2002 Regular Session
To: County Affairs; Environment Prot, Cons and Water Res
By: Senator(s) Chamberlin, Farris, Chaney
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF ANY COUNTY, ON PUBLIC OR PRIVATE PROPERTY, TO ALTER AND CHANGE THE CHANNELS OF STREAMS OR OTHER WATER COURSES, TO CONSTRUCT, RECONSTRUCT AND REPAIR BRIDGES OVER STREAMS AND WATER COURSES, AND TO INCUR COSTS AND PAY NECESSARY EXPENSES IN PROVIDING LABOR, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES TO CLEAN OR CLEAR DRAINAGE DITCHES, CREEKS OR CHANNELS AND IN PREVENTING EROSION, IN ACQUIRING PROPERTY AND OBTAINING EASEMENTS NECESSARY TO PERFORM SUCH WORK AND IN REIMBURSING LANDOWNERS FOR DAMAGES AND INJURY RESULTING FROM SUCH WORK; TO PROVIDE THAT BEFORE SUCH WORK MAY BE PERFORMED OR EXPENSES INCURRED ON PRIVATE PROPERTY, THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MUST MAKE A FINDING THAT THE WORK IS NECESSARY FOR THE PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE, MUST GIVE NOTICE TO PROPERTY OWNERS AFFECTED BY THE WORK, AND MUST CONSTRUCT OR INSTALL CULVERTS OR BRIDGES TO PROVIDE LANDOWNERS INGRESS AND EGRESS TO PROPERTY TO WHICH THE LANDOWNER HAD ACCESS BEFORE PERFORMANCE OF THE WORK; TO REQUIRE THE COUNTY TO REIMBURSE LANDOWNERS FOR ALL DAMAGES OR INJURY RESULTING FROM WORK PERFORMED BY THE COUNTY; MUST NOT RECEIVE OBJECTION BY THE OWNERS OF SUCH PROPERTY; TO AUTHORIZE A COUNTY TO LEVY TAXES FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEFRAYING EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE COUNTY UNDER THIS ACT UNLESS DISAPPROVED BY THE COUNTY ELECTORS UPON AN ELECTION PETITIONED FOR SUCH PURPOSES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) The board of supervisors of any county, whenever the board determines that the health, comfort and convenience of the inhabitants of the county will be promoted, may:
(a) Alter and change the channels of streams or other water courses;
(b) Construct, reconstruct and repair bridges over streams and water courses; and
(c) Incur costs and pay necessary expenses for:
(i) Providing labor, materials and supplies to clean or clear drainage ditches, creeks or channels and to prevent erosion of such ditches, creeks or channels;
(ii) Acquiring property and obtaining easements necessary to perform work under this section; and
(iii) Reimbursing landowners for damages and injury resulting from work performed by the county under this section.
(2) The work performed and the expenses incurred under subsection (1) of this section may take place on public or private property. However, if the work is to be performed or the expenses to be incurred will take place on private property, the board of supervisors must:
(a) Make a finding, as evidenced by entry upon its minutes, that such work and/or expenses are necessary in order to promote the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the county;
(b) Give notice, in writing, to all owners of property that will be affected by the work for such period of time as is reasonable to allow such owners to express any objections;
(c) Not receive written objection to the work by any owners of property that will be affected by the work within the period of time allowed to express objections; and
(d) Unless otherwise agreed, in writing, by the county and the landowner, construct or install a culvert or bridge, at the county's expense, at an appropriate location or locations to provide the landowner ingress and egress to all of the property to which the landowner had access immediately before performance of the work by the county.
(3) The county shall reimburse landowners for all damages or injury resulting from work performed by the county under this
(4) The provisions of this section do not impose any obligation or duty upon a county to perform any work or to incur any expenditures not otherwise required by law to be performed or incurred by a county, nor do the provisions of this section create any rights or benefits for the owner of any public or private property in addition to any rights or benefits as may be otherwise provided by law.
(5) No additional taxes may be imposed for the work authorized under subsection (1) of this section until the board of supervisors adopts a resolution declaring its intention to levy the taxes and establishing the amount of the tax levies and the date on which the taxes initially will be levied and collected. This date shall be the first day of the month, but not earlier than the first day of the second month, from the date of adoption of the resolution. Notice of the proposed tax levy must be published once each week for at least three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper having a general circulation in the county. The first publication of the notice shall be made not less than twenty-one (21) days before the date fixed in the resolution on which the board of supervisors proposes to levy the taxes, and the last publication of the notice shall be made not more than seven (7) days before that date. If, within the time of giving notice, fifteen percent (15%) or two thousand five hundred (2,500), whichever is less, of the qualified electors of the county file a written petition against the levy of the taxes, then the taxes shall not be levied unless authorized by three-fifths (3/5) of the qualified electors of the county voting at an election to be called and held for that purpose.
(6) This section shall stand repealed on July 1, 2004.
SECTION 2. The Attorney General of the State of Mississippi shall submit this act, immediately upon approval by the Governor, or upon approval by the Legislature subsequent to a veto, to the Attorney General of the United States or to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in accordance with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.