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R. S. 3031- Act 7, 1884 are hereby repealed; provided, that nothing in this act shall be construed to suspend the collection or payment of any taxes heretofore directed to be levied under the provisions of Act No. 5 of the Extra Session of 1878, approved March 26, 1878.
Portions of this act conflict with the several acts establishing the various "Levee Districts."
Acts 7, 1871; 140, E. S. 1877; 5, E. S. 1878 (amend Act 69, 1878), each in turn repeals the previous act.
See title “Levee Districts,'' p. 1410, in connection with Act 33, 1879.
Act 99, 1882, p. 151, authorized the appointment of an additional assistant engineer, but Sec. 2 provided that this act expires two years after its passage” (July 5, 1892).
Act 48, 1886, p. 81, directs the Board to examine certain levees, to contract for closing certain crevasses, makes appropriation therefor, etc.
Act 74, 1892, creating the “Caddy Levee District," did not deprive the Governor of authority to contract for public levees in that district, to be paid for out of the “General Engineer Fund.” Egan vs. Hart, 45 An. 1358. The Board of State Engineers has the power to close Bayou Pierre with a dam, which is part of the levee system of the State, and its public character is not destroyed because third persons have obligated themselves to the contractor to supplement the contract price paid by the State. Id.
See Peart vs. Meeker, 45 An. 421; Surget vs. Chase, 33 An. 838.
STRAIGHTENING STREAMS-IMPROVING NAVIGATION.
Act 7, 1884, p. 15.
An Act entitled an act providing for the straightening the streams in
this State, for the purpose of improving navigation and prevent
ing overflow. SECTION 1. That whenever the levee commissioners of any district or sub-district, or the police jury of any parish in which there is no levee commissioners, shall request the State Board of Engineers to make an examination or survey of any stream in their levee district, or sub-district, or parish, they are hereby directed to have such examination survey made, and, if after making such examination or survey, they think the navigation of such stream will be improved or the lands of such levee district, sub-district or parish will be protected from overflow, by cutting across the bend and straightening such stream, they are hereby directed to have the work done under the laws and regulations governing the construction of public levees; provided, the work ordered as herein provided shall be paid for out of funds set aside or that may hereafter be set aside for the district or sub-district in which such work is done. Sec. 2. That this act shall not apply to the Mississippi river.
See Act 12, 1884. The Drainage and Levee Fund transferred to General Engineer Fund, printed at p. 1360.
R. S. 3031-Acts
Const., Arts. 238 to 243.
The “Levee District" acts are (Orleans excepted) similar in character. A Board of Commissioners, to be appointed by the Governor, is provided for in each act. The duties of various State and parish officers in connection with the subject are specified. Provision is made for the raising of funds, taxation, etc. The acts are not printed in full, because each act applies only to the district created by it. The acts creating the various districts and the acts amending the creating acts are carefully noted.
1. Atchafalaya and Bayou DeGlaize (Special).-Act 103, 1886, p. 188.
2. Atchafalaya Basin.-Act 97, 1890, p. 107. Sec. 10 amended by 140, 1902, p. 241. (Landry et al. vs. Henderson, Sheriff, 109 La. 143.)
Act 9, 1900, p. 8, authorizes the Atchafalaya Basin and Lafourche Basin Levee Districts to issue notes, expropriate lands, to construct locks at the head of Bayou Lafourche, and to transfer them to the Federal government, etc.
Act 84, 1902, p. 115, authorizes the same Boards to construct dams, pumps, ete.
3. Bossier Levee District.- Act 89, 1892, p. 113; amended by Aet 104, 1892, p. 138, Sec. 19 added. (See McDade vs. Board, 109 La. 625.)
4. Buras Levee District.-Act 18, 1894, p. 14; Sec. 10 amended by Act 30, 1898, p. 103. (See Board vs. Mialegvich, 52 An. 1292.)
Act 97, 1898, p. 120, confers authority on Board of Commissioners to issue and negotiate $25,000 six per cent. bonds, etc.
5. Caddo Levee District.-Act 74, 1892, p. 95; amended by Act 90, 1894, p. 125, Sec. 19 added. Secs. 1 and 9 amended by Act 160, 1900, p. 242.
Act 142, 1900, p. 223, confers authority on Board of Commissioners to issue and negotiate $100,000 five per cent. bonds.
The Board of Commissioners of the Caddo Levee District (created by Act 74 of 1892) is liable for its contracts entered into for the building of a levee forming part of the system of the district and recommended by the Board of State Engineeers. Such a contract is not ultra vires. Hughes vs. Board of Commissioners, 108 La. 146. R. S. 2448, and Act 30 of 1877, are intended to apply only to police juries and municipal corporations, and do not apply to Leree Districts. It is one of the instrumentalities which the General Assembly may use in performing its dtuy of maintaining a levee system in the State. Id.; Peart vs. Levee District, 45 An. 425; Egan vs. Hart, 45 An. 1362.
6. Cat Island Levee District.-Act 110, 1894, p. 143.
7. Fifth Louisiana Levee District.-Act 44, 1886, p. 56; Secs. 4 and 5 amended by Act 16, 1890, p. 11; Sec. 9 amended by Act 4, 1892, p. 5, and again by Act 6, 1902, p. 7; Sec. 10 amended by Act 48, 1894, p. 52; Sec. 10 was again amended by Act 11, 1898, p. 10, and again by Act 5, 1902, p. 6.
Act 118, 1886, p. 216, authorizes the commissioners, with the consent of the proper authorities of Arkansas, to construct, maintain or repair such levee or levees in the State of Arkansas as they, in their discretion, may select.
8. Lafourche (Basin) Levee District.- Act 13, 1892, p. 10; Sec. 1 amended by Act 100, 1892, p. 131; Sec. 9 amended by Act 19, 1894, p. 22; Sec. 1, Act 100, 1892; amended by Act 195, 1894.
R. S. 3031- Acts
Grand Isle and Grand Terre Island are not included within the limits of the Lafourche Levee District, enacted by Acts 13 and 100 of 1892. Wilkinson et al. vs. Langridge, 51 An. 189.
See note to Atchafalaya Basin Levee District.
9. Lake Borgne Basin Levee District.-Act 14, 1892, p. 18.
10. Orleans Levee District.— Act 93, 1890, p. 95; Sec. 6 amended by Act 79, 1892, p. 105, and again by Act 140, 1900, p. 221. Sec. 4 was amended by Act 145, 1900, p. 229.
Act 41, 1892, p. 46. Tax to indemnify real estate owners in Sixth and Seventh Municipal Districts.
Act 25, 1894, p. 28. Indemnity to owners of Sixth and Seventh Municipal Distriets for property expropriated.
Act 79, 1898, p. 101, authorizes the Board of Commissioners to indemnify owners of property appropriated, etc., for levee purposes and to impose a tax of One-half mill for the purpose.
Act 116, 1898, p. 171, authorizes the Board of Commissioners to issue $500,000 Eve per cent. bonds, etc.
The Orleans Levee District, created by Act 93, 1890, Sec. 6, is a body politic, with corporate powers, with the right granted to it to sue and be sued. It is a governmental agency to carry into effect certain necessary purposes. While ordinarily it would not have the right to take private property for public use without regular judicial expropriation, there are emergencies--as threatened overflow, which require immediate action; nor need it wait until actual damage is done, and in such cases, the summary taking is justified under the police powers of the State, but the person whose property is taken must be compensated. The right of the Board to act in such cases is not, by law, made conditional upon party obtaining the consent and approval of the State Board of Engineers. Heirs of Koerber vs. New Orleans Levee District Board et als., 51 An. 523.
11. Pontchartrain Levee District. Act 95, 1890, p. 99; Sec. 7 amended by Act 68, 1892, p. 88; Sec. 12 amended by Act 96, 1894, p. 130; Sec. 11 amended by Act 95, 1900, p. 152.
Act 59, 1894, p. 67. Board of Commissioners of, authorized to issue and Degotiate bonds to the amount on one million dollars.
46 An. 1292; 45 An. 423.
Title to land may be vested in district. State ex rel. Godloe vs. Register, 47 An. 568.
12. Red River, Atchafalaya and Bayou Boeuf.. Act 46, 1892, p. 50, re-enacting Act 79, 1890, p. 63.
Aet 62, 1894, p. 71. Board of Commissioners authorized to build a culvert at the mouth of Mill Bayou, in Avoyelles parish.
Act 49, 1900, p. 80, confers authority on Board of Commissioners to issue. $250,000 five per cent. bonds, etc.
13. Tensas Basin Levee District.-Act 59, 1886, p. 96 (repeals Act 26, 1884,
p. 30); Secs. 1, 9, 13, 15 and 20 amended by Act 77, 1888, p. 83; Sec. 2, Aet 1888, amending Sec. 9, Act 1886, and Sec. 5, 1888, amending Sec. 20, Act 1986, were amended by Act 103, 1892. Sec. 10, Act 1886, amended by Act 70, 1894, p. 81. Secs. 3 and 4 of Act 59, 1886, were amended by Act 117, 1898, p. 174, and again by Act 20, 1900, p. 26.
R. S. 3031- Notes 14. Grand Prairie Levee District.- Act 24, 1898, p. 26; Sec. 1 amended by Act 43, 1900, p. 54, and again by Act 16, 1902, p. 23. Secs. 4, 5, 6 were amended by Act 18, 1902, p. 26.
Act 41, 1900, p. 50, authorizes the Board of Commissioners to issue and negotiate $5000 six per cent. bonds, etc.
15. Plaquemines Parish East Bank Levee District.— Act 7, 1902, p. 8; Sec. 4 amended by Act 116, 1902, p. 190.
16. Courtableau Levee District.-Created by Act 166, 1902, p. 310.
The following decisions, while made under one or the other “Levee District' acts, are largely applicable to all:
DECISIONS APPLICABLE TO ALL DISTRICTS.
Taxation.— The produce taxes authorized by Act 74, 1892 (Caddo Levee District), are local assessments, and as such not subject to the limit on taxation imposed by the Constitution (Art. 214) (George et al. vs. Sheriff, etc., 45 An. 1232; see Peart vs. Meeker, 45 An. 421); and so are those under Act 97, 1890 (Atchafalaya Basin Levee District) (Munson vs. Board, 43 An. 15; Taylor vs. Board, Id.; Aucoin vs. Board, Id.; Aldrich vs. Board, Id.; Hill vs. Board, Id. : Kittredge vs. Board, Id.; Pontchartrain Levee District-Ellis vs. Board, 43 An. 33; Jumel vs. Same, Id); and the provisions of the act, authorizing the issue of bonds for levee purposes do not violate the Constitution (Art. 215). See the cases supra. Landry et al. vs. Henderson, 109 La. 143.
Taxes levied for levee purposes are designed to specially benefit particular property, and as such are not within the scope and meaning of the constitutional restriction on the general power of taxation, nor do they violate Const., Arts, 203, 209, 214 and 242. Excelsior, etc., Co. vs. Green, 39 An. 455. An assessment on every bale of cotton produced on taxable land within the levee district is a tax within this rule. Id.
That the benefit conferred on a proprietor is small, because his lands have not been overflowed in years, does not lessen his liability to the tax imposed on others who derive greater benefit. Minor vs. Daspit, 43 An. 337; Cage vs. Same, Id.
But these taxes cannot be imposed by a police jury, as the power to act as levee commissioners was withdrawn by the Constitution of 1879. Ziegler vs. Thompson, 43 An. 1013. Location of Levees
Damages. The location of a levee by the State Board of Engineers cannot give rise to any claim for damages by a land owner who may have been injured. Nor could the levee commissioners, even if they desired to do so, divert any part of the levee funds of the district for that purpose. Peart vs. Meeker, President of the Red River, etc., Levee District, 45 An. 421. See Egan vs. Hart, 45 An. 1362; Hughes vs. Board, etc., 108 La. 146.
Expropriation for Levees.- Land not on the river front does not owe any servitude for levee purposes, and where such land is used therefor, the owner must be compensated, though there is no taking of property. The police power exerts no influence on the issue. Pontchartrain R. Co. vs. Board, 49 An. 570.
Liability for Repairs.- A riparian proprietor upon whose property a break
R. 8. 3031 —Act 14, 1898
DISTRICTS TO ISSUE BONDS.
Act 14, 1898, p. 15.
An Act to carry into effect Article 239 of the Constitution of the
State; to authorize the Boards of Commissioners of the Levee Districts of the State to issue bonds in lieu of the bonds which said Levee Districts have heretofore been authorized to issue and to provide for the retirement of the bonds of said Boards now outstanding; to provide for the payment of the interest and the principal of the bonds authorized by this act; to levy certain taxes and local contributions in default of a levy by said Boards of Commissioners and to provide for the assessment and collection of same; to impose, in connection with the purposes of this act, and the said levy, assessments and collections of taxes and local contributions, certain duties on the said Boards of Commissioners, and on the State Treasurer and Auditor, or other officer filling the functions of State Auditor, and to provide for the enforcement thereof by mandamus; to read into said bonds, as part of the contract thereof, an obligation on the part of the State not to repeal or modify to the detriment of said bonds, this act and certain other acts of the General Assembly creating the Levee Districts of the State, providing for their government and authorizing them to levy and collect taxes and local contributions.
Whereas, Article 239 of the Constitution of the State provides as fol
lows: The several Levee Districts of the State, for the purpose of refunding the bonds heretofore issued by them under authority granted by the Legislature, and in order that they may negotiate to better advantage that portion of their authorized issue of bonds not yet disposed of, may issue bonds in lieu of said bonds outstanding or not yet disposed of. The Legislature shall pass an act to carry this provision into effect, but bonds issued under this provision shall not bear a rate of interest greater than 5 per cent., or be disposed of at less than par, and it shall not be obligatory on the holders of the said outstanding bonds to give up the same in exchange before the maturity thereof.
(Authority to Issue Bonds Interest Rate, etc.)
SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Louisiana, That the Boards of Commissioners of the several Levee Districts of the State are hereby authorized and empowered to issue bonds not to exceed the total amount of bonds which they have been