CHAPTER 150 - LEWES

AN ACT AUTHORIZING "COMMISSIONERS OF LEWES" TO PURCHASE RIGHT-OF-WAY ACROSS PRIVATE LANDS FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONSTRUCTING THE INLET FROM DELAWARE BAY INTO LEWES AND REHOBOTH CANAL, AND TO INSTITUTE CONDEMNATION PROCEEDINGS FOR THAT PURPOSE IF NECESSARY.

WHEREAS, pursuant to Chapter 71 of Volume 40, Laws of Delaware, the inlet from Delaware Bay into Lewes and Rehoboth Canal is at present in process of construction; and

WHEREAS, it is necessary to obtain rights-of-way across private land in order to complete the construction of the aforesaid inlet; and

WHEREAS, it is imperative that there be no lengthy delay in the construction of the aforesaid inlet, therefore

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met (two-thirds of all the members elected to each Branch thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. That "Commissioners of Lewes" be and they arc hereby authorized to purchase whatever lands, easements, rights-of-way, or other legal or equitable interests that may be necessary for the inlet from the Delaware Bay into the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal at Lewes, Delaware, which is now in the process of construction.

Section 2. That, in the event that "Commissioners of Lewes" are unable to agree with the owner or owners of any land, easement, right-of-way, or other legal or equitable interest necessary to be taken or used in the construction of the aforesaid inlet, said "Commissioners of Lewes" may apply to the Associate Judge of the State of Delaware resident in Sussex County, first giving to the other party or owner at least five (5) days' notice in writing of the intended application, if such party or owner is within the State, and if said party or owner is unknown or without the State, or if under legal disability and having no legal representative in the State, then such notice shall be published in some newspaper in the County of Sussex at least ten (10) days prior to the intended application, and such publication shall be sufficient notice; upon application being made as aforesaid, the said Judge shall appoint five judicious and impartial freeholders of said County of Sussex, two of whom shall be residents of said town of Lewes, to view the premises and to assess the damages which the owner of the property to be taken will sustain by reason of condemning his property for the particular purpose in question. The said Judge shall have power to fill any vacancy in the Commission. The freeholders shall be sworn or affirmed before some officer authorized to administer oaths and affirmations, before viewing the premises, faithfully and impartially to perform the duties assigned to them. They shall give ten days' notice in writing to the owner of the property proposed to be condemned or to the guardian thereof, if within the State, and to said "Commissioners of Lewes" of the time of their meeting to view the premises and to assess the damages; if the owner is unknown, or without the State, or under legal disability and having no legal representative in the State, publication of such last-mentioned notice shall be made in some newspaper published in Sussex County at least ten days prior to said meeting, and such publication shall be sufficient notice thereof. The said Commissioners shall keep a record of their proceedings with their findings and awards and shall return the same to the Prothonotary of Sussex County, and shall certify their findings and awards to the owners of the property and to "Commissioners of Lewes." If the said "Commissioners of Lewes" or any party in interest is dissatisfied with the finds and awards, it or he, may on application to said Prothonotary within fifteen days after such findings and awards have been made and filed, sue out a writ of ad quod damnum, requiring the Sheriff of said County, in the usual form, to inquire of twelve impartial men of his bailiwick of the damages which will be sustained as aforesaid, and their report shall be final. The amount of damages being ascertained, "Commissioners of Lewes" may pay or tender the amount thereof within two months after the same shall have been ascertained to the person entitled thereto, or, if the person entitled 'refuses to accept the same, or resides out of the County, or is absent from the County during all or any part of the said two months, the same may be deposited to his credit in any Bank of said town of Lewes, within said time, and, thereupon, the said property may be taken and used for the purposes for which it was condemned, provided that "Commissioners of Lewes," in their discretion, after they have made application as aforesaid for the condemnation of property, may occupy or use such property without delay, and the proceedings for the ascertainment of the damages shall proceed as in this section provided, but in the event of such immediate use or occupation as last aforesaid, the "Commissioners of Lewes" shall pay to the owner or owners thereof if within the State, or if such owner or owners refuse to accept the amount of damages or are without the county, deposit to his or their credit in the said Bank as aforesaid within ten days after the damages have been ascertained, the amount thereof.

The expenses of the assessment by the said Commissioners of the damages aforesaid, shall be paid by the "Commissioners of Lewes"; and the event of a writ of ad quod damnum being sued out by the owner of lands, easements, rights-of-way, or other legal or equitable interests proposed to be condemned, if the damages to be allowed shall be increased thereby, the cost shall be paid by the "Commissioners of Lewes", otherwise the cost shall be paid by the person so suing out said writ.

Whenever any property shall be acquired by said "Commissioners of Lewes" under the provisions of this Act, the title thereto shall be in "Commissioners of Lewes" for the purpose for which it was acquired.

Approved March 15, 1937.