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tion or their agent or attorney; but should the result of said election be against the establishment of said district, then the said clerk shall pay out of the said $500, upon vouchers signed by the county judge, all costs and expenses pertaining to the said proposed district up to and including the said election, and shall return the balance, if any, of sail $500, to the signers of said original petition or their agent or attorney.
Sec. 23. Whenever any such navigation district bonds shall have been voted, the commissioners court shall lery and cause to be assessed and collected improvement taxes upon all property within said navigation district, whether real, personal, mixed or otherwise, and sufficient in amount to pay the interest on such bonds, together with an additional amount to be annually placed in a sinking fund sufficient to discharge and redeem said bonds at their maturity.
If advisable the sinking fund shall from time to time be invested hy the commissioners court of the county, in such county, municipal, district or other bonds as shall be approved by the Attorney General of the State.
SEC. 24. The county commissioners court shall provide all necessary additional books for the use of the assessor and collector of taxes and the county clerk for such navigation district, and charge the cost of same to the said navigation district. It shall be the duty of the county tax assessor, when ordered to do so by the commissioners court, to assess all property within such navigation district and list ihu same for taxation in the books or rolls furnished him by said commissioners court for that purpose, and return said books or rolls at the same time when he returns the other books or rolls of the State and county taxes, for correction and approval; and if the said commissioners court shall find said books or rolls correct, they shall approve the same, and in all matters pertaining to the assessment of property for taxation in sail districts, the tax assessor and board of equalization of the county in which said district is located, shall be authorized to act and shall be
governed by the laws of Texas for assessing and equalizing property for State and county taxes, except as herein provided. All taxes authorize! to be levied by this Act shall be a lien upon the property upon whic: said taxes are assessed and said taxes may be paid and shall mature and be paid at the time provided by the laws of this State for the payment of State and county taxes and all the penalties provided by the laws of this State for the non-payment of State and county taxes shall apply to all taxes authorized to be levied by this Act. The tax assessor shall receive for said services such compensation as the said navigation and canal corumissioners shall deem proper, provided that said county assessor shall in no event be allowed more than he is now allowed by law for the like services. Should the tax assessor fail or refuse to comply with the orders of the commissioners court requiring him to assess and list for taxation all the property in such navigation districts as herein provided, he shall be suspended from the further discharge of his duties by the commissioners court of his county, and he shall be removed from office in the mode prescribed by law for the removal of county officers.
SEC. 2.5. The tax collector of the county shall be charged by the county commissioners court with the assessment rolls of the navigation district, and he shall be allowed no more compensation for the collection of said taxes than he is now allowed for the collection of other taxes, same to be fixed by the navigation and canal commissioners. The county commissioners court shall require the tax collector of the county to give an additional bond or security in such a sum as they may deem proper and safe to secure the collection of said taxes, and in all inatters pertaining to the collection of taxes levied under the provisions of this Act the tax collector shall be authorized to act and shall be governed by the laws of Texas for the collection of State and county taxes except as herein provided, and suits may be brought for the collection of said taxes and the enforcement of the tax liens created by this Act. Should any collector of taxes fail or refuse to give such additional bond or security as herein provided, when requested by the commissioners court, within the time prescribed by law for such purposes, he shall be suspended from office by the commissioners court of his county, and immediately thereafter be removed from office in the mode prescribed by law.
SEC. 26. It shall be the duty of the tax collector to make a certified list of all delinquent property upon which the navigation tax has not been paid and return the same to the county commissioners court, which shall proceed to have the same collected by the sale of such delinquent property in the same manner both by suit and otherwise as is now provided for the sale of property for the collection of State and county taxes, and at the sale of any property for any delinquent tax the navigation and canal commissioners may become the purchasers of the same for the benefit of the navigation district.
SEC 27. It shall be the duty of the county treasurer to open an 'account with the navigation district and to keep an accurate account of all moneys received by him belonging to such district and of all amounts paid out by him. He shall pay out no money except upon a voucher signed by the chairman or any two of the said navigation and canal commissioners, and he shall carefully preserve on file all orders for the payment of money, and as often as required by the said navigation and canal commissioners, or the county commissioners court he shall render a correct account to them of all matters pertaining to the financial condi. tion of such district.
SEC. 28. The county treasurer shall execute a good and sufficient bond, payable to the navigation and canal commissioners of such district in a sum equal to twice the amount of bonds issued, conditioned for the faithful performance of his duty as treasurer of such district, which bond shall be approved by said navigation and canal commissioners, and the treasurer shall be allowed such compensation for his services as such treasurer as may be determined by the navigation and canal commissioners not exceeding the same per cent as is now allowed by the county for his services as county treasurer.
SEC. 29. The right of eminent domain is hereby conferred upon all navigation districts established under the provisions of this Act for the purpose of condemning and acquiring the right-of-way over and through any and all lands, private or public, except property used for cemetery purposes, necessary for the improvement of any river, bay, creek, or stream, and the construction and maintenance of any canal or waterway, and for any and all purposes authorized by this Act. All such condemnation proceedings shall be instituted under the direction of the navigation and canal commissioners and in the name of the navigation district, and the assessing of damages shall be in conformity to the statutes of the State of Texas for condemning and acquiring the right-of-way by railroads; provided, that no appeal from the finding and assessment of damage by the commissioners appointed for that purpose shall have the effect of causing a suspension of work by the navigation commissioners in prosecuting the work of improvement in all of its details; provided, that no right-of-way can be condemned through any part of an incorporated city or town without the consent of the lawful authorities of such city or town.
Sec. 30. The navigation and canal commissioners of any district are hereby empowered to acquire the necessary right-of-way and property of any kind for all necessary improvements contemplated by this Act, by gift, grant, purchase or condemnation proceedings.
SEC. 31. The navigation and canal commissioners of any district and the engineers from the time of their appointment are hereby authorized to go upon any lands lying within said district for the purpose of examining the same, making plans, surveys, maps and profiles, together with all necessary teams, help, tools, and instruments, without subjecting themselves to action or [for] trespass, and any person who shall wilfully prevent or prohibit any such officer from entering any land for such purposes shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction may be fined in any sum not exceeding $25 for each day he shall so prevent or hinder such officer from entering upon any land, and any justice of the peace in the county shall have jurisdiction of all such offenses.
Sec. 32. If the improvement or improvements be not carried out and performed by the Government of the United States as herein provided, the contract or contracts for such improvement or improvements shall be let by the navigation and canal commissioners and the same shall be awarded to the lowest and best responsible bidder, after giving notice by advertising 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 navigation district. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the making of more than one improvement and where more than one improvement is to be made the contract may be let separately for each or one contract for all such improvements.
SEC. 33. Any person, corporation or firm desiring to bid on the construction of any work advertised for as provided under the preceding section of this Act, shall upon application to the navigation and canal commissioners be furnished the survey, plans and estimates for the said work, and all bids or offers for any of such work shall be in writing and sealed and delivered to the chairman of the navigation and canal commissioners 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 a proper contract if his bid is accepted. Any and all bids may be rejected at the discretion of the navigation and canal commissioners.
SEC. 34. All contracts made by the navigation and canal commissioners shall be reduced to writing and signed by the contractors and navigation and canal commissioners or any two of said commissioners and a copy of same filed with the county clerk for reference.
SEC. 35. The party, firm or corporation to whom any such contract is let shall give bond, payable to the navigation and canal commissioners for said district in twice the amount of the contract price, conditioned that he, they or it will faithfully perform the obligations, agreements and covenants of their contract, and that in default thereof, will pay to said district all damages sustained by reason thereof. Said bond shall be approved by such navigation and canal commissioners.
Sec. 36. All work contracted for by the navigation and canal commissioners, unless done under the supervision of the Government of the United States or the proper department or officer thereof, shall be done under the supervision of the engineer and when the work is completel according to contract, the engineer shall make a detailed report of the same to the navigation and canal commissioners, showing whether the contract has been fully complied with, according to its terms, and if not in what particular it has not been so complied with.
SEC. 37. The navigation and canal commissioners shall have the right, and it is hereby made their duty during the progress of the work being done under contract to inspect the same; and upon the completion of any contract, they shall draw a warrant on the county treasurer for the amount of the contract price in favor of the contractor or his assignee, which warrant shall be paid out of the construction and maintenance fund of such district, provided that if the navigation and canal commissioners shall deem it advisable they may contract for the work to be paid for in partial payments as the work progresses, but such partial payments shall not exceed in the aggregate eighty per cent of the total amount to be paid under the contract, the amount of work completed to be shown by a certificate of the engineer, and provided further, that nothing in this Section shall affect the provisions of this Act, providing for the carrying out and performing of the improvement or improvements by the Government of the United States.
SEC. 38. The navigation and canal 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 each year, which report shall show in detail the kind, character and amount of work done in the district, the cost of same and the amount paid out on order, for what purpose paid and other data necessary to show the condition of improvements made under the provisions of this Act.
SEC. 39. The navigation and canal commissioners are hereby authorized and empowered to employ such assistant engineers and other employees as may be necessary, paying such compensation as they may determine, and the said commissioners are authorized to employ counsel to represent such district in the preparation of any contract or the conducting of any proceedings in or out of court, and to be the legal adviser of the navigation and canal commissioners on such terms and for such fees as may be agreed upon by them, and such commissioners shall have the authority to draw warrant or warrants in payment of such legal services and for the salary of the engineer, his assistant or any other employees and for all expense incident and pertaining to the navigation district.
SEC. 40. Neither the county judge nor any county commissioner, nor member of the navigation board, nor the navigation and canal commissioners or engineer shall be directly or indirectly interested for themselves or as agents for anyone else in the contract for the construction of any work to be performed by such navigation district, and if said officers or either of them shall, directly or indirectly, become interested in any contract for such work, or in any fee paid by such navigation district whereby he or others shall receive any money consideration or other thing of value, except in payment of services as in this Act provided, 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. 41. All navigation districts established under this Act may, by and through the navigation and canal commissioners, sue and be sued in all courts of this State in the name of such navigation district, and all courts of this State shall take judicial notice of the establishment of all such districts.
Sec. 43. All laws and parts of laws in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.
SEC. 44. The fact that many counties and districts of Texas are anxious to organize navigation districts for the improvement of rivers, creeks, bays, and streams, and the construction and maintenance of canals and waterways and there is now no law under which such districts can be properly formed, constitutes an emergency and an imperative public necessity that the Constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several day be suspended, and also that this Act take effect from and after its passage, and it is so enacted.
Approved February 20, 1909. .