1998 Regular Session
To: County Affairs
By: Representative Stringer
House Bill 1374
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 65-7-121, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT A ROAD THAT HAS BEEN CONTINUOUSLY MAINTAINED BY A COUNTY FOR AT LEAST THE PREVIOUS TEN CONSECUTIVE YEARS AND ALONG WHICH AT LEAST ONE ADJACENT LANDOWNER RESIDES SHALL NOT BE DECLARED ABANDONED BY THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 65-7-121, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
65-7-121. (1) The board of supervisors of any county may, upon its own motion or upon the petition of any interested resident of the county, by resolution spread upon its minutes, declare any section of the county road system abandoned upon its finding that each of the following circumstances are applicable to the section in question:
(a) The section does not provide primary access to occupied properties;
(b) Traffic on the section has for a period of at least ten (10) consecutive years been intermittent and of such low volume that no substantial public purpose is being served thereby; and
(c) The board of supervisors has, for a period of at least the previous five (5) consecutive years, not maintained such section as part of the county road system.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, a road that has been continuously maintained by the county for at least the previous ten (10) consecutive years and along which at least one adjacent landowner resides and occupies as a permanent residence shall not be considered as a private road and shall not be declared abandoned by the board of supervisors so long as at least one landowner continues to reside along the road.
(3) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, before any section of the county road system may be abandoned as provided in this section, the board of supervisors shall hold a public hearing on the question of such abandonment and shall publish notice of such hearing at least one (1) time, not less than two (2) weeks prior to the date of the hearing, in a newspaper having general circulation in the county.
(4) If any section of the county road system intersects with a roadway that has been closed to the public by the board of supervisors, and the section has no other destination, such section of the county road system shall be declared abandoned by the board of supervisors, without the necessity of notice and a hearing, immediately upon the written request of all owners of the property through which the section extends. This subsection (3) shall be repealed from and after July 1, 1993.
(5) The resolution of the board of supervisors abandoning any section of the county road system will abrogate the easement theretofore owned, held, claimed or used by or on behalf of the general public but will not affect any private easements.
(6) Upon the abandonment of any section of the county road system, the board of supervisors shall post clearly visible signs at any intersection of the abandoned roadway with the county road system indicating that the abandoned section is no longer part of the county road system and is not maintained by the county. Once the required signs are posted, the county shall not be liable for the death of or injury to a vehicle owner, operator or passenger, or for damage to a vehicle or its contents, resulting from a dangerous condition on the abandoned section. If there exists a public railroad grade crossing or railroad bridge on the section of county road so abandoned, the county shall furnish the railroad or individual owning such railroad trackage with a copy of the resolution authorizing the abandonment and thereupon, the railroad company or individual owning such trackage may barricade the crossing or remove the bridge.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.