Q Our city wishes to purchase or enter into a long-term lease for property outside the city limits for a wastewater treatment facility. Do we have the authority to do so?

A As a general rule, a municipality has the authority to acquire, via purchase or lease, real property for any proper municipal purpose, whether inside or outside the municipality, in accordance with Section 21-17-1. As to a long-term lease, a municipal board may not bind their successors in office to contracts, including leases, which result in taking away the successors’ rights and powers conferred by law, unless there is specific statutory authority to enter into such a contract. In the present instance, there was local and private legislation that specifically authorized such a long-term lease agreement, so it is allowable. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Bradley, May 22, 2015)