Article 6.

Drainage Commissioners.

156-79.  Appointment and organization under original act.

After the drainage district has been declared established, as aforesaid, and the survey and plan therefor approved, the court shall appoint three persons, in the manner set forth in G.S. 156-81, who shall be designated as the board of drainage commissioners.  Any vacancy thereafter occurring shall be filled by the clerk or clerks of the superior court in the manner set forth in G.S. 156-81.  Such three drainage commissioners, when so appointed, shall be immediately created a body corporate under the name and style of "The Board of Drainage Commissioners of ______District," with the right to hold property and convey the same, to sue and be sued, and shall possess such other powers as usually pertain to corporations.  They shall organize by electing from among their number a chairman and a vice-chairman.  They shall also elect a secretary, either within or without their body.  Such board of drainage commissioners shall adopt a seal, which they may alter at pleasure.  The board of drainage commissioners shall have and possess such powers as are herein granted. (1909, c. 442, s. 19; 1917, c. 152, s. 17; C.S., s. 5337; 1947, c. 273; 1963, c. 767, s. 3; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 959, s. 2.)

 

156-80.  Name of districts.

The name of such drainage district shall constitute a part of its corporate name; for illustration, the board of drainage commissioners of Mecklenburg Drainage District, No. 1. In the naming of a drainage district the clerk of the court, notwithstanding the name given in the petition, shall so change the name as to make it conform to the county within which the district, or the main portion of the district, is located, and such district shall also be designated by number, the number to indicate the number of districts petitioned for in the county. For illustration, the first district organized in Mecklenburg County would be Mecklenburg County Drainage District, No. 1; the name of the second would be Mecklenburg County Drainage District, No. 2; the fifth one organized would be Mecklenburg County Drainage District, No. 5: Provided, that so much of this section as provides for numbering the districts in each county shall not apply to districts in which bonds have been issued and sold prior to the fifth day of March, 1917. (1909, c. 442, s. 19; 1917, c. 152, s. 17; C.S., s. 5338.)

 

156-81.  Appointment and organization under amended act.

(a)        Method of Appointment. - The manner of appointment shall be as follows:

(1)        If the drainage district shall lie solely within one county, the clerk of superior court for such county shall appoint such commissioners.

(2)        If the said district shall lie in more than one county, then such commissioners shall be appointed by unanimous action of the clerks of court for the counties wherein any part of such district lies.

(b)        Organization. - Immediately after the appointment of the board of drainage commissioners, the clerk of the court of the county wherein such drainage proceeding is pending shall notify each of the commissioners in writing to appear at a certain time and place within the district and organize. The clerk or clerks of court, as the case may be, shall appoint one of the three members as chairman of the board of drainage commissioners, and in doing so he or they shall consider carefully and impartially the respective qualifications of each of the members for the position.

(c)        Term of Office. - The term of service of the members of the board of drainage commissioners so appointed shall begin upon their appointment.  Where all three commissioners are appointed at once, one commissioner shall serve for one year, one for two years, and the other for three years, the term to be computed from the first day of October following their organization. The members so serving for one, two, and three years, respectively, shall be unanimously designated by the clerk or clerks of the court.  Thereafter each member shall be appointed for three years.  The clerk of the court for the county wherein the proceeding is pending shall record in the drainage record the date of appointment, the members appointed, and the beginning and expiration of their term of office.

(d)       Vacancies Filled. - If a vacancy shall occur in the office of any commissioner by death, resignation, or otherwise, the remaining two members are to discharge the necessary duties of the board until the vacancy shall be filled; and if the vacancy shall be in the office of chairman or secretary, the two remaining members may elect a secretary, and the clerk or clerks, as the case may be, shall appoint one of the two remaining members to act as chairman to hold until the vacancy in the board shall be filled. The clerk of the county wherein the proceeding is pending shall keep a similar record of any appointment to fill vacancies.  The person appointed to fill the vacancy shall be appointed in the manner set forth in subsection (a) of this section and shall serve until the expiration of the term of his predecessor. The secretary of the board of drainage commissioners shall promptly notify the appropriate clerk or clerks of the superior court of any vacancy in the board.

(e)        Failure to Appoint. - If for any reason the clerk or clerks of the court shall fail to provide for the appointment of drainage commissioners prior to the expiration of a term, the incumbents shall continue to hold their office as commissioners until their successors are appointed and qualified.  The term of office of boards of drainage commissioners heretofore elected and appointed shall expire immediately upon the appointment of new commissioners pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

(f)        Meetings. - The board shall meet once each month at a stated time and place during the progress of drainage construction, and more often if necessary. After the drainage work is completed, or at any time, the chairman shall have the power to call special meetings of the board at a certain time and place. The chairman shall also call a meeting at any time upon the written request of the owners of a majority in area of the land in the district.

(g)        Compensation. - The chairman of the board of drainage commissioners shall receive compensation and allowances as fixed by the clerk of the superior court. In fixing such compensation and allowances, the clerk shall give due consideration to the duties and responsibilities imposed upon the chairman of the board. The other members of the board shall receive a per diem not to exceed twenty-five dollars ($25.00) a day, while engaged in attendance upon meetings of the board, or in the discharge of duties imposed by the board. The secretary of the board shall receive such compensation and expense allowances as may be determined by the board.

The chairman and members of the board of drainage commissioners shall also receive their actual travel and subsistence expenses while engaged in attendance upon meetings of the board, or in the discharge of duties imposed by the board. The compensation and expense allowances as herein set out shall be paid from the assessments made annually for the purpose of maintaining the canals of the drainage district, or from any other funds of the district.

(h)        Application of Section. - The provisions of this section shall apply to all drainage districts now or hereafter existing in this State, without regard to the date of organization.

(i)         Repealed by Session Laws 1989 (Regular Session, 1990), c. 959, s. 3. (1917, c. 152, s. 5; 1919, cc. 109, 217; C.S., s. 5339; 1947, c. 935; 1949, c. 956, ss. 1-3; 1957, c. 912, s. 1; 1975, c. 494; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 959, s. 3.)

 

156-81.1.  Treasurer.

The appointing authority as determined by G.S. 156-81 shall appoint a treasurer for the drainage district for a term not to exceed 12 months.  The treasurer so appointed may be a member of the board of commissioners of the district or some other person deemed competent, and shall furnish bond as may be required by the said clerk of the superior court.  The treasurer shall continue in office until a successor has been appointed and qualified.

All references in Subchapter III of Chapter 156 of the General Statutes of North Carolina, to "treasurer" or "county treasurer" or "county auditor" are hereby amended to refer exclusively to the treasurer appointed as hereinbefore provided. (1963, c. 767, s. 4; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 959, s. 6.)

 

156-82.  Validation of election of members of drainage commission.

All irregularities caused by failure of any officer whose duty it was to provide for the election of a member or members of board of drainage commissioners of any drainage district, or the failure of any candidate to make a deposit as may be required by law, shall not invalidate such election where the following facts appear affirmatively:

(1)        That said election was held at the time and place prescribed by law.

(2)        That a ballot box was provided for the ballots cast for drainage commissioner.

(3)        That the ballots were canvassed and the results declared by the judge of the general election.

(4)        That the candidate receiving the greatest number of votes was declared elected.

(5)        That no candidate for election as a member of board of drainage commissioners made any deposit as prescribed by law.

(6)        That the candidate receiving the majority votes at said election has already qualified and is acting as such drainage commissioner.

This section shall not apply to any election contested before March 9, 1921. (1921, c. 210; C.S., s. 5339(a).)

 

156-82.1.  Duties and powers of the board of drainage commissioners.

(a)        The board of drainage commissioners shall proceed with the levying of assessments, issuance of bonds and construction of canals, water retardant structures and other improvements and acquisition of equipment as approved by the court in the adjudication upon the final report of the board of viewers, either in the creation of the district or in subsequent proceedings authorized by Article 7B.

(b)        The commissioners shall maintain the canals, water retardant structures, and all other improvements and equipment of the district.

(c)        The commissioners, with the approval of the clerk of the superior court, may use surplus funds in such manner as they deem best for (i) the maintenance of the improvements, (ii) construction or enlargement of canals and water retardant structures, or other improvements or equipment, (iii) replacement or acquisition of equipment or structures, and (iv) for payment of any or all operating expenses including salaries, fees and costs of court.

The term "surplus funds" is defined to mean any funds remaining after the payment of those items set forth specifically in the certificate of assessment, as well as funds provided in said certificate for maintenance and contingencies, and also, shall include maintenance and any other funds which the said commissioners may have on hand and which are not necessary for the payment of the bonds and interest thereon which have been issued by the said district.

(d)       The board of commissioners may agree, or contract, with any agency of the government of the United States or of North Carolina for such engineering or other services as may be provided by such agency.

(e)        The board of commissioners may, in its discretion, release areas taken for rights-of-way if it determines, after the construction of the canals, that such are not needed for the purpose of the district. The release must be approved by the clerk of the superior court and such release shall be filed in the proceedings by virtue of which the district was created.

(f)        The board of drainage commissioners shall have all the duties and powers as set forth and imposed upon them by the various sections of this Subchapter and all others which are necessary to promote the purposes of the district.

(g)        The board of commissioners may authorize the use of stored or impounded water for recreational purposes. They may acquire title, by  gift or purchase, but not by condemnation, of land to be used in conjunction with the stored and impounded water, for the development of recreational facilities.

The said commissioners are not authorized to use funds obtained from assessments upon the lands within the drainage district, for the purposes of the acquisition and development of recreational facilities. They are authorized to issue revenue bonds or notes, for the acquisition of land and construction and development of recreational facilities. The funds received from the use of the said recreational facilities, may be pledged for the payment of said revenue bonds and notes.

The terms and conditions of the issuance and payment of the said revenue bonds or notes, must be approved by the clerk of the superior court who has jurisdiction of the said drainage district.

The commissioners are authorized to enter into a contract with persons, association of persons or municipal or private corporations, for the operation of recreational facilities, owned by the drainage district. The contract may be entered into by negotiation or by award to the highest bidder at a public rental to be advertised as directed by the clerk of the superior court. The terms of the contract must be approved by the clerk of the superior court who has jurisdiction of the said drainage district.

(h)        The commissioners may enter into a contract with a municipality or other nonprofit organizations, for the joint use of a facility for the impoundment or storage of water. The contract must be approved by the clerk of the superior court who has jurisdiction of the drainage district.

(i)         All improvements constructed and acquired under the provisions  of this Subchapter shall be under the control and supervision of the board of drainage commissioners. It shall be their duty to keep all improvements in good repair. (1961, c. 614, s. 2; 1965, c. 1143, s. 3.)

 

156-82.2.  Appointment of drainage commissioners.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law (including, where applicable, any special acts or local modification of general law), the General Assembly hereby appoints all sitting drainage district commissioners and drainage commission treasurers, as of the date of ratification of this section, as commissioners, officers, and treasurers of their respective districts.  Said commissioners, officers, and treasurers shall continue in office until such time as appointments shall be made as provided in G.S. 156-81 and G.S. 156-81.1, which appointments shall be made by the clerk or clerks of the superior court not later than January 1, 1991. (1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 959, s. 1.)

 

156-82.3.  Validation of previous actions.

(a)        All expenditures heretofore incurred, and all actions heretofore taken, by a drainage district for purposes authorized by this Chapter are hereby validated notwithstanding any defect in the selection of any or all of its commissioners or any other defect.

(b)        The provisions of this section are expressly made applicable to any and all bonds and other financial obligations of any such district.  No action based on the alleged invalidity of the assessments heretofore made or of any such bonds or other obligations of a district shall lie after January 1, 1991, to enjoin or contest the enforceability of any such assessment, bond, or other obligation. (1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 959, s. 5.)