Article 2.

Jurisdiction in County Commissioners.

156-32.  Petition filed; board appointed; refusal to serve misdemeanor.

Upon the petition of three citizens in any county to the county commissioners, petitioning for the draining of any creek, swamp, or branch, either upon the plea of health or to promote and advance the agricultural interest of the farmers who may own lands lying on such creek, swamp, or branch petitioned to be drained, the county commissioners shall within 10 days after the filing of such petition order the county surveyor to summon three disinterested freeholders, good and lawful men of intelligence and discretion, who shall constitute a board, and the county surveyor shall be the chairman of such board; and the chairman shall give all persons who may be interested in having such creek, swamp, or branch drained three days' notice of the time and place of the meeting of the board: Provided, the petitioners shall deposit with the county treasurer the sum of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for the payment of current expenses not otherwise provided for in this Article.  Any person duly summoned by the county surveyor to act as a commissioner for the drainage of any such creek, swamp, or branch, who shall refuse to serve, shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. (1887, c. 267; Rev., ss. 3379, 4011; C.S., s. 5290; 1993, c. 539, s. 1073; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

 

156-33.  Duty of board; refusal to comply with their requirements misdemeanor.

The board provided for in G.S. 156-32 shall meet at the call of the chairman and shall proceed to inspect and examine the lands as described in the petition to be drained, and the board shall have power to summon witnesses, administer oaths, and take testimony, and if the board decides that the lands specified in the petition shall be drained, either upon the plea of health or for the benefit of the farms lying on or contiguous to such watercourse, then the board shall select a place at which the ditch shall be begun.  They shall also decide the depth and width of the ditch to be dug, and shall proceed to survey, locate, lay off, and mark the course of the ditch, and the board shall assign to the landowners the amount of the labor to be performed and the amount of money to be paid for the purpose of defraying the necessary expenses by each landowner in proportion to the amount of lands drained or pro rata benefits received by the drainage of such lands, and the board shall specify the time in which the work so assigned shall be completed: Provided, no one shall be required to commence on the work assigned to him until the person next below him shall have completed his work in accordance with the specifications of the board.  If any person shall refuse to comply with any of the requirements of the board he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. (1887, c. 267, ss. 2, 7; Rev., ss. 3377, 4012; C.S., s. 5291; 1993, c. 539, s. 1074; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

 

156-34.  Report filed.

The board shall make a written report to the county commissioners showing all the acts and decisions of the board as to the length, depth, and width of the ditch, the names of all the owners of the lands that will be drained, and the amount of work to be performed and the amount of money to be paid by each person benefited by such drainage. But in case the board determines that the lands described in the petition shall not be drained, then the expenses of the board shall be paid out of the funds deposited with the county treasurer by the petitioners. (1887, c. 267, s. 3; Rev., s. 4013; C.S., s. 5292.)

 

156-35.  Owners to keep ditch open.

All persons whose lands shall be drained under the provisions of this Article shall keep the ditch on their lands clear of all rafts of logs, brush, or any trash that will obstruct the flow of water through the ditch. (1887, c. 267, s. 4; Rev., s. 4014; C.S., s. 5293.)

 

156-36.  Compensation of board.

The compensation of the board shall be as follows: The county surveyor shall receive three dollars ($3.00) per day and the other members shall receive one dollar and fifty cents ($1.50) per day while engaged in the duties imposed in this Chapter. (1887, c. 267, s. 5; Rev., s. 4015; C.S., s. 5294.)