Q Our municipality provides sewer services, and one resident has had continuous problems that we have been unable to diagnose. He finally hired a company to use a camera system to inspect the line and discovered a partial collapse in the cityís line. Now he is requesting reimbursement for the expense. May the city pay this?

A In order to make a payment to a private individual, a municipality must either be authorized by statute to make a donation or the municipality must have some legal obligation requiring such payment. There appears to be no statutory authorization for a donation in this case, and the facts do not indicate any contractual obligation on behalf of the city. It is possible that the resident may have some claim against the city arising out of tort or other tort-type claim, which, under the proper facts and circumstances, could be settled by the city in accordance with Section 25-1-47(2). This is a mixed question of fact and law that may not be resolved by an official opinion. (Attorney Generalís Opinion to Lawrence, April 26, 2019)