STATEHOUSE — State Representative Mike Braun (R-Jasper) authored a bill to address a local concern and reduce the burden impacting counties regarding the maintenance and repair of levees. It encourages conversation between land owners’ associations and counties to determine who is responsible to maintain or repair a levee that suffers damage. The bill passed out of the House with a vote of 95-2 and will now go to the Senate for further consideration and debate.
Under current law, counties are required to pay the maintenance or repair costs of a levee and later be reimbursed through the gradual assessment of the land that benefits from it. House Bill (HB) 1240 states that counties may pay for the costs, which would allow them to be more involved in the process as they discuss the maintenance or repairs with land owners’ associations.
“In 2011, the Bennington Levee in Daviess County suffered major damage and flooded adjacent farmland along the White River,” said Rep. Braun. “The county was required to pay for the repair costs in full and did not have the opportunity to voice their financial concerns with the levee association.”
Some counties do not have the ability to incur the full cost of maintenance or repair of a levee if a major breach occurs. HB 1240 would give counties the option to pay for the costs at first, which would encourage land owners’ associations to work together with counties to find a payment solution both parties can agree upon.
“The goal of HB 1240 is to foster communication between a land owners’ association and county when a levee suffers damage, whether it be routine maintenance or a large break,” said Rep. Braun. “This change in law would allow Indiana counties that have levees, but might not have the financial capabilities to pay repair costs, to have a say in the process.”
To learn more about HB 1240, please visit www.iga.in.gov.
Rep. Braun (R-Jasper) represents portions of Daviess, Dubois, Pike and Martin Counties. He serves on the Ways and Means and Roads and Transportation committees.