Drainage and Levee Districts

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The county clerk has numerous responsibilities with regard to drainage or levee districts located in the county.  The county clerk receives petitions for the establishment of drainage and levee districts, and approves and determines the amount of the bond which is filed with the county clerk at the time of the filing of the petition to secure the cost of establishing the drainage and levee district. T.C.A. § 69-5-103.  In counties where a district is sought to be established, the county clerk maintains a book known as the “drainage record” of all proceedings involving the creation and operation of the drainage district (T.C.A. § 69-5-140), prepares the assessment rolls for use by the county trustee in collecting drainage assessments to finance construction by a drainage district (T.C.A. §§ 69-5-110; 69-5-111; 69-5-127; 69-5-128), prepares and maintains the “drainage assessment book” showing all parcels of land affected by the drainage district upon which a drainage assessment is made and provides a copy of this book to the county trustee (T.C.A. § 69-5-813), and also advises the trustee of changes in ownership of said parcels of land. T.C.A. § 69-5-815. 

The county clerk receives from the county trustee the assessments for drainage and levee districts collected by the trustee and pays the expenses of the drainage and levee district as approved by the county legislative body. T.C.A. §§ 69-5-127; 69-5-804.  The county clerk is required to post a bond for double the amount received from the county trustee prior to receiving said funds from the trustee. T.C.A. §§ 69-5-113; 69-5-130; 69-5-805.  Also, the county clerk receives claims of persons claiming damages incurred in the construction of a drainage district (T.C.A. § 69‑5‑201), receives reports and drawings of engineers designated to perform work for such districts (T.C.A. § 69‑5‑115), serves notice upon persons whose land is within the scope of a proposed drainage district (T.C.A. § 69‑5‑120), receives the bond of engineers employed to supervise construction of drainage or levee improvements (T.C.A. § 69-5-708), and receives monthly reports of engineers responsible for supervising construction of levee and water work improvements. T.C.A. § 69-5-709.  If bonds are sold to finance a district, the county clerk may receive the full assessment from any property owner prior to the bonds being issued (T.C.A. § 69-5-902), and countersigns any bonds issued by such a district. T.C.A. § 69‑5‑903.

The county clerk is authorized to collect fees for performing these duties in the same amount as authorized for similar services, or additional amounts for extra services or for services not covered by existing fee statutes as authorized by the county legislative body. T.C.A. § 69-5-141.

The county clerk also receives petitions for the creation of watershed districts (T.C.A. § 69-6-103), but may not collect any fees for the filing of such petitions or any other services required under the laws governing watershed districts. T.C.A. § 69-6-115.