CHAPTER 153 - MIDDLETOWN

AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE TOWN OF MIDDLETOWN TO ESTABLISH A SEWER SYSTEM AND OTHER IMPROVEMENTS AND TO SECURE THE NECESSARY LAND OR RIGHT-OF-WAY FOR THE SAME.

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

Section 1. "The Mayor and Council of Middletown" is hereby authorized and empowered to lay such sewers, mains and pipes where and as it shall deem advisable in the Town of Middletown, or any public road adjoining or extending to said town.

Section 2. The Council is hereby authorized and empowered to make, adopt and promulgate all rules and regulations relative to the use of any sewers, as it shall deem proper, and it may also adopt ordinances, prescribing penalties, relative to any use of and in connection with said sewer system and for the protection of said sewer system, wherever such may extend or be located. The Council shall have power to direct the tapping of sewer mains although the same are not situate in the street on which the lands and buildings to be connected with are so situate, if said sewer mains are similarly located in reference to said lands and buildings.

Section 3. If the owner or owners of any interest in property necessary to be taken for the purpose mentioned in this Act, be unable or unwilling to contract and agree with the said Council upon the compensation to be made for any real or supposed injury that may be done to said property, the Council shall appoint five judicious and impartial freeholders of said County, three at least of whom, shall be residents of said town, to go upon, view or ascertain said property to be taken, or occupied, and taking into consideration the advantages as well as the disadvantages accruing to the property affected, they or a majority of them, shall assess the damage accruing to the owner or owners of said property, and shall certify their findings to the said Council and to the owner or owners of the property; and if such owner or owners be not then residing within said town, the said freeholders, or a majority of them, shall certify their finding and award to the tenant of arty said real estate, but if there be no tenant resident in said town, the said notice shall be affixed to the most conspicuous part of the premises, which notice shall be as effectual as personal service of the same. The award and return of said freeholders shall be made within fifteen days after their appointment by the Council. They shall each receive for each day's actual service, the sum of Two Dollars.

Any party in interest who is dissatisfied with the amount of the compensation or damages allowed by the said freeholders, may within fifteen days after such notice apply to the Associate Judge of the State of Delaware, resident in the County where any such property necessary to be taken is located for the condemnation of such property, first giving to the other party at least five days' notice in writing of the intended application if such party is within the State, and if any 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 in which said property proposed to be taken is located at least five days prior to the intended application made as aforesaid, and such publication shall be sufficient notice; upon application as aforesaid, the said associate Judge shall appoint five judicious and impartial freeholders of said County, three of whom shall be residents of the said Town and two of whom shall be non-residents of said Town, commanding them to ascertain the property to be taken and assess the damages which the owner or owners will sustain by reason of the taking of such property. The freeholders shall be sworn or affirmed before some officer authorized to administer oaths or affirmations, before entering on the premises or before ascertaining the property, faithfully and impartially to perform the duties assigned them. They shall give ten days' notice, in writing, to the owner or owners of the premises or property so proposed to be condemned or to their guardian or guardians, duly appointed, if within the State and to the said Council of the time of their meeting to view the premises or ascertain the property; if the owner or owners are unknown or are without the State or if under legal disability and having no legal representative in the State, publication of such last mentioned notice shall be made in some newspaper in the County in which the proceedings were instituted at least ten days prior to the 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 return the same to the Prothonotary of the County in which the said proceedings were instituted, and shall certify their findings and awards to the owner or owners of the property and to the Council, and the said report shall be final and conclusive.

The amount of damages being ascertained, the Council may pay or tender the amount thereof within one month after the same shall have been so ascertained, to the party or parties so entitled thereto, or, if the party or parties so entitled refuse to accept or reside out of or are absent from the County during all or any part of said period of one month, the same may be deposited to his credit in any responsible bank or trust company in New Castle County, Delaware, within said time, and thereupon said property may be taken and occupied for the use and purpose for which it was condemned, provided that the Council, in its discretion, after it has appointed freeholders as provided in Section 3 of this Act, 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 Act provided, but in the event of such immediate use or occupation as last aforesaid, the Council 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 fifteen days after the damages have been ascertained by said freeholders, or if an appeal is taken, by the said Commissioners, the amount thereof. In the ascertainment of damages by the Commissioners aforesaid, if the damages shall be increased, the costs of the appeal shall be paid by the Council, but if said damages shall not be increased, the cost of the appeal shall be paid by the appellant. The said Judge shall have power to fill any vacancy in any Commission and thereafter the Commission shall proceed as though no vacancy had occurred. The said Council before the time for taking an appeal as aforesaid set forth has expired, upon the payment of costs only, may abandon its intention of taking and occupying said property for the purposes aforesaid; provided, however, that there has been no occupation or use of said property by the said Council.

Approved April 1, 1937.