Arizona Revised Statutes § 48-3603 Powers, Duties And Immunities Of District And Board; Exemptions

48-3603. Powers, duties and immunities of district and board; exemptions

A. A county flood control district organized under this article is a political taxing subdivision of this state and has all the powers, privileges and immunities granted generally to municipal corporations by the constitution and laws of this state, including immunity of its property and bonds from taxation.

B. The board of directors shall exercise all powers and duties in the acquisition and operation of the properties of the district and in carrying out its regulatory functions under this article as are ordinarily exercised by the governing body of a municipal corporation.

C. A district organized under this article, acting through its board of directors, may:

1. Acquire by eminent domain, purchase, donation, dedication, exchange or other lawful means rights-of-way for and construct, operate and maintain flood control works and storm drainage facilities within or without the district for the benefit of the district.

2. Acquire by eminent domain, purchase, donation, dedication, exchange or other lawful means and dispose of by sale, exchange or other lawful means real and personal property within the boundaries of the district.

3. Contract and join with this state, the United States or any other flood control district or floodplain board, municipality, political subdivision, governmental agency, irrigation or agricultural improvement district, association, corporation or individual in acquiring, constructing, maintaining and operating flood control works, and regulating floodplains.

4. Enter into contracts of indemnity to indemnify this state, the United States or any other flood control district, municipality, political subdivision, governmental agency, irrigation or agricultural improvement district, association, corporation or individual against liability by virtue of injuries, losses or damages occurring through the use of their facilities, structures, streets, rights-of-way or properties in connection with the operation of a flood control district and the regulation of floodplains.

5. Acquire and maintain existing flood control and drainage facilities within the district for the benefit of the district if mutually agreeable to the owners of such facilities.

6. Acquire, convert and maintain surplus irrigation facilities as storm drainage facilities if mutually agreeable to owners of such facilities.

7. Construct, maintain and operate flood control and storm drainage facilities and regulate floodplains in the district by agreement with this state, counties, other municipal corporations, political subdivisions and other persons and reimburse such agencies or persons for the cost of the work.

8. On the dissolution of any other flood control district, assume the assets and obligations of the other district.

9. Enter into intergovernmental agreements with other public agencies pursuant to title 11, chapter 7, article 3 to carry out the objects and purposes of the district.

10. Apply for, obtain, expend and repay flood control loans pursuant to title 45, chapter 8, article 5.

11. Apply to the director of water resources for alternative flood control assistance for flood control projects pursuant to section 45-1471, except that the director shall not grant any such assistance for any project unless the director has approved the project in advance of planning.

12. Sue and be sued, enter into contracts and generally do all things that may be necessary to construct, acquire and maintain facilities, operate the district and perform its regulatory functions and that are in the interests of the district.

13. Adopt such rules and bylaws for its orderly operation as it sees fit.

14. Appoint a chief engineer and general manager, who may be the county engineer.

15. Appoint a treasurer, who may be the county treasurer, an attorney, who may be the county attorney, and other employees it considers desirable and necessary to carry out the purposes of the district. Any other work required by the district may be performed by regular employees of the county on assignment by the board of supervisors, except that regular county employees shall not undertake construction projects with an estimated cost of five thousand dollars or more.

16. Allow variances from the terms or regulations adopted pursuant to this article to the extent permitted by section 48-3609, subsection B, paragraph 7 and if, owing to peculiar conditions, a strict interpretation would work an unnecessary hardship, if in granting the variance the general intent and purposes of this article and the regulations will be preserved.

17. Construct, operate and maintain artificial groundwater recharge facilities, and, if organized in a county having a population of more than five hundred thousand persons according to the most recent United States decennial census, underground storage and recovery facilities, if they have flood control benefits, and contract and join with the United States, this state and other governmental units for the purpose of constructing, operating and maintaining multipurpose groundwater recharge, underground storage and recovery and flood control facilities, except that a district shall not expend district funds for any underground storage and recovery facility that does not have flood control benefits.

18. Acquire real property by purchase, donation, dedication, exchange or other lawful means, except by eminent domain, in areas suitable for groundwater recharge projects.

19. Cooperate and join with other entities that engage in underground water storage and recovery projects under title 45, chapter 3, including multi-county water conservation districts and other political subdivisions.

20. Either alone, or by entering into any combination of contracts with this state, the United States, any other flood control district, a floodplain board, a municipality or other political subdivision, a government agency, an irrigation or agricultural improvement district or an association, corporation or individual, implement flood control enhancement solutions including:

(a) Assistance for property owners within the floodplain and through the elevation, bank stabilization and flood proofing of existing structures.

(b) Preservation and restoration of the floodplain.

(c) Maintenance of flood warning systems and associated flood response plans.

(d) Construction of bridges or other access over watercourses that are impassable to emergency vehicle traffic for fourteen or more days a year.

21. If a part of a parcel of land is to be taken for drainage, basins, impoundments or any other flood control related use and the board and the affected property owner determine that the remainder will be left in such a condition as to give rise to a claim or litigation concerning severance or other damage, acquire the whole parcel by purchase, donation, dedication, exchange, condemnation or other lawful means, and the remainder may be sold or exchanged for other properties needed for flood control use.

22. Adopt and enforce civil penalties for violations of its regulations or ordinances and for unauthorized damage and interference to those district facilities that are authorized pursuant to this chapter.

23. Pursuant to the authority prescribed in this chapter, appoint hearing officers to hear and determine actions.

24. For any district that intends to take enforcement action pursuant to section 48-3615.01, adopt written rules of procedure for the hearing and review of decisions on actions prescribed by this chapter.

25. Establish a board of hearing review to review decisions of hearing officers that are issued pursuant to section 48-3615.01. The board of hearing review shall consist of one member from each board of directors' district or the board of directors may authorize the citizens' flood control advisory board or the board of review to designate a like number of its members to serve as the board of hearing review.

26. Authorize the chief engineer of the district to apply for and obtain administrative search warrants for entry and inspection from a local court of general jurisdiction to determine if violations of section 48-3609, 48-3613, 48-3614 or 48-3615 have occurred. The warrants shall be served by a peace officer as defined in section 1-215. A report of any inspections made pursuant to this section shall be prepared and made available in the records of the district and a copy mailed or otherwise delivered to the owner within fifteen days after the inspection of the owner's premises.

D. The board shall adopt and enforce floodplain regulations as provided in section 48-3609.

E. The board may adopt a fee schedule for review of applications for permits and variances from or interpretations of the floodplain regulations.

F. The affirmative vote of a majority of the board of directors is necessary to approve any measure. One member may adjourn any meeting at which a quorum is not present.

G. The board shall keep a proper written record of all of its proceedings, which shall be open to public inspection.

H. The accounts of the district are subject to annual and other audits as provided by law.

I. Section 9-403 does not apply to a flood control district organized under this article and section 9-402 does not apply when the district is selling property to this state or a political subdivision. Before selling any property to this state or a political subdivision of this state, the flood control district shall obtain an appraisal of the fair market value of the property by a person who is certified pursuant to title 32, chapter 36. If any property sold by the district to this state or a political subdivision without complying with section 9-402 is subsequently sold by this state or political subdivision as undeveloped property for a price exceeding the original sale price, the district shall be paid the difference between the original price and the subsequent sale price. For the purposes of this subsection, " political subdivision" means any incorporated city or town, county, school district, fire district, charter school, community college or university.

J. The district and its employees and officers are not liable for any injury or property damage that may arise out of a plan or design for construction, maintenance or improvement to a dam, levee, berm, channel, canal, culvert or any other flood control project the district is authorized to plan, design, construct, maintain or improve when a reasonably adequate warning of any unreasonably dangerous hazard is given to potentially affected property owners in a manner that owners may take suitable precautions to protect themselves and their property. The warning shall include information for the property owner regarding a national flood insurance program. A warning is sufficient pursuant to this subsection if the warning is provided to a single property owner of the parcel, and notice to subsequent property owners is not required. The immunities prescribed by this subsection are in addition to and not in derogation or limitation of the immunities granted a district, employee or officer as otherwise provided by law and apply if either or both of the following conditions is met:

1. The project is funded wholly or partially by federal monies.

2. The project is planned or designed to meet a recurrence interval approved by the district's board of directors.

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Last modified: October 13, 2016