CHAPTER 152 - CITIES AND TOWNS—BELLEFONTE

AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT THE COST OF SEWERS CONSTRUCTED BY "THE COMMISSIONERS OF BELLEFONTE" SHALL BE A SPECIAL ASSESSMENT AND A LIEN UPON ABUTTING OR ADJACENT PROPERTIES WITHIN "THE COMMISSIONERS OF BELLEFONTE", AND TO PROVIDE FOR PAYMENT OF SAID SPECIAL ASSESSMENT AND LIEN, AND TO PROVIDE THAT "THE COMMISSIONERS OF BELLEFONTE" MAY COMPEL THE CONNECTION OF ABUTTING OR ADJACENT PROPERTIES WITH THE SEWERS LOCATED WITHIN "THE COMMISSIONERS OF BELLEFONTE", AND TO PROVIDE FOR EXEMPTIONS FROM SAID SPECIAL ASSESSMENT AND SEWER LIEN, AND TO PROVIDE FOR A SEWER LIEN DOCKET TO BE MAINTAINED BY "THE COMMISSIONERS OF BELLEFONTE."

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. In payment of the cost of construction of the sewer system heretofore constructed by or on behalf of "The Commissioners of Bellefonte" and of any branches or extensions of said system that may hereafter be constructed by or on behalf of "The Commissioners of Bellefonte", the Commissioners of "The Commissioners of Bellefonte" shall fix and impose a special assessment upon all properties abutting on or adjacent to that portion of any street, highway, lane or alley in which any town sewer has been constructed, said special assessment to be at the rate of Two Dollars and Fifty Cents ($2.50) for each front foot of said properties upon such street, highway, lane or alley, plus a connection charge of Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) for the lateral connection to the curb line. The phrase "front foot" means the front foot of any one or more lots facing a particular street, and not the front foot or width of the building upon the lot. Where lots are situated at the intersection of two or more streets, highways, lanes or alleys, in which sewers have been constructed, the street, highway, lane or alley on which said lots shall be deemed to front, if they are lots on which no buildings have been erected, shall be the one on which the corner lot shall have the least frontage; but where said lots have buildings erected thereon, the street, highway, lane or alley on which the said lots shall be deemed to front shall be the street, highway, lane or alley toward which the buildings on said lots face. Where the special assessment on lots situated as aforesaid, on which lots no buildings have been erected, has been paid and subsequently buildings are erected which front on a street, highway, lane or alley other than the one on which the vacant lots were deemed to have fronted, the number of feet of the new frontage being greater than the number of feet of the old frontage, the said lots shall be subject to a special assessment based upon the difference in feet between the number of feet of the new frontage and the number of feet of the old frontage. Where the special assessment on lots situated as aforesaid, on which lots buildings have been erected, has been paid, and subsequently the said buildings are altered so as to front on a street, highway, lane or alley other than the one on which the buildings originally fronted, the number of feet of the new frontage being greater than the number of feet of the old frontage, the said property shall be subject to a special assessment based upon the difference in feet between the number of feet of the new frontage and the number of feet of the old frontage.

Section 2. The said special assessment shall be a lien upon the properties aforesaid from the time that it is fixed and imposed as aforesaid by the Commissioners of "The Commissioners of Bellefonte", and said lien shall have priority over any lien, encumbrance, or conveyance made or suffered by the owner of said property after the said special assessment has been fixed and imposed as aforesaid.

Section 3. The said special. assessment shall be due and payable upon the date that it is fixed and imposed as aforesaid, provided, however, that the Commissioners of "The Commissioners of Bellefonte" may contract with the owner of any such property for the payment of said special assessment in twenty quarterly payments over a period of five years, with interest at the rate of six per centum (6%) on the quarterly payments. Upon default in any of the said quarterly payments for the period of thirty days after such installment shall have become due, the Commissioners of "The Commissioners of Bellefonte" may cause to be instituted proper proceedings for the enforcement of the lien of said special assessment, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 143, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware; or, in case of default as aforesaid for the period of thirty clays after such installment shall have become due, the said Commissioners of "The Commissioners of Bellefonte" may give notice of said default, in writing, to the person designated in the aforesaid contract as owner of the property in question, which notice may be either delivered personally to said owner, or left upon the property so connected with the sewer, in the presence of an adult person, and upon default in the payment of said installment, together with interest thereon, for one month from the service of said notice as aforesaid, the said Commissioners may cause said property to be disconnected from said sewer, and the said property shall not be connected again with the said sewer unless a permit therefor is first obtained from the said Commissioners and until the entire amount then due and to become due for the use of the said sewer, together with legal interest thereon to the day of payment, and in addition thereto the cost incurred by the said Commissioners in making said disconnection, shall have been fully paid.

Section 4. It is hereby provided that in all those cases in which owners of property located within "The Commissioners of Bellefonte" have heretofore contracted with the Commissioners of "The Commissioners of Bellefonte" for connection with and use of the town sewer system in consideration of payment of the same amounts as those herein stipulated, where a balance is still due under the terms of said contract at the time of the fixing and imposition of the special assessment as aforesaid, said special assessment shall attach to the said property in the amount of such unpaid balance due under said contract, and the said special assessment shall be a lien upon said property in the amount of said unpaid balance. Payment of the amount fixed in said contract, in accordance with the terms of said contract, shall satisfy and discharge the special assessment and lien herein provided for. In the event that owners of property located within "The Commissioners of Bellefonte" have paid in full, prior to the passage of this Act, the amount that would have been required from the owners of said property under this Act for the right of connection with and use of the town sewer system, said property shall be free and clear of the special assessment and lien provided for in this Act, (except the special assessment and lien resulting from change of frontage as provided for in Section 1 of this Act) and the owners aforesaid shall have the right to the continued connection with and use of the town sewer system without additional cost to said owners.

Section 5. It shall be the duty of every owner of property adjacent to or abutting on a street, highway, lane or alley within "The Commissioners of Bellefonte", in which street, highway, lane or alley a town or county sewer has been constructed, to cause each building requiring sewerage drainage and located within two hundred feet of such sewer to be separately connected therewith, provided that in every instance all connections shall be made directly to the sewer and not through any intermediate well, cesspool, septic tank or other device. If any such building shall remain unconnected with the said sewer, the Commissioners of "The Commissioners of Bellefonte" may cause to be served upon the owner of said building, in the manner hereafter provided, a written or printed notice, directing that the necessary connections be made within thirty clays from the date of service of said notice. Such service shall be deemed sufficient for all purposes if the said notice shall have been left with the property owner personally, of left with the known agent or occupant of the premises, or if there be no agent or occupant known to the said Commissioners then if the said notice shall have been posted on the premises. If the necessary connections are not made within thirty days from the date of service of said notice, the Commissioners of "The Commissioners of Bellefonte" may cause to be instituted proper proceedings for the enforcement of the lien of said special assessment in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 143, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, or the said Commissioners of "The Commissioners of Bellefonte" may take such other measures to compel the making of the necessary connections as may be prescribed by ordinance of "The Commissioners of Bellefonte."

Section 6. The Commissioners of "The Commissioners of Bellefonte" are hereby authorized and empowered to pass and adopt such rules and regulations as the said Commissioners may deem proper for regulating, controlling and prescribing the manner in which any sewer within "The Commissioners of Bellefonte" shall be used, and the manner in which connections therewith shall be made, and such rules and regulations as the said Commissioners may deem proper for keeping the same in proper repair; and the said Commissioners are hereby authorized and empowered to pass and adopt such ordinances as the said Commissioners may deem proper for compelling the connection of properties within "The Commissioners of Bellefonte" with the nearest available sewer; and they are hereby authorized and empowered to prescribe fines and penalties for the non-observance of such rules and regulations, or for the violation of such ordinances, said fines to be collected in the same manner that other fines for offenses against the ordinances of the town are now or may hereafter be collected,

Section 7. The property owned by any church within "The Commissioners of Bellefonte" on which property a church is erected and maintained is hereby declared to be free and exempt from the special assessment and lien herein provided, said exemption to exist only as long as said church continues to be maintained as a church and only to the extent of the lots upon which said church is actually built. When said church ceases to be maintained as a church, the said special assessment and lien shall immediately attach to said property. As to those lots owned by a church, on which lots no church stands, the said special assessment and lien shall attach in the same manner and under the same conditions as those under which they attach to all other property located within "The Commissioners of Bellefonte".

The property owned by Brandywine Hundred Fire Company No. 1, within "The Commissioners of Bellefonte", on which property a fire engine house and adjoining hall now stand, is hereby declared to be free and exempt from the special assessment and lien herein provided, said exemption to exist only as long as said fire engine house and adjoining hall are used for substantially the same purposes as they are used for at present and only to the extent of the lots upon which said fire engine house and adjoining hall are actually built. When said fire engine house and said adjoining hall shall cease to be used for their present purposes, the said special assessment and lien shall immediately attach to said property. As to those lots owned by Brandywine Hundred Fire Company No. 1, on which the aforesaid fire engine house and adjoining hall do not stand, the said special assessment and lien shall attach in the same manner and under the same conditions as those under which they attach to all other property located within "The Commissioners of Bellefonte".

Section 8. The Commissioners of "The Commissioners of Bellefonte" shall designate one of the town officials to prepare and to maintain a docket to be known as the Bellefonte Sewer Lien Docket, in which shall be recorded the sewer liens herein provided for.

Approved April 21, 1941.