in its monthly billings to its customers. The powers of the commission are limited to those enumerated in Section 21-27-17, which do not encompass the authority to sell advertisements. (Attorney Generalís Opinion to Flanagan, dated March 20, 2012)