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It is enacted by the General Assembly, as follows:
SECTION 1. The proprietors of lands in each and every town shall lay out suitable, necessary and convenient highways within their respective proprieties, from town to town, and to mills and markets, and generally wherever they may be wanted. And all highways duly laid out and approved by such proprietors and recorded in their records shall be good, binding and valid, as though laid out and established in any other manner whatsoever.
SEC. 2. If it be found necessary that other highways be laid out in any town besides such as have been or shall be laid out by the proprietors as aforesaid, in every such case it shall be lawful for the town council of such town to order a highway to be laid out so far and through such part of the same town as they may judge necessary; and for the due marking out such highway, the town council shall appoint three suitable and indifferent men, not interested or concerned in the land through which such highway is to pass, who shall be sworn by the town council, or by the justice of the peace who shall be named to accompany them, for the faithful discharge of that trust; which three men, being accompanied by one justice of the peace and one constable, or the town sergeant of the town, to be named by the said town council for that purpose, shall go to the place where such highway is ordered to begin, and from thence proceed to survey, bound and mark out a highway conformable to the direction of the town council; always taking care to lay it in such manner as may be most advantageous to the public, and as little as may be to the injury of the owners of the land through which it passes; and they shall also agree with the owners for the damage they shall sustain, if any, by means of such highway passing through their lands; and in case they cannot agree with the owners, then the town council shall value and appraise the damage, if any; and having thus proceeded and finished laying out such highway, they shall cause an exact draught or plan thereof to be made, which together with the proper return of their whole doings in writing, under their hands and seals, shall be by them presented to such town council; who thereupon shall cause notice to be given to all parties to appear before them if they shall see cause, and be heard for or against receiving such report ; notice to parties living without this state shall be given by advertisement three weeks successively, in some newspaper printed within this state; and after such hearing the council shall proceed to receive or reject such report, as to them shall ap
pear just and right; and if the report be approved and received, then they shall cause the same to be recorded, and such highway to be established and laid open, by removing all buildings, fences and other impediments therein, which shall be done by the town sergeant or constable of the town, under a warrant from the town council to him directed for that purpose.
Sec. 3. The several town councils are hereby empowered to lay out driftways in their respective towns, in such places and of such widths as they shall think necessary, as fully as by law they are empowered to lay out highways; such driftways shall be laid out in the same manner and under the same regulations in every respect as highways are ; the damage
shall be ascertained in the same manner as in laying out highways. It shall be in the power of the town council to order and direct who shall be at the charge of maintaining gates and bars where any such driftway shall be laid out, and also whether the same shall be furnished with gates or bars.
Sec. 4. If any person through whose land such highway or driftway is laid, shall be aggrieved by the doings of such committee or town council, he shall have liberty to appeal to the next court of common pleas to be holden for the county; giving bond to prosecute his appeal and producing an attested copy of the whole proceedings to such court, and filing his reasons of appeal with the clerk of such court ten days before the sitting thereof: whereupon an order shall be made requiring the sheriff of the county or his deputy to empannel a jury of twelve good men, not being inhabitants of or having interest in the town where such highway or drift way is laid ; which jury being duly sworn for that purpose, shall go
and re-examine the laying of the highway or driftway and damages given and allowed to the owners of the land through which it passes, and make such alteration in either or both as shall seem just and right; or totally annul and reverse all such proceedings if they shall see cause ; and shall under their hands make return of their doings to said court, which being accepted by said court shall be recorded and be final; and the said court shall tax such costs as shall accrue by the proceedings aforesaid, against the appellant, in case the jurors shall make no alteration in the doings of the committee or town council respecting said highway, or shall not increase the damages allowed ; but if the jury shall increase the damages allowed or shall reverse and annul such doings of the said committee or council, then costs shall be taxed against the town where such highway shall have been laid.
Sec. 5. The charges for laying out any highway or driftway, and all such damages as shall be agreed for or adjudged to any person through whose land such highway or driftway is laid, either by the committee, town council or jurors, shall be paid by the town treasurer of the town in which the highway or driftway is laid ; and if he shall refuse or neglect to pay the same, an action may be brought and maintained for such money, by the person to whom the same is due and payable.
Sec. 6. The town council of each town shall have full power and authority in manner as aforesaid to lay out new highways instead of any which they shall judge to be inconvenient or useless. And whenever any road shall cease to be useful to the public, the town council of such town shall be authorized so to declare it; and the said road shall revert to its owner; and the said town shall not be liable any longer to repair the same ; but no town council shall have power to alter or change any highway which has been or hereafter shall be laid out by the general assembly.
Sec. 7. All lands which have or shall be quietly, peaceably and actually used and improved and considered as public highways or streets, for the space of twenty years, and which shall be declared by the town council of the town wherein they lie to be public highways, shall be taken and considered as public highways to all intents and purposes, as fully and effectually as if the same had been regularly laid out, recorded and opened by the town council of the town where such lands
SEC. 8. It shall be the duty of every town council before they proceed to act under the provisions of the next preceding section, to give personal notice of their intention to all persons interested, or who may have any claim to the land over which such highway passes, as described in said section, if known to reside in this state ; and if not known, or it known to reside without this state, then by an advertisement to be inserted in one or more public newspapers printed within this state, for the space of three weeks successively, to the intent that all persons interested may have an opportunity to show cause why such proceedings as are authorized as aforesaid should not be had ; and in all cases, any person who shall be aggrieved by such proceedings shall have liberty to appeal therefrom to the next court of common pleas within the county in which such highway lies ; first giving bond and filing reasons of appeal in the same manner as is provided and required by the fourth section of this act; whereupon an or
der shall be made for such appellant's appearing to prosecute his appeal, and requiring the sheriff of the county to empannel a jury of twelve good men, not being inhabitants of or having any interest in the town where such highway lies; which jury being duly sworn for that purpose, after hearing all parties, shall have power to reverse or affirm the doings of said town council, under the preceding section.
Sec. 9. Whenever the owner of any land shall make a deed thereof to the town wherein such land lies, for the special purpose of being used and improved as a public highway, and the said deed shall have been duly acknowledged and recorded, the said land shall be thenceforward a public highway to all intents and purposes ; and be liable to be opened by the town council of the town wherein the same shall lie, in the same way and manner as highways which are laid out by said town council; but no town shall be liable to repair such highway until the town council thereof shall decree and order that the same shall be repaired at the expense of such
An Act for the Mending of Highways and Bridges. SECTION
SECTION 1. Towns to keep highways and bridges 12. Penalty on surveyor for neglect of du
in repair; surveyors of highways, ties. powers and duties.
13. Towns neglecting to repair highways 2. Powers of surveyors in relation to wa or bridges may be indicted.
14. Towns to provide for removing snow 3. Town councils to appoint surveyors' from highways so that they may be districts.
passable. 4. Towns to raise money to repair high- 15. Penalty for having highways obstructways.
ed by snow. 5. Town councils to determine the amount 16. Bridges on dividing lines of towns and
to be expended on highways in each on the lines of the state, by whom to
district and make a tax list for each. be supported.
in his district of the sum he is assess dividing lines to be indicted.
cial water courses.
20. Who to maintain bridges on turnpike 8. If surveyor make no return, he to be roads.
personally liable for the amount of his 21. The laying out a highway over land tax bill, to be included in his next used as a highway not to affect liability town tax.
any town or person to maintain the 9. Surveyors to have same power to col old highway. lect taxes as collectors.
22. Persons owning land adjoining high10. If sum appropriated be insufficient, ways may build bridges over the
surveyor to employ inhabitants to ditches.
fence on highway.
surveyor shall assign each person in of high ways out of ireasuries.
exempted from this act.
It is enacted by the General Assembly, as follows:
SECTION 1. All highways, townways and causeways, and all bridges, excepting only those referred to in the twentieth section of this act, lying and being within the bounds of any town, shall be kept in repair and amended, from time to time, so that the same may be safe and convenient for travellers with their teams, carts and carriages, at all seasons of the year, at the proper charge and expense of such town, under the care and direction of the surveyor or surveyors of highways appointed by law; and the surveyor or surveyors aforesaid shall have full power and authority to cut down, lop off, dig up and remove all sorts of trees, bushes, stones, fences, rails, gates, bars, enclosures or other matter or thing that shall any way straighten, hurt, hinder or incommode any highway or townway; and also to dig for stone, gravel, clay, marle, sand or earth, in any land adjoining said highway; and the materials thus dug up to remove to such place or places in the highways for the repair and amendment thereof as they shall deem necessary, making compensation therefor; and when the highways are blocked up or encumbered with snow, the surveyor or surveyors shall cause so much thereof to be removed or trod down as will render the road passable.
Sec. 2. No surveyor of highways shall cause any water course in any highway to be so conveyed as to incommode any person's land, house, store, shop or other building, or to obstruct any person in the prosecution of his business, or occupation, without the consent or approbation of the town council of such town, signified in writing to such surveyor ; and any person who may consider himself aggrieved by such water course may complain to the said town council; and said council on receiving said complaint and examining into the circumstances of the same shall, if they think reasonable, direct such surveyor or surveyors to alter the said water course in such way and manner as they shall think fit and proper.
Sec. 3. The town council of each town are hereby empowered and directed to assign and appoint, in writing annually, to the surveyors, their several limits and divisions of the highways for repair and amendments, unto which assignments the said surveyors are directed to conform themselves.
Sec. 4. Each town at some public meeting of the electors thereof who are entitled to vote upon any proposition to impose a tax, regularly notified and warned, shall vote and raise such sum of money, to be expended in labor and materials on the highways aforesaid, as they may deem necessary for that