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SECTION 9
Powers of districts and directors
Soil & Water Conservation Districts (SWC) CHAPTER 9-B, ARTICLE 2
§ 9. Powers of districts and directors. The directors of a soil and
water conservation district shall have the following powers, in addition
to others granted in other sections of this chapter:

(1) To conduct surveys, investigations, and research relating to the
character of soil erosion, floodwater, sediment damages, nonpoint source
water pollution, and the preventive and control measures needed, to
publish the results of such surveys, investigations, or research, and to
disseminate information concerning such preventive and control measures;
provided, however, that in order to avoid duplication of research
activities, no district shall initiate any research program except in
cooperation with the New York state college of agriculture, and any
agency of the state or of the United States as may be dealing with
allied problems;

(1-a). To authorize officers and employees to perform such duties as
are necessary for the operation of the district. Directors while
performing such duties or assignments shall be compensated pursuant to
section seven of this article;

(1-b). To establish and abolish positions of employment and to fix the
compensation and time of payment thereof and of the secretary,
treasurer, assistant treasurer and other officers and employees;

(1-c) The board of directors of a soil and water conservation district
may authorize the treasurer to establish and maintain a petty cash fund,
not in excess of two hundred fifty dollars, for specific district
purposes or undertakings, from which may be paid in advance of audit,
properly itemized and verified or certified bills for materials,
supplies or services furnished to the district for the conduct of its
affairs and upon terms calling for the payment of cash to the vendor
upon the delivery of any such materials or supplies or the rendering of
any such services. Lists of all expenditures made from such petty cash
fund shall be presented to the board of directors at each regular
meeting thereof, together with the bills supporting such expenditures,
for audit and the board shall direct reimbursement of such petty cash
fund from any district moneys in an amount equal to the total of such
bills which it shall so audit and allow. Any of such bills or any
portion of any such bills as shall be disallowed upon audit shall be the
personal responsibility of the treasurer and such official shall
forthwith reimburse such petty cash fund in the amount of such
disallowances;

(1-d). To authorize the district treasurer to establish revolving fund
accounts for specific administrative and operational accounts, which may
be carried from one fiscal year to another, and to authorize the
district treasurer temporarily to deposit or invest moneys not required
for immediate expenditure in special time deposit accounts in, or
certificates of deposit issued by, a bank or trust company located and
authorized to do business in this state, provided however, that such
time deposit account or certificate of deposit shall be payable within
such time as the proceeds shall be needed to meet expenditures for which
such moneys were obtained and provided further that such time deposits
or certificate of deposit be secured by a pledge of obligations of the
United States of America or obligations of the state of New York or
obligations of any municipality school district or district corporation
of the state of New York.

(2) To carry out preventive and control measures within the district
including, but not limited to, engineering operations, methods of
cultivation, the growing of vegetation and changes in use of land and
drainage, irrigation and other agricultural water management operations
and measures for the prevention of floodwater and sediment damages, or
for the control and abatement of nonpoint sources of water pollution on
lands owned or controlled by this state or any of its agencies, with the
consent and cooperation of the agency administering and having
jurisdiction thereof, and on any other lands within the district and,
notwithstanding any general, special, local or other provision of law,
including the lands of directors, officers or employees of said
district, upon obtaining the consent of the occupier of such lands or
the necessary rights or interests in such lands;

(3) To cooperate, or enter into agreements with, and within the limits
of appropriations duly made available to it by law, to furnish financial
or other aid to, any agency, governmental or otherwise, or any occupier
of lands within the district, in carrying on of erosion-control, flood
prevention and sediment damage prevention operations, control and
abatement of nonpoint sources of water pollution, and land use
adjustments including ditching, draining and flood control operations
for effective conservation and utilization of the lands and waters
within the district, subject to such conditions as the directors may
deem necessary to advance the purposes of this chapter;

(4) To obtain options upon and to acquire, by purchase, exchange,
lease, gift, grant, bequest, devise, or otherwise, any property, real or
personal, or rights or interests therein; to maintain, administer, and
improve any properties acquired, to receive income from such properties
and to expend such income in carrying out the purposes and provisions of
this chapter; and to sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of any of its
property or interests therein in furtherance of the purposes and the
provisions of this chapter;

(4-a) To acquire, by purchase, exchange, gift, bequest, devise, or
otherwise, a conservation easement as defined in section 49-0303 of the
environmental conservation law; to hold, maintain, administer, and
improve, in compliance with any such easement and title three of article
forty-nine of the environmental conservation law, any conservation
easements acquired; to enforce any of the terms of a conservation
easement, either as a holder of an acquired easement or under a third
party enforcement right, as defined in section 49-0303 of the
environmental conservation law, granted to the district in a
conservation easement; to receive any income from the holding,
maintenance, administration, improvement or enforcement of conservation
easements as authorized in this subdivision and to expend such income in
carrying out the purposes and provisions of this chapter; and to
extinguish any such conservation easements in compliance with such
easement and title three of article forty-nine of the environmental
conservation law, in furtherance of the purposes and provisions of this
chapter.

(5) To make available, on such terms as it shall prescribe, to land
occupiers within the district, agricultural and engineering machinery
and equipment, fertilizer, seeds, and seedlings, and such other material
or equipment, as will assist such land occupiers to carry on operations
upon their lands for the effective conservation and utilization of soil
and water resources, prevention and control of soil erosion, prevention
of floodwater and sediment damages, and for the control and abatement of
nonpoint sources of water pollution;

(6) To construct, improve, and maintain such structures as may be
necessary or convenient for the performance of any of the operations
authorized in this chapter, provided, however, that no agreement or
contract for the maintenance of such a structure, improvement or other
works shall be valid or create any liability against the county, unless
such agreement or contract shall have been approved by the county board
by resolution duly adopted;

(7) (a) To develop and update comprehensive plans for the conservation
of soil and water resources, control and prevention of soil erosion,
prevention of floodwater and sediment damages, control and abatement of
nonpoint sources of water pollution, and for agricultural water
management within the district, which plans shall specify in such detail
as may be possible, the acts, procedures, performances, and avoidances
which are necessary or desirable for the effectuation of such plans,
including the specification of engineering operations, methods of
cultivation, the growing of vegetation, cropping programs, tillage
practices, and changes in the use of land; and to publish such plans and
information and bring them to the attention of occupiers of lands within
the district; provided, however, that in order to avoid duplication of
educational activities no district shall publish any such plans and
information except in cooperation with the New York state college of
agriculture and with the approval of the state soil conservation
committee; and otherwise assist in the administration of the
agricultural environmental management (AEM) program as set forth in
article eleven-A of the agriculture and markets law. Plans prepared by
districts shall utilize and incorporate to the extent practical and
appropriate existing soil and water conservation plans for agricultural
land within the district;

(b) (i) Upon the determination of any such board that conditions in
the district are appropriate, develop a plan to promote one or more
recreational programs applicable to privately owned or leased lands and
waters which plan may include:

(1) an analysis of the amount of open land and water in the district
and the amount of such land and water which is posted and not posted;

(2) a determination of the potential for obtaining permission from the
owners or lessees of open lands and waters to obtain access to such
lands and waters for recreational use;

(3) the terms and conditions under which such land and waters may be
made accessible for one or more recreational uses;

(4) the potential for the creation of employment opportunities for the
owners and lessees of the lands and waters or their relatives or
neighbors in the event such plan is implemented;

(5) the potential for encouraging tourism and the impact thereof upon
the land and water to be included in the plan; upon local governments in
the district, including additional tax revenues and the impact of such
revenues, if any, upon the owners or lessees of the lands and waters;

(6) the type of recreational use, the times of such use and the impact
thereof upon the lands and waters; and

(7) a method of involving interested community agencies and groups in
plan development and implementation.

(ii) Such plan may also include a description of the activities,
program and strategies intended to be used to promote recreational use
of the lands and waters, which uses shall be compatible with the primary
use of the land and which may enhance the economic well-being of the
owner of the land as well as the economic viability of the general area.
Included in such plan shall be rules that may be amended from time to
time and may include but shall not be limited to:

(1) the location and identification of the lands and waters to be
included in the plan and the uses to be permitted on such lands and
waters;

(2) a method of identifying the users of such lands and a
determination of the method by which users of lands may be charged, in
the event charges are imposed;

(3) rules relating to the conduct of persons using such lands;

(4) the method by which the owners of such lands or waters are
protected from actions that may be brought against them by the users of
such lands or waters or other persons as a result of the use of such
lands or waters, which method may include blanket insurance or other
method of insurance to be made available or some acceptable method of
indemnification;

(5) rules relating to the time when such lands may be used and the
purpose of such use at such time;

(6) a method by which collected charges are used and distributed to
the owners or lessees of such lands and waters;

(7) a method by which a landowner who has consented to be included in
the plan may withdraw from such plan;

(8) a procedure by which lands, including waters wholly or partially
on such lands or adjacent thereto, will be stocked with fish or game to
continue the viability of the plan; and

(9) a method of marketing the use of recreational lands with respect
to potential patrons.

(iii) The district board may develop and implement the plan after
consultation with interested farm, recreational and open space groups
including, but not limited to: county agricultural and farmland
protection boards, municipalities, regional and/or state fish and
wildlife boards, and county-based offices of Cornell cooperative
extension.

(8) To act as agent for the United States, or any of its agencies, or
for this state or any of its agencies, in connection with the
acquisition, construction, operation, maintenance or administration of
any soil-conservation, erosion-control, or erosion-prevention,
agricultural water management, flood prevention, sediment damage
prevention, or nonpoint source water pollution control and abatement
project within its boundaries; to accept donations, gifts, and
contributions in money, services, materials or otherwise, from the
United States or any of its agencies, or from this state or any of its
agencies, or from any other source, and to use or expend such moneys,
services, materials, or other contributions in carrying on its
operations;

(9) To sue and be sued in the name of the district, to have a seal,
which seal shall be judicially noticed; to have perpetual succession
unless terminated as hereinafter provided; to make and execute contracts
and other instruments, necessary or convenient to the exercise of its
powers; to make, and from time to time amend and repeal rules and
regulations not inconsistent with this chapter, to carry into effect its
purposes and powers;

(10) As a condition to the extending of any benefits under this
chapter to or the performance of work upon, any lands not owned or
controlled by this state or any of its agencies, the directors may
require contributions in money, services, materials or otherwise to any
operations conferring such benefits, and may require land occupiers to
enter into and perform such agreements or covenants as to the long term
use of such lands as will tend to prevent or control erosion, prevent
floodwater and sediment damages, control and abate nonpoint sources of
water pollution, and make for more effective agricultural water
management thereon;

(11) No provisions with respect to the acquisition, operation, or
disposition of property by other public bodies shall be applicable to a
district organized hereunder, unless the legislature shall specifically
so state;

(12) (a) A county may, on recommendation of the county superintendent
of highways, permit the use of any street or highway machinery, tools or
equipment owned by the county, by a soil and water conservation district
created under and pursuant to the soil and water conservation districts
law, upon such terms as may be agreed upon but with payment to the
county of not less than the hourly rate as fixed by the state
commissioner of transportation for the rental or hiring of such
machinery, tools or equipment by the county. Moneys received by a county
pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be paid into the county
road machinery fund.

(b) A town superintendent of highways, with the approval of the town
board and of the county superintendent, may permit the use of any
highway machinery, tools or equipment owned by the town, by a soil and
water conservation district created under and pursuant to the soil and
water conservation districts law, upon such terms as may be agreed upon
but with payment to the town of not less than the hourly rate as fixed
by the state commissioner of transportation for the rental or hiring of
such machinery, tools or equipment by the town. Moneys received by a
town pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be applicable for
the purposes for which amounts may be raised as provided in subdivision
three of section two hundred seventy-one of the highway law.

(c) The state commissioner of transportation may permit the use of any
street or highway machinery, tools or equipment owned by the state by a
soil and water conservation district created under and pursuant to the
soil and water conservation districts law, under the same terms and
conditions as provided for the use of county owned equipment by such
districts.

(d) No such machinery, tools and equipment shall be so leased to a
soil and water conservation district unless (1) adequate insurance shall
be secured thereon which will protect the county, town or state, as the
case may be, in the event of the loss of or damage to such leased
machinery, tools and equipment by reason of fire and theft and (2)
adequate liability and property damage insurance shall be secured for
the protection of the county, town or state, as the case may be, upon
all machinery and equipment operated, or propelled, by motors. The
determination of what shall be "adequate" insurance shall be made by
resolution of the board of supervisors of the county, the town board of
a town, or the state commissioner of transportation, as the case may be,
and no officer or official of any such county, town, or of the state,
shall be held personally responsible to such county, town, the state, or
to third persons should such insurance in any event prove to be
inadequate in amount. The cost of any such insurance shall be paid for
by the district in addition to the payments hereinabove provided.

(e) If any such agreement between a county, a town, the state, and a
district shall provide that the equipment, tools or machinery leased
shall be operated by an employee of the county, town, or the state, any
such employee, regardless of the terms of such contract, shall continue
to be paid by and to be an employee of the county, town, or the state,
and shall be considered as such for any and all purposes, and the
agreement between the county, town, or the state, and the district shall
provide for the payment by the district to the county, town, or the
state, of amounts at least equal to the compensation which any such
employee shall receive from the county, town or the state. The moneys
received by a county, town, or the state, for reimbursement of the
compensation of such employees shall be credited to the fund from which
such compensation was paid while such equipment, tools or machinery was
leased.

(13) The directors may call upon the county attorney for such legal
services as the district may require and the county attorney shall
render such service;

(14) Within the limits of appropriations made available for such
purposes, to annually expend in such district the actual and necessary
expenses of maintaining and continuing the New York soil and water
conservation district's association and any of its activities in this
state for the purpose of devising practical ways and means for obtaining
greater economy and efficiency in soil and water conservation;

(15) Whenever the work relating to soil erosion and other preventive
control measures proposed by the directors of a soil and water
conservation district shall benefit the highways, bridges, or other
property of the county or town, either by repair of actual damage
inflicted, or prevention of damage likely to be inflicted by flood
waters or erosion, the county or town shall be authorized when
permission is granted by the proper authorities thereof to contribute
necessary funds, or to loan equipment, or furnish to them necessary aid
without charge for the use of such equipment for the work to be done for
the particular improvement. No such funds contributed, or equipment
loaned, or aid furnished, shall be used except for work which shall
benefit such municipality so furnishing the same.

* (16) Within the limits of appropriations made available for such
purposes, to undertake a public information and education program
regarding the principles and practices of preservation and conservation
of the soil and water resources of this state set forth in section two
of this chapter.

* NB There are 2 sb (16)'s

* (16) To carry out preventative and control measures for the spread
of prohibited and regulated species pursuant to section 9-1709 of the
environmental conservation law.

* NB There are 2 sb (16)'s