Q May a municipality enter into a long-term lease for a telecommunications tower pursuant to Section 57-7-1 or Section 21-17-1?

A No, there is no lawful authority in the aforementioned sections which would authorize a municipality to bind a successor board to a long-term contract/lease. Absent express statutory authority to enter into a long-term contract, the municipality would be prohibited from binding a successor board and any contract/lease entered into would be voidable at the option of a successor board. Section 57-7-1 does not provide such authority. Prior opinions have noted that leases under Section 57-7-1 et seq. may extend beyond the terms of the board, but only so far as is sufficient to provide a funding mechanism for repayment of bonds issued. Further, a municipality may not rely on the authority in Section 21-17-1 as express authority to enter into long term contracts. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Webb, April 14, 2017)