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The deterioration of Delaware’s tax ditches was cause for concern for many Delaware legislators at the 96th G.A. in 1917. Numerous ditch companies had emerged, but few of them kept their ditches in good condition. Even more disturbingly, there existed cases where as many as three separate ditch companies were responsible for maintaining sections of the same ditch.1
A House Joint Resolution authorized the Governor to appoint a temporary Drainage Commission, consisting of six members, two from each county. Their primary responsibility was to make recommendations to the General Assembly, hopefully facilitating consolidation and uniformity of the existing drainage laws. They were also to consider the possibility of giving the county supervision of drainage operations.2
Unfortunately, no sweeping legislation resulted from the Commission’s work. The 1935 Delaware Code contains almost a verbatim statement of the ditch laws as they read in the 1915 Code.
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1 29 DL, ch. 293.
jf/January 27, 1988; January 28, 1988