State ex Rel. Excelsior Springs v. Smith
April 29, 1935.
1. MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS: Public Purposes. Where bonds were voted by the people of a city of the third class under Sections 6898a, 6898b and 6898d, to acquire and control the mineral springs and wells of the city and certain lands on which they were located, the bonds to be secured by a mortgage, first lien on the property, providing that it should not be a debt payable out of any revenue derived from taxation, the bonds were not invalid on the ground that said sections of the statute were in violation of Section 3, Article X of the Constitution, which limits the collection of taxes for public purposes only.
Said sections of the statute are not invalid as authorizing the city to engage in private business contrary to Section 7, Article IX of the Constitution, which authorizes the General Assembly to provide for the classification and define the powers of citites by “general law.”
That section of the Constitution does not grant cities the power to engage in private business, on the theory that money to be used is derived from taxation.
When the city seeks to control springs and wells that it may supervise sanitary conditions, construct a lake, dam, flood protection systems, therapeutic bath houses, lay pipes from mineral wells and springs to drinking pavilions, hotels and bath houses, an improvement of the mineral water system for the use of citizens generally, it is for a public purpose.
Water Resources Report No. 51
MISSOURI STATE WATER PLAN SERIES
A Summary of Missouri Water Laws
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Division of Geology and Land Survey
Compiled by Richard Gaffney and Charles Hays, with contributions by William J. Bryan IV, J.D., and Amy E. Randles, J.D. | 2000