CHAP. 301.--ACT to provide for the drainage of low lands in Northampton and Accomac counties.

Approved February 19, 1890.

1. Be it enacted by the general assembly of Virginia, That whenever one or more owners of lands shall desire to drain the same through the lands of another or others, the county court for the county in which said lands are located shall, on the petition of said owner or owners, appoint three commissioners, who shall view the premises, and if they deem it proper, lay out ditches for that purpose: provided, that notice be given to all land owners that may be effected by such petition ten days prior to the session of said county court, and the party giving the notice filing evidence of the same with the county court.
Drainage of land. Commissioners.

2. The commissioners may take with them a competent surveyor; shall specify the courses, distances and sizes of every ditch they lay out; the estimated cost of making the same; the damages, if any, and to whom payable, and the proportion which each person benefited shall pay. They shall make return in writing, with a plat showing by general delineations, without survey, the boundary lines of such lands and of each taxable portion thereof, or of any land benefited, and the estimated number of acres. The commissioners and surveyor shall be sworn to the faithful and impartial discharge of duty. All the commissioners shall act, but a majority may decide any matter. Damages.

3. The commissioners shall award to any person, who will be injured by making any such ditch, damages to the amount of such injury, and the same shall be paid or tendered before cutting the ditch.

4. All persons who will be benefited by such a ditch shall be liable to contribute to the cost of making the same and to the damages awarded and expenses of the proceedings. The commissioners shall determine who will be benefited, and shall apportion the same upon them according to such benefit. To contribute to cost.

5. The court may, before confirmation of the return, grant orders of review, on application of any party interested. The court may grant orders of review.

6. If any public road crossed by such ditch will be benefited so that the public ought to make and maintain the bridge over the same, the commissioners shall so state in their return, and such bridge shall then be made and kept up at the expense of the county. Should any turnpike, toll-road, and so forth, be so crossed by such ditch, the provisions of this section shall apply to it, except that the ditch shall be made and kept up by those running or operating said road.

7. The commissioners making any return that shall be confirmed, shall, within one month after such confirmation confirmed, convene the persons liable to contribute to any
ditch embraced therein, for the purpose of choosing two
managers and a treasurer of the ditch, to serve for one year and until others are chosen. Notice of the time and place of this meeting shall be posted in two or more public
places of the neighborhood ten days before the meeting.
The managers shall annually thereafter, in the
shall same manner, call a meeting for the same purpose on the last Saturday in March. At all meetings those liable to
be taxed who may be present shall be entitled to vote in
proportion as each is liable to contribute--that is to say,
each taxable shall be entitled to one vote for every dollar of tax paid by him. Commissioners Managers shall call meetings.

8. The return, as confirmed by the court, shall remain
in force in force for five years thereafter as the basis of
any subsequent assessment that may be made by the
managers for completing, cleansing, or repairing the ditch,
or other necessary purpose. After five years a new assessment may be had by application of two or more taxables to the court, and by the same proceedings as on an original
petition. Return shall remain in force for five years.

9. The managers chosen as aforesaid shall proceed to make and open ditches according to the return as aforesaid,
or to cleanse and repair the same as may be necessary,
and shall have all needful powers for that purpose. They
shall keep regular accounts of all expenditures, and
render the same to the yearly meeting of taxables. All payments shall be made by orders drawn by them on the treasurers. Any person assessed for a tax may discharge the same by work done by the direction of the manager, and their certificate shall be received by the treasurer in payment of the tax. To open ditches. Accounts of expenditures.

10. The treasurer shall collect all sums assessed as aforesaid,
and shall have the same power herein as a collector
of other taxes. He shall give bond to the taxables, with security to be approved by the managers, in double the amount of the assessment which he may be authorized to
receive, conditioned for the faithful performance of his
duty, and for the payment to his successor of any money
that may be due him. He shall settle with the taxables
at their annual meeting, and shall be entitled to retain
five per centum on the amount received as compensation. Duty of treasurer. Shall give bond

11. Any person taxed for a ditch which does not pass
through his lands may, at his own expense, open and keep
open cross-ditches into the same: provided, that such
cross-ditches shall not be cut through the land of any
other person without his consent, unless it shall be laid
out and the damages assessed by the commissioner ap.
pointed to lay out the main ditch, or other three commissioners,

to be appointed by the county court for that
purpose. The person applying for such cross-ditch shall pay
all costs of making and opening the same, and shall also, before making it, pay or tender all damages awarded. But any person benefited by such cross-ditch shall contribute and pay so much of such damages, costs, and expenses as the commissioners shall determine to he his
fair portion thereof. Costs.

12. Ditches so opened shall remain open for the benefit of those liable to contribute therefor; but if any ditch
shall not be begun within two years from the
confirmation of such return, or shall not be completed within five years thereafter, the whole proceeding shall be void.
Ditches shall remain open.

13. If any person shall intentionally stop up or obstruct
any ditch cut under this law he shall forfeit and pay to
the managers, for the use of the ditch, not less than five nor more than fifty dollars.
Penalty for obstructing ditch.

14. This chapter shall apply to all ditches, blind or open, laid out, or to be laid out, by order of the county court, whether for benefit of land-owners or the public highways, for completing, extending, enlarging, or cleaning
thereof; but it shall not be to alter any special law for ditching or draining low lands.

15. If any commissioners appointed under this act shall die, refuse or be unable to act, any judge of the county court, in vacation, may appoint another in his place.

16. The fees under this chapter shall be: To each commissioner,
one dollar; to the managers, each one dollar for each day actually employed in the discharge of their duties; to the surveyor, such reasonable sum as may be agreed upon by the commissioners; and all other costs not herein provided for shall he regulated by existing laws for fees in similar services.

17. The commissioners under this chapter may adopt, in whole or as a part of the ditch to be located and laid out under this law, any natural stream, any ditch or ditches already made, cut, or laid out.

18. All acts or parts of acts inconsistent with this act are hereby repealed.

19. This act shall apply only to the counties of
Northampton and Accomac.
Counties to which this act shall apply.

20. This act shall be in force from its passage.

CHAP. 301.--ACT to provide for the drainage of low lands in Northampton and Accomac counties. Approved February 19, 1890.
Acts and Joint Resolutions Passed by the General Assembly of Virginia During the Session of 1889-1890
Richmond, Virginia
3 pages, pp. 489-491