Q Can a county make necessary repairs to a culvert and/or on private property to allow a landowner’s pond to refill, when the county’s prior repair of an adjacent road and culvert caused the pond to empty?

A Yes. Pursuant to Section 19-5-92.1, landowners may be reimbursed for damages or injuries resulting from drainage work performed under the statute. The opinion is that “reimbursing” could be either in the form of cash, to allow the landowner to do what is necessary to allow the pond to refill (although the landowner should not be allowed to do such work on the roadway itself or interfere with the roadway), or in-kind services, by allowing the county to perform the work. If it is necessary to perform such work on the landowner’s private property, the county must first make the findings outlined in subsection (2) of Section 19-5-92.1. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Barry dated December 17, 2010)