CHAPTER 166 - CITIES AND TOWNS—GEORGETOWN
AN ACT AMENDING, REVISING AND CONSOLIDATING THE CHARTER OF THE TOWN OF GEORGETOWN.
WHEREAS, it is deemed desirable that the Charter of the town of Georgetown, being Chapter 238, Volume 26, Laws of Delaware, entitled an "Act to re-incorporate the Town of Georgetown", together with the various amendments and supplements thereto, be amended and revised in certain respects and consolidated into one complete act.
Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the State of Delaware, in General Assembly met (with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house of the General Assembly):
BOUNDARIES OF THE TOWN OF GEORGETOWN,
Section 1. The limits and bounds of Georgetown shall extend to the distance of one-half mile in every direction from the center of the Public Square of the said Town.
The Council may, at any time hereafter, cause a survey and plat to be made of said Town, and the said plat, when made and approved by said Council, shall be recorded in the offices of the Recorder of Deeds, of the State of Delaware, in and for Sussex County, and the same, or the record thereof, or a duly certified copy of said record, shall be evidence in all Courts of law and equity in this State.
The aforesaid limits and bounds of Georgetown may at any time be changed or extended, in the manner and at the time hereinafter provided, in any direction or directions for any distance except that they shall not extend beyond the following boundaries:
Beginning at the Eastern edge of the right of way of the duPont Boulevard at a point Five Hundred (500) feet South-east of the dwelling now owned and occupied by Horace G. Short, thence in a Southeasterly direction to the Westermost point in the division line between the lands of William Faucett, Hrs. and the lands now or formerly of Hoyt P. Jones, heirs; thence with said division line to the center of the old Georgetown-Millsboro road; thence in a Northeasterly direction to a point One Hundred (100) feet Southeast of the sewer disposal plant building; thence in a Northeasterly direction to a point in the center of the road leading from Georgetown to Springfield Crossroads, said point being Fifty (50) feet Southeast of the dwelling now owned and occupied by Carroll Parsons; thence in a Northerly direction to a point in the center of the Georgetown-Lewes Highway Two Thousand (2000) feet East of the present Town limit as measured down the center of said Highway; thence in a Northwesterly direction and parallel with the division lines of the lots as laid out by Andrew J. Murray Three Hundred (300) feet to a point; thence in a Northwesterly direction to a point in the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia Railroad track Eight Hundred (800) feet North of crossing at Douglas Street as measured up the center of the Railroad Track; thence in a westerly direction to a tiling leading under the Georgetown-Milford road; thence with the meanderings of a division line ditch between the lands of Mrs. Benton Gordy and lands of Edward B. Rust to the Easterly right of way line of the duPont Boulevard; thence with said right of way line home to the place of beginning.
The procedure for changing or extending the limits and bounds shall be as follows:
1. Council by resolution shall propose to the electors by resolution to extend said limits and bounds. The resolution shall set forth the proposed extension and the distance and directions thereof with reasonable certainty, and all other pertinent facts relating to the extension, and shall direct an election to be held thereon on the day of the next town election.
0. A copy of the said resolution shall be published in at least three issues of a newspaper published in the Town immediately preceding the date of said election. At the same time, a notice shall likewise be published of the election to be held thereon, the qualifications for persons entitled to vote, the method of voting, and the date, hour and place of said election. Similar notices shall be posted in at least six (6) public places of the town and in at least four (4) public places in the territory proposed to be added to the town.
3. The Council shall cause to be prepared, printed and have available for distribution a sufficient number of ballots on the day of said election.
4. At said election, every person who is entitled to vote for the mayor and councilmen shall have one vote for every dollar and fractional part of dollar of tax paid by him or her respectively during the year preceding said election, and every owner of property, whether individual, partnership, or corporation, shall have one vote for every dollar or part of dollar of tax paid upon said property during the year preceding said election and the said vote may be cast either in person or by proxy. For the purpose of voting upon the proposed extension, every person, partnership or corporation residing in or owning property in the territory proposed to be added to the town shall likewise be entitled to vote on the same basis as residents of, or property owners in, the town; provided that, for the purpose of ascertaining the number of votes to be cast by owner of property in said territory, the assessment placed upon such property on the county assessment list shall be multiplied by the tax rate prevailing in the town during the next preceding year, and such property owners shall have one vote for every dollar or part of dollar of tax thus computed.
0. The Board of Election shall count the votes for and against the proposed extension; and shall announce the result thereof, shall make a certificate under their hands of the number of votes cast for and against the proposed extension, and shall deliver the certificate to the Council which said certificate shall be entered on the minutes of the Council and the original shall be filed with the papers of the Council.
If it appear from the certificate of the Board of Election filed as aforesaid that a majority of the votes cast were in favor of the proposed extension, the territory included in the proposed extension shall be considered as lying within the Town of Georgetown and the limits and bounds of said Town shall thenceforth be considered as changed and altered in accordance with the plan adopted as aforesaid, and such extension shall be considered to be effective from and after the date of said election, and the Council shall thereupon cause a survey and plot to be made of said Town, showing the new limits and bounds, and shall cause suitable markers to be located and settled along said new limits and at the corners thereof.
If it appear from the certificate of the Board of Election filed as aforesaid that a majority of the votes cast were against the proposed extension, another election upon such question may be held at the next or any succeeding general Town Election, but such an election shall not be held except on the day herein provided for the general Town Election.
NAME AND GENERAL POWERS.
Section 2. (a) The inhabitants of the Town of Georgetown, within the boundaries defined herein, or as hereafter established, shall continue to be a body politic and corporate, by the name of "Town Council of Georgetown", hereinafter called The Town, and under that name shall have perpetual succession; may have and use a corporate seal; and sue and be sued; may hold and acquire by purchase, gift, devise, lease or by condemnation real property and personal property within or without its boundaries for any municipal purposes, in fee simple or for lesser estate or interest, and may sell, lease, hold, manage and control such property as its interest may require; but no property owned by the Town, the value of which in the opinion of the Town Council equals or exceeds Five Thousand Dollars ($5000.00) shall be sold or leased without the approval of a majority of the voters and taxables of the Town at a general or special election called 'for that purpose.
As hereinafter provided in this Chapter relative to power to issue Bonds, the Town shall have all other powers and functions requisite to or appropriate for the government of the Town, its peace and 'order, its sanitation, beauty, the health, safety, convenience, comfort and well-being of its population and the protection and preservation of property, public and private; and all action, suits and proceedings shall be brought in the name of Town Council of Georgetown".
(b) The enumeration of particular powers by this Chapter shall not be held to be exclusive, or to restrict in any manner the general powers conferred herein, but in addition to the powers enumerated herein, implied thereby, or appropriate to the exercise thereof, it is intended that the "Town Council of Georgetown" shall have, and may exercise, all powers which, under the Constitution of the State of Delaware, it would be competent for this Chapter specifically to enumerate. All powers of the "Town Council of Georgetown", whether expressed or implied, shall be exercised as prescribed by this Charter, or, if not prescribed herein, by ordinance or resolution of the "Town Council of Georgetown".
STRUCTURE OF GOVERNMENT.
Section 3. The government of the Town and the exercise of all powers conferred by this Chapter, except as otherwise provided herein, shall be vested in a Mayor and Town Council. The Town Council shall consist of four members. The Mayor and Councilmen shall each be entitled to an annual salary of Twelve ($12.00) Dollars.
ELECTION IN GENERAL.
Section 4. At the first annual election held under this Charter, there shall be elected a Mayor and two Councilmen for a term of two years and two other Councilmen for a term of one year. At the election to be held in the next following year, two Councilmen shall be elected for a term of two years to fill the vacancies created by the expiration of the aforesaid one year terms, and, at the next annual election and in each second year thereafter, a Mayor and two Councilmen shall be elected for two year terms, while in each alternate year, two Councilmen shall be elected for a term of two years.
The Mayor and members of Council shall be citizens of the State of Delaware, resident freeholders and non-delinquent tax payers of the Town of Georgetown. The Mayor and Councilmen shall have been property owners in said Town for a period of at least one year prior to their election.
MANNER OF HOLDING ELECTIONS.
Section 5. (a) The annual municipal election shall be held on the first Saturday in March, from one o'clock in the afternoon until five o'clock in the afternoon, at such place as shall be determined by the Council, due notice of which shall be given by an advertisement printed in a newspaper published in the Town and posted in six public places in the Town, not less than ten days before the day of the annual Election.
(b) The Election shall be held under the supervision of an Election Board consisting of three adult citizens of the Town, to wit: an Inspector, residing in the said Town, and two other citizens of the said Town, all to be appointed by the Council at t hold the last regular meeting preceding the annual election. The Election Board shall be Judges of the Election, and shall decide upon the legality of the votes offered.
(c) Every resident of the Town who is over twenty-one Voters years of age and who has resided in said Town for at least six (6) months next preceding the day of election, and who is not delinquent in respect of any tax levied by the Town, shall be entitled to vote at said election.
(d) Upon the close of the Election, the votes shall be read and counted publicly, and the person having the highest number of votes for each office shall be declared duly elected, and shall continue in office during the terms for which they are chosen, or until their successors are duly elected and qualified.
(e) The Election Board shall enter in a book to be provided for that purpose, a minute of the election containing the names of the persons chosen, shall subscribe the same, and shall give to the persons chosen certificates of Election, which book, containing such minutes, shall be preserved by the Council and shall be evidence in any Court of law or equity. All Ballots cast and the records of Election shall be preserved in the custory of the Election Board for the period of ten (10) days.
(f) Any vacancy in the Election Board shall be filled by the remaining members of said Board.
(g) In event of a tie vote for any office, the Election Board shall determine the tie by lot.
(h) All persons desiring to be candidates at any municipal election shall file with the Secretary of the Council a written statement of their candidacy at least one week previous to said election, and a vote cast for any person whose candidacy has not been so filed, shall not be counted.
ORGANIZATION OF ANNUAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL.
Section 6. At 7:30 o'clock P. M., on the Wednesday following the annual election, the Mayor and Council shall meet at the Council Chamber and the newly elected officers shall assume the duties of office, being first duly sworn or affirmed to perform their duties with fidelity. At this Annual Meeting, the Council shall organize and thereafter shall hold meetings at such times as may be prescribed by ordinance or resolution, but not less frequently than once each month. Special meetings may be called by the Mayor and shall be called by him upon written request of three members of Council, and held as prescribed by ordinance or resolution; and all meetings, regular and special, shall be open to the public.
Section 7. A majority of the members elected to the Council shall constitute a quorum; but a less number may adjourn from time to time and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as may be prescribed by ordinance.
RULES AND MINUTES OF COUNCIL.
Section 8. The Council shall determine its own rules and order of business, and shall keep a journal of its proceedings and the Yeas and Nays shall be taken upon the passage of every ordinance and resolution, and shall be entered in the journal with the text of the ordinance or resolution.
Section 9. In case of vacancy created in the office of Mayor
or Member of Council, either by death, resignation, loss of residence in the Town of Georgetown, or otherwise, the Council shall fill such vacancy for the residue of the whole term; provided, however, if a vacancy shall be created in the Office of Councilman, the unexpired term of which office shall be for more than one year, the Council shall appoint some suitable person to serve until the next annual election, at which time there shall be elected a suitable person to fill the unexpired term of said office.
Section 10. (a) The Council shall by ordinance at the annual meeting appoint by a majority vote a tax collector, Secretary, Treasurer, Alderman, two Auditors, Board of Health, Acting Alderman, Town Solicitor, Assessor, Police Force, and such other officers, employees and agents of the Town, which by it may be deemed proper and necessary for the proper conduct and management of the Town. Any officer may be removed at any time by the Town Council for sufficient cause.
(b) The Council shall by ordinance fix the salaries and compensation of employees, officers and agents of the Town, and the time and manner of his or her payment. No officer, employee or agent of the Town shall in any form have, take, or receive from the Town any compensation in any form in addition to the salary or compensation fixed by Council.
() The Council shall cause to be kept a full and complete record of all officers appointed and employees and agents hired by the Town containing the names of such officers, employees, and agents, the dates and term of their appointment or employment, the salary or compensation and the date of the termination of the service.
() The Mayor shall be the executive of the Town. He shall preside at meetings of the Council, and shall have vote therein. He shall execute on behalf of the Town all agreements, contracts, bonds, deeds, leases and other documents necessary to be executed. He shall countersign all orders, checks, or warrants authorized by Council and drawn on the Treasurer for payment of money; and shall have all and every power conferred and perform all the duties imposed upon him by this Charter and the ordinances of the Town.
(a) The duties of the Assessor shall be as hereinafter provided.
() The Secretary shall record all the proceedings of the Council and keep a correct journal of the same in a book to be provided for the purpose; and shall file and keep in a safe place the Seal of the Town and all papers and documents relative to the affairs of the Town; and deliver the same to his successor in office. The Secretary shall attest the Seal of the Town when authorized by Council and shall perform such duties and have such other powers as may be prescribed by ordinance. All records, books, papers, and documents in the custody of the Secretary shall be always open for the inspection of the Council and the public under such regulations as Council may prescribe. The Secretary may be a member of the Council.
(g) The Treasurer shall be custodian of all the Town funds and shall deposit them in banking institutions located in the Town as designated by the Council.
He shall pay out no money except upon check or warrant countersigned by the Mayor and Secretary and authorized by the Council; shall keep a true, accurate and detailed account of all moneys received and of all moneys paid out by him; shall preserve all vouchers for moneys paid by him, and his books and accounts shall at all times be open to inspection by the Council; and he shall make such reports and at such times as the Council may direct. He shall file with the Town Council a bond with corporate surety in the sum of Five Thousand Dollars, approved and paid for by Council, for the faithful performance of his duties. The Treasurer may not be a member of the Council.
(h) The Alderman shall be sworn or affirmed to perform the duties of his office with fidelity. In the event of his absence of disability, or otherwise, the Council, at any meeting, may appoint an acting Alderman. He shall have jurisdiction and cognizance of all breaches of the peace and other offenses committed within the limits of the Town so far as to arrest and hold to bail, or fine and imprison offenders; of all fines, penalties and forfeitures prescribed by this Charter, ordinances enacted hereunder, or any law of the State of Delaware, of all neglects, omissions or defaults of any member of the police force, or other Town officer, agent or employee; provided, that he shall impose no fine or penalty in excess of that fixed by the ordinance and shall not commit to prison for a longer term than thirty clays. The jail of Sussex County may be used for imprisonment under the provisions of this Charter. The Council shall reimburse the Alderman for all costs by him levied which are unable to be collected from persons against whom fines are imposed.
The Alderman also shall have jurisdiction in suits of civil nature for the collection of taxes, recovery of amounts clue and payable for the construction of sidewalks, curbs or pavement, expenses of abatement of nuisances, and all other matters which may arise in the proper government and control of the Town under the provisions of this Charter; and within his jurisdiction he shall have all the powers and authority, and shall be subject to all the limitations of a Justice of the Peace of Sussex County, except as herein otherwise provided; and his fees shall be the same as those of as Justice of Peace for like service. For any service or duty for which no fee is provided, such fee shall be established by ordinance.
Upon the expiration of his term of office, or upon resignation or removal from office, the Alderman shall forthwith deliver to his successor all books, papers, documents, and other things belonging or appertaining to his office, and shall pay over to the Treasurer all moneys in his hands belonging to the Town. Upon neglect or failure to make such delivery or payment for the space of five (5) days, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be fined not more than Five Hundred Dollars, ($500.00), or imprisonment at the discretion of the Court.
At every regular monthly meeting of the Council, the Alderman shall report in writing all fines imposed by him, and all fines and penalties and other moneys received by him during the preceding month belonging to the Town. He shall pay all such moneys to the Treasurer within ten (10) clays after making report thereof to the Council and for failure to make report to the Council, or for failure to make payment to the Treasurer for the space of Ten (10) clays, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be punished, upon conviction, as hereinabove provided.
The Alderman shall keep a docket in which all his official acts shall be entered, which shall be open to public inspection and examination at all times. The Alderman may be a Justice of the Peace residing in said Town, but he may not be a member of the Council.
The acting Alderman shall be some suitable adult person residing in the town; shall keep a separate docket, and in the absence or inability of the Alderman shall have all the powers of the Alderman as herein provided.
(i) The Auditors shall be residents and taxables of the Town and it shall be their duty to audit the accounts of the Town and all of its officers whose duty involves the collection, custody and payment of the moneys of the Town. They shall audit the books of the Alderman and Acting Alderman and the records of all fines, penalties and costs imposed or collected by either of them pursuant to any judgment order or decree made. The Auditors on or before the Fourth Saturday in January next following their appointment shall make and deliver a detailed report of all and every of the accounts, records, and books by them examined and audited, which report shall be printed in a newspaper published in the Town at least two weeks before next general election. The Auditors in the performance of their duties shall have access to all records of Council and the officers of the Town; and are authorized and empowered to employ such clerks or accountants as in their judgment may be necessary for the proper performance of their duties.
BOARD OF HEALTH.
(j) The Board of Health shall consist of four members, two of whom shall be practicing physicians in the Town. The Board shall serve for one year; shall have cognizance of the interests of life and health of the people of the Town; shall report to the Council in writing whatever is deemed by the Board to be injurious to the health of the people of the Town, and shall also make recommendations to Council of whatever may contribute to useful sanitary information. The Board shall also have all powers and duties enumerated by the Laws of the State of Delaware for local Boards of Health.
The Board shall organize by election of a President and Secretary within ten (10) days after the notice of their appointment, and shall keep a record of their proceedings and acts. The Secretary shall be the executive officer of the Board.
The Secretary of the Board may be allowed a reasonable annual compensation for his services, which shall be fixed and determined by the Council, and no other compensation shall be paid to the Secretary for his services as such. The Secretary may or may not be a member of the Board, but he shall be a resident of the Town.
(k) At the annual meeting, the Council shall select a Town Solicitor for the term of one year or until his successor shall have been duly chosen and qualified. The Town Solicitor shall be a member of the Bar of Sussex County. It shall be his duty to give legal advice to the Council and other officers of the Town, and to perform other legal services as may be required of him by the Council.
(1) It shall be the duty of the Council to appoint a Police Force consisting of a Chief and such number of subordinates as the Council may deem wise; and the Council shall from time to time make rules and regulations as may be necessary for the organization, government and control of the Police Force. The members of the Force shall be subject to the directions of the Council, and may be removed by the Council at any time. They shall preserve peace and order, and shall compel obedience within the Town limits to the ordinances of the Town and the laws of the State; and they shall have such other duties as the Council shall from time to time prescribe.
Each member of the Police Force shall be vested, within the Town limits and within one mile outside of said limits, with all the powers and authority of a Constable of Sussex County, and in the case of the pursuit of an offender, their power and authority shall extend to any part of the State of Delaware.
Every person sentenced to imprisonment by the Alderman shall be delivered by a member of the Police Force to the County Jail of Sussex County, or lock-up of the Town, to be there imprisoned for the term of the sentence. In case of an arrest at a time when the Alderman shall not be available to hear and determine the charge, the person arrested may be delivered to the County Jail, or in the Town lock-up, for imprisonment until such reasonable time thereafter as shall enable the Alderman or Acting Alderman to hear and determine the charge against such person.
It shall be the duty of the Police to suppress riotous, disorderly or turbulent assemblages of persons in the streets of the Town, or the noisy conduct of any person in the same, and upon view of the above, or upon view of the violation of any ordinance of the Town relating to the peace and good order thereof, the Police shall have the right and power to arrest without warrant and to take the offender before the Alderman or Acting Alderman, or Justice of the Peace, for hearing.
Section 11. Annually in each year, and not later than the first of February, the Council shall prepare a budget containing the financial plan for conducting the affairs of the Town for the ensuing fiscal year. The fiscal year shall be from March to March.
The budget shall contain the following information:—
1. A detailed estimate showing the expense of conducting each department and office of the Town for the ensuing fiscal year.
2. The value of supplies and materials on hand, together with the nature and kind of any machinery or other implements and the condition thereof.
3. The amount of the debt of the Town, together with a schedule of maturities of bond issues.
4. A statement of the amount required for interest on the bonded debt, the amount necessary to pay any bond maturing during the year, and the amount required for the sinking fund.
5. An estimate of the amount of money to be received from taxes, and all other anticipated income of the Town from any source or sources.
The Council shall, so far as possible, adhere to the budget so adopted in the making of appropriations, but may revise the same whenever, in the opinion of the Council, such revision shall become necessary.
ASSESSORS AND ASSESSMENT OF TAXES.
Section 12. The Assessor shall make the assessment for the Town and shall each year make a true and impartial list of all the persons, property and estates within the said Town, and not by law exempt from taxation, together with the sum or sums of money in dollars at which it shall appear to him that said persons or property ought to be rated and valued. In making such assessment, the rules and exemptions now applicable by law to the making of the country assessment of persons and properties shall be applicable in so far as consistent with the provisions of this Act. Real estate shall be described with sufficient particularity to be identified, the principal improvements thereon to be specified. Real estate shall be assessed to the owner or owners if known; if the owner or owners cannot be found or ascertained, it may be assessed "Owner Unknown". A mistake in the name of the owner or owners, or a wrong name or the absence of a name, shall not affect the validity of the assessment of the Town tax based thereon. The said list of assessment shall be completed and a copy thereof delivered to the Council by the Assessor on the first day of April, of each and every year. It shall be the duty of the Council to examine said list carefully and to make such changes as to assessments, either by raising or lowering such assessment as they may deem fit, and to approve same by the fifteenth clay of April. On approval of said assessment list by the Council, it shall be the duty of the Council on the fifteenth day of April, in each and every year, to post such assessment list in the County Courthouse in the said Town for a period of ten days for the information of and examination by all concerned, and public notice of the posting of the same shall be given by printed notices to be placed in six public places in said Town at least one week prior to the posting of said assessment list as aforesaid.
The Council may annually appoint and employ two competent persons, at a reasonable compensation to be fixed by it, to aid the Assessor in making the assessment and to assist the Council in the performance of its duties as a Court of Appeals, one of which such persons shall be selected from each of the two principal political parties. On the first Monday, following the completion of the ten day period for posting said assessment list, a member of the Council or one or both of its aforesaid appointees shall sit from the hours of nine until twelve and from two until five, for the hearing of appeals from assessments. The Council shall thereafter meet as a Court of Appeals to consider such appeals, with power to alter and correct any assessment in accordance with right and justice, and to assess such persons, property and estates as may have been omitted from the list by the Assessor. Provided, however, that in case of assessing persons, property and estates omitted and increasing assessments, notice shall first be given to the persons interested or some one of them, or their representatives or agents, so that he, she or they may have an opportunity to be heard before the final action. Such notice may be given personally, by mail, or by leaving a copy at the usual place of abode of any of the persons above designated. No Councilman shall sit on his own appeal.
After the Council shall have held a Court of Appeals as aforesaid, it shall estimate and determine, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members, the sum or sums of money necessary to be raised in the said Town for the public use for the year ensuing, including the sums necessary to be raised for the salaries and other Town expenses, the maintenance of roads and streets, the water, electric light, and fire service, the payment of interest and principal of bonds that may become due, and all other reasonable and proper expenses for the said Town. The Council shall then estimate and determine the rate or rates of taxes necessary to raise the sum or sums of money so estimated and determined.
After the Council has ascertained the sum necessary to be raised in the said Town for the purpose of this Act, and has apportioned the same on the assessment valuation as aforesaid, it shall forthwith deliver a copy of the assessment list to the Treasurer of the said Town, who shall, within three days after receiving same, make out all bills representing Town taxes and place them in the mail. It shall and may be lawful for the Treasurer to accept and receive the tax of each and every person liable to pay the same, who shall tender the payment thereof before the 15th day of May in the year in which said tax was levied, and each and every person so paying his tax within said time shall be allowed an abatement of eight per centum upon said tax. The Treasurer shall give notice of the days, times and place he will sit to accept and receive taxes and to allow the abatement of eight per centum, by public notices published in at least six (6) public places in said Town which said days shall be the three business days immediately preceding the 15th day of May in each year, and the time, from eight o'clock in the morning to twelve o'clock noon, and from one o'clock to six o'clock in the afternoon.
The Council shall also have the right to levy and collect taxes upon all telephone, telegraph, power poles or other erections of like character erected within the limits of the Town, together with the wires and appliances there to or thereon attached, that are now assessable and taxable, and to this end, may at any time direct the same to be included in or added to the Town assessment. In case the owner or lessee of such poles or erections shall refuse or neglect to pay the taxes that may be levied thereon, the said taxes may be collected by the Tax Collector as in case of other taxes, and the Council shall have authority to cause the same to be removed.
Provided that all lots, pieces and parcels of farm land included within the limits of the Town as herein set forth, exceeding one acre in quantity, shall be exempt from taxation for the use and purposes of the said Town of Georgetown, but all such lots, pieces and parcels of land exceeding one acre aforesaid, having a dwelling thereon, shall be taxed as and for one town lot.
The Council shall be sold* (*so enrolled) judges of what lands are and what lands are not "farm lands" within the meaning of this Charter.
The Council may, in its discretion, exempt from taxation for a period of ten years, any industry which contemplates locating within said Town, providing its annual business shall not be less than Ten Thousand Dollars, ($10,000.00).
In furtherance, and not in limitation of any existing Act empowering the Town Council to raise money by taxation, the Council shall have power and authority to raise by taxation a sum not exceeding Twenty Thousand Dollars, ($20,000.00), yearly, to carry on the government of the Town and defray the expenses thereof, in addition to the amount raised by sewer rentals as hereinafter provided.
COLLECTION OF TAXES.
Section 13. After the expiration of the three (3) day period above designated, it shall be at once the duty of the Treasurer to compile a list of all taxables who have not taken advantage of the eight (8) per cent abatement, the address of said taxables and opposite the names of each, the amount of the real estate and his personal assessment, distinguishing between them, and also the tax levied on each person and the tax on the whole valuation, and the rate per hundred dollars. Said list shall forthwith be delivered to the Council.
Upon receipt of said list of taxables to be prepared by Treasurer, it shall be the duty of the Council, within ten (10) days after receipt of same, to deliver said list to the Tax Collector of said Town, said list to be signed by the Commissioners or a majority of them, and shall be accompanied by a precept or warrant, signed by the Mayor, requiring the said Collector of Taxes to collect and receive the several sums to be collected in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
All taxes shall be due and payable on the first of the three business days, immediately preceding the 15th day of May, on which the Treasurer sits to receive payments of persons wishing to take advantage of the eight per cent abatement above described.
All taxes assessed and laid upon real estate shall constitute a first lien against all such real estate within the town for the period of five (5) years from the date when such taxes were due and payable, but if such real estate remains the property of the person or persons who owned it at the time the tax was laid, then the lien shall continue until the tax is collected. In the case of a life estate, the interest of the tenant for life shall first be liable for the taxes.
Whenever the personal property of the taxable is sufficient the Collector of Taxes, in the name of Town Council of Georgetown, may institute suit before any Justice of the Peace within the said Town, or before the Alderman of the said Town, for the recovery of the unpaid tax in an action of debt, and upon judgment obtained, may sue out writs of execution as in case of other judgments recovered before a Justice of the Peace.
The said execution shall constitute a lien upon all the personal property of the taxable within the County where the judgment shall have been obtained which, by virtue of such execution, shall be levied upon within thirty (30) days after the issuance thereof, and such lien shall have priority over all other liens against the said personal property created or suffered by the taxable, except such liens thereon, which may have been created in respect of County Taxes, although such other liens be of a date prior to the time of the attachment of said tax lien.
However, should the Collector of Taxes so elect, he is empowered to sell the lands and tenements of the taxable, or the lands and tenements of a taxable alienated subsequent to the levy of the tax by the following procedure:
The Collector of Taxes shall present to the Superior Court of Sussex County a petition in which shall be stated:
1. The name of the taxable.
2. The year for which the tax was levied.
3. The rate of tax.
4. The total amount due.
5. The date from which the penalty for non-payment, if any shall commence, and the rate of such penalty.
0. A reasonably precise description of the lands and tenements proposed to be sold.
1. A statement that a bill of said tax has been mailed to the taxable at his last known post office address and that it has been found impractical to attempt to collect the said tax by any other remedy hereinbefore provided. The petition shall be signed by the Collector of Taxes and shall be verified before a Notary Public.
At least ten (10) days prior to the filing of any such petition, the Collector of Taxes shall deposit in the mail in a sealed and stamped wrapper and requiring a return registry receipt, addressed to the taxable at his last known address, an itemized statement of the tax due, together with all penalties and costs then due thereon, together with a notice to the taxable that he shall proceed to sell the lands and tenements of the taxable for the payment of the tax. The Collector of Taxes shall exhibit the return registry receipt to the Court by filing the same with the petition; provided that, if the taxable cannot be found, it shall be sufficient for the Collector of Taxes to file with said petition the evidence that such statement has been mailed in accordance with this paragraph and has been returned.
Upon the filing of the petition, the Prothonotary shall record the same in a properly indexed record of the Court and shall endorse upon said record of said petition, the following: "This petition filed the ____ day of _____ , A. D. ___ (give the day and year), and the Collector of Taxes or Town Council of Georgetown shall therefore proceed to sell the lands and tenements herein mentioned or a sufficient part thereof, for the payment of the amount due"; which endorsement shall be signed by the Prothonotary.
Sales of lands and tenements shall be advertised by posting hand bills in at least five (5) public places in the Town of Georgetown and by publishing the notice of said sale in a newspaper published in this Town. The notice shall contain the day, hour, place of sale, and a short description of the premises sufficient to identify the same, and the hand bills shall be posted at least ten (10) days before the day fixed for sale and the newspaper advertisement shall be published at least one (1) week before the day of sale.
Each sale of lands and tenements shall returned to the Superior Court aforesaid at the next term thereof following the sale, and the Court shall inquire into the circumstances and either approve or set aside the sale. If it be approved, the Collector of Taxes making said sale, shall make a deed to the purchaser which shall convey the title to the taxable or of his alienee; if it be set aside, the Court may order another sale and so on until the tax be collected. The petition, return and deed shall be presumptive evidence of the regularity of the proceeding.
No sale shall be approved by the Court if the owner be ready at Court to pay the taxes, penalty and costs, and no deed shall be made until the expiration of one year from the date of sale, within which time the owner, his heirs, executors or assigns, shall have power to redeem the lands on payment to the purchaser, his personal representatives or assigns, of the costs, the amount of the purchase money and twenty per centum interest thereon, and the expense of the deed.
After satisfying the tax due and the costs and expenses of sale from the proceeds of sale, the amount remaining shall be paid to the owner of the land, or upon the refusal of said owner to accept the same, or if the owner is unknown or cannot be found, the amount remaining shall be deposited in some Bank in the Town of Georgetown, either to the credit of the owner, or in a manner by which the fund may be identified.
In sales of lands for the payment of taxes, the following costs shall be allowed, to be deducted from the proceeds of sale, or chargeable against the owner:
TO THE PROTHONOTARY.
For filing and recording petition
For filing and recording return of sale
TO COLLECTOR OF TAXES.
For preparing certificate
For making sale of lands
For preparing the filing return
For posting sale bills
In addition, the costs of printing hand bills and publication of the advertisement of sale shall be chargeable as costs.
The costs of the deed shall not be chargeable as costs, but shall be paid by the purchaser.
If the owner of any lands and tenements against which a tax shall be levied and assessed shall be unknown, this fact shall be stated in the advertisement of sale.
If any person is assessed for several parcels of land and tenements in the same assessment, the total of said taxes may be collected from the sale of any part or portion of said lands and tenements, provided that land alienated by the taxable shall not be sold until other property of the taxable shall have been disposed of.
In the event of the death, resignation or removal from office of the Collector of taxes, before the proceedings for the sale of land shall have been completed, his successor in office shall succeed to all of his powers, rights, and duties in respect to said sale. In the event of the death of the purchaser at such sale prior to his receiving a deed for the property purchased thereat, the person having right under him by descent, devise, assignment, or otherwise, may prefer to the Superior Court of Sussex County a petition representing the facts and praying for an order authorizing and requiring the Collector of Taxes to execute and acknowledge a deed conveying to the petitioner the premises so sold, or a just proportion thereof; and thereupon the Court may make such order touching the conveyance of the premises as shall be according to justice and equity.
The Collector of Taxes shall have the same right to require the aid or assistance of any person or persons, in the performance of his duty, which a Sheriff now has by law.
The Collector of Taxes may at any time notify the person or corporation by whom any taxable liable for a personal or poll tax is employed that the tax of such employee is due and unpaid and it shall be the duty of such employer to deduct from the wages of such employee the amount of the tax due from such employee and charge the same against him, and if such employer neglects or refuses to comply with such notice within three months from the time of receiving said notice, he shall be personally liable for the taxes of such person so employed by him and the same may be recovered as provided in this section for the recovery of taxes. When such taxes are held by such employer he shall pay the same to the Collector of Taxes within thirty (30) days thereafter.
The Collector of Taxes shall pay over to the Treasurer on the first Monday in every month, and oftener if required by the Council, any and all moneys collected by him, taking duplicate receipts therefor, one of which he shall forthwith deliver to the President of Council. He shall report to the Council every month at its stated meeting and at such other times as may be required, all payments made to him and by whom made, the amount of uncollected taxes, and such other information as the Council may require and need so as to at all times be fully informed as to the condition of the Town tax collections. He
shall keep a book of receipts with stubs attached and shall furnish every person paying any tax with a receipt showing the date of payment, the amount paid, and the subject matter of the tax. He shall enter every payment immediately in a book to be kept for the purpose so that at all times the Council and any person interested may be able to know what taxes have been paid and what taxes are unpaid, and in general he shall diligently attend to the collection of taxes and carry out all reasonable directions and orders of the Council, and he and his sureties shall be liable on his bond for the faithful performance of his duties in the collection of taxes. On the first meeting in June of every year, the Council shall ascertain from the Collector of Taxes the amount of uncollected taxes so assessed and laid and the persons and property liable for the same, and after a just allowance for errors and delinquencies, or otherwise, shall direct the Collector of Taxes to proceed forthwith to the collection of the same by legal proceedings under the terms of this Act. It shall be the duty of the Town Solicitor to furnish at all times such legal advice and assistance to the Collector of Taxes in the collection of taxes as may be necessary.
Within one year from the date of his appointment, the Tax Collector must account to Town Council for all taxes and sewer rentals collected during the year by him, and shall be liable on his bond for failure to account for any uncollected taxes or sewer rentals unless he can show to the satisfaction of the Council that all the remedies hereinbefore set forth for the collection of taxes were pursued without result, or, if pursued, would have been without result, or, if pursued, would have been without avail.
The Collector of Taxes must give bond with surety at such time as the delinquent tax list is remanded to him by the Council, said bond to be in a sum equal to seventy-five per cent of the amount of delinquent taxes then due. The Collector of Taxes shall receive ten per cent of the taxes so collected by him.
SEWER RENTAL AND COLLECTIONS.
It shall be the duty of the Town Council by ordinance, or resolution, to prescribe and fix sewer rentals and other charges connected therewith, and said Council may in its discretion prescribe such penalty or penalties as it may see fit against persons delinquent in their payments of sewer rentals.
Twice yearly, that is to say, on the first day of January and the first day of July, in each and every year, it shall be the duty of the Council to send to the Sewer Inspector, a list of all inhabitants assessed with sewer rentals, together with the amounts thereof, and the said Sewer Inspector shall forthwith mail bills for sewer rentals to all persons appearing on said list, which said bills shall be payable to the said Sewer Inspector.
Said Sewer Inspector, thirty days after receiving said list from the said Council, that is to say, on the first day of February and the first day of August, in each and every year, shall make a report to the said Council of all moneys received by him from the payment of the sewer rentals so prescribed, and shall, as collected, pay over to the Treasurer of the said Town such moneys. The said Sewer Inspector shall likewise prepare a list of all persons who have failed to pay the sewer rentals so prescribed within the period of thirty days, as hereinbefore set forth, together with the several sums due and owing from the said delinquents, and any penalty which may have attached by reason of the failure of said delinquent to pay said bill within thirty (30) days.
It shall then be the duty of the said Council upon receiving said list of delinquents from the Sewer Inspector, forthwith, to send said delinquent list to the Tax Collector in said Town, together with a praecipe signed by the Mayor commanding said Tax Collector to collect same.
The procedure for the collection of sewer rentals and charges shall be the same as prescribed for the collection of taxes and the said sewer rentals and charges shall be a lien on the lands and premises of the persons so assessed for a period of five (5) years.
POWER OF COUNCIL OVER STREETS.
Section 15. The Council shall have the power and authority to lay out, locate and open new streets and to widen and to alter existing streets or parts thereof, and to vacate or abandon streets or parts thereon, whenever they shall deem it for the best interest of the Town. The procedure shall be as follows:—
The Council shall, by a majority vote, adopt a resolution vote for the opening of the new street, or the widening or altering of a street, or the vacating or abandoning of a street, or any part thereof, as the case may be, the resolution giving a general description of the street to be opened, widened, altered, vacated or abandoned. The resolution shall also state the day, hour and place where and when the council will sit to hear objections and to award just and reasonable compensation to anyone who will be deprived of property. A copy of such resolution shall be posted in five (5) or more public places in the Town at least five (5) days before the day fixed for the hearing aforesaid, and shall be published in a newspaper published in the Town of Georgetown at least five (5) days before said day. A copy of such resolution shall be sent to all persons who would be deprived or property in consequence thereof, at least five (5) days before the day fixed for the hearing, by personal service or by registered mail addressed to their last known post office address. At the time and place fixed in said resolution, said Council shall hear such residents of the Town, or owners of the property affected, as may attend, and shall at said meeting or at a subsequent day as they shall deem proper, adopt a resolution by a majority vote to proceed with or to abandon, as they shall deem for the best interests of the Town, the opening of a new street or the widening, altering, vacating or abandoning of an existing street, or part thereof, as the case may be, as contemplated in the prior resolution. In case the determination of the Council shall be to proceed with the plan contemplated by said first resolution, they shall also award just and reasonable compensation to any who will be deprived of property in consequence thereof.
Such compensation as may be awarded, shall be paid by the Treasurer of the Town on a warrant drawn on him by the authority of the Council. Any land owner who may be dissatisfied with the compensation awarded by the Council, may, within five (5) days after notice of the award of the Council, appeal therefrom by serving written notice to that effect on the mayor. In order to prosecute said appeal, such appellant shall within five (5) days after the expiration of the five (5) days allowed for the appeal apply to the Judge of the Superior Court of the State, in Sussex County, for the appointment of freeholders to hear and determine the matter of compensation to such appellant, and thereupon the said Judge shall issue a commission under his hand, directed to five (5) impartial freeholders of the County, two of whom shall be resident in the Town of Georgetown, commanding them to determine and fix the damages which the appellant will sustain by reason of being deprived of any property as aforesaid, taking into consideration the benefit or advantages which will inure to the appellant, and to make return of their findings to the said Judge at the time therein appointed. The freeholders shall give notice of the day, hour and place when and where they will meet to view the premises and to affix the damages, if any, as aforesaid. Such
notice shall be served upon the appellant personally, or by posting a copy on the premises affected at least five (5) days before the day when the freeholders are to view the premises, and a copy of such notice shall also be served on the Mayor at least five (5) days before the day of such meeting. The Freeholders named in such commission, being first sworn or affirmed, on the day and at the hour and place stated in the notice, shall view the premises and hear the appellant and his witnesses and the Council and its witnesses, and shall without delay, determine and fix the damages, if any, which the said appellant will sustain by reason of being deprived of any property as aforesaid. Thereupon the said freeholders shall make return in writing of their proceedings to the said Judge, who shall cause a copy of said return to be delivered to the Mayor, and such return shall be final and conclusive. The said Judge shall have the power to fill any vacancies among the freeholders. The amount of damages being ascertained, the Council may pay or tender the same to the person entitled thereto within one (1) month after the same shall be finally ascertained, or may deposit the same in any Bank in the Town to the credit of the person entitled thereto, within the said period of one (1) month, and thereupon the Council may carry into effect the plan contemplated in the resolution aforesaid. The return of freeholders shall be filed in the office of the Prothonotary of Sussex County.
In the ascertainment and assessment of damages by the freeholders, if the damages shall be increased, the costs of the appeal shall be paid by the Treasurer, but if said damages shall not be increased, the said costs shall be paid by the appellant. The fees to the freeholders shall be Five Dollars, ($5.00) per day to each, which shall be taxed as a part of the costs.
Section 16. The Town shall have the power to acquire lands, tenements, property or interests therein, by condemnation for the purpose of providing sites for public buildings, parks, sewers, sewage disposal, and for other municipal purposes, whether within or without the limits of the Town, the procedure for which shall be substantially the same as herein-before provided in the case of condemning land for streets and highways, with the necessary changes as to detail.
POWER OF COUNCIL OVER STREETS.
Section 17. The Council shall have power to establish, change or alter the grade of streets, lanes, alleys, bridges and gutters as from time to time may be deemed necessary and proper, and to establish curb lines in the same and the kind and character of gutters, and to change, alter or amend the same.
PAVING, CURBING, AND GUTTERING.
Section 18. The Council shall have power to cause the streets and sidewalks of the Town to be paved, re-paved, curbed and guttered under such plan and with such materials as it shall determine.
Providing, however, the Town shall not be liable in damages resulting from the injury of any person or persons who may receive injuries from holes in sidewalks which said defective condition of sidewalks was not clue to the negligence of the Town employees.
With respect to the paving or re-paving of sidewalks and the installing of curbs and gutters, the procedure shall be as follows:—
Whenever a written petition of five or more freeholders of the Town shall be presented to the Council praying for the improvements, or any of them, the Council shall sit upon said petition either at the meeting at which such petition is presented, or at the next subsequent meeting, and shall determine, in respect of curbing and guttering what part, if any, of the cost thereof shall be paid by the Town, and the Council may thereupon direct in writing the owner or proprietor of any land in the Town before or in front of which the improvement is to be made, to lay a pavement or install a curb and gutter, or either of them, of the kind and character, and of the width and thickness, and of the material and in the manner as may be directed by the Council.
The Council shall notify in writing the owner or proprietor of any land affected to make the improvement as determined by order of the Council within sixty days after the date of the notice.
The notice shall be served upon such owner or proprietor personally if he resides in the Town, or it may be left at the usual place of abode of such owner or proprietor in the presence of some adult person; or, if the owner or proprietor does not reside in the Town, it shall be lawful to deposit said notice in the mails directed to him at his last known post office address; if the owner or proprietor is unknown, it shall be in compliance with this section regarding notices to post a notice on the property. The Council shall establish the curb and grade lines, which shall be available to all owners and proprietors of lands affected.
The notice shall inform the persons affected thereby with full information as to the materials to be used, the width of the pavement, curb, or gutter, and the thickness or depth thereof, and the time within which the improvement shall be completed.
If the owner or proprietor shall neglect or refuse to make the improvement within the time stated in the notice, the Council shall cause the improvement to be made at the expense of the owner or proprietor, and may recover the expense thereof, together with costs and any penalty which may be by ordinance established for failure or neglect to make the improvement by an action of debt brought before the Alderman, or any Justice of the Peace residing in the Town. In any action brought for the recovery of money due the Town under the provisions hereof, the Town shall have the right to a forthwith summons as in like cases within the jurisdiction of the Alderman or the Justice of the Peace aforesaid. The date of the notice shall be proved and shall be stated in the judgment. Writs of execution may issue upon any judgment recovered as in like cases of civil nature, and upon a return of nulla bona, a certified abstract of the judgment and return shall be filed in the office of the Prothonotary in Sussex County, and said judgment shall thereupon become a lien upon the premises affected and shall have all the force and effect of any other judgment entered in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, the said lien relating back to the date of the notice given as aforesaid and taking precedence over any other lien against the property which shall or may have been entered after the date of the notice.
If any property affected by the provisions hereof shall be held or owned by a widow in right of dower, the expense incurred shall be paid by the owner in reversion in fee simple; and if such owner be a minor, the expense shall be paid by the guardian or agent acting for such minor out of any money or effects held by such guardian or agent, or suit may be brought against said minor or the guardian of such as hereinabove provided, and the amount due the Town recovered by sale of the goods and chattels, lands and tenements of the minor.
If the improvement desired is paving of any street, or part or portion thereof, upon written petition of five (5) or more freeholders as aforesaid, the Council shall by resolution fix a time and place for discussion of the proposed improvement. The resolution shall be published at least one (1) week prior to the meeting for discussion aforesaid, in at least one issue of a newspaper published in the Town and at said meeting the Council shall hear the owners or proprietors of the property affected and other citizens of the Town. After such hearing, the Council either at said meeting, or at a subsequent meeting, shall decide whether or not to proceed with the improvement, and if the decision shall be to proceed with the improvement, then the part or portion of the cost, if any, which shall be assessed against the owner or proprietor of the property affected shall to be determined. The part or share to be paid by the owner or proprietor of the property affected shall be determined on the basis of the lineal frontage of the parcel on the street to be improved.
The Council shall thereupon proceed to cause the improvement to be made and shall assess the owner or proprietor of the land affected with the whole, or such part and expense of the improvement and according to the lineal frontage as aforesaid as may have been determined; shall present to such owner or proprietor bill or statement of the costs and expense as allocated to the lands of said owner or proprietor, and if the same shall not be paid within six (6) months thereafter, shall proceed to collect the said costs and expenses from such owner or proprietor in the manner and under the same power and authority and by the same processes, with necessary change as to detail as hereinbefore provided in this section. The lien of any judgment rendered shall relate back to the date of the decision of the Council to proceed with the improvement, and the said date shall be proved and stated in the judgment.
Section 19. The Council is vested with authority on behalf of the Town to enter into contracts for the rendering of personal service to the Town and/or the purchase of supplies and council. doing of work for any municipal purpose for the Town, provided:
a. No contract shall be made by Council for any purpose, the contract price of which is in excess of Five Hundred Dollars, ($500.00), without public competitive bidding; and
b. The contract shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, but Council may reject any and/or all bids for any cause by it deemed advantageous to the Town; and
c. All formal contracts shall be signed by the Mayor with Seal of the Town attached, attested by the Secretary.
POWER TO BORROW MONEY AND ISSUE BONDS.
Section 20. The Council may borrow money and issue bonds or Certificates of Indebtedness to secure the payment thereof on the faith and credit of the Town of Georgetown, to provide funds for the purchase, the erection, the extension, the enlargement or the repair of any plant, machinery, appliances or equipment for the supply, or the manufacture and distribution of electricity or gas or light, heat or power purposes; for the furnishing of water to the public; for the construction, repair or improvement of highways, streets or lanes, or the paving, curbing or erection of gutters along the same; for the construction or repair of sewers or sewage disposal equipment; or to defray the cost or the share of the Town of the cost of any permanent municipal improvement; provided, however, that the borrowing of the money therefor shall have been authorized by the Town Council and shall have been approved by the electors in the manner and at the time following:
b. 1. Council by resolution shall propose to the electors of the Town by resolution that the stated amount of money shall be borrowed for any of the above purposes. The resolution shall state the amount of money desired to be borrowed, the purpose for which it is desired, the manner of securing the same, and all other pertinent facts relating to the loan, and shall fix a time and place for hearing on the said resolution.
2. Notice of the time and place of the hearing on the resolution authorizing said loan shall be printed in a newspaper published in the Town at least one week before time set for said hearing, which shall be held at the time and place so designated.
3. A second resolution shall then be passed by Council ordering a special election to be held not less than thirty (30) days and not more than sixty (60) days after the date of its determination after said hearing to borrow the said money for the purpose of voting for or against the proposed loan.
4. The notice of the time and place for holding the said special election shall be printed in a newspaper in the Town once a week for three (3) successive weeks prior to the election. And the special election shall be conducted by a Board of Electors as herein provided in the case of an annual election.
5. The Council shall cause to be prepared, printed and have available for distribution a sufficient number of ballots not less than five (5) days prior to the day of the special election.
6. At the special election, every person who had a right to vote at the next preceding annual Town election shall have one vote for every dollar and fractional part of dollar of tax paid by him or her respectively during the year preceding said election, and every owner of property whether individual, partnership, or corporation shall have one vote for every dollar or part of dollar of the tax paid by said owner during the year preceding said election and the said vote may be cast either in person or by proxy.
7. The Board of Election shall count the votes for and against the proposed loan; and shall announce the result thereof, shall make a certificate under their hands of the number of votes cast for and against the proposed loan, and shall deliver the same to the Council, which said certificate shall be entered on the minutes of the Council, and the original shall be filed with the papers of the Council.
c. The form of Bond or Certificate of Indebtedness, the times of payment of interest, the classes, the times of maturity, and provisions as to the registration shall be determined by the Council. The Bonds shall be offered for sale to the best and most responsible bidder therefor after advertisement in a newspaper of the Town or otherwise, for at least one month before offering the same for sale. The Council shall provide, in its budget, and in fixing the rate of tax, for the payment of interest and principal of said Bond at the maturity or maturities thereof, and a sinking fund therefor. The faith and credit of the Town of Georgetown shall be deemed to be pledged for the due payment of the Bonds and interest thereon issued under the provisions hereof, when the same have been properly executed and delivered for value.
d. The bonded indebtedness shall not at any one time in the aggregate exceed the total of 10 per centum of the value of the real property situate within the limits of the Town as shown by the last assessment preceding the creation of the said indebtedness.
. All bonds issued under authority of this Act shall mature serially.
Section 21. The Council is hereby vested with the authority to enact ordinances or resolutions relating to any subject within the powers and functions of the Town, or relating to the government of the Town, its peace and order, its sanitation, beauty, the health, safety, convenience and comfort of its population, and the protection and preservation of property, and to fix, impose and enforce the payment of fines and penalties for the violation of such ordinances or resolutions, and no provision of this Charter as to ordinances on any particular subject shall be held to be restrictive of the power to enact ordinances or resolutions on any subject not specifically enumerated.
It shall be the duty of the Council to compile the ordinances of the Town, to have a reasonable number of copies printed for the use of the officials of the Town and for public information; and from time to time, upon the enactment of new ordinances, or the amendment of existing ordinances, to enroll the same in the minutes of the Council, and to keep copies thereof in a book to be provided for that purpose, so that the same may be readily examined; and also to furnish the Alderman with copies thereof as they are enacted and published.
Section 22. (a) The Council shall have power to enact ordinances defining nuisances and providing for the removal or abatement thereof, and prescribing the fines, penalties and ordinances forfeitures for causing or continuing the same. The Council may upon their own view, or upon information, determine that a nuisance. does in fact exist, upon which determination they shall have the right to remove or abate the same in a summary manner; and the operation of any instrument, device, or machine that shall cause electrical interference with radio reception within the limits of the Town, shall at the option of the Council, be deemed to be a nuisance. Encroachments and obstructions in and to streets by porches, bay windows, awning and poles, or the accumulation of snow and ice on sidewalks may be deemed to be nuisances and may be abated or removed at the expense of the persons responsible therefor, as by ordinance provided.
(b) The power to adopt ordinances relating to the health of the population of the Town, or to prevent the introduction or spread of infections or contagious diseases or nuisances affecting the Town, shall extend to the area outside the Town limits and within one mile from said limits.
(c) The Council shall have the power to adopt all measures requisite or appropriate for protection against fire, and to appropriate money for the purpose of fire equipment, whether owned by the Town or by a volunteer fire company.
(d) For protection against fire, the Council may adopt ordinances to zone or district the Town and to make particular provisions for particular zones or districts with regard to buildings and building material; to prohibit the use of building materials that may be deemed to create a fire hazard, and this power shall embrace new buildings or additions to or alterations of existing structures of every kind; to condemn buildings or structures, or portions thereof, that constitute a fire menace, and to require or cause the same to be torn down, removed, or so altered as to eliminate the menace of fire; to prescribe the height and thickness of walls of any buildings and the kind and grade of materials used in the construction thereof.
The Council may adopt zoning ordinances limiting and specifying districts and regulating therein buildings and structures according to their construction and according to the nature and extent of the business to be carried on therein.
The Council may create a Town Zoning Commission for the development, improvement and beautification of the Town, and may prescribe its powers and duties.
BUILDING INSPECTION PERMITS.
(e) The Council may provide for the issuance of building permits and may forbid the construction of any new buildings, or the addition to, or alteration, or repair of any existing buildings unless a building permit has been obtained therefor.
Should any person, firm or corporation hereafter desire to erect any building or buildings within the corporate limits of said Town for the purpose of conducting therein the business of canning fruits, vegetables, meats, oysters, etc., or for the manufacture or manipulation of phosphates, fertilizers or manures of any kind, he or they before erecting such building or buildings, or engaging in such business, shall make an application in writing for permission therefor to said Council. And should said Council determine that such buildings will not endanger the other property or be offensive to the citizens thereof, the Council shall have authority to grant a permit to erect such buildings and conduct such business.
The Council shall have full power to fix and determine the placing or replacing of poles or other structures within the Town limits for the carrying of telegraph, telephone, power or other wires, and the attachments thereto, and to cause existing poles or structures to be removed whenever the same shall be deemed to be obstructions or detrimental to the beauty of the Town, or when such poles or structures are so placed as to inconvenience persons or render property less desirable. This power shall extend as well to the location as to the relocation of such poles and structures, wires, and attachments, and may be exercised from time to time as occasion shall arise.
Section 23. The Council shall not grant franchises or licenses to public utilities or common carriers unless authorized by a majority of the voters and taxables of the Town at any general or special election called for that purpose; provided that the franchise or powers of any corporation owning or operating a public utility in or through the Town at the time of the approval of this Charter shall not be affected or impaired.
Section 24. The Council shall have the right to grant or refuse licenses for boxing exhibitions and other sports, to circuses, theatrical or minstrel companies, or like things, and exhibits or parades thereof, or the posting of bills for the advertisement thereof; to pool or billiard rooms and other places of amusement; to peddlers or canvassers; to any person having only a temporary place of business for selling or offering for sale goods, wares and merchandise; to peddlers of meats, fish, oysters and vegetables and the location of wagons or stalls, provided that the Council shall not have the power to permit, by license, interference with any place of business or with the convenience of public travel; to provide for the payment of taxes, fines, penalties, and forfeitures by performance of labor for the Town by those who may owe taxes, fines, penalties or forfeitures, and to make proper regulations and rules therefor.
Section 25. Trees being among the chief beauties of the Town, and their preservation requiring that they be treated with special care and intelligence, the Council is empowered to create a Tree Commission for the trees on the streets, and other public places of the Town, and to appropriate annually an amount of money adequate for their care and preservation. The Tree Commission may be given authority to take necessary or appropriate action to prevent injuries to trees from electric wires or from any other source or cause whatsoever, and to combat the pest and diseases to which they are subject, and when necessary to employ tree experts, provided that they do not exceed the appropriation made by the Council.
Section 26. The Council shall have the oversight, management control of the sewers, sewer systems, and sewage disposal of the Town, together with the authority to install additional sewers, and to change, alter or repair existing sewers. The Council also shall have the power to enact ordinances, rules and regulations in relation to the sewers and sewer systems, and the use thereof; to require any property in the Town to be connected with the water and sewer mains and the manner of such connection, and to compel the owner of any property to pay the cost of such connection, and the tapping fee or charge therefor, and to fix fines and penalties for the violation of nonobservance of such ordinances, rules or regulations, and otherwise to provide for the collection of the costs of making such connection, the tapping fee and charges.
Section 27. The Council shall have the power to enact ordinances, rules and regulations and to fix the penalties for violations thereof, relating to the use of streets, highways, lanes, and alleys, the parking of vehicles thereon, with the power to prohibit parking on streets, or portions thereof, entirely or within certain hours, or for certain lengths of time.
Section 28. The Council may build and maintain a suitable place as lock-up or jail for the Town, which shall be used as a place of detention for persons convicted of violation of law or ordinances, or for the detention of persons accused of violations of law or ordinances for a reasonable time, in cases of necessity, prior to hearing and trial. Nothing in this Section shall prevent the sentencing of offender, or the detention of accused persons in the jail of Sussex County, as may be otherwise provided in this Charter.
FINE AND IMPRISONMENT.
Section 29. No fine shall be imposed in a sum exceeding One Hundred Dollars, ($100.00) exclusive of costs; and no term of imprisonment shall be imposed for violation of any rule, regulation or ordinance, or other offence, or for failure to pay any fine or penalty imposed, in excess of a period of thirty days.
Section 30. Whenever during the year, the current receipts are insufficient to provide for the needs of the Town, the Council is authorized to anticipate revenue by borrowing money not in excess of the sum of Five Thousand Dollars, ($5,000.00), which shall be repaid from current revenue received thereafter; Provided, however, such borrowing shall at no time exceed the aggregate of Five Thousand Dollars, ($5,000.00). Indebtedness created hereby shall be evidenced by bond or note of the Town, and the faith and credit of the Town shall be deemed to be pledged for the due payment thereof; but no agency or instrumentality of the Town shall borrow money upon the credit of the Town, except by resolution of the Council.
INVESTIGATIONS BY COUNCIL.
Section 31. The Council shall have power to inquire into the conduct of any office, officer, or employee of the Town, and to make investigations as to municipal affairs, and for that purpose may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, and compel the productions of books, papers and other evidence.
SURVIVAL OR POWERS AND VALIDATING SECTION.
Section 32. This Act shall operate to amend, revise, and consolidate "An Act to Incorporate the Town of Georgetown", being Chapter 238, Volume 26, Laws of Delaware, and the various amendments and supplements thereto, and to repeal all such parts of said Act and its amendments and supplements as are not included and incorporated herein. But all ordinances of the Town of Georgetown heretofore lawfully enacted or adopted and now in force in pursuance of any law of the State, shall continue in force until repealed, altered or amended by the Council of said Town; all acts and doings of "Town Council of Georgetown", or of the Council or any officer of said Town, lawfully done and performed under the provisions of any law of the State or of any ordinances of said Town, are hereby ratified and confirmed; all debts, fines, penalties and forfeitures due to the said Town and all debts due from said Town to any person or persons, or corporation are declared to be unaffected and unimpaired by this Act, and all laws for the collection and enforcement thereof shall continue in full force until the same shall be fully paid and discharged; all powers and remedies now conferred by law upon the several Collectors of Taxes heretofore appointed in said Town for the collection and enforcement of all taxes in said Town heretofore assessed and levied and uncollected, shall continue in full force and effect until all of said taxes shall be fully collected and paid; the official bonds of said Collectors of Taxes and of the Treasurer heretofore given shall not be affected or the remedy thereon impaired by this Act, and they and each of them, and their surety or sureties shall be and continue liable for any default or breaches of any of the conditions of said respective bonds; all proceedings heretofore commenced for the collection of any penalty, fine, forfeiture or debt, to the said Town upon any bond or obligation or under any law or ordinance, shall not be affected or impaired by this Act, but the same may be prosecuted to judgment and execution until the same be fully paid, liquidated and discharged; all valid laws heretofore passed relating to or concerning said Town or authorizing the borrowing of money and the issuing of bonds on the credit of said Town shall be and remain valid and good as heretofore, and be unaffected and unimpaired by this Act.
This Charter of the Town of Georgetown shall take effect as of the first Saturday of March following the adoption of this Act.
Approved May 12, 1941.