Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:
Section 1. That Article 3, Chapter 166 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by adding after 5746. Sec. 27, a new Section to be styled 5746A. Sec. 27A, as follows:
5746A. Sec. 27A. The State Highway Department, together with the Governor of this State, is hereby authorized and empowered to execute and deliver, in proper form, a lease of any part of the public lands of the State of Delaware, which public lands are under the supervision and control of the State Highway Department by virtue of the provisions of Article 3 of this Chapter. The demise and lease of said lands may be upon such conditions and for such rentals as the said State Highway Department may deem advisable for the public good. Whoever shall lease any of the said lands under any restrictions or conditions of the said State Highway Department and who shall fail to comply with the restrictions or conditions mentioned in said lease from said Department shall forfeit the leasehold interest granted by said lease.
The power herein granted unto the State Highway Department to lease the said public lands shall include the right of said Department, together with the Governor of this State, to execute and deliver, in proper form, a lease for the exclusive right of mining, exploring by geophysical and other methods, and operating for and producing therefrom, oil, gas, casing head gas, casing head gasoline, laying pipelines, telephone and telegraph lines and building tanks, power stations, gasoline plants, ponds and roadways, and the exclusive right of injecting water, brine, and other fluids into the subsurface strata of the aforesaid public lands so demised.
Nothing in this Act contained shall be construed as authorizing or empowering the Department to lease any land which is used as an oyster plantation, oyster bed, or oyster bottom, nor shall the Department demise any land, the use of which would affect any adjacent oyster plantation, bed or bottom in the planting, propagation, catching or taking of oysters.
All funds received as rent in connection with the leasing of public lands under the provisions of this Section shall be payable to the State Treasurer and by him kept in a special account known as the "State Highway Department Public Lands Account", and said funds shall not become a part of the General Fund of the State except as hereinafter provided. The Department is hereby authorized to expend money payable out of said special account for the protection, improvement or restoration of lands demised or of lands adjacent to any public lands demised. Any balance remaining from the rentals of any public land in said special account and unencumbered at the end of any fiscal year shall revert to the General Fund; provided, however, said funds shall not be encumbered for any purpose whatsoever except for the purposes hereinabove provided.