No drain may be constructed on lands owned by the state or on lands on which the state exercises management control by easement, lease or otherwise, without the written permission of the agency responsible for the lands. The agency shall grant such permission upon application made to it, unless it finds after notice and public hearing thereon that the proposed drain will be injurious to the use of the property for the purposes for which it was acquired by the agency. Any administrative decision on the application, or any findings or order of the agency after public hearing, made hereunder shall be subject to review under ch. 227
History: 1993 a. 490
BORROWING MONEY; REFINANCING;
COMPROMISE OF DEBTS
Borrowing money. 88.54(1)(1)
At any time after the filing of a petition for organization of a drainage district but before the court issues an order organizing the drainage district, the drainage board may, with the consent of the court, borrow money in the name of the proposed drainage district to defray the expenses of organization.
The board may borrow money in an amount not exceeding the then unpaid assessments for costs, for the purpose of paying any or all obligations of a drainage district or for refunding existing notes or bonds. The board may secure the indebtedness by notes or bonds of the district, bearing interest at a rate approved by the board and running not beyond one year after the due date of the last installment of the assessments on account of which the money was borrowed. The notes and bonds constitute a lien upon all confirmed assessments for costs that are unpaid at the time the notes are given or bonds issued. Board members are not personally liable on the notes or bonds.
If the board desires to borrow money upon the notes or bonds of a drainage district to be paid during a series of years and after the lapse of a period of not more than 3 years, the board shall first publish a class 2 notice, under ch. 985
, to invite proposals to furnish the money desired at the most favorable rate of interest or, if notes or bonds are issued at a specific rate of interest approved by the board, proposals to purchase the notes or bonds at the best premium. If the advertisement is made without success and if the board is unable to sell the notes or bonds at par or above, the board may sell the notes or bonds at private sale at the best price it can obtain for them.
If at any time the board finds that a district does not have or will not have sufficient funds on hand to pay any lawful indebtedness of the district when the indebtedness becomes due, or if any extraordinary emergency requires borrowing, the board may borrow money to pay the indebtedness or meet the emergency. If the amount to be borrowed does not exceed $8,000 and the loan does not run beyond one year, the board may borrow the money without holding a hearing. In other cases, s. 88.065
applies. When necessary, additional assessments to pay the loans shall be made under s. 88.23
Except in the case of refunding bonds, no evidence of indebtedness of a district running for more than one year is valid unless approved by the attorney general and unless it bears a statement showing the approval.
The board shall keep a record of all bonds and notes issued on behalf of a district. Such record shall show with respect to each bond and note the number, series, date, principal, rate of interest and date of maturity thereof, the date when interest is due thereon and any payments made. If a bond or note is refunded it shall be marked “Refunded by No. ....". The board shall execute all bonds or notes it offers to the public that mature after more than one year as provided in s. 67.08 (1)
and may register these bonds or notes under s. 67.09
Refunding district obligations. 88.55(1)(1)
The drainage board may refund bonds of the district and issue new bonds of the district payable over a term determined by the board. The aggregate principal amount of the new bonds shall not exceed the aggregate principal amount of the refunded bonds and the unpaid accrued interest on them. The new bonds shall bear interest at a rate approved by the board.
When bonds of the district have been refunded or are about to be refunded under sub. (1)
, the board may, on petition of one or more landowners or of the board, extend the time in which to pay assessments for construction to September 1 next preceding the due date of a like portion of the refunding bonds which are liens thereon. In such event, the face of all unpaid past due assessments so extended, together with all interest, penalties and charges, shall be a lien on the lands against which the assessments were originally made. The board may make all orders and do all other things necessary to carry into effect the extension of time.
History: 1993 a. 456
Compromise and discharge of obligations. 88.56(1)(1)
Whenever a drainage district is unable to pay its bonds and notes in full, the board may enter into a written compromise agreement with the owners of not less than 70 percent of its obligations. When such agreement has been signed by members of the board and the owners of 70 percent of such obligations, all creditors of the district are subject to such agreement to the same extent as those signing the agreement, and their claims shall be treated in all respects as if they had executed such agreement.
Whenever a drainage district is unable to pay its obligations in full, the board may file with the court a petition for an order approving a settlement of claims and directing an equitable distribution of net assets among the creditors of the district. Such petition shall list the available assets of the district, the obligations of the district, the owners of such obligations and their names and addresses or, if unknown, a statement of that fact, and shall state whether a compromise agreement has been executed under sub. (1)
. If such agreement has been executed, a copy thereof shall be attached to the petition.
Upon receiving a petition under sub. (2)
, the court shall enter an order fixing a time not less than 4 months nor more than 6 months after receipt of the petition within which creditors shall present their claims for examination and allowance. The order shall also fix a time and place for hearing on claims and publication and notice shall be given under s. 88.05 (1) (b)
to all creditors of the district whose names and addresses are known.
The court shall receive, examine and adjust all claims and demands against the district. At the time set for hearing on claims, any claim may be allowed which is accompanied by a statement of account verified by affidavit and to which no objection is received, except that no claim shall be allowed until the court is satisfied that it is just.
The court shall make a statement embracing a list of the claims presented against the district and those presented as a set-off. Such statement shall show how much was allowed and how much disallowed in each case, together with the final balance, whether in favor of the creditor or the district. Such statement shall be filed by the judge and shall stand as the judgment of the court. The court may make an order directing that the available balance of the funds of the district, after costs are paid, be distributed among the district's creditors as equity requires and discharging the district from further liability on its obligations.
All claims against a district which are not filed within the time limited by this section are barred.
History: 1993 a. 456
Laying out drains, assessment of benefits and award of damages in existing drainage district.
After the organization of a drainage district and the construction of drains under the procedures in ss. 88.35
, if the drainage board proposes to construct additional drains in the existing drainage district, it shall prepare reports, assess benefits and damages, conduct a hearing and determine costs and benefits substantially as provided under ss. 88.35
History: 1993 a. 456
NOTE: 1993 Wis. Act 456
, which created this section, contains extensive explanatory notes.
CONSTRUCTION, MAINTENANCE AND
IMPROVEMENT OF DRAINS
Conditions relative to doing of work. 88.62(1)(1)
The drainage board may authorize the drainage district to do its own work or the board may enter into contracts to have the work done. The board may advertise for bids and shall do so in all cases where the work to be done will cost in excess of $25,000. When the board is required to advertise for bids, the board shall publish a class 2 notice, under ch. 985
, and other notices that the board considers appropriate, and the work shall be let to the lowest responsible bidder unless in the board's opinion the bid is unreasonably high and a lower bid can be obtained. The board may continue the letting of the work from time to time, and may reject any or all bids.
Before the board or its contractor may enter on lands for the construction of any drain on the lands, any damages awarded to the owners of the lands in excess of assessments against the lands for the cost of construction must have been paid or tendered. If the owner is unknown or the board for any other reason cannot safely pay the owner, it may deposit the net damages in an escrow account for the benefit of the owner or other party who is entitled to the damages, to be paid or distributed when payment can be made to the owner or other party or released after 5 years, whichever occurs first. Notwithstanding ch. 177
, any funds not claimed in 5 years may be retained by the drainage board for the benefit of the drainage district for which the funds are held, after the board publishes a class 2 notice under ch. 985
and mails notice to the last-known address of each owner or other party regarding the existence of the unclaimed funds. The payment has the same effect as a tender to and acceptance of damages by the person entitled to the damages.
Except for a removal of material that is exempt from the individual and general permit requirements under s. 30.20
as specified under s. 30.20 (1g) (d)
and except as provided under par. (b)
, if drainage work is undertaken in navigable waters, the drainage board shall obtain a permit under s. 30.20
or ch. 31
, as directed by the department of natural resources.
If drainage work is undertaken in navigable waters located in the Duck Creek Drainage District, the board for that district shall obtain a permit under s. 30.20
or ch. 31
, as directed by the department of natural resources.
Maintenance and repair of drains. 88.63(1g)(1g)
In this section “maintenance and repair" refers to the restoration of a drain or any part thereof as nearly as practicable to the same condition as when originally constructed or subsequently improved, including resloping of open ditches and leveling of spoil banks or excavated materials, and such routine operations as from time to time may be required to remove obstructions and preserve the efficiency of the drains. The terms do not include any substantial or material alteration, enlargement or extension of the drainage system of the district.
It is the duty of the drainage board to maintain in good condition the drains in all districts under the board's jurisdiction and to repair such drains when necessary. The board shall have all drains under its jurisdiction inspected annually to determine the need for maintenance and repair work. The board shall apportion the cost of such inspection to the various districts involved and the cost shall be paid out of any funds of the district available for maintenance and repair. The board may hire an inspector or authorize one or more owners of land in the drainage district to make the inspection or members of the board may themselves make the inspection.
The board may establish and maintain a fund for the payment of the costs of normal operations and maintenance and repair and for emergency expenses. Moneys in a fund under this subsection may not exceed amounts reasonably necessary for the purposes under this subsection.
The drainage board may use the funds assessed for maintenance and repair to pay for the costs of undertaking or defending a lawsuit involving the board, a board member or a drainage district or for representing an owner of land in a drainage district as provided in s. 88.21 (13)
. The board shall allocate the costs to individual drainage districts in an equitable manner.
Ch. 30 applies to navigable ditches that were originally navigable streams. If a navigable ditch was originally nonnavigable or had no previous stream history, the Department of Natural Resources' jurisdiction depends upon the facts of each situation. Section 31.33 applies to nonnavigable artificial waterways insofar as is necessary to protect navigable waters and owners of flooded waters. 63 Atty. Gen. 493.
Assessment against municipalities for enlargement or maintenance of drains. 88.64(1)(a)
“Enlarge" means to increase the capacity of a drain to convey water, including adding facilities such as pumps or lift stations, by performing any necessary construction.
“Municipality" means a city, village or town.
A drainage board may assess a municipality with territory upstream from any drain for any costs of enlarging or maintaining the drain that are attributable to increased water flow from land within the municipality. If the drainage board assesses a portion of the costs of enlarging or maintaining a drain against a municipality, the drainage board shall use the procedure under this section.
The drainage board shall obtain a report prepared by a professional engineer who is selected from the list specified in s. 88.21 (5)
. The report shall include all of the following:
The construction and costs that are necessary to restore the drain so that it conveys the same amount of water as when most recently constructed or enlarged.
The construction and costs that are necessary to enlarge the drain to convey the flow of water from any land in the drainage district or upstream from the drainage district that has been newly drained since the drain was most recently constructed or enlarged.
The construction and costs that are necessary to enlarge the drain to convey the flow of surface water from upstream sources that represents an increase in flow since the drain was most recently constructed or enlarged.
Of the increased flow identified in par. (c)
, the amount of that flow that is attributable to each municipality with territory in the watershed above the drain, based proportionally on all of the following:
The increased flow into the drain from impermeable surfaces such as roads, parking lots or roofs since the drain was most recently constructed or enlarged, whether or not the impermeable surfaces are within the watershed.
The increased flow into the drain from the discharge of wastewater from a sewage treatment plant since the drain was most recently constructed or enlarged, whether or not the source of the wastewater is within the watershed.
The maintenance costs that are attributable to the flow of surface water from upstream sources that represents an increase in flow since the drain was most recently constructed or enlarged.
Upon completion of the report under sub. (3)
, the drainage board shall set a time and place for a hearing on the report and shall give the notice under s. 88.05 (2) (b)
to the persons specified in s. 88.05 (4) (c)
and to the clerk of each municipality identified in the report as responsible for a portion of the costs of enlarging or maintaining the drain. At the hearing on the report, the drainage board shall hear all objections to the report by any aggrieved person. Representatives of a municipality may introduce evidence that tends to establish a different allocation of costs. If the drainage board finds that the report requires modification or amendment, it shall modify or amend the report as the facts warrant.
At the conclusion of the hearing and after completion of the final report, the drainage board shall issue an order directing each municipality to pay the portion of the cost of enlarging or maintaining the drain as determined in the report. If the drainage board orders or allows landowners in the drainage district to pay for the costs of enlarging or maintaining the drain in installments, the drainage board shall permit a municipality to pay the assessment in installments. The drainage board shall mail the order to the clerk of each municipality by certified mail.
Any municipality affected by the order may, within 120 days after receipt of the order under sub. (5)
, request the state drainage engineer to review the final report and order of the drainage board. The state drainage engineer shall complete the review of the final report and order within 120 days after receiving the request from the municipality. The state drainage engineer shall issue a report on whether the drainage board order complies with the report prepared under sub. (3)
, including a recommendation that the drainage board affirm, modify and affirm or reverse the order. The state drainage engineer shall mail a copy of the report and recommendation to the drainage board and to each municipality that is subject to an order under sub. (5)
. Upon receiving the state drainage engineer's report and recommendation, the drainage board shall promptly issue an order to affirm, modify and affirm or reverse its previous order and mail the order by certified mail to the clerk of each municipality affected by the order and the state drainage engineer. The municipalities that request the state drainage engineer to review the report and order shall jointly pay the actual and necessary costs of the review and the payment shall be credited to the appropriation under s. 20.115 (7) (ga)
A municipality affected by a drainage board order issued under sub. (5)
may seek review of the order under s. 88.09
, except that a municipality may commence the action within 120 days after receiving the order.
If a municipality pays the costs assessed by an order issued under sub. (5)
, it shall pay the costs or make the first payment of the costs on the February 15 following adoption by the municipality of its next annual budget after the order is issued.
History: 1993 a. 456
NOTE: 1993 Wis. Act 456
, which created this section, contains extensive explanatory notes.
Construction and repair of drains crossing railroad right-of-way. 88.66(1)(1)
If necessary for proper drainage, the board may lay out and construct drains across any railway right-of-way within a district. As soon as the drain has been constructed up to such right-of-way, the railway company shall open its right-of-way and permit such drain to cross the same.
Every district whose drains cross the right-of-way of a railway company is liable to such company for the reasonable cost of opening its right-of-way and also for the cost of the culverts and bridges made necessary by such drain. The drainage board shall include such costs in its cost of construction, as set forth in its report of benefits and damages, and shall award them as damages to the railway company. The bridge or culvert shall be designed by the district's engineer and the design submitted to the railway company for approval. If a dispute arises as to the adequacy of the design, either party may submit the dispute to the office of the commissioner of railroads by filing with the office a statement as to the facts involved and the nature of the dispute. The office shall investigate and determine the matter in controversy in accordance with ch. 195
, and any order it makes in such proceeding has the same effect as an order in any other proceeding properly brought under ch. 195
Whenever the cleaning out, deepening or reconstruction of a drain crossing a railway right-of-way requires the lowering of a culvert through such right-of-way in order to provide effective drainage, the drainage board shall proceed as provided in subs. (4)
. Except as provided in par. (b)
, the expenses involved in such lowering shall be borne by the drainage district or as provided by mutual agreement between the railway company and the drainage board.
Whenever a railroad is being constructed or reconstructed across a drainage district's drain, or a culvert in such drain is being replaced, the railway company shall consult with the drainage board having jurisdiction of such district for the purpose of determining the depth at which such drain was laid out. If any culvert or similar opening in a railway right-of-way is installed at a grade higher than the depth at which such drain was laid out, the expenses involved in any future lowering of the culvert pursuant to par. (a)
shall be borne by the railway company unless the company was misled by the drainage board as to the proper grade at which to install the culvert. This paragraph applies only to work done after June 13, 1964.
Whenever it becomes necessary to open a railway right-of-way in order to permit cleaning out or repairing any district drain, the board shall ascertain the reasonable cost thereof and, except as otherwise provided in sub. (3)
, shall award such cost as damages to the railway company in the board's report when assessing the cost of repairs.
Upon receiving 30 days' notice in writing, any railway company across whose right-of-way any drainage district drain is laid out shall open its right-of-way to permit the board and its contractors, agents or employees to construct, clean out or repair such drain.
If the railway company fails to open its right-of-way as required by this section, the board may at any time after the expiration of 30 days from the giving of the notice specified in sub. (5)
open such right-of-way along the lines of such drains and construct, clean out or repair the same and may recover from the railway company the reasonable expense of opening the right-of-way.
The district constructing, cleaning out or repairing a drain across the right-of-way of a railway company shall so prosecute the work as not to delay traffic upon such railway for longer than is absolutely necessary.
Construction and repair of drains crossing utility installations; laying utility installations across drains. 88.67(1)(1)
Whenever the construction, reconstruction, clean out or repair of a drain makes necessary the removal or raising of a utility installation in order to permit the passage of a dredge or other machinery or whenever the lowering of an underground utility installation is necessary in order to provide effective drainage, the owner of the utility installation, upon being given 30 days' written notice stating the place where such dredge or machinery will pass or that lowering is necessary to provide effective drainage, shall remove, raise or lower the utility installation as requested by the board. Except as provided in sub. (3)
, the expenses involved in such removal, raising or lowering shall be borne by the drainage district or as provided by mutual agreement between the drainage board and the owner of the utility installation.
If after the 30 days' notice specified in sub. (1)
the owner of the utility installation fails to remove, raise or lower the same, the board may do so and may recover from the owner of the installation the cost of the removal, raising or lowering.
Whenever an underground utility installation is being laid or relaid across a drainage district's drain, the owner of the utility installation shall consult with the drainage board having jurisdiction of such district for the purpose of determining the grade at which such drain was laid out. If an underground utility installation is laid at a grade higher than the grade at which the drain was laid out, the expenses involved in any future lowering of the utility installation shall be borne by the owner of the utility installation unless the owner was misled by the drainage board as to the proper grade at which to lay the utility installation. This subsection applies only to work done after June 13, 1964.
In this section “utility installation" includes any sluice or pipe carrying any gas or liquid, or any wire, conduit or cable used for conducting electricity or for any other purpose, whether or not such installation is owned by a public utility.
Construction of drain across public highway; construction of bridges across drains. 88.68(1)(1)
Any drain across a public highway shall be constructed according to like specifications and at the same time as the drain above such highway is constructed.
If the construction of a drain across a public highway makes necessary the construction or reconstruction of a bridge, the drainage board and the officers in charge of maintenance of the highway shall try to agree on the best method of constructing or reconstructing the bridge. If they are unable to agree, the matter shall be submitted to arbitration under ch. 788
. If it is determined to reconstruct or add to the bridge, the district shall pay the costs incident to the reconstruction or addition. If it is determined to construct a new bridge, the drainage district shall pay to the unit of government responsible for the maintenance of the highway a sum that is considered equivalent to the value of the bridge in place at the time of the construction of the drain.
If the unit of government in charge of maintenance of a highway decides to construct a new bridge across a drain, the officers in charge of such construction shall notify the drainage board thereof by registered mail addressed to the secretary of the board. If the board within 10 days after receiving such notice notifies the officers in charge of construction of the bridge that it desires such bridge to be constructed with a certain clear span, the bridge shall be constructed in accordance with the board's order. If the board's order requires the bridge to be built of greater span than is necessary for proper drainage of flood waters, any excess cost resulting from such order shall be paid by the drainage district.
Whenever the cleaning out, deepening or reconstruction of a drain crossing a public highway requires the lowering of a culvert through such highway in order to provide effective drainage, the drainage board may proceed to lower such culvert only after obtaining a permit under s. 86.07 (2) (a)
. In lieu of issuing a permit, the authority in charge of maintenance of the highway may proceed to do the work itself. Except as provided in s. 86.075
, the expenses involved in such lowering shall be borne by the drainage district, or as provided by mutual agreement between the highway authority and the drainage board.
History: 1993 a. 456
; 2015 a. 231
District liable for damage to land outside its boundaries. 88.69(1)(1)
A drainage district is liable for any damages resulting to lands outside its boundaries because of work done within its boundaries. In this subsection “damages" means only such damages as could be recovered against a natural person for like injury resulting from like work. No action shall be taken to collect damages to outside lands until the damages actually have resulted. In cases of construction of new drains, the state may proceed pursuant to ch. 813
to prevent damage or injury to lands owned by the state.
If through the construction of a drain by a higher district a lower drainage district incurs extra expense in providing means to carry off the waters or remove the sediment flowing from the higher district, the higher district is liable for such increased cost. The amount of such increased cost may be agreed upon between the districts or may be recovered in an action at law.
History: Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 774 (1975).