Q There is a forty-eight inch drainage culvert in the county right-of-way that is deteriorating to the point of causing drainage problems that will most likely lead to adverse impact on the roadbed. The culvert provides access to a field road that only provides service to a private landowner. May the county replace the culvert?

A The county may replace the culvert if it is necessary to preserve and maintain the county roads and right-of-ways. The county, pursuant to Section 19-5-92.1, may replace or make necessary repairs to the culvert or, in the alternative, clean or clear the drainage ditch if the board makes a finding – consistent with the facts and spread upon its minutes – that the actions will promote the health, comfort and convenience of the inhabitants of the county. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Nowak, June 29, 2012)