CHAPTER 177 - CITIES AND TOWNS—REHOBOTH BEACH

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 161, VOLUME 41, LAWS OF DELAWARE, ENTITLED "AN ACT CHANGING THE NAME OF THE TOWN OF REHOBOTH' TO 'CITY OF REHOBOTH BEACH', ESTABLISHING A CHARTER THEREFOR, AND REPEALING CHAPTER 247 OF VOLUME 27, LAWS OF DELAWARE, BEING ENTITLED 'AN ACT CREATING A BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS FOR THE TOWN OF REHOBOTH, WHICH SHALL ESTABLISH, CONTROL AND REGULATE A WATER WORKS SYSTEM FOR SAID TOWN; PRESCRIBING THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF SAID BOARD AND PROVIDING FOR THE ELECTION OF THEIR SUCCESSORS' ".

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

Section 1. That Section 3 of Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby amended by striking therefrom the word "State" as the same appears in the seventeenth line of said Section, and by inserting in lieu thereof the words "corporate limits of the City of Rehoboth Beach".

Section 2. That Section 3 of Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking therefrom the words "State of Delaware" as the same appear in the nineteenth line of said Section and by inserting in lieu thereof the words "City of Rehoboth Beach".

Section 3. That Section 3. of Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking therefrom the words "Town of Rehoboth as the same appear in the twenty-third line of said Section and by inserting in lieu thereof the words "City of Rehoboth Beach".

Section 4. That Section 4 of Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby amended by adding a new paragraph at the end of said Section, which new paragraph shall read as follows:

"During and after the calendar year 1941, annual elections in said City shall be held on the second Saturday in August rather than on the second Saturday in July and those respective Commissioners whose terms would ordinarily expire upon the election of their successors shall continue to hold office until their respective successors shall be elected on the second Saturday in August of the Calendar years 1941 and 1942, respectively".

Section 5. That Section 7 of Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware,* be and the same is hereby amended by striking out the word "July" as the same appears in the second line of the first paragraph of said Section and substituting in lieu thereof the word "August".

*So enrolled.

Section 6. That Section 7 of Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out the word "judge" as the same appears in the second line of the third paragraph of said Section and by substituting in lieu thereof the word "Inspector" and by further striking out* the word "Inspectors" as the same appears in the third line of the third paragraph of said Section and substituting in lieu thereof the word "Judges".

Section 7. That Section 7 of Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking therefrom all of the fourth paragraph of said Section and inserting in lieu thereof a new paragraph which shall read as follows:

"At any such election every person, male or female, above the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a freeholder in the City of Rehoboth Beach for a period of three months immediately preceding such election, against whose property or properties there shall be no due and unpaid taxes, assessments or other charges due the City which may have been levied, assessed or charged against such property or properties during the fiscal year ending on March 31st preceding such election, whether a resident of the State of Delaware, or the City of Rehoboth Beach, or not, shall have one vote and also every person, male or female, above the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a resident of the State of Delaware at least one year and a bona fide resident within the corporate limits of the City of Rehoboth Beach for at least three months immediately preceding such election, shall have one vote, if all City taxes, assessments and charges levied against such person during the fiscal year ending on March 31st preceding such election shall have been paid at the time of said election. All votes shall be offered in person. No voter shall vote for more candidates than there are offices to be filled at the election, and in voting shall cross out the names of all candidates for whom the voter does not desire to cast his or her vote."

Section 8. That Section 8 of Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out the words "first Saturday in August" as the same appear* in the second line of the first paragraph of said Section and by inserting in lieu thereof the words Second Saturday in September".

Section 9. That Section 9 of Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out the word "an-nual" as the same appears at the end of the first line and the beginning of the second line of the first paragraph of said Section.

Section 10. That Section 9 of Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking therefrom the last full paragraph of said Section and inserting in lieu thereof the following paragraph, which shall read as follows:

"So enrolled.

"All meetings shall be held in some public room in the City of Rehoboth Beach and shall be open at all times to the lawful voters of the City excepting during such time or times as The Commissioners shall deem it advisable to discuss any matter in executive session: provided, however, that no vote or ballot shall be taken by the Commissioners of Rehoboth upon any question or matter coming before it except in open, public session and any vote or ballot taken by The Commissioners upon any matter or subject while in executive session shall be absolutely null and void."

Section 11. That Section 16 of Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out the sign and figures "$25,000.00" as the same appear in the third line of the third paragraph of said Section and inserting in lieu thereof the sign and figures $5,000.00.

Section 12. That Section 17 of Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby amended by striking therefrom the first sentence of the second paragraph thereof and inserting in lieu thereof the following sentence, which shall read as follows:

"He shall not, when originall* appointed, be a resident of the City of Rehoboth Beach".

*So enrolled.

Section 13. That Section 17 of Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby further amended by adding a new paragraph at the end of said Section, which shall read as follows:

"In the event of a vacancy in the office of City Manager for any reason or reasons whatsoever, the duly appointed and qualified successor to that office shall succeed to all the rights, privileges and powers theretofore reposed in his predecessor or predecessors in office in the same manner as though all acts, deeds and steps theretofore taken by any such predecessor or predecessors with respect to any matter or thing pertaining to said office had been taken or performed by the successor to such office".

Section 14. That Section 18 of Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby amended by striking therefrom the words "second Saturday in June" as the same appear at the end of the sixth line and the beginning of the seventh line of the second paragraph of said Section and inserting in lieu thereof the words "fifteenth day of May".

Section 15, That Section 22 of Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby amended by striking therefrom the words "first Saturday in August" as the same appear in the second line of the first paragraph of said Section and as the same further appear at the end of the second line and the beginning of the third line of the second paragraph of said Section and inserting in lieu thereof, in both instances, the words "second Saturday in September".

Section 16. That Section 25 of Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby amended by inserting between the word "the" and the word "year" as the same appear in the first line of the sixth paragraph of said Section the word "second.

Section 17. That Section 28 of Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby amended by striking therefrom all of the first paragraph of said Section and inserting in lieu thereof the following paragraph:

"Section 28. The fiscal year for the City of Rehoboth Beach shall be from April 1st of one year to March 31st of the succeeding year".

Section 18. That Section 29 of Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of the seventh paragraph of said Section and inserting in lieu thereof a new paragraph, which shall read as follows:

"The Commissioners shall also have the power and authority to levy and collect license fees upon any person, firm, association or corporation carrying on any occupation, profession or business in the City or supplying the inhabitants thereof with any form of service or merchandise for any valuable consideration and to use the proceeds derived therefrom for the purpose of advertising the City of Rehoboth Beach as a pleasure and summer resort as well as for any other lawful municipal purpose authorized by the provisions of this Charter".

Section 19. That Section 29 of Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby further amended by adding a new paragraph at the end of said Section, which shall read as follows:

"The Commissioners of Rehoboth may, in its discretion, contribute, donate or give an amount or amounts, not to exceed in the total, during any one fiscal year, two per centum (2%) of the total annual tax levied upon real estate by The Commissioners of Rehoboth, unto any Volunteer Fire Company or Companies incorporated under the Laws of the State of Delaware, or Association or Associations maintaining and operating fire-fighting equipment and service within the confines of the corporate limits of the City of Rehoboth Beach: Provided, that any such contribution, donation or gift may be made subject to such conditions and stipulations, as to the use thereof, as The Commissioners of Rehoboth shall deem advisable."

Section 20. That Section 30 of Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of said Section 30 and inserting in lieu thereof a new Section 30, which shall read as follows:

"Section 30. In the collection of water rentals, electric bills, gas bills, license fees, tapping fees, charges growing out of abatement of nuisances, laying out and repairing sidewalks, or other charges due the City and authorized to be levied and charged against the owner or owners of property within the City, the collection thereof shall be under the supervision of the City Manager. It shall be the duty of the City Manager to collect all such rentals, bills, fees and charges. He shall, in conjunction with the police force keep The Commissioners advised as to any and all failures or neglects to pay the same.

In respect to the amount of any such water rentals, electric bills, gas bills, license fees, tapping fees, charges growing out of abatement of nuisances, laying out and repairing sidewalks, or other charges due the City and authorized to be levied and charged against the owner or owners of property within the City, and which owner or owners of property within the City shall have failed or neglected to pay the same within the time prescribed by the provisions of this Charter, or a duly adopted Ordinance of said City and should the required procedure, if any there be, have been complied with as regards the imposition thereof against such owner or owners, The Commissioners shall issue a warrant to the City Manager directing him to collect the same against the person or persons, firm or firms, corporation or corporations from which it shall be due, together with interest from the due date and other charges attendant thereto. Thereafter, from the date of the issuance of any such warrant or warrants, the amount or amounts therein provided shall be and constitute liens upon the respective property or properties of such owner or owners upon which or for which any such rentals, bills, fees or other charges shall have been made and such liens shall, for a period of two years from the date of such warrant or warrants, have priority over any liens, encumbrances or conveyances except tax liens, general or special sewer assessment liens and prior liens of a like nature.

Upon the receipt of such warrant from The Commissioners, the City Manager' shall have the same authorities, remedies and powers with respect to the collection of the same as hereinbefore provided in Section 27 of this Charter.

Nothing contained in this Section shall be construed as a limitation upon The Commissioners of Rehoboth to establish and fix fines, or terms of imprisonment, or other penalty, in a proper case, for neglects or failures nor shall any fines imposed by a judicial officer with reference to any such neglets* or failures be construed as being within the provisions hereof".

*So enrolled.

Section 21. That Section 40 of Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of said Section 40 and by substituting in lieu thereof the following Section, to be known as Section 40, which shall read as follows:

"Section 40. The Commissioners of Rehoboth may borrow money, and to secure the payment of the same, is hereby authorized and empowered to issue bonds or other kinds or forms of certificate or certificates of indebtedness pledging the full faith and credit of the City of Rehoboth Beach, or such other security or securities as The Commissioners shall elect, for the payment of the principal thereof and the interest due thereon.

All bonds or other kinds or forms of certificate or certificates of indebtedness issued by The Commissioners of Rehoboth in pursuance hereof shall be exempt from all State, County or municipal taxes.

This power or authority to borrow money may be exercised by The Commissioners of Rehoboth to provide funds for, or to provide for the payment of, any of the following projects or purposes:

1. Refunding any or all outstanding bonds or other indebtedness of the City at the maturity thereof or in accordance with any callable feature or provision contained therein;

2. Meeting or defraying current annual operating expenses of the City in an amount equal to but not in excess of currently outstanding, due and unpaid taxes, water rents, license fees, or other charges due the City and available, when paid, for meeting or defraying current annual operating expenses of the City;

3. Erecting, extending, enlarging, maintaining, and repairing any plant, building, machinery, or equipment for the manufacture, supplying or distribution of gas, water, electricity, sewerage or drainage system, or any of them, and the condemning or purchasing of any lands, easements and rights of way which may be required therefor;

4. Constructing, paving, laying, out, widening, extending, repairing and maintaining streets, lanes, alleys, and ways and the paving, constructing, laying out, widening, extending, repairing and maintaining of curbing and gutters along the same and the condemning or purchasing of any lands, easements or rights of way which may be required therefor;

5. Constructing, laying out, widening, extending, repairing and maintaining boardwalks, piers, jutties,'" bulkheads, sidewalks, cross-walks, or embankments, or any of them, and the condemning or purchasing of any lands, easements or rights of way which may be required therefor;

6. Defraying the cost to the City of any other municipal improvement provided for or authorized or implied by the provisions of this Charter.

In those cases where the power or authority hereby vested in The Commissioners of Rehoboth is sought to be exercised for the purpose of refunding any or all outstanding bonds or other indebtedness of the City at a rate of interest equal to or less than the indebtedness thereby sought to be refunded and in all instances provided for in sub-paragraph "2" above, it shall not be necessary for the Commissioners of Rehoboth to call a special election of the taxables of the City to secure their approval of such borrowing.

In all other instances the power to borrow money and to secure the payment thereof by the issuance of bonds or other kinds or forms of certificate or certificates of indebtedness for any other purpose or purposes above specified shall be only exercesed* in the following manner:

The Commissioners shall adopt a resolution proposing unto the electors of the City that money be borrowed by the City for any of the above named- purposes. The resolution proposing the borrowing shall plainly set forth the following* matters:

*So enrolled.

(1) The amount of money, or the amount of money not exceeding which, it is proposed shall be borrowed;

(2) The rate of interest, or the rate of interest not exceeding which, it is proposed shall be paid;

(3) The manner in which it is proposed to be secured;

(4) The manner in which it is proposed that it shall be paid, or funded, or both;

(5) A short and clear description of the purpose or purposes for which the money or monies shall be used, and which description shall include the estimated cost of carrying out the purpose or purposes aforesaid; and

(6) A statement of the time and place for a public hearing upon the resolution, whereat the Commissioners of Rehoboth shall vote upon the final authorization for the loan.

It shall then be the duty of The Commissioners to give notice of the time and place of such public, hearing upon the resolution by publishing a copy of the resolution aforesaid in at least one issue of a newspaper published in the City of Rehoboth Beach at least one week before the time fixed for said hearing and by posting copies thereof in five public places throughout said City at least one week before the time fixed for said hearing.

At the time and place mentioned in such notice, The Commissioners shall sit in public session and at such public session, or an adjourned session thereof, shall vote upon a resolution giving its final authorization for the loan. If such resolution shall be adopted by The Commissioners of Rehoboth, then The Commissioners of Rehoboth shall pass a second resolution ordering and directing that a Special Election be held in the City of Rehoboth Beach not less than Thirty (30) days nor more than sixty (60) days (as may be determined by the Commissioners) after the date of the hearing and passage of the resolution authorizing the loan by The Commissioners.

The purpose of such Special Election shall be to vote for or against the proposed loan. No date shall be fixed by The Commissioners for the holding of any such Special Election nor shall any such Special Election be held during any calendar year except in the calendar months of July and August of such calendar year.

The Commissioners shall give notice of the time and place for holding the said Special Election to all the taxables of the City of Rehoboth Beach by posting notices thereof in five public places in said City at least two weeks prior to the day fixed for the holding of such Special Election and by publishing a copy of such notice once each week during those two weeks immediately preceding that week during which the clay fixed for the holding of such Special Election shall fall in a newspaper published in the City of Rehoboth Beach. Such notice of the Special Election shall likewise contain the same information with respect to the borrowing as required to be contained in the original resolution proposing the borrowing, excepting a statement of the time and place for a public hearing upon the resolution, whereat The Commissioners of Rehoboth shall vote upon the final authorization for the loan.

The Special Election shall be conducted by an election board whose members shall be appointed or selected in the same manner and they shall have the same qualifications as herein-before provided in the case of annual elections of the City.

At least five days prior to the date of the Special Election, The Commissioners shall cause to be prepared, printed and have available for distribution, a sufficient number of ballots: upon one-half of which ballot shall be printed the words "FOR THE PROPOSED BORROWING", and upon the other half of said ballot shall be printed the words "AGAINST THE PROPOSED BORROWING".

At such Special Election every person who would be entitled to vote at an annual election if held on that day shall be entitled to one vote for every dollar and fractional part of a dollar of tax paid by him or her respectively during the fiscal year ending on March 31st next preceding said Special Election and also every owner of property, whether 'individual, partnership or corporation, shall have one vote for every dollar or part of a dollar of tax paid upon such property, during the fiscal year ending on March 31st next preceding said Special Election. Votes at said Election may be cast either in person or by proxy and where a given property is owned by more than one person each parcener shall be entitled to cast as many votes as his, her, or its interest in the property is related to the total number of votes which may be cast in the name of all owners of such property, excepting in cases where property is held by husband and wife as tenants by the entireties. In such latter cases either the husband or wife or the proxy of either of them may cast the entire votes representative of the tax paid upon such property, depending upon which shall first present himself or herself at the polling place.

No proxy shall be voted or counted unless the same shall have been signed in the presence of at least two witnesses.

The Inspector of the Election shall deposit all ballots in the ballot box provided for that purpose in the presence of the person casting such ballot; he, the said Inspector, first writing upon the outside of said ballot the number of votes being cast thereby by the person casting said ballot.

Immediately upon the closing of the polls the Special Election Board shall count the votes for and against the proposed borrowing and shall announce the result thereof and shall make a certificate under their hands of the number of votes cast for and the number of votes cast against the proposed borrowing and shall deliver such Certificate, in duplicate, to The Commissioners. One copy of the Certificate The Commissioners shall enter in the minutes of the next meeting of The Commissioners of Rehoboth and the other copy thereof shall be filed with the papers of The Commissioners of Rehoboth.

The form of the bonds or certificates of indebtedness and the thereunto attached coupons, if any, the time or times of payment, the time or times of payment of interest, the classes, the series, the maturity, the registration, any callable or redeemable feature, the denomination and the name thereof and any other relative or pertinent matters pertaining thereto shall all be determined by The Commissioners of Rehoboth. The bond or bonds or certificate or certificates of indebtedness shall be offered for sale to the best and most responsible bidder therefor after advertisement in a newspaper of the City and otherwise if the Commissioners shall deem it necessary for at least fifteen days before offering the same for sale; Provided, that money may be borrowed to meet current operating expenses as hereinbefore provided by sub-section 2 of the third paragraph hereof, at public or private sale, without first advertising the offer of any such bonds or certificates of indebtedness for sale.

All bonds or certificates of indebtedness forming a single issue need not be offered for sale at a single sale but any given issue of bonds or certificates of indebtedness authorized as hereinbefore provided may be advertised and sold in whole or in part, from time to time and until the entire authorized issue be disposed of, as The Commissioners of Rehoboth may deem most advisable.

The Commisssioners* shall provide in its budget and in fixing of the rate of tax, or otherwise, for the payment of principal of such bond or bonds or certificate or certificates of indebtedness at the maturity thereof together with the interest due or which may thereafter become due thereupon and, in a proper case, it shall also provide a sinking fund therefor.

*So enrolled.

Unless any such bond or bonds or certificate or certificates of indebtedness shall otherwise provide therein, the faith and credit of the City of Rehoboth Beach shall be deemed to be pledged for the due payment of any such bond or bonds or certificate or certificates of indebtedness and interest thereon according to its terms when and after the same have been duly and properly executed, delivered and due value received therefor.

In no event shall the indebtedness of the City of Rehoboth Beach, for any and all purposes, at any one .time exceed, in the aggregate, fifteen per centum of the assessed value of all real property situated within the confines of the City limits and subject to assessment for the purpose of levying the annual tax hereinbefore provided".

Section 22. That Section 43 of Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of the said Section 43 and by substituting in lieu thereof the following Section, to be known as Section 43, as follows:

"Section 43. The Commissioners, in respect to the exercise of any of its powers or authority to enter into contracts for the rendering of personal service to the City, or the purchase of supplies or the doing of work for any municipal purpose for the City, shall be bound by the following rules, regulations and limitations (provided that nothing herein contained shall be construed to in any way affect or impair the right of The Commissioners under the supervision of the City Manager to carry out or complete any project on its own initiative irregardless of the amount or cost involved):

1 – No contract shall be made by The Commissioners for any purpose, the contract price of which is in excess of $500 without public competitive bidding.

2— Contracts shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder but, The Commissioners may refuse or reject any and all bids for any cause deemed by it to be unadvantageous to the City.

3— All formal contracts shall be signed by the President of The Commissioners of Rehoboth, who shall affix thereto the municipal corporate seal of The Commissioners of Rehoboth, attested by the Secretary of The Commissioners of Rehoboth".

Section 23. That Chapter 161, Volume 41, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby further amended by adding a new Section thereto, which new Section shall follow immediately after Section 44 of said Chapter, shall be known as Section 44A and shall read as follows:

"Section 44A. No action, suit or proceeding shall be brought or maintained against The Commissioners of Rehoboth for damages, either compensatory or punitive, on account of any physical injury or injuries, death or injury to property by reason of the negligence, simple, gross, willfull or wanton of the said The Commissioners of Rehoboth or any of its departments, officers, agents, or employees thereof, unless the person by or on behalf of whom such claim or demand is asserted, within ninety days from the happening of such injury or the suffering of such damage, shall notify The Commissioners of Rehoboth in writing of the time, place, cause, character and extent of the injuries sestained* or damages suffered".

*So enrolled.

Section 24. Excepting as may be herein otherwise provided expressly to the contrary, every and all Sections or parts of Sections of this Act shall become effective immediately upon its approval.

Section 25. All acts or parts of acts inconsistent with or in conflict with the provisions of the Act are hereby repealed.

Section 26. If any part of this Act shall be held invalid or unconstitutional such holding shall not be deemed to invalidate the remaining provisions hereof.

Section 27. This Act shall be taken as and deemed to be a public Act of the State of Delaware.

Approved February 20, 1941.