Section 9-9-7

Establishment of district - Filing of petition for organization of district; appointment, etc., of engineer; report of engineer.

(a) Whenever a petition praying for the organization of a water management district and signed by a majority of the landowners owning more than one third of the land in acreage in a proposed district or by at least one third of the persons owning more than one half of the land in the proposed district shall be filed with the court of probate of such county in which such lands are located or, if such lands are composed of tracts or parcels situated in two or more counties, then in the office of the court of probate of the county in which there is situated more of said lands than in any other county, said petition setting forth the specific body or district of land in the county or county and adjoining counties described in such a way as to convey an intelligent idea as to location of such land and stating that the public benefit or utility or the public health, convenience or welfare will be promoted by drainage, ditching or leveeing, or by changing or improving the natural watercourses, or by the installation of tile systems, pumping plants, tide gates or any other method of drainage or flood prevention or the conservation, development, utilization and disposal of water, it shall be the duty of the court of probate forthwith to appoint a competent civil or agricultural engineer experienced in water management engineering; provided, that whenever the owners of a majority in acres of the land comprising the district petition the court for the appointment of any person qualified under this article to act as engineer, it shall be the duty of the court to appoint such engineer. The court shall determine the rate of compensation to be paid the engineer for preliminary surveys and report and shall provide funds for payment of engineering and other expenses incidental to the proceedings as provided in this article.

(b) The engineer so appointed shall, after making the necessary examination and survey, report to the court:

(1) The boundaries of the proposed district, which shall be that part of the watershed area but in no event less than the floodplain area, which will be benefited by the proposed works of improvement if such works of improvement include works other than or in addition to drainage works, or the area benefited by the drainage improvements if the contemplated works of improvement are for drainage purposes only;

(2) A description of the area that in the opinion of the engineer will be benefited, according to legal or recognized subdivisions;

(3) Whether such work will be conducive to the public health, safety, convenience or welfare;

(4) A general outline of the plan to accomplish the desired water management;

(5) A map showing the territory that should be included in said district and, in a general way, the location and nature of the tentative improvements proposed; and

(6) A tentative estimate of the cost of the proposed improvements.

(c) No landowner having signed the petition for the installation of works of improvement under this article shall have his name stricken from such petition without the written consent of the owners of a majority of the acreage owned by those signing said petition.

(Acts 1965, No. 685, p. 1246, §5; Acts 1969, No. 442, p. 883, §1.)