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OF DITCHES.

CHAPTER 142.

Pipe-Elm
Branch

pany incor. porated.

OF DITCHES.
AN ACT for the Improvement of Pipe-Elm Branch in Kent County.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met (two-thirds of each branch of the Legislature concurring therein):

SECTION 1. That the owners of the low grounds, marsh Ditch Com- and cripple situated upon and contiguous to and draining

- into Pipe-Elm branch in Kent county, State of Delaware,

shall be a body politic and corporate, by the name of “PipeElm Branch Ditch Company, and by that name shall be able to sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded in any court of law or equity in this State or elsewhere, and shall have, possess and enjoy all the rights, incidents, privileges, liberties, franchises and immunities common to such corporations, for the purpose of the more effectually draining, ditching and reclaiming the said low grounds, marsh and cripple and straightening the ditch and course of said Pipe-Elm branch. They may have and use a common seal.

Powers, etc.

Commis. sioners.

Course of
Ditch.

SECTION 2. That William Dyer, George H. Gildersleeve, Thomas W. Wilson, Charles H. Pardee and James A. Davis

be and they are hereby appointed commissioners, who shall Duty of. view the said low grounds, marsh and cripple, and shall lay

out a ditch, coinmencing at the southern line of lands of William Dyer (known as the Hoffecker farm), and on the division line of Walker M. Crock; thence down through the lands of said Walker M. Crock to the lands of Samuel Creadick, M. D.; thence through the lands of said Samuel Creadick, M. D. and through lands of others, following the

watercourse of said Pipe-Elm branch to tidewater. They Surveyor. may take with them a surveyor. They shall make out a plot Plot and and return, showing the dimensions, courses and distances of

the ditch and straightening of said branch. They shall show by general delineation, without survey, the low grounds,

marsh and cripple of each taxable's portion thereof, of any Valuation. land benefited, and the estimated number of acres, and value Plot and re- or amount each acre is benefited. The plot and return shall

in be filed in the office of the Recorder of Deeds in and for

Kent county and shall be recorded by said Recorder in his

return.

turn filed in Recorder's office.

OF DITCHES.

xpenses.

assessment.

office. The cominissioners shall in said return state the Estimate oí amount necessary for cutting said ditch and straightening said ex branch, and the amount so fixed by them for cutting said ditch and straightening said branch, and, in addition thereto, the costs and expenses incident thereto in procuring this act and the laying out of said ditch and straightening said branch, and all expenses incurred under and in pursuance of this act shall be the sum assessed, levied and collected the first year Assement in which said commissioners shall perform their duties prescribed by this act. The sum or amount subsequently to be Subsequent assessed, levied and collected shall be fixed at the annual ass meeting by a majority of the votes cast at such meeting. The commissioners and surveyor, if any surveyor shall be chosen, shall be sworn or affirmed to the faithful and im- Oath of partial performance of their duty. All the commissioners com must go upon the said low grounds, but a majority may de- surveyor. cide any matter and perform any duty required of them under this act. In case of a vacancy occurring in the com- Vacancies. missioners by refusal to act, or by death, resignation, or otherwise, the others or other of them may fill the vacancy or vacancies.

Commis. sioners and

damages

SECTION 3. If any person shall be injured by inaking of Award of said ditch or straightening said branch, the commissioners shall award damages to such person, taking into consideration the advantages and disadvantages, and the same shall be paid or tendered before cutting the ditch or straightening said branch. If any person to whom damages shall be awarded resides out of the county, or shall be a minor, then Award to said damages shall be deposited to the credit of such nonresident, or minor, in the Farmers' Bank, at Dover. All minors. persons who will be benefited by said ditch, or straightening who liable said branch, shall be liable to contribute to the cost of mak- to ing such ditch and straightening said branch, the damages awarded, the expenses of the proceedings and recording the same, and all costs and expenses incident thereto. The valuation of benefits fixed by the commissioners and esti- Basis of mated number of acres and the valuation of each acre shall assess be and form the basis of assessment and levy of taxes.

non-residents or to

be depcoplnty, or om dam

to be taxed

SECTION 4. The commissioners shall fix a day for hear- Appeals ing appeals. Notice of the time and place shall be posted in at least three public places in the neighborhood five days at least before the [day] for hearing appeals. The commissioners shall hear and determine all appeals and may alter or

OF DITCHES.

change any valuation of benefits, either in number of acres or value of benefits per acre, by increasing or diminishing the valuation of benefits or number of acres. All appeals shall be in writing.

Certain bridges and causeways

by county.

Elections.

election.

Annual meeting

SECTION 5. If any public road shall be crossed by such

dditch, cut or made under the provisions of this act, the to be kept bridges, and causeways leading to any such bridges, shall be

kept up at the public charge of Kent county, as they are now kept up and repaired.

SECTION 6. The commissioners shall, within ten days from the inaking their return to the Recorder, convene the persons liable to contribute by taxation to the costs and expenses incident thereto, for the purpose of choosing two managers and a treasurer of the company to serve until

the next annual meeting after the time they are chosen Notice of and until their successors are duly chosen. Notice of the

time and place of this meeting shall be posted in at least three public places in the neighborhood, five days at least before the meeting. The managers shall annually thereafter, in the same inanner, call a ineeting for the same pur

pose on the fourth Saturday in March. At all meetings the Voting. taxables shall be entitled to one vote for each dollar of tax Proxy. paid by them respectively. Any person may vote by proxy,

in writing under their hand and seal attested by at least one witness. All matters may be acted upon which in the judgment of the company are necessary for the benefit of the company at any annual or special meeting.

SECTION 7. The return made by the commissioners shall assessment. be the basis for any subsequent assessment that may be made

by the managers for completing, cleansing, widening, deepening or repairing such ditch, and for other necessary purposes, until the persons liable to be assessed and coultribute, as aforesaid, shall, at an annual meeting, express by a majority of the votes cast in favor of a new valuation of benefits and apportionment. If at any annual meeting the

votes shall determine as aforesaid, then the said ineeting Commis- shall choose five commissioners, who shall be members of the make new company, whose duty it shall be to make a new valuation assessment. of benefits and a new estimate of the number of acres

Basis of

benefited, and the amount per acre, and may include other persons not then liable to assessment, if they, or a majority of them, are satisfied that such person or persons are benefited,

sioners to

OF DITCHES.

and may exclude any person who at the time such new . valuation is made, if they, or a majority of them, are satisfied that such person or persons are not benefited by such . ditch or straightening said branch. They shall be sworn or affirmed to the faithful performance of their duty. The pro- Proceedings ceedings shall be the same as in the original proceedings, except the commissioners shall not fix the amount to be levied. The duties of said commissioners shall be complete Duty. when they shall have filed their proceedings for record in the office of the Recorder of Deeds in and for Kent county. Any new valuation of benefits and estimate of the number of acres and the value of benefits of each acre shall be and form the basis for assessment until another valuation and Basis of estimate shall in like manner be authorized and made.

assessment.

ty of.

managers.

SECTION 8. The managers shall proceed to make and Managers, open the ditch and make other improvements of said branch duty designated by the said commissioners, and may cleanse, widen, deepen, ahd repair the same when necessary, and shall have full power for that purpose. They shall keep regular accounts of all the expenditures and render the same Accounts of to the company at their annual meeting, and said accounts" shall be audited by two members of the company appointed at said meeting for the purpose of auditing the accounts of the managers and treasurer. All payments shall Payments, be made by orders drawn by the managers on the treasurer. The treasurer shall provide a book in which he shall enter Accounts of in detail all moneys received and disbursed by him and shall" present at the annual meeting the book with his vouchers to be audited by the persons appointed for that purpose.

how made.

Treasurer.

SECTION 9. At each annual meeting there shall be ap- Secretary, pointed a secretary. A book shall be provided by the duty of. company in which all the proceedings of the meetings of the company shall be kept and duly entered in said book and all other matters which shall be ordered by the company to be entered therein.

Treasurer.

SECTION 10. The treasurer shall collect all sums assessed Duty of and levied as hereinbefore provided, and shall have the same power as collectors of county rates, and the proceedings shall be the same as are provided by law for the collection of county taxes. He shall give bond to the company, in the name of Bond. “Pipe-Elm Ditch Company," in double the amount of the taxes to be by him collected, conditioned for the faithful per

OF DITCHES.

forinance of his duty and for the payment to his successor of Compensa. any money due from him. He shall be entitled to retain

five per cent. of the amount received by him as his compensation.

tion.

tion of Com.

and mangers.

Compensa. SECTION II. Each commissioner and manager shall be missioners allowed and shall be paid by the company one dollar for each

day actually employed in the discharge of his duties. The Recorder’s Recorder shall be paid one cent for every ten words he may

record and two dollars for copying the plot. The surveyor, Compensa- if any shall be employed, shall receive two dollars for each

day's service on the premises and ten dollars for inaking plot and return.

fee.

tion of Sur veyor.

Obstructions SECTION 12. If any person shall stop or obstruct said

ditcheut, or any improvement made under this act, he shall Penalty.

forfeit and pay to said company a sum not less than twenty nor more than one hundred dollars, and the managers or any member of the company may sue for and recover the same in the name of the company and for its benefit as debts of like amount are recoverable by law.

Tributary ditches.

SECTION 13. If any person taxed for cutting said ditch, or straightening said branch, shall be the owner of low grounds which cannot be drained without cutting a ditch or ditches through the lands of some other person or persons. or if any person taxed as aforesaid shall be the owner of lands through which the water of another person, taxed as aforesaid, shall pass or drain into the lands of another, any person interested may apply to the managers of said company, who shall go upon the lands of such persons, and if in their judgment a ditch or ditches are necessary shall lay out a ditch or ditches and shall fix the amount required to cut such ditches and the share or part each person benefited shall bear to cut, widen, deepen, cleanse, or repair the same. And if either or any such persons benefited shall refuse or neglect to cut his share or part within sixty days after the managers shall have inade their report in writing to the parties benefited, the other or others, or either of them, may

cut, cleanse, repair, widen or deepen the whole of such ditch Penalty for or ditches, and the person or persons cutting, cleansing, refusal by widening 'deen persons Pen. widening, deepening or repairing said ditch or ditches may efited, to severally and respectively sue and recover from each or help cut tributary either of the person or persons neglecting or refusing re

spectively their share or part of the cost, expense and labor,

ditch.

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