Q The Board of Supervisors is considering acceptance of a right-of-way. The board desires to only maintain the grading on the road, but not the draining or other major maintenance. May a county accept a public road, but only the surface rights?

A The Board of Supervisors has full jurisdiction over roads (Section 19-3-41 and Section 170 of the Mississippi Constitution). In Coleman v. Shipp, 78 So.2d 778 (Miss. 1955), the Mississippi Supreme Court said that “whether a road becomes public by prescription or by dedication, the public interest or convenience should require that the same be established and maintained as a public road.” Additionally, Section 65-7-1(2) and 65-7-3 provide minimum standards for maintenance of county roads. Therefore, if the county accepts the donation of right-of-way, the county acquires full jurisdiction over the same, and thereby acquires certain obligations to its maintenance as a public road, including the statutory minimum standards. (Attorney General’s Opinions to Slover, October 31, 2014)