County Law Section 223
Flood control and soil conservation
1.The board of supervisors shall have power to, and may, appropriate and pay out for the general improvement of agriculture and the soil such sums as it may deem proper for the expense of creating and maintaining soil conservation districts, and assisting districts in carrying out the provisions of the soil conservation districts law. The board of supervisors may by resolution, duly passed, direct the county treasurer to pay out of moneys from such appropriation upon the order of the chairman of the district directors, upon his giving a proper receipt therefor. On or before the first day of January in each year and at any other time when requested by the board of supervisors, the directors shall report in writing to the board a detailed statement of its work and transactions for the preceding year ending December thirty-first, and for any other period which the board may request and in such form as said board may direct.
2.In addition to the powers granted under the provisions of the soil conservation districts law and chapter eight hundred sixty-two of the laws of nineteen hundred thirty-six as amended, and after a public hearing held pursuant to public notice as hereinafter provided, each board of supervisors shall have power to appropriate and expend county funds to protect public and private property within the county from floods, to conserve the soil from erosion and for any function or purpose which otherwise may be undertaken or performed by a small watershed protection district established pursuant to article 5-D (County Small Watershed Protection Districts)article five-D of this chapter. After a public hearing shall have been held as provided herein, a board of supervisors may appropriate each year for such purpose without a further public hearing a sum not to exceed the sum specified in the original notice of public hearing. If a sum in excess of the sum specified in the original notice of such hearing is proposed to be expended, a new public hearing shall be held and public notice given as hereinafter provided.
3.The resolution shall recite:
(a)the area of said county in which the project and work is to be performed, and that it is believed of sufficient importance and general public benefit to warrant the expenditure of county money thereon;
(b)the name, if any, of any lake, pond, stream, drain or ditch to be improved;
(c)the nature of the improvement such as construction of dikes, drains, check-dams, pipes, new or altered channels, reforestation or the planting of shrubs and plants, or otherwise by the creation of a soil erosion control or watershed protection project;
(d)whether the necessary easements, permits, or other necessary rights have been obtained, and any compensation agreed to be paid owners damaged thereby;
(e)whether it is necessary to acquire any easements or rights-of-way, and the estimated cost thereof;
(f)the estimated cost of such improvement, and the amount to be paid by the owners of the land benefited thereby;
(g)whether any part of the expenditure is to be financed under the provisions of the local finance law, and the manner of such payment;
(h)whether the work shall be done by county employees and equipment or let to the lowest responsible bidder;
(i)what portions of the improvements are to be maintained by the county and by the private owners of the land upon which such improvements are situate, or group of property owners in the area;
(j)reference to a survey, or plans and estimate of such improvement, which shall be made a part thereof;
(k)such other information as may be deemed necessary.
4.Within ten days after the adoption of said resolution, the clerk of the board of supervisors shall cause notice of a public hearing thereon to be published in the official newspapers once a week for two publications, and at least twenty days shall elapse from the first publication to the date of the hearing. The notice shall contain an abstract statement of the proposed project and that the survey, plans and estimate may be seen at the office of said clerk. A copy of such notice shall be mailed to each owner from whom any easement or right-of-way is necessary. The public hearing may be held before the board or any committee of the membership designated for that purpose.
5.After the public hearing, the board of supervisors may adopt a final resolution and provide therein for:
(a)the necessary appropriation and determination as to the manner of payment of orders or audited claims thereon;
(b)authorization, upon consent of the county superintendent of highways, for the use of county highway machinery, tools and equipment at a rental charge fixed by the state commissioner of transportation, which rental shall be paid into the county machinery fund;
(c)authorization of contracts with town superintendents of highways with approval of the respective town boards, for the rental of town highway machinery, tools and equipment at a rental charge fixed by the state commissioner of transportation, which rental shall be paid into the town machinery fund;
(d)acceptance of the services and financial aid of federal and state agencies;
(e)authorization to contract in the manner prescribed in § 224 (Optional appropriations and contracts for public benefit services)section two hundred twenty-four of this chapter with any organization formed for the purpose of flood control and soil conservation;
(f)directions on the manner of performance of the work;
(g)authorization for acquiring necessary rights of way pursuant to the provisions of the eminent domain procedure law.
6.When a resolution adopted pursuant to subdivision eleven-a of Town Law § 64 (General powers of town boards)section sixty-four of the town law shall have become effective, and further improvements to that already planned by such town are determined to be of sufficient importance and benefit to the public to warrant the expenditure of county funds thereon, the board of supervisors, after a public hearing held in the manner prescribed by the foregoing provisions, shall have power to agree with the town board and the property owners, upon the extent of such additional improvements and amount of the county appropriation. The improvement shall be performed and completed as the board of supervisors shall direct, and the town shall pay its share thereof into the county treasury, when so directed.
7.Prior to undertaking a watershed protection project for which application is to be made to the secretary of agriculture of the United States for federal assistance pursuant to a federal act approved the fourth day of August, nineteen hundred fifty-four as public law five hundred sixty-six and known as the “Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act,” and all acts amendatory thereof and supplemental thereto, the board of supervisors, or the official, department, bureau, or agency of the county designated for that purpose, shall follow the procedures and be subject to the provisions of subdivisions two, three, four, five and six of § 299-N (County small watershed agency and processing of applications)section two hundred ninety-nine-n of this chapter.
8.A county which undertakes a watershed protection project pursuant to this section for which it would be eligible to receive financial reimbursement from the state pursuant to section two hundred ninety-nine-w of this chapter if the project was undertaken by a small watershed protection district, shall be eligible for such financial reimbursement in the manner and to the extent therein provided.
9.A county which has commenced proceedings to undertake a watershed protection project or projects pursuant to the provisions of article 5-D (County Small Watershed Protection Districts)article five-D of this chapter, may elect, prior to the creation or extension of a small watershed protection district or districts therefor, to proceed with the proposed watershed protection project or projects pursuant to the provisions of this section and discontinue the article five-D proceedings. In the event of such election by a county, any proceedings or other action taken or approval obtained pursuant to § 299-N (County small watershed agency and processing of applications)section two hundred ninety-nine-n of this chapter relating to such proposed project or projects shall be deemed to have been taken or obtained pursuant to the provisions of this section two hundred twenty-three and shall not be required to be repeated for such proposed project or projects solely because of such election. Within ten days after the adoption of a resolution by the board of supervisors electing to discontinue proceedings pursuant to article five-D of the chapter and to proceed with the proposed project or projects pursuant to this section, the clerk of such board shall file a copy of such resolution with the water resources commission.
Section 223 — Flood control and soil conservation,
https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/CNT/223 (updated Sep. 22, 2014; accessed Nov. 25, 2023).