Chapter 1. Navigable Waters

§ 51-1-1. Definition.

Except as otherwise provided in Section 27-109-1, all rivers, creeks and bayous in this state, twenty-five (25) miles in length, that have sufficient depth and width of water for thirty (30) consecutive days in the year for floating a steamboat with carrying capacity of two hundred (200) bales of cotton are hereby declared to be navigable waters of this state.

HISTORY: Codes, 1906, § 4408; Hemingway’s 1917, § 7038; 1930, § 6463; 1942, § 8414; Laws, 1896, ch. 64; Laws, 1990, 1st Ex Sess, ch. 45, § 142, eff from and after passage (approved June 29, 1990).

Cross References —

Obstructions in navigable waters, see Miss. Const. Art. 4, § 81.

For another definition of navigable waters, see §1-3-31.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

78 Am. Jur. 2d, Waters §§ 136 et seq.

CJS.

65 C.J.S., Navigable Waters §§ 1 et seq.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Navigable waters are those waters which are navigable in fact; those waters are navigable in fact which are navigable by loggers, fishermen and pleasure boaters. Ryals v. Pigott, 580 So. 2d 1140, 1990 Miss. LEXIS 694 (Miss. 1990), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 940, 112 S. Ct. 377, 116 L. Ed. 2d 328, 1991 U.S. LEXIS 6438 (U.S. 1991).

In an action to quiet title and to enjoin trespass, wherein the defendants claimed a right to enter upon a stream located upon the land, where it was shown that the stream was only nine miles long, was obstructed at many points, and had never been used as a water highway for commercial or other traffic except that at the turn of the century logs had sometimes been floated down it, it was apparent that the stream was not a navigable waterway which the defendants as members of the general public were entitled to enter upon at will. Downes v. Crosby Chemicals, Inc., 234 So. 2d 916, 1970 Miss. LEXIS 1428 (Miss. 1970).

The statute defining navigable waters is not unconstitutionally vague or incapable of exact definition or application, and it is apparent that the statute was intended to exclude small private creeks and streams, not navigable in fact, and declare navigable only streams actually capable of being navigated by substantial commercial traffic. Downes v. Crosby Chemicals, Inc., 234 So. 2d 916, 1970 Miss. LEXIS 1428 (Miss. 1970).

This section [Code 1942, § 8414] does not enlarge the meaning of the term “navigable waters of the State” as used in Const 1890, § 81. Culley v. Pearl River Industrial Com., 234 Miss. 788, 108 So. 2d 390, 1959 Miss. LEXIS 556 (Miss. 1959).

§ 51-1-3. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1988, ch. 598, § 2, eff from and after passage (approved May 25, 1988).

[Codes, Hutchinson’s 1848, ch. 10, Art 6(1); 1857, ch. 15, art 33; 1871, § 2371; 1880, § 865; 1892, § 3898; 1906, § 4407; Hemingway’s 1917, § 7087; 1930, § 6462; 1942, § 8413]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §51-1-3 pertained to navigable waters as public highways.

Laws of 1988, ch. 598, § 3, provides as follows:

“SECTION 3. The repeal of Section 51-1-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, by Section 2 of this act shall not affect any designation of navigable waters as public highways by the Legislature or the board of supervisors which has been made prior to the effective date of this act.”

§ 51-1-4. What constitutes public waterways; rights thereon; prohibited activities; penalties.

  1. Those portions of all natural flowing streams in this state having a mean annual flow of not less than one hundred (100) cubic feet per second, as determined and designated on appropriate maps by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, shall be public waterways of the state on which the citizens of this state and other states shall have the right of free transport in the stream and the right to fish and engage in water sports. Persons exercising the rights granted by this section shall do so at their own risk, and such persons, their heirs or others on their behalf shall not be entitled to recover any damages against any owner of property or an interest in property on or along such public waterways or against anyone using such property with permission of the owner for any injury to or death of persons or damage to property arising out of the exercise of rights granted by this section, other than those damages which may be recovered for intentional or malicious torts or for gross or willful negligence against the owner of property or an interest therein or against anyone using such property with permission of the owner.
  2. Nothing contained in this section shall authorize anyone utilizing public waterways, under the authority granted by this section, to trespass upon adjacent lands or to launch or land any commercial or pleasure craft along or from the shore of such waterways except at places established by public or private entities for such purposes.
  3. Nothing contained in this section shall authorize any person utilizing those public waterways, under the authority granted by this section, to disturb the banks or beds of such waterways or the discharge of any object or substance into such waters or upon or across any lands adjacent thereto or to hunt or fish or go on or across any adjacent lands under floodwaters beyond the natural banks of the bed of the public waterway. Floodwater which has overflowed the banks of a public waterway is not a part of the public waterway.
  4. The right of the public to use public waterways does not include the use of motorized vehicles in the beds of a public waterway without the written permission of the landowner. Any person who uses a motorized vehicle in the bed of a public waterway without the written permission of the landowner may be punished as provided in Section 97-17-93.
    1. It shall be unlawful for any person to operate any all-terrain vehicle, four-wheel-drive motorized vehicle, or other wheeled or tracked conveyance within the bed of a public waterway and following the meanders thereof in such a way as to cause damage to the streambed.
    2. It shall be unlawful for any person to offer a permission or a license for a fee for the operation of any of the conveyances prohibited in this subsection within the bed of a public waterway.
    3. A violation of this subsection shall be a Class II violation and, upon conviction thereof, may be punished as provided in Section 49-7-143.
    4. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as prohibiting the normal, usual and ordinary fording of streams by persons authorized to do so for legitimate recreational, agricultural, forestry or other lawful purposes.
  5. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit the construction of dams and reservoirs by the State of Mississippi or any of its agencies or political subdivisions, or riparian owners, in the manner now or hereafter authorized by law, or in any way to affect the rights of riparian landowners along such waterways except as specifically provided hereinabove or to amend or repeal any law relating to pollution or water conservation, or to affect in any manner the title to the banks and beds of any such stream or the title to any minerals thereunder, or to restrict the mining or extraction of such minerals or the right of ingress and egress thereto.
  6. The provisions of this section limiting the liability of owners of property along public waterways and persons using such property with permission of the owners shall not be construed to limit any rights of claimants for damages under federal statutes or acts applying to navigable streams or waterways or any other civil causes of action subject to admiralty or maritime jurisdiction, nor shall those provisions be construed to limit the rights of any parties involved in litigation founded upon the commercial or business usage of any navigable streams or waterways.
  7. This section shall apply only to natural flowing streams.
  8. Any lake hydrologically connected to a natural flowing stream and listed as a public waterway under subsection (1) on July 1, 2000, and subsequently removed from that list before July 1, 2001, by the Commission on Environmental Quality because the lake did not meet the requirements of subsection (1), shall be presumed to be a public waterway until a court of competent jurisdiction determines otherwise. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to determine the property rights in the bed or banks of the lake, the right of ingress or egress across private property to the lake, or mineral interests.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, §§ 8413.5, 8413.6; Laws, 1972, ch. 361, §§ 1, 2; Laws, 1988, ch. 598, § 1; Laws, 1994, ch. 653, § 1; Laws, 2002, ch. 368, § 1; Laws, 2003, ch. 482, § 1; Laws, 2008, ch. 545, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 2008.

Amendment Notes —

The 2002 amendment inserted the second paragraph.

The 2003 amendment rewrote the section.

The 2008 amendment, in (1), deleted “and its bed” following “free transport in the stream” in the first sentence, and rewrote the second sentence; added (4)(a) through (d); and made minor stylistic changes.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

As by statute, public has right of free transport and recreation, there is no statutory authority for county to regulate points of entry and exit, although, private riparian owners have legal recourse for trespass to their lands. 1990 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 554.

Applicable case law and statutory law would allow someone utilizing public waters to tie to tree or drop anchor since this is normal use by those engaged in fishing or other water sports; waterfowl hunter has right to utilize water surface on any public waterway and this would include right to float freely on and anchor to beds of waterway in order to carry out this sport; wading by hunter along bed of public waterway is also allowed. 1993 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 836.

Enforcement officers of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks should regard the location of the “ordinary and natural banks” of public waterways as a factual determination which must be made on a case by case basis when enforcing criminal and game laws, and prosecutors should be prepared to show proof of the locations of banks to the court hearing the matter. 2007 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 134, 2007 Miss. AG LEXIS 92.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

78 Am. Jur. 2d, Waters §§ 136 et seq.

CJS.

93 C.J.S., Waters §§ 9 et seq.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

2.-5. [Reserved for future use.]

6. Under former §51-1-3.

1. In general.

Circuit court improperly ruled for a family in their action against the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) because it erroneously applied the legal standard for reckless disregard under the Mississippi Torts Claim Act; the river constituted a public Mississippi waterway, and the MDWFP possessed both the authority to regulate the boating traffic on the river and the discretion to do so in a safe manner. Miss. Dep't of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks v. Webb, 248 So.3d 823, 2017 Miss. App. LEXIS 217 (Miss. Ct. App. 2017), rev'd, 248 So.3d 772, 2018 Miss. LEXIS 127 (Miss. 2018).

A river was navigable in fact, and therefore constituted public waters, where the customary mode of travel on the river was through small outboard motorboats, fishing boats, canoes, tubes and other pleasure craft, the customary mode of commerce and trade was providing facilities for hire where persons could rent such vessels, and the river was capable in its ordinary condition of supporting commercial fishing. Ryals v. Pigott, 580 So. 2d 1140, 1990 Miss. LEXIS 694 (Miss. 1990), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 940, 112 S. Ct. 377, 116 L. Ed. 2d 328, 1991 U.S. LEXIS 6438 (U.S. 1991).

A river was a public waterway, so that riparian landowners could acquire no rights in the surface or waters other than those they enjoyed as members of the general public, where the river was navigable in fact or with reasonable channel maintenance and dredging, and the river had a mean annual flow of 188 cubic feet per second and had been designated a public waterway by the Mississippi Department of Natural Resources [now Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality], thus conforming to the standards of the 1988 amendment to §51-1-4. Ryals v. Pigott, 580 So. 2d 1140, 1990 Miss. LEXIS 694 (Miss. 1990), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 940, 112 S. Ct. 377, 116 L. Ed. 2d 328, 1991 U.S. LEXIS 6438 (U.S. 1991).

Section51-1-4’s 100 cubic feet per second standard for determining what constitutes a public waterway suffers no constitutional or other infirmity when scrutinized under §§ 14, 17 or 81 of the Mississippi Constitution or otherwise, or under federal law, including but not limited to the Equal Footings Doctrine and the congressional enactment of 1817 creating the State of Mississippi. Ryals v. Pigott, 580 So. 2d 1140, 1990 Miss. LEXIS 694 (Miss. 1990), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 940, 112 S. Ct. 377, 116 L. Ed. 2d 328, 1991 U.S. LEXIS 6438 (U.S. 1991).

Reasonable interpretation of “unless” language of §51-1-4 is as savings clause, excluding from operation of statute any causes of action which accrued prior to its effective date (April 20, 1972). Dumas v. Pike County, 642 F. Supp. 131, 1986 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25794 (S.D. Miss. 1986).

Obvious legislative intent behind §51-1-4 was to encourage free public use of waterways of state for recreation by eliminating conflicting interests of riparian landowners at least insofar as actual streams of waterways are concerned. Dumas v. Pike County, 642 F. Supp. 131, 1986 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25794 (S.D. Miss. 1986).

Nothing in §51-1-4 relieves landowner of liability for maintaining dangerous condition on his land; thus, as to negligence occurring outside waterway stream (i.e., maintenance of land from which plaintiff dived into river and failure to post adequate warnings thereon), which may have caused or contributed to plaintiff’s injury, statute offers no absolute bar to recovery. Dumas v. Pike County, 642 F. Supp. 131, 1986 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25794 (S.D. Miss. 1986).

2.-5. [Reserved for future use.]

6. Under former § 51-1-3.

The waters and the soil under the waters of the bay of St. Louis over which the state highway commission erected a bridge, are public highways which are owned by the state in trust for the people of the state and those rights constituting that title cannot be sold or transferred irrevocably. Crary v. State Highway Com., 219 Miss. 284, 68 So. 2d 468, 1953 Miss. LEXIS 389 (Miss. 1953).

Where state constructed a bridge across the bay of St. Louis, which bridge was partly across area of riparian owners who had been granted the privilege and license of planting and gathering oysters and erecting bathhouses and other structures, the state by building this bridge exercised its power to impose an additional public use upon a property which was already set aside for public purposes and the exercise of this power was not taking of property for which compensation must be made. Crary v. State Highway Com., 219 Miss. 284, 68 So. 2d 468, 1953 Miss. LEXIS 389 (Miss. 1953).

Constitutional provision relating to obstruction of navigable waters applies to waters of Mississippi Sound. Money v. Wood, 152 Miss. 17, 118 So. 357, 1928 Miss. LEXIS 208 (Miss. 1928).

For history of ownership of navigable waters see Money v. Wood, 152 Miss. 17, 118 So. 357, 1928 Miss. LEXIS 208 (Miss. 1928).

A state may authorize the building of a bridge wholly within its territory over a navigable interstate stream in the absence of congressional action touching the subject. Kansas C., M. & B. R. Co. v. J. T. Wiygul & Son, 82 Miss. 223, 33 So. 965, 1903 Miss. LEXIS 123 (Miss. 1903).

Power granted a railroad company to build a bridge across a navigable stream includes the power to repair it. Kansas C., M. & B. R. Co. v. J. T. Wiygul & Son, 82 Miss. 223, 33 So. 965, 1903 Miss. LEXIS 123 (Miss. 1903).

§ 51-1-5. Removal of obstructions.

Any person may enter and remove any and all obstructions to the navigation thereof which may be in or across or over any navigable stream.

HISTORY: Codes, 1857, ch. 15, art 35; 1871, § 2373; 1880, § 867; 1892, § 3900; 1906, § 4410; Hemingway’s 1917, § 7090; 1930, § 6464; 1942, § 8415.

Cross References —

Crime of obstructing or polluting navigable waters, see §97-15-45.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Liability of person obstructing stream, ravine, or similar area by debris or waste, for damages caused by flooding or the like. 29 A.L.R.2d 447.

Am. Jur.

78 Am. Jur. 2d, Waters §§ 180, 181.

CJS.

65 C.J.S., Navigable Waters § 54.

§ 51-1-7. Obstruction of streams.

If any person shall have timber, logs, or lumber in any navigable stream and shall allow the same to accumulate or form in blocks or jams so as to obstruct navigation or to hinder or delay any other person in the driving or running of logs, timber, or lumber, such other person may cause the block or jam to be broken and the obstructing logs, timber, or lumber to be driven, boomed, rafted, or run at the expense of the owner; and the costs thereof shall be a lien on the logs, timber, or lumber.

HISTORY: Codes, 1892, § 4408; 1906, § 4973; Hemingway’s 1917, § 7870; 1930, § 6465; 1942, § 8416; Laws, 1882, p 87.

Cross References —

Power of railroads to construct bridges and docks upon bodies of water, see §77-9-179.

Crime of obstructing or polluting navigable waters, see §97-15-39.

Crime of obstruction of waterway by ship captain, see §97-15-43.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Liability of person obstructing stream, ravine, or similar area by debris or waste, for damages caused by flooding or the like. 29 A.L.R.2d 447.

Am. Jur.

78 Am. Jur. 2d, Waters §§ 171 et seq.

CJS.

65 C.J.S., Navigable Waters §§ 52, 53 et seq.

§ 51-1-9. Enforcement of lien.

The person so having a lien on logs, timber, or lumber may, after giving the owner five days’ notice thereof and of the sum due, sell the property at public auction for cash, upon advertising the sale by posting notices of the time, place, and terms for twenty days in three public places of the county. If the owner be unknown, the sale may be made after advertisement for three weeks.

HISTORY: Codes, 1892, § 4409; 1906, § 4974; Hemingway’s 1917, § 7871; 1930, § 6466; 1942, § 8417.

§ 51-1-11. Damages to bridges.

If any person rafting or floating timber or logs in a stream shall permit damage by such logs or timber to be done a bridge built at public expense, he shall be liable therefor; and the damages may be recovered by suit against him, and the timber or logs causing the damage may be seized and sold therefor.

HISTORY: Codes, 1892, § 4410; 1906, § 4975; Hemingway’s 1917, § 7872; 1930, § 6467; 1942, § 8418.

Chapter 2. Mississippi Marine Litter Act

§ 51-2-1. Short title.

This chapter shall be cited as the “Mississippi Marine Litter Act of 1989.”

HISTORY: Laws, 1989, ch. 475, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 1989.

Editor’s Notes —

Laws, 1991, ch. 557, § 2, removed the repeal date established by Laws, 1989, ch. 475, § 5.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Validity and construction of anti-water pollution statutes or ordinances. 32 A.L.R.3d 215.

Am. Jur.

61C Am. Jur. 2d, Pollution Control §§ 852-859.

Lawyers’ Edition.

Validity and construction of federal statute (33 USCS sec. 407) making unlawful the deposit of refuse in navigable waters – federal cases. 16 L. Ed. 2d 1256.

§ 51-2-3. Disposal of plastics and other garbage in marine waters; storage of certain substances in closed containers on vessels in marine waters; release of substances due to accidents or acts of nature; penalties.

  1. It is unlawful for any person or vessel to discharge any type of plastics, including synthetic ropes, fishing nets, garbage bags and other garbage, including paper products, glass, metal, dunnage, lining and packing materials into the marine waters of this state.
  2. For purposes of this section, vessel means any boat, barge, or other vehicle operating in the marine environment from the largest supertanker to the smallest recreational craft.
  3. The following substances shall be kept in closed containers whenever present on a vessel in the marine waters of this state: fuel, oil, paints, varnishes, solvents, pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, algicides, other hazardous liquids, and those substances referred to in subsection (1). The containers shall be sufficient to prevent the substances from escaping in the event the container is released into marine waters. Closed containers shall not be required for substances intended for human consumption, or for bait. Closed containers shall not be required while vessels are taking on or unloading cargo and provisions.
  4. This section shall not apply to substances released into marine waters accidentally or due to an act of nature, provided:
    1. That persons involved in an accident make good faith efforts to recover any substances released, proper allowances being first made for personal safety; and
    2. That snagged or entangled fishing tackle and nets are recovered as much as is reasonably possible, and the unrecovered remainder is caused to sink.
    1. For a first violation, any person or vessel who violates this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine not to exceed Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or community service requiring litter collection of not less than twenty-five (25) hours nor more than two hundred fifty (250) hours, or both. Persons under eighteen (18) years of age shall be penalized with community service, and may be assessed a fine as well. Each day of a continuing violation constitutes a separate violation.
    2. For a second or subsequent violation, any person or vessel who violates this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine not to exceed Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), or revocation of boating licenses, or both.

HISTORY: Laws, 1989, ch. 475, § 2; Laws, 1991, ch. 557 § 1, eff from and after passage (approved April 12, 1991).

Editor’s Notes —

Laws, 1991, ch. 557, § 2, removed the repeal date established by Laws, 1989, ch. 475, § 5.

Cross References —

Imposition of standard state assessment in addition to all court imposed fines or other penalties for any misdemeanor violation, see §99-19-73.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Validity and construction of anti-water pollution statutes or ordinances. 32 A.L.R.3d 215.

Am. Jur.

61C Am. Jur. 2d, Pollution Control §§ 852-859.

Lawyers’ Edition.

Validity and construction of federal statute (33 USCS sec. 407) making unlawful the deposit of refuse in navigable waters-federal cases. 16 L. Ed. 2d 1256.

§ 51-2-5. Commission to promulgate regulations.

The Commission on Marine Resources is authorized to promulgate regulations to carry out this chapter, including adopting the provisions of Annex V of the Protocol of 1978 of the International Convention for the Pollution by Ships.

HISTORY: Laws, 1989, ch. 475, § 3, eff from and after July 1, 1989; Laws, 1994, ch. 578, § 61, eff from and after July 1, 1994.

Editor’s Notes —

Laws, 1991, ch. 557, § 2, removed the repeal date established by Laws, 1989, ch. 475, § 5.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Validity and construction of anti-water pollution statutes or ordinances. 32 A.L.R.3d 215.

Am. Jur.

61C Am. Jur. 2d, Pollution Control §§ 852-859.

Lawyers’ Edition.

Validity and construction of federal statute (33 USCS sec. 407) making unlawful the deposit of refuse in navigable waters-federal cases. 16 L. Ed. 2d 1256.

§ 51-2-7. Marinas and access areas to have proper disposal facilities on site.

The Commission on Marine Resources shall require, by regulation, that all marinas and all other access areas used by vessels have proper disposal facilities on site. The commission shall establish the requirements for such disposal reception facilities.

HISTORY: Laws, 1989, ch. 475, § 4, eff from and after July 1, 1989; Laws, 1994, ch. 578, § 62, eff from and after July 1, 1994.

Editor’s Notes —

Laws, 1991, ch. 557, § 2, removed the repeal date established by Laws, 1989, ch. 475, § 5.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Validity and construction of anti-water pollution statutes or ordinances. 32 A.L.R.3d 215.

Am. Jur.

61C Am. Jur. 2d, Pollution Control §§ 852-859.

Lawyers’ Edition.

Validity and construction of federal statute (33 USCS sec. 407) making unlawful the deposit of refuse in navigable waters-federal cases. 16 L. Ed. 2d 1256.

Chapter 3. Water Resources; Regulation and Control

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 51-3-1. Declaration of policy on conservation of water resources.

It is hereby declared that the general welfare of the people of the State of Mississippi requires that the water resources of the state be put to beneficial use to the fullest extent of which they are capable, that the waste or unreasonable use, or unreasonable method of use, of water be prevented, that the conservation of such water be exercised with the view to the reasonable and beneficial use thereof in the interest of the people, and that the public and private funds for the promotion and expansion of the beneficial use of water resources shall be invested to the end that the best interests and welfare of the people are served.

It is the policy of the Legislature that conjunctive use of groundwater and surface water shall be encouraged for the reasonable and beneficial use of all water resources of the state. The policies, regulations and public laws of the State of Mississippi shall be interpreted and administered so that, to the fullest extent possible, the ground and surface water resources within the state shall be integrated in their use, storage, allocation and management.

All water, whether occurring on the surface of the ground or underneath the surface of the ground, is hereby declared to be among the basic resources of this state to therefore belong to the people of this state and is subject to regulation in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. The control and development and use of water for all beneficial purposes shall be in the state, which, in the exercise of its police powers, shall take such measures to effectively and efficiently manage, protect and utilize the water resources of Mississippi.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-01; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, 1; Laws, 1962, ch. 218; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved April 1, 1985).

Cross References —

Enforcement by commission of provisions of §51-3-1 through51-3-55, see §51-3-55.

Creation of master water management districts, see §51-7-1.

Purpose of §51-7-1 et seq. to provide for creation of master water management districts for carrying out improvement of drainage, etc., and for other beneficial use as defined in §51-3-1 et seq., see51-7-1.

Powers of drainage districts, see §51-31-1 et seq.

Cooperative agreements for conservation programs; provisions common to Drainage Districts and Swamp Land Districts, see §51-33-13.

Urban Flood and Drainage Control Law, see §51-35-301 et seq.

Required preparation and implementation of coastal area plan by marine resources council that would further public policy expressed by this section, see §57-15-6.

Water Resources Research Institute, see §57-55-7.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. Groundwater withdrawal permits.

Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Permit Board did not err in granting groundwater withdrawal permits to a county utility authority because the factors it considered were reasonable, it made specific findings as to each factor, and its findings were supported by substantial evidence; the utility authority owned the land upon which it would install wells for the groundwater withdrawal and planned to use the water for public water supply, the highest-ranked beneficial use of water. Riverbend Utils., Inc. v. Miss. Envtl. Quality Permit Bd., 130 So.3d 1096, 2014 Miss. LEXIS 69 (Miss. 2014).

§ 51-3-3. Definitions.

The following words and phrases, for the purposes of this chapter, shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

“Person” means the state or other agency or institution thereof, any municipality, political subdivision, public or private corporation, individual, partnership, association or other entity, and includes any officer or governing or managing body of any municipality, political subdivision, public or private corporation or the United States, or any officer or employee thereof.

“Surface water” means that water occurring on the surface of the ground.

“Domestic uses” means the use of water for ordinary household purposes, the watering of farm livestock, poultry and domestic animals and the irrigation of home gardens and lawns.

“Municipal use” means the use of water by a municipal government and the inhabitants thereof, primarily to promote the life, safety, health, comfort and business pursuits of the inhabitants. It does not include the irrigation of crops within the corporate boundaries.

“Beneficial use” means the application of water to a useful purpose as determined by the commission, but excluding waste of water.

“Permittee” means the person who obtains a permit from the board authorizing him to take possession by diversion or otherwise and to use and apply an allotted quantity of water for a designated beneficial use and who makes actual use of the water for such purpose, or his successor.

“Permitted use” means:

  1. The use of a specific amount of water at a specific time and at a specific place, authorized and allotted by the board for a designated beneficial purpose within the specific limits as to quantity, time, place and rate of diversion and withdrawal.
  2. The right to the use of water as specified in the permit, subject to the provisions of Section 51-3-5, including the construction of waterworks or other related facilities.

“Watercourse” means any natural lake, river, creek, cut, or other natural body of fresh water or channel having definite banks and bed with visible evidence of the flow or occurrence of water, except such lakes without outlet to which only one (1) landowner is riparian.

“Established minimum flow” means the minimum flow for a given stream at a given point thereon as determined and established by the commission when reasonably required for the purposes of this chapter. “Minimum flow” is the average streamflow rate over seven (7) consecutive days that may be expected to be reached as an annual minimum no more frequently than one (1) year in ten (10) years (7Q10), or any other streamflow rate that the commission may determine and establish using generally accepted scientific methodologies considering biological, hydrological and hydraulic factors. In selecting a generally accepted scientific methodology, the commission shall consult with and shall consider recommendations from the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. In determining and establishing the minimum streamflow rates, the commission shall give consideration to consumptive and nonconsumptive water uses, including, but not limited to, agricultural, industrial, municipal and domestic uses, assimilative waste capacity, recreation, navigation, fish and wildlife resources and other ecologic values, estuarine resources, aquifer recharge and aesthetics.

“Established average minimum lake levels” means the average minimum lake levels for a given lake as determined and established by the commission when reasonably required for the purposes of this chapter. The “average minimum lake level” is that level which shall not be expected to be reached as an average annual minimum no more frequently than one (1) year in ten (10) years, or such other minimum lake level that the commission may determine and establish using generally accepted scientific methodologies considering biological, hydrological and hydraulic factors. In selecting a generally accepted scientific methodology, the commission shall consult with and shall consider recommendations from the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

“Board” means the Permit Board as created by Section 49-17-28.

“Commission” means the Commission on Environmental Quality.

“Mining of aquifer” means the withdrawal of groundwater from hydrologically connected water-bearing formations in a manner in excess of the standards established by the commission.

“Groundwater” means that water occurring beneath the surface of the ground.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-02; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, 2; Laws, 1958, ch. 196, § 1; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 2; Laws, 1994, ch. 653, § 2; Laws, 1999, ch. 386, § 1, eff from and after June 30, 1999.

Cross References —

Additional powers for beneficial use of water; provisions common to Drainage Districts and Swamp Land Districts, see §51-33-11.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

78 Am. Jur. 2d, Waters § 189.

CJS.

93 C.J.S., Waters §§ 247-249.

§ 51-3-5. Permit requirement; notice of preexisting rights or beneficial usage.

  1. No person who is not specifically exempted by this chapter shall use water without having first obtained a permit as provided herein and without having otherwise complied with the provisions of this chapter, the regulations promulgated hereunder and any applicable permit conditions.
  2. All persons having acquired a right to use surface water prior to April 1, 1985 are entitled to continue such use, provided that such right shall be contingent upon filing a notice of claim to such use with the commission on a form promulgated by the commission. Any person who shall fail to file said notice within three (3) years of April 1, 1985 shall be deemed to have abandoned such use and the right to such use shall automatically terminate without further action of the board.
  3. Any person using groundwater prior to April 1, 1985 for a beneficial use shall be entitled to continue such use upon the filing with the commission of a notice of claim on a form promulgated by the commission within three (3) years from April 1, 1985. Any such person failing to file said notice of claim within the prescribed period shall be deemed to have abandoned such use and the right to such use shall automatically terminate without further action by the board.
  4. Notwithstanding rights as envisioned in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, all users of water shall continue to be subject to regulations promulgated by the commission regarding the use of surface water and groundwater for the benefit of the health and public welfare of citizens of this state.
  5. As soon as practicable after April 1, 1985, the board shall give notice to all persons affected by the provisions of subsections (2) and (3) of this section regarding the requirement to file the notices of claims mentioned therein. If the names and mailing addresses of such affected persons are available to the board, actual written notice, by certified mail, shall be given by the board. If such names and mailing addresses are not available to the board, notice shall be given by publication at least one (1) time per week for not less than three (3) consecutive weeks in one or more newspapers of general circulation in each county of the state.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, §§ 5956-01, 5956-03; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, §§ 1, 3; Laws, 1962, ch. 218; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 3, eff from and after passage (approved April 1, 1985).

Cross References —

Provision that right to use of water as specified in permit constitutes “permitted use,” subject to the provisions of this section, see §51-3-1.

Issuance of permit to person who files notice of preexisting rights, see §51-3-9.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Liability for diversion of surface water by raising surface level of land. 88 A.L.R.4th 891.

Am. Jur.

78 Am. Jur. 2d, Waters §§ 20-25.

CJS.

94 C.J.S., Waters §§ 484-530.

§ 51-3-7. Exemptions from permit requirement; certain uses permissible.

  1. Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, a person using water for only domestic purposes shall not be required to obtain a permit to use water for domestic purposes, and no permit shall be required for the use of surface water in impoundments that are not located on continuous, free-flowing watercourses. No permit shall be required for any use of water obtained from a well with a surface casing diameter of less than six (6) inches; however, a permit shall be required of a person in the business of developing real property for resale who desires to withdraw water from a well, regardless of surface casing diameter, that is to be used for maintaining or enhancing an impoundment of surface water primarily for aesthetic purposes. If the commission declares and delineates a water use caution area as provided in Section 51-3-11, the permit board may require permits for withdrawals of water in excess of twenty thousand (20,000) gallons per day, including withdrawals of water for uses exempted under this subsection.
  2. The board shall have the authority to permit the use of water of any stream only in excess of the established minimum flow as based upon records or computations by the commission. However, exceptions may be made for municipal users. The board may authorize any permittee to use the established minimum flow upon written assurance, supported by any data and reporting requirements that the board deems appropriate that the water will be immediately returned to the stream in substantially the same amount to insure the maintenance at all times of the established minimum flow. The board may authorize a permittee to use the established minimum flow for industrial purposes when the water shall be returned to the stream at a point downstream from the place of withdrawal, where the board finds that the use will not result in any substantial detriment to property owners affected thereby or to the public interest.
  3. The board shall have the authority to permit the use of water of any lake only in excess of the established average minimum lake level as based upon records or computations by the commission. However, exceptions may be made for municipal users. The board, upon affording a hearing to interested parties, may authorize any permittee to use below the established average minimum level when such use will not affect plans for the proper utilization of the water resources of the state, or the commission may establish a level above the established average minimum lake level, after affording an opportunity for a hearing, where plans for the proper utilization of the water resources of the state require it.
  4. No use of water shall be authorized that will impair the effect of stream standards set under the pollution control laws of this state based upon a minimum stream flow.
  5. No use of water shall be authorized or continued that will impair the navigability of any navigable watercourse.
  6. No use of water shall be permitted if the use shall cause mining of any aquifer unless the board shall find that the use is essential to the safety of human life and property or unless the applicant for a permit for such use can show to the satisfaction of the board that he or another person of sufficient financial capability has applied for permit or made any other definite commitment to a plan to acquire water from another source in lieu of the water being mined from the aquifer and which will not also result in mining of any other aquifer.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-04; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 4; Laws, 1958, ch. 196, § 2; Laws, 1962, ch. 219; Laws, 1966, ch. 268, § 1; Laws, 1978, ch. 437, § 1; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 4; Laws, 1987, ch. 523, § 8; Laws, 1995, ch. 505, § 2, eff from and after July 1, 1995.

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 1987, ch. 523, § 7, effective from and after July 1, 1987, provides as follows:

“SECTION 7. Nothing in this act shall affect or defeat any claim, assessment, appeal, suit, right or cause of action for fees or charges due or accrued under the Mississippi Economic Poison Law of 1950 or the Mississippi Fertilizer Law of 1970 prior to the date on which this act becomes effective, whether such assessments, appeals, suits, claims or actions shall have been begun before the date on which this act becomes effective or shall thereafter be begun; and the provisions of such laws are expressly continued in full force, effect and operation for the purpose of the assessment and collection fees due or accrued and execution of any warrant under such laws prior to the date on which this act becomes effective, and for the imposition of any penalties, forfeitures or claims for failure to comply therewith.”

Cross References —

Definition of “navigable waters,” see §1-3-31.

Provisions relative to pollution of waters, streams, and air, see §49-17-1 et seq.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Landowner’s right to relief against pollution of his water supply by industrial or commercial waste. 39 A.L.R.3d 910.

Am. Jur.

78 Am. Jur. 2d, Waters §§ 20-25.

20 Am. Jur. Legal Forms 2d, Waters, Forms 260:12 et seq. (water rights and interests in general).

CJS.

94 C.J.S., Waters §§ 484-530.

§ 51-3-9. Duration of permit; reissuance; termination.

  1. No permit for water use shall be issued for a period longer than ten (10) years. The right to use of water granted by the permit shall automatically terminate upon the passage of the tenth anniversary date of the permit unless there is pending before the board an application for another water permit which includes the use of the same water permitted under the expiring permit. Six (6) months prior to the tenth anniversary date of such permit, the board shall give actual written notice by certified mail to the permit holder informing him that such permit shall be automatically terminated upon its expiration unless such permit holder has made an application for another water permit as described in this subsection. The permit shall be reissued to the permit holder unless his continued use is found to be contrary to the public interest.
  2. Notwithstanding the foregoing provision, the board may grant to a municipality, county or other governmental subdivision, a public utility or a publicly regulated utility, a permit to use water for a duration sufficient to amortize the initial capital investment of such permittee in water-related equipment.
  3. The board may modify, terminate or decline to reissue a permit upon a showing of good cause, after affording the permittee involved an opportunity for a hearing at which the permittee shall be entitled to be represented by legal counsel and call witnesses and present evidence on his behalf.
  4. The board shall issue to any person filing a notice of claim to previously existing rights as provided in Section 51-3-5 a permit which reflects such person’s rights. However, such person, on or before the tenth anniversary date of the permit so issued by the board, shall file an application to renew such permit or the rights thereunder to the use of water shall automatically terminate upon the expiration of the permit. This decennial filing requirement shall also apply thereafter to each renewed permit.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-05; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 5; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 5, eff from and after passage (approved April 1, 1985).

§ 51-3-11. Commission to issue water use warning or declare water use caution area; conditions warranting issuance; notice; plan to alleviate or correct; regulations.

    1. The commission shall issue a water use warning or declare and delineate a water use caution area, if one (1) of the following conditions exist:
      1. The mining of an aquifer is occurring; or
      2. Existing water resources, including surface water, groundwater, or both, are inadequate to meet present or reasonably foreseeable needs.
    2. In making a determination under this section, the commission shall use data developed through the application of generally accepted scientific methodologies.
    1. If the commission determines that one (1) of the conditions in subsection (1) of this section exists and that time allows the development of a solution through cooperation between the commission, the department, local permit holders, political subdivisions and water management districts in the affected area, the commission shall issue a water use warning and may order the implementation of the reporting requirements in Section 51-3-23.
    2. Upon issuance of a water use warning, the commission shall send notice to all permit holders, political subdivisions and water management districts within the affected area. The notice shall describe the conditions requiring issuance of a water use warning, propose corrective measures and request the assistance of the permit holders, political subdivisions and water management districts in alleviating or correcting the conditions. The commission shall request in the notice voluntary compliance of the permit holders with any corrective measures proposed by the commission.
    3. The permit holders, political subdivisions and water management districts, in cooperation with the commission, shall develop and implement a plan for alleviating or correcting the conditions. If the commission determines that satisfactory progress is being made by the affected parties, the commission may extend the deadline or timetable for the development or implementation of a plan or may allow modification of the plan.
    1. If the commission determines that one (1) of the conditions in subsection (1) of this section exists and that prompt and immediate action is required to protect the resource, the commission shall give notice of its intent to declare the need for establishment of a water use caution area. The notice and public hearing required by this subsection shall be made as provided in Sections 25-43-7(1) and 49-17-25. The notice shall delineate the proposed water use caution area, describe those proposed actions needed to protect the resource and recommend any additional permit requirements the commission deems necessary to address the conditions.
    2. Upon closing of the public hearing record and consideration of relevant comments on its proposed action, the commission may adopt an order establishing a water use caution area. If the commission orders the establishment of a water use caution area, the commission shall, within one hundred twenty (120) days following entry of the order, adopt regulations consistent with this chapter and commensurate with the necessary degree of control pursuant to its regulatory authority in Section 51-3-25.

HISTORY: Laws, 1995, ch. 505, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 1995.

Editor’s Notes —

A former §51-3-11 [Codes, 1942, § 5956-06; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 6] was repealed by Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 6, eff from and after April 1, 1985. Such former section related to termination of water rights.

Section25-43-7(1), referred to in this section, was repealed by Laws of 2003, ch. 304, § 26, effective July 1, 2005. Present provisions regarding notice of proposed rule adoption can be found in §25-43-3.103.

§ 51-3-13. Consideration of applications; criteria.

Use of waters of the state shall not constitute absolute ownership or absolute rights of use of such waters, but such waters shall remain subject to the principle of beneficial use. It shall be the duty of the board to approve all applications made in such form as shall meet the requirements of this chapter and such rules and regulations as shall be promulgated by the board and which contemplate the utilization of water for beneficial purposes, within reasonable limitations, provided the proposed use does not prejudicially and unreasonably affect the public interest. If it is determined that the proposed use of the water sought to be permitted is not for beneficial purposes, is not consistent with standards established by the commission, or is detrimental to the public interest, it shall be the duty of the board to enter an order rejecting such application or requiring its modification.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-07; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 7; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 7, eff from and after passage (approved April 1, 1985).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. Groundwater withdrawal permits.

Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Permit Board did not err in granting groundwater withdrawal permits to a county utility authority because the factors it considered were reasonable, it made specific findings as to each factor, and its findings were supported by substantial evidence; the utility authority owned the land upon which it would install wells for the groundwater withdrawal and planned to use the water for public water supply, the highest-ranked beneficial use of water. Riverbend Utils., Inc. v. Miss. Envtl. Quality Permit Bd., 130 So.3d 1096, 2014 Miss. LEXIS 69 (Miss. 2014).

Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Permit Board’s decision to grant groundwater withdrawal permits to a county utility authority did not violate a utility company’s rights because the permits did not allow the utility authority to sell in the company’s certificated area; the utility authority intended to expand its regional water system by building wells on land it owned in the company’s certificated area and selling water to customers outside of the company’s certificated area. Riverbend Utils., Inc. v. Miss. Envtl. Quality Permit Bd., 130 So.3d 1096, 2014 Miss. LEXIS 69 (Miss. 2014).

§ 51-3-15. State Permit Board as permitting authority; powers; hearings.

  1. The board shall serve as the permitting authority for this chapter. The board may adopt rules of practice and procedure governing its proceedings and forms as it deems necessary consistent with the regulations of the commission to carry out its permitting duties under this chapter. The board, under any conditions as the board may prescribe, may authorize the Executive Director of the Department of Environmental Quality to make decisions on permit issuance, reissuance, denial, modification and revocation. A decision by the executive director shall be a decision of the board and shall be subject to formal hearing and appeal as provided in Section 49-17-29. The executive director shall report all permit decisions to the board at its next regularly scheduled meeting and those decisions shall be recorded in the minutes of the board.
  2. The board may:
    1. Issue or reissue any permit under those conditions and limitations consistent with the regulations of the commission and as it reasonably deems necessary to effectuate the purposes of this chapter.
    2. Issue or reissue any temporary or emergency permit for any period of time specified by the board where conditions make a temporary or emergency permit essential.
    3. Modify or revoke any permit upon not less than sixty (60) days’ written notice to the permittee affected.
    4. Revoke any permit as the board deems appropriate for failure to adhere to permit conditions.
    5. Deny the issuance, reissuance or modification of any permit if the proposed use is found to be contrary to public interest.
    6. Delegate authority to any joint water management district to receive, investigate and make recommendations to the board regarding applications for permits required under this chapter.
    7. Require all abandoned bore holes and wells more than twenty-five (25) feet deep to be properly plugged to prevent groundwater contamination.
  3. The board may hold a public hearing regarding its proposed action on any permit under this chapter as provided in Section 49-17-29. Any interested party aggrieved by an action of the board may appeal that action as provided in Section 49-17-29.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-08; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 8; Laws, 1958, ch. 196, § 3; Laws, 1978, ch. 484, § 36; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 8; Laws, 1998, ch. 400, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 1998.

Cross References —

Licensing and regulation of water well drillers, see §51-5-1 et seq.

Powers and duties relating to the development of the Region Bordering Pearl River, see §51-9-5.

Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, in exercising functions of joint water management district, may apply to Environmental Quality Permit Board for delegation of powers and duties as provided by this section, see §51-9-121.

Pearl River Basin Development District, in exercising functions of joint water management district, may apply to Environmental Quality Permit Board for delegation of powers and duties as provided by this section, see §51-11-13.

Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District, in exercising functions of joint water management district, may apply to Environmental Quality Permit Board for delegation of powers and duties as provided by this section, see §51-13-111.

§ 51-3-16. Bureau of land and water resources; duties and powers in assisting waterway, river basin and watershed authorities and districts.

The Bureau of Land and Water Resources through the Division of Regional Water Resources shall have the following duties and powers in assisting waterway, river basin and watershed authorities and districts:

To offer such assistance as may be appropriate to the various authorities and districts, as set forth in Section 51-3-18, in the performance of any of their powers and programs;

To keep the authorities and districts informed of the activities and experiences of all other such authorities and districts and to facilitate an interchange of experiences among such authorities and districts;

To coordinate the programs of the various authorities and districts;

To secure the cooperation and assistance of the United States and any of its agencies and of agencies of this state in the work of such authorities and districts;

To disseminate information throughout the state concerning the activities and programs of the various authorities and districts and to encourage the formation of such authorities and districts in areas where their organization is desirable;

To seek and receive grants of monies, and other assets, from any legitimate sources for use in carrying out the purposes of this section;

To distribute any appropriated or other funds or assets in its custody or under its control, from state, federal or other governmental agencies or political subdivisions thereof, or from private grants, appropriate in carrying out the purposes of this article, including matching funds to districts;

To give guidance and overall supervision to districts when such assistance is requested, or acceptable;

To provide technical assistance and information to the State Permit Board in the performance of its duties under this chapter;

To receive, file and review permit applications and notices of claims and any other documents regarding water uses and rights;

To serve as the repository for information gathered or filed under the provisions of this chapter.

HISTORY: Laws, 1978, ch. 484, § 38; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 9, eff from and after passage (approved April 1, 1985).

§ 51-3-17. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1978, ch. 484, § 37, eff from and after July 1, 1979.

[Codes, 1942, § 5956-09; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 9]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §51-3-17 provided for the organization and compensation of the board of water commissioners.

§ 51-3-18. Authorities and districts to receive assistance from Department of Environmental Quality.

The Department of Environmental Quality, through the Office of Land and Water Resources or a successor office, may provide water resources-related assistance to any authority or district created or established under this title.

HISTORY: Laws, 1978, ch. 484, § 39; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 10; Laws, 1997, ch. 403, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 1997.

Cross References —

Provision that the Bureau of Land and Water Resources shall offer assistance to the various authorities and districts set forth in this section, see §51-3-16.

§ 51-3-19. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1978, ch. 484, § 37, eff from and after July 1, 1979.

[Codes, 1942, § 5956-10; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 10]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §51-3-19 provided authority for employment of a water engineer.

§ 51-3-20. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 11, eff from and after April 1, 1985.

[En., Laws, 1978, ch. 484, § 40]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §51-3-20 provided for creation of a waterway, river basin, and watershed authorities council.

§ 51-3-21. State water management plan.

  1. The commission, through its Office of Land and Water Resources, shall proceed as rapidly as possible to study existing water resources in the state; means and methods of conserving and augmenting such waters; existing and contemplated needs and uses of water for protection and procreation of fish and wildlife, irrigation, mining, power development, and domestic, municipal, and industrial uses; and all other related subjects, including drainage, reclamation, flood-plain or flood-hazard area zoning, and selection of reservoir sites. Not later than July 1, 1997, the commission shall formulate, as a functional element of a comprehensive state plan, an integrated, coordinated plan for the use and development of the waters of the state, based on the above studies. This plan, with such amendments, supplements and additions as may be necessary from time to time, shall be known as the “state water management plan.”
  2. In the formulation of the state water management plan, the commission shall give due consideration to:
    1. The attainment of maximum beneficial use of water for such purposes as those referred to in subsection (1).
    2. The maximum economic development of the water resources consistent with other uses.
    3. The control of such waters for such purposes as environmental protection, drainage, flood control and water storage.
    4. The quantity of water available for application to a beneficial use.
    5. The prevention of wasteful, uneconomical, impractical or unreasonable uses of water resources, including free-flowing wells, existing or otherwise, regardless of size.
    6. Presently exercised domestic or exempted uses and permit rights.
    7. The preservation and enhancement of the water quality of the state and the provisions of the state water quality plan.
    8. The state water resources policy as expressed by this chapter.
    9. The allocation of surface water and groundwater in those situations in which the Governor has declared that an emergency situation exists which creates an imminent and substantial endangerment threatening the public health and safety or the lives and property of the people of this state.
  3. During the process of formulating or revising the state water management plan, the commission shall consult with and carefully evaluate the recommendations of concerned federal, state and local agencies, particularly the governing boards of the water management districts and local governments, and other interested persons. The commission may conduct such public meetings or hearings as it may deem necessary or appropriate to insure maximum public involvement in the formulation and adoption of the state water management plan.
  4. Each such governing board is directed to cooperate with the commission in conducting surveys and investigations of water resources, to furnish the commission with all available data of a technical nature, and to advise and assist the commission in the formulation and drafting of those portions of the state plan applicable to such water management district or local government.
  5. For the purposes of this plan the commission may, in consultation with the affected governing board, divide each water management district into sections which shall conform as nearly as practicable to hydrologically controllable areas and describe all water resources within each area.
  6. The commission shall give careful consideration to the requirements of public recreation and to the protection and procreation of fish and wildlife. The commission may prohibit or restrict other future uses on certain designated bodies of water which may be inconsistent with these objectives.
  7. The commission may designate certain uses in connection with a particular source of supply which, because of the nature of the activity or the amount of water required, would constitute an undesirable use for which the permit board may deny a permit.
  8. The commission may designate certain uses in connection with a particular source of supply which, because of the nature of the activity or the amount of water required, would result in an enhancement or improvement of the water resources of the area. Such uses shall be preferred over other uses in the event of competing applications under the permitting system authorized by this chapter.
  9. The commission may add to the state water management plan any other information, directions or objectives it deems necessary or desirable for the guidance of governing boards or other agencies in the administration and enforcement of this chapter.
  10. The commission may delegate to any joint water management district authority to assist the commission in preparation, administration and implementation of the state water management plan, or any activity related thereto, in such district.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-11; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 11; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 12; Laws, 1992, ch. 396 § 5; reenacted and amended, Laws, 1995, ch. 584, § 4, eff from and after July 1, 1995.

Cross References —

Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, in exercising functions of joint water management district, may apply to Miss. Commission on Environmental Quality for delegation of powers and duties as provided by this section, see §51-9-121.

Pearl River Basin Development District, in exercising functions of joint water management district, may apply to Miss. Commission on Environmental Quality for delegation of powers and duties as provided by this section, see §51-11-13.

Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District, in exercising functions of joint water management district, may apply to Miss. Commission on Environmental Quality for delegation of powers and duties as provided by this section, see §51-13-111.

§ 51-3-23. Reporting requirements.

  1. Pursuant to regulations established by the commission, the commission may require any permit holder to file such reports as are deemed necessary or appropriate for proper water management.
  2. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, any person using in excess of twenty thousand (20,000) gallons per day may be required to file the reports as provided for in subsection (1) of this section.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-12; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 12; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 13, eff from and after passage (approved April 1, 1985).

Cross References —

Commission, upon determination that proper conditions exist, may issue water use warning and order implementation of reporting requirements provided for in this section, see §51-3-11.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Necessity and sufficiency of environmental impact statements under § 102(2)(C) of National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 USCS § 4332(2)(C)) in cases involving logging, mining, and related projects. 74 A.L.R. Fed. 702.

Necessity and sufficiency of environmental impact statements under § 102(2)(C) of National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 USCS § 4332(2)(C)) in cases involving hunting, fishing and related projects. 74 A.L.R. Fed. 852.

§ 51-3-25. Regulatory authority of commission.

The commission shall have the power to adopt, modify, repeal, promulgate and enforce, after due notice and hearing, and where not otherwise prohibited by federal or state law, to make exceptions to and grant exemptions and variances from the rules and regulations which contain any of the following provisions as the commission finds appropriate concerning the regulation of surface water and groundwater:

Provisions for making observations and measurements as will enable it to administratively determine and establish the rights of all water users who were making beneficial use of water prior to April 1, 1985, and who have filed a notice of claim;

Provisions concerning the timing of withdrawals, provisions to protect against or abate saltwater encroachment; provisions to protect against or abate unreasonable adverse effects on other water users within the area, including but not limited to adverse effects on public use;

Provisions concerning well depth and spacing controls and provisions establishing a range of prescribed static levels (elevations below which water may not be pumped) or maximum pumping rates, or both, in wells or for the aquifer or for any part thereof based on actual proof of the capacities and characteristics of the aquifer;

Provisions to minimize waste by requiring users to employ water conservation measures;

Provisions concerning well design and standards, including provisions regarding technical upgrading requirements for existing permitted wells in water use caution areas; and

Other provisions not inconsistent with this chapter as the commission finds necessary to implement the purposes of this chapter.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-13; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 13; Laws, 1978, ch. 437, § 2; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 14; Laws, 1995, ch. 505, § 3, eff from and after July 1, 1995.

Cross References —

Commission, when ordering establishment of water use caution area, to adopt regulations pursuant to its regulatory authority in this section, see §51-3-11.

Powers of flood and drainage control districts, see §51-35-315.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

It is within the authority of Commission on Environmental Quality, as provided in this section, to prescribe regulations which set out conditions for the issuance of the written authorizations consistent with §51-3-39. Such regulations may also allow for public input prior to the issuance of the written authorization and may provide that the written authorization be in the from of a permit. 2004 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 493.

The Commission on Environmental Quality may, as a part of its regulatory authority in subsection (f) of this section, promulgate regulations regarding “high hazard dams”, and require compliance therewith, for those dams which are exempted from the “written authorization” requirements of §51-3-39(1)(a). 2004 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 493.

§ 51-3-27. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 15, eff from and after April 1, 1985.

[Codes, 1942, § 5956-14; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 14]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §51-3-27 provided for the division of the state into water districts with reference to water resources.

§ 51-3-29. Unpermitted waters.

The following are hereby declared to constitute unpermitted waters:

All water which has not been permitted prior to April 1, 1985;

All surface water for which a permit had been issued prior to April 1, 1985, but for which no notice of claim has been filed by the expiration of three (3) years from April 1, 1985;

All groundwater which was not subjected to use for a beneficial purpose on April 1, 1985;

All water which having been used flows or seeps back or otherwise returns to a natural watercourse or waterbody, whether on the surface or underground.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-15; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 15; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 16, eff from and after passage (approved April 1, 1985).

§ 51-3-31. Application for permit; disposition of fees.

Any person desiring to use water for a beneficial purpose shall apply to the board for a permit for such use on a form prescribed by the board for such purpose. The application shall be accompanied by a fee of Ten Dollars ($10.00). Said application shall provide such information as deemed appropriate by the board to its decision to issue such permit.

All fees received by the board as herein prescribed shall be deposited in the General Fund of the state.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-16; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 16; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 17, eff from and after passage (approved April 1, 1985).

Cross References —

Appropriation permits, see §§51-9-129,51-13-119,51-35-321.

§ 51-3-33. Duty of board as to application.

  1. Upon receipt of the application it shall be the duty of the board to have endorsed thereon the date of the receipt and to assign it a number. If upon examination the application is found to be defective, inadequate, or insufficient to enable the board to determine the place, nature and amount of the proposed use, it shall be returned for correction or completion or for other required information.
  2. All maps, plats, plans and drawings shall conform to prescribed uniform standards as to materials, size, coloring and scale as prescribed by the board, and shall show: (a) the source from which the proposed use is to be made; (b) all proposed pump locations, dams, dikes, reservoirs, canals, pipelines, powerhouses and other structures for the purpose of storing, conveying or using water for the purpose approved and their positions or courses in connection with the boundary lines and corners of the lands which they occupy. Land listed for irrigation shall be shown in acres. All maps, plats, plans, drawings, and applications submitted shall become the property of the board.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-17; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 17; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 18, eff from and after passage (approved April 1, 1985).

§ 51-3-35. Approval of application.

  1. Upon approval of the application the board shall notify the applicant to that effect and issue a permit authorizing him to take all steps required to apply the water to the approved and proposed beneficial use. An application may be approved for a less amount of water than that requested if, in the opinion of the board, the approval of the full amount requested would interfere with a vested right or is against public interest. An applicant shall be entitled to proceed with construction and with the use of water in accordance with the approval and such limitations as may be prescribed by the board. No application shall be approved until the substance thereof shall have been published by the applicant in a newspaper having general circulation in the county wherein the point of diversion or withdrawal exists, at least ten (10) days before approval of such application, and a public hearing accorded any person whose rights may be adversely affected by such approval. At such hearing all persons concerned will be accorded the right of counsel and the right to introduce evidence in their behalf.
  2. If the application is refused the board shall so notify the applicant, and it shall be unlawful for such applicant to take any steps toward the use of any such water, so long as the refusal shall continue in force. Any person who proceeds to use water, without approval of the board being first obtained, may be enjoined in any court of competent jurisdiction.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-18; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 18; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 19, eff from and after passage (approved April 1, 1985).

§ 51-3-37. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 20, eff from and after April 1, 1985.

[Codes, 1942, § 5956-19; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 19]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §51-3-37 provided for the issuance of a license upon completion of construction of diversion works.

§ 51-3-39. Construction, modification, and inspection of dams and reservoirs.

  1. Any person proposing to construct, enlarge, repair or alter a dam or reservoir in this state except as provided elsewhere in this section, before proceeding with the construction thereof, must obtain written authorization from the board. Applications shall be made on forms provided by the board, and detailed plans shall be required when deemed necessary by the board in order to determine whether the proposed construction will provide adequate safety for downstream lives and property, and will not adversely affect downstream water rights or plans for the proper utilization of the water resources of the state. Provided further, that:
    1. Written construction authorization shall not be required for any dam or barrier to impound water which (i) is a peripheral dam or barrier of eight (8) feet or less in height, measured from the point of lowest elevation of the toe of the dam or barrier, regardless of impounded storage volume, (ii) impounds twenty-five (25) acre-feet or less at maximum storage volume, or (iii) which does not impound a watercourse with a continuous flow of water.
    2. Any person who seeks to build and maintain a dam on any watercourse lying in whole or in part within a levee district duly constituted under the laws of this state shall first obtain permission from the levee board of such levee district.
    3. Any person intending to acquire the right to store or use water from a reservoir formed by a dam on a watercourse regardless of whether or not written construction authorization therefor was required under this section, may do so only by making an application for a permit as provided elsewhere in this chapter.
  2. The board may request other agencies, or contract with consultants, to recommend land treatment or facilities necessary to prevent pollution of the waters of this state, or to protect the safety and general welfare of the people, and in the board’s discretion, may require that these recommendations be followed before authorization to construct or modify the dam is issued, or order the removal of the dam after it has been constructed or request the commission to order the removal of the dam after it has been constructed or modified when such recommendations are not followed.
  3. The board and commission shall be authorized to make inspections of dams and reservoirs, regardless of whether or not written construction authorization therefor was required under this section, for the purpose of determining their safety, and shall require owners to perform at their expense such work as may be necessary for maintenance and operation which will safeguard life and property. Provided, however, a dam or reservoir may be exempt from inspections when the commission determines that the location, size or condition is such that lives and property will not be endangered. In carrying out the provisions of this section, the board and commission are authorized to expend available state funds, to receive funds from federal agencies, to contract with consultants and/or other agencies, and the commission may issue orders to owners of dams or reservoirs found to be unsafe requiring them to take the prescribed remedial action to safeguard downstream lives and property.
  4. No dam or reservoir, regardless of whether or not written construction authorization therefor is required under this section, may be constructed in such a manner as to impair the common law or other lawful rights of water users below or plans for the proper utilization of the water resources of the state. The board is authorized to prescribe such minimum flow releases from any dam or reservoir as may be found necessary to protect downstream users or otherwise prudently manage available surface water.
  5. When the board or commission finds a dam or reservoir constructed or modified in violation of this chapter or that the owner of a dam or reservoir has allowed the structure to deteriorate and remain in an unsafe condition after having been ordered to make the necessary repairs, then the commission may cause the structure to be removed and/or the board may revoke or modify any other authorization pertaining thereto.
  6. The provisions of this section shall not be construed as creating any liability for damages against the state and/or against its officers, agents and employees.
  7. The provisions of this section shall apply also to a county board of supervisors when constructing dams or low-water control structures on lakes or bodies of water in accordance with the provisions of Section 19-5-92.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-20; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 20; Laws, 1978, ch. 437, § 3; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 21; Laws, 2001, ch. 476, § 5, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 23, 2001.).

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 2001, ch. 476, § 6, provides:

“SECTION 6. Nothing in this act shall be construed to require the prior approval of a levee board for the repair or construction of flood control structures in areas that are not located in a levee district area.”

Amendment Notes —

The 2001 amendment added (7).

Cross References —

Penalties for violation of this section, see §51-3-55.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

It is within the authority of Commission on Environmental Quality, as provided in §51-3-25, to prescribe regulations which set out conditions for the issuance of the written authorizations consistent with this section. Such regulations may also allow for public input prior to the issuance of the written authorization and may provide that the written authorization be in the from of a permit. 2004 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 493.

The Commission on Environmental Quality may, as a part of its regulatory authority in §51-3-25(f), promulgate regulations regarding “high hazard dams”, and require compliance therewith, for those dams which are exempted from the “written authorization” requirements of subsection (1)(a) of this section. 2004 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 493.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Applicability of rule of strict or absolute liability to overflow or escape of water caused by dam failure. 51 A.L.R.3d 965.

Liability for diversion of surface water by raising surface level of land. 88 A.L.R.4th 891.

Am. Jur.

78 Am. Jur. 2d, Waters §§ 266 et seq.

CJS.

93 C.J.S., Waters §§ 315 et seq.

§ 51-3-40. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 22, eff from and after April 1, 1985.

[En Laws, 1978, ch. 437, § 5]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §51-3-40 exempted certain dams constructed on private property from the provisions of this chapter.

§ 51-3-41. Compacts and agreements.

The commission shall have authority to negotiate and recommend to the Legislature compacts and agreements concerning this state’s share of ground water and waters flowing in watercourses where a portion of those waters are contained within the territorial limits of a neighboring state.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-21; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 21; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 23; Laws, 1995, ch. 505, § 4, eff from and after July 1, 1995.

§ 51-3-43. Right of entry upon public or private lands.

Any member of the board, the commission or any person authorized by either shall have the right to enter upon private or public lands for the purpose of inspecting waterworks, making surveys or conducting tests or examinations necessary for the gathering of information on water resources or uses, subject to responsibility for any damage done to property entered.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-22; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 22; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 24, eff from and after passage (approved April 1, 1985).

§ 51-3-44. Disclosure; confidentiality claim; violation, penalty.

  1. No person may be required to disclose any trade secret, including any formula, process or methods used in any manufacturing operation or any confidential information concerning business activities.
  2. The provisions of the Mississippi Public Records Act shall govern any request to have the commission declare information confidential, subject to specific provisions of this section.
  3. No confidentiality claim or determination of confidentiality shall prevent disclosure of the information to authorized department or federal employees.
  4. Information submitted to the commission containing any trade secret, including any formula, process or methods used in any manufacturing operation or any confidential information concerning business activities, specifically identified as confidential by the applicant and which is not essential for any public review as determined by the commission, shall be kept confidential by the department if:
    1. A written confidentiality claim is made when the information is supplied; and
    2. The confidentiality claim is determined by the commission, after hearing, to be valid.

      If the confidentiality claim is denied, the information will not be released until the party claiming confidentiality has withdrawn its claim or has exhausted its administrative remedies. During the pendency of the proceedings the department shall not in any way use the contested information.

  5. Any public officer or employee who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined a sum not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) and dismissed from public office or employment.

HISTORY: Laws, 1995, ch. 505, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 1995.

Cross References —

Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983, see §25-61-1 et seq.

§ 51-3-45. Changes in approved diversion.

  1. The board may consider, approve, modify at the request of the applicant, or reject applications for permanent or temporary changes in the place of diversion or withdrawal or use of water from those originally approved, subject to the rules and regulations of the board and following the procedure herein established for original application for permit.
  2. Any person who changes or attempts to change the point or place of diversion or withdrawal or use of water, either permanently or temporarily, without first applying to the board in the manner prescribed, shall obtain no right thereby and shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punished therefor, in the discretion of the court, not to exceed a fine of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00). Each day of such unlawful change shall constitute a separate offense, separately punishable.
  3. Each application for a temporary or permanent change shall be accompanied by a fee of One Dollar ($1.00). All fees received by the board as herein prescribed shall be deposited in the General Fund of the state.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-23; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 23; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 25, eff from and after passage (approved April 1, 1985).

Cross References —

Imposition of standard state assessment in addition to all court imposed fines or other penalties for any misdemeanor violation, see §99-19-73.

§ 51-3-47. Water rights adjudicated by court.

Whenever the rights for the use of waters within the state shall have been adjudicated by any court, the board shall aid in the distribution of water in accordance with the terms of the decree; and it shall be the duty of the clerk of any court in which such decree has been issued, within ten (10) days after such decree shall have been entered, to forward to the board and commission, by registered mail, a certified copy of the decree.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-24; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 24; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 26, eff from and after passage (approved April 1, 1985).

§ 51-3-49. Appeal from order of board or commission.

In addition to any other remedies that might now be available, any person or interested party aggrieved by an order of the commission or of the permit board shall have the right to perfect an appeal to the appropriate chancery court in the manner set forth in Sections 49-17-41 and 49-17-29.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-25; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 25; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 27, eff from and after passage (approved April 1, 1985).

§ 51-3-51. Hearing procedures.

The procedures whereby the commission or an employee thereof may obtain a hearing before the commission on a violation of any provisions of this chapter, including a violation of the terms and conditions of any water permit issued by the board, or of a regulation or of any order of the commission or whereby any interested person may obtain a hearing on matters within the jurisdiction of the commission or a hearing on any order of the commission shall be as prescribed in Sections 49-17-31 through 49-17-41. Further, all proceedings before the permit board shall be conducted in the manner prescribed by Section 49-17-29.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-26; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 26; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 28, eff from and after passage (approved April 1, 1985).

§ 51-3-53. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1978, ch. 484, § 37, eff from and after July 1, 1979.

[Codes, 1942, § 5956-27; Laws, 1956, ch. 167, § 27]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §51-3-53 pertained to reports to be furnished to the legislature.

§ 51-3-55. Enforcement authority; penalties; injunctive relief.

  1. It shall be the duty of the Commission on Natural Resources to serve as the enforcement agency for the Permit Board when the board determines that the sanctions available to it are not sufficient to achieve compliance with the provisions of this chapter. In such cases the board shall notify the commission of such noncompliance or violation and request that the commission take appropriate action. A member of the commission or an employee of the commission may also make such a request.
  2. Any person who knowingly submits false or inaccurate information in support of a permit application or a notice of claim or who wilfully fails to comply with the conditions of a permit issued by the board or who wilfully violates orders issued by the commission shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) within the discretion of the court. Each day in which such violation exists or continues shall constitute a separate offense.
  3. In addition to or in lieu of filing a criminal complaint, the commission may impose a civil penalty not more than Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00) for each such offense, such penalty to be assessed and levied by the commission after a hearing as provided herein.
  4. Appeals from the imposition of the civil penalty may be taken to the chancery court in the same manner as appeals from orders of the commission. If the appellant desires to stay the execution of a civil penalty assessed by the commission, he shall give bond with sufficient resident sureties of one or more guaranty or surety companies authorized to do business in this state, payable to the State of Mississippi, in an amount equal to double the amount of any civil penalty assessed by the commission, as to which the stay of execution is desired, conditioned, if the judgment shall be affirmed, to pay all costs of the assessment entered against the appellant.
  5. In lieu of, or in addition to, the penalty provided in subsection (3) of this section, the commission shall have power to institute and maintain in the name of the state any and all proceedings necessary or appropriate to enforce the provisions of Sections 51-3-1 through 51-3-55, rules and regulations in force pursuant thereto, and orders and permits issued under those sections, in the appropriate circuit, chancery, county or justice court of the county in which venue may lie. The commission may obtain mandatory or prohibitory injunctive relief, either temporary or permanent, and in cases of imminent and substantial hazard or endangerment to life or property, it shall not be necessary in such cases that the state plead or prove: (a) That irreparable damage would result if the injunction did not issue; (b) that there is no adequate remedy at law; or (c) that a written complaint or commission order has first been issued for the alleged violation.
  6. Commission hearings on the imposition of the above prescribed civil penalty or other sanctions shall be conducted as prescribed in Sections 49-17-31 through 49-17-41.

HISTORY: Laws, 1978, ch. 437, § 4; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 29, eff from and after passage (approved April 1, 1985).

Editor’s Notes —

Section 49-2-6 provides that wherever the term “Mississippi Commission on Natural Resources” appears in any law the same shall mean the Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality.

Cross References —

Imposition of standard state assessment in addition to all court imposed fines or other penalties for any misdemeanor violation, see §99-19-73.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Propriety of injunctive relief against diversion of water by municipal corporation or public utility. 42 A.L.R.3d 426.

Article 3. Mississippi Water Resources Council.

§§ 51-3-101 through 51-3-105. Repealed.

Repealed by operation of law, Laws of 2007, ch. 541 § 7, effective July 1, 2009.

§51-3-101. [Laws, 1992, ch. 545 § 1; reenacted and amended, Laws, 1995, ch. 584, § 1; reenacted without change, Laws, 1999, ch. 479, § 1; reenacted without change, Laws, 2003, ch. 358, § 1; reenacted without change, Laws, 2007, ch. 541, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 2007.]

§51-3-103. [Laws, 1992, ch. 545 § 2; reenacted and amended, Laws, 1995, ch. 584, § 2; reenacted and amended, Laws, 1999, ch. 479, § 2; reenacted and amended, Laws, 2003, ch. 358, § 2; reenacted without change, Laws, 2007, ch. 541, § 2, eff from and after July 1, 2007.]

§51-3-105. [Laws, 1992, ch. 545 § 3; reenacted and amended, Laws, 1995, ch. 584, § 3; reenacted without change, Laws, 1999, ch. 479, § 3; reenacted and amended, Laws, 2003, ch. 358, § 3; reenacted without change, Laws, 2007, ch. 541, § 3, eff from and after July 1, 2007.]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §51-3-101 created the Mississippi Water Resources Advisory Council.

Former §51-3-103 related to council membership, terms of office, officers and general administration.

Former §51-3-105 required the council to report on the status of the state’s water resources.

§ 51-3-106. Repeal of sections 51-3-101 through 51-3-105.

Sections 51-3-101 through 51-3-105 shall stand repealed after July 1, 2009.

HISTORY: Laws, 1995, ch. 584, § 5; Laws, 1999, ch. 479, § 4; Laws, 2003, ch. 358, § 4; Laws, 2007, ch. 541, § 4, eff from and after July 1, 2007.

Amendment Notes —

The 2003 amendment extended the date of the repealer for §§51-3-101 through51-3-105 to “July 1, 2007.”

The 2007 amendment substituted “51-3-101” for “51-3-1” and extended the date of the repealer for §§51-3-101 through51-3-105 from July 1, 2007, until July 1, 2009.

§ 51-3-107. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1995, ch. 584, § 6, eff from and after July 1, 1995.

[Laws, 1992, ch. 545 § 4]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §51-3-107 provided the repeal date for §§51-3-101 through51-3-105, which is now in §51-3-106.

Chapter 4. Mississippi Scenic Streams Stewardship Act

§ 51-4-1. Title and citation of chapter.

This chapter may be cited as the “Mississippi Scenic Streams Stewardship Act.”

HISTORY: Laws, 1999, ch. 381, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 1999.

Editor’s Notes —

A prior Chapter 4 [En Laws, 1976, ch. 474, §§ 1-10] was repealed by Laws, 1988, ch. 312, § 4, eff. from and after July 1, 1988. That section pertained to groundwater.

§ 51-4-3. Definitions.

Except as otherwise required by the context:

“Department” means the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

“Stream” means any free-flowing stream or segment of stream that is a public waterway under Section 51-1-4, Mississippi Code of 1972, and has not been channelized within the last five (5) years.

HISTORY: Laws, 1999, ch. 381, § 2, eff from and after July 1, 1999.

§ 51-4-5. Public policy declared.

The Legislature finds that certain selected streams and stream segments of this state possess unique or outstanding scenic, recreational, geological, botanical, fish, wildlife, historic or cultural values. It is the policy of the Legislature to provide for the protection of these streams and to conserve the state’s natural heritage for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations, while preserving the private property rights of riparian landowners.

There is a necessity for a rational balance between the use of these streams and the conservation of the natural beauty along these streams. The Legislature finds that this balance will best be achieved through a nonregulatory voluntary stewardship program emphasizing local education, participation and support. The primary goal of the program is to maximize voluntary private conservation efforts and to build and maintain a sense of stewardship among stream users and riparian landowners. To accomplish this goal, the program must provide a nonregulatory framework to obtain cooperative, voluntary management agreements with riparian landowners to maintain scenic values while ensuring the rights of riparian landowners to continue customary uses along the stream.

HISTORY: Laws, 1999, ch. 381, § 3, eff from and after July 1, 1999.

§ 51-4-7. Establishment; administration by Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks; eligibility for designation as scenic stream.

  1. There is hereby created the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program. The department shall coordinate the program. The department shall establish and publish minimum criteria for assessing a stream’s eligibility for the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program. To qualify as eligible, the stream must possess unique or outstanding scenic, recreational, geological, botanical, fish, wildlife, historic or cultural values. The level of pollution of a stream’s waters must be considered in determining eligibility for qualification as a scenic stream. A stream with relatively polluted waters may qualify as eligible as a scenic stream if other values are considered outstanding.
    1. The department shall inventory and evaluate Mississippi streams and identify the streams or stream segments which possess unique or outstanding scenic, recreational, geological, botanical, fish, wildlife, historic or cultural values based on the criteria established under this section.
    2. Any Mississippi organization, resident, state agency or local government may request the department to evaluate a stream.
  2. If the department determines that a stream meets the eligibility criteria, the department may recommend to the Legislature that a stream or stream segment be listed as eligible for nomination to the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program. In order for a stream to be listed as eligible for nomination to the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program, the recommendation must be filed as a bill and must be adopted by the Legislature.

HISTORY: Laws, 1999, ch. 381, § 4, eff from and after July 1, 1999.

§ 51-4-9. Nomination and designation as scenic stream.

  1. After the eligibility assessment of a stream is completed by the department, and the Legislature enacts legislation approving the eligibility, the stream may be nominated as provided in this section. The department, through the executive director, shall establish an advisory council for that stream. The advisory council must be appointed as early as possible to assist the work of the department. Each council must consist of members who represent a broad range of interest in the vicinity of the eligible stream and shall include, but not be limited to, at least one (1) member from the department, local government, agricultural interests, forestry interests, business interests, conservation interests, recreational interests and riparian landowners who shall constitute a majority of the council. The advisory council shall elect a chairman. The advisory council shall assist and advise the department concerning the nomination of the stream for the program.
  2. The department shall hold a public meeting in the vicinity of the eligible stream proposed for nomination to the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program. This public meeting must be conducted before any action by the department to nominate the eligible stream for inclusion in the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program. The purpose of this meeting is to receive public comments concerning the proposed nomination of the eligible stream. Notice of this meeting must be published at least thirty (30) days before the meeting in a newspaper having general circulation in each county containing or bordering the eligible stream under study and in a newspaper having general circulation in the state. The department shall notify, in writing, the landowners along the eligible stream. The department and the advisory council shall consider the public comments in its decision whether to nominate the stream.
  3. Following the public meeting and after consideration of the public comments, the department and the advisory council may nominate the eligible stream for designation as a scenic stream and inclusion in the program. In order for a stream to be listed as eligible for nomination to the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program, the nomination must be filed as a bill and adopted by the Legislature. No stream shall be designated as a scenic stream and placed in the program until the Legislature has duly enacted legislation designating the stream as scenic and placing it in the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.

HISTORY: Laws, 1999, ch. 381, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 1999.

§ 51-4-11. Notice of designation; development of cooperative voluntary stewardship plan; protection of private property rights.

  1. After the Legislature has designated a stream as a state scenic stream, the department shall publish a notice of the designation and provide written notice to the affected units of local government and landowners. Notice of the designation also must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the state to apprise interested parties of the opportunities under this chapter. The notice must describe the boundaries of the stream or stream segment.
    1. The department and the advisory council shall develop a cooperative voluntary stewardship plan for the scenic stream. The department shall consult and cooperate with the State Soil and Water Conservation Commission and the State Forestry Commission in developing the stewardship options utilizing current best management practices. Any other affected state agency may also make recommendations to the department. The plan shall identify current and traditional uses along the stream and outline goals, objectives and action strategies to address the management of resources along the stream.
    2. The plan shall utilize best management practices to maintain the scenic values of the stream while ensuring the rights of riparian landowners to continue existing agriculture, forestry, water supply, recreational, commercial and industrial uses and any other uses identified in the plan.
    1. The plan shall provide several stewardship options for a landowner. The options shall vary in length of commitment, degree of involvement and enforceability. An option may be modified to meet the needs of a landowner based on the individual attributes of the stream.
    2. Participation in the stewardship plan is voluntary. A landowner is under no obligation to participate in the plan. A participating landowner must give at least thirty (30) days’ notice of his intent to terminate a nonbinding option and to withdraw from the program.
    1. The department may receive by gift, devise, grant or dedication, conservation easements or other interest in real property for the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.
    2. If any land is donated to the state for the Scenic Streams Stewardship Program and the land ceases to be used in the program, the title to the land reverts to the donor.
  2. Any lands placed in the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program may be obtained only from private or corporate owners voluntarily. Land placed in the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program shall not be obtained by eminent domain.

HISTORY: Laws, 1999, ch. 381, § 6, eff from and after July 1, 1999.

§ 51-4-13. Existing or future uses of scenic stream not prohibited.

This chapter shall not be construed to prohibit, restrict or otherwise affect any existing or future lawful use or activity in or related to the scenic streams area. This chapter also shall not be construed to prohibit, restrict or otherwise affect the operation, maintenance or new construction of any facility, road, railroad, bridge, utility, pipeline, crossing or any other structure in or related to the scenic stream area. In the event there is any conflict between this section and any other provision in this chapter, this section shall control.

HISTORY: Laws, 1999, ch. 381, § 7, eff from and after July 1, 1999.

§ 51-4-15. Implementation of policies and practices of chapter.

  1. The department shall administer this chapter and may promulgate regulations for the specific powers granted under this chapter. In the process of administering the Scenic Streams Stewardship Program, the department shall consider, protect and ensure protection of the rights of private ownership and of the voluntary participants in the Scenic Streams Stewardship Programs.
  2. The department may enter into agreements with local, state and federal agencies, and private landowners, for the mutual management of a scenic stream. An agency which has administrative jurisdiction over lands or interests in land along a state scenic stream must assist the department to implement the policies and practices of this chapter.

HISTORY: Laws, 1999, ch. 381, § 8, eff from and after July 1, 1999.

§ 51-4-17. Pilot programs.

  1. The department is authorized to conduct a pilot program for the following streams designated as eligible for inclusion in the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program:
    1. Wolf River in Pearl River, Hancock, Stone and Harrison Counties beginning at Mississippi Highway 26 in Pearl River County to the Bay of St. Louis in Harrison County;
    2. Black Creek in Lamar, Forrest, Perry, Stone, George and Jackson Counties beginning at Mississippi Highway 589 in Lamar County to the Pascagoula River in Jackson County;
    3. Okatoma Creek in Simpson and Covington Counties beginning at the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad in Simpson County to the Bowie River in Covington County;
    4. Strong River in Smith, Rankin and Simpson Counties beginning at the confluence of Beech Creek in Smith County to the Pearl River in Simpson County;
    5. Pearl River in Winston and Neshoba Counties beginning at the origin, confluence of Nanih Waiya Creek and Bogue Chitto Creek in Winston County to MS Highway 15 in Neshoba County; and
    6. Buttahatchie River in Monroe and Lowndes Counties beginning at the Mississippi-Alabama state line in Monroe County to U.S. Highway 45 in Lowndes County.
  2. The department shall follow the requirements in this chapter for the nomination of these streams to the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program. The department shall report annually to the Legislature on the status of the pilot program.
  3. Any landowner entering into a binding agreement for the management of lands in a pilot project shall be eligible for any subsequent incentives that are offered for participation in the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.

HISTORY: Laws, 1999, ch. 381, § 9, eff from and after July 1, 1999.

Cross References —

Designation of portion of the Wolf River as State Scenic Stream, see §51-4-23.

§ 51-4-19. No right of public access created by this chapter.

This chapter does not confer upon any member of the public the right to the use of or access to private lands within the boundary of a designated scenic stream area and any unauthorized use is trespass and subject to the penalties provided for trespass offenses.

HISTORY: Laws, 1999, ch. 381, § 10, eff from and after July 1, 1999.

§ 51-4-21. Eligibility of portion of Magee’s Creek for nomination to Program.

In accordance with Section 51-4-7, Magee’s Creek in Walthall County from the confluence of Varnell Creek to the Bogue Chitto River is designated as eligible for nomination to the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.

HISTORY: Laws, 2000, ch. 308, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 17, 2000.).

Cross References —

Eligibility for designation as scenic stream, see §51-4-7.

§ 51-4-21.1. Eligibility of portion of Tangipahoa River for nomination to Program.

In accordance with Section 51-4-7, Tangipahoa River in Pike County beginning at U.S. Highway 51 and extending to the Mississippi-Louisiana state line is designated as eligible for nomination to the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.

HISTORY: Laws, 2000, ch. 310, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 26, 2000.).

Cross References —

Eligibility for designation as scenic stream, see §51-4-7.

§ 51-4-21.2. Eligibility of portions of Chunky Creek and Chunky River for nomination to Program.

In accordance with Section 51-4-7, Chunky Creek in Newton County from the confluence of Chunky Creek and Tallasher Creek, and the Chunky River in Newton, Lauderdale and Clarke Counties to the junction with the Chickasawhay River in Clarke County, are designated as eligible for nomination to the state Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.

HISTORY: Laws, 2002, ch. 431, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 20, 2002.).

§ 51-4-21.3. Eligibility of portion of Pascagoula River for nomination to Program.

In accordance with Section 51-4-7, the Pascagoula River from the confluence of the Chickasawhay and Leaf Rivers in George County to its mouth in Jackson County is designated as eligible for nomination to the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.

HISTORY: Laws, 2004, ch. 459, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 29, 2004.).

Editor’s Notes —

This section was originally codified as §51-4-23.5, but has been renumbered as §51-4-21.3 at the direction of Codification Counsel.

§ 51-4-21.4. Eligibility of portion of Bear Creek for nomination to Program.

In accordance with Section 51-4-7, a loop of Bear Creek in Tishomingo County from the Mississippi-Alabama state line where it enters Mississippi to the Mississippi-Alabama line where it reenters Alabama is designated as eligible for nomination to the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.

HISTORY: Laws, 2004, ch. 459, § 2, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 29, 2004.).

Editor’s Notes —

This section was originally codified as §51-4-23.6, but has been renumbered as §51-4-21.4 at the direction of Codification Counsel.

§ 51-4-21.5. Eligibility of portions of Red Creek for nomination to Program.

In accordance with Section 51-4-7, Red Creek from Mississippi Highway 26 in Stone County to its confluence with Black Creek in Jackson County is designated as eligible for nomination to the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.

HISTORY: Laws, 2005, ch. 321, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 14, 2005.).

Cross References —

Designation of portions of Red Creek as State Scenic Stream, see §51-4-23.7.

§ 51-4-21.6. Eligibility of portions of Escatawpa River for nomination to Program.

In accordance with Section 51-4-7, the Escatawpa River from the Alabama/Mississippi state line in George County to its confluence with the Pascagoula River in Jackson County is designated as eligible for nomination to the state Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.

HISTORY: Laws, 2005, ch. 337, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 14, 2005.).

§ 51-4-21.7. Eligibility of portions of Tombigbee River for nomination to Program.

In accordance with Section 51-4-7, the Tombigbee River flowing through Itawamba County is designated as eligible for nomination to the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.

HISTORY: Laws, 2006, ch. 349, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 13, 2006.).

§ 51-4-21.8. Eligibility of portions of Bogue Chitto River for nomination to Program.

In accordance with Section 51-4-7, the Bogue Chitto River from the confluence with Boone Creek in Lincoln County to the Mississippi-Louisiana state line is designated as eligible for nomination to the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.

HISTORY: Laws, 2007, ch. 313, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 12, 2007.).

§ 51-4-21.9. Eligibility of portions of Noxubee River for nomination to Program.

In accordance with Section 51-4-7, the Noxubee River in Noxubee County from the Oktibbeha County Line to the Mississippi-Alabama line is designated as eligible for nomination to the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.

HISTORY: Laws, 2007, ch. 403, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 15, 2007.).

§ 51-4-23. Designation of portion of Wolf River as State Scenic Stream.

The Wolf River in Pearl River, Hancock, Stone and Harrison Counties from Highway 26 in Pearl River County to the Bay of St. Louis in Harrison County, which was initially designated as eligible for inclusion in the scenic stream program under Section 51-4-17, is designated as a state scenic stream and is included in the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.

HISTORY: Laws, 2000, ch. 309, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 17, 2000.).

Cross References —

Eligibility for designation as scenic stream, see §51-4-7.

Pilot program for Wolf River’s eligibility for inclusion in State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program, see §51-4-17.

§ 51-4-23.1. Designation of portion of Tangipahoa River as State Scenic Stream.

In accordance with Section 51-4-9, the Tangipahoa River in Pike County beginning at U.S. Highway 51 and extending to the Mississippi-Louisiana state line, which was designated as eligible for nomination to the scenic streams stewardship program under Section 51-4-21.1, is designated as a state scenic stream and is included in the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.

HISTORY: Laws, 2001, ch. 346, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 11, 2001.).

Cross References —

Eligibility for designation as scenic stream, see §51-4-7.

Nomination and designation as scenic stream, see §51-4-9.

Eligibility of portion of Tangipahoa River for nomination to State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program, see §51-4-21.1.

§ 51-4-23.2. Designation of portion of Magee’s Creek as State Scenic Stream.

Magee’s Creek in Walthall County from the confluence of Varnell Creek to the Bogue Chitto River which was designated as eligible for nomination to the scenic streams stewardship program under Section 51-4-21, is designated as a state scenic stream and is included in the Mississippi Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.

HISTORY: Laws, 2002, ch. 358, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 18, 2002.).

§ 51-4-23.3. Designation of portion of Chunky Creek and Chunky River as State Scenic Streams.

Chunky Creek in Newton County from the confluence of Chunky Creek and Tallasher Creek, and the Chunky River in Newton, Lauderdale and Clarke Counties to the junction with the Chickasawhay River in Clarke County, which were designated as eligible for nomination to the state Scenic Streams Stewardship Program under Section 51-4-21.2, are designated as state scenic streams and are included in the Mississippi Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.

HISTORY: Laws, 2003, ch. 350, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 12, 2003.).

§ 51-4-23.4. Designation of portion of Black Creek in Lamar, Forrest, Perry, Stone, George and Jackson Counties as State Scenic Stream.

Black Creek in Lamar, Forrest, Perry, Stone, George and Jackson Counties from Mississippi Highway 589 in Lamar County to its confluence with the Pascagoula River, which was designated as eligible for nomination under Section 51-4-17, is designated as a state scenic stream and is included in the Mississippi Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.

HISTORY: Laws, 2004, ch. 402, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 22, 2004.).

§ 51-4-23.5. Designation of portion of Pascagoula River as State Scenic Stream.

In accordance with Section 51-4-7, the Pascagoula River from the confluence of the Chickasawhay and Leaf Rivers in George County to its mouth in Jackson County, which was designated as eligible for nomination to the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program under Section 51-4-21.3, is designated as a state scenic stream and is included in the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.

HISTORY: Laws, 2005, ch. 367, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 15, 2005.).

§ 51-4-23.6. Designation of portion of Bear Creek as State Scenic Stream.

A loop of Bear Creek in Tishomingo County from the Mississippi-Alabama state line where it enters Mississippi to the Mississippi-Alabama state line where it re-enters Alabama, which was designated as eligible for nomination under Section 51-4-21.4, is designated as a state scenic stream and is included in the Mississippi Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.

HISTORY: Laws, 2005, ch. 351, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 14, 2005.).

§ 51-4-23.7. Designation of portion of Red Creek as State Scenic Stream.

In accordance with Section 51-4-7, Red Creek from Mississippi Highway 26 in Stone County to its confluence with Black Creek in Jackson County, which was designated as eligible for nomination to the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program under Section 51-4-21.5, is designated as a state scenic stream and is included in the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.

HISTORY: Laws, 2006, ch. 407, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 15, 2006.).

Cross References —

Eligibility of portions of Red Creek for nomination to State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program, see §51-4-21.5.

§ 51-4-23.8. Designation of portion of Tombigbee River as State Scenic Stream.

In accordance with Section 51-4-7, the Tombigbee River flowing through Itawamba County, which was designated as eligible for nomination to the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program under Section 51-4-21.7, is designated as a state scenic stream and is included in the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.

HISTORY: Laws, 2007, ch. 448, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 26, 2007.).

Editor’s Notes —

Eligibility for designation as scenic stream, see §51-4-7.

Nomination and designation as scenic stream, see §51-4-9.

Eligibility of portions of Tombigbee River for nomination to Program, see §51-4-21.7.

§ 51-4-23.9. Designation of portion of Noxubee River as State Scenic Stream.

In accordance with Section 51-4-7, the Noxubee River in Noxubee County from the Oktibbeha County line to the Mississippi-Alabama line, which was designated as eligible for nomination to the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program under Section 51-4-21.9, is designated as a state scenic stream and is included in the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.

HISTORY: Laws, 2008, ch. 411, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 31, 2008.).

Cross References —

Eligibility for designation as scenic stream, see §51-4-7.

Nomination and designation as scenic stream, see §51-4-9.

Eligibility of portions of Noxubee River for nomination to Program, see §51-4-21.9.

§ 51-4-23.10. Designation of portion of Escatawpa River as State Scenic Stream.

In accordance with Section 51-4-7, the Escatawpa River from the Alabama-Mississippi state line in George County to its confluence with the Pascagoula River in Jackson County which was designated as eligible for nomination to the state Scenic Streams Stewardship Program under Section 51-4-21.6, is designated as a state scenic stream and is included in the State Scenic Streams Stewardship Program.

HISTORY: Laws, 2009, ch. 395, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 18, 2009.).

Cross References —

Eligibility for designation as scenic stream generally, see §51-4-7.

Nomination and designation as scenic stream generally, see §51-4-9.

Eligibility of portions of Escatawpa River for nomination to program, see §51-4-21.6.

Chapter 5. Subsurface Waters; Well Drillers

§ 51-5-1. Water well contractor’s license; fee; expiration and renewal; continuing education requirements; license exemption.

  1. Every person, firm and corporation desiring to engage in the business of drilling and developing wells for underground water, including drilling any wells or boreholes that may penetrate water-bearing formations, in the State of Mississippi, shall file an application with the Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality (commission) for a water well contractor’s license, using forms prepared by the commission, setting out qualifications therefor and providing such other information, including test scores from any examination, oral or written, as may be required by the commission. Developing wells shall include the installation and servicing of pumps and well equipment, but shall not include the installation and servicing of above-ground pumps. The fee for such license and renewal thereof shall be One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) for each year.
  2. All licenses shall expire on June 30 of each year. Licenses shall not be transferable or assignable. A license may be renewed and shall be renewable without examination for the ensuing year by making an application not later than the expiration date, providing certification that the required continuing education units have been completed, and paying the applicable fee. Such application shall have the effect of extending the validity of the current license until the new license is issued or until the applicant is notified by the commission that the request for renewal has been denied. If an application has not been received by the commission by the expiration date, the license will expire and the licensee will be prohibited from performing any work for which the license is required until such time as the license has been reinstated. On application made after June 30 of each year, the license may be reinstated only upon compliance with all requirements for renewal, including payment of the applicable fee, plus a penalty of Ten Dollars ($10.00) for each month or fraction thereof the application is delinquent. Failure to request reinstatement within one (1) year after a license has expired may, in the discretion of the commission, be deemed a waiver of the licensee’s right to reinstatement without examination; and if he should request reinstatement thereafter, the commission may require that he be considered a new applicant subject to all requirements for initial licensing including the requirement for examination.
  3. Nothing in this chapter shall prevent a person who has not obtained a license pursuant thereto from constructing a water well on his own or leased property intended for use only in a single family house which is his permanent residence, or intended for use only for watering livestock on his farm, and where the waters to be produced are not intended for use by the public or any residence other than his own. However, such person shall comply with all rules and regulations as to the construction of wells as set out by the provisions of this chapter.
  4. Nothing in this chapter shall prevent a person who has not obtained a license pursuant thereto from constructing a water well on his own or leased property intended for use only for irrigating crops on his farm. However, such person shall comply with all rules and regulations as to the construction of wells as set out by the provisions of this chapter.
  5. This section shall not apply to any person who performs labor or services at the direction and under the personal supervision of a licensed well contractor.
  6. Any person whose license has been revoked may, upon application for a new license, be required, in the discretion of the board, to take the examination and in all other ways be considered as a new applicant.
  7. As used in this chapter, the terms “State Board of Water Commissioners,” “board” and “commission” mean the Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-31; Laws, 1966, ch. 269, § 1; Laws, 1978, ch. 371, § 1; Laws, 2010, ch. 411, § 1; Laws, 2011, ch. 355, § 1; Laws, 2014, ch. 369, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 2014.

Joint Legislative Committee Note —

Pursuant to Section 1-1-109, the Joint Legislative Committee on Compilation, Revision and Publication of Legislation corrected a typographical error in (2). The words “have such license” were changed to “having such license.” The Joint Committee ratified the correction at its May 16, 2002, meeting.

Amendment Notes —

The 2010 amendment rewrote the section.

The 2011 amendment extended the date of the repealer for (4) by substituting “July 1, 2014” for “July 1, 2011.”

The 2014 amendment redesignated former (4)(a) as present (4); and deleted (4)(b), which read “This subsection shall repeal on July 1, 2014.”

Cross References —

Commission on Environmental Quality generally, see §49-2-5 et seq.

Water Resources Research Institute, see §57-55-7.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Pursuant to Section 51-5-1, the fee that the Commission of Environmental Quality can charge for an application, including examination, for a drilling license and for each year of renewal is $ 100; furthermore, the section contemplates that the examination fee be paid to the Commission thereby precluding applicants from paying a fee directly to a third party testing service. 2003 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 191.

§ 51-5-3. Qualifications for license.

  1. In order to be licensed as a water well contractor in the State of Mississippi, the applicant must be qualified as set out below:
    1. Be at least twenty-one (21) years of age;
    2. Be of good moral character;
    3. Demonstrate to the satisfaction of the commission a reasonable knowledge of this chapter and the rules and regulations adopted by the commission under the provisions of this chapter;
    4. Possess the necessary drilling equipment, or present to the commission sufficient evidence to show that he has access to the use of such equipment at any time he needs it; and
    5. Have not less than three (3) years’ experience in the work for which he is applying for a license.
  2. Each applicant shall be required to present to the examining committee three (3) notarized affidavits from licensed water well contractors showing that such applicant has the necessary qualifications and experience to meet the above-stated standards.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-32; Laws, 1966, ch. 269, § 2; Laws, 1985, ch. 459, § 31; Laws, 2010, ch. 411, § 2, eff from and after July 1, 2010.

Amendment Notes —

The 2010 amendment, in (1)(d), substituted “commission” for “board”; and in (2), substituted “licensed water well contractors” for “licensed drillers.”

Cross References —

Commission on Environmental Quality generally, see §49-2-5 et seq.

Commission as meaning the Commission on Environmental Quality, see §51-5-1.

§ 51-5-5. Powers of Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality to carry out provisions of this chapter.

  1. In carrying out the provisions of this chapter, the commission shall have, but shall not be limited to, the following powers:
    1. Make reasonable rules and regulations for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this chapter.
    2. Prepare required forms and establish other procedures to govern the submission of applications, reports, and other information authorized to be sent the commission as required by this chapter.
    3. Prepare and give reasonable oral and/or written examinations for license applicants.
    4. Deposit all fees in a special fund for the implementation of this chapter.
    5. Enter upon and be given access to any premises for the purpose of inspecting water wells.
    6. Require and approve the completion of continuing education units for license renewal applicants.
  2. If the commission finds that compliance with all the requirements of this chapter would result in undue hardship, an exemption from any one or more of such requirements may be granted by the commission to the extent necessary to ameliorate such undue hardship and to the extent such exemption can be granted without impairing the intent and purpose of this chapter.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-33; Laws, 1966, ch. 269, § 3; Laws, 2010, ch. 411, § 3, eff from and after July 1, 2010.

Joint Legislative Committee Note —

Pursuant to Section 1-1-109, the Joint Legislative Committee on Compilation, Revision and Publication of Legislation corrected a typographical error in (2). The words “an exemption from any one of more” were changed to “an exemption from any one or more.” The Joint Committee ratifed the correction at its May 16, 2002, meeting.

Amendment Notes —

The 2010 amendment, in the introductory paragraph in (1), substituted “the commission shall have, but shall not be limited to, the following powers” for “the board of water commissioners is empowered, but not limited to, to do the following”; added (1)(f); and in (2), substituted “If the commission finds” for “Where the board finds” and “commission” for “board.”

Cross References —

Commission on Environmental Quality generally, see §49-2-5 et seq.

Commission as meaning the Commission on Environmental Quality, see §51-5-1.

§ 51-5-7. Violations of chapter or regulations.

  1. When the state board of water commissioners has reasonable grounds for believing that there has been a violation of this chapter or any rules or regulations adopted pursuant thereto, the board shall give written notice to the person alleged to be in violation. Such notice shall identify the provisions of this chapter or regulation issued hereunder alleged to be violated and the facts alleged related thereto. Such notice shall be served in the manner required by law for the service of process upon a person in a civil action, and may be accompanied by an order of the board requiring described remedial action which, if taken within the time specified in such order, will effect compliance with the requirements of this chapter and regulations issued thereunder. Such order shall become final within thirty days from the service thereof unless a request for hearing as provided elsewhere in this chapter is made within such time. In lieu of such order the board may require the person or persons named in such notices to appear at a hearing at a time and place specified in the notice.
  2. When the state board of water commissioners finds that any provisions of this chapter have been violated and that disciplinary action by the board is insufficient or unavailable, then it shall be the duty of the said board to proceed with enforcement of this chapter by proper proceedings through any court of competent jurisdiction available therefor.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-34; Laws, 1966, ch. 269, § 4, eff from and after passage (approved June 10, 1966).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Measure and element of damages for pollution of well or spring. 76 A.L.R.4th 629.

§ 51-5-9. Proceedings for revocation of license.

  1. When the board determines that the holder of any license issued pursuant to this chapter has violated any provisions thereof or any rules and regulations pursuant thereto, the board shall authorize suspension or revocation of such license. Proceedings under the provisions of this section shall not be dependent upon having exhausted remedies through any other section of this chapter.
  2. The board shall notify the suspected violator at least fifteen days before the board hearing therefor, shall specify to him the grounds for which such license revocation is proposed with such sufficiency as to protect his constitutional rights therein as in other civil hearings pertaining to license revocations, shall give him opportunity to present any witnesses or other reasonable evidence before the board, and shall comply with established rules of procedure for such board hearings.
  3. Any such order of revocation of license shall become effective thirty days after service thereof. The aggrieved party may appeal from the board’s finding to a court of competent jurisdiction as provided by the laws of the state, provided notice of appeal is given to the board within ten days of such board action.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-35; Laws, 1966, ch. 269, § 5, eff from and after passage (approved June 10, 1966).

§ 51-5-11. Grounds for revoking license.

The grounds for revoking a well driller’s license are:

That he has intentionally made a material misstatement in the application for such license; or

That he has willfully violated any provisions of this chapter; or

That he has obtained, or attempted to obtain, such license by fraud or misrepresentation; or

That he has been guilty of fraudulent or dishonest practices; or

That he has demonstrated lack of competence as a driller of water wells; or

That he has failed or refused to file reports as required under the provisions of this chapter; or

That he has willfully and contumaciously refused to obey reasonable orders, rules, and regulations of the board.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-36; Laws, 1966, ch. 269, § 6, eff from and after passage (approved June 10, 1966).

§ 51-5-13. Driller to keep records and file reports.

The driller shall keep accurate records on each water well drilled, including, but not limited to, its location, depth, character of rocks or formations drilled, fluids encountered, and such other reasonable information as the board may specify. Each driller shall, within thirty days after completion of each well, file a report containing such information in the office of the state board of water commissioners on forms provided by the board. However, no report or information shall be required to be filed with the board if the well is a driven well or if it is dug by the use of a hand auger.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-37; Laws, 1966, ch. 269, § 7, eff from and after passage (approved June 10, 1966).

§ 51-5-15. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 395, § 10, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-5-15. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-38; Laws, 1966, ch. 269, § 8; Laws, 1978, ch. 371, § 2, eff from and after passage (approved March 15, 1978).]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-5-15 authorized the Board of Water Commissioners to appoint an advisory committee to make recommendations for the regulation and control of water well drillers, and prescribed the committee composition and terms of appointment.

§ 51-5-17. Penalties.

Any person, firm, or corporation who engages in or follows the business or occupation, or advertises, holds itself out, or acts temporarily or otherwise as a well driller without having first secured the required license or renewal thereof, or who otherwise violates any provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) and not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) within the discretion of the court; and each day in which such violation exists or continues shall constitute a separate offense.

In addition to the penalties prescribed herein, any person who violates any order of the board requiring described remedial action as set out elsewhere in this chapter, which shall specify a time requirement for compliance with such order, shall be subject to a penalty not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100.00) for each day such noncompliance continues.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-39; Laws, 1966, ch. 269, § 9, eff from and after passage (approved June 10, 1966).

Cross References —

Imposition of standard state assessment in addition to all court imposed fines or other penalties for any misdemeanor violation, see §99-19-73.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. Proof of Facts 3d 473, Liability for Dioxin Contamination.

§ 51-5-19. Chapter supplementary to other laws and regulations.

This chapter shall be supplementary to laws, rules, and regulations of the State of Mississippi, of any of its political subdivisions, and of any other state agencies or commissions, except insofar as such conflict may exist.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-40; Laws, 1966, ch. 269, § 10, eff from and after passage (approved June 10, 1966).

Chapter 7. Water Management Districts

In General

§ 51-7-1. Purpose of chapter.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the creation of master water management districts for the carrying out in an orderly manner of works of improvement for the purposes of drainage, prevention of floodwater damage, or the conservation, development, utilization, and disposal of water, including the impoundment, diversion, flowage, and distribution of waters for recreation, beautification, welfare, and other beneficial use as defined in Sections 51-3-1 through 51-3-53. The authority herein granted to master water management districts shall be limited to plans for works of improvement developed and carried out in cooperation with the secretary of agriculture under the provisions of Public Law 566, 83rd Congress, as amended, or projects for any of the purposes provided for by this chapter which may be developed and carried out by or in cooperation with any agency or agencies of the United States government under other laws of the United States.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-101; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 1; Laws, 1966, ch. 270, §§ 1, 2, eff from and after passage (approved June 17, 1966).

Editor’s Notes —

Section 51-3-53 referred to in this section was repealed by Laws of 1978, ch. 484, § 37, eff from and after July 1, 1978.

Cross References —

Development of plans, see §51-7-15.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Conservation: validity, construction and application of enactments restricting land development by dredging or filling. 46 A.L.R.3d 1422.

Am. Jur.

50 Am. Jur. 2d, Levees and Flood Control § 6.

CJS.

52B C.J.S., Levees and Flood Control §§ 19 et seq.

§ 51-7-3. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter the following words and terms shall have these meanings:

“Master water management district.” A governmental subdivision of this state and a public body, corporate and politic, created under the provisions of this chapter for the purposes set forth in Section 51-7-1.

“Drainage district.” Any drainage district organized under the laws of this state.

“Water management district.” Any water management district created under the laws of this state.

“Commissioner.” Unless otherwise indicated, one of the members of the governing board of a master water management district.

“Landowner” or “owner of land.” Any person, firm, or corporation who shall hold legal or equitable title to any lands lying within a district organized under the provisions of this chapter.

“Chancery court” or “chancellor.” The chancery court or chancellor acting in term time or vacation.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-102; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 2, eff from and after passage (approved May 10, 1960).

§ 51-7-5. Territory of districts.

  1. Master water management districts may be organized from the territory of two or more existing drainage or water management districts, from the territory of parts of two or more of such existing districts, from territory in whole or in part of one or more of such existing districts and territory not now included in any such existing district, or from territory not now included in any drainage or water management district.
    1. Whenever a proposed master water management district is to be composed of lands lying wholly within existing drainage or water management districts, whether or not such master water management district is to include all or parts of said existing districts, and the commissioners of such existing districts desire to form a master water management district, they shall petition the chancery court for the creation of such master water management district. Such petition shall be signed by the president or chairman and the secretary of the board of commissioners of each petitioning drainage or water management district; and there shall be affixed to said petition a certificate by the secretary of each such district, certifying that the execution of such petition by said officers in behalf of such drainage or water management district has been duly authorized by the commissioners thereof. Said petition shall be filed in the chancery court district in which the largest acreage of such proposed district is situated and in the county, or either of the judicial districts thereof, in such court district having the largest acreage in such court district.
    2. Whenever such proposed master water management district is composed of lands lying partly within and partly without one or more existing drainage or water management districts and the creation of such district is desired, a petition proposing the creation of such master water management district shall be filed in the chancery court; and such petition shall be signed by the president or chairman and secretary of the board of commissioners of each petitioning drainage or water management district as to the lands within each such district and by at least one half (1/2) of the landowners owning at least one third (1/3) of the lands or by at least one third (1/3) of the landowners owning at least one half (1/2) of the lands as to the lands not then within any such existing district, excluding lands owned by the state. There shall be affixed to said petition a certificate by the secretary of each such existing district, certifying that the execution of such petition in behalf of such drainage or water management district has been duly authorized by the commissioners thereof. Said petition shall be filed in the chancery court district in which the largest acreage of such proposed district is situated and in the county, or either of the judicial districts thereof, in such court district having the largest acreage in such court district.
    3. Whenever such proposed master water management district as composed of lands lying entirely without any existing drainage or water management district and the creation of such district is desired, a petition proposing the creation of such master water management district shall be filed in the chancery court; and such petition shall be signed by at least one half (1/2) of the landowners owning at least one third (1/3) of the lands or by at least one third (1/3) of the landowners owning at least one half (1/2) of the lands to be included within such district, excluding the lands therein owned by the state. Said petition shall be filed in the chancery court district in which the largest acreage of such proposed district is situated and in the county, or either of the judicial districts thereof, in such court district having the largest acreage in such court district.
  2. If the petition for creation of the master water management district includes any area lying in whole or in part within a levee district duly constituted under the laws of this state, there shall be attached to the petition a copy of a resolution adopted by the levee board of such levee district, approving the proposed petition for creation of the master water management district.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-103; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 3, eff from and after passage (approved May 10, 1960).

§ 51-7-7. Enlargement or reduction of district.

A master water management district may be enlarged in the same manner as provided by law for the organization of such district. The petition shall be filed by the commissioners of the master water management district who shall represent in such petition all water management districts therein.

A master water management district may be reduced in the same manner, by petition signed by its members and publication as provided for by Section 51-7-11.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-101; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 1; Laws, 1966, ch. 270, §§ 1, 2, eff from and after passage (approved June 17, 1966).

§ 51-7-9. Content of petition.

A petition for creation of a master water management district shall set forth the proposed name of the district, the necessity for the district, and a general description of the region intended to be embraced therein; and it shall pray for the organization of the district by the name proposed.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-104; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 4, eff from and after passage (approved May 10, 1960).

§ 51-7-11. Notice and hearing for creation of district.

Upon the filing of a petition for creation of a master water management district, and after fixing of the time, date, and place of hearing by the chancellor, the chancery clerk of the county wherein such petition is filed shall immediately publish a notice directed to the owners of land to be embraced in the proposed district, giving notice of the said petition and designating a date, not less than ten days nor more than twenty days after the last publication of notice, at which a hearing will be had on the petition. Said notice shall be published in a newspaper in each county wherein a part of such district is situated, such paper to have a general circulation in the area in said county wherein such portion of such district may be located, and said notice shall be published for three weeks in such newspaper. If there be no newspaper published in such county, then the notice provided herein shall be posted for not less than fifteen days, with one copy being posted on the bulletin board at the county courthouse and two copies posted at public places in the area proposed to be included in said master water management district. Said notice shall call upon landowners in such proposed district to show cause, if any, against establishment of such district, and such notice shall be in substantially the following form, to wit: “To all persons owning any interest in the following described lands, to wit: (with a description of the lands to be in subdivisions no smaller than quarter sections).”

Upon the date designated in the notice, or upon a subsequent day to which the matter may be continued, the chancery court shall hear all objections, if any are offered, to the organization of said district. Unless at the hearing at least one third (1/3) of the landowners owning at least one half (1/2) of the land proposed to be included in the district or at least one half (1/2) of the landowners owning at least one third (1/3) of the land proposed to be included in the district shall object to the organization, further proceedings shall be had as hereinafter provided; but the district shall not be organized in the event of such objection by at least one third (1/3) of the landowners owning at least one half (1/2) the land or by at least one half (1/2) of the landowners owning at least one third (1/3) of the land, excluding state-owned lands.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-105; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 5, eff from and after passage (approved May 10, 1960).

Cross References —

Jurisdiction of chancery court generally, see §9-5-81.

Authority of board of commissioners to borrow money and issue bonds, see §51-7-27.

Tax assessments and levies, see §51-7-29.

Acquisition of easements and rights of way, see §51-7-33.

Dissolution of water management districts, see §51-7-41 et seq.

Applicability of Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure to proceedings relative to creation and maintenance of drainage and water management districts, see Miss. R. Civ. P. 81.

§ 51-7-13. Board of commissioners.

If the chancery court determines that any objections filed are not sufficient to defeat the organization of the district, and if it be determined by the chancery court to proceed with the organization of the proposed district, the chancery court shall enter an order appointing at least five commissioners who, as the board of commissioners of said master water management district, shall be its governing body. Each of said commissioners shall be a qualified elector of this state and a landowner in the territory proposed to be included in said district, and there shall be at least one such commissioner who is a landowner within each drainage district or water management district having territory in such master water management district and at least one who is a landowner within the territory to be included in such master water management district which is not within an existing drainage or water management district.

The term of office of commissioners of a master water management district shall be four years, except that in making the first appointments the chancery court shall appoint at least three commissioners for terms of one, two, and three years respectively, in order that the terms of all commissioners shall not expire at once; and each commissioner shall serve for the term for which he is appointed and until his successor has been appointed and has qualified. Subsequent appointments and appointments to fill vacancies in office shall be made by the chancery court in the court district of original jurisdiction in the creation of the master water management district. If a majority of the landowners in any such district or proposed district by number petition the court for the appointment of any particular qualified person, such person shall be appointed by the court, provided the requirements of the first paragraph of this section are fulfilled.

The commissioners shall take the oath of office required by section 268 of article 14 of the constitution of the state and shall give bond in the penalty of not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) payable to the state for the use and benefit of the master water management district, such bond to be filed with and approved by the chancery clerk of the county in which the petition was filed. The commissioners shall immediately organize and select one of their number as president and another of their number as secretary for a term not to exceed four years. Commissioners shall receive compensation for their services at the rate of twelve dollars and fifty cents ($12.50) per diem provided for commissioners of drainage districts for time spent on the work of the board, in addition to their actual expenses, including traveling expenses, necessarily incurred in the discharge of their duties.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-105; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 5, eff from and after passage (approved May 10, 1960).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

50 Am. Jur. 2d, Levees and Flood Control § 6.

CJS.

52B C.J.S., Levees and Flood Control §§ 29, 30 et seq.

§ 51-7-15. Development of plans.

After appointment and organization proceedings as hereinbefore provided, the commissioners shall develop in conjunction with the United States Secretary of Agriculture, or with the head of such other federal agency as may be involved, plans for works of improvement within the scope of Section 51-7-1, which are to be carried out within or without the area of said master water management district. Whatever federal financial or other assistance is furnished in connection with the planning or construction of the proposed improvements, such plans and specifications shall be detailed only to the extent required by the federal department or agency responsible for furnishing such assistance. In connection with the development of such plans, the said commissioners, with approval of the chancery court, may incur expenses for engineering work, legal services, costs of publication and other administrative expenses, and other necessary preliminary expenses, including acquisition of easements and rights-of-way. For the payment of any such expenses the district may, with the approval of the chancery court, borrow money at a rate of interest not exceeding that allowed in Section 75-17-105, and issue negotiable notes or other evidences of indebtedness therefor, signed by the president and secretary of said board of commissioners, said notes or other evidences of indebtedness to be payable to the lender, or bearer, as said commissioners may elect. None of the said evidence of indebtedness so issued shall run for more than two (2) years, but they shall be subject to renewal for one (1) additional period up to two (2) years, and they shall be nontaxable. The commissioners may pledge all assessments on the land within the district made under provisions of this chapter for the payment of said evidences of indebtedness. Said obligations may be paid out of any general or special fund of the district, if organized, or out of the proceeds of the first assessments levied under this chapter. In the event said district is not organized after said indebtedness has been incurred, then the board of supervisors of the respective county or counties having territory or territories in such proposed district shall, on order of the chancery court, levy an acreage or an ad valorem tax against the lands embraced in said proposed district. If an ad valorem tax be levied, the board of supervisors may use for that purpose the assessments of the land according to the last assessment roll of the county in which said lands are situated; and in case the lands in the proposed district lie in more than one (1) county, then the chancery court shall apportion said indebtedness between the several counties, and the board of supervisors shall thereupon levy such apportioned tax upon the lands of their counties respectively, according to the ruling of the chancery court.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, bonds referred to hereinabove may be issued pursuant to the supplemental powers and authorizations conferred by the provisions of the Registered Bond Act, being Sections 31-21-1 through 31-21-7.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-106; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 6; Laws, 1966, ch. 270, § 3; Laws, 1972, ch. 529, § 1; Laws, 1983, ch. 494, § 16; Laws, 1985, ch. 477, § 7, eff from and after passage (approved April 8, 1985).

Federal Aspects—

Provisions relative to the United States Secretary of Agriculture, see 7 USCS §§ 1011, 1932, and 2204.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

50 Am. Jur. 2d, Levees and Flood Control § 6.

CJS.

52B C.J.S., Levees and Flood Control § 32.

§ 51-7-17. Approval of plans.

As soon as said plans have been developed as hereinbefore provided, a report thereof shall be made by the commissioners, who shall file the same with the clerk of the chancery court. Such report shall include the approval thereof by the board of any levee district within which any master water management district shall be located in whole or in part. Such report shall contain an estimate of the local share of the cost of carrying out the works of improvement, together with an estimate of the total benefits that will accrue to the land in the proposed district. Upon the filing of said report and after fixing a time, date, and place of hearing by the chancellor, the clerk of the chancery court shall thereupon give notice by publication that a hearing will be held on said report and designating a date not less than twenty days and not more than thirty days after the last publication of notice on which such hearing will be held. Said notice shall be published in a newspaper in each county wherein a part of such district is situated, such newspaper to have a general circulation in the area in said county wherein such portion of such district may be located; and said notice shall be published for three weeks in such newspaper. If there be no newspaper published in such county, then the notice provided herein shall be posted for not less than fifteen days, with one copy being posted on the bulletin board at the county courthouse and two copies posted at public places in the area proposed to be included in the master water management district. The notice shall call upon landowners in the district to show cause, if any, against approval of the report by the chancery court.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-106; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 6; Laws, 1966, ch. 270, § 3, eff from and after passage (approved June 17, 1966).

§ 51-7-19. Organization of district completed.

At the time named in said notice, or on a subsequent date to which the cause may be continued, the chancellor shall hear all property owners within the district who wish to appear and advocate or resist the carrying out of the work plans as filed within said district, and if he deems it to the best interest of the owners of the real property within said district that said plans be adopted, or adopted as modified by the chancellor, under the provisions of this chapter, he shall make an order approving said report as submitted or as modified. Thereupon the organization of said master water management district shall be deemed to be fully completed, and henceforth the district shall be a governmental subdivision of the state and a public body, corporate and politic, with authority to do and perform in the name of such district all such acts and things for the accomplishment of the purposes for which it was organized. However, if the chancellor shall disapprove said report and shall decline to allow its modification or resubmission, then such district shall not be organized and the terms of office of the commissioners shall terminate, except as to powers which may be necessary in effecting payment of any preliminary indebtedness as provided in Section 51-7-15, except that such termination shall not become final until the expiration of the time for an appeal without an appeal having been taken or, in the event an appeal is taken, until final determination of the proceeding has been made by the courts.

If upon the hearing provided for in this section, a petition is presented to the chancery court, or the chancellor in vacation, signed by a majority of the landowners owning one-third (1/3) of the land, or, one-third (1/3) of the landholders owning a majority of the land, praying that the improvements be made, it shall be the duty of the court or chancellor to make the order establishing the district, without further inquiry, if it appear that the establishment thereof be necessary for the promotion of public health and for agricultural purposes. However, if upon that day a petition signed by a majority of the landowners owning one-third (1/3) of the land, or one-third (1/3) of the landowners owning a majority of the land, be presented praying that the improvements be not made, it shall be the duty of the court or chancellor to so order, but if no such petition is filed it shall be the duty of the court or chancellor to investigate and to establish such district if he is of the opinion the establishment thereof will be to the advantage of the owners of real property therein, and is for the public benefit. The petition provided for therein may be signed by women, whether married or single, owning land in the proposed district, guardians may sign for their wards, and trustees, executors and administrators may sign for the estate represented by them; if the signature of any corporation thereto is attested by the corporate seal, the same shall be sufficient evidence of the assent of the corporation to said petition.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-106; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 6; Laws, 1966, ch. 270, § 3; Laws, 1972, ch. 529, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved May 23, 1972).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

50 Am. Jur. 2d, Levees and Flood Control § 6.

§ 51-7-21. Subsequent projects.

If the original plan was made only as to a part of the area within the master water management district, plans for any subsequent projects or works for the remaining area or any part thereof shall be submitted to the chancery court for approval in the manner provided herein, and all provisions and procedures of Sections 51-7-15 through 51-7-21 shall be applicable thereto, except that disapproval of such partial plans shall not terminate the organization of the district or the terms of office of the commissioners thereof.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-106; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 6; Laws, 1966, ch. 270, § 3, eff from and after passage (approved June 17, 1966).

§ 51-7-23. Appeals.

Any order of the chancery court in connection with a master water management district shall have the force of a judgment. Any owner of real property within the district or the board of commissioners may appeal from any such order to the supreme court within twenty days after said order has been made; but if no appeal is taken within that time, such order shall be deemed conclusive and binding.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-107; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 7, eff from and after passage (approved May 10, 1960).

Cross References —

Applicability of Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure to proceedings relative to creation and maintenance of drainage and water management districts, see Miss. R. Civ. P. 81.

§ 51-7-25. Powers of commissioners.

In addition to other powers provided in this chapter, the commissioners shall have power to adopt a seal of the district, which shall be judicially noticed; to fix the domicile of the master water management district; to make and execute contracts and other instruments necessary or convenient to the exercise of their powers; to adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary for carrying out the purposes of the chapter and the purposes of the district, if not inconsistent with the laws and constitution of this state; to sue and be sued in the name of the district; to employ such engineers, legal counsel, or other persons as may be necessary in accomplishing the work of the district; to obtain options upon and to acquire by purchase, exchange, lease, gift, grant, bequest, devise, or otherwise, or by the exercise of the power of eminent domain in the manner provided by the statutes of this state on eminent domain, any property, real or personal, or rights or interests therein reasonably necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter; to maintain, administer, and improve any property acquired, to receive income from such properties, and to expend such income in carrying out the purposes and provisions of this chapter; to conduct surveys, investigations, and research necessary in carrying out the purposes of the chapter; to sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of any property or interests therein in furtherance of the purposes and provisions of this chapter; to construct, operate, and maintain works of improvement; to perform responsibilities in operating and maintaining all pre-existing works of improvement which, with the approval of the chancery court and the consent of the master water management district, may be turned over to such district; to accept, with approval of the chancery court, gifts and conveyances of land, easements, or rights of way owned by an existing drainage or water management district that are to be used by the master water management district for the purposes of the master water management district, on condition that the master water management district assume the responsibility for maintaining the works of improvement that are constructed on such lands, easements, or rights of way; to accept any moneys or services for carrying out the purposes of the district; to cooperate or enter into agreements with any agency, governmental or otherwise, or any person, firm, or corporation in carrying out the purposes of this chapter; and to do any and all things which are not inconsistent with the laws or constitution of this state in carrying out the purposes for which such districts were created in connection with projects and works of improvement carried out under Public Law 566, 83rd Congress, as amended or under other laws of the United States.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-108; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 8, eff from and after passage (approved May 10, 1960).

Cross References —

Eminent domain generally, see §11-27-1 et seq.

Apportionment of taxes between counties lying in two or more districts, see §51-7-71.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

50 Am. Jur. 2d, Levees and Flood Control § 2.

CJS.

52B C.J.S., Levees and Flood Control § 24.

§ 51-7-27. Authority to borrow money and issue bonds.

For the purposes of carrying out the projects and responsibilities outlined herein, the board of commissioners shall have authority to borrow money at a rate of interest not exceeding that allowed in Section 75-17-105, to issue its bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness therefor in a principal amount not exceeding the total amount assessed against all the real property in the district under the provisions of this chapter. Such bonds shall be issued only with the approval of the chancery court and upon the same notice to landowners of the district given in the same manner as provided herein in Section 51-7-11, in connection with organization of the district. Such bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness shall bear a rate of interest not exceeding that allowed in Section 75-17-105, shall be issued in denominations of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), shall be signed by the president of said master water management district and countersigned by the secretary; shall bear the seal of the district; may be made payable either within or without the state, to the persons or person to whom sold, or bearer, or bearer simply, at the discretion of the commissioners; may be validated in the manner provided by law for validation of bonds; may have attached interest coupons bearing the facsimile signatures of the president and secretary of the district; and shall be sold at public sale, subject to approval of the chancery court. If any protest against issuance of such bonds shall be filed, such protest shall be heard and determination made thereon by the chancery court; and appeals may be taken either by the commissioners or the person filing the protest from the judgment or order of the court, in the manner provided herein for other appeals from judgments or orders of the court in connection with said master water management districts.

If it is found to be beneficial to the district, the commissioners may, in their discretion, deliver bonds by groups instead of for the total bond issue, with interest payable from the delivery date instead of the issue date, the delivery being made for an amount of money estimated to be needed to finance the district’s operation for a year.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, bonds referred to hereinabove may be issued pursuant to the supplemental powers and authorizations conferred by the provisions of the Registered Bond Act, being Sections 31-21-1 through 31-21-7.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-109; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 9; Laws, 1972, ch. 529, § 2; Laws, 1976, ch. 352, § 2; Laws, 1983, ch. 494, § 17; Laws, 1985, ch. 477, § 8, eff from and after passage (approved April 8, 1985).

§ 51-7-29. Assessments.

For the purposes of this chapter, including but not limited to the construction and maintenance of works of improvement, expenses of the board of commissioners, assessment of benefits, and for repayment of bonds and interest as provided herein, the commissioners of a master water management district shall have authority to assess the lands of the district in proportion to the benefits accruing to said lands; provided, however, that for the purpose of providing funds with which to clean out, restore, repair and rehabilitate the whole or any part of the drainage system of such district or for the purpose of cooperating with the United States or any agency thereof in such works, there may be imposed a uniform assessment by the commissioners of such master water management district or, upon resolution of said commissioners, by the commissioners of a drainage or subdrainage district on each acre of unsubdivided land lying within the master district and a uniform assessment by lot on subdivided land lying within the master district and the records required in this chapter shall show the amount of the assessment in lieu of the amount of benefits accruing to each tract. Taxes levied hereunder are hereby declared to be taxes for maintenance purposes and shall not diminish in any manner the amount of assessed benefits in any such district which is otherwise available for the payment of any outstanding bonds of such district.

The assessments provided for in this section may be made even though evidences of indebtedness have been issued or validated or both prior thereto, but the lien of the holders of any such indebtedness shall not be impaired thereby. No assessments shall be made against lands owned by the State of Mississippi or any political subdivision thereof, or lands owned by the United States of America or any agency thereof. Such assessment shall be made in such manner as to clearly show the name of the owner and the description of the lands against which the assessment is made. When the assessment has been made, the assessment roll shall be filed with the chancery clerk and notice of such assessment shall be given in the same manner that notice is given for other purposes as provided in Section 51-7-11. Such notice of assessment shall include the date which the chancellor has set for hearing of any protest of such assessment. Such protest shall affect only the assessment against the person or persons making the protest. The court on said date, or within thirty (30) days thereafter, shall pass upon the assessment roll; and he shall have the authority to approve the roll, order its revision, or modify same, within his discretion. After said roll has been approved by the court, copies thereof certified by the secretary of the board of commissioners shall be transmitted to the boards of supervisors and the tax collectors of the counties within which the lands of said master water management district are located, and the said boards of supervisors shall make the levy for taxes upon the said lands on said assessment roll on such percentage basis as is requested by the board of commissioners. If any landowners or the board of commissioners are aggrieved at any assessment approved by the chancellor, they shall have the right of appeal from the order of the chancellor as provided for under Section 51-7-23, but such appeal shall not stay the collection of any tax levied on such assessment. The tax collectors of the respective counties in which such lands are located shall collect the taxes at the regular times provided by law for the collection of real estate taxes, and shall remit such collections to the secretary of said district within thirty (30) days after expiration of the time provided for payment thereof. All provisions of law for the sale of land for delinquent ad valorem taxes shall be applicable in effecting collection of any delinquent taxes which may be due under provisions of this chapter, and suit may be maintained against any delinquent taxpayer hereunder in the manner provided by law. All liabilities and penalties pertaining to responsibilities and duties of the tax collector generally shall be applicable hereunder.

At any time within three (3) years after the completion of construction of improvements for which assessment has been made under the provisions hereof, or within six (6) months after the effective date of this section, whichever is later, any landowner or group of landowners upon whose lands the original assessment or benefits were improperly or erroneously made may file an action in the chancery court of proper jurisdiction requesting modification or removal of such assessments. Upon a hearing being had on such action the chancellor shall make such findings of fact as the evidence adduced may require and may either confirm the assessments as originally made or may order such changes therein as may be required so that the total cost of the works as constructed may be borne by those lands in the district actually benefited thereby in proportion to the benefits actually conferred thereon by such improvements except as otherwise provided in this section. Such order may be made even though evidences of indebtedness have been issued and validated prior thereto, but the lien of the holders of any such indebtedness shall not be impaired thereby.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-110; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 10; Laws, 1966, ch. 270, § 4; Laws, 1972, ch. 529, § 3(a); Laws, 1976, ch. 352, § 1; Laws, 1977, ch. 332, § 1; Laws, 1995, ch. 392, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved March 15, 1995).

Cross References —

Apportionment of taxes between counties lying in two or more districts, see §51-7-71.

§ 51-7-30. Assessment of benefited lands outside of district.

If the commissioners at any time either before or after the organization of the district find that other land not embraced within the boundaries of the district will be benefited by the proposed improvement or improvements already made, they shall assess the estimated benefit to such lands and shall specially report to the chancery court, or chancellor in vacation, the assessments which they have made on land beyond the boundaries of the district, as already established. It shall thereupon be the duty of the clerk of the chancery court to give notice by two (2) weekly insertions in a newspaper published in the county where such lands lie, describing the additional lands which have been assessed. The owners of real property so assessed shall be allowed not less than ten (10) days after the last required publication of such notice in which to file with the clerk of the chancery court in writing their protest against being so assessed, or included within the district. The chancery court, or chancellor in vacation, shall, within ninety (90) days, investigate the question whether the lands beyond the boundaries of the district so assessed by the commissioners will in fact be benefited by the making of the improvement, and from its finding in that regard, either the property owner or the commissioners may, within twenty (20) days, appeal to the supreme court. If the finding is in favor of the commissioners, the limits of the district shall be extended so as to embrace any lands that may be benefited by the making of the improvement.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-110(e); Laws, 1972, ch. 529, § 3(e), eff from and after passage (approved May 23, 1972).

§ 51-7-31. Damages.

In like manner of making assessments and at the same time and subject to the same rights of protest and appeal, the commissioners shall also assess and place opposite each tract of land on the assessment roll an estimate of all damages that will accrue to any landowner by reason of works or proposed works of improvement, including injury to lands taken or damaged; and when said commissioners return no assessment of damages as to any tract of land, it shall be deemed a finding by them that no damages will be sustained.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-110; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 10; Laws, 1966, ch. 270, § 4, eff from and after passage (approved June 17, 1966).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

50 Am. Jur. 2d, Levees and Flood Control §§ 7, 8.

CJS.

52B C.J.S., Levees and Flood Control § 18.

§ 51-7-33. Acquisition of easements and rights of way.

The commissioners may, at any time after the organization of the district, acquire permanent easements and rights of way for constructing, clearing, improving, and maintaining channels, canals and ditches within the district, in accordance with the provisions of Section 51-29-39, insofar as such provisions may be applicable. It shall not be necessary to personally summon the landowners affected, but in lieu thereof notice may be given by publication in the same manner as provided by Section 51-7-11, on plans and specifications of the district filed with the chancery clerk. The findings of the court, or chancellor in vacation, shall be final and have the force and effect of a judgment, from which appeal may be taken within twenty (20) days to the supreme court of the state, either by the property owner or by the commissioners of the district.

In lieu of the method herein provided for acquiring land and making compensation for damages, the commissioners may at any time after the organization of the district acquire permanent easements and rights-of-way for constructing and maintaining works of improvement within or without the district boundaries, such works of improvement to include floodwater retarding structures, impoundment structures and construction and improvement of channels, canals and ditches, in accordance with the provisions of Section 51-29-39, insofar as such provisions may be applicable.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-110; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 10; Laws, 1966, ch. 270, § 4; Laws, 1972, ch. 529, § 3(c, d), eff from and after passage (approved May 23, 1972).

§ 51-7-35. Additional and existing districts.

  1. After the organization of a master water management district, no additional drainage or water management districts shall be organized so as to include any of the area within the boundaries of the master water management district, except with the consent of the master water management district.
  2. Existing drainage or water management districts are hereby authorized to petition the chancery court and, with its approval and the consent of the master water management district, to convey without consideration to the master water management district lands, easements, or rights of way that are to be used by the master water management district for any of the purposes of such district upon the condition that the master water management district assumes the responsibility for maintaining the works of improvement on such lands, easements, or rights of way. Such existing districts are further authorized to petition the chancery court and, upon its approval and with the consent of the master water management district, to transfer to the master water management district the responsibility for operation and maintenance of any pre-existing works of improvement that are not included in the plans for the project under said Public Law 566, or other law of the United States.
  3. Financial obligations of existing drainage or water management districts shall not be affected or impaired by the creation of a master water management district or by the transfer to such district by any drainage or water management district of lands, easements, or rights of way as herein provided; nor shall any liens upon the lands of any drainage or water management district be impaired by the creation of any master water management district.
  4. Powers of existing drainage or water management districts shall not be affected by the creation of any master water management district, except with respect to works of improvement included in the plans for the project under said Public Law 566, or other law of the United States.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-111; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 11, eff from and after passage (approved May 10, 1960).

§ 51-7-37. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1980, ch. 440, § 28, eff from and after January 1, 1981.

[Codes, 1942, § 5956-112; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 12; Laws, 1966, ch. 270, § 5]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §51-7-37 related to contracts for construction or maintenance of works of improvement.

§ 51-7-39. Liability of commissioners.

No member of any board of commissioners of any master water management district shall be liable for any damages sustained by any one in the prosecution of the work under his charge, unless it shall be made to appear that he has acted with a corrupt and malicious intent.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-113; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 13, eff from and after passage (approved May 10, 1960).

§ 51-7-41. Requirements for dissolution.

Any master water management district which has no unmatured bonded indebtedness, and which has constructed no works of improvement or projects as set forth herein or which has completed all purposes for which it was created, may be dissolved by the chancery court which organized said district in the manner hereinafter provided, but the proceedings for its dissolution shall not be commenced within three years after the date of organization of such district.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-114; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 14, eff from and after passage (approved May 10, 1960).

§ 51-7-43. Dissolution procedure.

Whenever, after the expiration of the said period of three years, twenty-five landowners of any such district, or a majority of the landowners of any such district, excluding lands owned by the state, or any landowner or owners owning more than fifty percent (50%) of the total acreage of said district, excluding acreage owned by the state, shall sign and file with the clerk of the chancery court by which such district was organized a petition for the dissolution of such district, it shall be the duty of such clerk to give notice in the manner provided in Section 51-7-11 that a hearing will be held on such petition to dissolve such district. Such notice shall set the time and place in term time or vacation when the court shall consider said petition, and such notice shall command all interested persons to appear and show cause, if any they can, as to why such district should or should not be dissolved.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-114; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 14, eff from and after passage (approved May 10, 1960).

Cross References —

Applicability of Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure to proceedings relative to creation and maintenance of drainage and water management districts, see Rule 81 of Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure.

§ 51-7-45. Dissolution hearing and order.

On hearing, the chancery court shall hear the cause in the same manner as other causes in chancery, and shall dissolve or refuse to dissolve said district as shall appear in the best interests of the landowners, and shall enter an order accordingly. If an order of dissolution is entered, the court shall decree that no further expenses shall be incurred by the district, and all papers, records and documents of the district shall be deposited with the chancery court by the commissioners within fifteen days after said order. Costs of the dissolution proceeding in event of dissolution, including solicitors fees as might be allowed by the court, shall be assessed and taxed by the court to be collected in the same manner as other taxes and assessments of the district; but in event the district is not dissolved, all costs including solicitors fees shall be assessed against the petitioners.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-114; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 14, eff from and after passage (approved May 10, 1960).

Cross References —

Applicability of Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure to proceedings relative to creation and maintenance of drainage and water management districts, see Miss. R. Civ. P. 81.

§ 51-7-47. Outstanding claims.

Upon dissolution all powers of the district and its commissioners shall cease, except that any just claim, contract, or obligation shall not be impaired, and persons holding such claims shall, on notice of the dissolution as provided herein, file any such claim as they may have in the court; and the chancery court shall, upon the hearing for dissolution, pass upon such claims and order any assessment or levy as provided for other assessments to pay such claim in the event same shall be found justified, due, and owing by the district.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-114; Laws, 1960, ch. 175, § 14, eff from and after passage (approved May 10, 1960).

§ 51-7-49. Transfer of surplus funds of drainage districts.

Any drainage district organized under any laws of the State of Mississippi is hereby authorized to transfer to any master water management district created under this chapter, within which such drainage district is located, any surplus funds of such drainage district to be used for any lawful purpose for which such master water management district is authorized to use funds, including but not being limited to the payment of any costs incurred for engineering work, legal services, costs of publication and other administrative expenses, and any other necessary preliminary expenses.

The transfer of such funds is authorized to be made, in the discretion of the commissioners of any such drainage district involved, after the appointment, as provided by law, of commissioners for any such master water management district.

No funds shall be transferred under the provisions of this section that are needed and required to pay and retire bonds and interest due and owing by such district, or needed and required to pay debts and obligations previously incurred by said district and unpaid. If any part of such districts so transferring such funds is not embraced in the new master water management district, then such transferring district shall retain such funds as may be needed and necessary to service that part of said district not embraced in the master water management district.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-121; Laws, 1962, ch. 161, §§ 1-4.

Cross References —

Master water management districts generally, see §51-7-1 et seq.

Drainage districts generally, see §51-31-1 et seq.

Flood control generally, see §51-35-1 et seq.

Apportionment and Distribution of Taxes

§ 51-7-71. Contracts between districts as to apportionment and distribution of taxes collected in counties lying in two or more districts.

The governing bodies of the several water management districts and waterway districts heretofore or hereafter organized under authority of law in the State of Mississippi are authorized and empowered to negotiate and contract with each other in the apportionment and distribution of tax proceeds accruing from ad valorem taxes authorized the several districts under authority of law, from a county which lies within two or more such water management or waterway districts.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-211; Laws, 1964, ch. 248, eff from and after passage (approved April 30, 1964).

Chapter 8. Joint Water Management Districts

§ 51-8-1. Creation of joint water management district; petition to existing district.

  1. Any two (2) or more local governmental units, being defined herein to mean a county or municipality, may create a joint water management district in the manner set forth in this chapter.
  2. If any local governmental unit is located within an existing water management district, then the local governmental unit shall petition the district to provide a service or function needed by the petitioning unit, provided the service or function is one which the district has the power and authority to perform. Upon receipt of the petition, the existing district shall have ninety (90) days within which to respond affirmatively to the petition, setting forth its intent to meet the need or perform the service or function and its proposal or plan for meeting the need or performing the service or function. If the existing water district does not affirmatively respond in a timely fashion, then any two (2) or more local governmental units may create a joint water management district in the manner set forth in this chapter.
  3. The joint water management district may include any geographic area within the boundaries of the interested governmental units.
  4. A joint water management district may be created although adequate water supply, flood control, drainage or other water or wastewater management activities are being undertaken by one or more of the local governmental units interested in creating a joint water management district or by another corporate agency existing and operating within the geographical area of the joint water management district. The term “corporate agency,” as used herein, means any agency or subdivision of the state or federal government, any body politic and corporate created under the laws of this state, any utility, or any public or private profit or nonprofit corporation.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 1985; Laws, 1995, ch. 616, § 3, eff from and after July 1, 1995.

Cross References —

Provision that the authority of a joint water management district is specifically limited to that provided for in this section and certain other sections of this chapter, see §51-8-21.

Applicability of Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure to proceedings relative to creation and maintenance of drainage and water management districts, see Miss. R. Civ. P. 81.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts §§ 6 et seq.

50 Am. Jur. 2d, Levees and Flood Control § 6.

CJS.

52B C.J.S., Levees and Flood Control §§ 19 et seq.

94 C.J.S., Waters §§ 546 et seq.

§ 51-8-3. Purpose of district.

A joint water management district may be created for the purpose of establishing a water supply system, conserving water resources, developing additional water resources or any other water or wastewater management function not being performed by an existing water management district, except that such a district as described in Section 51-8-1 may not be created for the purpose of constructing, contracting for the construction of, or serving as a local sponsor for the construction of, any dam or other flood control facility or project, the primary purpose of which is to control flooding on any part of the Pearl River, Mississippi River, Yazoo River, Tombigbee River, Big Black River, Pearl River, Pascagoula River, Tallahatchie River, Yalobusha River, Homochito River, Buffalo River, Leaf River, Coldwater River, Sunflower River, Little Sunflower River, Wolf River, Yockanookany River, Ofahoma River, Strong River, Bogue Chitto River, Amite River, Bayou Pierre River, Tangipahoa River, Noxubee River, Buttahatchee River, Chunky River, Biloxi River, Tippah River, Hatchie River, Jourdan River, Bowie River, Chickasawhay River and Escatawpa River.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 2, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

Cross References —

Petition of corporate body to acquire and assume power, duties and responsibilities of joint water management district shall state intent of district to meet purposes set out in this section, see §51-8-63.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

The board of commissioners of a joint water management district may spend district funds for advertising and educational purposes as described in the water conversation initiative proposal if the board finds, as reflected by an order entered upon the minutes, that this expenditure of funds is necessary to fulfill the purposes of the district. 2004 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 156.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts §§ 6 et seq.

50 Am. Jur. 2d, Levees and Flood Control § 6.

CJS.

52B C.J.S., Levees and Flood Control §§ 19 et seq.

94 C.J.S., Waters §§ 546 et seq.

§ 51-8-5. Local government resolutions; contents.

Creation of a joint water management district shall be initiated by identical resolutions passed by each interested local governmental unit. Such resolution shall set forth in detail the geographic boundaries of the district, the function or functions to be performed by the district, a statement of the necessity for the creation of the district, the proposed corporate name of the district and any other information reasonably necessary to inform the constituency of the governmental unit of the purpose and obligations of the respective units proposing to form the district.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 3, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

Cross References —

Publication of the resolution specified in this section following a public hearing on the matter, see §51-8-11.

Circumstances in which the district described in the initial resolution may be created, see §51-8-13.

Provision that members of the board of commissioners shall be selected as provided in the initial resolution, see §51-8-21.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts §§ 6 et seq.

50 Am. Jur. 2d, Levees and Flood Control § 6.

CJS.

52B C.J.S., Levees and Flood Control §§ 19 et seq.

94 C.J.S., Waters §§ 498 et seq.

§ 51-8-7. Public hearings.

Each governmental unit proposing to form a joint water management district shall hold a public hearing in the same manner as set out in Section 19-5-155.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 4, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

Cross References —

Findings required with respect to need for district, see §51-8-9.

Payment of costs of the public hearing provided for in this section, see §51-8-15.

Provision that the authority of a joint water management district is specifically limited to that provided for in this section and certain other sections of this chapter, see §51-8-21.

Applicability of Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure to proceedings relative to creation and maintenance of drainage and water management districts, see Miss. R. Civ. P. 81.

§ 51-8-9. Findings required.

After the public hearing required by Section 51-8-7 and upon full consideration of all matters and facts presented at such hearing, each such local governmental unit shall make a finding that the public convenience and necessity requires the creation of the district and that the creation of the district is economically sound and feasible.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

Cross References —

Provision that the authority of a joint water management district is specifically limited to that provided for in this section and certain other sections of this chapter, see §51-8-21.

§ 51-8-11. Publication of findings; petition for election.

Upon the making of such finding, the governing body of each interested local governmental unit shall publish the finding accompanied by the initial resolution specified in Section 51-8-5 in the manner provided in Section 19-5-157.

If twenty percent (20%) or fifteen hundred (1500), whichever is lesser, of the qualified electors of a local governmental unit file a written petition with the governing body of such unit on or before the date specified for creation of the district, an election shall be held in the same manner prescribed by Section 19-5-157.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 6, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

Cross References —

Payment of costs of notices and election provided for in this section, see §51-8-15.

Provision that the authority of a joint water management district is specifically limited to that provided for in this section and certain other sections of this chapter, see §51-8-21.

Publication of resolution authorizing issuance of bonds, and elections relative to issuance of bonds, see §51-8-37.

§ 51-8-13. Adoption of resolution creating district.

If no petition requiring an election be filed or if three-fifths (3/5) of those voting in said election vote in favor of the creation of such district, the governing body of such local governmental unit shall adopt a resolution creating the district as described in the initial resolution specified in Section 51-8-5.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 7, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

Cross References —

Provision that the authority to a joint water management district is specifically limited to that provided for in this section and certain other sections of this chapter, see §51-8-21.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts §§ 6 et seq.

50 Am. Jur. 2d, Levees and Flood Control § 6.

CJS.

52B C.J.S., Levees and Flood Control §§ 19 et seq.

94 C.J.S., Waters §§ 546 et seq.

§ 51-8-15. Payment of costs.

All costs incident to the publication of the notices and all other costs incident to the public hearing and election provided in Sections 51-8-7 and 51-8-11 may be paid by the applicable governing body.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 8, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

Cross References —

Provision that the authority of a joint water management district is specifically limited to that provided for in this section and certain other sections of this chapter, see §51-8-21.

§ 51-8-17. Appeals from local government findings.

Any party having an interest in the subject matter and aggrieved or prejudiced by the findings and adjudication of the applicable governing body may appeal to the circuit court of the county in the manner provided by law for appeals from orders of such bodies. However, if no such appeal be taken within a period of thirty (30) days from and after the date of the adoption of the resolution creating any such district, the creation of such district shall be final and conclusive and shall not thereafter be subject to attack in any court.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 9, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

Cross References —

Applicability of Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure to proceedings relative to creation and maintenance of drainage and water management districts, see Miss. R. Civ. P. 81.

§ 51-8-19. District to be public corporation in perpetuity.

From and after the date of adoption of the resolution creating a joint water management district, such district shall be a public corporation in perpetuity in its corporate name and shall, in that name, be a body politic and corporate with power of perpetual succession.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 10, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts §§ 6 et seq.

50 Am. Jur. 2d, Levees and Flood Control § 6.

CJS.

52B C.J.S., Levees and Flood Control §§ 19 et seq.

94 C.J.S., Waters §§ 546 et seq.

§ 51-8-21. Board of commissioners; membership; authority; withdrawal of district member.

  1. The powers of each such district shall be vested in and exercised by a board of commissioners consisting of a minimum of five (5) members, to be selected in the manner provided in the initial resolution prescribed by Section 51-8-5. Provided, however, there shall be at least one (1) member from each county within the district.

    The resolution may provide that commissioners will be elected by the electors of the local governmental unit or units which they represent or that commissioners will be appointed by the governing body or bodies of the local governmental units which are members of the district. The resolution shall also prescribe the term of office, which shall not exceed five (5) years, and shall establish the length of initial terms, if staggered terms are to be used. Vacancies and unexpired terms shall be filled by the governing body of each local governmental unit.

  2. Notwithstanding the appointive authority herein granted to the said governing body, its legal and actual responsibilities, authority and function, subsequent to the creation of any such district, shall be specifically limited to said appointive function and the responsibilities outlined in Sections 51-8-1, 51-8-5, 51-8-7, 51-8-9, 51-8-11, 51-8-13, 51-8-15, 51-8-31, 51-8-33, 51-8-35, 51-8-43, 51-8-45, and 51-8-57. The operation, management, abolition or dissolution of such district, and all other matters in connection therewith, shall be vested solely and only in said board of commissioners to the specific exclusion of said governing body, and the abolition, dissolution or termination of any such district shall be accomplished only by unanimous resolution of the board of commissioners. However, such board of commissioners shall have no power, jurisdiction or authority to abolish, dissolve or terminate any such district while such district has any outstanding indebtedness of any kind or character.
  3. After a district is created, a local governmental unit may withdraw as a member thereof only if:
    1. The district has no outstanding indebtedness of any kind or character;
    2. Withdrawal would not impair the district’s water management plan or objectives;
    3. The withdrawing entity is not receiving benefits from the water management operations and activities of the district; and
    4. Withdrawal is approved by a three-fifths (3/5) vote of the board of commissioners.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 11, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

§ 51-8-23. Officers of board; duties; terms; official seal.

The board of commissioners shall organize by electing one (1) of its members as chairman and another as vice chairman. It shall be the duty of the chairman to preside at all meetings of the board and to act as the chief executive officer of the board and of the district. The vice chairman shall act in the absence or disability of the chairman. Such board also shall elect and fix the compensation of secretary-treasurer who may or may not be a member of the board. It shall be the duty of the secretary-treasurer to keep all minutes and records of the board and to safely keep all funds of the district. The secretary-treasurer shall be required to execute a bond, payable to the district, in a sum and with such security as shall be fixed and approved by the board of commissioners. The terms of all officers of the board shall be for one (1) year from and after the date of election, and shall run until their respective successors are appointed and qualified.

Each board of commissioners shall adopt an official seal with which to attest the official acts and records of the board and district.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 12, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

§ 51-8-25. Commissioners; qualifications; oath; compensation; meetings.

Every resident citizen of a local governmental unit in any district created pursuant to this chapter, of good reputation, being the owner of land or the conductor of a business situated within such district and being over twenty-one (21) years of age and of sound mind and judgment, shall be eligible to hold the office of commissioner.

Each person appointed as a commissioner, before entering upon the discharge of the duties of his office, shall be required to execute a bond payable to the State of Mississippi in the penal sum of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) conditioned that he will faithfully discharge the duties of his office; each such bond shall be approved by the clerk of the governing body of such unit and filed with said clerk.

Any commissioner who shall remove his residence from the local governmental unit from which he was appointed or elected shall be deemed to have automatically vacated his office.

Each commissioner shall take and subscribe to an oath of office prescribed in Section 268, Mississippi Constitution of 1890, before the clerk of said governing body that he will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of commissioner, which oath shall also be filed with said clerk and by him preserved with such official bond.

The commissioners so appointed and qualified shall be compensated on a per diem basis for their services for each meeting of the board of commissioners attended, either regular or special, at the rates established by law for state boards and commissions. Commissioners shall also be reimbursed for all expenses necessarily incurred in the discharge of their official duties in such amounts as are allowed for members of state boards and commissions.

The board of commissioners shall hold regular monthly meetings and such other special meetings as may be called by the chairman or a majority of the commissioners.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 13, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

§ 51-8-27. Rules and regulations of board.

The board of commissioners shall have the power to adopt, promulgate, modify and repeal, and to make exceptions to and grant exemptions and variances from, and to enforce, rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of the creation of the district, provided that such regulations shall conform to and not conflict with regulations promulgated by state regulatory agencies responsible for regulating the activities which the district was created to perform.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 14, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

§ 51-8-29. Powers of district, generally.

Districts created under this chapter shall have the powers set out in the creating resolution not inconsistent with the powers set forth in this chapter, and in addition, the power and authority to acquire, construct, reconstruct, improve, better, extend, consolidate, maintain and operate facilities and to contract with any municipality, person, firm or corporation for services and for a supply and distribution of water, for collection, transportation, treatment and/or disposal of sewage and for services required incident to the operation and maintenance of such systems. Except as provided elsewhere in this chapter, as long as any such district continues to furnish any of the services which it was authorized to furnish in and by the resolution by which it was created, it shall be the sole public corporation empowered to furnish such services within such district.

Any district created pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be vested with all the powers necessary and requisite for the accomplishment of the purpose for which such district is created. No enumeration of powers herein shall be construed to impair or limit any general grant of power herein contained nor to limit any such grant to a power or powers of the same class or classes as those enumerated. Such districts are empowered to do all acts necessary, proper or convenient in the exercise of the powers granted under such sections.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 15, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts §§ 6 et seq.

50 Am. Jur. 2d, Levees and Flood Control § 6.

CJS.

52B C.J.S., Levees and Flood Control §§ 19 et seq.

94 C.J.S., Waters §§ 546 et seq.

§ 51-8-31. Enumerated powers.

Any district created pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, acting by and through the board of commissioners of such district as its governing authority, shall have, among others, the following powers:

To sue and be sued;

To acquire by purchase, gift, devise, lease or any other mode of acquisition, and to hold or dispose of, real and personal property of every kind within or without the district;

To make and enter into contracts, conveyances, mortgages, deeds of trust, bonds, leases or contracts for financial advisory services;

To incur debts, to borrow money, to issue negotiable bonds, and to provide for the rights of the holders thereof;

To fix, maintain, collect and revise rates and charges for services rendered by or through the facilities of such district, which rates and charges shall not be subject to review or regulation by the Mississippi Public Service Commission except in those instances where a city operating similar services would be subject to regulation and review; however, said district shall obtain a certificate of convenience and necessity from the Mississippi Public Service Commission for operating water and/or sewer systems;

To pledge all or any part of its revenues to the payment of its obligations;

To make such covenants in connection with the issuance of bonds or to secure the payment of bonds that a private business corporation can make under the general laws of the state;

To use any right-of-way, public right-of-way, easement, or other similar property or property rights necessary or convenient in connection with the acquisition, improvement, operation or maintenance of the facilities of such district held by the state or any political subdivision thereof; however, the governing body of such political subdivision shall consent to such use;

To enter into agreements with state and federal agencies for loans, grants, grants-in-aid, and other forms of assistance, including, but not limited to, participation in the sale and purchase of bonds;

To acquire by purchase, lease, gift, or otherwise, any existing works and facilities providing services for which it was created, and any lands, rights, easements, franchises and other property, real and personal, necessary to the completion and operation of such system upon such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon, and, if necessary as part of the acquisition price, to assume the payment of outstanding notes, bonds or other obligations upon such system; however, if any corporate agency owning such facilities desires to continue providing such services, the corporate agency shall so notify the district not later than ninety (90) days after the effective date of the creation of the district, and the district shall thereupon relinquish its right to provide such services until and unless the corporate agency elects otherwise or fails to adequately provide such services;

To extend its services to areas beyond but within one (1) mile of the boundaries of such district; however, no such extension shall be made to areas already occupied by another corporate agency rendering the same service so long as such corporate agency desires to continue to serve such areas. Areas outside of the district desiring to be served which are beyond the one-mile limit must be brought into the district by annexation proceedings;

To be deemed to have the same status as counties and municipalities with respect to payment of sales taxes on purchases made by such districts;

To borrow funds for interim financing subject to receipt of funds as outlined in Section 51-8-35;

To choose a location within the district as the central office of the district;

To adopt a plan for management of the water resources of the district, provided that such plan first be submitted to and approved by the Commission on Natural Resources as consistent with the state water management plan or objectives;

To hire such personnel and contract for such legal, technical, or other services as the board of commissioners deems necessary for the operation of the district and fulfillment of its water management objectives; and

To secure connection to or participation in the services provided by the district, including the power to obtain mandatory or prohibitory injunctive relief; provided, however, that the authority of the board of commissioners shall not be exercised in conflict with the regulatory and enforcement authority of the Commission on Natural Resources.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 16, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

Joint Legislative Committee Note —

Pursuant to Section 1-1-109, the Joint Legislative Committee on Compilation, Revision and Publication of Legislation corrected a typographical error in paragraph (j). The word “relinguish” was changed to “relinquish.” The Joint Committee ratified the correction at its December 3, 1996, meeting.

Editor’s Notes —

Section 49-2-6 provides that wherever the term “Mississippi Commission on Natural Resources” appears in any law the same shall mean the Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality.

Cross References —

Provision that the authority of a joint water management district is specifically limited to that provided for in this section and certain other sections of this chapter, see §51-8-21.

Regulatory duties of the Mississippi Public Service Commission generally, see §77-3-1 et seq.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

A regional water supply district could enter into an agreement with Saltillo whereby Saltillo would provide funds for the construction of new infrastructure that would be the property of the district, the consideration for which would be a credit against water consumption. 2002 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 252.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts §§ 6 et seq.

50 Am. Jur. 2d, Levees and Flood Control § 6.

CJS.

52B C.J.S., Levees and Flood Control §§ 19 et seq.

94 C.J.S., Waters §§ 546 et seq.

§ 51-8-33. Powers of eminent domain.

The board of commissioners may exercise, on behalf of the district, such powers of eminent domain as are specified in the creating resolution wherever and whenever public necessity and convenience so requires.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 17, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

Cross References —

Provision that the authority of a joint water management district is specifically limited to that provided for in this section and certain other sections of this chapter, see §51-8-21.

Restriction of powers of Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, exclusion of power of eminent domain as provided for in this section, see §51-9-121.

Restriction of powers of Pearl River Basin Development District in regard to power of eminent domain as provided for in this section, see §51-11-13.

Restriction of powers of Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District in regard to power of eminent domain as provided for in this section, see §51-13-111.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

The eminent domain powers of joint water management districts referred to in Section 51-8-33 are those set forth in Sections 11-27-1 through 11-27-51. 2000 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 635.

§ 51-8-35. Issuance of bonds.

  1. Any such district shall have the power to provide funds for the purpose of constructing, acquiring, reconstructing, improving, bettering or extending the facilities of such district or for the purpose of buying, leasing or otherwise acquiring the assets and facilities of any nonprofit, nonshare corporation chartered under Title 79, Chapter 11, or any other utility district by the issuance of revenue bonds. Such bonds shall be payable solely and only from the revenues of such facilities, and such revenues may be pledged from a portion of the service area of the district to the support of debt service for a specific series or issue of bonds if such apportionment is economically feasible.
  2. Any such district shall have the power to provide funds, in addition to or in conjunction with the funds authorized in subsection (1) of this section, for water supply or pollution abatement projects by issuing special improvement pollution abatement bonds, special improvement water bonds, or combinations of special improvement water and sewer bonds, if the resolution creating the district authorized the governing bodies of the local governmental bodies to make assessments against benefitted properties as outlined in Section 51-8-45. Such bonds shall be payable solely and only from charges assessed to benefitted properties as outlined in said Section 51-8-45.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 18, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

Cross References —

Provision that the authority of a joint water management district is specifically limited to that provided for in this section and certain other sections of this chapter, see §51-8-21.

Powers of district, including the power to borrow funds for interim financing subject to receipt of funds as outlined in this section, see §51-8-31.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

64 Am. Jur. 2d, Public Securities and Obligations §§ 95-112.

CJS.

11 C.J.S., Bonds §§ 7 et seq.

§ 51-8-37. Procedures for issuance of bonds; form, content, and terms of bonds.

  1. The board of commissioners of any district created pursuant to this chapter may issue revenue or special improvement bonds of such district by resolution spread upon the minutes of such board. Bonds may be issued from time to time without an election being held upon the question of their issuance unless the board of commissioners of the district is presented with a petition for an election upon the question of issuance signed by twenty percent (20%) or fifteen hundred (1500), whichever is lesser, of the qualified electors residing within the district. The resolution authorizing any issue of bonds other than the initial issue shall be published in a manner similar to the publication of the resolution, as outlined in Section 51-8-11. If an election is required, it shall be held in substantial accord with the election outlined in Section 51-8-11. The cost of this election shall be borne by the district.
  2. All bonds shall be lithographed or engraved and printed in two (2) or more colors to prevent counterfeiting. They shall be in denominations of not less than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), and may be registered as issued, and shall be numbered in a regular series from one (1) upward. Each such bond shall specify on its face the purpose for which it was issued, the total amount authorized to be issued, the interest on the bond, and that such bonds shall never constitute nor give rise to a pecuniary liability of the district or local governmental unit or a charge against the general credit or taxing powers of the local governmental unit.
  3. Such bonds shall contain such covenants and provisions; shall be executed; shall be in such form, format, type, denomination or denominations; shall be payable as to principal and interest, at such place or places; and shall mature at such time or times, all as shall be determined by such board of commissioners and set forth in the resolution pursuant to which such bonds shall be issued. The date of maturity of such bonds shall not exceed forty (40) years from the date of the bonds, except that on special improvement pollution abatement bonds, special improvement water bonds, or special improvement water and sewer bonds, the date of maturity shall not exceed twenty-five (25) years from their date.
  4. No bonds shall bear a greater overall maximum interest rate to maturity than that allowed in Section 75-17-103; no bond shall bear more than one (1) rate of interest; each bond shall bear interest from its date to its stated maturity date at the interest rate specified on the bonds; all bonds of the same maturity shall bear the same rate of interest from date to maturity. All interest accruing on such bonds so issued shall be payable semiannually, or annually, except that the first interest payment may be for any period not exceeding one (1) year. No interest payment on bearer bonds shall be evidenced by more than one (1) coupon and neither cancelled nor supplemental coupons shall be permitted. The lowest interest rate specified for any bonds issued shall not be less than sixty percent (60%) of the highest interest rate specified for the same bond issue.
  5. Such bonds shall be signed by the chairman and secretary-treasurer of the commission with the seal of the commission affixed thereto; however, the coupons may bear only the facsimile signatures of such chairman and secretary-treasurer.
  6. Any provisions of the general laws to the contrary notwithstanding, any bonds and interest coupons issued pursuant to the authority of this chapter shall be securities within the meaning of Article 8 of the Uniform Commercial Code, being Section 75-8-101 et seq.
  7. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, bonds referred to hereinabove may be issued pursuant to the supplemental powers and authorizations conferred by the provisions of the Registered Bond Act, being Sections 31-21-1 through 31-21-7.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 19, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

64 Am. Jur. 2d, Public Securities and Obligations §§ 113 et seq.

15A Am. Jur. Legal Forms 2d, Public Securities and Obligations §§ 214:10 et seq.

CJS.

11 C.J.S., Bonds §§ 7 et seq.

§ 51-8-39. Sale of bonds; interest rates; refunds; validation.

The bonds issued under this chapter shall be sold for not less than par value plus accrued interest at public sale in the manner provided for in Section 31-19-25, Mississippi Code of 1972; however, bonds may be sold to the United States of America or an agency or instrumentality thereof at private sale.

Each interest rate specified in any bid must be in multiples of either one-tenth of one percent (1/10 of 1%) or one-eighth of one percent (1/8 of 1%), and a zero rate of interest cannot be named.

Any revenue bonds issued under the provisions of this chapter may be refunded in like manner as revenue bonds of municipalities shall be refunded.

Any bonds issued under the provisions of this chapter shall be submitted to validation under the provisions of Sections 31-13-1 through 31-13-11.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 20, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

64 Am. Jur. 2d, Public Securities and Obligations §§ 148 et seq.

15A Am. Jur. Legal Forms 2d, Public Securities and Obligations §§ 214:52 et seq.

CJS.

11 C.J.S., Bonds §§ 7 et seq.

§ 51-8-41. Creation and enforcement of lien; appointment of receiver.

There is hereby created a statutory lien in the nature of a mortgage lien upon any system or systems acquired or constructed in accordance with this chapter, including all extensions and improvements thereof or combinations thereof subsequently made, which lien shall be in favor of the holder or holders of any bonds issued pursuant to said sections, and all such property shall remain subject to such statutory lien until the payment in full of the principal of and interest on said bonds. Any holder of said bonds or any of the coupons representing interest thereon may, either at law or in equity, by suit, action, mandamus or other proceedings, in any court of competent jurisdiction, protect and enforce such statutory lien and compel the performance of all duties required by said sections, including the making and collection of sufficient rates for the service or services, the proper accounting thereof, and the performance of any duties required by covenants with the holders of any bonds issued in accordance herewith.

If any default is made in the payment of the principal of or interest on such bonds, any court having jurisdiction of the action may appoint a receiver to administer said district and said system or systems, with power to charge and collect rates sufficient to provide for the payment of all bonds and obligations outstanding against said system or systems, and for payment of operating expenses, and to apply the income and revenues thereof in conformity with the provisions of this chapter and any covenants with bondholders.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 21, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

64 Am. Jur. 2d, Public Securities and Obligations §§ 209 et seq.

CJS.

11 C.J.S., Bonds §§ 99 et seq.

§ 51-8-43. Special tax levy; district authorized to expend tax funds on projects related to Mississippi Delta Study.

  1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2), the governing body of any local governmental unit which is a member of any such district may, according to the terms of the resolution, levy a special tax, not to exceed two (2) mills, on all of the taxable property in such district, the avails of which shall be paid over to the board of commissioners of the district to be used for preparation and implementation of the district’s water management plan, exclusive of capital expenditures, and operation of the administrative office of the district. Provided, however, that such special tax shall not be levied against any property in any portion of such district where the district has relinquished and surrendered its prior right to provide a particular service, as provided elsewhere in this chapter.
  2. The Board of Commissioners of the Yazoo-Mississippi Joint Water Management District is authorized to expend funds generated from the special tax levy under subsection (1) in connection with projects under the USDA, NRCS Mississippi Delta Comprehensive, Multipurpose Water Resource Plan hereinafter referred to as the “Mississippi Delta Study.” Such projects include low flows, interbasin transfers of new water supplies, on-farm storage reservoirs or conservation, and implementation activities such as the Sunflower River Low Flow Project and Well Field Project in Coahoma County, Mississippi. Expenditures under this subsection may include in-kind expenditures as well as direct expenditures, the cost and expenses of construction, operation and maintenance of the projects, and the cost and expenses of an indirect nature, such as technological assistance, engineering and scientific evaluation and analysis by technical personnel, labor, transportation and any expenditure that is intended to satisfy the districts’ in-kind obligations in connection with the projects. However, the expenditures authorized by this subsection shall not extend to any project that relates to, encompasses or includes effluent treatment facilities or any water supply system to which the Safe Drinking Water Act applies, and any other projects that are determined by the district to be beyond the scope of the Mississippi Delta Study Projects.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 22; Laws, 2005, ch. 363, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Mar. 15, 2005.).

Amendment Notes —

The 2005 amendment added “Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2)” at the beginning of (1); and added (2).

Cross References —

Provision that the authority of a joint water management district is specifically limited to that provided for in this section and certain other sections of this chapter, see §51-8-21.

Provision that territory annexed by a joint water management district shall be subject to taxes levied by a local governing body under this section, see §51-8-53.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts §§ 6 et seq.

50 Am. Jur. 2d, Levees and Flood Control § 6.

CJS.

52B C.J.S., Levees and Flood Control §§ 19 et seq.

93 C.J.S., Waters §§ 546 et seq.

§ 51-8-45. Funds for debt service for special improvement bonds.

  1. Funds for debt service for special improvement pollution abatement bonds, special improvement water bonds, or special improvement water and sewer bonds issued in lieu of or in conjunction with revenue bonds shall be provided by charges upon the properties benefitted according to procedures set forth in this section.
  2. So long as any special improvement bond authorized by this chapter shall remain outstanding, it shall be the duty of the governing bodies at the time its annual tax levies are made, to levy such assessments as are certified to them by the district as being due and payable at a stated time. It shall be the duty of the tax collector of each such governing body to collect such charges and pay the funds collected to the board of commissioners of the district for payment to interest and principal and to the retirement of bonds issued by the district in accord with the maturities schedule pertaining thereto.
  3. One (1) of the following procedures may be utilized in providing funds as authorized by this section:
    1. Funds for debt service may be provided by charges assessed against the property abutting upon the sewer, or abutting upon the railroad and/or utility right-of-way, street, road, highway, easement or alley in which such sewer mains or water mains are installed according to the frontage thereof.

      The board of commissioners of the district, after giving notice and hearing protests in the manner prescribed by Sections 21-41-5 and 21-41-7, shall, by resolution spread upon its minutes, define the services to be offered and the entire area to be benefitted by each improvement; each such improvement may be designated as a project, or all such improvements may be designated as one (1) project. However, if forty percent (40%) of the property owners or the owners of more than forty percent (40%) of the front footage of the property involved and actually residing on property owned by them and included within that part of any street, avenue, etc., ordered to be specially improved, or otherwise actually occupying property owned by them and included within that area designated as a project, shall file a protest, then the improvement shall not be made and the assessment shall not be made.

      The resolution shall direct that the cost to be assessed against each lot or parcel of land shall be determined by dividing the entire assessable cost of the project by the total number of front feet fronting on the street, easement or other right-of-way in which all of the mains embraced within the project are installed and multiplying the quotient by the total number of front feet in any particular lot or parcel of land fronting on the street, easement or other right-of-way in which sewer mains or water mains are installed. The result thereof shall be delivered by the board of commissioners of the district to the applicable governing body as the amount of special tax to be assessed against each lot or piece of ground for the owner’s part of the total cost of the improvements.

      The resolution, at the discretion of the governing authorities of the district, may provide for the district to pay the assessment against any property abutting a sewer or water improvement, if the property whose assessment is being paid by the district is occupied by a contributor or consumer connected to the sewer or water system who is, or will be, paying service charges at the time the assessment roll maintained by the district is confirmed; provided, however, such payment shall not exceed an amount equal to that assessed against any one hundred twenty-five (125) feet of frontage of abutting property in a project.

      The resolution may, at the discretion of the governing authorities of the district, provide for the district to pay the assessment against any property abutting a section of sewer main or water main designated as necessary and essential to the overall operation of such system or systems; provided, however, no service shall be provided to any such abutting property until and unless all such payments made by the district are repaid to the district by the owners of such benefitted property.

    2. Funds for debt service may be provided by charges assessed against a lot or block in a recorded subdivision of land or by other appropriately designated parcel or tract of land in accord with the following procedure:

      The board of commissioners of the district, after giving notice and hearing protests in the manner prescribed by Sections 21-41-5 and 21-41-7, shall by resolution spread upon its minutes define the services to be offered and the entire area to be benefitted by each improvement; each such improvement may be designated as a project, or all such improvements may be designated as one (1) project. However, if forty percent (40%) of the property owners or the owners of more than forty percent (40%) of the front footage of the property involved and actually residing on property owned by them and included within that part of any street, avenue, etc., ordered to be specifically improved, or otherwise actually occupying property owned by them and included within that area designated as a project, shall file a protest, then the improvement shall not be made and the assessment shall not be made.

      Charges shall be assessed in accord with the provisions of Sections 21-41-9 through 21-41-21 and 21-41-25 through 21-41-39.

      The resolution providing for assessments under the provisions of this subsection, at the discretion of the governing authorities of the district, may provide for the district to pay the assessment against any lot or parcel of ground not exceeding one (1) acre in size, if such property is occupied by a contributor or consumer connected to the sewer or water system who is, or will be, paying service charges at the time the assessment roll maintained by the district is confirmed.

      The resolution providing for assessment of benefitted properties under this procedure shall provide for appropriate payment to debt service accounts by property owners not included in the original assessment roll but benefitted by facilities installed with funds provided by such assessments at, or prior to, the time at which a nonassessed but benefitted property is actually served by said facilities.

    3. Funds for debt service may be provided by charges assessed against lands of the district in proportion to the benefits accruing to said lands in accord with the following procedure:

      The board of commissioners of the district, after giving notice and hearing protests in the manner prescribed by Sections 21-41-5 and 21-41-7, shall by resolution spread upon its minutes define the services to be offered and the entire area to be benefitted by each improvement; each such improvement may be designated as a project, or all such improvements may be designated as one (1) project. However, if forty percent (40%) of the property owners or the owners of more than forty percent (40%) of the property included within that area designated as a project, shall file a protest, then the improvement shall not be made and the assessment shall not be made.

      Charges shall be assessed in applicable manner following the provisions of Sections 21-41-9 through 21-41-21 and 21-41-25 through 21-41-39.

      The resolution providing for assessments under the provisions of this subsection, at the discretion of the governing authorities of the district, may provide for the district to pay the assessment against any lot or parcel of ground not exceeding one (1) acre in size, if such property is occupied by a contributor or consumer connected to the sewer or water system who is, or will be, paying service charges at the time the assessment roll maintained by the district is confirmed.

      The resolution providing for assessment of benefitted properties under this procedure shall provide for appropriate payment to debt service accounts by property owners not included in the original assessment roll but benefitted by facilities installed with funds provided by such assessments at, or prior to, the time at which a nonassessed but benefitted property is actually served by said facilities.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 23, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

Cross References —

Provision that the authority of a joint water management district is specifically limited to that provided for in this section and certain other sections of this chapter, see §51-8-21.

Power of district to provide funds for water supply or pollution abatement projects by issuing special improvement bonds, see §51-8-35.

§ 51-8-47. Rates, fees, tolls, and charges; penalties for nonpayment.

The board of commissioners of the district issuing bonds pursuant to this chapter shall prescribe and collect reasonable rates, fees, tolls or charges for the services, facilities and commodities of its system or systems; shall prescribe penalties for the nonpayment thereof; and shall revise such rates, fees, tolls or charges from time to time whenever necessary to insure the economic operation of such system or systems. The rates, fees, tolls or charges prescribed shall be, as nearly as possible, such as will always produce revenue at least sufficient to:

Provide for all expenses of operation and maintenance of the system or systems, including reserves therefor;

Pay when due all bonds and interest thereon for the payment of which such revenues are or shall have been pledged, charged or otherwise encumbered, including reserves therefor; and

Provide funds for reasonable expansions, extensions and improvements of services.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 24, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

§ 51-8-49. Tax exemption.

The property and revenue of such district shall be exempt from all state, county and municipal taxation. Bonds issued pursuant to this chapter and the income therefrom shall be exempt from all state, county and municipal taxation, except inheritance, transfer and estate taxes, and it may be so stated on the face of said bonds.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 25, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

§ 51-8-51. Construction contracts.

All construction contracts by the district shall be made in accordance with the laws governing public contracts for counties and municipalities, being Sections 31-5-3 through 31-5-57.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 26, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

Editor’s Notes —

Sections 31-5-5 through 31-5-13, referred to in this section, were repealed by Laws of 1980, ch. 520, § 5, effective from and after April 1, 1981.

§ 51-8-53. Annexation of adjacent area; services within annexed territory.

Any area adjacent to any district created pursuant to this chapter may be annexed to and become a part of such district by the same procedure as prescribed for the original creation of the district. All costs incident to the publication of notice and all other costs incident to the hearings, election and proceedings shall be paid by the district.

The district shall have the exclusive right to provide any of the services for which it was created in the annexed territory; however, if any part of the annexed territory is then being served by another corporate agency with any such service, the district shall, at the option of the other corporate agency, either relinquish its prior right to serve the area occupied by the corporate agency or acquire by purchase the facilities of such corporate agency, together with its franchise rights to serve such area.

If the option is for the district to purchase, upon notification thereof, the district shall be obligated to buy and pay for, and the corporate agency shall be obligated to convey to the district, all its service facilities and franchise rights in the annexed area. Such property shall be acquired by the district in accordance with such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon, and the district shall have the authority to assume the operation of such entire system or facility and to assume and become liable for the payment of any notes, bonds or other obligations that are outstanding against said system or facility and payable from the revenues therefrom.

If the district is notified to relinquish its prior right to serve the annexed area, the district shall grant the corporate agency a franchise to serve within the annexed territory; however, the corporate agency shall be entitled to serve only such customers or locations within the annexed area as it served on the date that such annexation became effective.

The annexed territory shall become liable for any existing indebtedness of the district and be subject to any taxes levied by a local governing body under Section 51-8-43.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 27, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

A city may be annexed by a joint water management district in accordance with Section 51-8-53, without affecting the continuing existence of another joint water management district, so long as the services offered by the two districts do not overlap and the total ad valorem taxation assessed by the participating governmental units on property in the city does not exceed the maximum permitted in Section 51-8-43. 2006 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 630.

§ 51-8-55. Agreements with state or federal government.

The board of commissioners of any district created pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall have the authority to enter into cooperative agreements with the state or federal government, or both; to obtain financial assistance in the form of loans or grants as may be available from the state or federal government, or both; and to execute and deliver at private sale notes or bonds as evidence of such indebtedness in the form and subject to the terms and conditions as may be imposed by the state or federal government, or both; and to pledge the income and revenues of the district, or the income and revenues from any part of the area embraced in the district, in payment thereof. It is the purpose and intention of this section to authorize districts to do any and all things necessary to secure the financial aid or cooperation of the state or federal government, or both, in the planning, construction, maintenance or operation of project facilities.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 28, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

§ 51-8-57. Applicability of municipal standards.

When any district is created within three (3) miles of the corporate boundaries of any existing municipality, the municipality is empowered to require such district to construct and maintain all facilities, whether purchased or constructed, to standards commensurate with those of the adjoining municipality; provided, however, the governing authorities of the municipalities may specifically waive compliance with any or all of such requirements.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 29, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

Cross References —

Provision that the authority of a joint water management district is specifically limited to that provided for in this section and certain other sections of this chapter, see §51-8-21.

§ 51-8-59. Additional statutory authority not required.

The provisions of this chapter, without reference to any other statute or statutes, shall be deemed to be full and complete authority for the creation of such districts and for the issuance of such bonds. No proceedings shall be required for the creation of such districts or for the issuance of such bonds other than those provided for and required herein. All the necessary powers to be exercised by the governing bodies of member local governing units and by the board of commissioners of any such district, in order to carry out the provisions of such sections, are hereby conferred.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 30, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

§ 51-8-61. Publication and filing of annual statement; contents.

Within ninety (90) days after the close of each fiscal year, the board of commissioners shall publish in a newspaper of general circulation in the county a sworn statement showing the financial condition of the district, the earnings for the fiscal year just ended, a statement of the water and sewer rates being charged and a brief statement of the method used in arriving at such rates. Such statement shall also be filed with the local governmental units creating the district.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 481, § 31, eff from and after July 1, 1985.

§ 51-8-63. Corporate body, acquisition and assumption of powers, duties and responsibilities of joint water management district; petition; water management plan; grant of water management district status.

  1. If authorized pursuant to Section 51-9-121, 51-11-13, 51-13-111 or 51-15-119, as applicable, any corporate body organized under the provisions of Chapters 9, 11, 13 and 15 of Title 51, Mississippi Code of 1972, may elect by resolution duly adopted by its board of directors, to acquire and assume the power, duties and responsibilities of a joint water management district as set forth in Sections 51-8-27 through 51-8-55, Mississippi Code of 1972, by petitioning the Commission on Environmental Quality. The petition shall be in the form and content as prescribed by the commission and shall state the intention of the district to perform functions meeting the purposes for the creation of joint water management districts set out in Section 51-8-3, Mississippi Code of 1972.
  2. The commission may deny, grant preliminary approval of the petition and request additional information or grant preliminary approval of the petition and direct the district to proceed with the formulation of a water management plan for the district.
  3. No petition shall be finally and unconditionally granted until the district has submitted to the commission a water management plan for the district that meets the criteria set forth by the commission. Upon submission of a district water management plan and the satisfactory completion of any other requirements, the commission may finally and unconditionally approve the district’s petition and grant the district joint water management district status.

HISTORY: Laws, 1995, ch. 616, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 1995.

Cross References —

Pearl River Valley Water Supply District required to comply with this section before exercising powers and duties, see §51-9-121.

Pearl River Basin Development District required to comply with this section before exercising powers and duties, see §51-11-13.

Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District required to comply with this section before exercising powers and duties, see §51-13-111.

§ 51-8-65. Creation of joint district, approval of Commission required; approval of water management plan a condition for creation; amendments to plan; permits, grants and loans to be consistent with plan.

  1. From and after July 1, 1995, no joint water management district shall be created without the approval of the Commission on Environmental Quality. The commission may establish criteria for the approval of a request to create a joint water management district, but may not finally approve a request and grant joint water management district status until a water management plan for the proposed district has been approved by the commission. Any amendments to the district’s water management plan must also be approved by the commission.
  2. After the granting of joint water management district status to a district by the commission, neither the department, the permit board nor any other agency in the State of Mississippi shall issue any permit, grant or loan for any water related facility or project that is not consistent with a district’s water management plan.
  3. In its consideration of the consistency of a project, grant or loan with a district’s water management plan, the department, permit board or other agency shall notify the affected water management district of the request for a permit, grant or loan and give the district a reasonable time, but not less than ten (10) days nor more than thirty (30) days, to respond to the request.

HISTORY: Laws, 1995, ch. 616, § 2, eff from and after July 1, 1995.

Cross References —

Pearl River Valley Water Supply District required to comply with this section before exercising powers and duties, see §51-9-121.

Pearl River Basin Development District required to comply with this section before exercising powers and duties, see §51-11-13.

Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District required to comply with this section before exercising powers and duties, see §51-13-111.

Chapter 9. Development of Region Bordering Pearl River; Pearl River Valley Water Supply District; Metropolitan Area Water Supply Act

Article 1. Development of Region Bordering Pearl River.

§ 51-9-1. Pearl River Industrial Commission created.

There is created the Pearl River Industrial Commission, composed of Hinds, Leake, Madison, Neshoba, Rankin and such other counties in the state through which or bordering which the Pearl River runs. The Governor shall appoint one (1) member to the commission from each county from a list of three (3) names to be submitted by the board of supervisors in each participating county. The three (3) names submitted by the board of supervisors of Madison County and the board of supervisors of Rankin County shall be the names of persons who reside on and are holders of residential leases from the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District that are located in Madison County and Rankin County, respectively, or who reside in established subdivisions in Madison County and Rankin County, respectively, in which some of the residential property of the subdivision is leased from the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District. In his appointment the Governor shall designate the chairman and vice chairman of the commission. Each member of the commission shall serve for a term concurrent with that of the Governor. The board of supervisors in any county through which or by which the Pearl River runs, other than those counties named above, may bring that county in as a member of the commission by resolution presented to the Governor; and the board of supervisors in such county may, in its discretion, call an election before taking such action, the election to be held as nearly as possible in the same manner other elections are held in the county.

The member appointed from Madison County who is serving on July 1, 2012, shall continue to serve until January 1, 2013, after which date the Governor shall appoint a member from Madison County who meets the residency requirements of this section. The person appointed under the provisions of this paragraph shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-41; Laws, 1956, ch. 169, §§ 1-5; Laws, 1979, ch. 309; Laws, 2012, ch. 549, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 2012.

Amendment Notes —

The 2012 amendment, in the first paragraph, deleted “hereby” preceding “created” in the first sentence, in the third sentence, inserted “the board of supervisors of Madison County”, substituted “that are located in Madison County and Rankin County” for “which are located in Rankin County”, and added “respectively, or who reside in established subdivisions in Madison County and Rankin County, respectively, in which some of the residential property of the subdivision is leased from the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District” at the end, inserted the fifth sentence, and in the last sentence, substituted “before taking such action, the election” for “prior to taking such action, said election”; and added the last paragraph.

Cross References —

Provision that the Pearl River Industrial Commission shall receive assistance from the Division of Regional Water Resources, see §51-3-18.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Pearl River Basin Development District is, in specific and limited context of state purchasing laws, governing authority, and as such may exercise discretionary authority afforded other governing authorities with respect to purchase of liability insurance. 1992 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 717.

§ 51-9-3. Compensation and organization.

The members shall serve without pay except they shall be reimbursed out of county funds provided by this article for their actual traveling expenses and other necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties, in an amount equal to travel and subsistence expenses allowed state employees under law. Upon appointment, said members shall meet and organize at some place designated by the governor, which shall be in one of the participating counties; and the members shall set a regular time and place for the members of the commission to meet, secure offices and all necessary equipment, and employ such engineering, professional, clerical, stenographic, and other assistance as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this article. An executive director may be appointed by the board if this is deemed advisable, and salaries of all personnel may be paid out of funds provided under the terms of this article in an amount agreeable to the commission.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-41; Laws, 1956, ch. 169, §§ 1-5.

§ 51-9-5. Powers and duties.

The Pearl River Industrial Commission is hereby authorized and empowered to do any and all things necessary or deemed by it advisable in making a survey or surveys of the region bordering the Pearl River, to investigate the possibilities of developing such areas from an industrial, irrigational, and recreational standpoint, to attract new industries, and to conserve available water for irrigational and industrial purposes, acting in co-operation with the federal government or any agency thereof and with any other interested groups. It is contemplated that plans be considered and drawn and surveys made for the location of industrial sites and making the most advantageous use of available water supplies, to protect against pollution and to devise methods of disposing of industrial waste, and adapting a long-range plan of sewerage disposal for the area. The commission is charged with the responsibility of co-operating with the state board of water commissioners created by Section 51-3-15.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-41; Laws, 1956, ch. 169, §§ 1-5.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

The provisions of Chapter 169, Laws of 1956 and Chapter 197, Laws of 1958 are applicable in determining the original purposes of the Ross Barnett Reservoir. 1997 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 445.

§ 51-9-7. Funding.

The commission shall be financed in all its activities from funds made available by each of the associated counties, and each such county is authorized and empowered to contribute any amount or amounts which the board of supervisors thereof shall deem advisable, acting in their sole discretion, to be paid from the general county fund of the respective counties.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-41; Laws, 1956, ch. 169, §§ 1-5.

§ 51-9-9. Article supplementary to other laws.

This article shall be considered supplemental and additional to any and all other laws, and confers sufficient authority in and of itself for the purposes set forth herein.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-41; Laws, 1956, ch. 169, §§ 1-5.

§ 51-9-11. Donations by certain counties and municipalities.

The board of supervisors of any of the several counties of this state bordering on the Pearl River, or through which the Pearl River flows, and the governing authority of any municipality within any such county are each respectively hereby authorized and empowered, in their sole discretion, to appropriate and donate such a sum of money as said board of supervisors or governing authority shall deem reasonable and advisable to assist any nonprofit, nonshare corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Mississippi for the purpose of planning and developing the resources and industrial, agricultural, and recreational potentials of the Pearl River. Any donation made by the board of supervisors of any county or the governing authority of any municipality under the authority of this section shall be evidenced by an order spread upon the minutes of said board or governing authority, and shall be paid out of general funds in their respective treasuries, to be drawn by warrant thereon payable directly to such a nonprofit, nonshare corporation.

Any additional tax levy made to support any appropriations or donations under authority of this section shall not be refundable under the homestead exemption laws of this state.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-91; Laws, 1963, 1st Ex. Sess., ch. 12, §§ 1-3, eff from and after passage (approved March 2, 1963).

Article 3. Pearl River Valley Water Supply District.

§ 51-9-101. Citation of article.

This article may be cited as the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District Law.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-51; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

Cross References —

Provision that the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District shall receive assistance from the Division of Regional Water Resources, see §51-3-18.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

An action to enjoin a taking of property under this statute may not be brought in a federal court where a remedy is available in the state courts. Brown v. Pearl River Valley Water Supply Dist., 292 F.2d 395, 1961 U.S. App. LEXIS 4009 (5th Cir. Miss. 1961).

The decision in Culley v. Pearl River Industrial Commission, 234 Miss. 788, 108 So. 2d 390, holding the water supply district to have been organized for a public purpose, does not preclude a landowner from contending in the state courts that property sought to be condemned is not being taken for a public purpose. Brown v. Pearl River Valley Water Supply Dist., 292 F.2d 395, 1961 U.S. App. LEXIS 4009 (5th Cir. Miss. 1961).

This statute is not unconstitutional as conferring on the judiciary authority to answer legislative questions, or as a local law on a matter which may be provided for only by general laws, or as authorizing the permanent obstruction of navigable waters of the state, or as violating the requirement that taxation be equal and uniform throughout the state, or as empowering the water district to condemn property and rent or sell it for private use. Culley v. Pearl River Industrial Com., 234 Miss. 788, 108 So. 2d 390, 1959 Miss. LEXIS 556 (Miss. 1959).

§ 51-9-103. Legislative determination and declaration of policy.

It is hereby declared, as a matter of legislative determination, that the waterways and surface waters of the state are among its basic resources, that the overflow and surface waters of the state have not heretofore been conserved to realize their full beneficial use, that the preservation, conservation, storage, and control of such waters are necessary to insure an adequate, sanitary water supply at all times, to promote the balanced economic development of the state, and to aid in flood control, conservation and development of state forests, irrigation of lands needing irrigation, and pollution abatement. It is further determined and declared that the preservation, conservation, storage, and control of the waters of the Pearl River and its tributaries and its overflow waters for domestic, municipal, commercial, industrial, agricultural, and manufacturing purposes, for recreational uses, for flood control, timber development, irrigation, and pollution abatement are, as a matter of public policy, for the general welfare of the entire people of the state.

The creation of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District is determined to be necessary and essential to the accomplishment of the aforesaid purposes, and this article operates on a subject in which the state at large is interested. All the terms and provisions of this article are to be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes herein set forth, this being a remedial law.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-52; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 2, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

The provisions of Chapter 169, Laws of 1956 and Chapter 197, Laws of 1958 are applicable in determining the original purposes of the Ross Barnett Reservoir. 1997 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 445.

To the extent allowable consistent with a city’s priority right as set out in a contract, the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District may obtain, use, sell and deliver potable water from the Ross Barnett Reservoir to entities other than the city subject to applicable state and federal law and regulations. 2003 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 55.

§ 51-9-105. General authority to organize.

The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District may hereafter be organized in this state under the provisions of this article, in the manner hereinafter provided. This water supply district shall be an agency of the state and a body politic and corporate, and may be composed of one or more entire counties.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-53; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 3, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

In creating the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, the legislature did not intend to establish a state agency with authority to deprive a citizen of the enjoyment of his property, unless the same was necessary to accomplish some lawful purpose of the act. Warwick v. Pearl River Valley Water Supply Dist., 246 So. 2d 525, 1971 Miss. LEXIS 1404 (Miss. 1971).

The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District is an agency of the state, and therefore its actions in promulgating rules and regulations for carrying out its purposes are subject to judicial review. Warwick v. Pearl River Valley Water Supply Dist., 246 So. 2d 525, 1971 Miss. LEXIS 1404 (Miss. 1971).

Where plaintiff’s property was surrounded by that of a public water supply district so that there was no access to the property other than across the lands of the district, the action of the district in denying the plaintiff access to his land was arbitrary, and the district was directed to designate a point upon its lands abutting a public road as a way of necessity for ingress and egress to plaintiff’s land. Warwick v. Pearl River Valley Water Supply Dist., 246 So. 2d 525, 1971 Miss. LEXIS 1404 (Miss. 1971).

§ 51-9-107. Board of directors.

All powers of the district shall be exercised by a board of directors, to be composed of the following:

Each member of the Pearl River Industrial Commission whose county becomes a part of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District shall be a member of the Board of Directors of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District. Such directors shall serve on this board during their term of office on the Pearl River Industrial Commission. In addition, the board of supervisors of each county that becomes a part of the district shall appoint one (1) additional member, who shall serve for a term concurrent with the terms of the members of the board of supervisors. The members shall be appointed at the first meeting of the board of supervisors in January after the supervisors take office. The members appointed from Madison County and Rankin County shall be persons who reside on and are holders of residential leases from the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District that are located in Madison County and Rankin County, respectively, or who reside in established subdivisions in Madison County and Rankin County, respectively, in which some of the residential property of the subdivision is leased from the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District.

The members appointed from Madison County and Rankin County who are serving on July 1, 2012, shall continue to serve until January 1, 2013, after which date the Board of Supervisors of Madison County and the Board of Supervisors of Rankin County each shall appoint one (1) member who meets the residency requirements of this section. The persons appointed under the provisions of this paragraph shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.

The Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality, the Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, Forestry Commission and the State Board of Health of the State of Mississippi shall each appoint one (1) director from that department to serve on the Board of Directors of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District to serve at the pleasure of the respective board appointing him. From and after January 1, 2013, each of the members appointed under this paragraph (b) shall be a person who resides on and is a holder of a residential lease from the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District.

Each director shall take and subscribe to the oath of office required by Section 268 of the Constitution of the State of Mississippi before a chancery clerk, that he will faithfully discharge the duties of the office, which oath shall be filed with the clerk and by him preserved.

Each director shall receive per diem compensation in the amount as provided in Section 25-3-69 for attending each meeting of the board and for each day spent in attending to the necessary business of the district and shall be reimbursed for actual expenses thus incurred upon express authorization of the board, including travel expenses, as provided in Section 25-3-41.

The board of directors shall annually elect from its number a president and a vice president of the district, and such other officers as in the judgment of the board are necessary. The president shall be the chief executive officer of the district and the presiding officer of the board, and shall have the same right to vote as any other director. The vice president shall perform all duties and exercise all powers conferred by this article upon the president when the president is absent or fails or declines to act, except the president’s right to vote. The board shall also appoint a secretary and a treasurer who may or may not be members of the board, and it may combine those offices. The treasurer shall give bond in the sum of not less than Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) as set by the board of directors and each director shall give bond in the sum of not less than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), and the premiums on those bonds shall be an expense of the district. The condition of each such bond shall be that the treasurer or director will faithfully perform all duties of office and account for all money which shall come into his custody as treasurer or director of the district.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-54; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 4; Laws, 1981, ch. 402, § 1; Laws, 2000, ch. 516, § 90; Laws, 2012, ch. 549, § 2, eff from and after July 1, 2012.

Amendment Notes —

The 2012 amendment, in (a), in the first paragraph, in the third sentence, added “who shall serve for a term concurrent with the terms of the members of the board of supervisors” to the end and made minor stylistic changes, added the last two sentences, and added the last paragraph; added the last sentence in (b); deleted “said” preceding “clerk” near the end of (c); and substituted “those bonds” for “said bonds” in the next-to-last sentence of (e).

§ 51-9-109. Petition for creation of district.

The Pearl River Industrial Commission, acting through it members who favor bringing the counties they represent into the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, shall petition the chancery court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County to organize and establish the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District and shall set forth in the petition:

The counties to be included in the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District. Any county through which the Pearl River runs or which borders on the Pearl River may be included in the district.

The fact that a preliminary report or study to determine the engineering feasibility of constructing a dam and reservoir in the basin of Pearl River has been made by a competent engineer or engineering firm and that such study or report shows that the construction of such facilities is feasible for water conservation or supply or for any of the other purposes or services contemplated by the legislative declaration of public policy in this article.

The necessity and desirability for the construction of such facilities.

A general description of the purposes of the contemplated works, and a general description of the plan including the lands to be overflowed or otherwise affected thereby, and maps or plats showing the general location of the reservoir and dam and related facilities. The word “project” when used herein shall mean the general plan and purposes of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, including its physical properties, as set out in this petition to the chancery court; and the words “project area” shall mean the physical location of the reservoir, dam, and related facilities as shown on the plats filed with the chancery court and shall include and be limited to an area of one mile from the shore line of the reservoir at high water. The words “related facilities” as used in this article shall mean the facilities indicated on said maps or plats filed with the chancery court or otherwise explained in the pleadings filed with the chancery court and shall include property, land, or areas of land adjacent to, or in the vicinity of, said reservoir or dam and within a distance of one mile from the high water mark of the proposed shore line of said reservoir as shown on said map, which may be acquired, owned, rented, leased, or sold by the district in connection with the recreational or industrial development and use of the project.

The petition shall be filed with as many copies as there are parties defendant. A copy of the preliminary report or study shall be attached to the original and each copy of the petition as an exhibit.

The board of water commissioners shall be made a party defendant, and the chancery clerk shall furnish the board of water commissioners with a copy of the petition with attached exhibits. Each county named in the petition shall be joined as a party defendant by service of process on the president of the board of supervisors thereof, and the chancery clerk shall furnish a copy of the petition to each such president. Whenever any municipality having a population according to the most recent federal census of ten thousand (10,000) or more is included in such proposed district, such municipality shall be made a party defendant.

It shall not be necessary that any land owners in the counties to be included in said proposed district be named in the petition, or made parties defendant. The chancellor of the chancery court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County, Mississippi, shall have jurisdiction of the entire water supply district and project area for the purposes of this article. Such jurisdiction may be exercised by the chancellor in term time or in vacation, as provided in this article.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-55; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 5, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Under that portion of subsection (d) defining “project area” as including and limited to an area of one mile from the shoreline of the reservoir at high water, on that part of the 30,000 acre reservoir bounded by the dam, the dam itself is the shoreline. Wright v. Pearl River Valley Water Supply Dist., 250 Miss. 645, 167 So. 2d 660, 1964 Miss. LEXIS 484 (Miss. 1964).

§ 51-9-111. Proceedings after petition filed.

The board of water commissioners shall make a written report on the preliminary study or plans furnished them and shall, within thirty days after receipt of the said study, file such report with the chancery court setting forth their recommendations concerning the proposed water supply district. After the filing of the report of the board of water commissioners, and upon motion of the petitioners, the chancellor shall enter an order fixing the date for a hearing of the cause on the original petition, the exhibit, the report and recommendations of the board of water commissioners, and any answers filed or other pleadings. The chancery clerk shall give notice of such hearing to all persons interested by posting notices thereof at the door of the courthouse of the county or counties in which the district is situated and in at least ten public places in said proposed district, and also by publishing said notice at least once a week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper published in Hinds County and in a newspaper published in each of the other counties proposed to be included in such water supply district. If there is no newspaper published in any such county, then it shall be sufficient to publish said notice in a newspaper having a general circulation in such county. Such notice shall be addressed to the property owners and qualified electors of such proposed district and all other persons interested, shall state when and in what court said petition was and is filed, shall state the counties included in such district, and shall command all such persons to appear before the chancery court, or the chancellor in vacation, at the Chancery Court Building in the First Judicial District of Hinds County, upon the date fixed by the chancellor to show cause, if any they can, why the proposed water supply district should not be organized and established as prayed for in said petition. The date of such hearing shall not be less than twenty-one days nor more than forty days after the last publication of such notice. It shall be sufficient in describing the lands to be included in the water supply district to name the counties to be included therein in the publication or notice hereinbefore mentioned.

If the court or chancellor finds that the notice or publication was not given as provided for in this article, it shall not thereby lose jurisdiction, but the court or chancellor shall order due publication or notice to be given and shall continue the hearing until such publication or notice shall be properly given, and the court or chancellor shall thereupon proceed as though publication or notice had been properly given in the first instance.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-56; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 6, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

§ 51-9-113. Hearing.

The chancery court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County may hear the petition at any term thereof, or the chancellor of said court may fix a time to hear such petition at any time in vacation, and may determine all matters pertaining thereto, may adjourn the hearing from time to time, and may continue the case for want of sufficient notice or other good cause. If said petition shall prove defective in any manner, the petitioners, upon motion, shall be permitted to amend the same.

Upon the day set for hearing said petition, or a day to which same may be continued by the court or chancellor, all parties interested may appear and contest the same. If upon the hearing of such petition, it is found that such project is feasible from an engineering standpoint and practical, and if the creation of the water supply district under the terms of this article would meet a public necessity both local and statewide and would be conducive to the public welfare of the state as a whole, such court or chancellor shall so find and shall make and enter an order upon the minutes of the said chancery court stating that the said district to be known as the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, should be organized subject to all of the terms and provisions of this article.

If the chancellor finds that the proposed water supply district should not be organized, he shall dismiss the proceedings, and the costs shall be paid by the Pearl River Industrial Commission.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, §§ 4956-57, 5956-58; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, §§ 7, 8, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

§ 51-9-115. Order and notice of election.

If the court or chancellor thereof finds that the proposed water supply district should be organized, the chancellor shall then order an election in each county in the proposed district, which election shall be held not less than twenty-one nor more than forty-five days from the date of such order, whereby the qualified electors within such counties may determine if such county shall be a part of such proposed district; and such order for an election shall be interlocutory and not appealable. A substantial copy of the court order shall be published once a week for at least three consecutive weeks in at least one newspaper published in each county in such district. If there is no newspaper published in any such county, then it shall be sufficient to publish said notice in a newspaper having a general circulation in such county and, in addition, by posting a copy of such notice for at least twenty-one days following the issuance of such order at three public places in such county. Notice of the election shall be given by publishing a substantial copy of the court order providing for the election once a week for at least three consecutive weeks, in at least one newspaper published in each county in which an election is to be held. The first publication of such notice shall be made not less than twenty-one days prior to the date fixed for such election. If no newspaper is published in any such county, then such notice shall be given by publishing the same for the required time in some newspaper having a general circulation in such county and, in addition, by posting a copy of such notice for at least twenty-one days next preceding such election at three public places in such county.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-58; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 8, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

§ 51-9-117. Election.

Such election shall be held, as far as is practicable, in the same manner as other elections are held in counties. At such election, all qualified electors of such counties may vote, and the ballots used at such election shall have printed thereon the words “FOR BEING INCLUDED IN THE PEARL RIVER VALLEY WATER SUPPLY DISTRICT” and “AGAINST BEING INCLUDED IN THE PEARL RIVER VALLEY WATER SUPPLY DISTRICT”; and the voter shall vote by placing a cross (x) or check mark (Π) opposite his choice on the proposition. In any particular county, should a majority of the qualified electors voting in such election in such county vote in favor of the creation of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, then that county shall become a part of the water supply district. The chancery court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County, or the chancellor thereof in vacation, shall thereupon enter a final order including such county in the district. In any particular county, should a majority of the qualified electors voting in such election in such county vote against being included in the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, then that county shall not become a part of the water supply district.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-59; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 9, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

Cross References —

Time of elections generally, see Miss. Const. Art. 4, § 102 and Art. 12, § 252.

§ 51-9-119. Appeals.

Any person interested in or aggrieved by the final order of the court or the chancellor, creating the water supply district or dismissing the petition or admitting a county to the district, and who was a party to the proceedings in the chancery court may prosecute an appeal therefrom within ten days from the date of such decree by furnishing an appeal bond in the sum of five hundred dollars ($500.00) with two good and sufficient sureties, conditioned to pay all costs of the appeal in the event the decree is affirmed. Such appeal bond shall be subject to the approval of the chancery clerk. When the transcript of the record of the case shall be filed in the office of the supreme court, the appellee having been summoned to appear and answer the appeal, ten days after service of the summons on appellee or his attorney the court shall consider such case as entitled to be heard. Any party to any proceeding in any court involving any of the provisions of this article may waive any time for filing pleadings so as to obtain an earlier hearing.

Any appeal from such order or decree of the chancery court or chancellor shall be a preference case in the supreme court and shall be tried at the earliest moment convenient with said court.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-60; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 10, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

§ 51-9-121. Powers of district.

The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District through its board of directors is hereby empowered:

To impound overflow water and the surface water of the Pearl River or its tributaries within the project area, within or without this district at the place or places and in the amount as may be approved by the Office of Land and Water Resources of the State of Mississippi, by the construction of a dam or dams, reservoir or reservoirs, works, plants, and any other necessary or useful related facilities contemplated and described as a part of the project within or without the district, to control, store, and preserve these waters, and to use, distribute, and sell the same. The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District is also empowered to construct or otherwise acquire within the project area all works, plants, or other facilities necessary or useful to the project for the purpose of processing the water and transporting it to cities and others for domestic, municipal, commercial, industrial, agricultural, and manufacturing purposes and is hereby given the power to control open channels for water delivery purposes.

To acquire and develop any other available water necessary or useful to the project and to construct, acquire, and develop all facilities within the project area deemed necessary or useful with respect thereto.

To prevent or aid in the prevention of damage to person or property from the waters of the Pearl River or any of its tributaries.

To forest and reforest, and to aid in the foresting and reforesting of the project area, and to prevent and aid in the prevention of soil erosion and floods within this area; to control, store, and preserve within the boundaries of the project area the waters of the Pearl River or any of its tributaries, for irrigation of lands and for prevention of water pollution.

To acquire by purchase, lease, gift, or in any other manner (otherwise than by condemnation) and to maintain, use, and operate all property of any kind, real, personal, or mixed, or any interest therein within the project area, within or without the boundaries of the district, necessary for the project and convenient to the exercise of the powers, rights, privileges, and functions conferred upon the district by this article.

To acquire by condemnation all property of any kind, real, personal, or mixed, or any interest therein within the project area not exceeding one-quarter (1/4) mile from the outside line of the three hundred (300) feet above sea level contour on each side of Pearl River except as provided for rights-of-way under subsection (g) of this section, within or without the boundaries of the district, necessary for the project and the exercise of the powers, rights, privileges, and functions conferred upon the district by this article, according to the procedure provided by law for the condemnation of lands or other property taken for rights-of-way or other purposes by railroads, telephone, or telegraph companies. For the purposes of carrying out this article, the right of eminent domain of the district shall be superior and dominant to the right of eminent domain of railroad, telegraph, telephone, gas, power, and other companies or corporations, and shall be sufficient to enable the acquisition of county roads, state highways, or other public property in the project area and the acquisition, or relocation, of the above mentioned utility property in the project area; however, Mississippi Highway 43 as presently located shall be kept open as part of the state highway system. The cost of right-of-way purchases, rerouting, and elevating all other county maintained roads affected by construction of the reservoir shall be borne by the water district, and new construction shall be of equal quality as in roads existing as of May 5, 1958. The amount and character of interest in land, other property, and easements thus to be acquired shall be determined by the board of directors, and their determination shall be conclusive and shall not be subject to attack in the absence of manifold abuse of discretion or fraud on the part of such board in making such determination. However,

In acquiring lands, either by negotiation or condemnation, the district shall not acquire minerals or royalties within the project area; sand and gravel shall not be considered as minerals within the meaning of this section; and

No person or persons owning the drilling rights or the right to share in production shall be prevented from exploring, developing, or producing oil or gas with necessary rights-of-way for ingress and egress, pipe lines, and other means of transporting these products by reason of the inclusion of such lands or mineral interests within the project area, whether below or above the water line; but any such activities shall be under such reasonable regulations by the board of directors as will adequately protect the reservoir; and

In drilling and developing, these persons are hereby vested with a special right to have the mineral interest integrated and their lands developed in such drilling unit or units as the State Oil and Gas Board shall establish after due consideration of the rights of all of the owners to be included in the drilling unit.

Moreover, where any site or plot of land is to be rented, leased, or sold to any person, firm, or corporation for the purpose of operating recreational facilities thereon for profit, then the board shall, by resolution, specify the terms and conditions of the sale, rental, or lease, and shall advertise for public bids thereon. When bids are received, they shall be publicly opened by the board, and the board shall thereupon determine the highest and best bid submitted and shall immediately notify the former owner of the site or plot of the amount, terms, and conditions of the highest and best bid. The former owner of the site or plot shall have the exclusive right at his option, for a period of thirty (30) days after the determination of the highest and best bid by the board, to rent, lease, or purchase said site or plot of land by meeting such highest and best bid and by complying with all terms and conditions of the renting, leasing, or sale as specified by the board. However, the board shall not in any event rent, lease, or sell to any former owner more land than was taken from the former owner for the construction of the project, or one-quarter (1/4) mile of shoreline, whichever is the lesser. If this option is not exercised by the former owner within a period of thirty (30) days, then the board shall accept the highest and best bid submitted.

Any bona fide, resident householder, actually living or maintaining a residence on land taken by the district by condemnation shall have the right to repurchase not exceeding forty (40) acres of his former land or other available land from the board of directors for a price not exceeding the price paid for condemning his land.

To require the necessary relocation of roads and highways, railroad, telephone, and telegraph lines and properties, electric power lines, gas pipelines and mains and facilities in the project area, or to require the anchoring or other protection of any of these, provided due compensation is first paid the owners thereof or agreement is had with the owners regarding the payment of the cost of the relocation. It is further provided that the district is hereby authorized to acquire easements or rights-of-way in or outside of the project area for the relocation of the roads, highways, railroad, telephone, and telegraph lines and properties, electric power lines, gas pipelines and mains and facilities, and to convey the same to the owners thereof in connection with the relocation as a part of the construction of the project; however, the directors of the district shall not close any public access road to the reservoir existing prior to the construction of the reservoir unless the board of supervisors of the county in which the road is located agrees.

To overflow and inundate any public lands and public property, including sixteenth section lands and in lieu lands, within the project area.

To construct, extend, improve, maintain, and reconstruct, to cause to be constructed, extended, improved, maintained, and reconstructed, and to use and operate facilities of any kind within the project area necessary or convenient to the project and to the exercise of such powers, rights, privileges, and functions.

To sue and be sued in its corporate name.

To adopt, use, and alter a corporate seal.

To make bylaws for the management and regulation of its affairs.

To employ engineers, attorneys, and all necessary agents and employees to properly finance, construct, operate, and maintain the project and the plants and facilities of the district and carry out the provisions of this article, and to pay reasonable compensation for the services. For all services in connection with the issuance of bonds as provided in this article, the attorney’s fee shall not exceed one-quarter of one percent (1/4 of 1%) of the principal amount of said bonds. For any other services, only reasonable compensation shall be paid for these services. The board shall have the right to employ a general manager, who shall, at the discretion of the board, have the power to employ and discharge employees. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, it may employ fiscal agents or advisors in connection with its financing program and in connection with the issuance of its bonds.

To make contracts and to execute instruments necessary or convenient to the exercise of the powers, rights, privileges, and functions conferred upon it by this article.

To make or cause to be made surveys and engineering investigations relating to the project, or related projects, for the information of the district to facilitate the accomplishment of the purposes for which it is created.

To apply for and accept grants from the United States of America, or from any corporation or agency created or designated by the United States of America, and to ratify and accept applications heretofore or hereafter made by voluntary associations to these agencies for grants to construct, maintain, or operate any project or projects which hereafter may be undertaken or contemplated by the district.

To do any other acts or things necessary or convenient to the exercising of the powers, rights, privileges, or functions conferred upon it by this article or any other law.

To make contracts in the issuance of bonds that may be necessary to insure the marketability thereof.

To enter into contracts with municipalities, corporations, districts, public agencies, political subdivisions of any kind, and others for any services, facilities or commodities that the project may provide. The district is also authorized to contract with any municipality, corporation, or public agency for the rental, leasing, purchase, or operation of the water production, water filtration or purification, water supply and distributing facilities of the municipality, corporation, or public agency upon such consideration as the district and such entity may agree. Any such contract may be upon any terms and for any time as the parties may agree, and it may provide that it shall continue in effect until bonds specified therein and refunding bonds issued in lieu of these bonds are paid. Any contract with any political subdivision shall be binding upon said political subdivision according to its terms, and any municipalities or other political subdivisions shall have the power to enter into such contracts as in the discretion of the governing authorities thereof would be to the best interest of the people of the municipality or other political subdivision. These contracts may include, within the discretion of the governing authorities, a pledge of the full faith and credit of the political subdivisions for the performance thereof.

To fix and collect charges and rates for any services, facilities, or commodities furnished by it in connection with the project, and to impose penalties for failure to pay these charges and rates when due.

To operate and maintain within the project area with the consent of the governing body of any city or town located within the district, any works, plants, or facilities of any city deemed necessary or convenient to the accomplishment of the purposes for which the district is created.

Subject to the provisions of this article, from time to time to lease, sell, or otherwise dispose of any property of any kind, real, personal, or mixed, or any interest therein within the project area or acquired outside the project area as authorized in this article, for the purpose of furthering the business of the district.

When, in the opinion of the board of directors as shown by resolution duly passed, it shall not be necessary to the carrying on of the business of the district that the district own any lands acquired, then the board shall advertise these lands for sale to the highest and best bidder for cash and shall receive and publicly open the bids thereon. The board shall, by resolution, determine the highest and best bid submitted for such land and shall thereupon notify the former owner, his heirs or devisees, by registered mail of the land to be sold and the highest and best bid received therefor, and the former owner, or his heirs or devisees, shall have the exclusive right at his or their option for a period of thirty (30) days in which to meet the highest and best bid and to purchase the property.

In addition to, or in conjunction with, any other powers and duties of the district arising under this chapter, to exercise those powers, duties and functions of a joint water management district set forth in Sections 51-8-27 through 51-8-55, except the power of eminent domain under Section 51-8-33. Before exercising those powers and duties, the district must comply with the provisions of Sections 51-8-63 and 51-8-65. In exercising the functions of a joint water management district, the district may apply to the Environmental Quality Permit Board for delegation of those powers and duties as provided by Section 51-3-15, and to apply to the Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality for delegation of those powers and duties provided by Section 51-3-21.

Any transaction regarding any property under the provisions of this section shall be executed in accordance with the provisions of Section 29-1-1.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-61; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 11; Laws, 1993, ch. 615, § 7; Laws, 1995, ch. 616, § 4, eff from and after July 1, 1995.

Cross References —

Taking of private property for public use, see MS Const. Art. 3, § 17.

Right of eminent domain generally, see §11-27-1 et seq.

Power of board of directors to issue bonds, see §51-9-133.

Appointment of security officers for the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, see §51-9-175.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

To the extent allowable consistent with a city’s priority right as set out in a contract, the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District may obtain, use, sell and deliver potable water from the Ross Barnett Reservoir to entities other than the city subject to applicable state and federal law and regulations. 2003 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 55.

The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District is not subject to the zoning ordinances and building codes of the counties or municipalities in which the district is located. 2004 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 195.

Provisions of Section 51-9-121 allow a water supply district to add mosquito control services as a separate item on its water bills and to collect same. Water or other services could not be disconnected for failure to pay the mosquito control charge. 2005 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 460.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Validity, construction, and application of state relocation assistance laws. 49 A.L.R.4th 491.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Corporate political subdivision of state is immune under doctrine of sovereign immunity from suit by swimmer injured as result of dive into shallow water; right of water supply district to “sue and be sued” does not constitute waiver of sovereign immunity; purchase of liability insurance does not constitute waiver of sovereign immunity. Dumas v. Pearl River Basin Dev. Dist., 621 F. Supp. 960, 1985 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14571 (S.D. Miss. 1985).

Where all the land involved in the suit was below the 300-foot above sea level contour line, it came within the terms of the statute, and could be condemned as needed for reservoir uses. Wright v. Pearl River Valley Water Supply Dist., 250 Miss. 645, 167 So. 2d 660, 1964 Miss. LEXIS 484 (Miss. 1964).

Within the project area the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District is authorized to purchase land or any interest therein, but it limited in condemning land by eminent domain to land in the project area not exceeding one-fourth mile from the outside line of the 300-foot above sea level contour on each side of the river. Wright v. Pearl River Valley Water Supply Dist., 250 Miss. 645, 167 So. 2d 660, 1964 Miss. LEXIS 484 (Miss. 1964).

The Pearl River Water Supply District may condemn land for the relocation of the Natchez Trace Parkway and for use for the accommodation of visitors. Brown v. Pearl River Valley Water Supply Dist., 249 Miss. 697, 163 So. 2d 732, 1964 Miss. LEXIS 427 (Miss. 1964).

This section [Code 1942, § 5956-61] authorizes the taking of land within the specified distance of a contour line established by the backing up of water in a Pearl River tributary. Pearl River Valley Water Supply Dist. v. Wood, 248 Miss. 748, 160 So. 2d 917, 1964 Miss. LEXIS 300 (Miss. 1964).

§ 51-9-122. Renewal of residential property leases in district.

  1. At any time more than fifteen (15) years after the commencement date of any residential lease from the district, the leaseholder shall have the option to renew and extend the lease for a new sixty-year term by giving the district notice of his exercise of this option to renew.
  2. At any time after the first fifteen (15) years of the term of any residential lease, the then present lessee may obtain from the district a new sixty-year lease on the terms and conditions contained in the then current lease form approved for use in residential leases with the exception of rent. Rent under such sixty-year leases will be payable on the same annual payment date as rent under the lease being renewed. The maximum annual rental under the new lease will be determined by the district as follows:
    1. Renewal of Leases with Fixed Rental (non-escalating): The district will recompute the annual rental due under the lease being renewed as if the lease had contained annual rents at the fixed amount stated in the lease for the first ten-year period, escalating thereafter at ten percent (10%), rounded to the nearest Five Dollars ($5.00), every five-year period. The annual rental which would have been payable as of the renewal date will be the annual rent payable for the first ten-year period of the renewed lease. Annual rental will escalate thereafter at ten percent (10%), rounded to the nearest Five Dollars ($5.00), every five (5) years. Recomputed annual rental will be payable from and after the first day of the renewed lease term and not for the period prior to renewal.
    2. Renewal of Leases with Escalating Rental: Annual rental will remain payable in accordance with the terms of the lease being renewed with rental continuing to escalate at ten percent (10%), rounded to the nearest Five Dollars ($5.00), every five (5) years during the renewed term.
  3. The district will charge a reasonable non-refundable fee for preparation of the renewal lease. The Lessee will be responsible for obtaining the consent of any mortgage holder to the lease modification.
  4. At any time a lessee is found to be in default or in breach of the terms and conditions contained in the lease, the district shall give thirty (30) days written notice to such lessee before terminating the lease. Such notice shall be by certified mail and shall specifically state the default or breach. If the lessee does not cure the default or breach within thirty (30) days of such notice, then the district shall give written notice to the holder of any mortgage or deed of trust on the leasehold and such holder shall thereupon have thirty (30) days to cure the default or breach before the lease is terminated.

HISTORY: Laws, 1993, ch. 389, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved March 16, 1993).

§ 51-9-122.1. Authority of board of directors to renegotiate nonresidential leases upon expiration.

  1. Any holder of a lease that is not a residential lease subject to Section 51-9-122, Mississippi Code of 1972, shall have the right, exclusive of all other persons, to renew the lease at fair market value at any time prior to expiration of the lease.
  2. Other than the right of a lessee to renew at fair market value, nothing in this section is intended to limit or restrict the right of the district to negotiate terms of any lease in furtherance of any of the purposes authorized by this section and in a manner deemed favorable to the district by the board of directors.
    1. Prior to entering into any lease under this section, whether a new or renewal lease, the district shall obtain at least one (1) appraisal from a competent appraiser establishing the fair market rental value of the land, exclusive of improvements made by the leaseholder or any predecessor in title, and, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, the land shall not be leased for an amount less than the fair market rental as determined by the appraiser and approved by the board. The district may require such other terms as it deems advisable. The cost of the appraisal shall be paid by the district and may be included in the costs of lease renewal to be reimbursed by the lessee.
    2. The lessee may obtain an appraisal from a certified real estate appraiser establishing the fair market rental value of the land. If the fair market rental value of the land established in such appraisal differs from the fair market rental value of the land established in the appraisal obtained by the district, the land shall not be leased for an amount less than the average of the fair market rental value established by the two (2) appraisals.
  3. For the purposes of this section, “terms” means rent, rent escalation clauses, rental adjustment periods and method of determination, term of years, permitted use, condition of improvements, removal of improvements, and compliance with district rules and regulations.
  4. In the event a lessee has not obtained a new lease pursuant to the provisions of this section, any preemptive right of the lessee to lease the property shall be extinguished upon expiration of the lease, and, at the direction of the district, the lessee shall remove all improvements and other structures on the property immediately upon termination of the lease.

HISTORY: Laws, 2002, ch. 485, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 2002.

§ 51-9-123. Construction contracts.

All construction contracts by the district, where the amount of the contract shall exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00), shall be made upon at least three weeks’ public notice by advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in the district, which notice shall state the thing to be done and invite sealed proposals, to be filed with the secretary of the district, to do the work; and in all such cases, before the notice shall be published, the plans and specification for the work shall be filed with the secretary of the district and there remain. The board of directors of the district shall award the contract to the lowest bidder, who will comply with the terms imposed by such board and enter into bond with sufficient sureties, to be approved by the board, in such penalty as shall be fixed by such board, but in no case to be less than the contract price, conditioned for the prompt, proper, and efficient performance of the contract.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-62; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 12, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

§ 51-9-125. Park and recreation facilities.

The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District is authorized to establish or otherwise provide for public parks and recreation facilities and for the preservation of fish and wildlife and to acquire land otherwise than by condemnation except as provided in subsection (f) of Section 51-9-121, for such purposes, within the project area.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-63; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 13, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

§ 51-9-127. Rules and regulations.

  1. The board of directors of the district shall have the power to adopt and promulgate all reasonable regulations to secure, maintain, and preserve the sanitary condition of all water in and to flow into any reservoir owned by the district, to prevent waste of water or the unauthorized use thereof, and to regulate residence, hunting, fishing, boating, camping, circulation of vehicular traffic on land, the parking of such vehicles, and all recreational and business privileges in, along, or around any such reservoir, any body of land, or any easement owned by the district.
  2. All such regulations prescribed by the board of directors, after publication in a daily newspaper of statewide circulation and in a newspaper of general circulation in each county comprising the area of the district, shall have the full force and effect of law; and violation thereof shall be punishable by fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), as may be prescribed in such regulations, or by imprisonment not to exceed fifteen (15) days, or both the amount of the fine and the term of the imprisonment, within the maximum limit set by this statute and within the maximum limit prescribed in such regulations, to be determined by the court.

    All such rules and regulations so prescribed and the penalties fixed thereunder relating to hunting, fishing, and boating shall not conflict with, exceed, alter, or suspend any regulations, rules, or penalties prescribed by general statute or by the Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks; and all fines and penalties levied and collected under this article shall be remitted and accounted for in accordance with the general statutes relating thereto.

  3. In the event of a violation of any regulation adopted to prevent pollution of the waters in any reservoir owned by the district, or the threat of continuous violation thereof, the district shall have authority to sue for and obtain damages and other appropriate relief, including injunctive relief.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-64; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 14; Laws, 1964, ch. 250, § 1; Laws, 2000, ch. 516, § 91, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 30, 2000.).

Cross References —

Regulation of boats and other vessels, see §59-21-1 et seq.

§ 51-9-129. Appropriation permit.

The district is empowered to obtain through appropriate hearings an appropriation permit or permits from the board of water commissioners of the State of Mississippi, as provided for in Section 51-3-31.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-65; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 15, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

§ 51-9-131. State tax used for water supply district fund.

In each county of the State of Mississippi which is part of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, beginning with the ad valorem tax assessment for the calendar year 1960, payable on or before February 1, 1961, and so long as any bonds issued hereunder are outstanding, the tax collector of said county shall pay into the depository selected by said water district for said purpose the amount of two mills of all ad valorem taxes due by said county to the State of Mississippi which is collected by the tax collector of said county, which may be collected by any other lawful taxing agency of said county and state and for said county, and the State of Mississippi shall continue to levy not less than two mills ad valorem taxes on each county in the district so long as any bonds issued pursuant to this article remain outstanding.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-66; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 16, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

Cross References —

Details of bonds issued pursuant to this article, see §51-9-135.

Limitation on expenditure of money, including taxes levied under this section, by the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District for purposes within the ambit of the Metropolitan Area Water Supply Act (§51-9-189 et seq.), see §51-9-201.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Water District has clear authority to provide police patrol and other public services to entire reservoir area. 1994 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 911.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

The chancellor erred in permanently enjoining a water supply district, which was authorized and empowered by §51-9-133 to issue bonds for the purpose of paying the cost of acquiring, owning, constructing, operating, repairing and maintaining a reservoir, from using any state ad valorem tax proceeds diverted to the district by §51-9-131 for any purpose other than paying, prepaying, redeeming, or retiring bonds, and further erred in enjoining the district from making a special levy under §51-9-139 in any year that the state ad valorem taxes paid to the district exceeded the amount of the district’s debt service, since the water supply district was not required to use state ad valorem tax proceeds only for purposes of retirement of the district’s bonded indebtedness, and, if there were not a sufficient amount remaining from those funds after deduction of the cost of operating and maintaining the project and related facilities, and application of the balance to the retirement of the bonds, the board of directors had authority to assess an additional special levy of not more than two mills also to be applied toward the retirement of bonds. Pearl River Valley Water Supply Dist. v. Hinds County, 445 So. 2d 1330, 1984 Miss. LEXIS 1590 (Miss. 1984).

§ 51-9-133. Board of directors to issue bonds.

The board of directors of the district is hereby authorized and empowered to issue bonds of the district for the purpose of paying the costs of acquiring, owning, constructing, operating, repairing, and maintaining the projects and works specified herein, including related facilities, and including all financing and financial advisory charges, interest during construction, engineering, legal, and other expenses incidental to and necessary for the foregoing, or for the carrying out of any power conferred by this article. Said board of directors is authorized and empowered to issue such bonds at such times and in such amounts as shall be provided for by resolution of the said board of directors, not to exceed the limitation prescribed in Section 51-9-137. All such bonds so issued by said district shall be secured solely by a pledge of the net revenues which may now or hereafter come to the district, by the pledge of the avails of the two mill ad valorem tax levy provided for in Section 51-9-131, and by the pledge of the special tax levy of two mills provided for in Section 51-9-139; and such bonds shall not constitute general obligations of the State of Mississippi or of the counties comprising said district, and shall not be secured by a pledge of the full faith, credit, and resources of said state or of said counties. Bonds of the district shall not be included in computing any present or future debt limit of any county in such district under any present or future law. “Revenues” as used in this article shall mean all charges, rentals, tolls, rates, gifts, grants, tax proceeds, moneys, and all other funds coming into the possession of the district by virtue of the provisions of this article, except the proceeds from the sale of bonds issued hereunder. “Net revenues” as used in this article shall mean the revenues after payment of costs and expenses of operation and maintenance of the project and related facilities.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-67; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 17, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

Cross References —

Additional powers conferred in connection with issuance of bonds, see §§31-21-5 and51-9-135.

Details of bonds issued pursuant to this article, see §51-9-135.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

The chancellor erred in permanently enjoining a water supply district, which was authorized and empowered by §51-9-133 to issue bonds for the purpose of paying the cost of acquiring, owning, constructing, operating, repairing and maintaining a reservoir, from using any state ad valorem tax proceeds diverted to the district by §51-9-131 for any purpose other than paying, prepaying, redeeming, or retiring bonds, and further erred in enjoining the district from making a special levy under §51-9-139 in any year that the state ad valorem taxes paid to the district exceeded the amount of the district’s debt service, since the water supply district was not required to use state ad valorem tax proceeds only for purposes of retirement of the district’s bonded indebtedness, and, if there were not a sufficient amount remaining from those funds after deduction of the cost of operating and maintaining the project and related facilities, and application of the balance to the retirement of the bonds, the board of directors had authority to assess an additional special levy of not more than two mills also to be applied toward the retirement of bonds. Pearl River Valley Water Supply Dist. v. Hinds County, 445 So. 2d 1330, 1984 Miss. LEXIS 1590 (Miss. 1984).

§ 51-9-135. Details of bonds; supplemental powers conferred in issuance of bonds.

All bonds provided for by Sections 51-9-133 and 51-9-145 of this article shall be negotiable instruments within the meaning of the Uniform Commercial Code, shall be lithographed or engraved and printed in two (2) or more colors to prevent counterfeiting, shall be in denominations of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00), shall be registered as issued, and shall be numbered in a regular series from one (1) upward. Each such bond shall specify on its face the purpose for which it was issued and the total amount authorized to be issued, it shall be payable to bearer, and the interest to accrue thereon shall be evidenced by proper coupons to be attached thereto. Such bonds shall bear interest at such rate or rates, not exceeding six percent (6%) per annum, as may be determined by the sale of such bonds. They shall mature annually in such amounts and at such times as shall be provided by the resolution of the board of directors. However, no bond issued under Section 51-9-133 shall have a longer maturity than forty (40) years from January 1, 1961, and the first maturity date thereof shall be not more than five (5) years from the date of such bonds. The denomination, form and place or places of payment of such bonds shall be fixed in the resolution of the board of directors of the district. Such bonds shall be signed by the president and secretary of such board with the seal of the district affixed thereto, but the coupons may bear only the facsimile signatures of such president and secretary. All interest accruing on such bonds so issued shall be payable semiannually, except that the first interest coupon attached to any such bond may be for any period not exceeding one (1) year.

Such bonds may provide that they may be called in, paid and redeemed in inverse numerical order on any interest date prior to maturity, upon not less than thirty (30) days’ notice to the paying agent or agents designated in such bonds, and at such premium as may be designated in such bonds. In no case shall any premiums exceed six percent (6%) of the face value of such bonds.

All such bonds shall contain in substance a statement to the effect that they are secured solely by a pledge of the net revenues of such district, including the avails of the two-mill ad valorem tax levy provided for in Section 51-9-131, and the avails of the special tax levy of two (2) mills provided for in Section 51-9-139, and that they do not constitute general obligations of the state of Mississippi or of the counties comprising said district, and are not secured by a pledge of the full faith, credit and resources of said state or of such counties.

All such bonds as provided for herein shall be sold at public sale as now provided by law. No such sale shall be at a price so low as to require the payment of interest on the money received therefor at more than six percent (6%) per annum computed with relation to the absolute maturity of the bonds, in accordance with standard tables of bond values, excluding from such computation the amount of any premium to be paid on redemption of any bonds prior to maturity.

This article shall be full and complete authority for the issuance of the bonds provided for herein, and no restriction or limitation otherwise prescribed by law shall apply herein.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, bonds referred to hereinabove may be issued pursuant to the supplemental powers and authorizations conferred by the provisions of the Registered Bond Act, being Sections 31-21-1 through 31-21-7.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-68; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 18; Laws, 1964, ch. 250, § 2; Laws, 1983, ch. 494, § 18, eff from and after passage (approved April 11, 1983).

§ 51-9-137. Limitation on amount of bonds.

Bonds issued pursuant to this article shall not exceed twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000.00) in principal amount.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-69; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 19, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

§ 51-9-139. Special tax levy for payment of bonds.

To provide additional funds for the payment of the principal of, interest on, and other charges in connection with bonds issued under the provisions of this article, in the event its anticipated revenue and funds are found to be insufficient therefor by order entered on its minutes each year that such tax is found necessary, a copy of which order shall be published for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper published in each county of the district thirty days before such levy is made by the board of supervisors, the district is also empowered to levy annually a special tax, not to exceed two mills upon all of the taxable property within such district, on or before the first Monday of September of each year and shall certify the levy to the boards of supervisors of the various counties in said district; and it shall be the duty of the boards of supervisors to make said levy on each tract of land or other property in said county, according to the assessed valuation thereof. Such taxes shall be collected by the tax collectors of the respective counties in said district, who shall deposit them in such depository as shall be selected by the board of directors of the district. Where bonds are issued payable wholly or partially from ad valorem taxes, it shall be the duty of the board of directors to levy a tax sufficient, together with pledged revenues other than the taxes authorized hereunder, to pay the bonds and the interest thereon as such bonds and interest become due, provided that in no event shall the tax levied exceed two mills. Any part of this levy lost through homestead exemption shall not be reimbursed by the state.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-70; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 20, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

Cross References —

Exemption of homestead from ad valorem taxes, see §27-33-3 et seq.

Apportionment of taxes collected in counties lying in two or more districts, see §51-7-71.

Details of bonds issued pursuant to this article, see §51-9-135.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

The chancellor erred in permanently enjoining a water supply district, which was authorized and empowered by §51-9-133 to issue bonds for the purpose of paying the cost of acquiring, owning, constructing, operating, repairing and maintaining a reservoir, from using any state ad valorem tax proceeds diverted to the district by §51-9-131 for any purpose other than paying, prepaying, redeeming, or retiring bonds, and further erred in enjoining the district from making a special levy under §51-9-139 in any year that the state ad valorem taxes paid to the district exceeded the amount of the district’s debt service, since the water supply district was not required to use state ad valorem tax proceeds only for purposes of retirement of the district’s bonded indebtedness, and, if there were not a sufficient amount remaining from those funds after deduction of the cost of operating and maintaining the project and related facilities, and application of the balance to the retirement of the bonds, the board of directors had authority to assess an additional special levy of not more than two mills also to be applied toward the retirement of bonds. Pearl River Valley Water Supply Dist. v. Hinds County, 445 So. 2d 1330, 1984 Miss. LEXIS 1590 (Miss. 1984).

§ 51-9-140. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1973, ch. 414, eff from and after June 30, 1974.

[En., Laws, 1968, ch. 263; Laws, 1970, ch. 294; Laws, 1971, ch. 433; Laws, 1972, ch. 402; Laws, 1973, ch. 414]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §51-9-140 contained provisions for the determination of whether and to what extent a special tax would be levied. Subsection (3) provided that the section would stand repealed from and after June 30, 1974, except that the repeal would not affect any litigation or prosecutions pending on said dates or prevent the filing of any litigation or commencement of any prosecutions for violation of this section that occurred prior to June 30, 1974.

§ 51-9-141. Validation of bonds.

All bonds issued pursuant to this article shall be validated as now provided by law by Sections 31-13-1 through 31-13-11, Mississippi Code of 1972. The services of the state’s bond attorney may be employed in the preparation of such bond resolutions, forms, or proceedings as may be necessary, for which he shall be paid a reasonable fee. Such validation proceedings shall be instituted in the chancery court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County, Mississippi, but notice of such validation proceedings shall be published at least two times in a newspaper of general circulation and published in each of the counties comprising the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, the first publication of which in each case shall be made at least ten days preceding the date set for the validation.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-71; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 21, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

§ 51-9-143. Trust agreement.

At the discretion of the board of directors of the district any bonds provided for in Section 51-9-133 may be further secured by a trust agreement between the board of directors and a corporate trustee, which may be any trust company or bank having powers of a trust company within or without the state. Any such trust agreement or any resolution providing for the issuance of such bonds may contain such provisions for protecting and enforcing the rights and remedies of the bondholders as are reasonable and proper and not in violation of law. The trust agreement may contain provision for the issuance of additional bonds for any of the purposes authorized by this article, which shall be secured by the revenues pledged thereunder for such bonds to the extent provided therein. The trust agreement may include provisions to the effect that if there is any default in the payment of principal or interest on any of said bonds, any court having jurisdiction of the action may appoint a receiver to administer the properties and facilities of the district described in the trust agreement, on behalf of the district, including authority to sell or make contracts for the sale of any services, facilities, or commodities of the district or to renew such contracts, subject to the approval of the court appointing said receiver; and with power to provide for the payment of such bonds outstanding, or the payment of operating expenses, and to apply the income and revenues to the payment of said bonds and interest thereon in accordance with the resolution of the board of directors authorizing the issuance of such bonds and said trust agreement. The fee for the services of any corporate trustee shall not exceed the normal charges for acting as paying agent plus any additional amount or amounts allowed by the court as the reasonable value of services rendered by the corporate trustee upon default in the payment of principal and interest on the bonds.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-72; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 22, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

§ 51-9-145. Refunding bonds.

The board of directors of the district is hereby authorized to provide by resolution for the issuance of refunding bonds of the district for the purpose of refunding any bonds then outstanding and issued under authority of this article, including the payment of any redemption premium thereon and any interest accrued or to accrue to the date of redemption of such bonds. The issuance of such refunding bonds, the maturity and other details thereof, and the rights, duties, and obligations of the board of directors and of the district in respect to such bonds shall be governed by the provisions of this article, insofar as they are applicable. In no event shall such bonds mature over a period of time exceeding forty years from January 1, 1961. No such refunding bonds shall be issued and delivered more than five years in advance of the date when the bonds to be refunded are redeemable, and not until such outstanding bonds shall have been called for redemption and notice thereof provided for as therein required. The proceeds of any such refunding bonds shall be deposited with the trustee named in the bonds to be refunded and, pending the application thereof to the payment and redemption of the bonds to be refunded, shall be invested and reinvested in obligations of or guaranteed by the United States of America and maturing or being redeemable at or prior to the time when the said bond proceeds are required for the redemption of the bonds to be refunded. All interest or other increment received on or on account of all such investments shall be deposited in and become a part of the fund held by the trustee for the payment and redemption of such refunding bonds.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-73; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 23; Laws, 1964, ch. 250, § 3, eff from and after passage (approved June 4, 1964).

§ 51-9-147. Bonds to be legal investments.

All bonds of the district shall be and are hereby declared to be legal and authorized investments for public funds of counties, cities, towns, school districts, banks, savings banks, trust companies, building and loan associations, savings and loan associations, insurance companies, and for funds of the Mississippi Public Employee’s Retirement System. Such bonds shall be eligible to secure the deposit of any and all public funds of cities, towns, villages, counties, school districts, or other political corporations or subdivisions of the State of Mississippi; and such bonds shall be lawful and sufficient security for said deposits to the extent of their value, when accompanied by all unmatured coupons appurtenant thereto.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-74; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 24, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

§ 51-9-149. Depository for funds of district.

  1. The board of directors shall designate one or more qualified state depositories within the district to serve as depositories for the funds of the district, and all funds of the district other than funds required by any trust agreement to be deposited, from time to time, with the trustee or any paying agent for outstanding bonds of the district shall be deposited in such depository or depositories. Any such designated depository shall be eligible to hold funds of the district to the extent that it is qualified as a depository for state funds.
  2. Before designating a depository or depositories, the board of directors shall issue a notice stating the time and place the board will meet for such purpose and inviting the qualified state depositories in the district to submit applications to be designated depositories. The term of service for depositories shall be prescribed by the board. Such notice shall be published one (1) time in a newspaper or newspapers published in the district and specified by the board.
  3. At the time mentioned in the notice, the board shall consider the applications and the management and condition of the depositories filing them, and shall designate as depositories the qualified state depository or depositories which offer the most favorable terms and conditions for the handling of the funds of the district and which the board finds have proper management and are in condition to warrant handling of district funds. Membership on the board of directors of an officer or director of a depository shall not disqualify such depository from being designated as a depository.
  4. If no applications acceptable to the board are received by the time stated in the notice, the board shall designate some qualified state depository or depositories within or without the district upon such terms and conditions as it may find advantageous to the district. Any such designated depository shall be eligible to hold funds of the district to the extent that it is qualified as a depository for state funds.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-75; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 25; Laws, 1988, ch. 473, § 11, eff from and after December 1, 1988.

§ 51-9-151. Agreements relative to federal highways.

The board of directors of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District is hereby authorized and empowered to negotiate and contract with the United States of America, or any agency thereof, concerning all lands, easements, and rights of way necessary for the relocation of any federal road, highway, parkway, or for the facilities appurtenant thereto.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-76; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 26, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Validity, construction, and application of state relocation assistance laws. 49 A.L.R.4th 491.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

The Pearl River Water Supply District may condemn land for the relocation of the Natchez Trace Parkway, and for use for the accommodation of visitors. Brown v. Pearl River Valley Water Supply Dist., 249 Miss. 697, 163 So. 2d 732, 1964 Miss. LEXIS 427 (Miss. 1964).

§ 51-9-153. Cooperation with other governmental agencies.

The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District shall have authority to act jointly with political subdivisions of the state and agencies, commissions, and instrumentalities thereof, with other states, with municipalities, and with the federal government and other agencies thereof, in the performance of the purposes and services authorized in this article, upon such terms as may be agreed upon by the directors.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-77; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 27, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

§ 51-9-155. Water supply district law controlling.

The provisions of any other law, general, special or local, except as provided in this article, shall not limit or restrict the powers granted by this article. The water supply district herein provided for shall not be subject to regulation or control by the public service commission.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-78; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 28, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

§ 51-9-157. District and its bonds exempt from taxation.

The accomplishment of the purposes stated in this article being for the benefit of the people of this state and for the improvement of their properties and industries, the district in carrying out the purposes of this article will be performing an essential public function and shall not be required to pay any tax or assessment on the project and related facilities or any part thereof, and the interest on the bonds issued hereunder shall at all times be free from taxation within this state. The state hereby covenants with the holders of any bonds to be issued hereunder that the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District shall not be required to pay any taxes or assessments imposed by the state or any of its political subdivisions or taxing districts.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-79; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 29, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

Cross References —

Tax exemptions generally, see §27-31-1 et seq.

§ 51-9-159. Preliminary expenses.

Any municipality or county which is within the territorial limits of the district may advance funds to said district to pay the preliminary expenses, including engineers’ reports, organization, or administration expenses, on such terms of repayment as the governing body of such municipality or county shall determine. Notwithstanding the provisions of any law to the contrary, such municipality or county is authorized and empowered to borrow money for a period not to exceed one year from the date of such borrowing, for the purpose of making such advances. The board of directors is hereby authorized to repay any such advances from the proceeds of any bonds issued under the provisions of this article.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-80; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 30, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

§ 51-9-161. Overflow of school lands not to constitute waste.

It is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination that the overflow and inundation of sixteenth section lands or in lieu lands shall not constitute legal waste of such lands. The district shall pay a reasonable rental for the use of such lands to be overflowed, to be determined as provided by law in such cases. Any sixteenth section lands that have been flooded shall be reforested before this project shall ever be abandoned.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-81; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 31, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

§ 51-9-163. Savings clause.

Nothing in this article shall be construed to violate any provision of the federal or state constitutions, and all acts done under this article shall be done in such manner as will conform thereto, whether herein expressly provided or not. Where any procedure hereunder may be held by any court to be violative of either of such constitutions, the district shall have the power by resolution to provide an alternative procedure conformable with such constitutions. If any provision of this article shall be invalid, such fact shall not affect the creation of the district or the validity of any other provision of this article.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-82; Laws, 1958, ch. 197, § 32, eff from and after passage (approved May 5, 1958).

Article 5. Pearl River Valley Water Supply District Reservoir Police Officer Law of 1978.

§ 51-9-171. Pearl River Valley Water Supply District Reservoir Police Officer Law of 1978.

This article shall be cited as “The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District Reservoir Police Officer Law of 1978.”

HISTORY: Laws, 1978, ch. 511, § 1; Laws, 2000, ch. 316, § 1; Laws, 2012, ch. 477, § 2, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 24, 2012.).

Amendment Notes —

The 2012 amendment substituted “Police” for “Patrol.”

§ 51-9-173. Definitions.

For purposes of this article, unless the context requires otherwise, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed herein:

“District” means the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District.

“Qualified person” means a person who:

Has met all the educational and training requirements of a course of study prescribed and conducted by the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers’ Training Academy; and

Is of good moral character and has not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude.

HISTORY: Laws, 1978, ch. 511, § 2, eff from and after passage (approved April 21, 1978).

§ 51-9-175. Appointment; oath; badge; powers; reimbursement by district.

  1. The board of directors of the district may appoint and commission qualified persons as reservoir police officers of the district. Any such reservoir police officer so appointed shall be certified by the Board on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training or in accordance with the Board on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training and shall attain certification or recertification within one (1) year of appointment, and shall at all times be answerable and responsible to the board of directors of the district.
  2. A reservoir police officer appointed and commissioned as provided in subsection (1) of this section shall, before entering upon his duties as such officer, take the oath of office prescribed by Section 268, Mississippi Constitution of 1890, which shall be endorsed upon his commission. The commission, with the oath endorsed upon it, shall be entered in the official minute book of the district.
  3. A reservoir police officer appointed and commissioned pursuant to the provisions of this article, shall, while engaged in the performance of his duties, carry on his person a badge identifying him as a reservoir police officer of the district and an identification card issued by the district. When in uniform, each such reservoir police officer shall wear his badge in plain view.
  4. A reservoir police officer may exercise the same powers of arrest and the right to bear firearms that may be exercised by any state, municipal or other police officer in this state, but only with respect to violations of law or violations of regulations adopted pursuant to Section 51-9-127, which are committed on the property owned by the district. This includes property which is owned by the district but has been leased or rented to other parties. Any right granted under this subsection in no way relieves the requirements of appropriate affidavit and warrant for arrest from the appropriate jurisdiction and authority pursuant to the laws of this state.
  5. On behalf of each person who is trained as a reservoir police officer at the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers’ Training Academy, the district shall be required to pay to the academy at least an amount equal to the per student cost of operation of the academy as tuition.

HISTORY: Laws, 1978, ch. 511, § 3; Laws, 2000, ch. 316, § 2; Laws, 2008, ch. 480, § 1; Laws, 2012, ch. 477, § 3, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 24, 2012.).

Amendment Notes —

The 2008 amendment substituted “certified by the Board . . . within one (1) year of appointment” for “a full-time employee of the district and shall not be employed by any privately owned guard or security service” in (1).

The 2012 amendment substituted “police” for “patrol” throughout the section; and made minor stylistic changes.

Cross References —

Powers of the board of directors of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District generally, see §51-9-121.

Administration of tests for purpose of determining alcohol content of blood of persons operating motor vehicles, see §63-11-5.

Arrests generally, see §99-3-1-et seq.

§ 51-9-176. Authority to render law enforcement services in emergency situations and participate in multijurisdictional training, law enforcement and emergency operations; command structure; reimbursement for expenses.

At the request of a Mississippi municipality, county, other legal political subdivision of the state or a Mississippi state agency, federal agency, or under a declaration of a state of emergency or disaster by the Governor or the President of the United States, the officers of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District Reservoir Police may render law enforcement services including search and rescue using Pearl River Valley Water Supply District Reservoir Police equipment. Officers of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District Reservoir Police may also participate in joint multijurisdictional training exercises, multijurisdictional law enforcement operations and multijurisdictional search and rescue operations. The officers may exercise the law enforcement authority granted under Section 51-9-175 in the jurisdiction of the training, operation or emergency. The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District Reservoir Police, with the approval of the governing board, may enter into agreements with jurisdictions regarding the circumstances in which emergency assistance may be provided and administered. Unless otherwise directed by an agreement, officers will remain under the authority of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District Reservoir Police Chief or to whomever and to what level of authority is delegated by the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District Reservoir Police Chief or by assignment through the National Incident Management System or by the stated declaration of disaster or emergency. The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District Reservoir Police may seek reimbursement for services and related expenses if available.

HISTORY: Laws, 2008, ch. 522, § 2; Laws, 2012, ch. 477, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 24, 2012.).

Amendment Notes —

The 2012 amendment added the second and third sentences; and substituted “Reservoir Police” for “Patrol” throughout; and added the second and third sentences.

§ 51-9-177. Arrest and detention.

A person arrested by a reservoir police officer shall be handled or processed in the jurisdiction in which the offense was committed, in the same manner as if the arrest had been made by a sheriff or constable. If the reservoir police officer detains any person arrested by him, he shall forthwith deliver the arrested person to the sheriff of the county in which the offense was committed, and the reservoir police officer shall have no further authority as to the custody of such arrested person.

HISTORY: Laws, 1978, ch. 511, § 4; Laws, 2000, ch. 316, § 3; Laws, 2012, ch. 477, § 4, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 24, 2012.).

Amendment Notes —

The 2012 amendment substituted “police” for “patrol” throughout the section.

§ 51-9-179. Liability of district for acts.

The district, by the act of the appointment of any reservoir police officer, shall be liable and responsible for all acts of such reservoir police officer while he is acting or purporting to act under the provisions of this article, whether such action be authorized by this article or not; further, the district shall indemnify the State of Mississippi and any sheriff for any loss, costs or expenses incurred by virtue of any act, deed or omission committed by a reservoir police officer while he is acting or purporting to act under the provisions of this article, whether the act, deed or omission is authorized by this article or not.

HISTORY: Laws, 1978, ch. 511, § 5; Laws, 2000, ch. 316, § 4; Laws, 2012, ch. 477, § 5, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 24, 2012.).

Amendment Notes —

The 2012 amendment substituted “police” for “patrol” throughout the section and made minor stylistic changes.

§ 51-9-181. Bonds.

Each reservoir police officer commissioned under this article shall file a bond in the sum of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) with the district for the lawful and faithful performance of his duties. The cost of the bond shall be borne by the district. The filing of the bond shall not relieve the district from any civil liability it may otherwise incur in accordance with the provisions of Section 51-9-179. The district shall indemnify and hold the State of Mississippi, the Commissioner of Public Safety, and any sheriff harmless from any and all liability which any or all of them might otherwise incur for the negligent or unlawful acts of a reservoir police officer.

HISTORY: Laws, 1978, ch. 511, § 6; Laws, 2000, ch. 316, § 5; Laws, 2012, ch. 477, § 6, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 24, 2012.).

Amendment Notes —

The 2012 amendment substituted “police” for “patrol” throughout the section; and made minor stylistic changes.

§ 51-9-183. Termination of authority.

The powers and authority of any reservoir police officer, whether appointed or commissioned pursuant to the provisions of this article or any former law of this state, may be terminated at any time by the board of directors of the district.

HISTORY: Laws, 1978, ch. 511, § 7; Laws, 2000, ch. 316, § 6; Laws, 2012, ch. 477, § 7, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 24, 2012.).

Amendment Notes —

The 2012 amendment substituted “police” for “patrol.”

§ 51-9-185. Waiver of sovereign immunity.

Nothing contained herein shall be construed to waive the sovereign immunity of the State of Mississippi or the district, in whole or in part.

HISTORY: Laws, 1978, ch. 511, § 8, eff from and after passage (approved April 21, 1978).

Article 7. Metropolitan Area Water Supply Act.

§ 51-9-189. Declaration of purpose; short title.

This act is for the purpose of authorizing the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District to construct, maintain and operate a water treatment plant and regional water distribution system to ensure an adequate and sanitary water supply for the Jackson metropolitan area. This act may be cited as the “Metropolitan Area Water Supply Act”.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 428, § 2, eff from and after passage (approved March 26, 1985).

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 1985, ch. 428, § 19, effective from and after March 26, 1985, provides as follows:

“SECTION 19. Nothing contained in this act shall be construed to authorize the district to impound, appropriate or divert water from the Pearl River in an amount greater than the amount heretofore or hereafter approved through issuance of a permit or license by the Department of Natural Resources [now Department of Environmental Quality] or the Board of Water Commissioners [now Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality].”

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

78 Am. Jur. 2d, Waterworks and Water Companies §§ 1, 2.

CJS.

94 C.J.S., Waters §§ 483-739.

§ 51-9-191. Definitions.

Words and phrases used in this article shall have meanings as follows:

“Act” means the Metropolitan Area Water Supply Act (this article) as originally enacted or hereafter amended.

“Board of directors” means the board of directors of the district.

“Bonds” means revenue bonds, interim notes (having a maturity of three (3) years or less) and other certificates of indebtedness of the district issued under this act.

“District” means the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District.

“Person” means and includes the State of Mississippi, any city, town, county, political subdivision or public agency of the state or of the United States of America, and any corporation, individual, partnership, association, firm, trust estate or any other entity whatsoever.

“Public agency” means any city, town, public agency or political subdivision of the state authorized by law to supply water to persons within the geographical boundaries of such city, town, public agency or political subdivision.

“Water supply system” means pipelines, conduits, pumping stations and all other structures, devices and appliances appurtenant thereto, including land and right-of-way thereto, for use in transporting water to public agencies, with respect to the district, or to a point of ultimate use with respect to any other public agency.

“Waterworks” means, with respect to the district, all works, plants or other facilities, including open channels, necessary for the purpose of collecting, storing, treating and transporting water to public agencies and means, with respect to any other public agency, all works, plants or other facilities necessary for the purpose of collecting, storing, treating and transporting water to persons for municipal, commercial, domestic, industrial, agricultural or manufacturing purposes.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 428, § 3, eff from and after passage (approved March 26, 1985).

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 1985, ch. 428, § 19, effective from and after March 26, 1985, provides as follows:

“SECTION 19. Nothing contained in this act shall be construed to authorize the district to impound, appropriate or divert water from the Pearl River in an amount greater than the amount heretofore or hereafter approved through issuance of a permit or license by the Department of Natural Resources [now Department of Environmental Quality] or the Board of Water Commissioners [now Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality].”

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

78 Am. Jur. 2d, Waterworks and Water Companies §§ 1, 2.

CJS.

94 C.J.S., Waters §§ 531-794.

§ 51-9-193. Additional authority of district.

The district, through its board of directors, in addition to any and all powers now or hereafter granted to it, is hereby empowered:

To construct, operate and maintain a waterworks and water supply system in furtherance of the purposes of this act on land now owned or hereafter acquired by it for said purpose and to construct or otherwise acquire all waterworks or other facilities deemed necessary or useful for the treatment and processing of water available to it and the transportation and supplying of such water to public agencies or to the district or persons situated on land owned by the district for municipal, commercial, domestic, industrial, agricultural and manufacturing purposes.

To acquire by condemnation or otherwise any and all property of any kind, real, personal, or mixed, or any interest therein, necessary or convenient to the exercise of the purposes of and the powers granted by this act. Any property acquired by condemnation shall be acquired according to the procedure otherwise provided by law for the condemnation of property by public agencies. For the purposes of this act, the right of eminent domain shall be superior and dominant to the right of eminent domain of railroad, telephone, telegraph, gas, power and other companies or corporations.

The amount and character of interest in land, other property, and easements thus to be acquired shall be determined by the board of directors, and their determination shall be conclusive and shall not be subject to attack in the absence of manifold abuse of discretion or fraud on the part of such board in making such determination. However:

In acquiring lands, either by negotiation or condemnation, the district shall not acquire minerals or royalties; provided that sand and gravel shall not be considered as minerals within the meaning of this section; and

No person or persons owning the drilling rights or the right to share in production shall be prevented from exploring, developing or producing oil or gas with necessary rights-of-way for ingress and egress, pipelines and other means of transporting interests on any land or interest therein of the district held or used for the purposes of this act; but any such activities shall be under such reasonable regulations by the board of directors as will adequately protect the waterworks and water supply system of the district contemplated by this act.

To require the necessary relocation or rerouting of roads and highways, railroad, telephone and telegraph lines and properties, electric power lines, gas pipelines and related facilities, or to require the anchoring or other protection of any of these, provided due compensation is first paid to the owners thereof or agreement is had with such owners regarding the payment of the cost of such relocation, and to acquire easements or rights-of-way for such relocation or rerouting and to convey the same to the owners of the property being relocated or rerouted in connection with the purposes of this act.

To enter into contracts with any person in furtherance of any of the purposes authorized by this act upon such consideration as the board of directors and such person may agree. Any such contract may extend over any period of time, notwithstanding any provision or rule of law to the contrary, may be upon such terms as the parties thereto shall agree, and may provide that it shall continue in effect until bonds specified therein, refunding bonds issued in lieu of such bonds and all other obligations specified therein are paid or terminated. Any such contract shall be binding upon the parties thereto according to its terms.

To make and enforce, and from time to time amend and repeal, bylaws and rules and regulations for the management of its business and affairs and for the construction, use, maintenance and operation of any of the waterworks or water supply system under its management and control and any other of its properties.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 428, § 4, eff from and after passage (approved March 26, 1985).

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 1985, ch. 428, § 19, effective from and after March 26, 1985, provides as follows:

“SECTION 19. Nothing contained in this act shall be construed to authorize the district to impound, appropriate or divert water from the Pearl River in an amount greater than the amount heretofore or hereafter approved through issuance of a permit or license by the Department of Natural Resources [now Department of Environmental Quality] or the Board of Water Commissioners [now Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality].”

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

64 Am. Jur. 2d, Public Securities and Obligations § 99.

78 Am. Jur. 2d, Waterworks and Water Companies §§ 1, 2.

CJS.

11 C.J.S., Bonds §§ 7-37.

94 C.J.S., Waters §§ 483-739.

§ 51-9-195. Payments by public agencies for water supplies.

Payments by any public agency for water supplies from the waterworks or water supply system owned or operated by the district shall be made from the gross receipts or revenues of the public agency’s waterworks, water supply system, or of its combined waterworks, water supply, sewerage and sewage disposal systems, as may be prescribed in the contract between the public agency and the district, its successors or assigns, or as otherwise authorized by law. Such payments shall constitute an operating expense of the system or systems whose revenues are thus to be applied. No provision of this act shall be construed to prohibit any public agency, otherwise permitted by law to issue bonds, from issuing bonds in the manner provided by law for the construction, renovation, repair or development of waterworks or a water supply system or any part thereof owned or operated by such public agency. Payments made or to be made to the district pursuant to any contract authorized by this act shall not be subject to approval or review by the Mississippi Public Service Commission.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 428, § 6, eff from and after passage (approved March 26, 1985).

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 1985, ch. 428, § 19, effective from and after March 26, 1985, provides as follows:

“SECTION 19. Nothing contained in this act shall be construed to authorize the district to impound, appropriate or divert water from the Pearl River in an amount greater than the amount heretofore or hereafter approved through issuance of a permit or license by the Department of Natural Resources [now Department of Environmental Quality] or the Board of Water Commissioners [now Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality].”

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

78 Am. Jur. 2d, Waterworks and Water Companies §§ 1, 2.

CJS.

94 C.J.S., Waters §§ 531-794.

§ 51-9-197. Adjustment of rates charged by public agencies.

Whenever a public agency shall have executed a contract pursuant to this act and the payments thereunder are to be made either wholly or partly from the revenues of the public agency’s waterworks, water supply system, sewerage system or sewage disposal system or a combination of such systems, the duty is hereby imposed on the public agency to establish and maintain and from time to time to adjust the rates charged by the public agency for the services of such system or systems, such that the revenues therefrom together with any taxes levied in support thereof will be sufficient at all times to pay: (a) the expense of operating and maintaining such system or systems including all of the public agency’s obligations to the district, its successors or assigns under such contract; and (b) all of the public agency’s obligations under and in connection with revenue bonds theretofore issued, or which may be issued thereafter and secured by the revenues of such system or systems. Any such contract may require the use of consulting engineers and financial experts to advise the public agency whether and when such rates are to be adjusted.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 428, § 7, eff from and after passage (approved March 26, 1985).

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 1985, ch. 428, § 19, effective from and after March 26, 1985, provides as follows:

“SECTION 19. Nothing contained in this act shall be construed to authorize the district to impound, appropriate or divert water from the Pearl River in an amount greater than the amount heretofore or hereafter approved through issuance of a permit or license by the Department of Natural Resources [now Department of Environmental Quality] or the Board of Water Commissioners [now Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality].”

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Amount paid by public utility of affiliate for goods or services as includible in utility’s rate base and operating expenses in rate proceeding. 16 A.L.R.4th 454.

§ 51-9-201. Contracts between district and public agencies.

  1. Any public agency may, pursuant to a duly adopted resolution of the governing authority of such public agency, enter into contracts with the district for the district to acquire, construct, lease, improve, extend, operate or maintain a waterworks or water supply system or any part thereof or interest therein for the furnishing of water to the public agency; such contracts shall obligate the public agency to make payments to the district or to a trustee in amounts which shall be sufficient to enable the district to defray the expenses of administering, operating and maintaining its waterworks and water supply system, to pay interest and principal (whether at maturity or upon sinking fund redemption) on bonds of the district issued pursuant to this act and to fund reserves for debt service, for operation and maintenance and for renewals and replacements, and to fulfill requirements of any rate covenant with respect to debt service coverage contained in any resolution, trust indenture or other security agreement relating to the bonds of the district issued pursuant to this act. Any public agency shall have the power to enter into such contracts with the district as in the discretion of the governing authorities thereof would be in the best interest of such public agency. Such contracts may include a pledge of the full faith and credit of such public agency for payment of such amounts due under such contracts. Any such contract may provide for the sale or lease to or use of by the district of the waterworks, the water supply system or any part thereof of the public agency; may provide that the district shall operate the waterworks, water supply system or any part thereof of the public agency; may provide that any public agency shall have the right to continued use and/or priority use of the waterworks, water supply system or any part thereof of the district and the water supply made available thereby during the useful life thereof upon payment of reasonable charges therefor; may contain provisions to assure equitable treatment of persons or public agencies who contract with the district pursuant to this act; and may contain such other provisions and requirements as the parties thereto may determine to be appropriate or necessary. Such contracts may extend over any period of time, notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, and may extend beyond the life of the waterworks or water supply system or any part thereof or the term of the bonds sold with respect to such facilities or improvements thereto.
  2. The obligations of a public agency arising under the terms of any contract referred to in this act, whether or not payable solely from a pledge of revenues, shall not be included within the indebtedness limitations of the public agency for purposes of any constitutional or statutory limitation or provision. To the extent provided in such contract and to the extent such obligations of the public agency are payable solely from the revenues and other moneys derived by the public agency from the operation of its waterworks or water supply system or any part thereof, such obligations shall be treated as expenses of operating such systems.
  3. Contracts referred to in this section may also provide for payments in the form of contributions to defray the cost of any purpose set forth in the contracts and as advances for the waterworks or water supply system or any part thereof subject to repayment by the district. A public agency may make such contributions or advances from its general fund or surplus fund or from any moneys legally available therefor.
  4. Payments made or to be made to the district by a public agency or other person pursuant to a contract for the waterworks or water supply system or any part thereof and the use of the water made available thereby shall be determined by the method specified in such contract and shall not be subject to approval or review by the Mississippi Public Service Commission.
  5. Subject to the terms of a contract or contracts referred to in this act, the district is hereby authorized to do and perform any and all acts or things necessary, convenient or desirable to carry out the purposes of such contracts, including the fixing, charging, collecting, maintaining and revising of rates, fees and other charges for the services rendered and water supplied to any user of the waterworks or water supply system operated or maintained by the district, whether or not such systems are owned by the district.
  6. The district shall plan any construction of any such waterworks or water supply system, shall enter into such contracts and shall arrange such financing as to assure that the district shall receive in payment under such contracts revenues sufficient to defray all direct and indirect costs, whether administrative, operational or otherwise, of administering, operating and maintaining such waterworks and water supply system, to pay interest and principal (whether at maturity or upon sinking fund redemption) on bonds of the district issued pursuant to this act and to fund reserves for debt service, for operation and maintenance and for renewals and replacements, and to fulfill requirements of any rate covenant with respect to debt service coverage contained in any resolution, trust indenture or other security agreement relating to the bonds of the district issued pursuant to this act. To that end, the district may not expend money, including taxes levied pursuant to Section 51-9-131, Mississippi Code of 1972, for construction, operation or maintenance of any waterworks or water supply system authorized, acquired, constructed or improved under this act in excess of the revenues received by the district pursuant to contracts authorized by this act or otherwise available from the operation of such waterworks or water supply system.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 428, § 5, eff from and after passage (approved March 26, 1985).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

To the extent allowable consistent with a city’s priority right as set out in a contract, the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District may obtain, use, sell and deliver potable water from the Ross Barnett Reservoir to entities other than the city subject to applicable state and federal law and regulations. 2003 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 55.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

78 Am. Jur. 2d, Waterworks and Water Companies §§ 1, 2.

CJS.

94 C.J.S., Waters §§ 531-794.

§ 51-9-205. Issuance of bonds by district; sales price and other bond requirements.

  1. The district shall have the power and is hereby authorized, from time to time, to issue bonds without notice and without an election on the question of the issuance thereof in such principal amounts as the district may determine to be necessary to provide sufficient funds for achieving the purposes of this act, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, to defray the cost of the acquisition, construction, improvement or extension of the waterworks or water supply system or any part thereof, whether or not such facilities are owned by the district, the payment of interest on bonds of the district issued pursuant to this act, establishment of reserves to secure such bonds and payment of the interest thereon, expenses incident to the issuance of such bonds and to the implementation of the district’s waterworks, water supply system and all other expenditures of the district incident to or necessary or convenient to carry out the purposes of this act. The bonds authorized by this act shall never constitute nor give rise to a pecuniary liability of the district, or a charge against its general credit or taxing powers and shall not constitute general obligations of the state.
  2. Bonds of the district issued pursuant to this act shall be payable from and secured by a pledge of all or any part of the revenues under any contract entered into pursuant to this act and from all or any part of the revenues derived from the operation of the waterworks and water supply system or any part thereof, as may be determined by the district, subject only to any agreement with the registered owners of the bonds. Such bonds may be further secured by a trust indenture between the district and a corporate trustee, which may be any trust company or bank having powers of a trust company within or without the state.
  3. Bonds of the district issued pursuant to this act shall be authorized by a resolution or resolutions of the district. Such bonds shall bear such date or dates, mature at such time or times, bear interest at such rate or rates, be in such denomination or denominations, be in such form, carry such conversion privileges, have such rank or priority, be executed in such manner and by such officers, be payable from such sources in such medium of payment at such place or places within or without the state, provided that one (l) such place shall be within the state, be subject to such terms of redemption prior to maturity, all as may be provided by resolution or resolutions of the district; however, such bonds shall not bear a greater overall interest rate to maturity than that allowed in Section 75-17-103, Mississippi Code of 1972.
  4. Bonds of the district issued pursuant to this act may be sold at a price not less than ninety-seven percent (97%) of par value plus accrued interest, at public or private sale, at such times as may be determined by the district to be in the public interest, and the district may pay all expenses, premiums, fees and commissions which it may deem necessary and advantageous in connection with the issuance and sale thereof.
  5. Any pledge of earnings, revenues or other moneys made by the district shall be valid and binding from the time the pledge is made. The earnings, revenues or other moneys so pledged and thereafter received by the district shall immediately be subject to the lien of such pledge without any physical delivery thereof or further act, and the lien of any such pledge shall be valid and binding as against all parties having claims of any kind in tort, contract or otherwise against the district irrespective of whether such parties have notice thereof. Neither the resolution nor any other instrument by which a pledge is created need be recorded.
  6. Neither the directors of the district nor any person executing the bonds shall be personally liable on the bonds or be subject to any personal liability or accountability by reason of the issuance thereof.
  7. Whenever any bonds shall have been signed by the officer(s) designated by the resolution of the district to sign the bonds who were in office at the time of such signing but who may have ceased to be such officer(s) prior to the sale and delivery of such bonds, or who may not have been in office on the date such bonds may bear, the manual or facsimile signatures of such officer(s) upon such bonds shall nevertheless be valid and sufficient for all purposes and have the same effect as if the person so officially executing such bonds had remained in office until the delivery of the same to the purchaser or had been in office on the date such bonds may bear.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 428, § 8, eff from and after passage (provided March 26, 1985).

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 1985, ch. 428, § 19, effective from and after March 26, 1985, provides as follows:

“SECTION 19. Nothing contained in this act shall be construed to authorize the district to impound, appropriate or divert water from the Pearl River in an amount greater than the amount heretofore or hereafter approved through issuance of a permit or license by the Department of Natural Resources [now Department of Environmental Quality] or the Board of Water Commissioners [now Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality].”

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

64 Am. Jur. 2d, Public Securities and Obligations § 99.

CJS.

11 C.J.S., Bonds §§ 7-37.

§ 51-9-207. Issuance of refunding bonds.

The district may issue refunding bonds for the purpose of paying any of its bonds at or prior to maturity or upon acceleration or redemption. Refunding bonds may be issued at such time prior to the maturity or redemption of the refunded bonds as the district deems to be in the public interest, without notice and without an election on the question of the issuance thereof. The refunding bonds may be issued in sufficient amounts to pay or provide the principal of the bonds being refunded, together with any redemption premium thereon, any interest accrued or to accrue to the date of payment of such bonds, the expenses of issue of the refunding bonds, the expenses of redeeming the bonds being refunded and such reserves for debt service or other capital or current expenses from the proceeds of such refunding bonds as may be required by the resolution, trust indenture or other security instruments. The issue of refunding bonds, the maturities and other details thereof, the security therefor, the rights of the holders and the rights, duties and obligations of the district in respect of the same shall be governed by the provisions of this act relating to the issue of bonds other than refunding bonds insofar as the same may be applicable. Any such refunding may be effected, whether the obligations to be refunded shall have then matured or shall thereafter mature, either by the exchange of the refunding bonds for the obligations to be refunded thereby with the consent of the holders of the obligations so to be refunded, or by sale of the refunding bonds and the application of the proceeds thereof to the payment of the obligations proposed to be refunded thereby, and regardless of whether the obligations proposed to be refunded shall be payable on the same date or different dates or shall be due serially or otherwise.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 428, § 9, eff from and after passage (approved March 26, 1985).

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 1985, ch. 428, § 19, effective from and after March 26, 1985, provides as follows:

“SECTION 19. Nothing contained in this act shall be construed to authorize the district to impound, appropriate or divert water from the Pearl River in an amount greater than the amount heretofore or hereafter approved through issuance of a permit or license by the Department of Natural Resources [now Department of Environmental Quality] or the Board of Water Commissioners [now Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality].”

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

64 Am. Jur. 2d, Public Securities and Obligations § 99.

CJS.

11 C.J.S., Bonds §§ 7-37.

§ 51-9-209. Validation of bonds; notice.

All bonds (other than refunding bonds, interim notes and certificate of indebtedness) issued pursuant to this act shall be validated as now provided by law in Sections 31-13-1 through 31-13-11, Mississippi Code of 1972; provided, however, that notice of such validation proceedings shall be addressed to the taxpayers of any public agency (i) which has contracted with the district pursuant to this act and whose contracts and the payments to be made by the public agency thereunder constitute security for the bonds of the district proposed to be issued, or (ii) which is a member of the district. Such notice shall be published at least once in a newspaper or newspapers having a general circulation within the geographical boundaries of each of the public agencies to whose taxpayers the notice is addressed. Such validation proceedings shall be instituted in the First Judicial District of the Chancery Court of Hinds County. The validity of the bonds so validated and of the contracts and payments to be made by the public agencies thereunder constituting security for the bonds shall be forever conclusive against the district and the public agencies which are parties to said contracts; and the validity of said bonds and said contracts and the payment to be made thereunder shall never be called in question in any court in this state.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 428, § 10, eff from and after passage (approved March 26, 1985).

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 1985, ch. 428, § 19, effective from and after March 26, 1985, provides as follows:

“SECTION 19. Nothing contained in this act shall be construed to authorize the district to impound, appropriate or divert water from the Pearl River in an amount greater than the amount heretofore or hereafter approved through issuance of a permit or license by the Department of Natural Resources [now Department of Environmental Quality] or the Board of Water Commissioners [now Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality].”

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

64 Am. Jur. 2d, Public Securities and Obligations § 99.

CJS.

11 C.J.S., Bonds §§ 7-37.

§ 51-9-211. State not obligated with respect to bonds; limitations on obligation of district.

Bonds issued under the provisions of this act shall not be deemed to constitute, within the meaning of any constitutional or statutory limitation, a debt, liability or obligation of the state, nor shall such bonds constitute a pledge of the full faith and credit of the state or of the district, but shall be payable solely from the revenues or assets of the district pledged therefor. Each bond issued under this act shall contain on the face thereof a statement to the effect that the district shall not be obligated to pay the same nor the interest thereon except from the revenues or assets pledged therefor and that neither the full faith and credit nor the taxing power of the state or the district is pledged to the payment of the principal of or the interest on such bonds.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 428, § 11, eff from and after passage (approved March 26, 1985).

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 1985, ch. 428, § 19, effective from and after March 26, 1985, provides as follows:

“SECTION 19. Nothing contained in this act shall be construed to authorize the district to impound, appropriate or divert water from the Pearl River in an amount greater than the amount heretofore or hereafter approved through issuance of a permit or license by the Department of Natural Resources [now Department of Environmental Quality] or the Board of Water Commissioners [now Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality].”

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

64 Am. Jur. 2d, Public Securities and Obligations § 99.

CJS.

11 C.J.S., Bonds §§ 7-37.

§ 51-9-213. Powers of district in connection with issuance of bonds.

The district shall have power in connection with the issuance of its bonds to:

Covenant as to the use of any or all of its property, real or personal.

Redeem the bonds, to covenant for their redemption and to provide the terms and conditions thereof.

Covenant to charge rates, fees and charges sufficient to meet operating and maintenance expenses, renewals and replacements, principal and debt service on bonds, creation and maintenance of any reserves required by a bond resolution, trust indenture or other security instrument and to provide for any margins or coverages over and above debt service on the bonds deemed desirable for the marketability of the bonds.

Covenant and prescribe as to events of default and terms and conditions upon which any or all of its bonds shall become or may be declared due before maturity, as to the terms and conditions upon which such declaration and its consequences may be waived and as to the consequences of default and the remedies of the registered owners of the bonds.

Covenant as to the mortgage or pledge of or the grant of a security interest in any real or personal property and all or any part of the revenues from any water treatment, waterworks or water supply systems or any part thereof or any revenue-producing contract or contracts made by the district with any person to secure the payment of bonds, subject to such agreements with the registered owners of bonds as may then exist.

Covenant as to the custody, collection, securing, investment and payment of any revenues, assets, moneys, funds or property with respect to which the district may have any rights or interest.

Covenant as to the purposes to which the proceeds from the sale of any bonds then or thereafter to be issued may be applied, and the pledge of such proceeds to secure the payment of the bonds.

Covenant as to the limitations on the issuance of any additional bonds, the terms upon which additional bonds may be issued and secured and the refunding of outstanding bonds.

Covenant as to the rank or priority of any bonds with respect to any lien or security.

Covenant as to the procedure by which the terms of any contract with or for the benefit of the registered owners of bonds may be amended or abrogated, the amount of bonds the registered owners of which must consent thereto and the manner in which such consent may be given.

Covenant as to the custody of any of its properties or investments, the safekeeping thereof, the insurance to be carried thereon and the use and disposition of insurance proceeds.

Covenant as to the vesting in a trustee or trustees, within or outside the state, of such properties, rights, powers and duties in trust as the district may determine.

Covenant as to the appointing and providing for the duties and obligations of a paying agent or paying agents or other fiduciaries within or outside the state.

Make all other covenants and to do any and all such acts and things as may be necessary or convenient or desirable in order to secure its bonds, or in the absolute discretion of the district tend to make the bonds more marketable, notwithstanding that such covenants, acts or things may not be enumerated herein; it being the intention hereof to give the district power to do all things in the issuance of bonds and in the provisions for security thereof which are not inconsistent with the Constitution of the state.

Execute all instruments necessary or convenient in the exercise of the powers herein granted or in the performance of covenants or duties, which may contain such covenants and provisions as any purchaser of the bonds of the district may reasonably require.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 428, § 12, eff from and after passage (approved March 26, 1985).

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 1985, ch. 428, § 19, effective from and after March 26, 1985, provides as follows:

“SECTION 19. Nothing contained in this act shall be construed to authorize the district to impound, appropriate or divert water from the Pearl River in an amount greater than the amount heretofore or hereafter approved through issuance of a permit or license by the Department of Natural Resources [now Department of Environmental Quality] or the Board of Water Commissioners [now Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality].”

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

64 Am. Jur. 2d, Public Securities and Obligations § 99.

CJS.

11 C.J.S., Bonds §§ 7-37.

§ 51-9-215. Appointment of trustee to represent bond owners; appointment of receiver.

The district may, in any authorizing resolution of the board of directors, trust indenture or other security instrument relating to its bonds, provide for the appointment of a trustee who shall have such powers as are provided therein to represent the registered owners of any issue of bonds in the enforcement or protection of their rights under any such resolution, trust indenture or security instrument. The district may also provide in such resolution, trust indenture or other security instrument that the trustee, or in the event that the trustee so appointed shall fail or decline to so protect and enforce such registered owners’ rights then such percentage of registered owners as shall be set forth in, and subject to the provisions of, such resolution, trust indenture or other security interest, may petition the court of proper jurisdiction for the appointment of a receiver of the collection facilities or treatment facilities the revenues of which are pledged to the payment of the principal of and interest on the bonds of such registered owners. Such receiver may exercise any power as may be granted in any such resolution, trust indenture or security instrument to enter upon and take possession of, acquire, construct or reconstruct or operate and maintain such collection facilities or treatment facilities, fix, charge, collect, enforce and receive all revenues derived from such collection facilities or treatment facilities and perform the public duties and carry out the contracts and obligations of the district in the same manner as the district itself might do, all under the direction of such court.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 428, § 13, eff from and after passage (approved March 26, 1985).

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 1985, ch. 428, § 19, effective from and after March 26, 1985, provides as follows:

“SECTION 19. Nothing contained in this act shall be construed to authorize the district to impound, appropriate or divert water from the Pearl River in an amount greater than the amount heretofore or hereafter approved through issuance of a permit or license by the Department of Natural Resources [now Department of Environmental Quality] or the Board of Water Commissioners [now Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality].”

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

64 Am. Jur. 2d, Public Securities and Obligations § 99.

CJS.

11 C.J.S., Bonds §§ 7-37.

§ 51-9-217. Exemption of district from taxes and fees; bonds to be free from taxation; exceptions.

  1. The exercise of the powers granted by this act will be in all respects for the benefit of the people of the state, for their well-being and prosperity and for the improvement of their social and economic conditions, and the district shall not be required to pay any tax or assessment on any property owned by the district under the provisions of this act or upon the income therefrom; nor shall the district be required to pay any recording fee or transfer tax of any kind on account of instruments recorded by it or on its behalf.
  2. Any bonds issued by the district under the provisions of this act, their transfer and the income therefrom shall at all times be free from taxation by the state or any local unit or political subdivision or other instrumentality of the state, excepting inheritance and gift taxes.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 428, § 14, eff from and after passage (approved March 26, 1985).

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 1985, ch. 428, § 19, effective from and after March 26, 1985, provides as follows:

“SECTION 19. Nothing contained in this act shall be construed to authorize the district to impound, appropriate or divert water from the Pearl River in an amount greater than the amount heretofore or hereafter approved through issuance of a permit or license by the Department of Natural Resources [now Department of Environmental Quality] or the Board of Water Commissioners [now Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality].”

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

64 Am. Jur. 2d, Public Securities and Obligations § 99.

CJS.

11 C.J.S., Bonds §§ 7-37.

§ 51-9-219. Bonds to be legal investments and to be accepted by state officers and bodies.

All bonds issued under the provisions of this act shall be legal investments for trustees, other fiduciaries, savings banks, trust companies and insurance companies organized under the laws of the State of Mississippi; and such bonds shall be legal securities which may be deposited with and shall be received by all public officers and bodies of the state and all municipalities and other political subdivisions thereof for the purpose of securing the deposit of public funds.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 428, § 15, eff from and after passage (approved March 26, 1985).

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 1985, ch. 428, § 19, effective from and after March 26, 1985, provides as follows:

“SECTION 19. Nothing contained in this act shall be construed to authorize the district to impound, appropriate or divert water from the Pearl River in an amount greater than the amount heretofore or hereafter approved through issuance of a permit or license by the Department of Natural Resources [now Department of Environmental Quality] or the Board of Water Commissioners [now Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality].”

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

64 Am. Jur. 2d, Public Securities and Obligations § 99.

CJS.

11 C.J.S., Bonds §§ 7-37.

§ 51-9-221. Rights and powers of district to remain unchanged while bonds are outstanding and unpaid.

The state hereby covenants with the registered owners of any bonds of the district that so long as the bonds are outstanding and unpaid the state will not limit or alter the rights and powers of the district under this act to conduct the activities referred to herein in any way pertinent to the interests of the bondholders including, without limitation, the district’s right to charge and collect rates, fees and charges and to fulfill the terms of any covenants made with the registered owners of the bonds, or in any other way impair the rights and remedies of the registered owners of the bonds, unless provision for full payment of such bonds, by escrow or otherwise, has been made pursuant to the terms of the bonds or the resolution, trust indenture or security instrument securing the bonds.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 428, § 16, eff from and after passage (approved March 26, 1985).

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 1985, ch. 428, § 19, effective from and after March 26, 1985, provides as follows:

“SECTION 19. Nothing contained in this act shall be construed to authorize the district to impound, appropriate or divert water from the Pearl River in an amount greater than the amount heretofore or hereafter approved through issuance of a permit or license by the Department of Natural Resources [now Department of Environmental Quality] or the Board of Water Commissioners [now Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality].”

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

64 Am. Jur. 2d, Public Securities and Obligations § 99.

CJS.

11 C.J.S., Bonds §§ 7-37.

§ 51-9-225. Provisions of article to be cumulative of other statutes.

The provisions of this act are cumulative of other statutes now or hereafter enacted relating to the issuance of bonds; to waterworks or water supply systems; and to the design, construction, acquisition or approval of facilities for such purposes, and any public agency may exercise all presently held powers in the furtherance of this act.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 428, § 17, eff from and after passage (approved March 26, 1985).

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 1985, ch. 428, § 19, effective from and after March 26, 1985, provides as follows:

“SECTION 19. Nothing contained in this act shall be construed to authorize the district to impound, appropriate or divert water from the Pearl River in an amount greater than the amount heretofore or hereafter approved through issuance of a permit or license by the Department of Natural Resources [now Department of Environmental Quality] or the Board of Water Commissioners [now Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality].”

§ 51-9-227. Severability of provisions.

If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of the provisions of this act shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.

HISTORY: Laws, 1985, ch. 428, § 18, eff from and after passage (approved March 26, 1985).

Editor’s Notes —

Laws of 1985, ch. 428, § 19, effective from and after March 26, 1985, provides as follows:

“SECTION 19. Nothing contained in this act shall be construed to authorize the district to impound, appropriate or divert water from the Pearl River in an amount greater than the amount heretofore or hereafter approved through issuance of a permit or license by the Department of Natural Resources [now Department of Environmental Quality] or the Board of Water Commissioners [now Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality].”

Chapter 11. Pearl River Basin Development District

Repealed.

§ 51-11-1. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-1. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-251; Laws, 1964, ch. 255, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved June 1, 1964).]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-1 provided legislative intent and declaration of policy regarding the need for the creation of the Pearl River Basin Development District.

§ 51-11-3. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-3. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-252; Laws, 1964, ch. 255, § 2, eff from and after passage (approved June 1, 1964).]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-3 provided the general authority to organize the Pearl River Basing Development District.

§ 51-11-5. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-5. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-253; Laws, 1964, ch. 255, § 3; Laws, 1981, ch. 402, § 2; Laws, 1984, ch. 426, § 1; Laws, 2000, ch. 516, § 92; Laws, 2004, ch. 403, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 2004.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-5 related to the board of directors of the Pearl River Basin Development District.

§ 51-11-7. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-7. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-254; Laws, 1964, 1st Ex. Sess., ch. 19; Laws, 1966, ch. 272, § 1; Laws, 1997, ch. 343, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved March 17, 1997).]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-7 provided a list of the counties that could become members of the district.

§ 51-11-9. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-9. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-255; Laws, 1964, ch. 255, § 5; Laws, 2000, ch. 516, § 93, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 30, 2000).]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-9 created the district.

§ 51-11-11. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after passage (approved March 15, 2018).

§51-11-11. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-257; Laws, 1964, ch. 255, § 7; Laws, 1968, ch. 264, § 2; Laws, 1984, ch. 426, § 2, eff from and after July 1, 1984.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-11 related to the powers of the district.

§ 51-11-13. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-13. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-258; Laws, 1964, ch. 255, § 8; Laws, 1984, ch. 426, § 3, eff from and after July 1, 1984; Laws, 1993, ch. 615, § 8; Laws, 1995, ch. 616, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 1995; Laws, 1998, ch. 515, § 18, eff from and after July 1, 1998.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-13 related to additional powers of the district.

§ 51-11-15. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-15. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-259; Laws, 1964, ch. 255, § 9; Laws, 1984, ch. 426, § 4, eff from and after July 1, 1984.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-15 related to construction contracts.

§ 51-11-17. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-17. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-260; Laws, 1964, ch. 255, § 10, eff from and after passage (approved June 1, 1964).]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-17 authorized the district to establish park and recreation facilities.

§ 51-11-19. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after passage (approved March 15, 2018).

§51-11-19. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-261; Laws, 1964, ch. 255, § 11; Laws, 2000, ch. 516, § 94, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 30, 2000).]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-19 related to the establishment of rules and regulations.

§ 51-11-21. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-21. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-269; Laws, 1968, ch. 264, § 3; Laws, 1984, ch. 426, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 1984.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-21 authorized the board of directors to issue bonds.

§ 51-11-23. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-23. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-270; Laws, 1968, ch. 264, § 4, eff from and after passage (approved July 18, 1968).]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-23 provided details of the bonds authorized under former §51-11-21.

§ 51-11-25. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after passage (approved March 15, 2018).

§51-11-25. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-271; Laws, 1968, ch. 264, § 5; Laws, 1984, ch. 426, § 6, eff from and after July 1, 1984.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-25 limited the dollar amount of bonds issued under §§51-11-1 through51-11-51.

§ 51-11-27. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-27. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-272; Laws, 1968, ch. 264, § 6, eff from and after passage (approved July 18, 1968).]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-27 related to the validation of the bonds issued under the chapter.

§ 51-11-29. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-29. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-273; Laws, 1968, ch. 264, § 7, eff from and after passage (approved July 18, 1968).]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-29 provided that bonds provided for in §51-11-21 could be further secured by a trust agreement.

§ 51-11-31. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-31. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-256; Laws, 1964, ch. 255, § 6; Laws, 1968, ch. 264, § 1; Laws, 1986, ch. 400, § 32, eff from and after October 1, 1986.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-31 required member counties to pay to the district an annual sum on all taxable property within the county.

§ 51-11-33. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-33. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-256; Laws, 1964, ch. 255, § 6; Laws, 1968, ch. 264, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved July 18, 1968).]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-33 required member counties to pay to the district two mills of all ad valorem taxes.

§ 51-11-35. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-35. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-256; Laws, 1964, ch. 255, § 6; Laws, 1968, ch. 264, § 1; Laws, 1986, ch. 400, § 33, eff from and after October 1, 1986.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-35 related to additional funds for planning, undertaking, construction, completion, operation and maintenance of work that was of special benefit to and situated within a member county.

§ 51-11-37. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-37. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-256; Laws, 1964, ch. 255, § 6; Laws, 1968, ch. 264, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved July 18, 1968).]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-37 related to payment of preliminary expenses of the district.

§ 51-11-39. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-39. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-262; Laws, 1964, ch. 255, § 12; Laws, 1988, ch. 473, § 12, eff from and after December 1, 1988.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-39 related to the designation of one or more qualified depositories to serve as depositories for district funds.

§ 51-11-41. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-41. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-263; Laws, 1964, ch. 255, § 13, eff from and after passage (approved June 1, 1964).]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-41 related to agreements relative to federal highways.

§ 51-11-43. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-43. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-264; Laws, 1964, ch. 255, § 14; Laws, 1968, ch. 264, § 8; Laws, 1984, ch. 426, § 7, eff from and after July 1, 1984.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-43 authorized the district to act jointly with other state or federal governmental agencies.

§ 51-11-45. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-45. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-265; Laws, 1964, ch. 255, § 15, eff from and after passage (approved June 1, 1964).]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-45 exempted the district and its bonds from taxation.

§ 51-11-47. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-47. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-266; Laws, 1964, ch. 255, § 16, eff from and after passage (approved June 1, 1964).]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-47 provided that overflow and inundation of sixteenth section lands or in lieu lands did not constitute waste.

§ 51-11-49. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-49. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-274; Laws, 1968, ch. 264, § 9, eff from and after passage (approved July 18, 1968).]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-49 provided that the district law was controlling over any other law.

§ 51-11-51. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after passage (approved March 15, 2018).

§51-11-51. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-267; Laws, 1964, ch. 255, § 17, eff from and after passage (approved June 1, 1964).]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-51 was a savings clause.

§ 51-11-52. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-52. [Laws, 1984, ch. 426, § 8, eff from and after July 1, 1984.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-52 related to flood control projects.

§ 51-11-53. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-53. [Laws, 1998, ch. 515, § 1; Laws, 2001, ch. 577, § 1, eff from and after Apr. 7, 2001.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-53 provided definitions of terms used in §§51-11-1 through51-11-85.

§ 51-11-55. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after passage (approved March 15, 2018).

§51-11-55. [Laws, 1998, ch. 515, § 2, eff from and after July 1, 1998.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-55 created a flood control district.

§ 51-11-57. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-57. [Laws, 1998, ch. 515, § 3; Laws, 2001, ch. 577, § 2, eff from and after Apr. 7, 2001.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-57 related to the creation and composition of the board of directors and terms of office of members.

§ 51-11-59. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-59. [Laws, 1998, ch. 515, § 4; Laws, 2001, ch. 577, § 3, eff from and after Apr. 7, 2001.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-59 provided the powers and duties of flood control districts.

§ 51-11-61. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-61. [Laws, 1998, ch. 515, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 1998.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-61 authorized the district to obtain appropriation permits.

§ 51-11-63. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-63. [Laws, 1998, ch. 515, § 6, eff from and after July 1, 1998.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-63 related to the issuance and security of bonds issued by district.

§ 51-11-65. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-65. [Laws, 1998, ch. 515, § 7, eff from and after July 1, 1998.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-65 related to the declaration and publication of intention to issue bonds.

§ 51-11-67. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-67. [Laws, 1998, ch. 515, § 8; Laws, 2001, ch. 577, § 4, eff from and after March 6, 2002 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section).]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-67 related to bond elections.

§ 51-11-69. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-69. [Laws, 1998, ch. 515, § 9, eff from and after July 1, 1998.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-69 related to bond election results and certification and the timing of the issuance of bonds after a favorable vote.

§ 51-11-71. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-71. [Laws, 1998, ch. 515, § 10, eff from and after July 1, 1998.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-71 provided that all bonds issued pursuant to §§51-11-53 through51-11-85 would be negotiable instruments and would have to meet certain requirements enumerated in the section.

§ 51-11-73. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-73. [Laws, 1998, ch. 515, § 11; Laws, 2001, ch. 577, § 5, eff from and after Apr. 7, 2001.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-73 provided for annual levy of a special tax on taxable property within flood district to provide funds for payment of principal and interest in connection with bonds.

§ 51-11-75. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-75. [Laws, 1998, ch. 515, § 12, eff from and after July 1, 1998.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-75 related to the validation of bonds, use of state's bond attorney and notice requirements for validation proceedings.

§ 51-11-77. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-77. [Laws, 1998, ch. 515, § 13, eff from and after July 1, 1998.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-77 declared district bonds to be legal and authorized investments of public funds.

§ 51-11-79. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after passage (approved March 15, 2018).

§51-11-79. [Laws, 1998, ch. 515, § 14, eff from and after July 1, 1998.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-79 exempted the district from taxes or assessments on the project and related facilities.

§ 51-11-81. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-81. [Laws, 1998, ch. 515, § 15, eff from and after July 1, 1998.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-81 related to the maximum load period, renewals and extensions, sources of loans and the repayment of advances.

§ 51-11-83. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-83. [Laws, 1998, ch. 515, § 16, eff from and after July 1, 1998.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-83 related to the negotiation and contracting powers of the board of directors.

§ 51-11-85. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 2018.

§51-11-85. [Laws, 1998, ch. 515, § 17, eff from and after July 1, 1998.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-85 required the district to cooperate and coordinate with political subdivisions in performance of the purposes and services authorized by §§51-11-53 through51-11-85.

§ 51-11-87 Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 5, eff from and after passage (approved March 15, 2018).

§51-11-87. [Laws, 2001, ch. 577, § 6, eff from and after Apr. 7, 2001.]

Editor's Notes —

Former §51-11-87 authorized board of supervisors of member county to elect to withdraw from district.

Pearl River Basin Development District; dissolution

§ 51-11-101. Dissolution; Department of Finance and Administration to be agent-in-fact for district; settlement of outstanding operating accounts; contracts with former employees; disposal of district personalty or equipment.

  1. On July 1, 2018, the Pearl River Basin Development District (the “district”) is dissolved, and all statutory authority granted to the district under Sections 51-11-1 through 51-11-87 is repealed as provided in Section 5 of Chapter 356, Laws of 2018.
  2. Through June 30, 2018, the district is authorized to continue to conduct such business as is necessary to settle any accounts and/or financial obligations of the district.
  3. From and after July 1, 2018, the Department of Finance and Administration (the “department”) shall be the agent-in-fact for the district for all purposes, and notwithstanding the repeal of the statutory authority of the district, the department shall have all of the authority that was granted to the district under Sections 51-11-1 through 51-11-87 as they existed on June 30, 2018, to the extent necessary and for as long as necessary for the department to complete the dissolution of the district and ensure that all obligations of the district are met.
  4. From and after July 1, 2018, the department is authorized to settle any outstanding operating accounts of the district, and the department shall have the use of all funds that were available to the district before July 1, 2018, in the State Treasury or in any approved depository, together with any net proceeds derived from the sale of any property of the district, in order to fulfill the district’s outstanding financial obligations. Those funds may be expended by the department upon appropriation by the Legislature, and shall not lapse into the State General Fund at the end of any fiscal year. However, if there are any of those funds remaining after all expenditures relating to the dissolution of the district have been made, the department shall deposit the remaining funds into the State General Fund. The department shall maintain accurate records of all accounts and disbursals of those funds and shall periodically share those records with the Legislative Budget Office and the Office of the State Auditor as a part of any close-out audit.
  5. From any funds that were formerly available to the district as described in subsection (4) of this section or any funds appropriated to the department specifically for this purpose, the department is authorized, in any fiscal year, to engage on a contract basis the services of any former employee or contract employee of the district to the extent that the State Fiscal Officer deems such a contract to be beneficial to the administration of dissolution of the district and the performance of the department’s obligations under Sections 51-11-101 through 51-11-107.
  6. From and after July 1, 2018, the department is authorized to dispose of any personalty or equipment of the district as surplus property or through inventory transfer to another public entity, and is authorized to settle any existing lease or leases of the district, either by canceling, assigning or subleasing the same. For the vehicles of the district, the department may transfer any of the vehicles to other state agencies without any payment being required from the agency, or may sell any of the vehicles for such price as determined by the State Fiscal Officer, and shall deposit all funds received from the sale of the vehicles into the funds in the State Treasury that were formerly available to the district, as described in subsection (4) of this section.

HISTORY: Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved March 15, 2018).

§ 51-11-103. Transfer of real property to county in which property is located; receiving county's assumption of duties and obligations appurtenant to property; finding that property is surplus; liability for financial obligations occurring or accruing before dissolution continues after dissolution.

  1. Through June 30, 2018, the district, and from and after July 1, 2018, the department, is authorized to transfer any real property to which the district currently holds or formerly held title, specifically including, but not limited to, any water parks or similar facilities owned by the district, to the county or municipality in which the real property lies. As consideration for the property being received, the county or municipality must agree to accept the transfer and any duties and obligations appurtenant to the property. Any equipment associated with a water park or other real property of the district that is transferred under this subsection shall also be transferred to the county or municipality that accepts the transfer of the real property.
  2. Any county or municipality accepting the transfer of a water park or other real property from the district or the department is authorized to assume any duties and obligations appurtenant to the property as formerly exercised by the district, including, but not limited to, the obligation to operate and maintain those properties out of the revenues of the county or municipality, the obligation to protect the property with either liability insurance or through the Mississippi Tort Claims Fund, and the assumption and/or transfer of any obligations as a recipient or sponsor of any state or federal grant or grant funds.
  3. Any county that chooses not to accept the transfer of any real property currently or formerly owned by the district, after determining that no municipality in the county wishes to have the property transferred to it, may make a finding that the property would be surplus to the needs of the county, by proper action and order of the board of supervisors of the county. Upon the making of a finding that a property would be surplus to the needs of the county, the Secretary of State may institute proceedings to sell the surplus property in accordance with Section 29-1-1, in accordance with the process described in Section 29-1-37, or in accordance with other applicable statutes. The Secretary of State may deduct the costs of effecting the sale of the surplus property from the net proceeds of the sale before transferring the funds as authorized in Sections 51-11-101 through 51-11-107. Proceeds from the sale of any such property shall, where applicable, be used for the acquisition of additional properties by the state, acting by and through the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, to satisfy any obligations imposed by grants as to the nature and use of the property.
  4. The liability of a county for any financial obligations or indebtedness to the district occurring or accruing before the dissolution of the district, including, but not limited to, the responsibility for paying its portion of any district bonds and other contractual obligations, and making annual payments to the district as set forth in Section 51-11-31, shall continue in existence after the district is dissolved and shall be payable by the county to the department. The department is authorized to take such actions as necessary to collect any financial obligations of a county to the district that are still outstanding after the district is dissolved.

HISTORY: Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 2, eff from and after passage (approved March 15, 2018).

§ 51-11-105. Contingent continuation of existing Lower Pearl River Restoration Project agreements; funding of necessary maintenance activities; Lower Pearl River Restoration Trust Fund.

The following provisions related to the Lower Pearl River Restoration Project (“project”) are contingent upon the development of an agreement, or an amendment to the existing agreement, between the United States Army, Corps of Engineers (“USACOE”), the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (“MDEQ”), the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (“DWFP”) and the district, removing the district from the agreement, and possibly adding a new cooperating partner or partners and possibly removing the MDEQ and/or the DWFP from the agreement.

From and after July 1, 2018, the project, currently being managed as a joint effort of the USACOE, the MDEQ, the DWFP, and the district, shall continue as per existing agreements, which may be amended to reflect the dissolution of the district and its removal from those agreements. The obligations of the district under the current agreements for the project may be assumed by the MDEQ, or other entity, as the designated state entity for the continuing obligation of maintenance of the water control structures as set forth in the original agreements. The parties to the agreement may identify necessary maintenance activities needed to preserve the integrity of project structures and other ordinary maintenance activities as the parties may agree need to be performed. Funding to perform those maintenance activities shall come from the Lower Pearl trust account currently on deposit with a depository or depositories in the name of the Pearl River Basin Development District, which funds are a special fund set aside solely for the operation and maintenance of the project. From and after July 1, 2018, the parties to the agreement, may assume ownership, in trust, of those funds, and the funds shall be known as the “Lower Pearl River Restoration Trust Fund.” Monies from this fund shall be a special fund set aside for the purpose(s) set forth in the amended or reformed agreement between the parties and shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and may not be expended for any purpose other than operation and maintenance activities under the purview of the project.

HISTORY: Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 3, eff from and after passage (approved March 15, 2018).

§ 51-11-107. Final close-out audit of district accounts.

The State Auditor shall perform or have performed a final close-out audit of the accounts of the district. The close-out audit shall be in a form acceptable to the State Auditor and may be conducted in lieu of the usual annual audit of accounts, if the district had continued in existence. Costs of conducting the close-out audit may be defrayed from any funds formerly under the control of the district and currently under the control of the department.

HISTORY: Laws, 2018, ch. 356, § 4, eff from and after passage (approved March 15, 2018).

Chapter 13. Tombigbee Valley Authority and Water Management District

Article 1. Tombigbee Valley Authority.

§ 51-13-1. Membership and organization of board.

There is hereby created the Tombigbee Valley Authority composed of Clay, Itawamba, Lee, Lowndes, Monroe, Noxubee, Prentiss, Pontotoc, Alcorn, and Tishomingo Counties in the State of Mississippi, to be governed by a board consisting of one member from each such county and three members from the state at large, all to be appointed by the governor to serve for a term of four years or until their successors are appointed and qualified. The governor shall designate in his appointment the chairman and vice-chairman thereof. They shall serve without pay except for their actual traveling expenses and other necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties, to be reimbursed as in the case of state employees under the provisions of general law. Upon appointment, said members shall meet and organize at Columbus, Mississippi, set a regular time and place for the meetings of the authority, secure offices and all necessary equipment, and obtain such engineering, professional, clerical, and other assistance as may be necessary in order to accomplish the purposes of this article. An executive director may be appointed by the board if this is deemed advisable, and salaries of all personnel may be paid out of funds provided under the terms of this article in an amount agreeable to the authority.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-42; Laws, 1956, ch. 171, §§ 1-5.

Cross References —

Provision that the Tomigbee Valley Authority shall receive assistance from the Division of Regional Water Resources, see §51-3-18.

Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District, generally, see §51-13-101 et seq.

§ 51-13-3. Powers and duties.

The Tombigbee Valley Authority is hereby authorized and empowered to do any and all things necessary or desirable in making a survey or surveys of that portion of the Tombigbee River situated in the State of Mississippi and its tributaries to investigate the possibilities of developing that portion of the Tombigbee River lying and being in Mississippi, which comprises a segment from the Tennessee River on the north through the States of Mississippi and Alabama to the Gulf of Mexico at Mobile, Alabama, in co-operation with the federal government and any and all agencies thereof assisting in such survey or proposed plans for projects which upon completion would lead to the industrial development of this state, to the opening of an additional inland waterway to the Gulf of Mexico, and to the control of the flood waters of the Tombigbee River in Mississippi. It is contemplated that plans be considered and surveys made for the opening of a water route from the northern headwaters of the Tombigbee River, and particularly the east branch of the Tombigbee River, its tributaries, and the Tennessee River as a part of the over-all plans to be considered by this authority.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-42; Laws, 1956, ch. 171, §§ 1-5.

Cross References —

Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway bridges, see §65-26-1 et seq.

§ 51-13-5. Financing.

The authority shall be financed in all of its activities from funds made available by each of the associated counties, and each such county is authorized and empowered to contribute any amount or amounts which the board of supervisors thereof shall deem advisable, acting in their sole discretion, to be paid from the general county fund of the respective counties.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-42; Laws, 1956, ch. 171, §§ 1-5; Laws, 1986, ch. 400, § 34, eff from and after October 1, 1986.

§ 51-13-7. Homestead exemption laws not applicable.

No reimbursement on the additional tax levies herein provided shall be made under the Homestead Exemption Law of 1946, being Sections 27-33-1 through 27-33-61 of the Mississippi Code of 1972.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-42; Laws, 1956, ch. 171, §§ 1-5.

Cross References —

Assistance by Research and Development Center in making relevant information available to Cooperative Extension Service for information clearinghouse assisting farmers, see §69-2-5.

§ 51-13-9. Article supplementary to other laws.

This article shall be considered supplemental and additional to any and all other laws and confers sufficient authority in and of itself for the purposes set forth herein.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-42; Laws, 1956, ch. 171, §§ 1-5.

Article 3. Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District.

§ 51-13-101. Legislative determination and declaration of policy.

It is hereby declared, as a matter of legislative determination, that the waterways and surface waters of the state are among its basic resources, that the overflow and surface waters of the state have not heretofore been conserved to realize their full beneficial use, that the utilization, development, conservation, and regulation of such waters are necessary to insure an adequate flood control program, sanitary water supply at all times, to promote the balanced economic development of the state, and to aid in conservation and development of state forests, irrigation of lands needing irrigation, navigation, and pollution abatement. It is further determined and declared that the preservation, conservation, storage, and regulation of the waters of the Tombigbee River, its tributaries, and its overflow waters for domestic, municipal, commercial, industrial, agricultural, and manufacturing purposes, for recreational uses, flood control, timber development, irrigation, navigation, and pollution abatement are, as a matter of public policy, for the general welfare of the entire people of the state.

The creation of the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District is determined to be necessary and essential to the accomplishment of the aforesaid purposes, and this article operates on a subject in which the state at large is interested. All the terms and provisions of this article are to be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes herein set forth, this being a remedial law.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-131; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 1; Laws, 1962, 2d Ex. Sess., ch. 32, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Dec. 12, 1962).

Cross References —

Provision that the Tomigbee River Valley Water Management District shall receive assistance from the Division of Regional Water Resources, see §51-3-18.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

State agencies have only such powers expressly granted to them by statute and such powers as are necessarily implied. There is no authority for Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District to financially assist a member county to obtain and pay for engineering studies on a proposed industrial site or to purchase proposed industrial property. 2007 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 44, 2007 Miss. AG LEXIS 29.

§ 51-13-103. General authority to organize.

The Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District may hereafter be organized in this state under the provisions of this article, in the manner hereinafter provided for. This water management district shall be an agency of the state and a body politic and corporate.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-132; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 2; Laws, 1962, 2d Ex. Sess., ch. 32, § 2, eff from and after passage (approved Dec. 12, 1962).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

State agencies have only such powers expressly granted to them by statute and such powers as are necessarily implied. There is no authority for Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District to financially assist a member county to obtain and pay for engineering studies on a proposed industrial site or to purchase proposed industrial property. 2007 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 44, 2007 Miss. AG LEXIS 29.

§ 51-13-105. Board of directors.

All powers of the district shall be exercised by a board of directors, to be composed of the following:

Each member of the Tombigbee Valley Authority as created by virtue of Sections 51-13-1 through 51-13-9, whose county becomes a part of the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District shall be a member of the Board of Directors of the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District, and each state-at-large member of the Tombigbee Valley Authority shall become a member of the Board of Directors of the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District when one or more entire counties become members of the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District. Such directors shall serve on this board during their term of office on the Tombigbee Valley Authority. In addition, the board of supervisors of each county within the Tombigbee River Basin which elects to become a member of the district shall appoint one (1) board member to serve for a term of four (4) years or until his successor is named. The Governor shall appoint one (1) member from each county added to the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District which county is not now a member of the Tombigbee Valley Authority, and such member shall serve for a four-year term or until his successor is appointed.

The Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, the Forestry Commission, and the State Board of Health of the State of Mississippi shall each appoint one (1) director from that department to serve on the board of directors of the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District, to serve at the pleasure of the entity appointing him but not to exceed four-year terms.

Each director shall take and subscribe to the general oath of office required by Section 268 of the Constitution of the State of Mississippi before a chancery clerk that he will faithfully discharge the duties of the office, which oath shall be filed with the said clerk and by him preserved.

Each director shall receive compensation at a per diem rate as provided in Section 25-3-69 for each day or fraction thereof spent in actual discharge of his official duties and shall be reimbursed for mileage and actual expenses incurred in the performance of his official duties in accordance with the requirements of Section 25-3-41.

The board of directors shall annually elect from its number a president and a vice-president of the district and such other officers as in the judgment of the board are necessary. The president shall be the chief executive officer of the district and the presiding officer of the board, and shall have the same right to vote as any other director. The vice-president shall perform all duties and exercise all powers conferred by this article upon the president when the president is absent or fails or declines to act, except the president’s right to vote. The board shall also appoint a secretary and a treasurer who may or may not be members of the board, and it may combine those offices. The treasurer shall give bond in the sum of not less than Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) as set by the board of directors, and each director shall give bond in the sum of not less than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) with sureties qualified to do business in this state, and the premiums on said bonds shall be an expense of the district. The condition of each such bond shall be that the treasurer or director will faithfully perform all duties of his office and account for all money or other assets which shall come into his custody as treasurer or director of the district.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-133; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 3; Laws, 1964, ch. 251, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved June 11, 1964); Laws, 1994, ch. 493, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 1994.

Cross References —

State officers generally, see §25-1-1 et seq.

Tombigbee Valley Authority generally, see §51-13-1 et seq.

§ 51-13-107. Creation of district.

  1. Within twenty (20) days after the passage of this article, the Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality, State Board of Health, Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, and the Forestry Commission of the State of Mississippi shall appoint their respective members to the proposed district board of directors as provided in Section 51-13-105. The four (4) appointive members, upon taking the oath as provided, shall meet in the Office of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality in Jackson, Mississippi, within ten (10) days and adopt by a majority vote a resolution setting forth their intentions of creating the district and shall forthwith send a certified copy of said resolution to: (1) each member of the Tombigbee Valley Authority as now constituted, (2) the Governor, (3) executive officers of the Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality, Board of Health, Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, and Forestry Commission, and (4) the president of the board of supervisors and chancery clerk of each county through which any part of the Tombigbee River or any of its tributaries lie. The four (4) state agencies herein named and the Tombigbee Valley Authority may, within ten (10) days from receipt of said resolution, adopt its own resolution favorable or unfavorable to the creation of said district; and the respective boards of supervisors may at their next regular meeting likewise adopt a resolution favorable or unfavorable to creating said district. All of said resolutions adopted shall be certified by its secretary, clerk, or executive officer and shall be filed with each state agency, political subdivision, or other agency named in Section 55-13-105.
  2. Every board of supervisors of those counties desiring to become members of the district, through which the Tombigbee River or any of its tributaries lie, shall, upon receipt of the certified resolutions mentioned in this section, declare said board’s intentions by adopting a resolution expressing its desire to have said district created and to levy an ad valorem tax not to exceed one-half (1/2) mill on all the taxable property within the Tombigbee Watershed area of said county for the use and benefit of the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District. The said resolution shall be published once each week for three (3) consecutive weeks in some newspaper published in the county and having a general circulation therein, and if no petition signed by twenty percent (20%) of the qualified electors of the county is filed with the board requesting the calling of an election on the question of the county’s participation in the district and the levying of the one-half (1/2) mill tax levy aforesaid, the board may proceed to have the county become a member of said district and to levy the one-half (1/2) mill tax levy but if, within twenty-one (21) days after the date of the first publication of said resolution, a petition signed by at least twenty percent (20%) of the qualified electors of said county, requesting an election on the proposition of said county becoming a member of the proposed district and the levying of the one-half (1/2) mill tax as herein provided, is filed, said election shall be held and conducted as now provided by law for such elections. If such an election is held and a majority of those voting therein vote for the proposition, the board shall, by appropriate resolution, bring the county into the district and levy the one-half (1/2) mill tax as otherwise provided by law. If the majority of those voting in such election shall vote against the proposition, then the county shall not become a member of the district nor levy the one-half (1/2) mill tax; and no further election shall be so conducted until the lapse of two (2) years after the last election.
  3. Whenever an aggregate of six (6) counties have become members of the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District in the manner provided in this section, the said district shall be created as an agency of the state and a body politic and corporate with all of the powers granted it by statute.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-134; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 4; Laws, 1962, ch. 225, § 1; Laws, 1962, 2d Ex. Sess., ch. 32, § 3; Laws, 2000, ch. 516, § 95, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 30, 2000.).

§ 51-13-109. Subsequent members.

Any eligible county may become a member of the district, subsequent to its creation, in the manner as the original counties became members and new counties shall have the same power and authority and be entitled to equal consideration of the district’s board of directors, not inconsistent with the purposes of this article.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-134; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 4; Laws, 1962, ch. 225, § 1; Laws, 1962, 2d Ex. Sess., ch. 32, § 3, eff from and after passage (approved Dec. 12, 1962).

§ 51-13-111. Powers of district.

The Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District through its board of directors is hereby empowered:

To develop, in conjunction with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, United States Secretary of Agriculture, or with the head of any other federal or state agency as may be involved, plans for public works of improvement for the prevention of floodwater damage, or the conservation, development, navigation, utilization and disposal of water, including the impoundment, diversion, flowage and distribution of waters for beneficial use as defined in Chapter 3 of this title.

To enter into agreements with the United States of America, as represented by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, to meet the requirements of local cooperation for flood control and navigation projects as set out in House Document No. 167, 84th Congress, First Session, as authorized by Public Law 85-500, 85th Congress, dated July 3, 1958, as amended, and House Document No. 486, 79th Congress, Second Session, as approved by Public Law 525, 79th Congress, as amended.

To impound overflow water and the surface water of the Tombigbee River or its tributaries within the project area, within or without the district, at the place or places and in the amount as may be approved by the Office of Land and Water Resources of the State of Mississippi, by the construction of a dam or dams, reservoir or reservoirs, work or works, plants and any other necessary or useful related facilities contemplated and described as a part of the project, within or without the district, to control, store and preserve these waters, and to use, distribute, and sell them, to construct or otherwise acquire within the project area all works, plants, or other facilities necessary or useful to the project for processing the water and transporting it to cities and other facilities for domestic, municipal, commercial, industrial, agricultural and manufacturing purposes, and is hereby given the power to control open channels for water delivery purposes and water transportation.

To acquire and develop any other available water necessary or useful to the project and to construct, acquire and develop all facilities within the project area deemed necessary or useful with respect thereto, including terminals.

To forest and reforest, and to aid in the foresting and reforesting of the project area, and to prevent and to aid in the prevention of soil erosion and flood within the area; to control, store, and preserve within the boundaries of the project area the waters of the Tombigbee River or any of its tributaries for irrigation of lands and for prevention of water pollution.

To acquire by condemnation all property of any kind, real, personal, or mixed, or any interest therein, within or without the boundaries of the district, necessary for the projects and the exercise of the powers, rights, privileges and functions conferred upon the district by this article, according to the procedure provided by law for the condemnation of lands or other property taken for rights-of-way or other purposes by railroads, telephone, or telegraph companies, and according to the provisions of Section 29-1-1. For the purposes of this article the right of eminent domain of the district shall be superior and dominant to the right of eminent domain of railroad, telegraph, telephone, gas, power and other companies or corporations and shall be sufficient to enable the acquisition of county roads, state highways, or other public property in the project area, and the acquisition or relocation of this property in the project area. The cost of right-of-way purchases, rerouting and elevating all other county-maintained roads affected by construction shall be borne by the water management district, and new construction shall be of equal quality as in roads existing as of May 1, 1962. The county in which the work is done may assist in these costs if the board of supervisors desires.

The amount and character of interest in land, other property, and easements to be acquired shall be determined by the board of directors, and their determination shall be conclusive and shall not be subject to attack in the absence of manifold abuse of discretion or fraud on the part of such board in making such determination. However,

In acquiring lands, either by negotiation or condemnation, the district shall not acquire minerals or royalties within the project area; sand and gravel shall not be considered as minerals within the meaning of this section; and

No person or persons owning the drilling rights or the right to share in production shall be prevented from exploring, developing, or producing oil or gas with necessary rights-of-way for ingress and egress, pipelines, and other means of transporting these products by reason of the inclusion of the lands or mineral interests within the project area, whether below or above the waterline, but any activities shall be under reasonable regulations by the board of directors that will adequately protect the project; and

In drilling and developing, these persons are hereby vested with a special right to have mineral interests integrated and their lands developed in the drilling unit or units that the State Oil and Gas Board shall establish after due consideration of the rights of all owners to be included in the drilling unit.

Moreover, when any site or plot of land is to be sold to any person, firm, or corporation for the purpose of operating recreational facilities thereon for profit, the board shall, by resolution, specify the terms and conditions of the sale and shall advertise for public bids thereon. When these bids are received, they shall be publicly opened by the board, and the board shall thereupon determine the highest and best bid submitted and shall immediately notify the former owner of the site or plot of the amount, terms, and conditions of the highest and best bid. The former owner of the site or plot shall have the exclusive right at his option, for a period of thirty (30) days after written notice is received by the landowner of the determination of the highest and best bid by the board, to purchase the site or plot of land by meeting the highest and best bid and by complying with all terms and conditions of the sale as specified by the board. However, the board shall not sell to any former owner more land than was taken from the former owner for the construction of the project, or one-quarter (1/4) mile of shoreline, whichever shall be the lesser. If this option is not exercised by the former owner within a period of thirty (30) days, the board shall accept the highest and best bid submitted.

Any bona fide resident householder actually living or maintaining a residence on land taken by the district by condemnation shall have the right to repurchase his former land from the board of directors for a price not exceeding the price paid for condemning his land, plus any permanent improvements.

In addition and notwithstanding any other provision in this section to the contrary, the board may lease or rent all or any portion of any property that it owns to any person, firm, or corporation for the purpose of operating recreational facilities for profit or not for profit or for any other public purpose provided the land is open for the use of the general public or is otherwise used for the public benefit and upon any other terms and conditions as the board may determine. The leasing or renting of all or any portion of any such land upon said conditions shall require a resolution duly adopted by the board and shall be exempt from any bid requirements in this section.

To require the necessary relocation of roads and highways, railroad, telephone, and telegraph lines and properties, electric power lines, gas pipelines and mains and facilities in the project area, or to require the anchoring or other protection of any of these, provided due compensation is first paid the owners thereof or agreement is had with the owners regarding the payment of the cost of relocation. Further, the district is hereby authorized to acquire easements or rights-of-way in or outside of the project area for the relocation of roads, highways, railroad, telephone, and telegraph lines and properties, electric power lines, gas pipelines and mains and facilities, and to convey them to the owners thereof in connection with the relocation as a part of the construction of the project. However, the directors of the district shall not close any public access road to the project existing prior to the construction of the reservoir unless the board of supervisors of the county in which the road is located agrees thereto.

To overflow and inundate any public lands and public property, including sixteenth section lands and in lieu lands, within the project area.

To construct, extend, improve, maintain and reconstruct, to cause to be constructed, extended, improved, maintained and reconstructed, and to use and operate all facilities of any kind within the project area necessary or convenient to the project and to the exercise of powers, rights, privileges and functions.

To sue and be sued in its corporate name.

To adopt, use, and alter a corporate seal.

To make bylaws for the management and regulation of its affairs.

To employ engineers, attorneys, and all necessary agents and employees to properly finance, construct, operate, and maintain the project and the plants and to pay reasonable compensation for these services; for all services in connection with the issuance of bonds as provided in this article, the attorney’s fee shall not exceed one-quarter of one percent (1/4 of 1%) of the principal amount of these bonds. For any other services, only reasonable compensation shall be paid for these services. The board shall have the right to employ a general manager, who shall, at the discretion of the board, have the power to employ and discharge employees. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, it may employ fiscal agents or advisors in connection with its financing program and in connection with the issuance of its bonds.

To make contracts and to execute instruments necessary or convenient to the exercise of the powers, rights, privileges, and functions conferred upon it by this article.

To make or cause to be made surveys and engineering investigations relating to the project, or related projects, for the information of the district to facilitate the accomplishment of the purposes for which it is created.

To apply for and accept grants from the United States of America, or from any corporation or agency created or designated by the United States of America, and to ratify and accept applications heretofore or hereafter made by voluntary associations to these agencies for grants to construct, maintain or operate any project or projects which hereafter may be undertaken or contemplated by the district.

To do any other acts or things necessary, requisite, or convenient to the exercising of the powers, rights, privileges or functions conferred upon it by this article or any other law.

To make contracts in the issuance of bonds that may be necessary to insure the marketability thereof.

To enter into contracts with municipalities, corporations, districts, public agencies, political subdivisions of any kind, and others for any services, facilities or commodities that the project may provide. The district is also authorized to contract with any municipality, corporation, or public agency for the rental, leasing, purchase, or operation of the water production, water filtration or purification, water supply and distributing facilities of the municipality, corporation, or public agency upon consideration as the district and entity may agree. Any contract may be upon any terms and for any time as the parties may agree, and it may provide that it shall continue in effect until bonds specified therein, refunding bonds issued in lieu of these bonds, and all obligations are paid. Any contract with any political subdivision shall be binding upon these political subdivisions according to its terms, and the municipalities or other political subdivisions shall have the power to enter into these contracts as in the discretion of the governing authorities thereof would be to the best interest of the people of the municipality or other political subdivision. These contracts may include, within the discretion of the governing authorities, a pledge of the full faith and credit of the political subdivisions for the performance thereof.

To fix and collect charges and rates for any services, facilities or commodities furnished by it in connection with the project, and to impose penalties for failure to pay these charges and rates when due.

To operate and maintain within the project area, with the consent of the governing body of any city or town located within the district, any works, plants or facilities of any city deemed necessary or convenient to the accomplishment of the purposes for which the district is created.

Subject to the provisions of this article, from time to time to lease, sell, or otherwise lawfully dispose of any property of any kind, real, personal, or mixed, or any interest therein within the project area or acquired outside the project area as authorized in this article, for the purpose of furthering the business of the district.

When, in the opinion of the board of directors as shown by resolution duly passed, it shall not be necessary to the carrying on of the business of the district that the district own any lands acquired, the board shall advertise these lands for sale to the highest and best bidder for cash and shall receive and publicly open the bids thereon. The board shall, by resolution, determine the highest and best bid submitted for the land and shall thereupon notify the former owner, his/her heirs or devisees, by registered mail of the land to be sold and the highest and best bid received therefor, and the former owner, or his/her heirs or devisees, shall have the exclusive right at his/her or their option for a period of thirty (30) days in which to meet such highest and best bid and to purchase the property. Provided further, that the board may transfer title to that certain property known as the Trace State Park in Pontotoc County to the Department of Environmental Quality; provided, however, that any of the property that is under current lease shall not be included in the transfer. Such transfer of title shall require a resolution duly adopted by the board and by the Commission on Environmental Quality and shall be exempt from any bid requirements herein. In addition, the board may transfer title to that certain property known as the Elvis Presley Park in Lee County to Lee County, Mississippi, upon the terms and conditions as it may determine. The transfer of title shall require a resolution duly adopted by the board and shall be exempt from any bid requirement in this section. In addition, the board may transfer title to all or any portion of that certain property known as the Elvis Presley Park in Lee County to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks upon the terms and conditions as it may determine, including, but not limited to, authorizing the board to pay the sum of Two Hundred Thousand Dollars ($200,000.00) to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks at the time of the transfer with such funds to be used by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks for the construction of an office building on the Elvis Presley Park for use by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. Such transfer of title and the payment of such sum of money shall require a resolution duly adopted by the board and by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and shall be exempt from any bid requirement in this section.

To prevent or aid in the prevention of damages to persons or property from the waters of the Tombigbee River or any of its tributaries.

To acquire by purchase, lease, gift or in any other manner (otherwise than by condemnation) and to maintain, use, and operate all property of any kind, real, personal, or mixed, or any interest therein within the project area, within or without the boundaries of the district, necessary for the project and convenient to the exercise of the powers, rights, privileges and functions conferred upon the district by this article.

In the purchase of or in the entering into of all lease-purchase agreements for supplies, equipment, heavy equipment, and the like, the directors shall in all instances comply with the provisions of law pertaining to public purchases by public bids on these supplies and equipment.

In addition to, or in conjunction with, any other powers and duties of the district arising under this chapter, to exercise those powers, duties and functions of a joint water management district set forth in Sections 51-8-27 through 51-8-55, except the power of eminent domain under Section 51-8-33. Before exercising those powers and duties, the district must comply with the provisions of Sections 51-8-63 and 51-8-65. In exercising the functions of a joint water management district, the district may apply to the Environmental Quality Permit Board for delegation of those powers and duties as provided by Section 51-3-15, and to apply to the Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality for delegation of those powers and duties provided by Section 51-3-21.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-135, Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 5; Laws, 1962 2d Ex. Sess., ch. 32, § 4; Laws, 1986, ch. 406; Laws, 1993, ch. 615, § 9; Laws, 1995, ch. 616, § 6; Laws, 1998, ch. 554, § 1; Laws, 2002, ch. 625, § 5, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 25, 2002.).

Amendment Notes —

The 2002 amendment added the last two sentences in (v).

Cross References —

Taking of private property for public use, see MS Const. Art. 3, § 17.

Right of eminent domain generally, see §11-27-1 et seq.

Reforestation generally, see §49-19-3.

Conservation and development of water resources generally, see §51-3-1 et seq.

Apportionment of taxes collected in counties lying in two or more districts, see §51-7-71.

Issuance of bonds by board of directors, see §51-13-123 et seq.

State oil and gas board generally, see §53-1-1 et seq.

Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway bridges, see §65-26-1 et seq.

Federal Aspects—

Public Law 85-500, see 33 USCS §§ 545a, 610, 633, and 701b-8a, and 43 USCS §§ 390b and 390b note.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Miss. Code Section 51-13-111(x) allows Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District to enter into agreement with private landowner whereby District conveys to him property it no longer needs in exchange for easements it does need to complete project; however, this exchange could be made only if fair market value of easements to be acquired by District is equal to or greater than fair market value of land to be conveyed by it to private landowner; otherwise, exchange could only be made if private landowner paid to District difference in two fair market prices. 1993 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 233.

If Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District finds on its minutes that easements to be acquired from private landowner are necessary for project and convenient to exercise of District’s powers, and if it further finds that lands previously conveyed to it by private landowner are no longer necessary for project or useful to District, and, if District finds that fair market value of easements to be obtained is equal to or greater than fair market value of lands to be conveyed, then exchange may be made whereby District reconveys these lands to private landowner in exchange for easements it needs. 1993 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 233.

The Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District may acquire property by first contacting the Secretary of State in accordance with Section 29-1-1(6); if no suitable state-held land is available, then the District may identify suitable property and begin negotiations in compliance with Section 43-37-3. 2003 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 765.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Validity, construction, and application of state relocation assistance laws. 49 A.L.R.4th 491.

§ 51-13-113. Construction contracts.

All construction contracts by the district, where the amount of the contract shall exceed two thousand, five hundred dollars ($2,500.00), shall be made upon at least three weeks’ public notice by advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in the district, which notice shall state the thing to be done and invite sealed proposals, to be filed with the secretary of the district, to do the work; and in all such cases, before the notice shall be published, the plans and specifications for the work shall be filed with the secretary of the district and there remain. The board of directors of the district shall award the contract to the lowest and best bidder, who will comply with the terms imposed by such board and enter into bond with sufficient sureties, to be approved by the board, in such penalty as shall be fixed by such board but in no case to be less than the contract price, conditioned for the prompt, proper, and efficient performance of the contract.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-136; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 6, eff from and after passage (approved May 1, 1962).

§ 51-13-115. Park and recreation facilities.

The Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District is authorized to establish or otherwise provide for public parks and recreation facilities and for the preservation of fish and wildlife, and to acquire land otherwise than by condemnation except as provided in subsection (e) of Section 51-13-111 for such purposes, within the project area.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-137; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 7, eff from and after passage (approved May 1, 1962).

§ 51-13-117. Rules and regulations.

  1. The board of directors of the district shall have the power to adopt and promulgate all reasonable regulations to secure, maintain, and preserve the sanitary condition of all water in and to flow into any reservoir owned by the district, to prevent waste of water or the unauthorized use thereof, and to regulate residence, hunting, fishing, boating, camping, and all recreational and business privileges along or around any such reservoir, any body of land, or any easement owned by the district.
  2. Such district may prescribe reasonable penalties for the breach of any regulation of the district.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-138; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 8, eff from and after passage (approved May 1, 1962).

§ 51-13-119. Appropriation permit.

The district is empowered to obtain through appropriate hearings an appropriation permit or permits from the board of water commissioners of the State of Mississippi as provided for in Sections 51-3-1 through 51-3-53.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-139; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 9, eff from and after passage (approved May 1, 1962).

Editor’s Notes —

Section 51-3-53 referred to in this section was repealed by Laws of 1978, ch. 484, § 37, eff from and after July 1, 1978.

§ 51-13-121. State tax used for water supply district fund.

In each county of the State of Mississippi which is part of the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District, beginning with the ad valorem tax assessment for the calendar year 1964, payable on or before February 1, 1965, and so long as any bonds issued hereunder and other obligations are outstanding, the tax collector of said county shall pay into the depository selected by said water district for said purpose the amount of two mills of all ad valorem taxes due by said county to the State of Mississippi which is collected by the tax collector of said county, which may be collected by any lawful taxing agency of said county and state and for said county and the State of Mississippi shall continue to levy not less than two mills ad valorem taxes on each county in the district so long as any obligations or bonds issued pursuant to this article remain outstanding.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-140; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 10, eff from and after passage (approved May 1, 1962).

Cross References —

Details of bonds issued pursuant to this article, see §51-13-125.

§ 51-13-123. Board of directors to issue bonds.

The board of directors of the district is hereby authorized and empowered to borrow money or issue bonds of the district for the purpose of paying the costs of acquiring, owning, constructing, operating, repairing, and maintaining the projects and works specified herein, including related facilities and including all financing and financial advisory charges, interest during construction, engineering, architectural, legal, and other expenses incidental to and necessary for the foregoing, or for the carrying out of any power conferred by this article. Said board of directors is authorized and empowered to borrow money and issue bonds at such times and in such amounts as shall be provided for by resolution of the said board of directors, not to exceed the limitation prescribed in Section 51-13-127. All such bonds so issued by said district shall be secured solely by a pledge of the avails of the two mills ad valorem tax levy provided for in Section 51-13-121 or so much thereof as may be necessary therefor, and of the net revenues as hereinafter defined or so much thereof as may be necessary therefor. Such bonds shall not constitute general obligations of the State of Mississippi or of the counties comprising said district, and such bonds shall not be secured by a pledge of the full faith, credit, and resources of said state or of said counties. Bonds of the district shall not be included in computing any present or future debt limit of any county in such district under any present or future law. “Revenues” as used in this article shall mean all charges, rentals, tolls, rates, gifts, grants, tax proceeds, moneys, and all other funds coming into the possession of the district by virtue of the provisions of this article, except the proceeds from the sale of bonds issued hereunder, and except the avails of the two mill ad valorem tax levy provided for in Section 51-13-121. “Net revenues” as used in this article shall mean the revenues after payment of costs and expenses of operation and maintenance of the project and related facilities.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-141; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 11; Laws, 1962, 2d Ex. Sess., ch. 32, § 5; Laws, 1964, ch. 251, § 2, eff from and after passage (approved June 11, 1964).

Cross References —

Additional powers conferred in connection with issuance of bonds, see §§51-13-125 and31-21-5.

Bonds provided for in this section being negotiable instruments within meaning of Uniform Commercial Code, see §51-13-125.

§ 51-13-125. Details of bonds; supplemental powers conferred in issuance of bonds.

All such bonds provided for by Section 51-13-123 shall be negotiable instruments within the meaning of the Uniform Commercial Code of this state, shall be lithographed or engraved and printed in two (2) or more colors to prevent counterfeiting, shall be in denominations of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), shall be registered as issued, and shall be numbered in a regular series from one (1) upward. Each such bond shall specify on its face the purpose for which it was issued and the total amount authorized to be issued, it shall be payable to bearer, and the interest to accrue thereon shall be evidenced by proper coupons to be attached thereto. Such bonds shall bear interest at such rate or rates, not exceeding six percent (6%) per annum, as may be determined by the sale of such bonds. They shall mature annually in such amounts and at such times as shall be provided by the resolution of the board of directors. However, no bond shall have a longer maturity than forty (40) years from January 1, 1965, and the first maturity date thereof shall be not more than five (5) years from the date of such bonds. The denomination, form and place or places of payment of such bonds shall be fixed in the resolution of the board of directors of the district. Such bonds shall be signed by the president and secretary of such board with the seal of the district affixed thereto, but the coupons may bear only the facsimile signatures of such president and secretary. All interest accruing on such bonds so issued shall be payable semiannually, except that the first interest coupon attached to any such bond may be for a period not exceeding one (1) year.

Such bonds may be called in, paid and redeemed in inverse numerical order on any interest date prior to maturity, upon not less than thirty (30) days’ notice to the paying agent or agents designated in such bonds, and at such premium as may be designated in such bonds. In no case shall any premiums exceed six percent (6%) of the face value of such bonds.

All such bonds shall contain in substance a statement to the effect that they are secured solely by a pledge of the avails of the two (2) mills ad valorem tax levy provided for in Section 51-13-121, or so much thereof as may be necessary therefor, and of the net revenues as hereinabove defined or so much thereof as may be necessary therefor, and that they do not constitute general obligations of the state of Mississippi or of the counties comprising said district, and are not secured by a pledge of the full faith, credit and resources of said state or of such counties.

All such bonds as provided for herein shall be sold at public sale as now provided by law. No such sale shall be at a price so low as to require the payment of interest on the money received therefor at more than six percent (6%) per annum computed with relation to the absolute maturity of the bonds, in accordance with standard tables of bond values, excluding from such computation the amount of any premium to be paid on redemption of any bonds prior to maturity.

This article shall be full and complete authority for the issuance of the bonds provided for herein, and no restriction or limitation otherwise prescribed by law shall apply herein.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, bonds referred to hereinabove may be issued pursuant to the supplemental powers and authorizations conferred by the provisions of the Registered Bond Act, being Sections 31-21-1 through 31-21-7.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-142; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 12; Laws, 1962, 2d Ex. Sess., ch. 32, § 6; Laws, 1964, ch. 251, § 3; Laws, 1983, ch. 494, § 19, eff from and after passage (approved April 11, 1983).

Cross References —

Commercial paper under the Uniform Commercial Code, see §75-3-101 et seq.

§ 51-13-127. Limitation on amount of bonds.

Bonds issued pursuant to this article shall not exceed twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000.00) in principal amount.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-143; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 13, eff from and after passage (approved May 1, 1962).

§ 51-13-129. Payments by board of supervisors of member counties.

The board of supervisors of each county becoming a member of the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District shall pay or cause to be paid to the depository of said district a sum equal to one-half (1/2) mill on all of the taxable property within the Tombigbee Watershed area of the said county, beginning with the tax assessment for the calendar year 1964; and such payments shall be made and continued as long as there remains unpaid and outstanding any bonded indebtedness or obligations created by the district so created under this article. Any such board of supervisors shall provide the district the sum equal to the one-half (1/2) mill levy by appropriation of an equivalent sum from the general fund of the county.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-144; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 14; ch. 225, § 2; Laws, 1962, 2d Ex. Sess., ch. 32, § 7; Laws, 1986, ch. 400, § 35, eff from and after October 1, 1986.

Cross References —

Jurisdiction and powers of board of supervisors, generally, see §19-3-41.

Apportionment of taxes collected in counties lying in two or more districts, see §51-7-71.

§ 51-13-131. Additional funds.

To provide additional funds for the planning, undertaking, completing and maintenance of any special work or construction project in a county as part of the long range development of the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District, the respective boards of supervisors may set aside, appropriate and expend moneys from the general fund which shall be placed in a depository of the district designated for such purpose as a special fund, and shall be used by the district for no other purpose.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-144; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 14; ch. 225, § 2; Laws, 1962, 2d Ex. Sess., ch. 32, § 7; Laws, 1986, ch. 400, § 36, eff from and after October 1, 1986.

Cross References —

Homestead exemptions, see §27-33-3.

Apportionment of taxes collected in counties lying in two or more districts, see §51-7-71.

§ 51-13-133. Validation of bonds.

All bonds issued pursuant to this article shall be validated as now provided by law of Sections 31-13-1 through 31-13-11, Mississippi Code of 1972. The services of the state’s bond attorney may be employed in the preparation of such bond resolutions, forms or proceedings as may be necessary, for which he shall be paid a reasonable fee. Such validation proceedings shall be instituted in the chancery court of the county in which the principal office of the district is located, but notice of such validation proceedings shall be published at least two times in a newspaper of general circulation and published in each of the counties comprising the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District, the first publication of which in each case shall be made at least ten days preceding the date set for the validation.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-145; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 15, eff from and after passage (approved May 1, 1962).

§ 51-13-135. Trust agreement.

At the discretion of the board of directors of the district any bonds provided for in Section 51-13-123 may be further secured by a trust agreement between the board of directors and a corporate trustee, which may be any trust company or bank having powers of a trust company within or without the state. Any such trust agreement or any resolution providing for the issuance of such bonds may contain such provisions for protecting and enforcing the right and remedies of the bondholders as are reasonable and proper and not in violation of law. The trust agreement may contain provision for the issuance of additional bonds for any of the purposes authorized by this article, which shall be secured by the revenues pledged thereunder for such bonds to the extent provided therein. The trust agreement may include provisions to the effect that if there is any default in the payment of principal or interest on any of said bonds, any court having jurisdiction of the action may appoint a receiver to administer the properties and facilities of the district, including authority to sell or make contracts for the sale of any services, facilities, or commodities of the district or to renew such contracts, subject to the approval of the court appointing said receiver; and with power to provide for the payment of such bonds outstanding, or the payment of operating expenses, and to apply the income and revenues to the payment of said bonds and interest thereon in accordance with the resolution of the board of directors authorizing the issuance of such bonds and said trust agreement. The fee for the services of any corporate trustee shall not exceed the normal charges for acting as paying agent plus any additional amount or amounts allowed by the court as the reasonable value of services rendered by the corporate trustee upon default in the payment of principal and interest on the bonds.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-146; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 16, eff from and after passage (approved May 1, 1962).

§ 51-13-137. Refunding bonds.

The board of directors of the district is hereby authorized to provide by resolution for the issuance of refunding bonds of the district for the purpose of refunding any bonds then outstanding and issued under authority of this article, including the payment of any redemption premium thereon and any interest accrued or to accrue to the date of redemption of such bonds. The issuance of such refunding bonds, the maturity and other details thereof, and the rights, duties, and obligations of the board of trustees and of the district in respect to such bonds shall be governed by the provisions of this article, in so far as they are applicable. In no event shall such bonds mature over a period of time exceeding forty years from January 1, 1964.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-147; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 17, eff from and after passage (approved May 1, 1962).

§ 51-13-139. Bonds to be legal investments.

All bonds of the district are hereby declared to be legal and authorized investments for public funds of counties, cities, towns, school districts, banks, savings banks, trust companies, building and loan associations, savings and loan associations, insurance companies, and for funds of the Mississippi Public Employees’ Retirement System. Such bonds shall be eligible to secure the deposit of any and all public funds of cities, towns, villages, counties, school districts, or other political corporations or subdivisions of the State of Mississippi; and such bonds shall be lawful and sufficient security for said deposits to the extent of their value, when accompanied by all unmatured coupons appurtenant thereto.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-148; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 18, eff from and after passage (approved May 1, 1962).

§ 51-13-141. Depository for funds of district.

  1. The board of directors shall designate one or more qualified state depositories within the district to serve as depositories for the funds of the district, and all funds of the district other than funds required by any trust agreement to be deposited, from time to time, with the trustee or any paying agent for outstanding bonds of the district, shall be deposited in such depository or depositories.
  2. Before designating a depository or depositories, the board of directors shall issue a notice stating the time and place the board will meet for such purpose and inviting the qualified state depositories in the district to submit applications to be designated depositories. The term of service for depositories shall be prescribed by the board. Such notice shall be published one (1) time in a newspaper or newspapers published in the district and specified by the board.
  3. At the time mentioned in the notice, the board shall consider the applications and the management and condition of the depositories filing them, and shall designate as depositories the qualified state depository or depositories which offer the most favorable terms and conditions for the handling of the funds of the district and which the board finds have proper management and are in condition to warrant handling of district funds, and in the manner as provided under the chapter on depositories. Any such designated depository shall be eligible to hold funds of the district to the extent that it is qualified as a depository for state funds. Membership on the board of directors of an officer or director of a depository shall not disqualify such depository from being designated as a depository.
  4. If no applications acceptable to the board are received by the time stated in the notice, the board shall designate some qualified state depository or depositories within the district upon such terms and conditions as it may find advantageous to the district. Any such designated depository shall be eligible to hold funds of the district to the extent that it is qualified as a depository for state funds.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-149; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 19; Laws, 1988, ch. 473, § 13, eff from and after December 1, 1988.

§ 51-13-143. Agreements relative to federal highways.

The board of directors of the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District is hereby authorized and empowered to negotiate and contract with the United States of America, or any agency thereof, concerning all lands, easements, and rights of way necessary for the relocation of any federal road, highway, parkway, or for the facilities appurtenant thereto.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-150; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 20, eff from and after passage (approved May 1, 1962).

§ 51-13-145. Cooperation with other governmental agencies.

The Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District shall have authority to act jointly with political subdivisions of the state and agencies, commissions, and instrumentalities thereof, and with the federal government and other agencies thereof in the performance of the purposes and services authorized in this article, upon such terms as may be agreed upon by the directors.

The board of directors of the district shall have the authority to negotiate and contract with the Secretary of the Army under the provisions of public law 653, 85th Congress, or other applicable law or regulation written pursuant thereto.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-151; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 21, eff from and after passage (approved May 1, 1962).

§ 51-13-147. Water management district law controlling.

The provisions of any other law, general, special, or local, except as provided in this article, shall not limit or restrict the powers granted by this article. The water management district herein provided for shall not be subject to regulation or control by the public service commission.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-152; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 22, eff from and after passage (approved May 1, 1962).

§ 51-13-149. District and its bonds exempt from taxation.

The accomplishment of the purposes stated in this article being for the benefit of the people of this state and for the improvement of their properties and industries, the district in carrying out the purposes of this article will be performing an essential public function and shall not be required to pay any tax or assessment on the projects and related facilities or any part thereof; and the interest on the bonds issued hereunder shall at all times be free from taxation within this state. The state hereby covenants with the holders of any bonds to be issued hereunder that the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District shall not be required to pay any taxes or assessments imposed by the state or any of its political subdivisions or taxing districts.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-153; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 23, eff from and after passage (approved May 1, 1962).

Cross References —

Exemptions from taxation generally, see §27-31-1 et seq.

§ 51-13-151. Preliminary expenses.

Any municipality or county which is within the territorial limits of the district may advance funds to said district to pay the preliminary expenses, including engineers’ reports, organization, or administration expenses, on such terms of repayment as the governing body of such municipality or county shall determine. Notwithstanding the provision of any law to the contrary, any such municipality or county is authorized and empowered to borrow money for a period not to exceed one year from the date of such borrowing, for the purpose of making such advances. The board of directors is hereby authorized to repay any such advances from the proceeds of any funds for bonds issued under the provisions of this article.

Any board of supervisors may, in its discretion, transfer any funds authorized by Sections 51-13-129 and 51-13-131, to the depository of the Tombigbee River Valley Water Management District to be expended for any of the purposes of the district. The said district is authorized to expend all funds coming into its depository for any legitimate purpose authorized by law.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-154; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 24; Laws, 1962, 2d Ex. Sess., ch. 32, § 8, eff from and after passage (approved Dec. 12, 1962).

§ 51-13-153. Overflow of school lands not to constitute waste.

It is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination that the overflow and inundation of sixteenth section lands or in lieu lands shall not constitute legal waste of such lands. The district shall pay a reasonable rental for the use of such lands to be overflowed, to be determined as provided by law in such cases. Any sixteenth section lands that have been flooded shall be reforested before this project shall ever be abandoned.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-155; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 25, eff from and after passage (approved May 1, 1962).

Cross References —

Sixteenth section and lieu lands generally, see §29-3-1 et seq.

§ 51-13-155. Savings clause.

Nothing in this article shall be construed to violate any provision of the federal or state constitutions, and all acts done under this article shall be done in such manner as will conform thereto, whether herein expressly provided or not. Where any procedure hereunder may be held by any court to be violative of either of such constitutions, the district shall have the power by resolution to provide any alternative procedure conformable with such constitutions. If any provisions of this article shall be invalid, such fact shall not affect the creation of the district or the validity of any other provision of this article.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-156; Laws, 1962, ch. 224, § 26, eff from and after passage (approved May 1, 1962).

Chapter 15. Pat Harrison Waterway Commission and District

Article 1. Pat Harrison Waterway Commission.

§ 51-15-1. Membership and organization of board.

There is hereby created the Pat Harrison Waterway Commission composed of Clarke, Covington, Forrest, George, Greene, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Lamar, Lauderdale, Newton, Perry, Smith, Stone, and Wayne Counties in the State of Mississippi, to be governed by a board consisting of one member from each such county and three members from the state at large, all to be appointed by the governor to serve for a term of four years or until their successors are appointed and qualified. The governor shall designate in his appointment the chairman and vice-chairman thereof. They shall serve without pay except for their actual traveling expenses and other necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties, to be reimbursed as in the case of state employees under the provisions of general law. Upon appointment, said members shall meet and organize at Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and set a regular time and place for the meetings of the commission, secure offices and all necessary equipment, and obtain such engineering, professional, clerical, and other assistance as may be necessary in order to accomplish the purposes of this article. An executive director may be appointed by the board if this is deemed advisable, and salaries of all personnel may be paid out of funds provided under the terms of this article in an amount agreeable to the commission.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-43; Laws, 1956, ch. 168, §§ 1-5; Laws, 1962, ch. 223, eff from and after passage (approved May 31, 1962).

Cross References —

Provision that the Pat Harrison Waterway Commission shall receive assistance from the Division of Regional Water Resources, see §51-3-18.

Pat Harrison Waterway District generally, see §51-15-101 et seq.

§ 51-15-3. Powers and duties.

The Pat Harrison Waterway Commission is hereby authorized and empowered to do any and all things necessary and desirable in making a survey or surveys of the Pascagoula, Leaf, and Chickasawhay Rivers, the Tallahala Creek, and their tributaries in co-operation with the federal government and other agencies of the State of Mississippi; to promote the establishment of barge canals linking the cities of Meridian, Hattiesburg, Laurel, and other cities and communities along the Pascagoula, Leaf, and Chickasawhay Rivers, the Tallahala Creek, and their tributaries with the Gulf of Mexico. Each county represented on said commission, or two or more such counties acting in concert, pursuant to a plan to be approved by said commission, are authorized to improve all or any part of such waterways within said county or counties for navigation or flood control purposes.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-43; Laws, 1956, ch. 168, §§ 1-5; Laws, 1962, ch. 223, eff from and after passage (approved May 31, 1962).

Cross References —

Provision that the Pat Harrison Waterway District shall receive assistance from the Division of Regional Water Resources, see §51-3-18.

§ 51-15-5. Financing.

The commission shall be financed in all of its activities from funds made available by each of the associated counties, and each such county is authorized and empowered to contribute any amount or amounts which the board of supervisors thereof shall deem advisable, acting in their sole discretion, to be paid from the general county fund of the respective counties.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-43; Laws, 1956, ch. 168, §§ 1-5; Laws, 1962, ch. 223; Laws, 1986, ch. 400, § 37, eff from and after October 1, 1986.

§ 51-15-7. Homestead exemption laws not applicable.

No reimbursement on the additional tax levies herein provided shall be made under the Homestead Exemption Law of 1946, being Sections 27-33-1 through 27-33-61 of the Mississippi Code of 1972.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-43; Laws, 1956, ch. 168, §§ 1-5; Laws, 1962, ch. 223, eff from and after passage (approved May 31, 1962).

§ 51-15-9. Article supplementary to other laws.

This article shall be considered supplemental and additional to any and all other laws, and confers sufficient authority in and of itself for the purposes set forth herein.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-43; Laws, 1956, ch. 168, §§ 1-5; Laws, 1962, ch. 223, eff from and after passage (approved May 31, 1962).

Article 3. Pat Harrison Waterway District.

§ 51-15-101. Legislative determination and declaration of policy.

It is hereby declared, as a matter of legislative determination, that the waterways and surface waters of the state are among its basic resources, that the overflow and surface waters of the state have not heretofore been conserved to realize their full beneficial use, that the utilization, development, conservation, and regulation of such waters are necessary to insure an adequate flood control program, sanitary water supply at all times, to promote the balanced economic development of the state, and to aid in conservation and development of state forests, irrigation of lands needing irrigation, and pollution abatement. It is further determined and declared that the preservation, conservation, storage, and regulation of the waters of the Pat Harrison Waterway District overflow waters for domestic, municipal, commercial, industrial, agricultural, and manufacturing purposes, for recreational uses, for flood control, timber development, irrigation, and pollution abatement are, as a matter of public policy, for the general welfare of the entire people of the state.

The creation of the Pat Harrison Waterway District is determined to be necessary and essential to the accomplishment of the aforesaid purposes, and this article operates on a subject in which the state at large is interested. All the terms and provisions of this article are to be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes herein set forth, this being a remedial law.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-171; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved June 1, 1962).

§ 51-15-103. General authority to reorganize.

The Pat Harrison Waterway Commission may hereafter be organized in this state under the provisions of this article, in the manner hereafter provided for. This water management district shall be an agency of the state and a body politic and corporate, and may be composed and is composed of the following counties, to-wit: Clarke, Covington, Forrest, George, Greene, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Lamar, Lauderdale, Newton, Perry, Smith, Stone, and Wayne.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-172; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 2, eff from and after passage (approved June 1, 1962).

§ 51-15-105. Board of directors.

  1. All powers of the district shall be exercised by a board of directors to be composed of the following:
    1. [Repealed]
    2. From and after January 9, 1996, the Governor shall appoint three (3) members of the Board of Directors of the Pat Harrison Waterway District from the district at large. No more than one (1) appointment may be made by the Governor from any one (1) county in the district. All initial appointments made pursuant to this paragraph shall be made no later than February 1, 1996, and no person appointed under this paragraph shall be an elected official or a county employee. All appointments made pursuant to this paragraph shall be for terms of four (4) years each or until a successor is appointed and qualifies.
    3. From and after January 9, 1996, the board of supervisors of each county in the Pat Harrison Waterway District shall have an appointment to the board of directors of the district as follows: the boards of supervisors of the counties of Clarke, Covington and Forrest shall each appoint a member from their respective counties for an initial term of one (1) year; the boards of supervisors of the counties of George, Greene, Jackson and Jasper shall each appoint a member from their respective counties for an initial term of two (2) years; the boards of supervisors of the counties of Jones, Lamar, Lauderdale and Newton shall each appoint a member from their respective counties for an initial term of three (3) years; and the boards of supervisors of the counties of Perry, Smith, Stone and Wayne shall each appoint a member from their respective counties for an initial term of four (4) years. All initial appointments made pursuant to this paragraph shall be made no later than February 1, 1996, and no person appointed under this paragraph shall be an elected official or a county employee. All appointments made pursuant to this paragraph after the initial appointments shall be for terms of four (4) years each or until a successor is appointed and qualifies.
    4. The directors appointed pursuant to paragraphs (b) and (c) of this subsection shall not discontinue any litigation pending on January 9, 1996, with respect to monetary payments owed to the district by any member county, and such directors shall pursue such litigation to a conclusion.
  2. Each director shall take and subscribe to the general oath of office required by Section 268 of the Constitution of the State of Mississippi before a chancery clerk, that he will faithfully discharge the duties of the office, which oath shall be filed with the clerk and by him preserved.
  3. Each director shall receive a per diem in the amount established in Section 25-3-69, Mississippi Code of 1972, for attending each day’s meeting of the board and for each day spent in attending to the necessary business of the district and, in addition, he may receive reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses thus incurred, upon express authorization of the board.
  4. The board of directors shall annually elect from its number a president and a vice president of the district, and such other officers as in the judgment of the board are necessary. The president shall be the chief executive officer of the district and the presiding officer of the board, and shall have the same right to vote as any other director. The vice president shall perform all duties and exercise all powers conferred by this article upon the president when the president is absent or fails or declines to act, except the president’s right to vote. The board shall also appoint a secretary and a treasurer, who may or may not be members of the board, and it may combine those offices. Except as otherwise provided for in this subsection, the treasurer shall give bond in the sum of not less than Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) as set by the board of directors, and each director may be required to give bond in the sum of not less than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) with sureties qualified to do business in this state, and the premium on such bonds shall be an expense of the district. The condition of each bond shall be that the treasurer or director will faithfully perform all duties of his office and account for all money or other assets which shall come into his custody as treasurer or director of the district. In lieu of the bonds required by this subsection, the board may authorize that the district purchase an equivalent amount of errors and omissions insurance for the treasurer and directors.
  5. Each director shall meet with the board of supervisors of the county from which he is appointed at least twice a year at reasonable times established by the board of supervisors.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, §§ 5956-171, 5956-173; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, §§ 1, 3; Laws, 1995, ch. 559, § 1; Laws, 1996, ch. 465, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved April 2, 1996).

Editor’s Notes —

Paragraph (1)(a) of this section was repealed by its own terms, effective January 8, 1996.

§ 51-15-107. Petition for creation of district.

The Pat Harrison Waterway Commission, acting through its members who favor bringing the counties they represent into the Pat Harrison Waterway District, or other counties having Pascagoula River, Leaf River, Chickasawhay River, or Tallahala Creek tributaries shall petition the chancery court of Forrest County, Mississippi, to organize and establish the Pat Harrison Waterway District and shall set forth in the petition:

  1. The counties to be included in the Pat Harrison Waterway District. Each member of the Pat Harrison Waterway Commission, as created by virtue of Sections 51-15-1 through 51-15-9, and any county through which the Pascagoula, Leaf, and Chickasawhay Rivers and Tallahala Creek run, or other counties having tributaries to such streams or which border on said streams, may be included in the district.
  2. The necessity and desirability for the developments and construction of suitable facilities.
  3. A general description of the purposes of the contemplated works, and a general description of the plan.

    The petition shall be filed with as many copies as there are parties defendant.

    The board of water commissioners of the State of Mississippi shall be made a party defendant, and the chancery clerk shall furnish the board of water commissioners with a copy of the petition with attached exhibits. Each county named in the petition shall be joined as a party defendant by service of process on the president of the board of supervisors thereof, and the chancery clerk shall furnish a copy of the petition to each such president. Whenever any municipality having a population according to the most recent federal census of ten thousand (10,000) or more is included in such proposed district, such municipality shall be made a party defendant.

    It shall not be necessary that any landowners in the counties to be included in said proposed district be named in the petition, or be made parties defendant. The chancellor of the chancery court of Forrest County, Mississippi, shall have jurisdiction of the entire waterway district for the purposes of this article. Such jurisdiction may be exercised by the chancellor in term time or in vacation, as provided in this article.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-174; Laws, 1962, ch. 222. § 4(a); Laws, 1962, 2d Ex. Sess., ch. 31, § 1(a), eff from and after passage (approved Dec. 21, 1962).

§ 51-15-109. Proceedings after filing of petition.

The board of water commissioners shall file a written answer to the petition within thirty days after such service. After the filing of the answer of the board of water commissioners, and upon motion of the petitioners, the chancellor shall enter an order fixing the date for a hearing of the cause on the original petition, the exhibits, the answer of the board of water commissioners, and any other answers filed or other pleadings. The chancery clerk shall give notice of such hearing to all persons interested by posting notices thereof at the door of the courthouse of the county or counties in which the district is situated and in at least ten public places in said proposed district, and also by publishing said notice at least once a week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper published in each of the counties proposed to be included in such waterway district. If there is no newspaper published in any such county, then it shall be sufficient to publish said notice in a newspaper having a general circulation in such county. Such notice shall be addressed to the property owners and qualified electors of such proposed district and all other persons interested, shall state when and in what court said petition was and is filed, shall state the counties included in such district, and shall command all such persons to appear before the chancery court, or the chancellor in vacation, at the chancery court building of Forrest County upon the date fixed by the chancellor to show cause, if any they can, why the proposed waterway district should not be organized and established as prayed for in said petition. The date for such hearing shall not be less than twenty-one days nor more than forty days after the last publication of such notice. It shall be sufficient in describing the lands to be included in the waterway district to name the counties to be included therein in the publication or notice hereinbefore mentioned.

If the court or chancellor finds that the notice or publication was not given as provided for in this article, it shall not thereby lose jurisdiction, but the court or chancellor shall order due publication or notice to be given and shall continue the hearing until such publication or notice shall be properly given; and the court or chancellor shall thereupon proceed as though publication or notice had been properly given in the first instance.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-175; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 4(b); Laws, 1962, 2d Ex. Sess., ch. 31, § 1(b), eff from and after passage (approved Dec. 21, 1962).

§ 51-15-111. Hearing.

The chancery court of Forrest County may hear the petition at any term thereof, or the chancellor of said court may fix a time to hear such petition at any time in vacation, may determine all matters pertaining thereto, may adjourn the hearing from time to time, and may continue the case for want of sufficient notice or other good cause. And if said petition shall prove defective in any manner, the petitioners, upon motion, shall be permitted to amend the same.

Upon the day set for hearing said petition, or a day to which same may be continued by the court or chancellor, all parties interested may appear and contest the same. If, upon the hearing of such petition, it is found that such projects are feasible and practical, and if the creation of the waterway district under the terms of this article would meet a public necessity both local and statewide and would be conducive to the public welfare of the state as a whole, such court or chancellor shall so find and shall make and enter an order upon the minutes of the said chancery court stating that the said district, to be known as the Pat Harrison Waterway District, should be organized subject to all of the terms and provisions of this article.

If the chancellor finds that the proposed waterway district should not be organized, he shall dismiss the proceedings and the costs shall be paid by the Pat Harrison Waterway Commission.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, §§ 5956-176, 5956-177; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 4(c, d); Laws, 1962, 2d Ex. Sess., ch. 31, § 1(c, d), eff from and after passage (approved Dec. 21, 1962).

§ 51-15-113. Order and notice of election.

If the court or chancellor thereof finds that the proposed waterway district should be organized, a decree shall be so entered by the court which shall become final unless an election is called as hereinafter provided. A notice as provided by the decree of the court creating such district shall be published once each week for at least three consecutive weeks in at least one newspaper having general circulation or published in each county of the district as specified in such decree, stating that the decree shall become final forty-five days after its entry unless twenty per cent (20%) of the qualified electors of any county or counties shall petition the court for an election on the question of the inclusion of such county in the district. If there be no newspaper published in any such county, then it shall be sufficient to publish such notice in a newspaper having general circulation in said county and, in addition, to post a copy of such notice for at least twenty-one days next preceding the decree becoming final at three public places in such county. The first publication of such notice shall be made in each county within ten days after entry of said decree. In the event such petition is filed by twenty per cent (20%) of the qualified electors of any county, an election shall be held in such county as hereinafter provided. The election shall be held not less than twenty-one nor more than forty-five days from the final date of such order, whereby the qualified electors within such county may determine if such county shall be a part of such proposed district. The election shall be called by the board of supervisors of the county, and notice of the election shall be given by publishing a substantial copy of the order of the board of supervisors providing for the election once a week for at least three consecutive weeks, in at least one newspaper published in each county in which an election is to be held. The first publication of such notice shall be made not less than twenty-one days prior to the date fixed for such election. If no newspaper is published in any such county, then such notice shall be given by publishing the same for the required time in some newspaper having a general circulation in such county and, in addition, by posting a copy of such notice for at least twenty-one days next preceding such election at three public places in such county.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-177; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 4(d); Laws, 1962, 2d Ex. Sess., ch. 31, § 1(d), eff from and after passage (approved Dec. 21, 1962).

§ 51-15-115. Election.

Such election shall be held, as far as is practicable, in the same manner as other elections are held in counties. At such election, all qualified electors of such counties may vote and the ballots used at such election shall have printed thereon the words “FOR BEING INCLUDED IN THE PAT HARRISON WATERWAY DISTRICT” and “AGAINST BEING INCLUDED IN THE PAT HARRISON WATERWAY DISTRICT” and the voter shall vote by placing a cross (x) or check (Π) mark opposite his choice on the proposition. In any particular county, should a majority of the qualified electors voting in such election in said county vote in favor of the creation of the Pat Harrison Waterway District, then that county shall become a part of the waterway district. The chancery court of Forrest County or the chancellor thereof in vacation shall thereupon enter a final order including such county in the district. In any particular county, should a majority of the qualified electors voting in such election in such county vote against being included in the Pat Harrison Waterway District, then that county shall not become a part of the waterway district and the said decree shall be modified accordingly.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-178; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 4(e); Laws, 1962, 2d Ex. Sess., ch. 31, § 1(e), eff from and after passage (approved Dec. 21, 1962).

Cross References —

General elections of officers, see MS Const. Art. 4, § 102.

§ 51-15-117. Appeals.

Any person interested in or aggrieved by the final order of the court or the chancellor, creating the waterway district or dismissing the petition or admitting a county to the district, and who was a party to the proceedings in the chancery court may prosecute an appeal therefrom within ten days from the date of such decree by furnishing an appeal bond in the sum of five hundred dollars ($500.00) with two good and sufficient sureties, conditioned to pay all costs of the appeal in the event the decree is affirmed. Such appeal bond shall be subject to the approval of the chancery clerk. When the transcript of the record of the case shall be filed in the office of the supreme court, the appellee having been summoned to appear and answer the appeal, ten days after service of the summons on appellee or his attorney the court shall consider such case as entitled to be heard. Any party to any proceedings in any court involving any of the provisions of this article may waive any time for filing pleadings so as to obtain an earlier hearing.

Any appeal from such order or decree of the chancery court or chancellor shall be a preference case in the supreme court and shall be tried at the earliest moment convenient with said court.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-179; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 4(f); Laws, 1962, 2d Ex. Sess., ch. 31, § 1(f), eff from and after passage (approved Dec. 21, 1962).

§ 51-15-118. Withdrawal of county from district.

From and after July 1, 1999, the board of supervisors of any county that is included in the Pat Harrison Waterway District may elect to withdraw such county from the district. The withdrawing county shall be responsible for paying its portion of any district bonds, contractual obligations, and any other indebtedness and liabilities of the district that are outstanding on the date of such county’s withdrawal from the district. The withdrawing county’s portion of such liabilities, obligations and indebtedness shall be determined through an independent audit conducted by a certified public accountant. The board of supervisors of the withdrawing county shall provide the sum that is required by this section either by appropriation from any available funds of the county or by levy. Such board of supervisors may borrow funds as needed to satisfy the withdrawing county’s portion of the liabilities, obligations and indebtedness of the district as required herein.

HISTORY: Laws, 1995, ch. 559, § 7, eff from and after passage (approved April 6, 1995).

§ 51-15-119. Powers of district.

  1. The Pat Harrison Waterway District through its board of directors is hereby empowered:
    1. To develop in conjunction with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, United States Secretary of Agriculture, or with the head of any other federal or state agency as may be involved, plans for public works of improvement to make navigable or for the prevention of flood water damage, or the conservation, development, recreation, utilization and disposal of water, including the impoundment, diversion, flowage and distribution of waters for beneficial use as defined in Article 1 of this chapter, and in connection with the Oktibbeha River Basin project as authorized under Public Law 874, 87th Congress, October 23, 1962, and substantially in accordance with the recommendation of the Chief of Engineers in House Document 549 of the 87th Congress.
    2. To impound overflow water and the surface water of any streams in the Pat Harrison Waterway District or its tributaries within the project area, within or without the district, at the place or places and in the amount as may be approved by the Office of Land and Water Resources of the State of Mississippi, by the construction of a dam or dams, reservoir or reservoirs, work or works, plants and any other necessary or useful related facilities contemplated and described as a part of the project within and without the district, to control, store, and preserve these waters, and to use, distribute, and sell them, to construct or otherwise acquire within the project area all works, plants or other facilities necessary or useful to the project for processing the water and transporting it to cities and other facilities necessary or useful to the project for the purpose of processing the water and transporting it to cities and other facilities for domestic, municipal, commercial, industrial, agricultural and manufacturing purposes, and is hereby given the power to control open channels for water delivery purposes and water transportation.
    3. To acquire and develop any other available water necessary or useful to the project and to construct, acquire, and develop all facilities within the project area deemed necessary or useful with respect thereto.
    4. To forest and reforest and to aid in the foresting and reforesting of the project area, and to prevent and aid in the prevention of soil erosion and flood within the area; to control, store and preserve within the boundaries of the project area the waters of any streams in the area, for irrigation of lands and for prevention of water pollution.
    5. To acquire by condemnation all property of any kind, real, personal or mixed, or any interest therein, within or without the boundaries of the district, necessary for the project and the exercise of the powers, rights, privileges and functions conferred upon the district by this article, according to the procedure provided by law for the condemnation of lands or other property taken for rights-of-way or other purposes by railroad, telephone or telegraph companies and according to the provisions of Section 29-1-1. For the purposes of this article the right of eminent domain of the district shall be superior and dominant to the right of eminent domain of railroad, telegraph, telephone, gas, power and other companies or corporations and shall be sufficient to enable the acquisition of county roads, state highways or other public property in the project area, and the acquisition or relocation of this property in the project area. The cost of right-of-way purchases, rerouting and elevating all other county-maintained roads affected by construction shall be borne by the water management district, and new construction shall be of equal quality as in roads existing as of June 1, 1962. The county in which such work is done may assist in these costs if the board of supervisors desires.

      The amount and character of interest in land, other property and easements to be acquired shall be determined by the board of directors, and their determination shall be conclusive and shall not be subject to attack in the absence of manifold abuse of discretion or fraud on the part of such board in making this determination. However,

      1. In acquiring lands, either by negotiation or condemnation, the district shall not acquire minerals or royalties within the project area; sand and gravel shall not be considered as minerals within the meaning of this section; and
      2. No person or persons owning the drilling rights or the right to share in production shall be prevented from exploring, developing or producing oil or gas with necessary rights-of-way for ingress and egress, pipelines and other means of transporting these products by reason of the inclusion of the lands or mineral interests within the project area, whether below or above the water line, but any activities shall be under reasonable regulations by the board of directors that will adequately protect the project; and
      3. In drilling and developing, these persons are hereby vested with a right to have mineral interests integrated and their lands developed in the drilling unit or units that the State Oil and Gas Board shall establish after due consideration of the rights of all owners to be included in the drilling unit.

      Moreover, when any site or plot of land is to be rented, leased or sold to any person, firm or corporation for the purpose of operating recreational facilities thereon for profit, the board shall, by resolution, specify the terms and conditions of the sale, rental or lease, and shall advertise for public bids thereon. When these bids are received, they shall be publicly opened by the board, and the board shall thereupon determine the highest and best bid submitted and shall immediately notify the former owner of the site or plot of the amount, terms and conditions of the highest and best bid. The former owner of the site or plot shall have the exclusive right at his option, for a period of thirty (30) days after written notice is received by the land owner of the determination of the highest and best bid by the board, to rent, lease or purchase the site or plot of land by meeting the highest and best bid and by complying with all terms and conditions of renting, leasing or sale as specified by the board. However, the board shall not in any event rent, lease or sell to any former owner more land than was taken from the former owner for the construction of the project, or one-quarter (1/4) mile of shore line, whichever is lesser. If this option is not exercised by the former owner within a period of thirty (30) days, the board shall accept the highest and best bid submitted.

      Any bona fide, resident householder actually living or maintaining a residence on land taken by the district by condemnation shall have the right to repurchase his former land from the board of directors for a price not exceeding the price paid for his land, plus any permanent improvements and plus the cost of condemnation.

    6. To require the necessary relocation of roads and highways, railroad, telephone and telegraph lines and properties, electric power lines, pipelines, and mains and facilities in the project area, or to require the anchoring or other protection of any of these, provided due compensation is first paid the owners thereof or agreement is had with the owners regarding the payment of the cost of relocation. Further, the district is hereby authorized to acquire easements or rights-of-way in or outside of the project area for the relocation of roads, highways, railroad, telephone and telegraph lines and properties, electric power lines, pipelines, and mains and facilities, and to convey them to the owners thereof in connection with the relocation as a part of the construction of the project. However, the directors of the district shall not close any public access road to the project existing prior to the construction of the reservoir unless the board of supervisors of the county in which the road is located agrees.
    7. To overflow and inundate any public lands and public property, including sixteenth section lands and in lieu lands, within the project area.
    8. To construct, extend, improve, maintain and reconstruct, to cause to be constructed, extended, improved, maintained and reconstructed, and to use and operate all facilities of any kind within the project area necessary or convenient to the project and to the exercise of powers, rights, privileges and functions.
    9. To sue and be sued in its corporate name.
    10. To adopt, use and alter a corporate seal.
    11. To make bylaws for the management and regulation of its affairs.
    12. To employ engineers, attorneys, who may or may not be a director, and all necessary agents and employees to properly finance, construct, operate and maintain the projects and the plants, and to pay reasonable compensation for these services; for all services in connection with the issuance of bonds as provided in this article, the attorney’s fee shall not exceed one percent (1%) of the principal amount of these bonds. For any other services, only reasonable compensation shall be paid for those services. The board shall have the right to employ a general manager or executive director, who shall, at the discretion of the board, have the power to employ and discharge employees. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, it may employ fiscal agents or advisors in connection with its financing program and in connection with the issuance of its bonds.
    13. To make contracts and to execute instruments necessary or convenient to the exercise of the powers, rights, privileges and functions conferred upon it by this article.
    14. To make or cause to be made surveys and engineering investigations relating to the project, or related projects, for the information of the district to facilitate the accomplishment of the purposes for which it is created.
    15. To apply for and accept grants from the United States of America or from any corporation or agency created or designated by the United States of America, and to ratify and accept applications heretofore or hereafter made by voluntary associations to these agencies for grants to construct, maintain or operate any project or projects which hereafter may be undertaken or contemplated by the district.
    16. To do all other acts or things necessary, requisite, or convenient to the exercising of the powers, rights, privileges or functions conferred upon it by this article or any other law.
    17. To make such contracts in the issuance of bonds that may be necessary to ensure the marketability thereof.
    18. To enter into contracts with municipalities, corporations, districts, public agencies, political subdivisions of any kind, and others for any services, facilities or commodities that the project may provide. The district is also authorized to contract with any municipality, corporation or public agency for the rental, leasing, purchase or operation of the water production, water filtration or purification, water supply and distributing facilities of the municipality, corporation or public agency upon consideration as the district and entity may agree. Any contract may be upon any terms and for any time as the parties may agree, and it may provide that it shall continue in effect until bonds specified therein and refunding bonds issued in lieu of these bonds and all obligations are paid. Any contract with any political subdivision shall be binding upon the political subdivisions according to its terms, and the municipalities or other political subdivisions shall have the power to enter into these contracts as in the discretion of the governing authorities thereof would be to the best interest of the people of the municipality or other political subdivisions. These contracts may include within the discretion of the governing authorities a pledge of the full faith and credit of the political subdivisions for the performance thereof.
    19. To fix and collect charges and rates for any services, facilities or commodities furnished by it in connection with the project, and to impose penalties for failure to pay these charges and rates when due.
    20. To operate and maintain within the project area, with the consent of the governing body of any city or town located within the district, any works, plants or facilities of any city deemed necessary or convenient to the accomplishment of the purposes for which the district is created.
    21. Subject to the provisions of this article, from time to time to lease, sell or otherwise lawfully dispose of property of any kind, real, personal or mixed, or any interest therein within the project area or acquired outside the project area as authorized in this article, for the purpose of furthering the business of the district.
    22. When, in the opinion of the board of directors as shown by resolution duly passed, it shall not be necessary to the carrying on of the business of the district that the district own any lands acquired, the board shall advertise the lands for sale to the highest and best bidder for cash, and shall receive and publicly open the bids thereon. The board shall, by resolution, determine the highest and best bid submitted for the land and shall thereupon notify the former owner, his/her heirs or devisees, by registered mail of the land to be sold and the highest and best bid received therefor, and the former owner, or his/her heirs or devisees, shall have the exclusive right at his/her or their option for a period of thirty (30) days in which to meet such highest and best bid and to purchase such property.
    23. To prevent or aid in the prevention of damage to person or property from the waters of the Pascagoula River or any of its tributaries.
    24. To acquire by purchase, lease, gift or in any other manner (otherwise than by condemnation) and to maintain, use and operate all property of any kind, real, personal or mixed, or any interest therein within the project area, within or without the boundaries of the district, necessary for the project and convenient to the exercise of the powers, rights, privileges and functions conferred upon the district by this article.
    25. In the purchase of or in the entering into of all lease purchase agreements for supplies, equipment, heavy equipment and the like, the directors shall in all instances comply with the provisions of law pertaining to public purchases by public bids on these supplies and equipment.
    26. To designate employees as peace officers with the power to make arrests for violations of regulations of the district. The officers are authorized to carry weapons and to enforce the laws of the state within the confines of district parks and property. Any employee so designated is required to obtain and maintain certification pursuant to Section 45-6-1 et seq.
    27. To contract with persons, who are certified according to the minimum standards established by the Board on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training under Section 45-6-1 et seq., to serve as peace officers with the power to make arrests for violations of regulations of the district. Such officers are authorized to carry weapons and to enforce the laws of the state within the confines of district parks and property. All persons with which the district has contracted under this paragraph (aa) shall be independent contractors and shall not be considered as employees under Chapter 46 of Title 11, Mississippi Code of 1972.
    28. To: (a) receive and expend funds that are made available to it under the provisions of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), and/or from any other source, to construct a lake and related structures and facilities in George County, Mississippi, if the funds received by the district may be used for that purpose; (b) obtain any information and research regarding construction of the lake and related structures and facilities from the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks; and (c) to receive and expend any funds made available to the district from the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks for the construction of the lake and related structures and facilities.
  2. The board of directors shall annually prepare a five-year plan containing a prioritized list detailing the purposes, goals and projected costs of projects which it intends to implement or is in the process of implementing and shall file such plans with the clerk of the board of supervisors of each member county on or before July 15 of each year.
  3. The board of directors shall, after completion of the annual audit of the district and upon receipt of the written report thereon, file a copy of such audit with the clerk of the board of supervisors of each member county.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-180; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 5; Laws, 1962, 2d Ex. Sess., ch. 31, § 2; Laws, 1993, ch. 615, § 10; Laws, 1995, ch. 559, § 2; Laws, 2002, ch. 515, § 1; Laws, 2010, ch. 553, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 28, 2010.).

Amendment Notes —

The 2002 amendment added (z) and (aa).

The 2010 amendment added (1)(bb).

Cross References —

Apportionment of taxes collected in counties lying in two or more districts, see §51-7-71.

Federal Aspects—

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, 111 P.L. 5, 123 Stat. 115.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

A waterway district has the authority to allow individual landowners to build piers and boathouses out into a lake; however, the procedure of granting permits or licenses to build such piers and boathouses is a matter within the discretion of the board of directors of the district pursuant to its regulatory power and the scope of any answer thereto was too broad to address by official opinion. 1999 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 633.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Validity, construction, and application of state relocation assistance laws. 49 A.L.R.4th 491.

§ 51-15-120. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws 1992, ch. 491, § 35, eff from and after October 1, 1993.

[Laws, 1973, ch. 375, § 1; Repealed, Laws, 1984, ch. 495, § 36, and Laws, 1984, 1st Ex Sess, ch. 8, § 3; reenacted and amended, Laws, 1985, ch. 474, § 44; Laws, 1986, ch. 438, § 35; Laws, 1987, ch. 483, § 36; Laws, 1988, ch. 442, § 33; Laws, 1989, ch. 537, § 32; Laws, 1990, ch. 518, § 33; Laws, 1991, ch. 618, § 33]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §51-15-120 related to comprehensive liability insurance for the Pat Harrison Waterway District.

§ 51-15-121. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2005, ch. 396, § 4, effective from and after July 1, 2005.

[Codes, 1942, § 5956-181; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 6, eff from and after passage (approved June 1, 1962).]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §51-15-121 required the Pat Harrison Waterway District to advertise for bids on any construction project where the amount of the contract exceeded $2,500.00.

§ 51-15-123. Park and recreation facilities.

The Pat Harrison Waterway District is authorized to establish or otherwise provide for public parks and recreation facilities and for the preservation of fish and wildlife, and to acquire land otherwise than by condemnation except as provided in subsection (e) of Section 51-15-119 for such purposes, within the project area.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-182; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 7; Laws, 1995, ch. 559, § 3; Laws, 1998, ch. 368, § 1; Laws, 2010, ch. 553, § 3, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 28, 2010.).

Amendment Notes —

The 2010 amendment deleted (2), which read: “Except as otherwise provided in this subsection (2), from and after July 1, 1999, the district shall not expend on public parks and recreation facilities any monies derived from the payments required from member counties under this article. The district may expend such monies on the repair, replacement and maintenance of public parks and recreation facilities existing on or before January 1, 1998.”

§ 51-15-125. Rules and regulations.

  1. The board of directors of the district shall have the power to adopt and promulgate all reasonable regulations, which include establishing penalties for violation or the misuse, so as to secure, maintain, and preserve the sanitary condition of all water in and to flow into any reservoir owned by the district, to prevent waste of water or the unauthorized use thereof, and to regulate residence, hunting, fishing, boating, camping, and all recreational and business privileges along or around any such reservoir, any body of land, or any easement owned by the district.
  2. Such district may prescribe reasonable penalties for the breach of any regulation of the district.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-183; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 8, eff from and after passage (approved June 1, 1962).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

A waterway district has the authority to allow individual landowners to build piers and boathouses out into a lake; however, the procedure of granting permits or licenses to build such piers and boathouses is a matter within the discretion of the board of directors of the district pursuant to its regulatory power and the scope of any answer thereto was too broad to address by official opinion. 1999 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 633.

§ 51-15-127. Appropriation permit.

The district is empowered to obtain through appropriate hearings an appropriation permit or permits from the board of water commissioners of the State of Mississippi.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-184; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 9, eff from and after passage (approved June 1, 1962).

§ 51-15-129. District funding.

In each county of the State of Mississippi which is a part of the Pat Harrison Waterway District, so long as funds are found to be necessary for the operation of the district by annual legislative approval of the district budget, the tax collector of such county shall pay into the depository selected by the water district for such purpose an amount to be determined as follows: each county shall pay a pro rata share (not to exceed the avails of one (1) mill through September 30, 1997, and not to exceed the avails of three-fourths (3/4) mill through September 30, 2005, and not to exceed seven-eighths (7/8) mill thereafter) of the annual district budget based on the proportion that the most recent total assessed valuation of the county bears to the most recent aggregate total assessed valuation of all the counties which comprise the district; provided, however, that any county bordering on the Gulf of Mexico which by action of the board of supervisors has created and authorized a port authority and which has been paying into the port authority the avails of a two-mill levy that was established under Section 27-39-3 shall pay an amount not to exceed one-tenth (1/10) mill through September 30, 2005, and not to exceed two-tenths (2/10) mill thereafter, of the total assessed valuation of the county to the Pat Harrison Waterway District pursuant to this section and the assessed valuation of that county shall not be considered when calculating each county’s pro rata share of the district’s budget. Of the amount paid by counties required to pay to the district an amount not to exceed seven-eighths (7/8) mill, an amount equivalent to the avails of one-eighth (1/8) mill shall be utilized to fund flood control, water management and other similar projects as requested by counties in the district. Of the amount paid by counties required to pay to the district an amount not to exceed two-tenths (2/10) mill, an amount equivalent to the avails of one-tenth (1/10) mill shall be utilized to fund flood control, water management and other similar projects as requested by counties in the district. It shall be the duty of the Pat Harrison Waterway District Board of Directors in the month of November annually upon receipt of the total assessed valuation of the member counties, certified by the Department of Revenue, to prepare a request to the board of supervisors of member counties to levy a tax using the formula herein established not to exceed the maximum number of mills authorized by this section. Member counties shall remit their share of the district budget no later than March 1 of each year.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-185; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 10; Laws, 1962, 2d Ex. Sess., ch. 31, § 3; Laws, 2005, ch. 396, § 1; Laws, 2014, ch. 336, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 2014.

Editor’s Notes —

Section 27-39-3 referred to in this section was repealed by Laws of 1980, ch. 505, § 24 (as amended by Laws of 1981, 1st Ex Sess, ch. 5, § 1), eff September 30, 1982.

Amendment Notes —

The 2005 amendment rewrote the section to increase the maximum amount that counties in the Pat Harrison Waterway District may be required to pay for operation of the District.

The 2014 amendment in the next-to-last sentence substituted “November” for “July” and “Department of Revenue” for “Mississippi State Tax Commission” and added the last sentence.

Cross References —

Details of bonds issued pursuant to this article, see §51-15-133.

Special tax levy for payment of bonds relating to the Pat Harrison Waterway District, see §51-15-137.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Each county must pay its full 3/4 mill if its pro rata share of the Pat Harrison Waterway District’s operating budget is larger than 3/4 mill. A county does not have authority to pay less. 2003 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 489.

Any given county’s payment could increase or decrease as a result of re-assessment, depending on the facts and whether that county’s pro rata share of the budget exceeds or is below 3/4 of a mill. 2003 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 489.

Jackson County must pay its full .1 mill if its pro rata share of the Pat Harrison Waterway District’s operating budget is larger than .1 mill. It does not have authority to pay less. 2003 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 489.

§ 51-15-131. Board of directors to issue bonds.

The board of directors of the district is hereby authorized and empowered to borrow money or issue bonds of the district for the purpose of paying the cost of acquiring, owning, constructing, operating, repairing, and maintaining the projects and works specified herein, including related facilities and including all financing and financial advisory charges, interest during construction, engineering, architectural, legal, and other expenses incidental to and necessary for the foregoing or for the carrying out of any power conferred by this article. The board of directors is authorized and empowered to borrow money and issue bonds at such times and in such amounts as shall be provided for by resolution of the board of directors, not to exceed the limitation prescribed in Section 51-15-135. All such bonds so issued by said district shall be secured solely by a pledge of the net revenues which may now or hereafter come to the district, and by the pledge of the avails of the ad valorem tax levy provided for in Section 51-15-129. Such bonds shall not constitute general obligations of the State of Mississippi or of the counties comprising said district, and such bonds shall not be secured by a pledge of the full faith, credit, and resources of the state or of the counties. Bonds of the district shall not be included in computing any present or future debt limit of any county in the district under any present or future law. “Revenues” as used in this article shall mean all charges, rentals, tolls, rates, gifts, grants, avails of tax levies, monies, and all other funds coming into the possession of the district by virtue of the provisions of this article, except the proceeds from the sale of bonds issued hereunder. “Net revenues” as used in this article shall mean the revenues after payments of costs and expenses of operation and maintenance of the project and related facilities.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-186; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 11; Laws, 1962, 2d Ex. Sess., ch. 31, § 4; Laws, 1964, ch. 252; Laws, 2005, ch. 396, § 2, eff from and after July 1, 2005.

Amendment Notes —

The 2005 amendment deleted “two mill” preceding “ad valorem tax levy” in the third sentence; and made minor stylistic changes throughout.

Cross References —

Additional powers conferred in connection with issuance of bonds, see §§31-21-5 and51-15-133.

Bonds provided for in this section being negotiable instruments within meaning of Uniform Commercial Code, see §51-15-133.

§ 51-15-133. Details of bonds; supplemental powers conferred in issuance of bonds.

All bonds provided for by Section 51-15-131 shall be negotiable instruments within the meaning of the Uniform Commercial Code of this state, shall be lithographed or engraved and printed in two (2) or more colors to prevent counterfeiting, shall be in denominations of not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) nor more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), shall be registered as issued, and shall be numbered in a regular series from one (1) upward. Each bond shall specify on its face the purpose for which it was issued and the total amount authorized to be issued, it shall be payable to bearer, and the interest to accrue thereon shall be evidenced by proper coupons to be attached thereto. The bonds shall not bear a greater overall maximum interest rate to maturity than that allowed in Section 75-17-101. They shall mature annually in such amounts and at such times as shall be provided by the resolution of the board of directors. No bond shall have a longer maturity than forty (40) years, and the first maturity date thereof shall be not more than five (5) years from the date of such bonds. The denomination, form and place or places of payment of the bonds shall be fixed in the resolution of the board of directors of the district. The bonds shall be signed by the president and the secretary of the board with the seal of the district affixed thereto, but the coupons may bear only the facsimile signatures of the president and secretary. All interest accruing on such bonds so issued shall be payable semiannually, except that the first interest coupon attached to any bond may be for a period not exceeding one (1) year.

The bonds may be called in, paid and redeemed in inverse numerical order on any interest date prior to maturity, upon not less than thirty (30) days’ notice to the paying agent or agents designated in the bonds, and at such premium as may be designated in such bonds.

All such bonds shall contain in substance a statement to the effect that they are secured solely by a pledge of the net revenues of the district, including the avails of the ad valorem tax levy provided for in Section 51-15-129, and that they do not constitute general obligations of the State of Mississippi or of the counties comprising the district, and are not secured by a pledge of the full faith, credit and resources of the state or of the counties.

All the bonds as provided for herein shall be sold for not less than par value plus accrued interest at public sale in the manner provided by Section 31-19-25. No sale shall be at a price so low as to require the payment of interest on the money received therefor at more than eleven percent (11%) per annum computed with relation to the absolute maturity of the bonds, in accordance with standard tables of bond values, excluding from such computation the amount of any premium to be paid on redemption of any bonds prior to maturity.

This article shall be full and complete authority for the issuance of the bonds provided for herein, and no restriction or limitation otherwise prescribed by law shall apply herein.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, bonds referred to hereinabove may be issued pursuant to the supplemental powers and authorizations conferred by the provisions of the Registered Bond Act, being Sections 31-21-1 through 31-21-7.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-187; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 12; Laws, 1962, 2d Ex. Sess., ch. 31, § 5; Laws, 1983, ch. 494, § 20; Laws, 1989, ch. 456, § 2; Laws, 2005, ch. 396, § 3, eff from and after July 1, 2005.

Amendment Notes —

The 2005 amendment deleted “two-mill” following “avails of the” in the third paragraph; and made minor stylistic changes throughout.

§ 51-15-135. Limitation on amount of bonds.

Bonds and other indebtedness issued or incurred pursuant to this article shall not exceed Seven Million Dollars ($7,000,000.00) in principal amount.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-188; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 13; Laws, 1989, ch. 456, § 1; Laws, 1996, ch. 465, § 3, eff from and after passage (approved April 2, 1996).

§ 51-15-136. Borrowing money or issuance of bonds after April 6, 1995.

From and after April 6, 1995, the board of directors shall not borrow money or issue bonds of the district unless sixty percent (60%) of the entire membership of the board of directors votes in favor of such action after thirty (30) days’ written notice to the chancery clerks and presidents of the boards of supervisors of the member counties of the date upon which such vote will be taken. Further, the board shall not borrow money or issue bonds of the district from April 6, 1995, through February 1, 1996.

HISTORY: Laws, 1995, ch. 559, § 6, eff from and after passage (approved April 6, 1995).

§ 51-15-137. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 2005, ch. 396, § 5, effective from and after July 1, 2005.

[Codes, 1942, § 5956-189; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 14; Laws, 1962, 2d Ex. Sess., ch. 31, § 6; Laws, 1964, ch. 253; Laws, 1995, ch. 559, § 5; Laws, 1996, ch. 465, § 4, eff from and after passage (approved April 2, 1996).]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §51-15-137 required counties in the Pat Harrison Waterway District to pay to the district depository a sum not more than is necessary to defray the annual principal and interest due on outstanding indebtedness of the district.

§ 51-15-139. Validation of bonds.

All bonds issued pursuant to this article shall be validated as now provided by law of Sections 31-13-1 through 31-13-11, Mississippi Code of 1972. The services of the state’s bond attorney may be employed in the preparation of such bond resolutions, forms, or proceedings as may be necessary, for which he shall be paid a reasonable fee. Such validation proceedings shall be instituted in the chancery court of the county in which the principal office of the district is located, but notice of such validation proceedings shall be published at least two times in a newspaper of general circulation and published in each of the counties comprising the Pat Harrison Waterway District, the first publication of which in each case shall be made at least ten days preceding the date set for the validation.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-190; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 15, eff from and after passage (approved June 1, 1962).

§ 51-15-141. Trust agreement.

At the discretion of the board of directors of the district any bonds provided for in Section 51-15-131 may be further secured by a trust agreement between the board of directors and a corporate trustee, which may be any trust company or bank having powers of a trust company within or without the state. Any such trust agreement or any resolution providing for the issuance of such bonds may contain such provisions for protecting and enforcing the rights and remedies of the bondholders as are reasonable and proper and not in violation of law. The trust agreement may contain provision for the issuance of additional bonds for any of the purposes authorized by this article which shall be secured by the revenues pledged thereunder for such bonds to the extent provided therein. The trust agreement may include provisions to the effect that if there is any default in the payment of principal or interest on any of said bonds, any court having jurisdiction of the action may appoint a receiver to administer the properties and facilities of the district, including authority to sell or make contracts for the sale of any services, facilities, or commodities of the district or to renew such contracts, subject to the approval of the court appointing said receiver; and with power to provide for the payment of such bonds outstanding or the payment of operating expenses, and to apply the income and revenues to the payment of said bonds and interest thereon in accordance with the resolution of the board of directors authorizing the issuance of such bonds and said trust agreement. However, the fee for the services of any corporate trustee shall not exceed the normal charges for acting as paying agent plus any additional amount or amounts allowed by the court as the reasonable value of services rendered by the corporate trustee upon default in the payment of principal and interest on the bonds.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-191; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 16, eff from and after passage (approved June 1, 1962).

§ 51-15-143. Refunding bonds.

The board of directors of the district is hereby authorized to provide by resolution for the issuance of refunding bonds of the district for the purpose of refunding any bonds then outstanding and issued under authority of this article, including the payment of any redemption premium thereon and any interest accrued or to accrue to the date of redemption of such bonds. The issuance of such refunding bonds, the maturity, and other details thereof, and the rights, duties, and obligations of the board of trustees and of the district in respect to such bonds shall be governed by the provisions of this article, in so far as they are applicable. In no event shall such bonds mature over a period of time exceeding forty years from January 1, 1964.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-192; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 17, eff from and after passage (approved June 1, 1962).

§ 51-15-145. Bonds to be legal investments.

All bonds of the district are hereby declared to be legal and authorized investments for public funds of counties, cities, towns, school districts, banks, savings banks, trust companies, building and loan associations, savings and loan associations, insurance companies, and for funds of the Mississippi Public Employees’ Retirement System. Such bonds shall be eligible to secure the deposit of any and all public funds of cities, towns, villages, counties, school districts, or other political corporations or subdivisions of the State of Mississippi; and such bonds shall be lawful and sufficient security for said deposits to the extent of their value, when accompanied by all unmatured coupons appurtenant thereto.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-193; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 18, eff from and after passage (approved June 1, 1962).

§ 51-15-147. Depository for funds of district.

The board of directors shall designate one or more qualified state depositories within the district to serve as depositories for the funds of the district, and all funds of the district other than funds required by any trust agreement to be deposited, from time to time, with the trustee or any paying agent for outstanding bonds of the district, shall be deposited in such depository or depositories. Any such designated depository shall be eligible to hold funds of the district to the extent that it is qualified as a depository for state funds.

Before designating a depository or depositories, the board of directors shall issue a notice stating the time and place the board will meet for such purpose and inviting the qualified state depositories in the district to submit applications to be designated depositories. The term of service for depositories shall be prescribed by the board. Such notice shall be published one (1) time in a newspaper or newspapers published in the district and specified by the board.

At the time mentioned in the notice, the board shall consider the applications and the management and conditions of the depositories which offer the most favorable terms and conditions for the handling of the funds of the district, and which the board finds have proper management and are in condition to warrant handling of district funds in the manner as provided under the chapter on depositories. Membership on the board of directors of an officer or director of a depository shall not disqualify such depository from being designated as a depository.

If no applications acceptable to the board are received by the time stated in the notice, the board shall designate some qualified state depository or depositories within the district upon such terms and conditions as it may find advantageous to the district. Any such designated depository shall be eligible to hold funds of the district to the extent that it is qualified as a depository for state funds.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-194; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 19; Laws, 1988, ch. 473, § 14, eff from and after December 1, 1988.

§ 51-15-149. Agreements relative to federal highways.

The board of directors of the Pat Harrison Waterway District is hereby authorized and empowered to negotiate and contract with the United States of America, or any agency thereof, concerning all lands, easements, and rights of way necessary for the relocation of any federal road, highway, parkway, or for the facilities appurtenant thereto.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-195; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 20, eff from and after passage (approved June 1, 1962).

§ 51-15-151. Cooperation with other governmental agencies.

The Pat Harrison Waterway District shall have authority to act jointly with political subdivisions of the state and agencies, commissions, and instrumentalities thereof, and with the federal government and other agencies thereof in the performance of the purposes and services authorized in this article, upon such terms as may be agreed upon by the directors.

The board of directors of the district shall have the authority to negotiate and contract with the Secretary of the Army under the provisions of Public Law 653, 85th Congress, or other applicable law or regulation written pursuant thereto.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-196; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 21, eff from and after passage (approved June 1, 1962).

§ 51-15-153. Water management district law controlling.

The provisions of any other law, general, special, or local, except as provided in this article, shall not limit or restrict the powers granted by this article. The water management district herein provided for shall not be subject to regulation or control by the public service commission.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-197; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 22, eff from and after passage (approved June 1, 1962).

§ 51-15-155. District and its bonds exempt from taxation.

The accomplishment of the purposes stated in this article being for the benefit of the people of this state and for the improvement of their properties and industries, the district in carrying out the purposes of this article will be performing an essential public function and shall not be required to pay any tax or assessment on the projects and related facilities or any part thereof; and the interest on the bonds issued hereunder shall at all times be free from taxation within this state. The state hereby covenants with the holders of any bonds to be issued hereunder that the Pat Harrison Waterway District shall not be required to pay any taxes or assessments imposed by the state or any of its political subdivisions or taxing districts.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-198; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 23, eff from and after passage (approved June 1, 1962).

Cross References —

Exemptions from taxation generally, see §27-31-1 et seq.

§ 51-15-157. Preliminary expenses.

Any municipality or county which is within the territorial limits of the district may advance funds to said district to pay the preliminary expenses, including engineers’ reports, organization, or administration expenses, on such terms of repayment as the governing body of such municipality or county shall determine. Notwithstanding the provisions of any law to the contrary, any such municipality or county is authorized and empowered to borrow money for a period not to exceed one year from the date of such borrowing, for the purpose of making such advances. The board of directors is hereby authorized to repay any such advances from the proceeds of any bonds issued under the provisions of this article.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-199; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 24, eff from and after passage (approved June 1, 1962).

§ 51-15-158. Budget of estimated expenditures for support, maintenance and operation of district.

  1. On or before the fifteenth day of July of each year, the board of directors of the district shall prepare and file with the clerk of the board of supervisors of each member county at least two (2) copies of a budget of estimated expenditures for the support, maintenance and operation of the district for the fiscal year commencing on July 1 of the succeeding year. Such budget shall be prepared on forms prescribed and provided by the State Auditor and shall contain such information as the State Auditor may require.
  2. The board of directors of the district shall notify both the chancery clerk and the president of the board of supervisors of each member county in writing of the date and time when any legislative committee will hold any hearing or vote relating to the budget of the district or any other matter affecting the district. Such notice shall be served both within ten (10) days of the directors’ learning of the date and time of any such action and not less than five (5) days prior to such scheduled action.

HISTORY: Laws, 1995, ch. 559, § 8, eff from and after passage (approved April 6, 1995).

§ 51-15-159. Overflow of school lands not to constitute waste.

It is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination that the overflow and inundation of sixteenth section lands or in lieu lands shall not constitute legal waste of such lands. The district shall pay a reasonable rental for the use of such lands to be overflowed, and the damages thereof shall be determined by the chancery court of the county in which the land is located. Any sixteenth section lands that have been flooded shall be reforested before this project shall ever be abandoned.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-200; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 25; Laws, 1962, 2d Ex. Sess., ch. 31, § 7, eff from and after passage (approved Dec. 21, 1962).

§ 51-15-161. Savings clause.

Nothing in this article shall be construed to violate any provisions of the federal or state constitutions, and all acts done under this article shall be done in such manner as will conform thereto, whether herein expressly provided or not. Where any procedure hereunder may be held by any court to be violative of either of such constitutions, the district shall have the power by resolution to provide any alternative procedure conformable with such constitutions. If any provisions of this article shall be invalid, such fact shall not affect the creation of the district or the validity of any other provision of this article.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-201; Laws, 1962, ch. 222, § 26, eff from and after passage (approved June 1, 1962).

§ 51-15-163. Renewal of residential lease from district; determination of maximum annual rental; default or breach.

  1. At any time more than fifteen (15) years after the commencement date of any residential lease from the district, the leaseholder shall have the option to renew and extend the lease for a new sixty-year term by giving the district notice of his exercise of this option to renew.
  2. At any time after the first fifteen (15) years of the term of any residential lease, the then present lessee may obtain from the district a new sixty-year lease on the terms and conditions contained in the then current lease form approved for use in residential leases with the exception of rent. Rent under such sixty-year leases will be payable on the same annual payment date as rent under the lease being renewed. The maximum annual rental under the new lease will be determined by the district as follows:
    1. Renewal of leases with fixed rental (nonescalating).— The district will recompute the annual rental due under the lease being renewed as if the lease had contained annual rents at the fixed amount stated in the lease for the first ten-year period, escalating thereafter at ten percent (10%), rounded to the nearest Five Dollars ($5.00), every five-year period. The annual rental which would have been payable as of the renewal date will be the annual rent payable for the first ten-year period of the renewed lease. Annual rental will escalate thereafter at ten percent (10%), rounded to the nearest Five Dollars ($5.00), every five (5) years. Recomputed annual rental will be payable from and after the first day of the renewed lease term and not for the period prior to renewal.
    2. Renewal of leases with escalating rental.— Annual rental will remain payable in accordance with the terms of the lease being renewed with rental continuing to escalate at ten percent (10%), rounded to the nearest Five Dollars ($5.00), every five (5) years during the renewed term.
  3. The district will charge a reasonable nonrefundable fee for preparation of the renewal lease. The lessee will be responsible for obtaining the consent of any mortgage holder to the lease modification.
  4. At any time a lessee is found to be in default or in breach of the terms and conditions contained in the lease, the district shall give thirty (30) days’ written notice to such lessee before terminating the lease. Such notice shall be by certified mail and shall specifically state the default or breach. If the lessee does not cure the default or breach within thirty (30) days of such notice, then the district shall give written notice to the holder of any mortgage or deed of trust on the leasehold and such holder shall thereupon have thirty (30) days to cure the default or breach before the lease is terminated.

HISTORY: Laws, 2014, ch. 423, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 2014.

§ 51-15-165. Renewal of commercial property lease from district; appraisal establishing fair market rental value required.

  1. Any holder of a lease that is not a residential lease subject to Section 51-15-163 shall have the right, exclusive of all other persons, to renew the lease at fair market rental value at any time prior to expiration of the lease.
  2. Other than the right of a lessee to renew at fair market rental value, nothing in this section is intended to limit or restrict the right of the district to negotiate terms of any lease in furtherance of any of the purposes authorized by this section and in a manner deemed favorable to the district by the board of directors.
    1. Prior to entering into any lease under this section, whether a new or renewal lease, the district shall obtain at least one (1) appraisal from a competent appraiser establishing the fair market rental value of the land, exclusive of improvements made by the leaseholder or any predecessor in title, and, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, the land shall not be leased for an amount less than the fair market rental as determined by the appraiser and approved by the board. The district may require such other terms as it deems advisable. The cost of the appraisal shall be paid by the district and may be included in the costs of lease renewal to be reimbursed by the lessee.
    2. The lessee may obtain an appraisal from a certified real estate appraiser establishing the fair market rental value of the land. If the fair market rental value of the land established in such appraisal differs from the fair market rental value of the land established in the appraisal obtained by the district, the land shall not be leased for an amount less than the average of the fair market rental value established by the two (2) appraisals.
  3. For the purposes of this section, “terms” means rent, rent escalation clauses, rental adjustment periods and method of determination, term of years, permitted use, condition of improvements, removal of improvements, and compliance with district rules and regulations.
  4. In the event a lessee has not obtained a new lease pursuant to the provisions of this section, any preemptive right of the lessee to lease the property shall be extinguished upon expiration of the lease, and, at the direction of the district, the lessee shall remove all improvements and other structures on the property immediately upon termination of the lease.

HISTORY: Laws, 2014, ch. 423, § 2, eff from and after July 1, 2014.

Chapter 17. Big Black River Basin District

§§ 51-17-1 through 51-17-11. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1997, ch. 403, § 2, eff from and after July 1, 1997.

§51-17-1 through §15-17-7. [Codes, 1942, §§ 5956-221 to 5956-224; Laws, 1964, ch. 249, §§ 1-4]

§51-17-9. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-225; Laws, 1964, ch. 249, § 5; Laws, 1966, ch. 271, § 1; Laws, 1970, ch. 295, § 1]

§51-17-11. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-226; Laws, 1964, ch. 249, § 6; Laws, 1986, ch. 400, § 38]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §§51-17-1 through51-17-7 provided for the organization of the Big Black River Basin District.

Former §51-17-9 provided for the creation of the district.

Former §51-17-11 provided for payments made to the districts by its member counties.

§ 51-17-13. Preliminary expenses.

Any municipality or county which is within the territorial limits of the district may advance funds to the district to pay the preliminary expenses of the district, including engineer’s reports, organization, or administration expenses, on such terms of repayment as the governing body of such municipality or county shall determine. Notwithstanding the provision of any law to the contrary, any such municipality or county is authorized and empowered to borrow money for a period not to exceed one year from the date of such borrowing for the purpose of making such advances. The board of directors of the district is hereby authorized to repay any such advances from the monies of any funds possessed by the district.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-226; Laws, 1964, ch. 249, § 6, eff from and after passage (approved June 1, 1964).

§§ 51-17-15 and 51-17-17. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1997, ch. 403, § 2, eff from and after July 1, 1997.

§51-17-15. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-227; Laws, 1964, ch. 249, § 7]

§51-17-17. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-228; Laws, 1964, ch. 249, § 8]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §51-17-15 outlined the powers of the district.

Former §51-17-17 provided for additional powers of the district.

§§ 51-17-19 through 51-17-35. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1997, ch. 403, § 3, eff from and after July 1, 1997.

§51-17-19 through §51-17-23. [Codes, 1942, §§ 5956-229 to 5956-231; Laws, 1964, ch. 249, §§ 9-11]

§51-17-25. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-232; Laws, 1964, ch. 249, § 12; Laws, 1988, ch. 473, § 15]

§51-17-27 through §51-17-35. [Codes, 1942, §§ 5956-233 to 5956-237; Laws, 1964, ch. 249, §§ 13-17]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §§51-17-19 through51-17-23 provided for construction contracts, parks and recreation facilities, and rules and regulations made by the board of directors of the district.

Former §51-17-25 provided for a depository for district funds.

Former §§51-17-27 through51-17-35 provided further guidelines regarding the rights and responsibilities of the district.

Chapter 19. West Central Mississippi Waterway Commission [Repealed]

§§ 51-19-1 through 51-19-15. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1997, ch. 403, § 4, eff from and after July 1, 1997.

§51-19-1. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-301; Laws, 1966, ch. 281, § 1]

§51-19-3. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-302; Laws, 1966, ch. 281, § 2]

§51-19-5. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-303; Laws, 1966, ch. 281, § 3]

§51-19-7. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-304; Laws, 1966, ch. 281, § 4]

§51-19-9. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-305; Laws, 1966, ch. 281, § 5]

§51-19-11. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-306; Laws, 1966, ch. 281, § 6]

§51-19-13. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-307; Laws, 1966, ch. 281, § 7]

§51-19-15. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-308; Laws, 1966, ch. 281, § 8]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §§51-19-1 through51-19-15 provided for the West Central Mississippi Waterway Commission.

Chapter 21. Lower Mississippi River Basin Development District [Repealed]

§§ 51-21-1 through 51-21-14. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1997, ch. 403, § 5, eff from and after July 1, 1997.

§51-21-1 through §51-21-11. [Codes, 1942, §§ 5956-321 to 5956-326; Laws, 1966, ch. 259, §§ 1-6]

§51-21-13. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-327; Laws, 1966, ch. 259, § 7; Laws, 1974, ch. 518 § 1; Laws, 1993, ch. 615, § 11]

§51-21-14. [Laws, 1974, ch. 518 § 2]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §§51-21-1 through51-21-11 provided for the organization of the Lower Mississippi River Basin Development District.

Former §51-21-13 provided for additional powers of the district.

Former §51-21-14 was entitled: Issuance of bonds; levy of special tax.

§§ 51-21-15 through 51-21-31. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1997, ch. 403, § 6, eff from and after July 1, 1997.

§51-21-15. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-328; Laws, 1966, ch. 259, § 8.]

§51-21-17. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-329; Laws, 1966, ch. 259, § 9.]

§51-21-19. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-330; Laws, 1966, ch. 259, § 10.]

§51-21-21. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-331; Laws, 1966, ch. 259, § 11.]

§51-21-23. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-332; Laws, 1966, ch. 259, § 12.]

§51-21-25. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-333; Laws, 1966, ch. 259, § 13.]

§51-21-27. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-334; Laws, 1966, ch. 259, § 14.]

§51-21-29. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-335; Laws, 1966, ch. 259, § 15.]

§51-21-31. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-336; Laws, 1966, ch. 259, § 16.]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §§51-21-15 through51-21-31 provided further guidelines regarding the rights and responsibilities of the district.

Chapter 23. Lower Yazoo River Basin District [Repealed]

§§ 51-23-1 through 51-23-17. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1997, ch. 403, § 7, eff from and after July 1, 1997.

§51-23-1 through §51-23-7. [Codes, 1942, §§ 5956-351 to 5956-354; Laws, 1966, Ex. Sess., ch. 49, §§ 1-4]

§51-23-9. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-355; Laws, 1966, Ex. Sess., ch. 49, § 5; Laws, 1990, 1st Ex Sess, ch. 65, § 1]

§51-23-11. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-356; Laws, 1966, Ex. Sess., ch. 49, § 6; Laws, 1968, ch. 268, § 1; Laws, 1990, 1st Ex Sess, ch. 65, § 2]

§51-23-13. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-356; Laws, 1966, Ex. Sess., ch. 49, § 6; Laws, 1968, ch. 268, § 1]

§51-23-15. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-357; Laws, 1966, Ex. Sess., ch. 49, § 7; Laws, 1977, ch. 437]

§51-23-17. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-358; Laws, 1966, Ex. Sess., ch. 49, § 8; Laws, 1993, ch. 615, § 12]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §§51-23-1 through51-23-7 provided for the organization of the Lower Yazoo River Basin District.

Former §51-23-9 provided for the creation of the district.

Former §51-23-11 provided for payments made to the district by its member counties.

Former §51-23-13 provided for the district’s preliminary expenses.

Former §51-23-15 provided a delineation of the district’s powers.

Former §51-23-17 provided for additional powers of the district.

§§ 51-23-19 through 51-23-49. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1997, ch. 403, § 8, eff from and after July 1, 1997.

§51-23-19 through §51-23-23. [Codes, 1942, §§ 5956-359 to 5956-361; Laws, 1966, Ex. Sess., ch. 49, §§ 9-11]

§51-23-25. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-369; Laws, 1968, ch. 268, § 3]

§51-23-27. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-370; Laws, 1968, ch. 268, § 4; Laws, 1983, ch. 494, § 21]

§51-23-29 through §51-23-37. [Codes, 1942, §§ 5956-371 to 5956-375; Laws, 1968, ch. 268, §§ 5-9]

§51-23-39. [Codes, 1942, § 5956-362; Laws, 1966, Ex. Sess., ch. 49, § 12; Laws, 1968, ch. 268, § 2; Laws, 1988, ch. 473, § 17]

§51-23-41 through §51-23-49. [Codes, 1942, §§ 5956-363 to 5956-367; Laws, 1966, Ex. Sess., ch. 49, §§ 13-17]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §§51-23-19 through51-23-23 provided for construction contracts, parks and recreation facilities, and rules and regulations promulgated by the board of directors of the district.

Former §51-23-25 was entitled: Board of directors to issue bonds and notes.

Former §51-23-27 was entitled: Details of bonds; supplemental powers conferred in issuance of bonds.

Former §§51-23-29 through51-23-37 provided for bonds and legal investments made by the district.

Former §51-23-39 provided for a depository of funds for the district.

Former §§51-23-41 through51-23-49 provided further delineation of the rights and responsibilities of the district.

Chapter 25. Yellow Creek Watershed Authority

§ 51-25-1. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1977, ch. 372, § 5, eff from and after passage (approved March 17, 1977).

[Codes, 1942, § 5956-44: Laws, 1958, ch. 198, §§ 1-4]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §51-25-1 related to the creation of the Yellow Creek Watershed Authority. For present provisions, see §51-25-2.

§ 51-25-2. Membership and organization of board.

There is hereby created the Yellow Creek Watershed Authority composed of the geographic boundaries of the counties of Alcorn, Prentiss, and Tishomingo in the State of Mississippi which shall be governed by a board of directors consisting of nine (9) members. Three (3) members shall be appointed by the governor, one (1) from each of the counties in which the said watershed lies, all to be appointed for a term of four (4) years or until their successors are appointed and qualified. The board of supervisors of each of the three (3) counties involved shall appoint one (1) member. The three (3) counties involved shall appoint one (1) member. The three (3) members appointed by the supervisors shall serve staggered terms of four (4) years. The mayors of all incorporated municipalities within each of the three (3) counties shall appoint one (1) person from their county who shall be selected by a majority of the mayors. The three (3) members appointed by the mayors shall serve staggered terms of four (4) years. For the initial appointments, each board of supervisors and group of mayors shall appoint one (1) member for two (2) years, one (1) member for three (3) years, and one (1) member for four years. The initial appointment for the board of supervisors shall be as follows: Alcorn County, two (2) years, Tishomingo County, three (3) years, and Prentiss County, four (4) years. The initial appointment for the mayors shall be: Prentiss County, two (2) years, Alcorn County, three (3) years, and Tishomingo County, four (4) years. Board members shall be appointed by the appointing authorities within sixty (60) days after passage of this section. Board members shall serve without pay except for their actual traveling expenses and other necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties, to be reimbursed as in the case of state employees under the provisions of general law from such funds as may be available to the authority. Upon appointment said members shall meet and organize at Iuka, Mississippi, set a regular time and place for the meetings of the authority, and secure offices and all necessary equipment therefor. A full-time executive director may be appointed by the board if the board deems the appointment advisable, and, if a director is appointed, he shall be full-time and shall serve at the pleasure of the board. The salary of a director may be paid out of such funds as may be available to the authority or from any source.

HISTORY: Laws, 1977, ch. 372, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved March 17, 1977).

§ 51-25-3. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1977, ch. 372, § 5, eff from and after passage (approved March 17, 1977).

[Codes, 1942, § 5956-44; Laws, 1958, ch. 198, §§ 1-4]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §51-25-3 related to the powers and duties of the Yellow Creek Watershed Authority. For present provisions, see §51-25-4.

§ 51-25-4. Powers and duties.

The Yellow Creek Watershed Authority is hereby specifically authorized and empowered to contract with and to be contracted with by the Tennessee Valley Authority and any other agency or agencies of the federal government or of any state or subdivision thereof which may be of assistance in carrying out the purposes set forth herein, and to do any and all other things necessary or desirable in effectuating a plan for the comprehensive development of the resources of the said watershed, including but not limited to such subjects as agriculture, forestry, drainage and flood control, land reclamation, electric power utilization, irrigation, water conservation, recreation, public health and education, said program of development to be carried on in cooperation with the appropriate local, state and federal agencies. All agencies of the State of Mississippi are hereby authorized, empowered, and directed to extend their cooperation and assistance to the said Yellow Creek Watershed Authority in the formulation and implementation of the said program of development.

HISTORY: Laws, 1977, ch. 372, § 2, eff from and after passage (approved March 17, 1977).

§ 51-25-5. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1977, ch. 372, § 5, eff from and after passage (approved March 17, 1977).

[Codes, 1942, § 5956-44; Laws, 1958, ch. 198, §§ 1-4]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §51-25-5 related to the financing of the Yellow Creek Watershed Authority. For present provisions, see §51-25-6.

§ 51-25-6. Financing.

Each of the counties in which the said Yellow Creek Watershed is located is hereby authorized and empowered to contribute any amount or amounts which the board of supervisors thereof shall deem advisable, acting in their sole discretion, to be paid from the general county fund of the respective counties.

HISTORY: Laws, 1977, ch. 372, § 3, eff from and after passage (approved March 17, 1977).

§ 51-25-7. Repealed.

Repealed by Laws, 1977, ch. 372, § 5, eff from and after passage (approved March 17, 1977).

[Codes, 1942, § 5956-44; Laws, 1958, ch. 198, §§ 1-4]

Editor’s Notes —

Former §51-25-7 related to the establishment, powers, and duties of the board of directors.

§ 51-25-8. Chapter supplementary to other laws.

This chapter shall be considered supplemental and additional to any and all other laws and confers sufficient authority in and of itself for the purposes set forth herein.

HISTORY: Laws, 1977, ch. 372, § 4, eff from and after passage (approved March 17, 1977).

Chapter 27. Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Compact

§ 51-27-1. Compact for the development of navigable waterway connecting Tennessee and Tombigbee Rivers.

  1. The governor,on behalf of this state, is hereby authorized to execute a compactin substantially the following form with the State of Alabama; andthe legislature hereby signifies in advance its approval and ratificationof such compact, which compact is as follows:

    TOMBIGBEE-TENNESSEE WATERWAY DEVELOPMENT COMPACT

    Article I.Thepurpose of this compact is to promote the development of a navigable waterway connecting the Tennessee and Tombigbee Rivers by way oftheeast fork of the Tombigbee River and Mackeys and Yellow Creekssoas to provide a nine-foot navigable channel from the junctionof theTombigbee and Warrior Rivers at Demopolis in the State ofAlabamato the junction of Yellow Creek with the Tennessee Riverat PickwickPool in the State of Mississippi, and to establish ajoint interstateauthority to assist in these efforts.

    Article II. This compact shall become effective immediately as to the states ratifying it whenever the States of Alabama and Mississippi have ratified it and Congress has given consent thereto. Any state not mentioned in this article which is contiguous with any member state may become a party to this compact, subject to approval by the legislature of each of the member states.

    Article III. The states which are parties to this compact (hereinafter referred to as “party states”) do hereby establish and create a joint agency which shall be known as the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority (hereinafter referred to as the “authority”). The membership of such authority shall consist of the governor of each party state and five other citizens of each party state, tobeappointed by the governor thereof. Each appointive member of theauthorityshall be a citizen of that state who is interested in thepromotionand development of waterways and water transportation.The appointivemembers of the authority shall serve for terms offour years each.Vacancies on the authority shall be filled by appointmentby the governorfor the unexpired portion of the term. The membersof the authorityshall not be compensated, but each shall be entitledto actual expensesincurred in attending meetings, or incurred otherwisein the performanceof his duties as a member of the authority. Themembers of the authorityshall hold regular quarterly meetings andsuch special meetings asits business may require. They shall chooseannually a chairman andvice-chairman from among their members, andthe chairmanship shallrotate each year among the party states inorder of their acceptanceof this compact. The secretary of the authority(hereinafter providedfor) shall notify each member in writing ofall meetings of the authorityin such a manner and under such rulesand regulations as the authoritymay prescribe. The authority shalladopt rules and regulations forthe transaction of its business;and the secretary shall keep a recordof all its business and shallfurnish a copy thereof to each memberof the authority. It shallbe the duty of the authority, in general,to promote, encourage,and coordinate the efforts of the party statesto secure the developmentof the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Towardthis end, the authorityshall have power to hold hearings; to conductstudies and surveysof all problems, benefits, and other matters associatedwith thedevelopment of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, and to makereportsthereon; to acquire, by gift or otherwise, and hold and disposeofsuch money and property as may be provided for the proper performance of their function; to cooperate with other public or private groups, whether local, state, regional, or national, having an interest in waterways development; to formulate and execute plans and policies for emphasizing the purpose of this compact before the Congress of the United States and other appropriate officers and agencies oftheUnited States; and to exercise such other powers as may be appropriate to enable it to accomplish its functions and duties in connection with the development of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and to carry out the purposes of this compact.

    Article IV. The authority shall appoint a secretary, who shall be a person familiar with the nature, procedures, and significance of inland waterways development and the informational, educational, and publicity methods of stimulating general interest in such developments, and who shall be the compact administrator. His term of office shall be at thepleasureof the authority and he shall receive such compensationas the authorityshall prescribe. He shall maintain custody of theauthority’sbooks, records, and papers, which he shall keepat the office of theauthority, and he shall perform all functionsand duties, and exerciseall powers and authorities, that may bedelegated to him by the authority.

    Article V.Eachparty state agrees that, when authorized by its legislature,it willfrom time to time make available and pay over to the authoritysuchfunds as may be required for the establishment and operationof theauthority. The contribution of each party state shall be inthe proportionthat its population bears to the total population ofthe states whichare parties hereto, as shown by the most recent officialreport ofthe United States Bureau of the Census, or upon such otherbasisas may be agreed upon.

    Article VI. Nothing in this compact shall be construed so as to conflict with any existing statute, or to limit the powers of any party state,orto repeal or prevent legislation, or to authorize or permit curtailment or diminution of any other waterway project, or to affect any existing or future cooperative arrangement or relationship between any federal agency and a party state.

    Article VII. This compact shall continue in force and remain binding upon each party state until the legislature or governor of each or either state takes action to withdraw therefrom; provided that such withdrawal shall not become effective until six months after the date of the action taken by the legislature or governor. Notice of such action shall be given to the other party state or states by the secretary of state of the party state which takes such action.

  2. There is hereby granted to the governor, to the members of the authority for Mississippi, and to the compact administrator all the powers provided for in said compact and in this section. All officers of the State of Mississippi are hereby authorized and directed to do all things falling within their respective jurisdictions which are necessary or incidental to carrying out the purpose of said compact.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-45; Laws, 1958, ch. 366, §§ 1-4.

Cross References —

Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway bridges, see §65-26-1 et seq.

Comparable Laws from other States —

Alabama Code, §§33-8-1 through33-8-4.

Tennessee Code Annotated, §§69-9-101 through69-9-104.

§ 51-27-3. State of Tennessee admitted into compact.

The admission of the State of Tennessee into the Tombigbee-Tennessee Waterway Development Compact is hereby approved, and the State of Tennessee shall become a party to the compact upon its execution by the governor of the State of Tennessee.

The secretary of state of Mississippi is hereby requested to transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the governor of Alabama and to the governor of Tennessee.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-46; Laws, 1959, Ex. Sess., ch. 27.

Comparable Laws from other States —

Tennessee Code Annotated, §§69-9-101 through69-9-104.

§ 51-27-5. Commonwealth of Kentucky admitted into compact.

The admission of the Commonwealth of Kentucky into the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Compact is hereby approved, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky shall become a party to the compact upon its execution by the governor of the commonwealth.

The secretary of state is hereby requested to transmit duly certified copies of this section to the governors of the States of Alabama, Tennessee, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-47; Laws, 1962, ch. 221.

§ 51-27-7. State of Florida admitted into Compact.

The admission of the State of Florida into the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Compact is hereby ratified, approved, and agreed to by the State of Mississippi, and said State of Florida shall become a party to said compact upon the execution of the same by the governor of said state.

The secretary of state is hereby authorized, empowered, and directed to transmit certified copies of this section to the governors of the States of Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida and of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

HISTORY: Codes, 1942, § 5956-48; Laws, 1968, ch. 267, §§ 1, 2, eff from and after passage (approved June 14, 1968).

Chapter 29. Drainage Districts with Local Commissioners

§ 51-29-1. Scope of chapter.

This chapter shall govern the future operation of all drainage districts heretofore organized or now in process of organization under the provisions of Chapter 195 of the Laws of 1912 and amendments thereto, and such other districts as may hereafter be organized under the provisions of this chapter, or which may elect to come within its provisions in the manner herein provided.

All of the provisions of Chapters 31 and 33 of this title which are not contained in this chapter, and which do not conflict with any of the provisions of this chapter, shall apply to any districts organized or operating hereunder.

HISTORY: Codes, 1930, §§ 4448, 4526; 1942, §§ 4674, 4752.

Cross References —

Exercise of authority by drainage districts, see §51-31-7.

Applicability of Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure to proceedings relative to creation and maintenance of drainage and water management districts, see Miss. R. Civ. P. 81.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Drainage district is political subdivisions of state, as well as private enterprise, and should have liability insurance coverage. 1993 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 632.

A county can perform drainage work on a ditch or creek or the banks thereof only to the extent necessary to drain water from an adjacent county road or to protect such a road, county building and other county property. 2003 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 410.

A county does not have the authority to engage in a general program of flood control projects except as authorized in statutes setting forth specific provision for local flood control and drainage. Holmes-2003 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 422.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

7 Am. Jur. Legal Forms 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts §§ 92:1 et seq.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

The legislature intended a consolidated drainage district to take over, repair, and improve the antiquated, deteriorated, and inadequate drainage canals of its constituent drainage districts, and to convert such canals into an integrated and efficient drainage system. Carter v. Chuquatonchee Consol. Drainage Dist., 218 So. 2d 30, 1969 Miss. LEXIS 1592 (Miss. 1969).

A drainage district with local commissioners is a subdivision of the state government with limited jurisdiction and powers and it has only such powers as are expressly granted to it by the statute or as may be necessarily implied from such legislation. Eden Drainage Dist. v. Swaim, 212 Miss. 386, 54 So. 2d 547, 1951 Miss. LEXIS 461 (Miss. 1951).

Petition of drainage district commissioners for authority to borrow money to repair drainage system which did not include adjacent landowners who used canals and benefited therefrom was defective since all interested persons were not made parties. Hobbs v. Moorhead Drainage Dist., 205 Miss. 679, 39 So. 2d 307, 1949 Miss. LEXIS 458 (Miss. 1949); Watson v. Beaver Dam Drainage Dist., 205 Miss. 690, 39 So. 2d 309, 1949 Miss. LEXIS 459 (Miss. 1949).

This section [Code 1942, § 4752] fortifies the policy that additional assessments may be made without regard to the present existence of actual and additional material benefits to a particular integrated tract, when it appears that is absolutely necessary in order to raise funds to preserve and maintain the improvements of the district; and the mere fact that landowner was not apparently benefited from the improvement and maintenance of certain drainage canals in the district because of his location on high land does not excuse him from bearing his just proportion of the costs of removing obstructions and silt from such lower canal in the district. Buchanan v. Red Banks Creek Drainage Dist., 205 Miss. 736, 39 So. 2d 321, 1949 Miss. LEXIS 463 (Miss. 1949).

§ 51-29-3. Definitions.

The words “real property”, whenever used in this chapter, shall have the same meaning as when used in the law providing for state and county revenues, and shall embrace all railroads within the district.

The word “ditch,” as used in this chapter, shall be held to include branch or lateral drains, tile drains, levees, sluiceways, water courses, floodgates, and any other construction work found necessary for the reclamation of wet and overflowed lands.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, §§ 4443, 4478; 1930, §§ 4461, 4499; 1942, §§ 4687, 4725; Laws, 1912, ch. 195.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Word “ditch” includes levees. Dick v. Atchafalaya Drainage & Levee Dist., 147 Miss. 783, 113 So. 897, 1927 Miss. LEXIS 359 (Miss. 1927).

§ 51-29-5. Creation of drainage districts.

When one-fourth (1/4) or more of the owners of real property within a proposed drainage district shall file a petition in the chancery court of the county to establish a drainage district to embrace their property, describing generally the region which it is intended shall be embraced within the district, it shall be the duty of the chancery clerk to immediately publish a notice in a newspaper having a circulation in the proposed district for two (2) successive insertions, directed to the owners of the land to be embraced in the proposed district, giving notice of the said petition and designating a date, not less than ten (10) days after the last publication of notice, at which a hearing may be had on said petition. Upon the date designated in the notice, or upon a subsequent day to which the matter may be continued, the chancery court or the chancellor in vacation shall hear all objections, if any are offered, to the organization of said district, and unless at the hearing a majority of the landowners owning half or more of the land proposed to be included in the proposed district shall object to the organization, further proceedings shall be had as hereinafter provided; but if such a majority shall protest, the court or chancellor shall not proceed with the organization of said district. If in either event it be determined by the court or chancellor to proceed with the organization of the proposed district, the court or chancellor shall enter an order appointing as temporary commissioners three (3) landowners of the territory proposed to be drained, who shall take the oath required by Section 268 of Article 14 of the Constitution of the state and give bond in the penalty of not less than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) payable to the county, and whose term of office shall expire upon the permanent organization of the district. Said temporary commissioners shall immediately organize and select a competent engineer, who shall give bond payable to the county in a sum of not less than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), to be fixed by said commissioners for the faithful discharge of his duties, and who shall be liable upon such bond for negligence or incompetency causing loss to the county or district.

The engineer shall proceed forthwith to make a survey and ascertain the region which will be benefited by the proposed improvement, giving a general idea of its character and the cost of drainage, and making such suggestions as to the size of the drainage ditches and the location as he may deem advisable.

All expenses incident to the survey, legal expenses, and the cost of publication shall be paid by the county as the work progresses upon a proper showing; but all expenses incurred by the county shall be paid out of the proceeds of the first assessment levied under this chapter.

Said temporary commissioners may, by and with the consent of the court or chancellor, for the purpose of prosecuting the preliminary work, paying the expenses incident to the survey, attorney’s fees, legal expenses, costs of publication, and other necessary expenses, borrow money at a rate of interest not exceeding that allowed in Section 75-17-105, and issue negotiable notes, certificates or other evidences of indebtedness therefor signed by the said three (3) temporary commissioners and payable either within or without the state to the person or persons from whom such money is borrowed, or bearer, or bearer simply, as said commissioners may elect. The said temporary commissioners may also issue to the engineer, or other persons who do the said preliminary work, negotiable evidences of debt signed by the three (3) said temporary commissioners, bearing interest at a rate not to exceed that allowed in Section 75-17-105. None of the said evidences of indebtedness so issued shall run for more than two (2) years, they shall be non-taxable, and said commissioners may pledge all assessments on the land proposed to be drained for the payment of said evidences of indebtedness. Said evidences of indebtedness may be paid off either out of any general fund of the drainage district if organized, or out of the proceeds of the first assessments levied under this chapter; but in the event the said district is not organized after said indebtedness has been incurred, then the board of supervisors may levy an acreage or an ad valorem tax against the lands embraced in said proposed drainage district in the manner hereinafter provided.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, bonds referred to hereinabove may be issued pursuant to the supplemental powers and authorizations conferred by the provisions of the Registered Bond Act, being Sections 31-21-1 through 31-21-7.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4434; 1930, § 4449; 1942, § 4675; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1983, ch. 494, § 22; Laws, 1985, ch. 477, § 9, eff from and after passage (approved April 8, 1985).

Cross References —

Transfer of funds to master water management district, see §51-7-49.

Creation of flood and drainage control districts, see §51-35-307.

Applicability of Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure to proceedings relative to creation and maintenance of drainage and water management districts, see Miss. R. Civ. P. 81.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

Cotenancy as factor in determining representation of property owners in petition for, or remonstrance against, public improvement. 3 A.L.R.2d 127.

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts §§ 17-19.

70C Am. Jur. 2d, Special or Local Assessments §§ 69, 73, 98.

9 Am. Jur. Pl & Pr Forms (Rev), Drains and Drainage Districts, Forms 1 et seq., 21, 51 et seq. (establishment of drain, drainage, or sewer districts).

7 Am. Jur. Legal Forms 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts §§ 92:11-92:24 (creation of districts).

CJS.

28 C.J.S., Drains §§ 3, 35-37 et seq.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. Validity.

2. Construction and application, in general.

3. Creation and maintenance of district.

4. —Power to create.

5. Notice.

6. Assessments.

7. Power of district and its officers.

8. Appeals.

1. Validity.

Law of 1912, ch. 195, a former drainage statute, was not invalid as a delegation of legislative authority. Board of Sup'rs v. Grable, 111 Miss. 893, 72 So. 777, 1916 Miss. LEXIS 415 (Miss. 1916).

Law of 1912, ch. 195, a former drainage law, was not invalid because not requiring personal notice to be given to landowners. Jones v. Belzoni Drainage Dist., 102 Miss. 796, 59 So. 921, 1912 Miss. LEXIS 124 (Miss. 1912).

Such drainage law was not invalid as delegating to the board of supervisors legislative power. Jones v. Belzoni Drainage Dist., 102 Miss. 796, 59 So. 921, 1912 Miss. LEXIS 124 (Miss. 1912).

The drainage law was not invalid as taking property without due process of law. Jones v. Belzoni Drainage Dist., 102 Miss. 796, 59 So. 921, 1912 Miss. LEXIS 124 (Miss. 1912).

The drainage law was not invalid as a private law. Jones v. Belzoni Drainage Dist., 102 Miss. 796, 59 So. 921, 1912 Miss. LEXIS 124 (Miss. 1912).

Const. 1890, § 112, providing that taxation shall be uniform and equal throughout the state, has no application to local assessments. Jones v. Belzoni Drainage Dist., 102 Miss. 796, 59 So. 921, 1912 Miss. LEXIS 124 (Miss. 1912).

Drainage laws are not subject to objection on the ground that all the persons in the county are not taxed. Cox v. Wallace, 100 Miss. 525, 56 So. 461, 1911 Miss. LEXIS 47 (Miss. 1911).

2. Construction and application, in general.

Under statutory procedures for creation of drainage districts, amendments of pleadings are allowed liberally in order to prevent delay and injustice. Allison v. Camp Creek Drainage Dist., 211 Miss. 354, 51 So. 2d 743, 1951 Miss. LEXIS 364 (Miss. 1951).

The purpose of the statutory procedure for creation of drainage districts is to obtain the opinions and votes of the majority of those affected, either in number or land ownership. Allison v. Camp Creek Drainage Dist., 211 Miss. 354, 51 So. 2d 743, 1951 Miss. LEXIS 364 (Miss. 1951).

An insolvent drainage district is not subject to having its affairs administered and wound up by the federal district court under the 1937 amendment to the Bankruptcy Act providing for the composition of indebtedness of drainage districts, in the absence of consent by the state that the district’s affairs may be so administered, which consent has not been granted by any act of the legislature. Evans v. Bankston, 196 Miss. 533, 18 So. 2d 301, 1944 Miss. LEXIS 228 (Miss. 1944).

Drainage districts are governmental agencies as well as private enterprises. Evans v. Bankston, 196 Miss. 533, 18 So. 2d 301, 1944 Miss. LEXIS 228 (Miss. 1944).

Drainage districts are organized and conducted, not alone for the purpose of reclamation of wet and overflowed lands in order to promote agriculture, but, in addition, to conserve the public health. Evans v. Bankston, 196 Miss. 533, 18 So. 2d 301, 1944 Miss. LEXIS 228 (Miss. 1944).

Drainage districts are political subdivisions of the state by which they are created. Standard Oil Co. v. National Surety Co., 143 Miss. 841, 107 So. 559, 1926 Miss. LEXIS 327 (Miss. 1926); Mississippi State Highway Com. v. Yellow Creek Drainage Dist., 181 Miss. 651, 180 So. 749, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 105 (Miss. 1938); Evans v. Bankston, 196 Miss. 533, 18 So. 2d 301, 1944 Miss. LEXIS 228 (Miss. 1944).

A drainage district is a creature of the legislature, and the district does not necessarily have the same rights to the use of natural water courses as drains that riparian owners would have. Northern Drainage Dist. v. Bolivar County, 111 Miss. 250, 71 So. 380, 1916 Miss. LEXIS 281 (Miss. 1916).

Law of 1912, ch. 195, a former drainage law, did not authorize the taking of private property for public use without due compensation. Jones v. Belzoni Drainage Dist., 102 Miss. 796, 59 So. 921, 1912 Miss. LEXIS 124 (Miss. 1912).

3. Creation and maintenance of district.

Laws 1912, ch. 195, as amended, held to provide a complete alternative plan for organization of district. Armistead v. Southworth, 139 Miss. 723, 104 So. 94, 1925 Miss. LEXIS 143 (Miss. 1925).

Where a mass meeting of citizens decided to create a drainage district under this law and selected attorneys to draw necessary papers, etc., to secure such district and they prepare the papers and represent the petitioners and the district is created, the services of the attorneys are used and accepted, and they are entitled to a reasonable fee even though there was no express contract. Jones Bayou Drainage Dist. v. Sillers, Clark & Sillers, 129 Miss. 13, 91 So. 693, 1922 Miss. LEXIS 12 (Miss. 1922).

Proceedings for the establishment and maintenance of a drainage district are judicial and constitute a “pending suit.” Box v. Straight Bayou Drainage Dist., 121 Miss. 850, 84 So. 3, 1920 Miss. LEXIS 126 (Miss. 1920).

The chancery court obtaining jurisdiction of a drainage district does not lose its jurisdiction because the land embraced in the drainage district is subsequently placed in another county. Box v. Straight Bayou Drainage Dist., 121 Miss. 850, 84 So. 3, 1920 Miss. LEXIS 126 (Miss. 1920).

Creation of a drainage district and the incurring of the financial obligations resulting therefrom are to be determined by the landowners. Huston v. Mayo, 120 Miss. 523, 82 So. 334, 1919 Miss. LEXIS 115 (Miss. 1919).

Since Laws 1912, ch. 195, gave counties no voice in the appointment of engineers, an appointment on petition signed by attorneys for petitioners for the organization of the district was valid against collateral attack by a county. Board of Sup'rs v. Grable, 111 Miss. 893, 72 So. 777, 1916 Miss. LEXIS 415 (Miss. 1916).

4. —Power to create.

However, chancery court is not without jurisdiction to establish a drainage district because proceedings had originally been instituted in the court of another county. Equen v. Arterbury, 121 Miss. 76, 83 So. 406, 1919 Miss. LEXIS 150 (Miss. 1919).

It is the province of the legislature to provide for the establishment of drainage districts, and the authority, as well as the procedure, for the creation of drainage districts is governed by statute. Equen v. Arterbury, 121 Miss. 76, 83 So. 406, 1919 Miss. LEXIS 150 (Miss. 1919).

For the purpose of increasing land values and promoting health the legislature has power to provide for creation of necessary drainage districts and require counties expected to be benefited to pay at least the preliminary expense, regardless of reimbursement. Board of Sup'rs v. Grable, 111 Miss. 893, 72 So. 777, 1916 Miss. LEXIS 415 (Miss. 1916).

Chancery court has no jurisdiction to create a district which contains land situated only in one county except the banks and lands under a lake and bayou situated in another county. Low v. Black Bayou Drainage Dist., 107 Miss. 583, 65 So. 643, 1914 Miss. LEXIS 122 (Miss. 1914).

5. Notice.

That notice of hearing on petition for creation of a drainage district assumed, as was fact, that a majority of landowners had signed the petition, a thing to be judicially found, did not render void, after lapse of time to appeal, the decree organizing the district without further inquiry. Armistead v. Southworth, 139 Miss. 723, 104 So. 94, 1925 Miss. LEXIS 143 (Miss. 1925).

Assessment and levy of taxes against lands to pay preliminary expenses incurred in forming a drainage district is void where landowners in the proposed district are not given notice of such assessment and levy. Russell v. Mabry, 134 Miss. 239, 99 So. 2, 1924 Miss. LEXIS 273 (Miss. 1924).

Law does not contemplate that published notice to the owners of the land shall be directed to each owner by name. Wooten v. Hickahala Drainage Dist., 116 Miss. 787, 77 So. 795, 1917 Miss. LEXIS 359 (Miss. 1917).

6. Assessments.

In organizing and financing new drainage districts, the theory of proportionate benefits is paramount, and actual resultant benefits are the justification for, and the limitation of, the assessments. Buchanan v. Red Banks Creek Drainage Dist., 205 Miss. 736, 39 So. 2d 321, 1949 Miss. LEXIS 463 (Miss. 1949).

Drainage assessments and taxes are charges against the land only; there is no personal liability on the part of the owner. Waits v. Black Bayou Drainage Dist., 186 Miss. 270, 185 So. 577, 1939 Miss. LEXIS 197 (Miss. 1939).

Under this section [Code 1942, § 4675] and other sections, and the Mississippi decisions, levies against land for drainage improvements are tax levies, and, accordingly, levies for the costs of an uncompleted drainage district were taxes rather than assessment levies and created preferential liens on mortgaged lands so as to bind the purchasers of such lands at foreclosure sale. Bank of Commerce & Trust Co. v. Union Cent. Life Ins. Co., 94 F.2d 422, 1938 U.S. App. LEXIS 4428 (5th Cir. Miss.), cert. denied, 304 U.S. 570, 58 S. Ct. 1040, 82 L. Ed. 1535, 1938 U.S. LEXIS 946 (U.S. 1938).

Where a drainage district, in making an assessment of benefits to property within the district, resulting from the drainage system assessing the same land to different owners, one of whom is the real owner and the other has no title or interest in the land, equity has jurisdiction to cancel the assessment. Yazoo & M. V. R. Co. v. Lane Bayou Drainage Dist., 141 Miss. 542, 106 So. 774, 1926 Miss. LEXIS 453 (Miss. 1926).

Assessment and levy of taxes against lands to pay preliminary expenses incurred in forming a drainage district is void where landowners in the proposed district are not given notice of such assessment and levy. Russell v. Mabry, 134 Miss. 239, 99 So. 2, 1924 Miss. LEXIS 273 (Miss. 1924).

A new assessment of benefits by a drainage district is authorized where the lands assessed receive benefits additional to those considered on the first assessment. White v. Lake Cormorant Drainage Dist., 130 Miss. 351, 94 So. 235, 1922 Miss. LEXIS 220 (Miss. 1922).

Money to be collected from the landowners of a drainage district is a local assessment and not a tax, and may be collected without submission of a bond issue. Huston v. Mayo, 120 Miss. 523, 82 So. 334, 1919 Miss. LEXIS 115 (Miss. 1919).

The county assessor has nothing to do with the assessment of benefits for local improvements. Jones v. Belzoni Drainage Dist., 102 Miss. 796, 59 So. 921, 1912 Miss. LEXIS 124 (Miss. 1912).

7. Power of district and its officers.

A drainage district has no express power or implied power to buy an undivided interest of land except for drainage purposes. Eden Drainage Dist. v. Swaim, 212 Miss. 386, 54 So. 2d 547, 1951 Miss. LEXIS 461 (Miss. 1951).

Drainage district has no power to employ lobbyist to procure another division of government to perform functions for which district was created. Planters' Bank of Clarksdale v. Yazoo-Coldwater Drainage Dist., 156 Miss. 297, 126 So. 9, 1930 Miss. LEXIS 172 (Miss. 1930).

Drainage district officers could not delegate their duties to levee board, where not expressly authorized to do so. Planters' Bank of Clarksdale v. Yazoo-Coldwater Drainage Dist., 156 Miss. 297, 126 So. 9, 1930 Miss. LEXIS 172 (Miss. 1930).

Note executed by drainage district for plaintiff’s services in attempting to have levee board perform drainage district’s functions held without consideration. Planters' Bank of Clarksdale v. Yazoo-Coldwater Drainage Dist., 156 Miss. 297, 126 So. 9, 1930 Miss. LEXIS 172 (Miss. 1930).

Act validating bonds, notes, etc., of drainage districts, etc., could not extend power of drainage district to do that which was clearly outside its authority. Planters' Bank of Clarksdale v. Yazoo-Coldwater Drainage Dist., 156 Miss. 297, 126 So. 9, 1930 Miss. LEXIS 172 (Miss. 1930).

Drainage commissioners cannot construct canal or lateral over route constituting total departure from route authorized by chancery court’s decree, and not a mere deviation made necessary by difficulties of construction, without approval of change in route by such court. McCreight v. Central Drainage Dist., 137 Miss. 319, 102 So. 276, 1924 Miss. LEXIS 227 (Miss. 1924).

8. Appeals.

The rights of appeal provided are exclusive of all other rights generally given by other statutes. Sabougla Creek Drainage Dist. v. Provine, 130 Miss. 761, 930 Miss. 761, 94 So. 889 (Miss. 1923).

No appeal lies from an order of the chancellor remanding a proceeding to the commissioners of the district to appraise the damages for lands taken and damaged by construction of improvements. Sabougla Creek Drainage Dist. v. Provine, 130 Miss. 761, 930 Miss. 761, 94 So. 889 (Miss. 1923).

No appeal can be taken from the orders and decrees made in the process of the creation of a drainage district. Clark v. Strong, 120 Miss. 95, 81 So. 643, 1919 Miss. LEXIS 56 (Miss. 1919).

§ 51-29-7. Organization of district in two or more counties.

If land in more than one county is embraced in the proposed district, the application shall be addressed to the chancery court of any county of such district, and all proceedings shall be had in such chancery court. The chancery court, or the chancellor in vacation shall apportion all costs between the county or counties in proportion to the benefit assessed in each county, and such expenses as were incurred prior to the time when such assessment was made shall be apportioned between the counties in the proportion which the chancery court, or the chancellor in vacation, shall deem to be just and equitable. All notices, in that event, shall be published in newspapers having a bona fide circulation in each county in which the district embraces land. All such districts shall be numbered consecutively or else shall receive names selected by the chancery court or the chancellor in vacation.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4436; 1930, § 4451; 1942, § 4677; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 269; Laws, 1922, ch. 213.

§ 51-29-9. Hearing on engineer’s report.

As soon as the engineer has completed his survey of the proposed drainage district, he shall make a report thereof to the said temporary commissioners, who shall file the same with the clerk of the chancery court. Upon the filing of the report of said engineer, the chancery court, or the chancellor in vacation, shall enter an order directing the clerk of the chancery court to give notice by publication for two weeks by two insertions in some newspaper published and having a general circulation in the county or counties in which the lands of the proposed district lie, calling upon all persons owning property within said district to appear before the chancery court, or chancellor in vacation, on the date and at the time and place fixed by said order, which date shall not be earlier than twenty days and not later than forty days after the first publication, to show cause in favor of or against the establishment of the district.

At the time named in said notice, the court or chancellor in vacation shall hear all property owners within the proposed drainage district who wish to appear and advocate or resist the establishment of the said district. Any petition of proponents or objectors, advocating or resisting the establishment of said district, shall be filed with the clerk of said court prior to the time designated for said hearing. If the court or chancellor in vacation deems it to the best interest of the owners of the real property within the said district that same shall become a drainage district under the terms of this chapter, he shall make an order establishing same as a drainage district, subject to all the terms and provisions of this chapter. Upon the organization of said drainage district, it shall, in its corporate name by its commissioners, henceforth have power to contract and be contracted with, to sue and be sued, to plead and be impleaded, and to do and perform in the name of such district all such acts and things for the accomplishment of the purpose for which it was organized.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, §§ 4435, 4436; 1930, § 4450; 1942, § 4676; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 269; Laws, 1922, ch. 213.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

The signer of a petition for creation of a drainage district may make a second change of mind and withdraw his withdrawal after the time set in the clerk’s published notice for filing of proponents’ and contestants’ petitions, but before the end of that day and the hearing. Allison v. Camp Creek Drainage Dist., 211 Miss. 354, 51 So. 2d 743, 1951 Miss. LEXIS 364 (Miss. 1951).

The provisions of this section [Code 1942, § 4676] that the hearing of the engineer’s report must be upon a day to be fixed by the chancery clerk and that at a time named in the second notice the chancellor will hear property owners, and provisions of Code 1942, § 4678, which state that if petition is presented in adequate form, the chancellor will establish a district provided, however, that if upon that day the stated number of objectors file petitions the district shall not be established, do not preclude the filing of proponents’ or objectors’ petitions at any time during the day set for the beginning of the hearing and the word dates or day and the word hearing in Code 1942, § 4678 means at least a full day of twenty-four hours in determining when a petition can be filed. Allison v. Camp Creek Drainage Dist., 211 Miss. 354, 51 So. 2d 743, 1951 Miss. LEXIS 364 (Miss. 1951).

Although a drainage district has no express power to make a contract with an engineer for a survey in preparation to engaging in a reclamation project, it has the implied power to do so. Moorhead Drainage Dist. v. Pedigo, 210 Miss. 284, 49 So. 2d 378, 1950 Miss. LEXIS 348 (Miss. 1950).

A drainage district is a separate, distinct legal entity, with power to sue and be sued as such in its corporate name, and is not excepted from the necessity of giving bond for appeal to the supreme court. Sabougla Drainage Dist. v. People's Bank & Trust Co., 191 Miss. 331, 1 So. 2d 219, 2 So. 2d 573, 1941 Miss. LEXIS 109 (Miss. 1941).

§ 51-29-11. Presentation of petitions.

If upon the hearing provided for in Sections 51-29-5 through 51-29-9 a petition is presented to the chancery court, or the chancellor in vacation, signed by a majority of the landholders owning one third of the land, or by one third of the landholders owning a majority of the land, praying that the improvements be made, it shall be the duty of the court or chancellor to make the order establishing the district without further inquiry, if it appear that the establishment thereof be necessary for the promotion of public health and for agricultural purposes. However, if upon that day a petition signed by a majority of the landowners owning one third of the land, or by one third of the landowners owning a majority of the land, be presented praying that the improvements be not made, it shall be the duty of the court or chancellor to so order; but if no such petition is filed, it shall be the duty of the court or chancellor to investigate as provided in the aforesaid sections and to establish such drainage districts as he is of the opinion the establishment thereof will be to the advantage of the owners of real property therein, and is for the public benefit. The petition provided for therein may be signed by women, whether married or single, owning land in the proposed district; guardians may sign for their wards; and trustees, executors, and administrators may sign for the estates represented by them; and if the signature of any corporation thereto is attested by the corporate seal, the same shall be sufficient evidence of the assent of the corporation to said petition.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4438; 1930, § 4452; 1942, § 4678; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 269.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts §§ 17 et seq.

CJS.

28 C.J.S., Drains §§ 3 et seq.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

2. Construction and application.

1. In general.

Equality of benefits to all lands is not essential to formation of district. Toler v. Bear Creek Drainage Dist., 141 Miss. 851, 106 So. 88, 1925 Miss. LEXIS 210 (Miss. 1925).

Drainage laws are authorized under police power. Toler v. Bear Creek Drainage Dist., 141 Miss. 851, 106 So. 88, 1925 Miss. LEXIS 210 (Miss. 1925).

Prior drainage rights of owners become merged in district. Toler v. Bear Creek Drainage Dist., 141 Miss. 851, 106 So. 88, 1925 Miss. LEXIS 210 (Miss. 1925).

That notice assumed petition had been signed by majority of landowners did not render proceedings void. Armistead v. Southworth, 139 Miss. 723, 104 So. 94, 1925 Miss. LEXIS 143 (Miss. 1925).

2. Construction and application.

The provisions of Code 1942, § 4676, that the hearing of the engineer’s report must be upon a day to be fixed by the chancery clerk and that at a time named in the second notice the chancellor will hear property owners, and provisions of Code 1942, § 4678, which state that if petitions presented in adequate form, the chancellor will establish a district provided, however, that if upon that day the stated number of objectors file petitions the district shall not be established, do not preclude the filing of proponents’ or objectors’ petitions at any time during the day set for the beginning of the hearing and the word date or day and the word hearing in Code 1942, § 4678 means at least a full day of twenty-four hours in determining when a petition can be filed. Allison v. Camp Creek Drainage Dist., 211 Miss. 354, 51 So. 2d 743, 1951 Miss. LEXIS 364 (Miss. 1951).

The signer of a petition for the creation of a drainage district may make a second change of mind and withdraw his withdrawal after the time set in the clerk’s published notice for filing of proponents’ and contestants’ petitions, but before the end of that day and the hearing. Allison v. Camp Creek Drainage Dist., 211 Miss. 354, 51 So. 2d 743, 1951 Miss. LEXIS 364 (Miss. 1951).

§ 51-29-13. Order establishing district.

The order of the chancery court, or chancellor in vacation, establishing such drainage districts shall have the force of a judgment. Any owner of real property within the district may appeal from said judgment to the supreme court within twenty days after said order has been made; but if no appeal is taken within that time, such judgment shall be deemed conclusive and binding upon all real property within the boundaries of the district, and upon the owners thereof. Any owner of property in the district proposed to be organized may, within a like time and in a like manner, appeal from any order refusing to establish such district.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4438; 1930, § 4453; 1942, § 4679; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 269.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts §§ 24-26.

70C Am. Jur. 2d, Special or Local Assessments §§ 68 et seq.

9 Am. Jur. Pl & Pr Forms (Rev), Drains and Drainage Districts, Forms 11, 60, 62 (order establishing district).

CJS.

28 C.J.S., Drains §§ 35-37 et seq.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

2. Construction and application.

1. In general.

The purpose of the statutory procedure for creation of drainage districts is to obtain the opinions and votes of the majority of those affected, either in number or land ownership. Allison v. Camp Creek Drainage Dist., 211 Miss. 354, 51 So. 2d 743, 1951 Miss. LEXIS 364 (Miss. 1951).

No appeal is allowed from order appointing commissioners of drainage district. Elmore v. Alexander, 160 Miss. 361, 134 So. 144, 1931 Miss. LEXIS 183 (Miss. 1931).

Order appointing commissioners should be made subsequent to order establishing drainage district. Elmore v. Alexander, 160 Miss. 361, 134 So. 144, 1931 Miss. LEXIS 183 (Miss. 1931).

Only final order creating district has force of judgment. Green River Lumber Co. v. Pompey Lake Drainage Dist., 128 Miss. 691, 91 So. 393, 1922 Miss. LEXIS 151 (Miss. 1922).

2. Construction and application.

Landowners of proposed drainage districts should have the right to advise the court at hearings that they have changed their opinions about the organization of a drainage district. Allison v. Camp Creek Drainage Dist., 211 Miss. 354, 51 So. 2d 743, 1951 Miss. LEXIS 364 (Miss. 1951).

In proceeding by drainage district for authority to borrow money for maintenance of drainage system, chancellor has no authority, after final judgment establishing it, to release lands from district, but where lands will not be benefited by rehabilitation of drainage system because they involve abandoned drainage ditch which never functioned, such lands should be released from new assessment and levy and commissioners released from clearing out and maintaining abandoned ditch, and chancellor’s release of land from district may be construed as so holding. Moorhead Drainage Dist. v. Jackson, 208 Miss. 594, 45 So. 2d 234, 1950 Miss. LEXIS 277 (Miss. 1950).

§ 51-29-15. Commissioners appointed; vacancies; removal; quorum.

When the chancery court or chancellor in vacation has established such district, he shall appoint three (3) owners of real property within the district to act as commissioners; and such persons, when so appointed, and their successors in office shall constitute, and are hereby declared to be, a body politic and corporate by the name and style selected as mentioned in this chapter, by the court or chancellor. Each of these commissioners shall take the oath of office as required by Section 268, Article 14 of the Constitution of the state, and shall also swear that he will not, directly or indirectly, be interested in any contract made by the board of commissioners save and except insofar as he may be benefited as a landowner, in common with other landowners, by the work contracted for, and that he will well and truly assess all benefits resulting from said improvements, and all damages caused thereby. Any commissioner failing to take oath within thirty (30) days after his appointment and to give bond in the sum of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), to be fixed by the court or chancellor, shall be deemed to have declined to act as commissioner, and his place shall be filled by the court or chancellor. Provided, however, where revenue for a drainage district is less than one thousand dollars ($ 1,000.00) per year from taxes or other sources, the chancellor, in his discretion, may reduce the bond to any amount he may deem sufficient.

All vacancies on the board shall be filled by the chancery court, or the chancellor in vacation, of the county; but, if a majority in number of the owners of real property in the district shall petition for the appointment of particular persons as commissioners, it shall be the duty of the court or chancellor to appoint the persons so designated. In the same manner, the commissioners shall be appointed at the expiration of the term of said commissioners. A majority of the commissioners shall constitute a quorum. The chancery court, or chancellor in vacation, shall remove any member of the board of commissioners, on the petition of the majority of the owners of land in the district, who shall own a majority of the acreage therein.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, §§ 4440, 4442; 1930, §§ 4454, 4457; 1942, §§ 4680, 4683; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1918, ch. 159; Laws, 1977, ch. 362, eff from and after passage (approved March 16, 1977).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Ownership of real property within drainage district appears to be only qualification required for one to serve as commissioner of said district. 1991 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 430.

Nothing prohibits individual who owns real property in two drainage districts from serving as commissioner for each district. 1991 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 430.

Although term “work” is not specifically defined in statute, it would appear to be any project lawfully engaged in by drainage district. 1993 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 301.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts § 27.

CJS.

28 C.J.S., Drains §§ 18-21.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Order appointing commissioners should be made subsequent to order establishing drainage district. Elmore v. Alexander, 160 Miss. 361, 134 So. 144, 1931 Miss. LEXIS 183 (Miss. 1931).

Inclusion of order appointing commissioners in order establishing drainage district did not affect validity of order appointing commissioners. Elmore v. Alexander, 160 Miss. 361, 134 So. 144, 1931 Miss. LEXIS 183 (Miss. 1931).

That appointment of commissioners appeared in order establishing drainage district did not render appointment of commissioners subject of review in supreme court on appeal. Elmore v. Alexander, 160 Miss. 361, 134 So. 144, 1931 Miss. LEXIS 183 (Miss. 1931).

Eligibility of one appointed commissioner of drainage district must be determined when and if he takes oath of office in manner prescribed by law. Elmore v. Alexander, 160 Miss. 361, 134 So. 144, 1931 Miss. LEXIS 183 (Miss. 1931).

Dismissal of petition by chancery court is not res judicata which will prevent favorable action on same petition by chancery court of another county. Equen v. Arterbury, 121 Miss. 76, 83 So. 406, 1919 Miss. LEXIS 150 (Miss. 1919).

§ 51-29-17. Terms of office and compensation.

The commissioners appointed as aforesaid shall hold their offices, one (1) for two (2) years, one (1) for four (4) years, and one (1) for six (6) years, from the date of their appointment and until their successors are appointed and qualified. On the expiration of their terms of office, their successors shall be appointed in like manner for the term of six (6) years thereafter. They shall hold their meetings at any time and place in the county or counties in which any part of the district is situated, upon the call of the president.

The commissioners herein provided for shall receive per diem compensation as provided by Section 25-3-69, together with mileage as provided in Section 25-3-41 for the distance traveled from their homes to and from the place of meeting.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4464; Hemingway’s 1921 Supp., § 4441a; 1930, §§ 4456, 4483; 1942, §§ 4682, 4709; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1918, ch. 159; Laws, 1960, ch. 177; Laws, 1971, ch. 334, § 2; Laws, 1981, ch. 374, § 2, eff from and after July 1, 1981.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Local commissioners are authorized to charge twenty cents ($0.20) per mile for each mile “actually and necessarily traveled” for business conducted for and on behalf of Drainage District, and mileage is limited to distance traveled from their homes to and from place of meeting; local commissioners are also authorized forty dollars ($40.00) per diem. 1990 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 33.

§ 51-29-19. Power and duties of commissioners.

The said commissioners may adopt a common seal of the drainage district and alter the same at pleasure. They may, from time to time, make such bylaws, rules, and regulations, and alter and change the same as they may deem proper, not inconsistent with this chapter and the laws of this state, for the purpose of carrying into effect the object of their incorporation. They shall elect a president from their own number and appoint such other officers, agents, and attorneys, and employ such persons as they may think necessary for the efficient management of their business, and remove them at pleasure. They may do all acts and things not inconsistent with this chapter and with the laws of the state, and proper to effect the purpose and objects of this chapter.

Upon their qualification, the board of commissioners shall prepare plans for the improvement within the district, as prayed for in the petition, and shall procure estimates from a competent engineer or engineers as to the cost thereof. For that purpose, the board of commissioners may employ such engineers and other agents as may be needful, such engineer to give bond in the sum of at least one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), payable to the drainage district and conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties required of the engineer, which bond shall be approved by the board of commissioners, or the president. Said board of commissioners may employ the services of an attorney or a firm of attorneys as may be needed in the prosecution of the work for which the drainage district is organized, may employ such other agents as may be needed, may purchase such material and supplies, and pay for such publications and printing necessary or incidental in the prosecution of the work. Said board of commissioners shall provide for reasonable compensation to the engineer or engineers, attorneys, and other agents, and for the cost of such material, supplies, publications, and printing, and the same shall be taken as a part of the costs of the improvements; or said board of commissioners may borrow money necessary to pay for the services of the engineer or engineers, attorneys, and other agents, and for the cost of such material, supplies, publications, and printing, at a rate of interest not exceeding six per cent, per annum, and may execute a note or notes or other evidences of indebtedness therefor and may renew the same as may be necessary, and the money borrowed for such purposes shall be taken as a part of the costs of the improvements.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, §§ 4441, 4442; 1930, §§ 4455, 4457; 1942, §§ 4681, 4683; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1918, ch. 159.

Cross References —

Transfer of funds to master water management district, see §51-7-49.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts § 28.

7 Am. Jur. Legal Forms 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts § 92:81 (contract between city and consulting engineer for preparation of preliminary report concerning proposed sewage disposal plant).

CJS.

28 C.J.S., Drains §§ 22, 23.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

A drainage district has no express power or implied power to buy an undivided interest of land except for drainage purposes. Eden Drainage Dist. v. Swaim, 212 Miss. 386, 54 So. 2d 547, 1951 Miss. LEXIS 461 (Miss. 1951).

A drainage district with local commissioners is a subdivision of the state government with limited jurisdiction and powers and it has only such powers as are expressly granted to it by the statute or as may be necessarily implied from such legislation. Eden Drainage Dist. v. Swaim, 212 Miss. 386, 54 So. 2d 547, 1951 Miss. LEXIS 461 (Miss. 1951).

Although a drainage district has no power to make a contract with an engineer for a survey in preparation to engaging in a reclamation project, it has the implied power to do so. Moorhead Drainage Dist. v. Pedigo, 210 Miss. 284, 49 So. 2d 378, 1950 Miss. LEXIS 348 (Miss. 1950).

This section [Code 1942, § 4683] does not authorize drainage commissioners to borrow money to pay preliminary expenses incurred with respect to a new proposed program of improvements which was abandoned without the assessment of any additional benefits, the original plan of improvements having been completed and the assessment of benefits therefor having been completely exhausted. Gilmore-Puckett Lumber Co. v. Big Brown's Creek Drainage Dist., 207 Miss. 316, 42 So. 2d 226, 1949 Miss. LEXIS 342 (Miss. 1949).

§ 51-29-21. Content of plans.

Such plans and specifications shall show not merely the location, width, and depth of the ditches, but also the work to be done in removing obstructions from water courses, the building of pumping stations, dams, flumes, floodgates, fences to protect the district, and such levees as may be necessary to protect the land from overflow. Whenever federal financial or other assistance is furnished in connection with the planning or construction of the proposed improvements, such plans and specifications shall be detailed only to the extent required by the federal department or agency responsible for furnishing such assistance.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1921 Supp., § 4442b; 1930, § 4458; 1942, § 4684; Laws, 1918, ch. 159; Laws, 1960, ch. 201, § 1.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts §§ 31 et seq.

7 Am. Jur. Legal Forms 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts § 92:91 (reservation of right to change plans).

CJS.

28 C.J.S., Drains §§ 71 et seq.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Before contract can be made by drainage district to repair its system, and before bonds should be authorized, there must be plans and specifications to define and delineate the work to be done and to demonstrate that the proposed bond issue is adequate. Moorhead Drainage Dist. v. Jackson, 208 Miss. 594, 45 So. 2d 234, 1950 Miss. LEXIS 277 (Miss. 1950).

In proceeding to authorize drainage district to borrow money to repair its system, it was error to strike so-called plans and specifications prepared for commission by their engineer, styled by him as a preliminary report, but not reversible error, as it could not be treated as substitute for plans and specifications contemplated by law and required by correct business usage. Moorhead Drainage Dist. v. Jackson, 208 Miss. 594, 45 So. 2d 234, 1950 Miss. LEXIS 277 (Miss. 1950).

§ 51-29-23. Payment of costs for abandoned improvements.

If for any cause the improvements shall not be made, said costs shall be charged on the real property in the district, including railroads, if any, and shall be raised and paid by assessments in the manner hereinafter described; or, in the event said assessments are not made, or the improvements shall not be completed or the same be abandoned, for any cause, after such indebtedness is incurred, the board of supervisors of the county in which the drainage district is located shall levy an acreage tax, or an ad valorem tax, on the lands in said proposed district if the same has not been organized, or on the lands of the district if the same has been organized, the total collections from which shall be sufficient to pay such indebtedness. The board of supervisors may levy a sufficient tax in one year or may levy a succession of acreage taxes, or ad valorem taxes, over a period of years, not to exceed three years, to be determined by said board of supervisors. If an ad valorem tax be levied, the board of supervisors may use for that purpose the assessments of the land of the last assessment roll of the county in which said lands are situated. In case the lands in the proposed district lie in more than one county, then the chancellor aforesaid shall apportion said indebtedness between the several counties, and the boards of supervisors of the several counties shall thereupon levy such apportioned tax upon the lands of their counties respectively, according to the ruling of the said chancellor.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1921 Supp. § 4442a; 1930, § 4549; 1942, § 4685; Laws, 1918, ch. 159; Laws, 1966, ch. 229, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved June 8, 1966).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

2. Construction and application.

1. In general.

Levies for the cost of an uncompleted drainage district under this statute take precedence over the liens of existing mortgages. Bank of Commerce & Trust Co. v. Union Cent. Life Ins. Co., 94 F.2d 422, 1938 U.S. App. LEXIS 4428 (5th Cir. Miss.), cert. denied, 304 U.S. 570, 58 S. Ct. 1040, 82 L. Ed. 1535, 1938 U.S. LEXIS 946 (U.S. 1938).

Judgment against drainage district for amount due for plans and specifications for abandoned improvements held not void because landowners were not made parties. Bank of Commerce & Trust Co. v. Commissioners of Tallahatchie Drainage Dist., 165 Miss. 582, 138 So. 558, 1931 Miss. LEXIS 322 (Miss. 1931).

Decision of supervisors or of chancellor regarding which method of taxation should be adopted to pay preliminary expenses incurred by drainage district abandoning improvements is not reviewable. Bank of Commerce & Trust Co. v. Commissioners of Tallahatchie Drainage Dist., 165 Miss. 582, 138 So. 558, 1931 Miss. LEXIS 322 (Miss. 1931).

Collection of tax to pay preliminary expenses incurred by drainage district abandoning improvements cannot be spread over period of years. Bank of Commerce & Trust Co. v. Commissioners of Tallahatchie Drainage Dist., 165 Miss. 582, 138 So. 558, 1931 Miss. LEXIS 322 (Miss. 1931).

Chancellor directing levy of tax to pay preliminary expenses of drainage district had only powers conferred by statute. Bank of Commerce & Trust Co. v. Commissioners of Tallahatchie Drainage Dist., 165 Miss. 582, 138 So. 558, 1931 Miss. LEXIS 322 (Miss. 1931).

2. Construction and application.

This section [Code 1942, § 4685] deals only with the situation created when a new district is proposed or commenced and then the project is abandoned and there is a failure to construct the proposed improvements therein. Gilmore-Puckett Lumber Co. v. Big Brown's Creek Drainage Dist., 207 Miss. 316, 42 So. 2d 226, 1949 Miss. LEXIS 342 (Miss. 1949).

This section [Code 1942, § 4685] does not authorize drainage commissioners to borrow money to pay preliminary expenses incurred with respect to a new proposed program of improvements which was abandoned without the assessment of any additional benefits, the original plan of improvements having been completed and the assessment of benefits therefor having been completely exhausted. Gilmore-Puckett Lumber Co. v. Big Brown's Creek Drainage Dist., 207 Miss. 316, 42 So. 2d 226, 1949 Miss. LEXIS 342 (Miss. 1949).

An additional assessment may be made without regard to the present existence of actual and additional material benefits to a particular integrated tract, when it appears “absolutely necessary in order to preserve and maintain the improvements of the district,” and the mere fact that landowner was not apparently benefited from the improvement and maintenance of a certain drainage canal in the district because of his location on high land does not excuse him from bearing his just proportion of the costs of removing obstructions and silt from such lower canal in the district. Buchanan v. Red Banks Creek Drainage Dist., 205 Miss. 736, 39 So. 2d 321, 1949 Miss. LEXIS 463 (Miss. 1949).

§ 51-29-25. Costs for proceedings abandoned and afterwards resumed.

In any proceeding heretofore or hereafter had for the establishment of a ditch or drain or the doing of any other thing deemed necessary, when an engineer has been appointed and has made complete surveys and reports thereof, and for any reason the improvement has been abandoned and the proceedings dismissed, and afterwards proceedings are instituted for the establishment of a ditch or drain or for the doing of anything toward the prosecution of said work for the reclamation of the same territory surveyed in said former proceedings, or a part thereof and the territory additional thereto, the engineer’s reports, surveys, stakes, and monuments made in former proceedings, as far as practicable or so much thereof as may be applicable, and the cost thereof in said former proceedings, or such parts thereof as used, shall be paid for as a part of the subsequent proceedings in which such report, surveys, stakes, and monuments, or a part thereof, are used.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1921 Supp., § 4442c; 1930, § 4460; 1942, § 4686; Laws, 1918, ch. 195.

§ 51-29-27. Plans and estimates of commissioners to be filed.

As soon as said board of commissioners shall have formed its plan and shall ascertain the cost of improvement, it shall file the same with the clerk of the board of supervisors. Said plans shall be accompanied by a map showing the location of all the main and lateral ditches, and shall be accompanied by specifications describing the character of the improvements to be made, the width and depth of the ditches, the probable quantity of earth to be removed, all other work to be done, and the probable cost of draining said territory. Whenever federal financial or other assistance is furnished in connection with the planning or construction of the proposed improvements, such plans and specifications shall be detailed only to the extent required by the federal department or agency responsible for furnishing such assistance.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4444; 1930, § 4462; 1942, § 4688; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 269; Laws, 1960, ch. 201, § 2.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Landowner held to waive claim for damages, where, although commissioners did not assess him damages, he failed to propound his claim for damages and demand a jury, or take an appeal from order approving assessment rolls of benefits and damages within time allowed. Minyard v. Pelucia Drainage Dist., 133 Miss. 847, 98 So. 225, 1923 Miss. LEXIS 185 (Miss. 1923).

§ 51-29-29. Preparation of assessment roll.

Said commissioners shall proceed to assess the land within the district and shall inscribe in a book the description of each tract of land, the benefit to accrue to each tract by reason of such improvement, and shall enter such assessments of benefits opposite the description, together with an estimate of what the landowner will probably have to pay on such assessment for the first year. The assessment shall embrace not merely the land, but all railroad and other improvements on lands which will be benefited by the drainage system. In preparing the description of the lands so assessed, the commissioners may use either (1) the descriptions of lands and subdivisions thereof as shown on the official United States Government surveys and plats of lands within the district; (2) the descriptions of lands and subdivisions thereof as shown upon any plat of lands within the district and recorded upon the land records of the county in which said lands are located; (3) any metes and bounds descriptions found in the latest filed conveyance of said lands and of record in the records of deeds of the county in which said lands are located, and in such case it shall be sufficient to describe said lands by stating the number of acres and the general location of the land within the section, together with the book and page numbers of said conveyance. They shall place opposite each tract of land the name of the supposed owner, as shown by the last county land assessment roll; but a mistake in the name shall not vitiate the assessment. If any landowner or private corporation or any other drainage district has dug ditches or made drainage work that can be profitably used as a part of the general proposed system, the value of such ditches or drainage work to the district shall be assessed by said commissioners and shall appear upon the assessment and be paid for by the district, either in cash or by reduction of assessment. The commissioners shall also assess and place upon said roll or book of assessment, opposite each tract of land, all damages that will accrue to any landowner by reason of the proposed improvement, including all injury to lands taken or damaged; and when said commissioners return no assessment of damages as to any tract of land, it shall be deemed a finding by them that no damages will be sustained. If the commissioners, at any time either before or after the organization of the district, find that other land not embraced within the boundaries of the district will be benefited by the proposed improvement or improvements already made, they shall assess the estimated benefit to such lands and shall specially report to the chancery court, or chancellor in vacation, the assessments which they have made on land beyond the boundaries of the district, as already established. It shall thereupon be the duty of the clerk of the chancery court to give notice by two (2) weekly insertions in a newspaper published in the county where such lands lie describing the additional lands which have been assessed; and the owners of real property so assessed shall be allowed not less than ten (10) days after the last publication of such notice in which to file with the clerk of the chancery court their protest against being so assessed, or included within the district. The chancery court, or chancellor in vacation, shall, at its next succeeding session after the time for filing of such protest shall have expired, investigate the question whether the lands beyond the boundaries of the district so assessed by the commissioners will in fact be benefited by the making of the improvement, and from its finding in that regard, either the property owner or the commissioners of the district may, within twenty (20) days appeal to the supreme court. If the finding is in favor of the commissioners, the limits of the district shall be extended so as to embrace any lands that may be benefited by the making of the improvement. When their assessment is completed, the commissioners shall subscribe such assessment and deposit it with the clerk of the chancery court where it shall be kept and preserved as a public record; provided that, for the purpose of providing funds with which to clean out, restore, repair and rehabilitate the whole or any part of the drainage system of such district or for the purpose of cooperating with the United States or any agency thereof in such works, there may be imposed a uniform assessment on each acre of unsubdivided land lying within the district, and a uniform assessment by lot on subdivided land lying within the district, and the records required in this chapter shall show the amount of the assessment in lieu of the amount of benefits to accrue to each tract. Taxes levied hereunder are hereby declared to be taxes for maintenance purposes and shall not diminish in any manner the amount of assessed benefits in any such district which is otherwise available for the payment of any outstanding bonds of such district.

The assessments provided for in this section may be made even though evidences of indebtedness have been issued or validated or both prior thereto, but the lien of the holders of any such indebtedness shall not be impaired thereby.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4445; 1930, § 4463; 1942, § 4689; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 269; Laws, 1964, ch. 208; Laws, 1973, ch. 348, § 1; Laws, 1977, ch. 332, § 2; Laws, 1995, ch. 392, § 2, eff from and after passage (approved March 15, 1995).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts §§ 45 et seq.

70C Am. Jur. 2d, Special or Local Assessments §§ 1 et seq.

9 Am. Jur. Pl & Pr Forms (Rev), Drains and Drainage Districts, Forms 82-84 (assessment for drainage or sewerage).

7 Am. Jur. Legal Forms 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts §§ 92:51-92:63 (assessments).

CJS.

28 C.J.S., Drains §§ 103 et seq.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

2. Abandoned improvements.

1. In general.

Owner could remove timber from land within drainage district without payment of installments of assessment to become due on land subsequent to removal. Matthews v. Panola-Quitman Drainage Dist., 158 Miss. 647, 130 So. 910, 1930 Miss. LEXIS 94 (Miss. 1930).

Funds derived from assessment of benefits to added territory to drainage district can be used to maintain improvements already made therein. Self v. Indian Creek Drainage Dist., 158 Miss. 7, 128 So. 339, 1930 Miss. LEXIS 6 (Miss. 1930).

Chancery court at one hearing had authority to determine whether lands should be included in drainage district and also question of assessment of benefits. Self v. Indian Creek Drainage Dist., 158 Miss. 7, 128 So. 339, 1930 Miss. LEXIS 6 (Miss. 1930).

Property within municipality lying in drainage district is subject to assessment for benefits; legislature had full control over municipal corporations, their powers and functions. Gillis v. Indian Creek Drainage Dist., 155 Miss. 160, 124 So. 262, 1929 Miss. LEXIS 266 (Miss. 1929).

Declaration for damages caused by construction of levee held demurrable for failure to show authority of drainage commissioners to construct such levee. Dick v. Atchafalaya Drainage & Levee Dist., 147 Miss. 783, 113 So. 897, 1927 Miss. LEXIS 359 (Miss. 1927).

Chancery court has sole jurisdiction of creation of drainage district with land in more than one county. Atchafalaya Levee & Drainage Dist. v. Nicholson, 126 Miss. 746, 89 So. 619, 1921 Miss. LEXIS 75 (Miss. 1921).

Creation of drainage district and incurring of obligations thereunder are to be determined by landowners. Huston v. Mayo, 120 Miss. 523, 82 So. 334, 1919 Miss. LEXIS 115 (Miss. 1919).

Money to be collected from landowners of a drainage district is a special assessment and not a tax, and may be collected without submission of a bond issue. Huston v. Mayo, 120 Miss. 523, 82 So. 334, 1919 Miss. LEXIS 115 (Miss. 1919).

2. Abandoned improvements.

Under statute, chancery court must apportion indebtedness of drainage district where improvements are abandoned, and direct whether it shall be paid by acreage tax or ad valorem tax. Bank of Commerce & Trust Co. v. Commissioners of Tallahatchie Drainage Dist., 157 Miss. 336, 128 So. 91, 1930 Miss. LEXIS 291 (Miss. 1930).

Failure of statutes relating to taxes to pay preliminary expenses of drainage district abandoning improvements to provide for notice to landowners does not violate due-process clause as regards ad valorem taxes. Bank of Commerce & Trust Co. v. Commissioners of Tallahatchie Drainage Dist., 157 Miss. 336, 128 So. 91, 1930 Miss. LEXIS 291 (Miss. 1930).

§ 51-29-31. Notice of assessment to landowners.

Upon the filing of such assessment, the chancery court, or the chancellor in vacation, shall enter an order directing the clerk of the chancery court to give notice by publication for two (2) weeks by two (2) insertions in some newspaper published and having a general circulation in each of the counties within which the lands of the district may lie, stating that the owners of lands assessed for drainage purposes in said district, if they desire, may appear before the chancery court, or chancellor in vacation, on the date and time and place fixed by said order, which date shall be not less than ten (10) days after the last publication of said notice, and present complaints, if any they have, against the assessment of land in the district.

The clerk of the chancery court shall publish said notice as directed by said order. The said notice shall give description of the lands assessed in as large tracts as the description will permit and shall state that said lands have been assessed for drainage purposes in said district; that any owner of real property, or the improvements thereon, within the district who conceives himself to be aggrieved by the assessment of benefits or damages or deems that the assessment of other lands in the district is inadequate shall file his written complaint or objection, in specific terms, with the clerk of said court prior to the time designated for said hearing.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4445; 1930, § 4463; 1942, § 4689; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 269; Laws, 1964, ch. 208; Laws, 1973, ch. 348, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved March 23, 1973).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts §§ 48 et seq.

70C Am. Jur. 2d, Special or Local Assessments §§ 138 et seq.

7 Am. Jur. Legal Forms 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts §§ 92:61 (notice of assessment), 92:62 (objection to assessment), 92:63 (notice of assessment of property benefited within district), 92:34 (objection to assessment by property owners).

CJS.

28 C.J.S., Drains §§ 118-121.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Landowner’s failure to appear pursuant to notice for construction of additional levee held not waiver of objection thereto or claim for damages. Dick v. Atchafalaya Drainage & Levee Dist., 147 Miss. 783, 113 So. 897, 1927 Miss. LEXIS 359 (Miss. 1927).

§ 51-29-33. Approved roll to be final assessment.

At the time designated in said notice the court, or chancellor in vacation, shall consider said complaint or objection and enter its or his findings thereon, either confirming such assessment or increasing or diminishing the same; and its or his findings shall be final and have the force and effect of a judgment from which an appeal may be taken within twenty (20) days to the supreme court of the state either by the property owner or by the commissioners of the district.

The assessment roll so prepared and filed by the commissioners, when approved by the chancery court, or chancellor in vacation, shall stand as a final assessment of benefits and damages upon the lands of the said district and no new assessment roll shall be required unless, in the opinion of the commissioners, it becomes necessary to raise the assessment of benefits to such lands because of additional benefits to the lands other than these assessed or because it becomes absolutely necessary in order to raise funds to preserve and maintain the improvements of the district.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4445; 1930, § 4463; 1942, § 4689; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 269; Laws, 1964, ch. 208; Laws, 1973, ch. 348, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved March 23, 1973).

Cross References —

Appeals to the Supreme Court, see §11-51-3 et seq.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

CJS.

28 C.J.S., Drains §§ 134-136 et seq.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. Appeals.

2. Additional assessments.

1. Appeals.

Original assessment of benefits to lands within drainage district from improvements, upon final approval and confirmation, is res judicata as to such benefits. Gillis v. Indian Creek Drainage Dist., 160 Miss. 528, 134 So. 173, 1931 Miss. LEXIS 195 (Miss. 1931).

Legality of improvements by commissioners of drainage district could not be raised on appeal from decree confirming assessment against additional lands. Self v. Indian Creek Drainage Dist., 158 Miss. 7, 128 So. 339, 1930 Miss. LEXIS 6 (Miss. 1930).

Assessment of benefits and damages by drainage district was final and binding and had force and effect of judgment subject only to statutory exceptions. Gillis v. Indian Creek Drainage Dist., 155 Miss. 160, 124 So. 262, 1929 Miss. LEXIS 266 (Miss. 1929).

Appeal cannot be taken from order of board removing drainage commissioners. Richardson v. Board of Sup'rs, 128 Miss. 869, 91 So. 565, 1922 Miss. LEXIS 171 (Miss. 1922).

Appeal from decree of chancery court making assessment must be taken within twenty days after rendition thereof. Illinois C. R. Co. v. Yococna Drainage Dist., 128 Miss. 636, 91 So. 392, 1922 Miss. LEXIS 150 (Miss. 1922).

2. Additional assessments.

An additional assessment may be made without regard to the present existence of actual and additional material benefits to a particular integrated tract, when it appears “absolutely necessary in order to preserve and maintain the improvements of the district,” and the mere fact that landowner was not apparently benefited from the improvement and maintenance of a certain drainage canal in the district because of his location on high land does not excuse him from bearing his just proportion of the costs of removing obstructions and silt from such lower canal in the district. Buchanan v. Red Banks Creek Drainage Dist., 205 Miss. 736, 39 So. 2d 321, 1949 Miss. LEXIS 463 (Miss. 1949).

Petition of drainage district commissioners for authority to repair and improve canals, borrow money and assess a tax against the benefits to the lands located in the district was defective where outside landowners receiving benefits from the drainage system were not made parties. Watson v. Beaver Dam Drainage Dist., 205 Miss. 690, 39 So. 2d 309, 1949 Miss. LEXIS 459 (Miss. 1949).

Petition of drainage district commissioners for authority to borrow money to repair drainage system which did not include adjacent landowners who used canals and benefited therefrom was defective since all interested persons were not made parties. Hobbs v. Moorhead Drainage Dist., 205 Miss. 679, 39 So. 2d 307, 1949 Miss. LEXIS 458 (Miss. 1949).

Neither commissioners of drainage district personally, nor the sureties on their official bonds, were liable to holders of unpaid bonds of first series issued by the district for paying bonds of the second series which were invalid because additional benefits had not been assessed against the land as a basis for the issuance of the second bonds, where the commissioners acted ministerially in good faith, since the acts of the commissioners were chargeable to the board in its official capacity rather than to the members individually; Moreover, they were not liable on the theory that the funds of the district constituted trust funds exclusively for the payment of the bonds of the first issue. People's Bank Liquidating Corp. v. Beashea Drainage Dist., 199 Miss. 505, 24 So. 2d 784, 1946 Miss. LEXIS 220 (Miss. 1946).

Drainage district commissioners had right to assess additional benefits against the land in the district for further improvements after full expenditure of the proceeds from the first bond issue, if in their judgment further benefits would accrue to the landowners by virtue of such further construction, or if in their judgment it had become necessary to preserve the improvements theretofore made. People's Bank Liquidating Corp. v. Beashea Drainage Dist., 199 Miss. 505, 24 So. 2d 784, 1946 Miss. LEXIS 220 (Miss. 1946).

Drainage commissioners cannot be required by mandamus to make such assessment of benefits as will be sufficient to pay indebtedness due contractor. Anderson v. Robins, 161 Miss. 604, 137 So. 476, 1931 Miss. LEXIS 281 (Miss. 1931).

Mandamus will lie to require drainage commissioners to assemble and act in matter of making additional assessments. Anderson v. Robins, 161 Miss. 604, 137 So. 476, 1931 Miss. LEXIS 281 (Miss. 1931).

Value which drainage commissioners place on benefits accruing to land in district from drainage improvements is for their determination, subject to review by court. Anderson v. Robins, 161 Miss. 604, 137 So. 476, 1931 Miss. LEXIS 281 (Miss. 1931).

Contractor recovering judgment on notes of drainage district was not entitled in same proceeding to writ of mandamus, for which court substituted writ of injunction, to compel commissioners to make additional assessment. Anderson v. Robins, 161 Miss. 604, 137 So. 476, 1931 Miss. LEXIS 281 (Miss. 1931).

In additional assessment by drainage commissioners not exceeding total benefits to land would be insufficient to pay contractor’s judgment on notes of district, it would, to extent of insufficiency, by unenforceable. Anderson v. Robins, 161 Miss. 604, 137 So. 476, 1931 Miss. LEXIS 281 (Miss. 1931).

Benefits resulting to land within drainage district from expenditures made to preserve and maintain improvements must be proportionately assessed against all lands of district without reference to any inequality that might have existed in original assessment. Gillis v. Indian Creek Drainage Dist., 160 Miss. 528, 134 So. 173, 1931 Miss. LEXIS 195 (Miss. 1931).

Subsequent assessment by drainage district must be based on benefits accruing and made against property of entire district. Gillis v. Indian Creek Drainage Dist., 155 Miss. 160, 124 So. 262, 1929 Miss. LEXIS 266 (Miss. 1929).

New assessment of benefits by drainage district authorities where lands assessed receive additional benefits. White v. Lake Cormorant Drainage Dist., 130 Miss. 351, 94 So. 235, 1922 Miss. LEXIS 220 (Miss. 1922).

§ 51-29-35. Condemnation proceedings.

Any property owner may accept the assessment of damages in his favor made by the commissioners, or acquiesce in their failure to assess damages in his favor, and shall be construed to have done so unless he gives to said commissioners, within thirty days after the assessment is filed, notice in writing that he demands assessment of his damages by jury. In such event the commissioners shall institute in the proper court in the proper county an action to condemn the lands that must be taken or damaged in making such improvements, which action shall be in accordance with the proceeding for the condemnation of property for public use provided in the chapter on eminent domain. Where condemnation proceedings are had as herein provided and an appeal is taken to the circuit court, the drainage commissioners may pay the amount awarded by the jury into the hands of the clerk of the circuit court, who shall hold the same to abide the decision of said appeal, and the drainage commissioners may proceed with the work of constructing the drain as laid out by them.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4446; 1930, § 4464; 1942, § 4690; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 269.

Cross References —

Mineral leases, see §51-29-159.

Powers of drainage districts, generally, see §51-31-1.

Additional powers of drainage districts, see §51-33-1 et seq.

Authority of drainage district to borrow money, see §51-33-19.

Use of drains for irrigation of farm land, see §51-33-33.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts § 28.

7 Am. Jur. Legal Forms 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts §§ 92:31-92:44 (acquisition of property).

CJS.

28 C.J.S., Drains §§ 22, 23.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

A drainage district has no express power or implied power to buy an undivided interest of land except for drainage purposes. Eden Drainage Dist. v. Swaim, 212 Miss. 386, 54 So. 2d 547, 1951 Miss. LEXIS 461 (Miss. 1951).

A drainage district with local commissioners is a subdivision of the state government with limited jurisdiction and powers and it has only such powers as are expressly granted to it by the statute or as may be necessarily implied from such legislation. Eden Drainage Dist. v. Swaim, 212 Miss. 386, 54 So. 2d 547, 1951 Miss. LEXIS 461 (Miss. 1951).

Under statute, chancery court must apportion indebtedness of drainage district where improvements are abandoned, and direct whether it shall be paid by acreage tax or ad valorem tax. Bank of Commerce & Trust Co. v. Commissioners of Tallahatchie Drainage Dist., 157 Miss. 336, 128 So. 91, 1930 Miss. LEXIS 291 (Miss. 1930).

Failure of statutes relating to taxes to pay preliminary expenses of drainage district and abandoning improvements to provide for notice to landowners does not violate due-process clause as regards ad valorem taxes. Bank of Commerce & Trust Co. v. Commissioners of Tallahatchie Drainage Dist., 157 Miss. 336, 128 So. 91, 1930 Miss. LEXIS 291 (Miss. 1930).

Landowner held to have waived claim for damages, where, although commissioners did not assess him damages, he failed to propound his claim for damages and demand a jury, or take an appeal from order approving assessment rolls of benefits and damages within time allowed. Minyard v. Pelucia Drainage Dist., 133 Miss. 847, 98 So. 225, 1923 Miss. LEXIS 185 (Miss. 1923).

§ 51-29-37. Employment of counsel.

The drainage commissioners may employ an attorney to assist in the formation and administration of the drainage district, and to represent the district in all matters of a legal nature, at a fixed or agreed compensation, subject to the confirmation of the chancery court or chancellor in vacation, who may decrease but not increase such compensation.

HISTORY: Codes, 1930, § 4465; 1942, § 4691.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Attorney’s fees must be approved by Chancery Court whether attorney is on permanent retainer or is employed by drainage district only on occasion and bills an hourly fee. 1993 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 302.

The chancery judge or chancellor must only approve the compensation of the attorney, and is not responsible for approving a drainage district’s choice of a particular attorney. 2004 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 454.

Any reasonable type of billing method, including a monthly, quarterly or annual billing method would be permissible under the statute. 2004 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 454.

§ 51-29-39. Appraisement by commissioners as alternate method to acquire land and damage compensation.

In lieu of the method provided in Sections 51-29-29 through 51-29-35 for acquiring land and making compensation for damages, the drainage commissioners may adopt the following method for acquiring lands and making compensation for damages, to wit:

The commissioners may, at any time after the organization of the district, appraise the value of any land taken or to be taken for the purposes of the proposed improvement, according to the plans of the district on file, and the damages resulting to the owners from such taking. The board may specify, in case of any property, the particular purpose for which and the extent to which easement is desired, and the assessment of property in such case shall represent only the damages resulting from the use so specified. They may make a complete appraisement of all such lands, taken or to be taken, at one time, or at any time make appraisements as it becomes necessary or desirable. When the commissioners have made their appraisement of lands taken, they shall certify to the same and file it with the clerk of the chancery court of the county in which the land lies. The court, or chancellor in vacation, shall enter an order designating the date, time, and place for the hearing of objections to such appraisement, either at a regular term of the court or in vacation. The clerk shall issue a summons directed to the sheriff of the county or counties of the state in which any landowner or other person interested may reside, commanding him to summon such owner or owners or interested persons to appear at the time and place named. If the owner of any land sought to be taken is an infant or person of unsound mind, the summons may be served on his guardian; and the guardian in such cases is authorized, subject to the approval of the chancellor in termtime or vacation, to sell and convey such property and dedicate it thus to the public use, or he may agree upon the damages and thereby bind the ward. If there is no guardian in such case, the chancellor in vacation may, on application of anyone in interest, appoint a guardian ad litem to represent such infant or person of unsound mind, whose acts and doings in the premises shall be valid and binding on the ward. The chancellor may require a bond of such guardian ad litem. The clerk of the court shall notify the guardian ad litem of his appointment and the amount of bond required, if any, by certified mail sent to the post office address of the guardian. If the owner of such land is a nonresident of the state or cannot be found, or if the owner is unknown, and this shall apply to any person interested, upon affidavit to that fact being made by the commissioners or by their agent or attorney, service of the summons may be delivered to any of his agents in charge of the land; or publication shall be made in the manner provided by law for publication for nonresident and unknown parties in chancery suits. If the land belongs to a deceased person whose estate is being administered, the summons may be served upon the executor or administrator, who shall, for all purposes of this chapter, be authorized to act for the owner, and shall be responsible on his bond accordingly. Such notice, when published, need only state that the hearing will be for the purpose of confirming the report of the commissioners as to the appraisement of land taken for the use of the district. The notice shall contain the names of the owners or persons interested in such land and their post office address, if known, and if unknown, that fact shall be so stated, and shall contain a list of the land, described by section numbers, belonging to such nonresident owners through which the ditches of the district are to run, or which such lands are to be taken for the uses of the district.

If any owner is not satisfied with the amount allowed by the commissioners for lands taken by reason of the construction of such proposed system according to the plans of the district, he shall file with the clerk of the court written objections, in specific terms, prior to the time designated for the hearing.

If no written objections are filed, a decree confirming the appraisement shall be rendered, and upon payment of the amount to the chancery clerk, the commissioners of the district may enter upon and take possession of the property and appropriate it to the public use of the district and the title of the property shall thereupon vest in the district. The clerk shall receipt upon the decree for the money paid, and the decree with the receipt thereon shall be recorded.

If written objections are filed prior to the time set for the hearing, the court or chancellor in vacation shall proceed to hear the objections filed, trying the cause or causes without the intervention of a jury.

No judgment by default shall be entered against an owner or person interested residing in this state unless it appears that he has been duly served with summons at least thirty (30) days before the return day, and no judgment by default shall be rendered against any nonresident or unknown person or persons interested unless proper publication has been made.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4447; 1930, § 4466; 1942, § 4692; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 271; Laws, 1964, ch. 210; Laws, 1999, ch. 510, § 1, eff from and after August 2, 1999 (the date the United States Attorney General interposed no objection under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to the amendment of this section).

Cross References —

Certain takings of property being excluded from the chapter on eminent domain, see §11-27-33.

Acquisition of easements and rights of way, see §51-7-33.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts § 34.

CJS.

28 C.J.S., Drains § 75.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

2. Constitutionality.

1. In general.

Water management district failed to follow the clear procedures outlined in Miss. Code Ann. §51-29-39 where it did not provide notice to the life tenants or remaindermen of a piece of property on which the district wanted to acquire a permanent easement on which to construct a water-retarding structure, and where the life tenants were not made a party to the petition to require the easement. Webb v. Town Creek Master Water Mgmt. Dist., 903 So. 2d 701, 2005 Miss. LEXIS 236 (Miss. 2005).

This section does not allow a quick take of needed easements. Branaman v. Long Beach Water Mgmt. Dist., 730 So. 2d 1146, 1999 Miss. LEXIS 10 (Miss. 1999).

While tenants in common may be required to bear their proportionate share of expenditures and disbursements and to pay off proportionately the purchase price for outstanding titles and claims, a drainage district has not the power to spend funds to meet these obligations as a tenant in common with others. Eden Drainage Dist. v. Swaim, 212 Miss. 386, 54 So. 2d 547, 1951 Miss. LEXIS 461 (Miss. 1951).

2. Constitutionality.

It is not unconstitutional to allow payment of compensation to the clerk of the chancery court instead of directly paying the landowners. Branaman v. Long Beach Water Mgmt. Dist., 730 So. 2d 1146, 1999 Miss. LEXIS 10 (Miss. 1999).

The statute is not unconstitutional on the basis that it violates the right to a trial by jury. Branaman v. Long Beach Water Mgmt. Dist., 730 So. 2d 1146, 1999 Miss. LEXIS 10 (Miss. 1999).

This section is unconstitutional on its face regarding the very narrow due process issue of adequate notice to prepare for trial, since two days from the date of service of process is inadequate time to hire an appraiser and prepare for a trial on the issue of just compensation. Branaman v. Long Beach Water Mgmt. Dist., 730 So. 2d 1146, 1999 Miss. LEXIS 10 (Miss. 1999).

§ 51-29-41. Hearing of appraisement and objections.

Proof of publication made in the manner prescribed by the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein recited. At the hearing the report and appraisement of the value of the land sought to be taken and the damages sustained by the owner thereof shall be prima facie correct. The court, or chancellor in vacation, may at such hearing hear all objections in entirety or severalty, and may enter a decree confirming the entire report of the commissioners, or may enter any number of decrees confirming the report as to any land taken. At such hearing the court, or chancellor in vacation, may direct the board to make such alteration in the appraisement as may be deemed just and equitable by raising or lowering any appraisement, and payment for such amount fixed by the judgment shall be made to the chancery clerk as hereinbefore provided. He shall receipt for the same on the judgment, and such judgment with receipt thereon shall be recorded.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4448; 1930, § 4467; 1942, § 4693; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 271; Laws, 1991, ch. 573, § 111, eff from and after July 1, 1991.

Cross References —

Applicability of Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure to proceedings relative to creation and maintenance of drainage and water management districts, see Miss. R. Civ. P. 81.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts § 34.

CJS.

28 C.J.S., Drains § 75.

§ 51-29-43. Right of use during appeal.

Any landowner feeling aggrieved at the decree of the chancellor shall have the right to appeal in the manner provided in this chapter. No appeal shall interfere with the right of the district to enter upon and take possession of the property sought to be taken, or hinder the district in the doing of any act necessary and proper in the construction of the proposed system and the carrying out of the purposes of its organization, provided, however, that the district shall have first paid into the court the amount of the appraisement. Drainage districts organized under the provisions of this chapter shall have the power to acquire any and all lands, lying either within or without the limits of such districts, necessary to the carrying out of the successful drainage of the district, in the manner above provided. In addition to the method above prescribed for the acquisition of lands for the purpose of the district, drainage districts shall have and are hereby given and granted the right of eminent domain, and they may proceed to acquire rights of way by proceeding under the code before the court of eminent domain.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4449; 1930, § 4468; 1942, § 4694; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 271.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

CJS.

28 C.J.S., Drains §§ 60-64 et seq.

§ 51-29-45. Court to make order for assessments to cover cost of improvement.

The chancery court or chancellor in vacation shall, at the same time that the assessment of benefits is filed or at any subsequent time when called upon by the board of commissioners of the district so to do, enter upon the minutes of the chancery court an order which shall have all the force of a judgment, providing that there shall be assessed upon the real property of the district a special assessment or levy to pay the estimated cost of the improvement, with not less than ten per cent added for unforeseen contingencies. The amount to be assessed upon each tract of land included within the district shall be such part of the estimated cost of the improvement as the assessment of benefits against such tract bears to the assessment of benefits against all the real property in the district. Said assessments are to be paid in annual installments, not to exceed ten per cent in any one year, as provided in such order; but if any landowner elects, he may pay the whole amount of the assessment against his land before it becomes due or at any time thereafter, or all or any part of said assessment at any time he sees fit, provided such payment is made before any bonds are issued by the district.

The assessment or assessments so levied shall be a lien on all of the real property of the district from the time that the same is levied by the chancery court or chancellor in vacation in an amount not to exceed the total amount of estimated benefits on all the real property in the district, shall be entitled to preference to all demands, executions, encumbrances, or liens whatsoever, and shall continue until such assessment, with any penalty and costs that may accrue thereon, shall have been paid. The remedy against such assessment shall be by appeal to the supreme court, and such appeal must be taken within twenty days from the time that said assessment has been made by the chancery court, or chancellor in vacation. On such appeal the presumption shall be in favor of the legality of the assessment.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4450; 1930, § 4469; 1942, § 4695; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 269.

Cross References —

Abatement of lien of land subject to special assessment, see §29-1-97.

Assessment of lands for bonds, see §51-29-89.

Payment of assessments, see §51-31-53.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts §§ 43 et seq.

CJS.

28 C.J.S., Drains §§ 106-108 et seq.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

2. Taxes.

3. Liens.

1. In general.

Owner could remove timber from land within drainage district without payment of installments of assessment to become due on land subsequent to removal. Matthews v. Panola-Quitman Drainage Dist., 158 Miss. 647, 130 So. 910, 1930 Miss. LEXIS 94 (Miss. 1930).

Property owner held to waive right to damages from cleaning out of canal by failure to assert damages upon creation of district. Belzoni Drainage Dist. v. Cobb, 137 Miss. 393, 102 So. 259, 1924 Miss. LEXIS 218 (Miss. 1924).

Money to be collected from landowners of drainage district is a local assessment and not a tax. Huston v. Mayo, 120 Miss. 523, 82 So. 334, 1919 Miss. LEXIS 115 (Miss. 1919).

2. Taxes.

Under the statute, it is clear that it was not the purpose of the legislature to discharge the drainage district lands from accruing of taxes during the period it is held by the state under a tax sale. Waits v. Black Bayou Drainage Dist., 185 Miss. 626, 189 So. 103, 1939 Miss. LEXIS 185 (Miss. 1939).

While the state is not required to pay the taxes accruing on the land for drainage purposes, and such taxes are held in abeyance during the time it is held by the state, yet the taxes do accrue subject to the state’s superior right, and when the state parts with its title, it does not free the land from such lien until the taxes are paid in full, and proceedings may be had under the statute to collect the assessments levied during the years when the state held the title, when the taxes were in abeyance. Waits v. Black Bayou Drainage Dist., 185 Miss. 626, 189 So. 103, 1939 Miss. LEXIS 185 (Miss. 1939).

Under statute, chancery court must apportion indebtedness of drainage district where improvements are abandoned, and direct whether it shall be paid by acreage tax or ad valorem tax. Bank of Commerce & Trust Co. v. Commissioners of Tallahatchie Drainage Dist., 157 Miss. 336, 128 So. 91, 1930 Miss. LEXIS 291 (Miss. 1930).

Failure of statutes relating to taxes to pay preliminary expenses of drainage district and abandoning improvements to provide for notice to landowners does not violate due-process clause as regards ad valorem taxes. Bank of Commerce & Trust Co. v. Commissioners of Tallahatchie Drainage Dist., 157 Miss. 336, 128 So. 91, 1930 Miss. LEXIS 291 (Miss. 1930).

3. Liens.

A county, on becoming a voluntary purchaser of drainage district lands encumbered by statutory judgment lien, does not acquire these lands free of lien despite the fact that the lands are to be used for a public purpose. Willis Creek Drainage Dist. v. Yazoo County, 209 Miss. 849, 48 So. 2d 498, 1950 Miss. LEXIS 449 (Miss. 1950).

Code 1942, § 9697, exempting from taxation property belonging to the state or to any county, levee board or municipal corporation thereof, was never intended to abate an existing judgment lien as fixed by final decree of the chancery court against land subsequently purchased by the state or one of its subdivisions. Willis Creek Drainage Dist. v. Yazoo County, 209 Miss. 849, 48 So. 2d 498, 1950 Miss. LEXIS 449 (Miss. 1950).

§ 51-29-47. Board of supervisors to make a tax levy.

It shall be the duty of the board of supervisors of each county to make an annual tax levy, at the same time when the county tax levy is made or at any succeeding regular meeting, in an amount not exceeding the installment of assessment levied for that year sufficient to meet the obligations of the district.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4451; 1930, § 4470; 1942, § 4696; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 269.

Cross References —

Additional tax in case of deficiency of funds, see §51-29-57.

Levy of new taxes by commissioners, see §51-29-79.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts §§ 43, 44.

CJS.

28 C.J.S., Drains §§ 114-117 et seq.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Where petition alleged that drainage commissioners had failed to make annual assessment as required by statute, neither board of supervisors not tax collectors were necessary parties in mandamus to compel payment of bonds. Johnson v. Bruce, 177 Miss. 581, 171 So. 685, 1937 Miss. LEXIS 143 (Miss. 1937).

Petition held sufficient to charge drainage commissioners had failed to make annual assessments as required by statute. Johnson v. Bruce, 177 Miss. 581, 171 So. 685, 1937 Miss. LEXIS 143 (Miss. 1937).

Petition in mandamus to compel payment of drainage district bonds need not show claim first presented to supervisors and disallowed, and liability on bonds reduced to judgment. Johnson v. Bruce, 177 Miss. 581, 171 So. 685, 1937 Miss. LEXIS 143 (Miss. 1937).

§ 51-29-49. Copy of levy to tax collector.

It shall thereupon be the duty of the clerk of the board of supervisors to extend the amount of the said levy on the original or copy of the assessment roll of the district on file in his office, and to certify a copy of the levy to the tax collector of his county, who shall extend the amount of the levy on the copy of said assessment in his office.

Any owner of real property within the district may, by mandamus, compel the compliance by the board of supervisors with the terms of Section 51-29-47.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4452; 1930, § 4471; 1942, § 4697; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 269.

§ 51-29-51. Collection of assessments.

After the assessment of benefits or betterments and damages and the levy of assessments to be paid shall have been made and become final in the manner hereinbefore provided, and for the purpose of facilitating the collection of the assessments so levied, it shall be the duty of the board of commissioners to prepare, or cause to be prepared, a copy or copies of the assessment roll in which they shall inscribe the names of the landowners, the description of the tracts of land assessed, the total betterment assessed against each tract, and the total damages assessed against each tract, and the amount of the levy for the current year, which shall be the amount of tax to be collected for that year by the tax collector. The commissioners may at any time also employ some competent person to calculate the amount of tax to be paid each year for each tract of land in the district, and extend the same on the rolls of the district. Such copy of the roll shall be certified to by the commissioner and be deposited with the clerk of the board of supervisors of the judicial district of the county in which the land lies, and if a drainage district embraces lands lying in more than one county or judicial district, a copy of said roll shall be filed with the clerk of the board of supervisors in each district or county. It shall be the duty of the clerk to transmit said roll or rolls to the said tax collector of such county or counties on or before the first day of October of the year in which the tax levy is to be collected, and said roll shall constitute the authority and be the guide for the collection of said drainage tax by the collector. If any collector shall wilfully neglect, fail, or refuse to collect any tax shown on said roll to have been levied in the manner herein provided, he shall be liable on his bond as county tax collector for any taxes lost to the drainage district, together with damages thereon at the rate of thirty per cent.

For any failure to pay over any tax so collected at the same time he is required by law to pay over state and county taxes, said tax collector shall be liable for damages at the rate of thirty per cent and interest at the rate of six per cent per annum on the principal and damages.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4453; 1930, § 4472; 1942, § 4698; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 269.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

7 Am. Jur. Legal Forms 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts § 92:63 (payment of assessment), 92:65 (covenant of property owners as to payment of assessment).

CJS.

28 C.J.S., Drains §§ 158 et seq.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Where petition alleged that drainage commissioners had failed to make annual assessment as required by statute, neither board of supervisors nor tax collectors were necessary parties in mandamus to compel payment of bonds. Johnson v. Bruce, 177 Miss. 581, 171 So. 685, 1937 Miss. LEXIS 143 (Miss. 1937).

Petition held sufficient to charge drainage commissioners had failed to make annual assessments as required by statute. Johnson v. Bruce, 177 Miss. 581, 171 So. 685, 1937 Miss. LEXIS 143 (Miss. 1937).

Petition in mandamus to compel payment of drainage district bonds need not show claim first presented to supervisors and disallowed, and liability on bonds reduced to judgment. Johnson v. Bruce, 177 Miss. 581, 171 So. 685, 1937 Miss. LEXIS 143 (Miss. 1937).

Law does not contemplate allowance of compensation for damages resulting from negligence. Stephens v. Beaver Dam Drainage Dist., 123 Miss. 884, 86 So. 641, 1920 Miss. LEXIS 90 (Miss. 1920).

Drainage district is an “involuntary public corporation.” Stephens v. Beaver Dam Drainage Dist., 123 Miss. 884, 86 So. 641, 1920 Miss. LEXIS 90 (Miss. 1920).

In absence of statute, public corporation is not liable for negligence of officers, agents, or employees. Stephens v. Beaver Dam Drainage Dist., 123 Miss. 884, 86 So. 641, 1920 Miss. LEXIS 90 (Miss. 1920).

§ 51-29-53. Duties of treasurer.

The treasurer of each county may be the treasurer of all drainage districts organized under this chapter in their respective counties and, as such treasurer, shall receive from the county tax collector, whose duty it shall be to collect all moneys levied by said drainage commissioners or by the board of supervisors at their request. Where a drainage district is organized lying in more than one (1) county, the board of commissioners of any such drainage district may select the treasurer of either or any county in which a part of the district lies, who shall be the treasurer of said district; or whether the district lies in one or more counties, the board of commissioners may select their treasurer and remove him at their pleasure, whose duty shall be the same as those of the county treasurers of such district. The board of commissioners shall compel such county treasurer or treasurers selected by them to give bond to them, as commissioners of said district, in an amount equal to the amount of any sum or sums of money likely to come into said treasurer’s hand at any one (1) time, and said commissioners shall enter an order on their minutes fixing the amount of the bond of such treasurer. However, in the event that one (1) treasurer serves more than one (1) board of commissioners, in lieu of separate bonds, he may be required to give bond payable jointly to all commissioners served in an amount not to exceed three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000.00). The said board of commissioners shall, however, select a depository or depositories of the funds of the district and enter the selection on the minutes of the district. Such depository or depositories may qualify as depository of the district in like manner as required by the law on depositories, giving security as therein required, and may place with the treasurer of the district as security for such deposit any of the drainage bonds of the district for which it proposes to qualify as the depository.

The treasurer shall pay out no money save upon the order of the board of commissioners, and upon a warrant signed by the president thereof. If there be no depository, he shall be allowed a commission of not exceeding one-half of one percent (1/2 of 1%) on all receipts and not exceeding one-half of one percent (1/2 of 1%) on all disbursements; he shall not be entitled to any commission on money received from the sale of bonds, or of interest bearing certificates, or of any money paid in liquidation thereof. Said county treasurer or the treasurers selected by the commissioners shall keep a separate account with each drainage district; and every warrant shall state upon its face to whom payable, the amount, and the purpose for which it was issued. All warrants shall be dated and numbered consecutively in a record to be kept by the board of commissioners of the number and amount of each; and no warrant shall be paid unless there are in the treasury funds sufficient to pay all outstanding warrants bearing a lower number. No warrant shall be increased by reason of any depreciation in the market value thereof.

All funds coming into the hands of the treasurer belonging to any drainage district organized under this chapter shall be deposited in the depository provided for herein, to be drawn out by the proper parties and in the manner above provided. All tax collectors may pay drainage taxes into such depositories in the same manner as county funds are paid in, and shall be subject to the same protection as is provided for the protection of general county funds.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4454; 1930, § 4473; 1942, § 4699; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 269; ch. 162; Laws, 1977, ch. 322, eff from and after passage (approved March 4, 1977).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

The board of supervisors cannot contract for services that may infringe on the exercise by the chancery clerk of his statutory duties; such duties include but are not limited to the issuance of warrants under the seal of his office, the duties of County Auditor, and the duties of County Treasurer. 2001 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 156.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Code 1942, § 4353 imposing liability upon drainage district commissioners on their official bonds to holders of bonds or coupons issued by the district, does not provide for liability of the commissioners on account of their failure to assess sufficient benefits for the payment of all bonds and coupons of two series, or because they caused part of the taxes against the benefits assessed to be paid to the holders of the bonds of the second series without first issuing a warrant in that behalf, especially where the bonds and coupons so paid would have been paid on an equal basis with those of the first series if sufficient benefits had been assessed. People's Bank Liquidating Corp. v. Beashea Drainage Dist., 199 Miss. 505, 24 So. 2d 784, 1946 Miss. LEXIS 220 (Miss. 1946).

Bank, as de facto depository of funds of drainage district, was not liable to the holders of unpaid bonds of the first issue on ground that the bank paid some of the bonds and interest coupons of the second issue without first requiring the drainage district commissioners to enter a written order on the minutes and issue a warrant for that purpose, even though the second bond issue was invalid because additional benefits had not been assessed against the lands of the district as a basis for the issuance of that issue, where the bank had no knowledge thereof; nor was the bnak liable on a trust-fund theory where the bank had no notice that the funds were being held in trust exclusively for the payment of the bonds of the first issue. People's Bank Liquidating Corp. v. Beashea Drainage Dist., 199 Miss. 505, 24 So. 2d 784, 1946 Miss. LEXIS 220 (Miss. 1946).

§ 51-29-55. Duties of tax collector.

In making a settlement with the treasurer, the tax collector of each county shall pay the amount due the drainage district over to a drainage depository in his county, if there be one in his county; otherwise he shall pay the same to the drainage treasurer. The tax collector in making deposits shall receive triplicate receipts for the same and mail the depository of the funds of the district and the treasurer of said drainage district each a copy thereof. The treasurer shall issue his official receipt for such deposit, if such depository shall have been legally qualified to receive such deposit.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4455; 1930, § 4474; 1942, § 4700; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 269.

§ 51-29-57. New tax levy in case of deficiency.

If the tax first levied shall prove insufficient to complete the improvement, the commissioners shall report the amount of the deficiency to the board of supervisors, and the board of supervisors shall thereupon make another levy on the property previously assessed for a sum sufficient to complete the improvement, which shall be collected in the same manner as the first levy. When any work has been begun under the provisions of this chapter, which shall not be completed and paid for out of the first or other levy, it shall be the duty of the board of supervisors to make such levy for its completion, and from year to year until it is completed, provided that the total levy shall in no case exceed the value of the benefits assessed on said property. The performance of such duty may be enforced by mandamus at the instance of any person or board interested.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4456; 1930, § 4475; 1942, § 4701; Laws, 1912, ch. 195.

Cross References —

Duty of board of supervisors to make tax levy, see §51-29-47.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts § 42.

CJS.

28 C.J.S., Drains §§ 148-151.

§ 51-29-59. Construction contracts.

  1. The board of commissioners herein mentioned shall have control of the construction of the improvements in their districts. They may make purchases and contracts in accordance with Section 31-7-13.
  2. The chancery court or chancellor in vacation may remove any commissioner and appoint his successor, upon proof of incompetency or neglect of duty; but the charge shall be in writing, and such commissioner shall have the right to be heard in his defense and to appeal to the circuit court.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4457; 1930, § 4476; 1942, § 4702; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1970, ch. 273, § 1; Laws, 2004, ch. 401, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 22, 2004.).

Amendment Notes —

The 2004 amendment rewrote the section to revise drainage district construction contract requirements to conform to state purchasing law requirements.

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Statute sets forth specific requirements for drainage districts in bidding of construction work but for other purchases Section 31-7-13 and other public purchasing laws would apply to drainage district. 1993 Miss. Op. Att'y Gen. 301.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

7 Am. Jur. Legal Forms 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts §§ 92:71-94 (construction contracts).

§ 51-29-61. Contractors to give bond.

All contractors shall be required to give a performance bond and a payment bond, which may be in one or in separate instruments, for the faithful performance of such contract as may be awarded them, with good and sufficient sureties in amounts to be fixed by the board of commissioners; and the board of commissioners shall not remit or excuse the penalty or forfeiture of said bond or bonds or the breaches thereof. The board of commissioners may appoint all necessary agents for carrying on the work and may fix their pay. They may buy all necessary material and implements as may be on hand and which may be necessary for the completion of the improvements under way, or which have been completed; and may in general, make all such contracts in the prosecution of the work as may best serve the public interest. It shall be the duty of the board of commissioners to have the amount of any work done by the contractor estimated from time to time, as may be desirable, by the engineer selected by the board of commissioners; and said board shall draw its warrants in favor of the contractor for not more than ninety per cent (90%) of the work so reported, reserving the remainder until it has been ascertained that the work has been completed according to contract, and is free from liens.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4458; 1930, § 4477; 1942, § 4703; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1968, ch. 240, § 1, eff from and after passage (approved April 2, 1968).

Cross References —

Collection of taxes in drainage district, see §51-31-129 et seq.

Certificates of indebtedness for repairs and restoration, see §51-33-21.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

State or local government’s liability to subcontractors, laborers, or materialmen for failure to require general contractor to post bond. 54 A.L.R.5th 649.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Oil and gasoline furnished contractor for use in operating machinery in digging canal, etc., are “materials.” Standard Oil Co. v. National Surety Co., 143 Miss. 841, 107 So. 559, 1926 Miss. LEXIS 327 (Miss. 1926).

§ 51-29-63. Commissioners may borrow money.

For the purpose of constructing and maintaining the ditches and other improvements provided for under this chapter, for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this chapter, and for paying for the work incident thereto, the said board of commissioners shall have power to borrow money and to issue its negotiable evidence of indebtedness or serial bonds therefor, not exceeding in amount the total amount of benefits assessed against all the real property in the district. Such bonds shall be in such sums and denominations of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) each as the said board of commissioners may prescribe, shall each be signed by the members of the said board of commissioners and bear the seal of its drainage district, and shall be made payable, either within or without the limits of this state, to the person or persons to whom sold, or bearer, or bearer simply, at the discretion of said board. No bond issued under the terms of this chapter shall run for more than thirty (30) years; and said bonds may be made to mature serially in such numbers as the board may elect, so that a portion thereof may mature each year as the assessments are collected. Such bonds shall not bear a greater overall maximum interest rate to maturity than that allowed in Section 75-17-101, for which interest coupons may be attached, payable at such time and place as the board may contract, which interest coupons shall bear the facsimile signature of each member of the board of commissioners lithographed thereon. The said bonds may be sold or negotiated in any market in or out of the state at not less than their par value, provided, however, that the cost of lithographing or printing and the necessary expenses of selling said bonds may be incurred.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, bonds referred to hereinabove may be issued pursuant to the supplemental powers and authorizations conferred by the provisions of the registered bond act, being Sections 31-21-1 through 31-21-7.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4459; 1930, § 4478; 1942, § 4704; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 269; Laws, 1974, ch. 361, § 1; Laws, 1983, ch. 494, § 23; Laws, 1984, ch. 506, § 5, eff from and after passage (approved May 15, 1984).

Cross References —

Uniform system for issuance of negotiable notes or certificates of indebtedness, see §§17-21-51.

Limitation on the maximum interest rate to maturity on obligations issued under the provisions of this section, see §75-17-101.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts § 40.

CJS.

28 C.J.S., Drains §§ 22, 23.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

2. Construction and application.

1. In general.

Lien of drainage bonds first issued held not prior to that of bonds subsequently issued against additional benefits assessed to complete improvements. First Nat'l Bank v. Commissioners of Lake Cormorant Drainage Dist., 167 Miss. 354, 147 So. 807, 1933 Miss. LEXIS 103 (Miss. 1933); People's Bank Liquidating Corp. v. Beashea Drainage Dist., 199 Miss. 505, 24 So. 2d 784, 1946 Miss. LEXIS 220 (Miss. 1946).

Drainage district bonds held void to extent aggregate amount of principal and interest plus ten per cent for contingencies exceeded total assessed benefits of district. Anderson v. McKee, 182 Miss. 156, 179 So. 858, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 136 (Miss. 1938).

Lien on land, and levy of tax for payment of improvements must be predicated on assessment of benefits equal, at least, to indebtedness. Anderson v. McKee, 182 Miss. 156, 179 So. 858, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 136 (Miss. 1938).

2. Construction and application.

This section [Code 1942, § 4704] does not authorize the commissioners of an existing drainage district, whose original plan of improvement has been adopted and constructed and the assessment of benefits therefor completely exhausted, to borrow money for the purpose of paying preliminary expenses incurred in connection with a proposed new program of improvements in the district which was abandoned without assessment of additional benefits. Gilmore-Puckett Lumber Co. v. Big Brown's Creek Drainage Dist., 207 Miss. 316, 42 So. 2d 226, 1949 Miss. LEXIS 342 (Miss. 1949).

In order for the special act (Local and Private Laws of 1924, chapter 607), authorizing a particular drainage district to issue additional bonds, to have constituted the proper exercise of legislative power, it should have required that the additional bonds to be issued thereunder should be in an amount, the principal and interest of which, together with the principal and interest of the outstanding bonds, should not exceed the sum of the benefits theretofore assessed, or to be assessed, against the lands. People's Bank Liquidating Corp. v. Beashea Drainage Dist., 199 Miss. 505, 24 So. 2d 784, 1946 Miss. LEXIS 220 (Miss. 1946).

Code 1942, § 4353 imposing liability upon drainage district commissioners on their official bonds to holders of bonds or coupons issued by the district, does not provide for liability of the commissioners on account of their failure to assess sufficient benefits for the payment of all bonds and coupons of two series, or because they caused part of the taxes against the benefits assessed to be paid to the holders of the bonds of the second series without first issuing a warrant in that behalf, especially where the bond and coupons so paid would have been paid on an equal basis with those of the first series if sufficient benefits had been assessed. People's Bank Liquidating Corp. v. Beashea Drainage Dist., 199 Miss. 505, 24 So. 2d 784, 1946 Miss. LEXIS 220 (Miss. 1946).

Neither commissioners of drainage district personally, nor the sureties on their official bonds, were liable to holders of unpaid bonds of first series issued by the district for paying bonds of the second series which were invalid because additional benefits had not been assessed against the land as a basis for the issuance of the second bond, where the commissioners acted ministerially in good faith, since the acts of the commissioners were chargeable to the board in its official capacity rather than to the members individually; Moreover, they were not liable on the theory that the funds of the district constituted trust funds exclusively for the payment of the bonds of the first issue. People's Bank Liquidating Corp. v. Beashea Drainage Dist., 199 Miss. 505, 24 So. 2d 784, 1946 Miss. LEXIS 220 (Miss. 1946).

Drainage district commissioners had right to assess additional benefits against the land in the district for further improvements after full expenditure of the proceeds from the first bond issue, if in their judgment further benefits would accrue to the landowners by virtue of such further construction, or if in their judgment it had become necessary to preserve the improvements theretofore made. People's Bank Liquidating Corp. v. Beashea Drainage Dist., 199 Miss. 505, 24 So. 2d 784, 1946 Miss. LEXIS 220 (Miss. 1946).

There is no personal liability on the part of property owners for the payment of drainage district bonds. People's Bank Liquidating Corp. v. Beashea Drainage Dist., 199 Miss. 505, 24 So. 2d 784, 1946 Miss. LEXIS 220 (Miss. 1946).

Legislature may authorize drainage district to contract debts prior to or subsequent to assessment of benefits, provided liability imposed is not in excess of benefits accruing to land. Anderson v. McKee, 182 Miss. 156, 179 So. 858, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 136 (Miss. 1938).

Where supplemental bonds were found necessary, new assessment of benefits could be made if commissioners believed land would receive additional benefits to those already assessed. Anderson v. McKee, 182 Miss. 156, 179 So. 858, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 136 (Miss. 1938).

Commissioners could be compelled by mandamus to meet and consider whether levy of additional benefits justified, but judgment as to whether additional benefits had, or would accrue could not be controlled. Anderson v. McKee, 182 Miss. 156, 179 So. 858, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 136 (Miss. 1938).

Where original and additional bond issues exceeded assessment of benefits and district was extended to other lands already benefited by improvements, new assessments could be made on all lands of district as extended. Anderson v. McKee, 182 Miss. 156, 179 So. 858, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 136 (Miss. 1938).

Where original and additional bonds exceeded assessment of benefits, it was duty of commissioners and supervisors to make new assessment, and levy tax to pay bonds, if it appears new assessment is justified. Anderson v. McKee, 182 Miss. 156, 179 So. 858, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 136 (Miss. 1938).

Bondholders could not compel new assessment and tax levy, but could only compel commissioners to meet and exercise discretion as to whether justified. Anderson v. McKee, 182 Miss. 156, 179 So. 858, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 136 (Miss. 1938).

Incurring of obligations are to be determined not by electors but by the landowners. Huston v. Mayo, 120 Miss. 523, 82 So. 334, 1919 Miss. LEXIS 115 (Miss. 1919).

Money to be collected from landowners is a local assessment and not a tax, and may be collected without submission of bond issue. Huston v. Mayo, 120 Miss. 523, 82 So. 334, 1919 Miss. LEXIS 115 (Miss. 1919).

§ 51-29-65. Bonds to be registered.

Said bonds when issued shall be registered by the clerk of the board of supervisors in a book kept for that purpose, which shall be a public record and shall be a faithful and correct register showing the date, number, amount, and date due of said bonds, the place of payment, and to whom issued or paid, of all bonds issued, sold, or used; and the said clerk shall enter on said register an account of all the bonds paid, received, or taken up by said board of commissioners. It shall be the duty of the said commissioners to promptly furnish to the said clerk necessary data for the keeping of said registers, to cancel and destroy all bonds and coupons which have been paid, and to report the facts to the said clerk to be entered on said register; and no bond or coupons paid, received, or taken up by said board of commissioners shall again be used or reissued. The minutes of the said board of commissioners are furthermore required to show fully the date, number, amount, place of payment, to whom issued and paid of each of said bonds, and shall further show the coupons and bonds paid, taken up, and destroyed, as a check on the register required to be kept by said clerk.

And for the prompt payment of said bonds and coupons the board of commissioners may irrevocably pledge the full faith, credit and resources of the district, and all assessments of said district, as provided in this chapter.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4460; 1930, § 4479; 1942, § 4705; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 269.

Cross References —

Registration of outstanding bonds, see §31-19-17.

§ 51-29-67. Negotiable evidences of debt to contractor.

Said board of commissioners may also issue to the contractor or other persons who do the work, or any part thereof, negotiable evidences of debt of the district, bearing interest at a rate not to exceed six per cent per annum, secured in like manner as the bonds above provided for.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4461; 1930, § 4480; 1942, § 4706; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 269.

§ 51-29-69. Commissioners not liable for damages.

No member of any board of improvement shall be liable for any damages sustained by any one in the prosecution of the work under his charge, unless it shall be made to appear that he has acted with a corrupt and malicious intent.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4462; 1930, § 4481; 1942, § 4707; Laws, 1912, ch. 195.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts § 29.

CJS.

28 C.J.S., Drains §§ 22, 23.

§ 51-29-71. Procedure to alter plans.

The commissioners may at any time alter the plans of ditches and drains, but before constructing the ditches according to the changed plans, the changed plans with accompanying specifications, showing the width and depth of the ditches as changed, shall be filed with the clerk of the chancery court, or chancellor in vacation, and notice of such filing shall be given by publication for two insertions in some newspaper issued and having a bona fide circulation in each of the counties in which there are lands belonging to the district. If by reason of such change of plans any property owner deems that the assessment has become inequitable, he may petition the chancery court, or chancellor in vacation, which shall thereupon refer his petition to the board of commissioners of the district, who shall reassess his property, increasing or diminishing his assessment as they may find just. From such action of the commissioners the property owner shall have the same right of appeal to the board of supervisors that is herein provided for in cases of original assessment. However, in no case after the issuance of bonds, shall the assessment be lowered either by the board of commissioners or the chancery court, or chancellor in vacation, so as to endanger the security of said bonds. Any reduction in benefits may be allowed as damages, and the allowances for such damage shall be secondary and subordinate to the rights of holders of bonds or evidences of indebtedness issued theretofore. No change of plans as above authorized shall be made so as to lower the standard of efficiency of the proposed system of improvement, nor so as to jeopardize the rights of any holder or holders of bonds previously issued; and this question may be raised by any landholder before the chancery court, or chancellor in vacation, with rights of appeal as herein provided.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4463; 1930, § 4482; 1942, § 4708; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 269.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

7 Am. Jur. Legal Forms 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts § 92:91 (reservation of right to change plans).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

Commissioners are not authorized to make complete change of original scheme, but can change only minor details. Armistead v. Southworth, 139 Miss. 723, 104 So. 94, 1925 Miss. LEXIS 143 (Miss. 1925).

§ 51-29-73. Landowners may build ditches to connect with public ditch.

Any landowner within the district may build ditches to drain his lands into the public ditches, and if any intervening landholders shall refuse permission to cross his lands with such ditch, the board of commissioners may, by proceedings according to the provisions of the chapter on eminent domain, condemn a right of way for such ditch. In such proceedings the jury shall deduct from the damages the benefits that will accrue to such intervening landowner by the construction of such ditch, and said intervening landowner shall have the right to use such ditch for the drainage of his own lands.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4465; 1930, § 4484; 1942, § 4710; Laws, 1912, ch. 195.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts § 37.

7 Am. Jur. Legal Forms 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts §§ 92:101, 92:102 (application for sewer connection), § 92:103 (resolution giving permission to certain landowners to connect with lateral in drainage district), §§ 92:104, 92:105 (agreement for connection with sewer).

CJS.

28 C.J.S., Drains § 91.

§ 51-29-75. Compensation for connecting with district drainage system.

No corporation, individual, or other drainage district, outside the limits of any district organized or operating under the terms of this chapter, shall drain into any ditch belonging to any district formed or operating under the terms of this chapter, without first paying compensation, to be ascertained by a jury in the circuit court or chancery court, for the use of said ditch, unless an agreement is reached between the commissioners of the district and the corporation, individual, or other drainage district desiring to use such ditch, as to such compensation. This and Section 51-29-77 shall not operate to interfere with vested rights to natural drainage.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4466; 1930, § 4485; 1942, § 4711; Laws, 1912, ch. 195.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

25 Am. Jur. 2d, Drains and Drainage Districts § 37.

CJS.

28 C.J.S., Drains § 91.

§ 51-29-77. Ditches outside of district.

In case it is necessary to do so in order to obtain a proper outlet for the drainage system, the commissioners may construct ditches or do other work beyond the border of their district so as to carry the water to some proper outlet or otherwise to secure the object of the improvement. In that event, they shall have the right to condemn a right of way for such drain or other construction, and the proceedings thereof shall be the same that are now provided by law. Such a ditch or drain beyond the limits of the district shall be the property of the district, and no person not assessed shall have the right to dig any lateral drain connecting therewith without the consent of the commissioners. If such property owner cannot agree with the commissioners as to the price to be paid for the privilege of connecting with such ditch, the board of supervisors of the county where such connection is sought to be made shall fix the amount of such compensation, and either shall have the right to appeal from its findings to the circuit court.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4467; 1930, § 4486; 1942, § 4712; Laws, 1912, ch. 195.

Cross References —

Compensation for connection with district drainage system, see §51-29-75.

§ 51-29-79. Maintenance of system.

The drainage district shall not cease to exist upon the completion of its drainage system, but shall continue to exist as a body corporate for the purpose of preserving the system of drainage, keeping the ditch clear from obstruction, extending, widening, or deepening the ditches from time to time, and for doing such other things and acts in order to carry out the purposes of this chapter and of the drainage system so established, as may be found advantageous to the district. For those purposes, the board of commissioners may borrow money and issue its bonds in such sums and in the manner provided in this chapter, and may from time to time apply to the chancery court, or chancellor in vacation, for the levying of additional assessments upon the benefits for the payment of said work or said bonds. Upon the filing of such application or petition with the clerk of the chancery court, he shall give notice by publication by two insertions in a newspaper published in each of the counties in which the district embraces land. Any property owner seeking to resist such additional levy may appear at the next term of the chancery court, or the chancellor in vacation, not less than ten days after the last insertion of said notice and urge his objections to such levy. In case he fails to appear, such levy shall stand with the force of a final judgment, but either the property owners or the commissioners may appeal to the supreme court not later than twenty days after the date of such levy.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4468; 1930, § 4487; 1942, § 4713; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 269.

Cross References —

Authority of drainage district to borrow money for repairs, see §51-33-27.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

2. Borrowing money.

3. Additional assessments.

1. In general.

This section [Code 1942, § 4713] does not authorize commissioners of an existing drainage district, whose original plan of improvement has been adopted and constructed, and the assessment of benefits therefor completely exhausted, to borrow money or levy a tax for the purpose of paying preliminary expenses incurred in connection with a proposed new plan of improvements in the district which was abandoned without assessment of additional benefits. Gilmore-Puckett Lumber Co. v. Big Brown's Creek Drainage Dist., 207 Miss. 316, 42 So. 2d 226, 1949 Miss. LEXIS 342 (Miss. 1949).

Purpose of drainage acts is reclamation of overflowed, non-productive or insanitary lands, and the several districts are organized as legal and administrative entities and, as such are a body politic with the right of perpetual succession. Buchanan v. Red Banks Creek Drainage Dist., 205 Miss. 736, 39 So. 2d 321, 1949 Miss. LEXIS 463 (Miss. 1949).

Funds derived from assessment of benefits to added territory to drainage district can be used to maintain improvements already made therein. Self v. Indian Creek Drainage Dist., 158 Miss. 7, 128 So. 339, 1930 Miss. LEXIS 6 (Miss. 1930).

Landowner’s failure to appear pursuant to notice for construction of additional levee held not waiver of objection thereto or claim for damages. Dick v. Atchafalaya Drainage & Levee Dist., 147 Miss. 783, 113 So. 897, 1927 Miss. LEXIS 359 (Miss. 1927).

2. Borrowing money.

In proceeding to authorize drainage district to borrow money to repair its system, final decree providing that no bonds be issued until contract to perform new work shall be executed according to law will be relaxed by supreme court to provide that commissioners may, in their discretion, negotiate contract, if possible, after filing and receiving approval of further plans and specifications, and submit same to chancellor, to be approved or disapproved by him, subject to ability to sell the bonds, or if such contract is impossible to secure, on proof of competent evidence of that fact, chancellor make such other provision, in his discretion as will overcome such obstacle, within purview of the law. Moorhead Drainage Dist. v. Jackson, 208 Miss. 594, 45 So. 2d 234, 1950 Miss. LEXIS 277 (Miss. 1950).

In proceeding by drainage district for authority to borrow money for maintenance of drainage system, chancellor has no authority after final judgment establishing it, to release lands from district, but where lands will not be benefited by rehabilitation of drainage system because they involve abandoned drainage ditch which never functioned, such lands should be released from new assessment and levy and commissioners released from clearing out and maintaining abandoned ditch, and chancellor’s release of land from district may be construed as so holding. Moorhead Drainage Dist. v. Jackson, 208 Miss. 594, 45 So. 2d 234, 1950 Miss. LEXIS 277 (Miss. 1950).

When chancellor rules in favor of drainage district by overruling objections of landowners to borrowing of money to repair drainage system under this section [Code 1942, § 4713] it cannot be said that he was in error in hearing proof on questions raised by objections. Moorhead Drainage Dist. v. Jackson, 208 Miss. 594, 45 So. 2d 234, 1950 Miss. LEXIS 277 (Miss. 1950).

3. Additional assessments.

Issue of whether landowner’s objections to petition for additional maintenance assessment under this section [Code 1942, § 4713] was filed within proper time becomes moot when chancellor overrules objections, after hearing evidence on both sides, and protestants take no cross-appeal from his ruling. Moorhead Drainage Dist. v. Jackson, 208 Miss. 594, 45 So. 2d 234, 1950 Miss. LEXIS 277 (Miss. 1950).

Additional lands brought within drainage district, without objection, are subject to such assessment of benefits, after having been brought into district, as are right and proper. Moorhead Drainage Dist. v. Jackson, 208 Miss. 594, 45 So. 2d 234, 1950 Miss. LEXIS 277 (Miss. 1950).

An additional assessment may be made without regard to the present existence of actual and additional material benefits to a particular integrated tract, when it appears “absolutely necessary in order to preserve and maintain the improvements of the district,” and the mere fact that landowner was not apparently benefited from the improvement and maintenance of a certain drainage canal in the district because of his location on high land does not excuse him from bearing his just proportion of the costs of removing obstructions and silt from such lower canal in the district. Buchanan v. Red Banks Creek Drainage Dist., 205 Miss. 736, 39 So. 2d 321, 1949 Miss. LEXIS 463 (Miss. 1949).

Subsequent assessment by drainage district must be based on benefits accruing and made against property of entire district. Dick v. Atchafalaya Drainage & Levee Dist., 147 Miss. 783, 113 So. 897, 1927 Miss. LEXIS 359 (Miss. 1927).

§ 51-29-81. Taxes collected; delinquent lands; settlements.

All taxes levied under the terms of this chapter shall be payable at the same time the state and county taxes are payable. The tax collector shall place the same upon the tax receipt along with the state and county and other taxes, shall collect all of the taxes due on said land together, and shall not accept payment of any sum less than the entire aggregate amount of all state, county, drainage, and other taxes due upon said lands. Should said taxes, including the drainage taxes, be not paid at maturity, the tax collector shall sell said lands for all taxes due thereon, including drainage taxes, at the time and in the manner now provided for the sale of land for taxes due thereon to the state and county. Such sale shall be subject to the provisions of law for the sale of land for state and county taxes, and the owner of said land shall have the right to redeem from said sale as now provided by law.

When any lands situated in a drainage district are sold for nonpayment of taxes thereon, the drainage district in which same is situated may, in the discretion of its board of commissioners, appear at said sale and purchase said land in the name of the drainage district in the same manner as an individual, and in that event shall pay to the tax collector the amount of said purchase price out of the funds of the district.

If upon offering the land of any delinquent taxpayer constituting one tract, no person will bid for it the whole amount of taxes and all costs, the collector shall strike same off to the state in the same manner as provided for in case of sales for state and county taxes.

When any land shall be sold to the state for taxes due thereon and the same shall not be redeemed within the time provided by law, the same may be sold or contracted for sale by the land commissioner, in the manner provided for the sale and contract for sale of other tax forfeited lands.

Except as herein otherwise provided, the provisions of the law relative to the sale of delinquent land for taxes, the title thereto, and the handling and sale of lands sold to the state for taxes shall apply to all sales under this chapter.

When any drainage district shall have purchased lands at any tax sale under the terms of this chapter, the board of commissioners thereof, after the period of redemption has expired, may sell, lease, or rent the lands so purchased. The deed or lease shall be executed by the president and secretary of the board of commissioners under the seal of the district. But said lands shall not be sold for an amount less than the price paid therefor and all subsequently accrued state, county, drainage, and other taxes. However, the drainage commissioners with the consent of the bondholders may sell the lands of the drainage district for an amount less than the price paid therefor and all subsequently accrued state, county, drainage, and other taxes.

The drainage district shall pay all state and county and other taxes assessed against said land purchased by it at tax sales under the provisions of this chapter, and may pay the same out of any funds belonging to the district.

The chancery clerks of the counties in which are located drainage districts, or parts thereof, shall account to the commissioners of such drainage districts for money received in the redemption of lands sold for taxes belonging to such districts, in the same manner as for state and county taxes. Any lands sold for any drainage taxes may be redeemed in the same manner and within the same time as provided by law for the redemption of lands sold for state and county taxes upon the payment of all costs, five per centum damages on the amount of taxes for which the land was sold, and interest on all such taxes at the rate of one per centum per month or any fractional part thereof, from the date of such sale.

Lands purchased by the board of drainage commissioners of any drainage district at a tax sale and lands purchased by the board of drainage commissioners of any drainage district from the state shall be liable thereafter for state and county taxes levied and assessed against the same to the same extent as if owned by a natural person or a private corporation. And it shall be the duty of the tax assessor to assess said lands for taxes in the same manner as other lands are assessed; and if the taxes are not paid when due, such lands shall be sold by the tax collector for the delinquent taxes due and unpaid at the time and in the manner provided by law.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4469; 1930, § 4488; 1942, §§ 4087, 4714; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1926, ch. 303; Laws, 1934, ch. 227; Laws, 1936, ch. 174.

Editor’s Notes —

Section 7-11-4 provides that the words “state land commissioner”, “land commissioner”, “state land office”, and “land office” shall mean the Secretary of State.

Cross References —

Lands struck off to municipality, see §21-33-69.

Property exempt from taxation, see §27-31-1.

Recording sales of tax lands, see §29-1-21.

Assessment for taxes of land sold by state, see §29-1-83.

Abatement of lien of drainage district on land sold for taxes, see 29-1-97.

Certification of order of board to tax collector, see §51-29-113.

Collection of taxes in drainage district, see §51-31-129.

Sale price of tax lands, see §51-33-51.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur.

70C Am. Jur. 2d, Special or Local Assessments §§ 180 et seq.

CJS.

28 C.J.S., Drains §§ 155, 156 et seq.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

2. Delinquent taxes.

3. Sale for taxes.

4. Purchase by state or political subdivision.

1. In general.

A drainage district with local commissioners is a subdivision of the state government with limited jurisdiction and powers and it has only such powers as are expressly granted to it by the statute or as may be necessarily implied from such legislation. Eden Drainage Dist. v. Swaim, 212 Miss. 386, 54 So. 2d 547, 1951 Miss. LEXIS 461 (Miss. 1951).

This section [Code 1942, § 4714] and other sections (Code 1942, §§ 4090, 4651, 4695), declaring that the lien on the land for the collection of the assessed benefits shall not be abated, are all designed for the protection of the drainage district and to prevent an impairment of its contract with the bondholders who may have supplied the funds for the draining and improvement of the lands against which the lien attaches. Willis Creek Drainage Dist. v. Yazoo County, 209 Miss. 849, 48 So. 2d 498, 1950 Miss. LEXIS 449 (Miss. 1950).

Drainage assessments and taxes create no personal liability against the landowner since they are charges against the land only. Waits v. Black Bayou Drainage Dist., 186 Miss. 270, 185 So. 577, 1939 Miss. LEXIS 197 (Miss. 1939).

This section [Code 1942, § 4714] provides the exclusive remedy for the collection of plaintiff’s taxes, so that neither the circuit court nor the chancery court has jurisdiction of an action by a drainage district to recover drainage taxes assessed against land in the district. Waits v. Black Bayou Drainage Dist., 186 Miss. 270, 185 So. 577, 1939 Miss. LEXIS 197 (Miss. 1939).

That neither the chancery nor the circuit court had jurisdiction of actions to recover drainage taxes, did not mean, however, that where the tax collector of the county failed or refused to do his duty with reference to the collection of drainage taxes, he could not be forced to do so by the proper proceeding, nor that the landowner was without a remedy where the tax collector proposed to make sale of land for drainage purposes when they were not liable therefor in whole or in part. Waits v. Black Bayou Drainage Dist., 186 Miss. 270, 185 So. 577, 1939 Miss. LEXIS 197 (Miss. 1939).

2. Delinquent taxes.

Commissioners of insolvent drainage district are not precluded from maintaining proceedings to fix delinquent taxes of certain landowners merely because they have failed to file certain financial reports of the district as required by Code 1942, § 4723. Evans v. Bankston, 196 Miss. 533, 18 So. 2d 301, 1944 Miss. LEXIS 228 (Miss. 1944).

Where federal bankruptcy trustees of drainage district and the drainage commissioners joined in a proceeding to fix the amount of delinquent taxes against certain landowners, but the federal bankruptcy court had no jurisdiction to administer the affairs of the district, the bankruptcy trustees were eliminated as parties, and the drainage commissioners were entitled to the custody of the funds sought to be collected without necessity of instituting a new proceeding therefor. Evans v. Bankston, 196 Miss. 533, 18 So. 2d 301, 1944 Miss. LEXIS 228 (Miss. 1944).

Plea in abatement to petition by federal bankruptcy trustees of drainage districts to determine amount of delinquent taxes, on ground that the federal bankruptcy proceeding was void, did not constitute a collateral attack, since court only had to look to the face of the federal proceedings and the absence of any state statute consenting thereto to determine whether the proceeding was void. Evans v. Bankston, 196 Miss. 533, 18 So. 2d 301, 1944 Miss. LEXIS 228 (Miss. 1944).

3. Sale for taxes.

The law does not require the lands to be sold in parcels not exceeding 40 acres, but only requires that they be thus first offered. Jones v. Seward, 196 Miss. 446, 16 So. 2d 619, 1944 Miss. LEXIS 213 (Miss. 1944).

In action to set aside a sale of land for delinquent drainage taxes, burden was on complainant to show that the lands were not first offered in parcels not exceeding 40 acres as required by law. Jones v. Seward, 196 Miss. 446, 16 So. 2d 619, 1944 Miss. LEXIS 213 (Miss. 1944).

Report of sale of land for delinquent drainage taxes, showing that land was sold in parcels larger than 40 acres, but silent as to how the lands were offered for sale, although stating that the sale was made “pursuant to law,” did not aid complainant’s burden of proving allegation that tax collector did not first offer the lands in parcels not exceeding 40 acres. Jones v. Seward, 196 Miss. 446, 16 So. 2d 619, 1944 Miss. LEXIS 213 (Miss. 1944).

The clause in the first paragraph of this section [Code 1942, § 4714], providing that a tax collector shall sell land for all taxes due thereon, including drainage taxes, “at the time and in the manner now provided for the sale of land for taxes due thereon to the state and county,” plainly means that in making a sale of land, constituting one connected body, for delinquent drainage taxes, it shall first be offered in 40-acre blocks, the offering being a part of the manner of sale; and, accordingly, where, in the sale of 400 acres of land for delinquent drainage taxes, the sheriff’s report of the sale showed that he offered and sold such land in four separate divisions, three of 80 acres each and one of 160 acres, the sale was void. Jones v. Seward, 194 Miss. 763, 12 So. 2d 132, 1943 Miss. LEXIS 57 (Miss. 1943).

Chancery clerk is required to collect, from person offering to redeem land from sale for nonpayment of drainage assessments thereon, all drainage assessments that have accrued since sale. Howie v. Panola-Quitman Drainage Dist., 168 Miss. 387, 151 So. 154, 1933 Miss. LEXIS 203 (Miss. 1933).

Sale of land for nonpayment of drainage assessment does not relieve it from lien for other assessments thereafter to become due. Howie v. Panola-Quitman Drainage Dist., 168 Miss. 387, 151 So. 154, 1933 Miss. LEXIS 203 (Miss. 1933).

4. Purchase by state or political subdivision.

While the tenants in common may be required to bear their proportionate share of expenditures and disbursements and to pay off proportionately the purchase price for outstanding titles and claims, a drainage district has not the power to spend funds to meet these obligations as a tenant in common with others. Eden Drainage Dist. v. Swaim, 212 Miss. 386, 54 So. 2d 547, 1951 Miss. LEXIS 461 (Miss. 1951).

A drainage district has no express power or implied power to buy an undivided interest of land except for drainage purposes. Eden Drainage Dist. v. Swaim, 212 Miss. 386, 54 So. 2d 547, 1951 Miss. LEXIS 461 (Miss. 1951).

A county, on becoming a voluntary purchaser of drainage district lands encumbered by a statutory judgment for assessments, does not acquire such lands free of the lien despite the fact that the lands are to be used for a public purpose. Willis Creek Drainage Dist. v. Yazoo County, 209 Miss. 849, 48 So. 2d 498, 1950 Miss. LEXIS 449 (Miss. 1950).

Code 1942, § 9697, exempting from taxation property belonging to the state or to any county, levee board or municipal corporation thereof, was never intended to abate an existing judgment lien as fixed by final decree of the chancery court against land subsequently purchased by the state or one of its subdivisions. Willis Creek Drainage Dist. v. Yazoo County, 209 Miss. 849, 48 So. 2d 498, 1950 Miss. LEXIS 449 (Miss. 1950).

Under the statute, it is clear that it was not the purpose of the legislature to discharge the drainage district lands from accruing of taxes during the period it is held by the state under a tax sale. Waits v. Black Bayou Drainage Dist., 185 Miss. 626, 189 So. 103, 1939 Miss. LEXIS 185 (Miss. 1939).

While the state is not required to pay the taxes accruing on the land for drainage purposes, and such taxes are held in abeyance during the time it is held by the state, yet the taxes do accrue subject to the state’s superior right, and when the state parts with its title, it does not free the land from such lien until the taxes are paid in full, and proceedings may be had under the statute to collect the assessments levied during the years when the state held the title, when the taxes were in abeyance. Waits v. Black Bayou Drainage Dist., 185 Miss. 626, 189 So. 103, 1939 Miss. LEXIS 185 (Miss. 1939).

Where land sold to state for taxes is not redeemed, all taxes thereon remain in abeyance until land is sold by state. Howie v. Panola-Quitman Drainage Dist., 168 Miss. 387, 151 So. 154, 1933 Miss. LEXIS 203 (Miss. 1933).

§ 51-29-83. Drainage taxes erroneously collected.

When lands have been erroneously taxed for purposes of a drainage district, whether such land so taxed lies within or without the limits of the district, and the commissioners of such drainage district allow the claim for the amount of the taxes so erroneously paid, or where the claimant secures a judgment against any drainage district for the amount of taxes erroneously paid, then, in the event the drainage district does not have sufficient funds with which to pay said claim or judgment, the claimant may at his election obtain from the commissioners of the drainage district a certificate for each year that taxes were erroneously collected, which certificate shall show the amount of taxes due to be refunded on account of such erroneous payment.

HISTORY: Codes, 1930, § 4489; 1942, § 4715; Laws, 1930, ch. 172.

Cross References —

Refund of taxes erroneously paid generally, see §27-73-1.

§ 51-29-85. Certificates received in lieu of cash.

Whenever such certificate or certificates are issued, the person or persons to whom the same is issued may use such certificate or certificates in purchasing any lands located in said district that have been forfeited to the State of Mississippi for failure to pay taxes thereon. The land commissioner and state treasurer shall receive such certificates in lieu of cash for the amount of the taxes due on said lands to such drainage district, but the amount of the state and county taxes due thereon, if any, shall be paid in cash.

The person or persons to whom certificates of indebtedness for taxes erroneously paid have been issued as provided under Section 51-29-83, if they so elect, shall also be entitled to use such certificates, either in part or whole payment of drainage taxes in the district by which issued at a subsequent tax paying date, notwithstanding such certificate or certificates may have been issued for the purchase of state lands as provided in this section.

HISTORY: Codes, 1930, § 4490; 1942, § 4716; Laws, 1930, ch. 172.

Editor’s Notes —

Section 7-11-4 provides that the words “state land commissioner”, “land commissioner”, “state land office”, and “land office” shall mean the Secretary of State.

Cross References —

Payment of purchase money of state lands, see §29-1-79.

§ 51-29-87. Disposition of certificate.

Whenever the state treasurer and land commissioner shall have accepted any such certificate in the purchase of such lands, it shall be his duty to immediately forward the same to the drainage district commissioners with a statement as to the lands purchased and the amount of money allowed on said purchase on account of said certificate; and the said drainage commissioners shall accept the certificate in lieu of money to that extent and amount from said state treasurer and land commissioner. Whenever the county tax collector shall have accepted any such certificate or certificates in the payment of drainage taxes, it shall be his duty to immediately inform the drainage district commissioner of his action, with a statement containing the amount of taxes and description of lands where a certificate or certificates were applied for taxes in lieu of money payment.

HISTORY: Codes, 1930, § 4491; 1942, § 4717; Laws, 1930, ch. 172.

Editor’s Notes —

Section 7-11-4 provides that the words “state land commissioner”, “land commissioner”, “state land office”, and “land office” shall mean the Secretary of State.

§ 51-29-89. Bonds to be a lien on land.

All bonds and evidences of indebtedness issued by the commissioners under the terms of this chapter shall be secured by a lien on all lands and railroads subject to taxation under this chapter, in an amount not to exceed the amount of benefits assessed against such lands and railroads. The board of commissioners shall see to it that an assessment is levied annually and collected under the provisions of this chapter, so long as it may be necessary for the payment of any bonds issued or obligations contracted under its authority, together with the interest thereon; and the making or levying of said assessment or levy may be enforced by mandamus at the instance of any person interested.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4470; 1930, § 4492; 1942, § 4718; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 269.

Cross References —

Orders for assessments and levies to cover improvements, see §51-29-45.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

2. Relation of indebtedness to benefits.

3. Mandamus.

1. In general.

This section [Code 1942, § 4718] does not authorize commissioners of an existing drainage district, whose original plan of improvement has been adopted and constructed, and the assessment of benefits therefor completely exhausted, to borrow money or levy a tax for the purpose of paying preliminary expenses incurred in connection with a proposed new plan of improvements in the district which was abandoned without assessment of additional benefits. Gilmore-Puckett Lumber Co. v. Big Brown's Creek Drainage Dist., 207 Miss. 316, 42 So. 2d 226, 1949 Miss. LEXIS 342 (Miss. 1949).

Lien of drainage district bonds first issued does not have priority over that of bonds subsequently issued against additional benefits assessed to complete improvements. People's Bank Liquidating Corp. v. Beashea Drainage Dist., 199 Miss. 505, 24 So. 2d 784, 1946 Miss. LEXIS 220 (Miss. 1946).

Purchaser’s agreement in land contract “to assume all 1930 taxes,” even if including 1930 drainage taxes, held not to imply further agreement to assume all drainage taxes for subsequent years. Goff v. Jacobs, 164 Miss. 817, 145 So. 728, 1933 Miss. LEXIS 258 (Miss. 1933).

Owner could remove timber from land within drainage district without payment of installments of assessment to become due on land subsequent to removal. Matthews v. Panola-Quitman Drainage Dist., 158 Miss. 647, 130 So. 910, 1930 Miss. LEXIS 94 (Miss. 1930).

2. Relation of indebtedness to benefits.

Lien on land, and levy of tax for payment of improvements must be predicated on assessment of benefits equal, at least, to indebtedness. Anderson v. McKee, 182 Miss. 156, 179 So. 858, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 136 (Miss. 1938).

Where original and additional bond issues exceeded assessment of benefits and district was extended to other lands already benefited by improvements, new assessment could be made on all lands of district as extended. Anderson v. McKee, 182 Miss. 156, 179 So. 858, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 136 (Miss. 1938).

Where supplemental bonds were found necessary, new assessment of benefits could be made if commissioners believed land would receive additional benefits to those already assessed. Anderson v. McKee, 182 Miss. 156, 179 So. 858, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 136 (Miss. 1938).

Legislature may authorize drainage district to contract debts prior to or subsequent to assessment of benefits, provided liability imposed is not in excess of benefits accruing to land. Anderson v. McKee, 182 Miss. 156, 179 So. 858, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 136 (Miss. 1938).

Drainage district bonds held void to extent aggregate amount of principal and interest plus ten per cent for contingencies exceeded total assessed benefits of district. Anderson v. McKee, 182 Miss. 156, 179 So. 858, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 136 (Miss. 1938).

Where original and additional bonds exceeded assessment of benefits, it was duty of commissioners and supervisors to make new assessment, and levy tax to pay bonds, if it appears new assessment is justified. Anderson v. McKee, 182 Miss. 156, 179 So. 858, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 136 (Miss. 1938).

Where drainage district’s unpaid indebtedness amounted to only about one-tenth of the assessed benefits, bondholders were entitled to payment in full in absence of showing that district was insolvent, notwithstanding that cash on hand was insufficient to pay all outstanding bonds. Teoc Sub-Drainage Dist. v. Halliwell, 180 Miss. 720, 178 So. 84, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 17 (Miss. 1938).

3. Mandamus.

Petition in mandamus to compel payment of drainage district bonds need not show claim first presented to supervisors and disallowed, and liability on bonds reduced to judgment. Johnson v. Bruce, 177 Miss. 581, 171 So. 685, 1937 Miss. LEXIS 143 (Miss. 1937); Teoc Sub-Drainage Dist. v. Halliwell, 180 Miss. 720, 178 So. 84, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 17 (Miss. 1938).

Bondholders could not compel new assessment and tax levy, but could only compel commissioners to meet and exercise discretion as to whether justified. Anderson v. McKee, 182 Miss. 156, 179 So. 858, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 136 (Miss. 1938).

Commissioners could be compelled by mandamus to meet and consider whether levy of additional benefits justified, but judgment as to whether additional benefits had, or would accrue could not be controlled. Anderson v. McKee, 182 Miss. 156, 179 So. 858, 1938 Miss. LEXIS 136 (Miss. 1938).

§ 51-29-91. Entire district revenues and realty pledged to secure bonds.

To the payment of both principal and interest of the bonds and other negotiable evidences of debt to be issued under the provisions of this chapter, the entire revenues of the district from any and all sources and all real estate and railroads subject to taxation in the district are by this chapter pledged, in an amount not to exceed the amount of betterments assessed against said lands and railroads. The board of commissioners is hereby required to set aside annually from the first revenues collected from any source whatever a sufficient amount to secure and pay the interest on said bonds and evidences of indebtedness and a sinking fund for their ultimate retirement, if a sinking fund is provided for.

HISTORY: Codes, Hemingway’s 1917, § 4471; 1930, § 4493; 1942, § 4719; Laws, 1912, ch. 195; Laws, 1914, ch. 269.

Cross References —

Investment of surplus funds, see §19-9-29.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

1. In general.

This section [Code 1942, § 4719] does not authorize commissioners of an existing drainage district, whose original plan of improvement has been adopted and constructed, and the asse