2005 Regular Session
To: County Affairs
By: Representative Simpson
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF CERTAIN DRAINAGE DISTRICTS THAT ENCOMPASS ONLY ONE COUNTY, SUBJECT TO AGREEMENT BY THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF THE COUNTY WHERE THE DRAINAGE DISTRICT IS LOCATED, TO TRANSFER THE DISTRICT AND ALL POWERS, DUTY AND AUTHORITY OF THE DISTRICT TO THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS; TO REQUIRE THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS TO CONTINUE TO MAINTAIN, REPAIR AND PROVIDE FOR THE UPKEEP OF THE DISTRICT AND ALL PROJECTS COMPLETED OR IN PROGRESS AT THE TIME OF THE TRANSFER AND TO SELECT A METHOD FOR FUNDING OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF EXISTING WATER IMPOUNDMENT STRUCTURES; TO REQUIRE APPROVAL OF THE TRANSFER BY THE CHANCERY COURT OF THE COUNTY WHERE THE DRAINAGE DISTRICT IS LOCATED; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) If the board of commissioners of any drainage district that is created under Chapter 29 or Chapter 31 of Title 51, Mississippi Code of 1972, and that encompasses only one (1) county, agree with the board of supervisors of that county, the district may transfer all power, duty and authority of the commission and the district to the board of supervisors of the county in which the district lies. In such event, the board of supervisors shall thereafter assume all duties and powers of the board of commissioners for the maintenance, repair and upkeep of the district and all projects completed or in progress at the time of the transfer, and shall make a report thereof annually to the chancery court of the county. The board of supervisors shall not be entitled to any additional compensation for taking over and assuming the duties of the commissioners and the district and all power and duties of the board of commissioners of the district, including the right to receive compensation, shall cease upon the transfer taking place.
(2) In order to effectuate transfer of a drainage district under subsection (1) of this section, the board of supervisors of the county and the board of commissioners of the drainage district shall adopt and enter upon their respective official minutes an order providing for transfer of the district, and all powers, duties and responsibilities with regard to the district, to the board of supervisors of the county. Such orders shall describe, in detail, the manner in which transfer of the district shall take place, including the date and time thereof. In addition, in order for the transfer to take place, the board of supervisors must agree to one (1) of the following methods for funding operation and maintenance of existing water impoundment structures:
(a) Continuation of existing ad valorem tax assessments on benefited or affected acres with the ad valorem taxes being used by the county solely for the operation and maintenance of existing water impoundment structures transferred from the drainage district.
(b) If there has not been an ad valorem tax assessment or if the assessment has expired, the establishment of ad valorem tax assessments on benefited or affected acres and collection of the ad valorem taxes solely for the operation and maintenance of the existing water impoundment structures transferred from the drainage district. The ad valorem assessment and collection of taxes shall comply with the procedures authorized in Sections 51-29-45 through 51-29-57.
(c) If there has not been an ad valorem tax assessment, or if it has expired, the county board of supervisors may agree to provide funds, through county appropriation for the operation and maintenance of the transferred water impoundment structures.
(3) Upon completion of the requirements of subsection (2) of this section, the commissioners of the drainage district or the board of supervisors, or both, shall petition the chancery court of the county where the district is located for the dissolution of the drainage district and the transference of its powers, duties and responsibilities to the board of supervisors. The petition must be accompanied by copies of the minutes reflecting the actions of the drainage district and the county board of supervisors. After the petition is filed, the clerk of the court shall give notice of the filing by publishing the notice in a newspaper published in the county for three (3) consecutive weeks. The notice shall be addressed to all persons interested in the drainage district and shall require them to appear before the chancery court at a place within the district of the chancery court on a day certain but not earlier than twenty (20) days or more than sixty (60) days after the date of the first publication of the notice, and show cause, if any, of why the petition should not be granted.
(4) On the date set by the court, the chancellor shall review the petition, minutes of the respective district and board of supervisors, and any other evidence or testimony the court finds necessary, and if the court determines:
(a) Subsection (2) of this section has been complied with; and
(b) It is in the best interest of the landowners and residents of the drainage district to dissolve the drainage district and transfer the drainage district's powers, duties and responsibilities to the county, the court shall enter its order:
(i) Dissolving the drainage district.
(ii) Transferring all the powers, duties and responsibilities of the drainage district to the county board of supervisors.
(iii) Provide funding for the future operation and maintenance of the existing water impoundment structures by:
1. Transferring existing authority to assess benefited or affected acres for ad valorem taxation;
2. Authorizing the board of supervisors to assess ad valorem taxes on benefited or affected acres in the manner authorized for drainage districts in Sections 51-29-45 through 51-29-57; or
3. Recognizing that the county board of supervisors will determine and provide funding amounts for the operation and maintenance of the water impoundment structures.
(iv) Transferring all assets of the drainage district, real or personal, or both, and any other assets, wherever they are situated, to the county.
SECTION 2. Section 1 of this act shall be codified in Chapter 33 or Title 51, Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.