CHAPTER 295

AN ACT EMPOWERING THE STATE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT TO ENTER UPON PRIVATELY OWNED LANDS FOR THE PURPOSE OF SURVEYS, REPAIRS, RECONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION OF PUBLICLY FINANCED IMPROVEMENTS AND TO ASSIGN TO SAID AGENCIES THE AUTHORITY TO DETERMINE AND MAINTAIN PROPER WATER LEVELS BACK OF SLUICES, WATER CONTROL STRUCTURES AND SIMILAR PUBLICLY FINANCED INSTALLATIONS.

WHEREAS, the General Assembly of the State of Delaware has in past years appropriated monies from the General Fund of the State Treasury for the purpose of constructing certain public works improvements consisting of, but not necessarily limited to, sluice gates, dams, water control structures and similar installations, and

WHEREAS, a number of these improvements financed by public funds have been constructed on privately owned property with no provisions in the appropriation bills for obtaining public ownership of the property to be occupied by said improvements as well as no provisions for future maintenance and operation of the improvements, and

WHEREAS, the operation of these publicly financed improvements has in some instances been assumed by the owner (s) of the property upon which they are located and such operations, particularly those involving water levels in impoundments and access across dams, have allegedly caused serious damage and inconvenience to adjoining property owners and the public in general, NOW THEREFORE,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. The State Highway Department of the State of Delaware may enter upon the lands or waters of any person for the purpose of surveys, repairs, reconstruction and operation of publicly financed improvements, but subject at all times to responsibility for all and any damages which shall be done to the property of any such person or persons. Water levels to be maintained back of publicly financed sluices, water control structures, dams and similar structures shall be at a level that will not cause damage to, adjoining property, such as seepage of water into basements and wells, and that no lands shall be flooded without the owners full consent.

Approved June 10, 1960.