State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wisconsin > 88 > 88.94


88.94 Drains for individual landowners.


(1) Whenever any owner of agricultural lands desires to install drainage upon not more than 80 acres of such land, the owner may present a petition to the drainage board or, if there is no drainage board in the county, to the town supervisors of the town in which such land is located. Such petition shall set forth that:


(a) The petitioner desires to install drainage upon agricultural lands owned by the petitioner;


(b) Because of the contour of the land there is no suitable outlet on lands owned by the petitioner;


(c) The proposed drain will promote the general welfare and health of the community;


(d) It is impractical for the petitioner to drain the land without crossing the lands of others; and


(e) It is desired that a drain be laid out to a suitable natural outlet, specifying the course of the drain and location of the proposed outlet and ownership of lands through which such proposed drain would be laid.


(2) After receiving the petition the drainage board or supervisors of the town shall promptly fix the time and place of a hearing on the petition and shall give notice of the hearing under s. 88.05 (2) (b) to the owners and occupants of all lands through or along which the drain may pass and to the persons specified in s. 88.05 (4) (a).


(3) At the time and place fixed for hearing, the drainage board or town supervisors shall meet and hear all interested persons wishing to appear for or against the petition. If the board or supervisors decide that the facts set out in the application are true, that a drain is necessary and that the benefits will exceed the cost of construction, they shall by order lay out a drain through which applicant's lands may be drained as a public drain. Otherwise, they shall deny the application. An order laying out a drain shall specify the benefits and damages to lands of others through which such drain will be laid out and shall provide that the drain may not be constructed until the excess of damages over benefits, if any, has been paid to the landowners entitled thereto. The order also shall contain a description of the location of the drain and specifications therefor. Lands of others shall not be assessed for costs even though benefited by the drain.


(4) Within 10 days after the making of an order laying out a drain, the board or supervisors shall cause a copy of the order to be sent by registered mail to each owner through whose lands the drain will pass, but failure to mail the copy within 10 days does not render the order void. Such order is final unless appealed from to the circuit court within 30 days after the mailing of the copy thereof as provided in this subsection.


(5) Within 30 days after the time for appeal from the order has expired or after the order is confirmed on appeal, the board or supervisors shall cause a copy of the order to be recorded with the register of deeds of the county in which the lands are located. Thereupon, the drain becomes a public drain and the applicant may proceed with construction after having paid any excess of damages over benefits as specified in the order.


(6) This section does not authorize entry upon lands of another without the consent of the owner thereof during any time when there is any growing crop on such land, and no order issued under this section is effective to authorize such entry.


(7) This section does not apply to the installation or construction of a drain across the right-of-way of any railroad company, proceedings for which shall be as provided in s. 88.88.


(8) Expenses incurred by the drainage board under this section shall be paid by the petitioner.

88.94 - ANNOT.

History: 1991 a. 316; 1993 a. 301, 456, 490.