State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Kansas > Chapter24 > Article4 > Statutes_13006

24-407

Chapter 24.--DRAINAGE AND LEVEES
Article 4.--DRAINAGE DISTRICTS WITHIN COUNTIES OR CITIES

      24-407.   Powers of drainage districts.Each drainage district incorporatedpursuant to K.S.A. 24-401 et seq., and amendments thereto,shall be a body politic and corporate. Subject to the superiorjurisdiction of the United States over navigable waters, the governing bodyof each drainage district shall haveexclusive control of the beds, channels, banks and of all lands the titleto which is vested in the state of Kansas lying between the banks athigh water mark of all natural watercourses within the district. The boardof directors of everydrainage district incorporated under the provisions of K.S.A. 24-401 etseq., and amendments thereto, shall have the power:

      (1)   To adopt a seal.

      (2)   To sue and be sued by its corporate name.

      (3)   To purchase, hold, sell and convey real estate and personal propertynecessary or convenient to carry out the purposes of the district.

      (4)   To take charge of and exercise exclusive control of allnatural watercourses within the district, and widen,deepen, establish, regulate and maintain the channels thereof,construct and maintain levees along the banks thereof anddetention dams and reservoirs in areas adjacent theretowhich arenecessary to prevent or restrain overflow or lessen the volumethereof or the injury likely to result therefrom. The board may constructditches, drains, sewers and canals through lands subject tooverflow, and may purchase, install and operatepumps necessary to remove, carry off and prevent water from standing orremaining in pools or ponds and becoming stagnant upon overflowed landsor necessary for sanitary purposes or conducive to the publichealth, convenience and welfare. The board may alter,change or abandon thechannel or any part of the channel of any natural watercourse and relocateor excavate and establish a new channel for such watercourse or any partthereof located within the district. The board may take privateproperty for public use by exercise of the right of eminent domain and maycondemn and removeobstructions in suchwatercourses. The board may acquire by gift, purchase orcondemnation lands for the purpose of constructing levees along orwidening, deepening, changing or otherwise improving the channels ofwatercourses or for relocating, excavating and establishing new channelsor constructing cutoffs, detention dams and reservoirs in areas adjacentto all such watercourses.

      (5)   To prescribe, regulate and fix the height of thesuperstructures above the water, the length of all spans and the locationof the piers of all bridges across watercourses located within the district.

      (6)   To construct levees across the rights-of-way, roadbeds,tracks and lands of railroad companies and street-railroad companies. Theboard may condemn and appropriate by the exercise of the right of eminentdomain sufficient rights-of-way orother lands of any railroad company or street-railroadcompany necessary for constructing and maintaining a continuouslevee of uniform height across the same.

      (7)   To fix, regulate and change the grade or elevation of allpublic highways, railroads and street-railroads at points where any leveemay cross or intersect the same.

      (8)   To require all railroad companies to elevate their tracksat all points where intersected by any levee so thatthe tracks will not interfere with the construction or maintenance ofthe levee as a continuous and effective work of uniform height to prevent theoverflow of any natural watercourse.

      (9)   To maintain in any court of competent jurisdiction suits toenforce the reasonable orders of its directors, enjoin the placing ormaintenance in any natural watercourse of any unauthorized bridge,embankment, pier or other work or structure constituting to any extentwhatever an obstruction to the flow of the water, restrain all otherwrongful or unauthorized encroachments upon or interference with thechannel of the watercourse and to have all obstructions wrongfully placedin the channel of natural watercourses adjudged public nuisances and abatedas such.

      (10)   To maintain actions in any court of competent jurisdictionto recover and hold exclusive possession of all land located between thebanks of natural watercourses at high water mark, the title to which isvested in the state of Kansas. If the channel of any watercourse isaltered, changed or abandoned, in whole or in part, the governing body maysell,convey and give good title to the land constituting the abandoned channeland apply the proceeds thereof to the cost of a new channel or for otherimprovement of the watercourse.

      (11)   To annually levy atax not exceedingfive mills on the assessed value of all tangible taxable property within thedistrictto create a general fund.

      If the board determines that a higher tax levy limit is necessary, it mayadopt a resolution proposing to raise the limitation. Any proposed increaseof the levy limitation shall be submitted for approval by the qualifiedvoters of the drainage district. The election shall be called and held inthe manner provided by the general bond law. If a majority of the votersvoting on the question votes in favor thereof, the levy limitation may beincreased.

      (12)   To levy special assessments against all real property located withinthe district that may be benefited to pay the costs of the constructionand maintenance oflevees or other works or improvements to prevent the overflow of naturalwatercourses, or provide drainage of overflowed lands therein or that may beconducive to the public health, convenience or welfare.

      (13)   To issue negotiable bonds to pay thecosts of widening,deepening and otherwise improving the channels and constructingembankments, drains, levees and other works along the banks of naturalwatercourses, to pay the cost of constructing detention dams and reservoirsin areas adjacent to all such watercourses, to pay for the purchase orcondemnation of land necessary therefor or to prevent overflow and protectthe property located within the district from damage and injury thereby.The bonds shall be payable by general taxation of all property located withinthedistrict if it is determined that all property located within thedistrict will be benefited thereby or that such work or improvement isnecessary or will be conducive to the public health, convenience orwelfare and beneficial to all of the inhabitants of thedistrict. No bonds shall be issueduntil authorized by avote of the taxpayers.

      (14)   To contract with other drainage districts or withpublic corporations organized for similar purposes in any adjoining statefor cooperation or joint action in constructing detention dams andreservoirs in areas adjacent to any natural watercourse or in constructinglevees along the banks or otherwise improving any natural watercourse toprevent its overflow where the overflow is likely to cause injury ordamage to lands located within the territorial limits of all the cooperating districtsor corporations. The board may contract and cooperate withprivate corporations and individuals owning lands locatedoutside of thedistrict or state which are subject to injury by overflow in commonwith lands located within the district. The board may contract for and receiveaid and contributions from the United States, and from all publiccorporations the property within which will be benefited and with allprivate corporations and individuals whose property will be benefited bythe improvement, whether the propertyis located within the district orwithin some other district or state.

      (15)   To enter contracts and exercise any of itscorporate, legislative or administrative powers necessary to accomplishthe purpose of the district's organization.

      (16)   To do all other acts necessary to carry out and execute the generalpowers granted under the provisions of K.S.A. 24-401 et seq., andamendments thereto, although not specially enumerated. Before any drainagedistrict constructs or modifies any dam, the drainage district shall file anapplication with the division of water resources of theKansas department of agriculture pursuant to K.S.A. 82a-301, andamendments thereto.

      History:   R.S. 1923, 24-407; L. 1929, ch. 174, § 1; L. 1951, ch.262, § 2; L. 1975, ch. 427, § 63; L. 1983, ch. 118, § 5;L. 2004, ch. 101, § 69; July 1.