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of all moneys received by him belonging to such district, and all moneys paid out by him. , He shall pay out no money except upon a voucher signed by two of the improvement commissioners and countersigned by the county judge, and he shall carefully preserve all orders for the payment of money and as often as required by the said improvement commissioners or the commissioners court, he shall render a correct account to them on all matters pertaining to the financial condition of such district.
SEC. 36. All taxes levied or authorized to be levied by this Act shail be payable and shall mature and become delinquent as is provided by the laws of this State for State and county taxes and upon the failure to pay such taxes when due, the same penalties shall accrue and be collected as provided by the laws of the State of Texas for the non-payment of State and county taxes. All taxes shall be a lien upon the property for which said property is assessed. In the assessment and collection of the taxes levied or authorized to be levied by this Act, the assessor and collector of taxes shall, respectively, have the same powers and shall be governed by the same rules and regulations as provided by the laws of the State of Texas for the assessment and collection of State and county taxes, unless herein otherwise provided.
SEC. 37. The county treasurer shall execute a good and sufficient bond payable to the improvement commissioners and their successors in office of such district and in the county where said district is located, in a sum equal to one and one-fourth the amount of the bonds issued, conditioned for the faithful performance of his duty as treasurer of such district, which bond shall be approved by said improvement commissioners, and the treasurer shall be allowed as compensation for his services as such treasurer, one half of one per cent. Such treasurer may make said bond with any guaranty or surety company as may be approved by such improvement commissioners and the premiums due such guaranty or surety company making said bond shall be paid out of the maintenance fund of the improvement district, and shall not be a charge against the county treasurer.
SEC. 38. The right of eminent domain is hereby expressly conferred upon all improvement districts established under the provisions of this Act for the purpose of acquiring the fee-simple title, easement or right of way to and over and through any and all lands, waters or lands under waters, private or public (except land and property used for cemetery purposes) within or bordering on such districts, necessary for making, constructing and maintaining all levees and all other improvements for the improvement of a river or rivers, creek or creeks, or streams within or bordering on such districts, to prevent overflows thereof. All condemnation proceedings or suits in the exercise of eminent domain under this Act shall be instituted under the direction of the improvement commissioners and in the name of the improvement district and all suits or other proceedings for such purposes and for the assessing of damages shall be in conformity to the Statutes of the State of Texas for condemning and acquiring land or the right of way thereon, by eminent domain, by railroad corporations; provided, that no appeal from the judgment or order of condemnation [of the commissioners assessing damages to any one whose land is sought to be condemned, shall have the effect of preventing the said improvement district from going upon and using the land so sought to be condemned during the pendency of said appeal; provided, however, that the said improvement district shall deposit with the county clerk of the county in which such proceedings are pending, a sum equal
a to double the amount of money adjudged by them to be paid for said land, or the right of way thereon, and all costs thereon accrued.
SEC. 39. The improvement commissioners of any district are hereb: empowered to acquire the necessary right of way for all levees and other necessary improvements contemplated by this Act, by gift, grant, purchase or condemnation proceedings, and may by the same method acquire any levees or other improvements already constructed within the territory in any such improvement district, and if acquired by grant or purchase, such purchase shall be subject to the approval of the county commisisoners court.
SEC. 10. Any person who shall wrongfully or purposely cut, injure, or destroy or in any manner impair the usefulness of any levee or other improvement constructed under the provisions of this Act, for the purpose of improving rivers etc., and preventing overflows of water, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction may be fined in any sum not exceeding one hundred dollars, or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months or by both such fine and imprisonment.
SEC. 41. The improvement commissioners of any district and the civil engineer from time of their appointments are hereby authorized to go upon any lands or water courses lying within said districts or bordering thereon for the purpose of examining the same, and locating all levee: and other improvements, making plans, surveys, maps and profiles, together, with all necessary teams, help and instruments without subjecting themselves to an act of trespass, and any person or persons, firm or corporation, who shall willfully prevent or prohibit any of such officers from entering any land for such purposes, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined in any sum not exceeding twenty-five dollars for each day he, they or it, shall so prevent or hinder such officer from entering upon such land, and any justice of the peace of the county shall have jurisdiction in all such offenses.
SEC. 12. It shall be the duty of such improvement commissioners to keep the levees and other improvements made under the provisions of this Act in repair and they shall be given authority to supervise and control the construction and maintenance of same, and no county, or improvement district nor the tax payers therein shall be held for damages occasioned by the construction, maintenance or repair of levees or other improvements under the provisions of this Act.
SEC. 43. Contracts for making and constructing levees and other improvements and all necessary work in connection with any improvement district shall be let by the improvement commissioners to the lowest bidder, after giving notice by advertisng the same in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the State of Texas once a week for four consecutive weeks and by posting notices for at least thirty days in five public places in the county, one of which shall be at the court house door, and at least two of which shall be within said improvement district and the contract for such levee and other improvement may be let in separate sections or parcels or all together; provided that all the improvements included in the report of improvement engineer and approved by the court as provided for in this Act shall be constructed.
SEC. 4. Any person or corporation or firm desiring to bid on the construction of any work advertised as provided for in this Act shall, upon application to the improvement commissioners, be furnished a copy of the engineer's report, showing location, profile and estimate of such as [is] provided for in this Act, provided such person shall pay the county clerk for making same, and all bids or offers to do any work shall be in writing and sealed and delivered to the chairman of the improvement commisioners together with a certified check for at least five per cent of the total amount bid, which shall be forfeited to the district in case the bidder refuses to enter into the proper contract, if his bid is accepted; and any and all bids may be rejected by the said commissioners.
SEC. 45. All contracts made by the improvement commissioners shall be reduced to writing and signed by the contractor and the commissioners, and approved by the county judge, and a copy of same shall be filed with the county clerk for reference.
SEC. 46. The party, firm or corporation to whom any such contract is let shall give bond payable to the improvement commissioners for said district, and in the county where said district is located, in double the amount of the contract price, conditioned that he, they or it, will faithfully perform the obligations, agreements and covenants of their contracts, and in default thereof will pay to said district all damages sustained by reason thereof. Said bond shall be approved by such commissioners and the county judge.
Sec. 47. The improvement engineer shall furnish the contractor with a sectionized profile of the work contracted for, showing the height, width, and slope, brim and location of all levees and the number of cubic yards of earth to be removed and other work to be done by the contractor, together with drawn plans and specifications for such work, and such work shall be done by the contractor under the management and control and supervision of said improvement engineer and improvement commissioners, who shall indicate to the said contractor, the beginning point and termination of all levees and other improvements called for by said contract, and when such work is completed according to the contract, the engineer shall make a detailed report of the same to the improvement commissioners, showing whether the contract has been fully complied with according to its terms and. if not, in what particular it has not been complied with.
Sec. 48. The said improvement commissioners are hereby authorized and empowered to make all necessary levees, bridges and culverts to, across and under any railroad tracks and right of way of any such railroads to enable them to construct and maintain any levees or other improvements necessary to be constructed as a part of the levee system of such district, such levees, bridges or culverts to be paid for by such improvement district; provided, however, that notice shall first be given by such improvement commissioners, to the railroad authorities to build or construct levees, bridges or culverts; and the railway company shall be allowed thirty days in which to build or construct the same at its own expense, if it should so desire according to its own plans, provided, that such levees, bridges or culverts shall be constructed so as not to interfere with the purpose of said levee or other improvement, nor with the operation of said railway.
SEC. 49. The said improvement commissioners shall have the right and it is hereby made their duty at all times during the progress of the work being done under contract, to inspect the same, and upon the completion of any contract to their satisfaction, and when they have accepted the improvements as completed according to contract, they shall draw a warrant on the county treasurer for the amount of the contract price, or so much thereof as remains unpaid at that time, in favor of the contractor or his assigns, which warrant shall, when approved by the county judge, be paid out of the improvement funds of said district.
SEC. 50. If the said improvement commissioners shall deem it advisable in order to obtain more favorable contracts, they may advertise and contract for work to be paid in partial payments as the work progresses, but such partial payments shall not exceed in the aggregate seventy-five per cent of the amount to be paid under the contract, the amount of work completed to be shown by certified report of the engineer, and no payment to be made for work not completed.
SEC. 51. The improvement commissioners shall make an annual report of their acts and doings as such commissioners and file the same with the clerk of the county court on or before the first day of January of each year, which report shall show in detail the kind, character and amount of work done in the district, the cost of the same and other data necessary to show the conditions of improvements under the provisions of this Act.
SEC. 52. The improvement commissioners are hereby empowered and authorized to employ counsel to represent such districts in the preparation of any contracts, or the conducting of any proceedings in or out of court, and to be the legal adviser of such improvement commissioners upon such terms and for such fees as may be agreed upon by them and approved by the county judge, and such commissioners may draw a warrant in payment of such legal services to be paid out of the fund of said district upon approval by the county judge.
SEC. 53. Neither the county judge nor any county commissioner nor the improvement engineer nor the improvement commissioners shall be directly or indirectly interested for themselves or as agents for any one else in the contract and construction of any work to be performed by such improvement district, and if any of said officers or either of them, shall directly or indirectly become interested in any contracts for such work or any fee paid by such improvement district whereby he shall receive any money consideration or other thing of value, other than such fees and compensation as may be provided for herein, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than six months nor more than one year.
Sec. 54. The improvement districts established under this Act may acquire (property], and through the improvement commissioners sue and be sued in all the courts of this State in the name of such improvement district, and all courts of this State shall take judicial notice of such said districts.
SEC. 55. The improvement commissioners, for the purpose of protecting any levees or other improvement constructed under the authority of this Act, shall be authorized to keep the space between any levees or other improvement, and the stream or streams the overflow of which is intended to be prevented, free and clear from all obstructions, and if any district should by gift, purchase or condemnation become the owner of any such land, or any other land not needed and used for the purpose of drainage, the said improvement commissioners shall have authority to lease any such land for any purpose which shall not inter fere with the work or use of such district on such terms and for such rental as said improvement commissioners may see fit, and all moneys received therefrom shall be paid to the county treasurer for the use of said district.
Sec. 56. The improvement commissioners shall have the authority, with the consent of the county judge, to let the use of any levee for a public highway, or street or railway or street railway or interurban railway right of way, or for telegraph, telephone or electric poles upon such terms as such improvement commissioners and the county judge shall deem proper, but provisions shall be made in any such contract for the payment by the levy of an equitable portion of the cost and expense of thereafter maintaining such levee in good condition for the purposes for which such levee was constructed, and any money received for such rental use shall be paid to the county treasurer for the use of such district.
SEC. 57. The improvement commissioners shall have authority to dispose of, by sale, any and all earth or any material acquired by the district and not needed for the construction or maintenance of the improvements being constructed under the provisions of this Act pertaining to this district, and any money received from same [shall] be paid to the county treasurer for the use and benefit of the district.
SEC. 58. The improvement commissioners, with the consent of the commissioners court, shall have authority to sell and convey any land, the fee of which has been acquired by such district, by purchase, gift, or condemnation, and not needed at the time or likely to be thereafter needed for the use of the district, upon such terms as said improvement commissioners and the county judge may deem best for the district, and the money received from any such sale shall be paid to the county treasurer for the use of the district. The deed of conveyance of such lands shall be executed by the chairman of such improvement district commissioners, in the name of the improvement district.
SEC. 59. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are hereby repealed.
SEC. 60. The fact that many communities in Texas should as early as possible organize improvement districts for the prevention of overflows and are in great need of protection from overflows, and there is now no law under which said improvement district can possibly be formed, and from the fact that several communities in this State have attempted