Q The city is in the process of upgrading its waste water treatment system. The facility will be constructed by a private company, leased to the city for 30 years, and then sold to the city for a nominal sum. May the city make a payment to prepay the interest the private company will owe, even though the facility has not yet been constructed and delivered?

A State agencies and political subdivisions are not authorized to pay for goods and services in advance, as this would result in a donation in violation of Section 66 of the Mississippi Constitution. In addition, your factual scenario appears to contemplate a lease-purchase arrangement for the purpose of acquiring public facilities through rental contracts, pursuant to Section 31-8-1 et seq. This limits such arrangements to specific purposes, and does not authorize the acquisition of a waste water treatment system. In addition, such long-term leases are limited to a term not to exceed 20 years. (Attorney General’s Opinion to DuPree, April 18, 2014)