2005 Texas Agriculture Code CHAPTER 202. WIND EROSION DISTRICTS


AGRICULTURE CODE
CHAPTER 202. WIND EROSION DISTRICTS
SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 202.001. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter: (1) "District" means a wind erosion conservation district. (2) "Governing body" means the governing body of a wind erosion conservation district. Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1482, ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. § 202.002. PURPOSE. The purpose of a district created under this chapter is to conserve the soil by: (1) prevention of unnecessary erosion caused by wind; and (2) reclamation of land that has been depreciated or denuded of soil by wind. Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1483, ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. § 202.003. AUTHORIZATION. (a) The creation and incorporation of a wind erosion conservation district is authorized under Article XVI, Section 59, of the Texas Constitution. (b) A district created and incorporated under this chapter is a state agency and may exercise rights, privileges, and functions granted under this chapter and Article XVI, Section 59, of the Texas Constitution. Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1483, ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. § 202.004. DISTRICT BOUNDARIES; NAME. A district must be coextensive with the boundaries of a county and must bear the name of that county. Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1483, ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.
SUBCHAPTER B. CREATION OF DISTRICT
§ 202.011. PETITION AND ELECTION ORDERS. (a) The qualified property tax paying voters of any county may petition the commissioners court of the county to conduct an election on the creation of a district. The petition must be signed by at least 50 qualified property tax paying voters. (b) After receiving a petition under this section, the commissioners court shall order that an election be held throughout the county to determine whether or not a district should be created. Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1483, ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. § 202.012. ELECTION. (a) The procedure for holding and declaring the result of an election must be in substantial compliance with requirements for elections to vote bonds for public improvements. (b) In order to vote at an election, a person must be a qualified property tax paying voter. (c) The ballot for the election must be printed to provide for voting for or against the proposition: "Creating and incorporating the _________ County Wind Erosion Conservation District," with the blank space printed with the name of the county in which the election is held. Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1483, ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. § 202.013. RETURNS; EFFECT OF ELECTION. (a) The commissioners court shall: (1) canvass the returns of the election; and (2) declare the result by entering it in the minutes of the commissioners court. (b) If a majority of votes are cast for the proposition, the county judge shall issue an order declaring the district to be created and incorporated. The order must be entered in the minutes of the commissioners court and a certified copy of the order must be entered into the deed records of the county. (c) Upon completion of the requirements under this section by the commissioners court and county judge, the district is created and incorporated. Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1483, ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.
SUBCHAPTER C. ADMINISTRATION
§ 202.021. GOVERNING BODY. (a) The governing body of a wind erosion conservation district is the commissioners court. (b) The county judge shall serve as chairman of the board and may vote in case of a tie. (c) The county treasurer shall serve as treasurer of the district and shall manage funds, obligations, and securities of the district in compliance with the orders of the governing body. (d) The county treasurer shall execute and deliver to the county judge a bond that is: (1) in the penal sum of not less than $5,000 nor more than $10,000; (2) conditioned on the faithful discharge of the treasurer's duty to dispose of the funds and obligations of the district as required by this chapter; and (3) signed by a solvent surety company authorized to do business in this state. (e) The district shall pay the premium on the bond required of the county treasurer by Subsection (d) of this section. (f) The county clerk shall serve as clerk of the district and shall: (1) keep an accurate record of orders, minutes, and resolutions of the governing body; (2) countersign vouchers and documents of the governing body; and (3) perform other duties directed by the governing body. (g) Duties imposed on the governing body, the county clerk, and the county treasurer are ex officio duties. (h) By vote, the governing body may authorize the district to pay compensation of not more than $25 a month to the county treasurer and county clerk. Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1484, ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. § 202.022. GENERAL POWERS. A district may: (1) prevent or aid in the prevention of damage to land, highways, and public roads due to the unnecessary movement of sand, dust, and soil from land inside or outside the district; (2) make improvements and maintain facilities to stop or prevent wind erosion of soil or land in the district; (3) enter land in the district to prevent soil erosion and damage to other land in the district; (4) sue or be sued in its corporate capacity; (5) adopt a corporate seal; and (6) adopt bylaws and rules necessary to carry out its corporate functions. Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1484, ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. § 202.023. COOPERATION. (a) The governing body of a district shall consult with: (1) the director of the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station; (2) the county agent; (3) the department; and (4) the soil erosion service of the United States Department of Agriculture. (b) The district may conform to and cooperate in a regional conservation plan in order to further the purposes of this chapter. Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1484, ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.
SUBCHAPTER D. FINANCES
§ 202.031. POWER TO BORROW MONEY. (a) Subject to the requirements of Subsection (b) of this section, a district may: (1) borrow money for the corporate purposes of the district; (2) pledge certificates, obligations, or securities held by the district as security for a loan; and (3) pledge and assign revenue or income to secure repayment of a loan. (b) An obligation, bond, warrant, debenture, or other evidence of indebtedness must: (1) bear interest not to exceed five percent a year; (2) mature within 10 years; (3) be payable out of and secured by the revenue and income of the district; and (4) not be paid out of money received from ad valorem taxes. Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1485, ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. § 202.032. ACCEPTANCE OF FEDERAL FUNDS. A district may: (1) accept grants and borrow money from the federal government or a corporation or agency created or designated by the federal government to loan or grant money; and (2) enter into agreements necessary to receive grants or loans accepted or borrowed under this section. Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1485, ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. § 202.033. ACCEPTANCE OF DONATIONS. The governing body of a district may accept gifts, grants, donations, advances, and services from the United States or any government agency in order to further the purposes of this chapter. Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1485, ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. § 202.034. AUTOMOBILE REGISTRATION FEES. (a) The commissioners court of a county in which a district is located may transfer to the district an amount not to exceed 20 percent of automobile registration fees accruing to the county. (b) The governing body of the district may spend funds received under this section on soil erosion work. (c) On approval of the voters of the county, the commissioners court may transfer all or part of the county road and bridge fund to the district. Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1485, ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. § 202.035. DISTRICT MAY NOT TAX. A district created under this chapter may not impose an ad valorem tax or create an obligation payable by funds raised by taxation. Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1485, ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. § 202.036. EXPENDITURES; AUDITS. (a) The governing body shall: (1) administer and disburse money and property received under this chapter in accordance with the law and in its discretion; and (2) expend money received under this chapter in accordance with laws applicable to commissioners courts. (b) Accounts shall be audited annually and a copy of the audit shall be filed with the county clerk for public inspection. Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1486, ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.
SUBCHAPTER E. ASSESSMENT
§ 202.041. ASSESSMENT. The governing body may make an assessment on land in order to help pay for soil conservation work performed on that land to achieve the purposes of this chapter. Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1486, ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. § 202.042. PREHEARING REQUIREMENTS. Before holding an assessment hearing required by Section 202.044 of this code, the governing body shall: (1) estimate the cost of the work; (2) tentatively allocate a portion of that cost to each landowner who is to benefit from the work; (3) enter an order on its minutes setting a date for a hearing on whether the assessment shall be made; and (4) comply with the notice requirements under Section 202.043 of this code. Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1486, ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. § 202.043. NOTICE OF ASSESSMENT HEARING. (a) The governing board shall give notice of an assessment hearing to each owner of property against which a lien or assessment is proposed. (b) Notice need not state the name of an owner, interested party, or lienholder, but must contain: (1) a brief description, by survey and block number or other reasonable means, of the land on which an assessment is to be imposed; (2) a statement that a party desiring to contest the proposed assessment must appear at a hearing in the county courthouse of the county in which the land is located; and (3) a statement of the amount of the proposed assessment. (c) Notice may be given in person to a landowner or by publication for two weeks in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county, the first publication to be not less than 10 days before the day of the hearing. Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1486, ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. § 202.044. ASSESSMENT HEARING. (a) The governing body may not make an assessment for soil conservation work until the body holds a hearing to determine the necessity of the assessment. (b) At the hearing the governing body shall determine: (1) the amount of all assessments proposed for a particular project; and (2) whether a particular piece of land proposed for an assessment will receive a benefit from the work equal to or in excess of the amount of the assessment. (c) The governing body may not impose an assessment that is in excess of the actual benefit to the owner in protection of the property. If the governing body determines that a piece of land will receive a benefit from the work equal to or in excess of the amount of the assessment, it shall impose the assessment. Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1486, ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. § 202.045. PAYMENT OF ASSESSMENT. (a) A property owner on whom an assessment is imposed may pay the assessment in three equal annual installments, which shall bear interest at the rate of five percent a year. (b) The governing board shall evidence the assessment by recording a certificate in the deed records of the county. The county judge shall sign the certificate and the county clerk shall attest to the certificate by corporate seal. (c) When executed and levied, the certificate is a valid first lien on the property on which the assessment is made and when recorded is notice of the lien to a subsequent purchaser of the property. Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1487, ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. § 202.046. ASSESSMENT LIEN. The governing body may not make an assessment on property used, claimed, or occupied as a homestead, but may take a lien securing the assessment in the same manner as provided by law for taking a lien to secure the cost of improvements on a homestead. Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1487, ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981. § 202.047. FORECLOSURE ON LIEN. If a property owner fails to pay an assessment at its maturity, the governing body may sue in a court of competent jurisdiction for foreclosure of the lien securing the assessment. Upon foreclosure, the property shall be sold in the same manner as property sold under foreclosure of other liens on real estate. Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 1487, ch. 388, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981.

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