George Crane Morehouse.

The supervisors' manual : a practical treatise on the law applicable to the duties of supervisors from the date of their election to the end of their official term; also, the law relative to town bonds, railroad aid bonds, defective roads and bridges, town meetings, assessment and collection of taxe online

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Online LibraryGeorge Crane MorehouseThe supervisors' manual : a practical treatise on the law applicable to the duties of supervisors from the date of their election to the end of their official term; also, the law relative to town bonds, railroad aid bonds, defective roads and bridges, town meetings, assessment and collection of taxe → online text (page 54 of 96)
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waters of this State forming at the point of crossing the boundary line between
two counties, such expense shall be a joint and equal charge on the two counties
in which the same is situated, and the board of supervisors in each of such coun-
ties is hereby authorized and directed to apportion such expense among the sev-
eral towns and cities in their respective counties, or upon any or either of siich
towns and counties as in their judgment may seem proper; provided, however,
that no town -or city not immediately adjacent to such waters at the point spanned
by such bridge shall be liable for any larger proportion of such expense than the
taxable property of such town or city bears to the total amount of taxable prop-
erty of such county. But no such bridge shall be constructed unless the same is
authorized by a resolution adopted by a majority of the board of supervisors in
each of such counties.

As amended by Laws of 1880, chap. 320. See Laws of 1883, chap. 346 ; 2 R. S. 943.

To Authorize Towns to Borrow Money for Bridges.

6. To authorize any town or towns liable, or to be made liable, to taxation for
the erection, care, repair and maintenance, in whole or in part, of any bridge
(except on the Hudson river below Waterford, and on the East river, or over the
waters forming the boundaries of the State), to erect, repair and maintain the
same, and to borrow such sums of money, in the manner provided in subdivision
29 of this section, as may ^e necessary for the purposes of such erection, repair
and maintenance, and to pay any debt incurred in good faith by or in behalf of
such town or towns for such purpose before or after the passage of this act. But
no authority shall be exercised under this subdivision, except upon the applica-
tion of a town liable to be taxed for such purpose, to be made by vote of a
majority of the electors thereof voting at a regular town meeting or at a special
town meeting called for the purpose, or upon the application of the supervisor,
by and with the consent of the commissioner of highways, town clerk and jus-
tices of peace of such town. If any town, at a regular town meeting, held
betweeh the 1st day of February, 1875, and the passage of this act, shall have
elected commissioners for the purpose of building a bridge, and providing money
to pay for the same, by the Issuing of bonds or otherwise, such bonds, not exceed-
ing the amount authorized at such town meeting, are hereby authorized and
declared valid; but said bonds shall not be sold or otherwise disposed of for less
than par. And the board of supervisors shall levy a tax on such town for the

492 SuPEEVisoKs' Manpal.

pajrment of sncfi indebtedness at sacli times' and in sucli amounts as may be
necessary to meet the obligations incurred by said commissioners in pursuance of
nstructions given by sucli town at tlie time of electing said commissioners.

As amended by Laws of 1885, chap. 451 ; 2 R. S. 943.

To Authorise Towns to Purchase Plankroads, Turnpikes, etc.

7. To authorize any town or towns, when application shall be made therefor by
a vote of the majority of the electors voting on the question at any annual or duly
called special town meeting, to purchase, and any company owning the same to
sell, the whole or any part of any plank, macadamized or turnpike road, or any
toll bridge in such town or towns, or the franchises thereof, for free public use,
and to determine the proportion of expense proper to be borne by each town, where
there shall be more than one town applying for this purpose.

2 R. S. 944.

Road Districts.

8. To authorize the consolidation in any town of two or more of the established
road districts therein, and the division of any established road district into two or
more; and to constitute the territory of any incorporated village into a separate
road distrifct, and to provide for the election or appointment of overseers of high-
ways in such districts; and prescribe the manner in which the highway labor as-
sessed and highway taxes collected in such consolidated or separate districts shall
be expended and accounted for, except that whenever an incorporated village
shall constitute a separate and independent road district, the commissioners or
superintendents of streets, or officers of said village, by wliatsoever title or name
called, whose duty it shall be to control, superintend and repair the streets therein,
shall be the overseers of highways in said district.

As amended by Laws of 1876, cbap. 258 ; 2 R, S. 944.

To Autlwrize Grade of Streets, etc.

9- To authorize, in any county containing au incorporated city of one hundred
thousand inhabitants or upwards, when any territory within such county and be-
yond the limits of such city has been mapped out into streets and avenues, in pur-
suance of law, the establishment of a plan for the grades of such streets and
avenues, the laying out, opening, grading, construction, closing and change of
line of any one or more of them, to provide for the estimation and award of the
damages to be sustained, and for the assessment on property intended to be bene-
fited thereby, and fixing assessment district therefor; the levying, collection and
payment of the amount of such damages, and of all other charges and expenses to
be incurred, or which may be necessary in carrying out the provisions of this sub-
division; but such last-named powers in regard to laying out, opening, grading,
construction and change of line of such streets or avenues, or such provisions for
defraying the expense thereof, shall only be exercised on the petition of the prop-
erty-owners who own more than one-half of the frontage on any such street or
avenue, or on the certificate of the supervisor, j ustice^ of the peace and commis-
sioners of highways of the town, or two-thirds of such officers, that the same is,
in their judgment, proper and necessary for the public interest; or in case the said
streets or avenues, in respect to which such action is proposed to be taken, shall
lie in two or more towns, on a like certificate of such town officers of each of said
towns, or of two-thirds of all of them; provided, however, that before proceeding
to make any such certificate the said officers, or such number of them as aforesaid,
shall give ten days' notice, by publication in one of the daily papers of said county,
and by posting in six public places in such town, or in each of such towns, of the
time and place at which they will meet for the purpose of considering the same,
at which meeting the public and all persons interested may appear and be heard
in relation thereto; and provided that no such street or avenue shall be laid out,
opened or constructed upon or across any lands heretofore acquired by the right
of eminent domain, and. held in fee for depot purposes by any railroad corpora-

Powers and Duties of the Boakd. 493

tion, or upon or across any lands now held by any existing corporation formed for
the purpose of improving the breed of horses, without the consent of such cor-
poration; and provided further, that none of said town officers shall be entitled to
charge any compensation for their services under this act, and no charge shall be
made against the town or any of the property therein for the expense of the pub-
lication of the notice herein required. The provisions of this section shall not
apply to the towns of Flatbush and New Lots in the county of Kings.

As amended by Laws of 1881, chap. 554 ; 2 R. S. 944.

Width of Highways.

10. To authorize the laying of highways of a greater or less width than is now
required by law, and to alter by increasing or diminishing the width of highways
now in existence.

As amended by Laws of 1876, chap. 257; 2 R. S. 945. See Laws of 1882, chap. 317.
See, also, Decisions, post.

Surveys and Beeords of Highways.

11. To authorize and direct the highway commissioner or commissioners of any
town to cause survey to be made at the cost of the town of any or all highways in
such town, and to make a complete and systematic record thereof, or to revise, col-
late and re-arrange existing records of highways, and to correct and verify the
same by new surveys, and to establish the location of highways by suitable monu-
ments whenever such commissioner or commissioners may deem expedient. Such
records so made or revised, corrected and verified, shall be deposited with the
town clerk of such town, and shall thereafter be the lawful records of the high-
ways which they describe, but shall not affect rights pending in any judicial pro-
ceedings commenced prior to the deposit with the town clerk of such new or re-
vised records.

2R. S. 945.

Non-Beddent Highway Tax.

12. Upon the application of the owners representing a majority in value (as shall
be ascertained from the last annual town assessment-rolls) of the real estate lying
along the line of any highway, laid out through unimproved lands, to appropriate
the non-resident highway tax on the lands lying along said line, for the iniprove-
ment of such highways under the direction of a commissioner or commissioners to
be appointed by the board of supervisors. But this provision shall not apply nor
interfere in any case where the same object is provided for by any special law
passed prior to the 1st day of January, 1875.


Extension of Time for Collection of Taxes.

13. To authorize the county treasurer to extend the time for the collection of
State, county and town taxes, in any town or ward, to a period not beyond the first
day of April in any year. But no extension shall be permitted in any case until
the collector or receiver of taxes of the town, city or ward in which such extension
shall be asked, shall pay over to the county treasurer all the taxes collected by
him, renew his bond to the supervisor, with such security as the said supervisor
shall approve, and furnish evidence, by his oath and such other competent testi-
mony as such treasurer shall require, that he has been unable, for cause stated, to
collect all the taxes within the time required by his warrant.

Id. See Laws of 1885, chap. 32.

Taxation of Dogs.

14. To impose a tax on dogs within the several towns for the purpose of pro-
viding means thereby to pay damages done to sheep by dogs, and make proper
provisions for the enforcement of the payment of such tax.

2 R. S. 945.

494 SuPEEVisoHs' Manual.

Application of Penalties in Towns.

15. To direct the payment, by justices of the peace, of all fines and penalties
imposed by and paid to such justices in their respective towns, to the supervisors
of such towns, on the first Monday in each month, to be applied by them toward
the support of the poor of said towns, or to the superintendents of the poor,
when the support of the poor is a county charge, and to direct the justices of the
peace of such town to report the amount of all fines collected by such justices to
the board of town auditors ou Tuesday preceding the annual town meeting.

As amended by Laws of 1881, chap. 129, sub nom., § 15 ; 2 R. S. 945.

Preservation of Game and Fish.

16. To provide for the protection and preservation, subject to the laws of this
State, of game animals and birds, and of fish and shell-fish in all waters within
the territorial jurisdiction of the county, and to prescribe and enforce the collec-
tion of penalties for the violation of any laws or regulations they may make pur-
suant to the provisions of this subdivision.

2R. S. 945.

Game and fish protectors are required to enforce such laws as the board may

Chap. 151, Laws of 1888, § 2.
Chautauqua county has a special law on this subject; see § 558, post.
Employment of Offenders.

17. To provide for the employment for hire, or iu the work of the county, of
persons who shall be convicted of drunkenness or misdemeanor or as disorderly
persons, or vagrants, or of any crime less than a felony, and who may be sen-
tenced to confinement at hard labor in the county jail; and to contract with the
authorities of any other county for the reception into the penitentiary of such
county, and the custody and employment at hard labor therein, of any person
who may be convicted of any of the aforesaid offenses and sentenced to confine-
ment at hard labor for a term exceeding sixty days.

See Laws of 1884, chap. 21; 2 B. S. 946.

Jail limits.

18. To establish, on the recommendation of the county court, aud to alter from
time to time as such court shall recommend, the liberties of the county jail or
jails for the purposes defined by statute.

2 R. S. 946; see 83 Hun, 320, nnd Code Civ. Pro., §§ 145-8, below.

The following are the liberties of the jail for each of the counties specified,
For the city and county of New York, the whole of that city and county.
For the county of Onondaga, the whole of the city of Syracuse.
For the county of Monroe, the whole of the city of Eochester.
For the county of Erie, the whole of the city of Buffalo.
For the county of Dutchess, the whole of the city of Poughkeepsie,
For the county of Kings, the whole of that county.
For the county of Albany, the whole of the city of Albany.
For the county of Jefferson, the whole of the city of Watertown.
For the county of Herkimer, the whole of the village of Herkimer.
For the county of Rensselaer, the whole of the city of Troy.

Code Civ. Pro., §145.

See Laws of 1846, chapter 32; 1851, chapter 202; 1859, chapter 198; 1861, chap-
ters 61 and 73; 1863, chapter 186; 1872, chapters 16 and 588; 1873, chapters 196
and 603.

The liberties of the jail, in each of the other counties of the State, as heretofore

Powers and Duties ob the Board. 495

established, shall continue to be the liberties thereof, until they are altered, or
new liberties are established, as prescribed by law.
Id., S 146.

Where the liberties of a jail are altered or established, by resolution of the
board of supervisors, as prescribed by law, a space of ground, adjacent to the jail,
and not exceeding five hundred acres in quantity, must be laid out as the jail
liberties, in a square or rectangle as nearly as may be; but a stream of water,
canal, street, or highway, may be adopted as an exterior line, notwithstanding it
is not in a straight line, or is not at right angles with the other exterior lines of
the liberties. A resolution establishing or altering jail liberties must contain a
particular description of their boundaries; and as soon as may be after its adop-
tion, the boundaries must be designated by monuments, inclosures, posts, or other
visible and permanent marks, at the expense of the county.
Id., § ur.

The county clerk must, within one week after a resolution of the board of
supervisors, establishing or altering jail liberties, has been filed in his oflBce, de-
liver an exemplified copy thereof to the keeper of the jail; who must keep the
same exposed to public view, in an open and public part of the jail, and exhibit
it to each person admitted to the liberties of the jail, at the time of his executing
a bond for that purpose.
Id., §148.
See Decision at end of this section.

Special Town Meetings.
19. To provide for the calling and holding of special town meetings to consider
and decide any question upon which the electors of the town may be called to
take action in accordance with the provisions of this act.
Chap. 482, Laws of 1875, § 1, subd. 19.

Town and Village Halls.

30. To authorize any town, when application shall be made therefor by vote of
a majority of the electors voting on the question at any annual or duly called
special town meeting, and any village when similar application shall be made by
a vote of a majority of its tax-paying electors voting on the question at a duly
called special meeting, to purchase a site for a town or village hall, and to pur-
chase or erect a building for such hall, and to raise money as may be necessary,
from time to time, for the care, preservation and improvement of such hall.


Village Mre Apparatus.

21. Upon application, based on the vote of a majority of the tax-paying elect-
ors voting on the question at a special election duly called for the purpose to
authorize any incorporated , village, whose charter does not give sufficient power
to purchase apparatus for the extinguishment of fires, to provide, by lease or
purchase, suitable places for the safe-keeping of such apparatus, and to borrow
money on its corporate bonds, when necessary, to pay for the same, and for the
purpose specified in subdivisions 20 and 23 of this section, and also to impose
taxes for such purposes and to reimburse loans contracted therefor, with annual
interest thereon, in the same manner as other taxes for general village purposes
are imposed and collected.



22 To authorize the proper authorities of any incorporated cemetery associa-
tion, or trustees owning or controlling cemetery lands outside of any incorporated
city, to purchase or otherwise acquire additional lands for cemetery purposes, and
to sell and convey lands owned by such association or trustees, and not needed
for such purposes, and to appropriate the proceeds of such sale to the improve-
ment, embellishment or preservation of such cemetery; including buildings,
fences and other erections thereon, and the approaches thereto and to the pay-
ment of the purchase-money of real estate contained in such cemetery.

Id. See subd. 34, post.

496 SuPEKVisoEs' Manual.

23. To authorize, on application in the case of a town, of the supervisor, town
clerk and justices of the peace of such town, or of a majority of such officers,
and in the case of a village, the hoard of trustees of such village, any town or
village owning or having the legal supervision of a cemetery lot, to enlarge,
newly- fence or otherwise improve the same, and in cases where, in their judgment,
such removal shall he proper, to authorize the removal of interred bodies to proper
cemetery grounds. But no such removal of bodies shall be made in any case,
except after at least thirty days' personal notice, or where said notice cannot be
given by reason of the non-residence of the party to be notified, a publication in
the newspaper published nearest to the place of burial of such bodies, to the
representatives of the persons whose bodies are proposed to be removed, if there
be such representatives known, of the intention to remove such bodies. And
such representatives shall be allowed not less than thirty days to remove such
bodies. Provision shall also be made that the bodies so removed shall each,
when distinguishable, be inclosed in a separate box or coffin, and that every
monument, headstone, footstone, slab, board or other designation or distinguish-
ing mark, shall be carefully removed and properly placed with the body with
which it is connected, and properly set up at the time of the interment of such
body, and members of the same family shall be placed in contiguous graves.

Id. For Westchester, Kings, Queens and Rockland counties, see chap. 280, Laws
of 1852, and chap. 238, Laws of 1854, and chap. 889, Laws of 1889.

24. To authorize any town, village, society or association having the title to a
cemetery lot from which the bodies may be removed, pursuant to the authority
given by the last preceding subdivision, to sell and convey such abandoned ceme-
tery lot; and to appropriate the proceeds of such sale to the payment of the ex-
penses, when necessary, of such removal and re-burial, and to the purchase of new
cemetery grounds and the payment of obligations incurred on account of purchases
for such purpose, made before such removal of the bodies. When any lands
shall be sold and conveyed, pursuant to this and the twenty-second subdivision of
this section, they shall be no longer exempt from taxation as cemetery grounds.

Id. 947-

May Authorize Election of Tax Receiver, etc.

25. To authorize any town which shall make application therefor, by the vote
of an annual town meeting, to elect a tax receiver in place of a collector, to pre-
scribe the mode of the collection of taxes, the security to be given, and the com-
mission or other compensation to be allowed to such tax receiver for his services.

As amended by Laws of 1878, chap. 182; 2 R. S. 947.

Town Meetings.

26. Upon the application of any town duly made by the vote of any annual town
meeting to authorize the annual town meetings in such town to be held by elec-
tion districts and to prescribe the manner in which the town business shall be con-
ducted in such districts, and the results ascertained and recorded. Provided,
however, that, whenever the electors of any town in which town meetings are
held by election districts shall, by a vote of the majority of electors of such town,
voting at au annual town meeting, declare in favor of a return to the former sys-
tem of holding one poll at town meetings, it shall then be the duty of the board
of supervisors, upon being furnished with au official copy of such action of said
electors, to restore the former system of holding one poll only at town meetings
therein, but such change shall not be made oftener than once in five years.

As amended by Laws of 1878, chap. 285; 2B. S. 947.

Appointment of Assessors, Highway Commissioners and Overseers of the Poor

37. To designate, upon the application of any town, duly made by the vote of
its electors at an annual town meeting, the number of assessors of such town as
their terms expire, not to exceed three; and the number of highway commission-
ers of such town not to exceed three; and the number of overseers of the poor of

PowEKs AND Duties of the Board. 497

such town, not to exceed two; and when the number of assessors shall be reduced
to one, to increase his compensation to an amount not exceeding $ 3 per Mem.

As amended by Laws of 1880, chap. 504 ; 2 R. S. 947.

Softool Property.

28. To authorize boards of trustees or of education in any union free school
districts, or trustees of common school districts established in conformity to the
general or to any special law of the State, on the application of a majority of the
taxable inhabitants of the district voting on the question at a duly called meeting,
to sell or exchange real estate belonging to the district for the purpose of improv-
ing or changing school -house sites, and to increase or diminish the number of
members of said boards.

As amended by Laws of 187B, chap. 239, aub nam., " § 28 of chap. 482," etc. ; 2 R. S.


Towns Authorized to Borrow Money.

29. To authorize any town to issue its bonds and borrow money thereon for a
term not exceeding twenty years, for any purpose specified in subdivisions 6,
7, 30 and 23 of this section; but every act of such board of supervisors authorizing
such loan shall provide for the imposition of taxes to pay the same in equal yearly
installments, with the interest thereon, within the time specified in this sub-

2 R. S. 947.

Taa to Pay Loans.

30. To provide for the assessment, levy and collection, in the same manner as
other town and county taxes are assessed, levied and collected, of any charge which
may be incurred by any town or by the county at large under the provisions of
this act.

Subdivisions 31. 32 and 33 repealed by Laws of 1885, chap. 270. i

Fire Districts.

34. To establisn a fire district in any unincorporated village in this State,
and to authorize such district to procure a supply of water, and to purchase
apparatus for the extinguishment of fires therein, upon the written petition
duly verified and signed by more than one-half the taxable Inhabitants of said
district, whose names appear upon the last preceding assessment-roll of the
town in which such district is located, as owning or representing more than
one-half of the taxable property of the proposed district ; and to provide for
the assessment, levy and collection of the cost thereof upon such district in
the same manner at the same time and by the same oflScers as the taxes, of
the town in which such village is located are assessed, levied and collected.
But if it shall appear from the last preceding assessment-roll of the town in which
any such proposed district is located that more than one-half of the taxable prop-
erty within said proposed district is owned by non-residents of said proposed dis-
trict, a fire district may be established, as hereinbefore provided, upon the peti-
tion duly verified and signed by more than one-half of the taxable inhabitants
of such proposed district whose names appear on the last preceding assessment-
roll of said town as owning or representing more than one-half of the taxable
property in said district owned or represented on said roll by residents thereof.

Online LibraryGeorge Crane MorehouseThe supervisors' manual : a practical treatise on the law applicable to the duties of supervisors from the date of their election to the end of their official term; also, the law relative to town bonds, railroad aid bonds, defective roads and bridges, town meetings, assessment and collection of taxe → online text (page 54 of 96)