CHAPTER 110 - LEVY COURT OF SUSSEX COUNTY AUTHORIZED TO BORROW NOT MORE THAN $25,000.00 AND TO ISSUE BONDS THEREFOR FOR SUSSEX COUNTY AIRPORT

AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE LEVY COURT OF SUSSEX COUNTY TO BORROW A SUM NOT IN EXCESS OF $25,000.00 AND TO ISSUE BONDS THEREFOR TO BE EXPENDED FOR THE ACQUISITION OF LAND OR INTERESTS THEREIN FOR AIRPORT PURPOSES AND FOR THE CONSTRUCTION, MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF AN AIRPORT AND LANDING FIELD IN SUSSEX COUNTY, AND TO AUTHORIZE THE SAID LEVY COURT TO EXERCISE THE RIGHT OF EMINENT DOMAIN FOR SAID PURPOSES.

WHEREAS, The General Assembly, by an Act approved April 6, 1931, being Chapter 134 of Volume 37, Laws of Delaware, authorized and empowered the Levy Court of any County in this State to acquire, establish, construct, own, control, lease, equip, improve, maintain, operate and regulate airports or landing fields for the use of airplanes and other aircraft within the limits of such Counties;

AND WHEREAS, a public airport and landing field is deemed by the General Assembly to be a matter of public necessity and convenience in Sussex County and an essential part of the National Defense Program;

NOW, THEREFORE,

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:

Section 1. That the Levy Court of Sussex County shall be and is hereby granted full power and authority to acquire land or any interest therein, and construct an airport and landing field with all necessary appurtenances thereto, at such place within Sussex County, as the said Levy Court shall deem advisable.

The Levy Court of Sussex County is authorized to enter into contracts and agreements with persons, firms or corporations relative to the purchase of the land and to the building, constructing, and equipping of an airport and landing field for Sussex County, and to this end may require of said persons, firms or corporations, proper security for the faithful performance of the work to be done. The said Levy Court may engage the services of competent architects who shall prepare proper plans and specifications, and the said Levy Court shall award any contract to the lowest responsible bidder, but with the right to reject any and all bids.

The Levy Court may, in its discretion, appoint three (3) persons to serve, without compensation, at the pleasure of the Levy Court, as members of a Commission to be known as, "The Sussex County Airport Commission", and may delegate to said Commission the actual conduct, management and operation of any airport acquired or constructed under this Statute. The said Commission, when appointed, shall organize and choose one of its members as Chairman and one of its members as Secretary and it shall be the duty of the said Commission to cause to be kept a clear and accurate record of its proceedings. The said Commission shall have authority to enter into contracts, leases or agreements, of any nature, pertaining to the operation of said airport, including the right to sell such portion of land acquired as may not be necessary to such use, subject to the approval of the Levy Court as hereinafter stated, and any deed or other conveyance executed by any two (2) members of the Commission shall be a valid conveyance. The acts of said Commission shall be subject to the approval of the Levy Court and any contracts, leases or agreements entered into by the said Commission shall not be binding unless first authorized or later ratified or confirmed by resolution of the said Levy Court duly adopted. The said Commission or the said Levy Court, as the case may be, shall have authority to deal with and enter into negotiations, contracts or agreements with any governmental agency, State, Federal or Municipal, and including the United States of America or any instrumentality thereof, the President of the United States, the Federal Emergency Administrator of Public Works, the United States Navy, the United States Army, the Civil Aeronautics Administration, the Works Progress Administration, the Treasury Department of the United States of America, or any department, division or sub-division of any of the foregoing or any other agency of the Federal Government participating in or having to do generally with any National Defense Program.

Section 2. The said Levy Court may acquire said land or interest therein either by purchase or by the exercise of the right of eminent domain, which is hereby expressly granted. Whenever the Levy Court cannot agree with the owner or owners of any land, building, franchise, easement, or other property necessary to be taken for the purpose thereof, the said Levy Court may apply to the Superior Court sitting in and for Sussex County or any Judge of said Court for the appointment of five (5) freeholders of said County, who shall go upon the said lands and assess the damage of such owner or owners fairly and impartially, and the said freeholders shall certify their findings and award to all known parties in interest and make a report of their findings to be filed in the said Superior Court or with the said Judge, as the case may be, appointing them. The said Levy Court, before making the said application, shall give to the owner or owners of the property involved, at least ten (10) clays notice in writing of the intent of application, if such owner is within the State, and if 'such 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 Sussex County at least ten days prior to the intended application and such publication shall be deemed to be sufficient notice. The said freeholders appointed as aforesaid shall be sworn or affirmed before some officer authorized to administer oaths or affirmations before entering upon the premises faithfully and impartially to perform the duties assigned them. They shall give five (5) 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 Levy Court, of the time of their meeting to view the premises or ascertain the easement or franchise; if the owner or owners be 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 Sussex County at least ten days prior to the said meeting and such publication shall be sufficient notice thereof. The said freeholders or commissioners shall keep a record of their proceedings with their findings and awards and return the same to the Superior Court or Judge, as the case may be, and shall certify their findings and awards to the owner or owners of the property and to the Levy Court; if the Levy Court or any known party in interest is dissatisfied with such findings or awards, it or he may, on application to the said Court or Judge, within fifteen (15) days after such findings and awards have been made and filed, require the appointment of a Commission of Review, which shall consist of five (5) freeholders appointed in like manner and with like instructions as were contained in the first Commission, provided that if a review be granted upon the application of a person or persons in interest the review shall extend only to the assessment of damages made in respect to the person or persons making such application. If the return of the Commission of Review varies in the damages assessed from the return of the original Commission, the said Court or Judge shall, upon application of the Levy Court or any party in interest, appoint a second Commission of Review within ten (10) days after the filing of such return. If a review be not applied for in due time, the return of the original Commission shall be conclusive as the amount of damages; if the return of any two Commissions corresponds as to the amount of damages, such amount shall be conclusive, but if there be more than one return and none conclusive under the foregoing provisions the said Superior Court or said Judge shall confirm such one of them as it or he shall deem most just and the return so confirmed shall be conclusive. The said Superior Court or said Judge may set aside a return for gross inequality or inequity, in which case it or he shall issue another Commission in its place, and the said Court or Judge shall have power to fill any vacancies in a Commission.

The right of eminent domain herein granted shall extend to and include the right to acquire the fee simple title to land, or an easement, or a right of way in, to, over or above such land or property as the Levy Court may deem necessary in making adequate and practical provisions for the removal of obstructions of any nature whatsoever in approaches to the said airport or landing field.

Upon the institution of condemnation proceedings by petition and notice aforesaid, the said Levy Court may, in its discretion, state in said petition that the possession, right to enter, or occupancy of said land or interest is necessary to the project without delay, and the title to said land in fee simple absolute, or such less estate or interest therein, as may be specified, shall immediately pass and vest to the said Levy Court, and said lands or interest therein shall be deemed to be condemned and taken for the use of said Sussex County, and the right to just compensation therefor shall vest in and to the person or persons entitled thereto. In the event of an immediate taking as herein specified, the said Court or Judge shall have power to fix the time within which and the terms upon which the parties in possession shall be required to surrender possession to the petitioner, and to make such orders in respect to encumbrances, leases, taxes, rights, assessments, insurance, or other charges, if any, as shall be just and equitable. The right to take possession and title in advance of final order or judgment in condemnation proceedings as provided herein shall be in addition to any right, power or authority conferred by the Laws of the State of Delaware under which such proceedings may be conducted, and shall not be construed as limiting or modifying any such right, power or authority.

Section 3. That the Levy Court of Sussex County be and it is hereby authorized and empowered to borrow upon the faith and credit of said County, as hereinafter provided, a sum not exceeding Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00), to be expended in acquiring land and property for airport purposes, and for the construction, maintenance and operation of an airport and landing field in Sussex County, and for the purpose of securing the payment of such sum to issue bonds in such denominations and bearing such rate of interest, not exceeding three per centum per annum, and in such form as the Levy Court may deem expedient. The interest upon said bonds shall be payable semi-annually in each and every year after the date of issuance thereof.

Section 4. The Levy Court shall decide upon and determine the class and time of maturity of said bonds and the aggregate of each class, provided that the maturity date of said bonds shall in no event be later than July 1, A. D. 1961. Said bonds may, at the option of the Levy Court, contain a provision for the redemption thereof by the Levy Court at any time after the expiration of five (5) years from the date thereof, at a premium not exceeding five per centum.

Section 5. Said bonds shall be prepared under the supervision of the Levy Court Commissioners and shall be signed by the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer, the President of the Levy Court and the Clerk of the Peace of Sussex County, and shall be under the seal used by the Levy Court of Sussex County. It shall be the duty of such officers to execute said bonds when directed by the Levy Court to chi so, and it shall be the duty of the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer to keep a record of said bonds.

Section 6. Said bonds or any part thereof may be sold when and as the Levy Court shall by resolution determine and until sold shall remain in the custody of the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer. Whenever in the judgment of the Levy Court it shall be deemed advisable that any part or all of said bonds shall be sold, said Levy Court may sell and dispose of the same on the most advantageous terms possible after having advertised the same in the public press at least once each week for at least two weeks. No commission or other compensation shall be charged or paid to any member of the Levy Court for effecting the sale or negotiation of said bonds.

Section 7. Said bonds, principal and interest shall be payable at the Farmers Bank of the State of Delaware, at Georgetown, Delaware, out of the money from time to time appropriated for that purpose by the Levy Court of Sussex County as hereinafter provided; and the said Levy Court is hereby authorized and directed to pay the interest on said bonds to the Farmers' Bank when and as the same shall become due, and pay said bonds when and as the respective classes mature in accordance with the foregoing. The said Levy Court in fixing the rate of taxation shall annually, until the first installment of said bonds shall become due and payable, provide for a sum equal to the amount of interest due each year upon said bonds, and as and when said bonds shall become due and payable, shall in like manner provide for a sum equal to the amount of such bonds in addition to the amount necessary to pay the interest upon the unpaid bonds as before provided, which shall, when collected and paid to the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer be set apart by him in a separate account to be opened for that purpose; and the said County Treasurer shall apply the said sum annually to the payment of such part of said loan and interest thereon as may from time to time become due under the provisions of this act.

Section 8. All of said bonds shall bear the same date and shall be numbered serially. All money received from the sale of any or all of said bonds, after the payment of the charges and expenses connected with the preparation and sale thereof, shall be deposited by the Receiver of Taxes and County Treas.-. urer in the Farmers' Bank of the State of Delaware, at Georgetown, Delaware, to the credit of the Levy Court of Sussex County in a separate account and payments thereof shall be made in the same manner as other payments by said Levy Court; provided that no part of the money thus obtained, except as in this section provided, shall be used for any other purpose than those hereinbefore stated; and provided further that the purchasers or holders of said bonds shall not be bound to see to or to be affected by the application of said money realized from the sale of said bonds. Said bonds shall contain such provisions, not inconsistent with the requirements of this Act, as the Levy Court may deem expedient. Said bonds shall be exempt from all State, County and Municipal or other taxation.

Section 9. That all Acts or parts of Acts inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency only, and the provisions of this Act shall be liberally construed in order to insure the co-operation of Sussex County with other governmental agencies in any National Defense Program.

Approved may 5, 1941.