AN ACT TO REINCORPORATE THE TOWN OF ODESSA IN NEW CASTLE COUNTY.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met (two-thirds of all the. members elected to each Branch of the Legislature concurring therein):
Section 1. The inhabitants of the said town of Odessa are hereby constituted and continued a corporation or body politic under the name and style of "The Mayor and Council of Odessa" with power to govern themselves by such ordinances, resolutions, rules and regulations for municipal purposes as they may deem proper, not to conflict with this Act, nor with the constitution and laws of the State or of the United States. The said Corporation shall be vested with all the powers, rights, privileges, franchises and immunities heretofore belonging to "The Commissioners of Odessa", as a municipal corporation, and shall have all the privileges and franchises incident to a corporation or body politic. All laws, ordinances, resolutions, rules and regulations for municipal purposes now in force within said town, not inconsistent with, nor modified or repealed by the provision of this Act, shall continue in force until repealed, rescinded or changed by proper authority.
Section 2. The Town of Odessa shall be bounded as follows:
All that certain tract or parcel of land laid out as the Town of Odessa in St. Georges Hundred, New Castle County, State of Delaware, according to a plat of said Town and the description thereof recorded in the Recorder's Office, in and for New Castle County aforesaid, in Private Acts Record B, Page 505, as follows; to-wit:
BEGINNING at a stone set in marsh land of Daniel Corbit at the southwestern corner of said Town, and running from there through marsh and up or cleared land of Daniel Corbit, cleared land of Mrs. Margaret B. Polk, crossing a ravine and cleared lands of John C. Corbit, cleared lands of Daniel Corbit, Charles E. A. Mailly and Samuel M. Enos, passing over a stone set on the southeastern side of the public road leading from Odessa to Middletown, crossing said public road north forty-eight degrees west two hundred eighty perches to a stone set in cleared land of Mrs. Margaret B. Polk, the northwestern corner of said Town; thence, through cleared land of the said Mrs. Margaret B. Polk passing over a stone set on the southwestern side of the public road leading from Odessa to Drawyer's Creek and Armstrong's Corner through cleared lands of William Polk and the heirs or devisees of James Rodgers, deceased, north forty-two degrees east one hundred sixty perches to a stone in cleared lands of the heirs or devisees of James Rodgers, deceased, the northeastern corner of said Town; thence through cleared land of the heirs * or devisees of the said James Rodgers, deceased, passing over a stone on the northwestern side of the public road leading from Odessa to McDonough, crossing said public road and through cleared land and swamp or marsh of the heirs or devisees of the said James Rodgers, deceased, south forty-eight degrees east two hundred seventy-three perches to a stake in a ditch; thence with said ditch north seventy degrees east seven perches to the Appoquinimink Creek, the southeastern corner of said Town; thence up said Creek and binding therewith the several courses and distances thereof to a stone set at high water mark on the north side of said Creek, and from thence by a line drawn south forty-two degrees west crossing the Appoquinimink Creek through marsh land of Daniel Corbit, passing over a stone set on the northeastern side of the County Causeway, crossing said Causeway through marsh land of James V. Moore, recrossing the Appoquinimink Creek through marsh land of Daniel Corbit to the stone at the southwestern corner of said Town and place of Beginning. Containing within these metes and bounds two hundred eighty acres of land, be the same more or less.
PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that the jurisdiction of said Town shall extend over all wharves, docks, piers and other constructions in the Appoquinimink Creek adjoining the limits of said town.
Section 3. The said corporation shall have power to annex any additional contiguous territory upon the petition of the freeholders paying three-fourths of the taxes thereof, and extend and apply to such additional territory all laws, ordinances, resolutions, rules and regulations in force within said town, so far as they may be locally applicable. Before any additional territory shall be annexed to said town, the Council shall pass a resolution describing and defining accurately the territory proposed to be annexed, and shall give notice that the petition for such annexation has been presented by causing copies of said resolutions to be posted in at least five public places in said town; and within sixty days thereafter, ,if sufficient cause to the contrary be not shown to the Council, it may, by ordinance, two-thirds of all the members concurring therein, annex to said town the territory described and defined in said resolution, and such territory shall thereupon become a part of said town.
Section 4. The said corporation shall also have power:--
To make and use a corporate seal and to change, alter and renew the same at pleasure;
To sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, answer and be answered, defend and be defended, in all courts of law and equity, or in any other place whatsoever.
To have, take purchase, possess, enjoy and retain, by lawful means, to it and its successors, within said town or beyond the limits thereof, lands, tenements, herditaments, goods, chattels and effects of what kind, nature and quality soever, necessary for municipal purposes and the same to sell, grant, demise, alien or dispose of at pleasure;
To receive devises, bequests, gifts and donations of all kinds of property within said town and beyond the limits thereof for its own use and benefit, or in trust for charitable, benevolent, educational or other public purposes, and do all that is necessary to carry out the purposes of such devises, bequests, gifts and donations;
To acquire or erect and maintain public buildings for municipal purposes and to regulate and control the management of the same;
To lay out, establish, maintain or vacate public parks and square; to lay out, open, grade, extend, widen, improve or vacate streets and alleys, crossings and other highways; to construct, maintain or vacate sewers, drains, gutters and other works for the disposition of sewerage and the drainage of said town; the jurisdiction and control over the squares, streets and alleys, sidewalks. crossings and other highways, to extend from building line to building line;
To provide for supplying said town and its inhabitants with water, and for the protection of the water to be used from contamination; to provide for the acquisition or erection and maintenance of such works as may be necessary or convenient for supplying water and to fix, alter, regulate and control the price and use of water so supplied;
To provide for lighting the streets and all public places in said town, and for supplying the inhabitants thereof with light; to provide for the acquisition or erection and maintenance of such works as may be necessary or convenient for supplying such light, and to fix, alter, regulate and control the price and use of light so supplied.
To fix, alter, establish and determine the lines beyond which no wharf, dock, pier or other construction shall be placed, constructed or maintained in the creek fronting on said town;
To grant to persons or corporations, in such manner and upon such terms and conditions as it may prescribe, franchises and privileges to locate, construct, extend and operate any enterprise in, upon or through any public park, square, street or other highway; provided that such grant shall be subject to the right to repeal and revoke the same for the abuse, misuse or non-use of the franchises and privileges granted; and provide further that no ordinance granting any such franchise or privilege shall be passed unless it shall receive the affirmative votes of two-thirds of all the members of the Council;
To regulate and control the storage, within said town, of gunpowder, or any other dangerously combustible matter and any explosive oils or compounds; to grant licenses or permits for any lawful purpose and to define the purposes for which licenses or permits shall be required;
To make and enforce sanitary regulations; to define, abate and remove nuisances injurious to the public health or dangerous to the inhabitants of said town; and to prevent the introduction of infectious or contagious diseases; for which purposes its jurisdiction shall extend to any distance within one mile of the limits of said town;
To regulate and control the erection of buildings within said town and to require licenses or permits to be taken out before the erection or repair of any buildings;
To prohibit the going at large of any horse, cow or other animal, except under regulations prescribed by it; to lay and collect fines on the owner or harborer of any horse, cow or other animal found going at large in violation of such regulations; and to provide for the registration of dogs in said town;
To make and enforce within said town such fire, police and other regulations as are deemed expedient to protect persons and property, maintain the public peace, prevent crimes and promote the public morals;
To make general assessments of property in said town and assess and collect taxes and other rates and charges thereon for municipal uses and purposes; to make and collect special assessments on said property for the cost of any local or general improvement; and to enforce the payment of such taxes and other rates and charges and special assessments;
To borrow money for municipal purposes on the credit of the corporation and to issue bonds therefor in the manner and under the restrictions hereinafter provided;
To provide for the payment of legitimate expenses of the corporation, and for the annual payment, through the medium of a sinking fund or otherwise, of a portion of its bonded indebtedness, now existing or hereafter to be created;
To prescribe the extent of steps, porches, cellar doors and other outlets to buildings; to regulate the construction and repair of chimneys; and to regulate party walls;
To provide for the submission of questions relating to the corporation to the qualified voters of said town as hereinafter provided;
To make the violation of its ordinances a misdemeanor in all proper cases, and to prescribe the punishment therefor by fine or imprisonment; provided that such fine shall not exceed One Hundred Dollars and such imprisonment a term of thirty days.
To exercise all municipal powers necessary to the proper administration of the municipal government; and for the wellbeing of the inhabitants of said town, whether such powers be expressly enumerated herein or not.
Section 5. There shall be one executive officer called the Mayor, five members of the Council, four of whom shall be freeholders and one of whom shall not be a freeholder, one Assessor, one Treasurer, and such other officers as the Council, by ordinance, may create and appoint. Whenever the Council shall receive a petition signed by legally qualified voters of said town, the number of whom shall be at least twenty per centum of the number of votes cast at the last General municipal election requesting an increase in the membership of Council from five to seven, the Council shall provide for the submission of the question as to the increase in membership to the voters at the next general municipal election and shall give notice in the same manner as hereinafter required to be given before any general municipal election, provided said petition was received by the Council, at least, thirty days before such general municipal election. If two-thirds of the voters voting at such general municipal election shall favor such increase in the number of the members of Council, the legally qualified voters shall, at the next subsequent general municipal election in addition to the election of the members of Council as provided for in this Act, vote for two additional members of Council, one to serve for one year and the other for two years, or until their successors are duly chosen and qualified.
Section 6. No person shall be eligible to office who is not, at his election, a citizen of the State, and a resident of the town for at least one year. The mayor must have resided in the town two years next before his election and be a freeholder in the town for a period of, at least, one year prior to his election and a non-delinquent taxpayer. A member of Council must have resided in the town two years next before his election, and the freeholder members of Council must also be, at the time of their election, freeholders in the town for a period of, at least, one year prior to their election and non-delinquent taxpayers.
Every officer of said town, before he enters upon the duties of his office, shall take an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Delaware, and that he will perform the duties of the office to which he has been appointed or elected, with fidelity.
The Treasurer shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, give bond to the Corporation in such amount as shall be determined by the Council, and with surety, to be approved by the Mayor, conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties of his offices, and with a warrant of attorney for the confession of judgment thereto annexed. The Treasurer shall prepare such reports as the Council may require of him. The Council, may, by ordinance, require such other officers of the town to give bond in such manner and with such conditions as it may deem proper.
Section 7. The salaries, fees or compensation of the officers and members of Council shall be established by ordinance; but no salary, fee or emolument of any officer shall be increased or reduced, for and during the period of service for which he may have been elected or appointed. No ordinance establishing the salaries, fees or emoluments of any elective office shall take effect previous to the general municipal election then next ensuing, and unless notice thereof shall be posted, at least two weeks before said election, in at least five public places in said town.
Section 8. In case of death, removal from the town, resignation or refusal to act, of any elective officer of said town, or in case any person elected or appointed to any office in said town, shall be ineligible to the same, or shall fail to give bond for the faithful performance of the duties of such office (when such bond is required by law or ordinance) before the time fixed for entering upon the duties of his office, such office shall thereupon be, vacant, and the Council shall make temporary appointments to supply such vacancy until the same can be filled at the next general municipal election. An officer elected to fill a vacancy shall hold for the residue of the term of the officer whose place he supplies.
Section 9. That Mayor and Council of said town shall continue to hold office during the respective terms for which they were elected or until their successors have been duly chosen and qualified. On the first Monday in April, A. D. 1947, and on the first Monday in April every two years thereafter, the Mayor, three members of Council, and the Treasurer shall be elected to hold office for the term of two years or until their successors have been duly chosen and qualified. On the first Monday in April, A. D. 1947 there shall also be elected two additional members of Council for the term of one year or until their successors have been duly chosen and qualified. On the first Monday in April, A. D. 1948 and on the first Monday in April every two years thereafter two members of Council shall be elected to hold office for the term of two years or until their successors have been duly chosen and qualified.
Section 10. The general municipal election shall be held in the Town Hall in said Town on the first Monday in April of each and every year from one o'clock until seven o'clock in the afternoon. 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, ten days previous to said election, and a vote cast for any person whose candidacy has not been filed, shall not be counted. The Mayor shall, at least thirty days before any general election, give notice of such election, together with the officers to be elected thereat, by posting notices in five or more public places in said town. At least five days previous to said election, the Mayor shall post notices in five or more public places in said Town setting forth the names of the candidates for each office to be filled at said election. There shall be an inspector and two judges, which judges shall also act as clerks at such election, elected by the Council. At such election every citizen of said Town, who shall have attained the age of twenty-one years and shall have resided in said Town for one year next preceding the day of election, and is a taxable thereof, shall have a right to vote; but no one shall be permitted to vote who has been declared a delinquent. The inspector and judges of the election shall decide on the legality of the votes offered. Immediately after the election is closed, the votes shall be read and counted in public, and the persons having the highest number of votes shall be declared duly elected and shall continue in office during the term for which they were chosen, or until their successors are duly chosen and qualified. Immediately after such election the persons under whose superintendence the election is held, shall enter in a book to be provided for that purpose, a minute of such election, containing the names of the persons chosen Mayor, members of Council or Treasurer, and shall subscribe the same and give the persons so elected, certificates of their election. The book containing such minutes shall be kept and preserved by the Council. All elections shall be by ballot and a plurality of votes cast shall make a choice. A failure to hold an election on an election day, or the omission to execute any authority conferred by this Act, shall not dissolve the corporation, but the authority of each officer shall continue until the next general municipal election.
In the event an election is not contested, it shall and may be lawful to open polls at one oclock, P. M., and close them at two o'clock, P. M.
Section 11. It shall be the duty of the Mayor to preside at all meetings of Council, to see that the laws and ordinances of the said town are faithfully executed. He shall have the custody of the seal of the Corporation and the right of affixing the same. He shall approve, or veto, all ordinances, acts or resolutions of the Council. If approved, shall write "approved"; if. not approved shall write "not approved", and shall sign the same; at the same time, in writing, he shall state his objections; whereupon the Council may reconsider its vote, and if the Council is unanimous, or after the number of members of Council is increased to seven, two-thirds of all the members elected to Council favor such ordinance, act or resolution, such ordinance, act or resolution shall become a part of the ordinances, acts and resolutions of said town.
He shall countersign all drafts on the Treasurer, with approval or non-approval; if not approved, the Treasurer must not pay such drafts. The Mayor shall also have power to administer oath and affirmation.
Section 12. The Mayor is hereby constituted a conservator of the peace, within said town, and is authorized and empowered to exercise, within said town, all the authority which a Justice of the Peace may exercise under the laws of this State with power to commit persons guilty of a breach of the peace to the New Castle County Workhouse, or to such place as may, for that purpose, be provided by said town. He may take recognizance for keeping the peace, for being of good behavior, or for appearance, or otherwise. The Mayor shall have jurisdiction of all offenses which shall be committed within said town against any of the Laws of the State, laws, ordinances, regulations or constitution of said town which are or may hereafter be prescribed. He shall have jurisdiction and authority over the neglects, omissions or defaults of the town police, Treasurer, assessor or any other person, whose duty it may be to collect, receive, pay over or account for any money belonging to said town, or to execute or obey any law or ordinance thereof. Provided, that he shall not impose any fine exceeding One Hundred Dollars, and/or imprisonment of thirty days, nor have jurisdiction in any civil matter other than to carry out the provisions of this Act or the rules and regulations adopted for the government of said town by proper authority. The fees of said mayor shall be the same as are allowed Justices of the Peace for similar services under the laws of this State. It shall be the duty of the mayor to keep a book of record or docket in which all judicial proceedings before him shall be entered, and he shall upon the expiration of his term of office deliver over to his successor such book of record or docket within ten days after the election and qualification of said successor. Prosecution before the mayor shall be by information without indictment by grand jury or trial by petit jury. Process issued by the mayor may be directed to any constable or to the sheriff of any county who shall execute the same in like manner, and be subject to the same penalties, as in other cases. In case of sickness or unavoidable absence, any member of Council shall have, during sickness or absence, the same power and authority as could, under the circumstances be exercised by the Mayor.
Section 13. The regular meetings of the Council shall be held on the first Monday of each month. At the first regular meeting in May the Council shall choose a Secretary who may be removed at any time for any cause deemed sufficient by a majority of said Council. It shall be the duty of the said Secretary to record all the proceedings of Council and keep a correct journal of the same in a book or books, to be provided for that purpose and also the papers relative and belonging to said town, all of which are to be carefully preserved and delivered to his successor in office. His compensation shall be fixed by the Council. No ordinance, except in cases of emergency, shall be passed by the Council except at a regular meeting and unless such ordinance has been introduced at some previous regular meeting and copies of the proposed ordinance posted in three public places in said town at least ten days before final action of the Council thereon.
Section 14. The Council shall have the power upon the application of five or more citizens of said town, being seized of estates of freehold situate in said town, by petition to it for that purpose, to locate, lay out, or open any street or alley which said five or more freeholders of said town may desire to be located, laid out and opened, allowing to the persons respectively, through or over whose ground such street or alley may run, such compensations or damages therefor as it shall deem reasonable and just under all the circumstances, which compensation, if any be allowed, shall be paid by the Treasurer of said town, out of the moneys of said town on warrants drawn on him by the proper authority.
Section 15. Whenever the Council shall have proceeded to locate and lay out any street or alley and shall have fixed the compensation therefor, it shall be its duty immediately after the survey and location of said street or alley to notify in writing the owner or owners of the real estate, through or over which such street or alley may run, of its determination to open the same. and to furnish a general description of the location thereof, and also the amount of such damages or compensation allowed to each. And if such owner or owners do not reside within the said town, to notify the holder of said real estate. If any owner or owners be dissatisfied with the amount of damages or compensation, he or they may, within ten days after receiving notice from the Council as aforesaid, appeal from the said decision or assessment by serving a written notice to that effect on the said Council, or any member of said Council. In order to prosecute said appeal, it shall be the duty of said Council to make application to the Resident Judge of New Castle County, who shall appoint five impartial freeholders of said County. The said freeholders shall view the grounds to be so taken or occupied, and taking into consideration the advantages, as well as the disadvantages which may arise to the property, they or a majority of them, shall assess the damage which might be done to the said property, and return the same, under oath or affirmation, to the Council, which shall cause such return to be entered on its journal, and upon the payment or tender of the said assessed damages to the owner or owners of the property, the said property may be taken or occupied. The award of said freeholders shall be made within fifteen days after their appointment by the said Resident Judge. The said freeholders shall, severally, receive and be allowed for each day's actual service the sum of two dollars. Any freeholder so summoned, neglecting or refusing to serve, shall be subject to a penalty of Twenty-five Dollars, collectible as a common debt. In case of sickness, or unavoidable detention of any freeholder or freeholders, the said Resident Judge shall appoint, forthwith impartial freeholders to fill the vacancy so occasioned.
Section 16. The Council shall appoint at the regular meeting in May of each year three substantial citizens, at least one of whom shall be a practicing physician, who shall constitute a Board of Health for said town and who shall serve for one year. The said Board of Health shall take cognizance of the interests of health among the people of said town and shall report to the Council in writing whatever in its judgment is injurious to health. The said Board shall have all powers now or hereafter vested by the laws of this State in Boards of Health generally, and also such additional powers as may be conferred by ordinances adopted by the Council. The members of said Board shall organize by the election of a President and a Secretary within ten days after notice of their appointment, and said Board shall keep a record of its proceedings.
Section 17. If any person or persons, firm or corporation shall hereafter erect or set up a plant for the purpose of manufacturing therein, within the limits of said town, the Council shall have the power to remit all taxes that may be levied or imposed on said plant for town purposes, for a period not exceeding ten years, but such remission of taxes as aforesaid shall be at the discretion of the Council.
Section 18. No circus, menagerie, theatrical or minstrel company or any such exhibition of any kind shall be exhibited or bills posted therefor or parade thereof on any of the streets, alleys or lanes of said town; nor shall any person, firm, company or corporation open, set up, or attempt to open or set up any pool or billiard room or any other room for the purpose of amusement for which a charge for profit is made, direct or indirect; or any temporary place of business for the purpose of selling or offering for sale, by auction or otherwise, any goods, wares, merchandise or articles of any kind; or peddle, take orders for or deliver any goods, wares, merchandise or articles of any kind on any of the streets, lanes and alleys, within the limits of said town, without having first obtained permission of the Council which shall hereby have power to grant licenses for that purpose, the charge for the same to be at its discretion. Provided, that the foregoing provisions shall not apply to theatricals or other entertainment gotten up by the citizens of said town, or to any farmer, trucker or fisherman selling such farm produce or fish as is of his own growing or catch, or any salesman taking orders from or selling to any licensed merchant.
Any person, firm, company or corporation violating any of the provisions of this act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof before the Mayor or any Justice of the Peace shall be fined in a sum not exceeding Twenty-five Dollars for each and every offense. Each day's violation of the provisions of this act shall constitute a separate offense.
Section 19. The Council shall elect a town constable who shall exercise the same powers and be entitled to the same fees as a county constable in similar cases, and may pursue beyond the limits of said town, with or without warrant, any violators of the laws or of the ordinances of said town, and arrest any such persons, and bring them back into said town for trial, or take them before any Justice of the Peace that they may be dealt with according to law. In any case of necessity he may command the aid of any citizen or citizens.
Section 20. The several posts and mark-stones, now set and fixed in the earth, in the middle, on the sides, or near the sides of the streets of said town, as well as such other posts and mark-stones, as shall, from time to time, be set and fixed in the earth by the town surveyor or regulators, shall, in all cases and in all courts of law, within this State, be deemed, taken and allowed as land-marks. And if any person shall willfully pluck up, or remove, any of said posts or mark-stones, such person shall for every such offense, forfeit and pay a fine of One Hundred Dollars, and the Council may reward the informer of such offense, by allowing him a portion of said penalty, not exceeding a moiety thereof.
Section 21. The Council shall, at a special meeting to be held on the second Monday in April of each year, elect an assessor who shall be a legally qualified voter of said town, and who shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, be duly qualified by oath or affirmation to perform the duties of his office to the best of his knowledge, and without favor or partiality. The said assessor shall on or before the first Monday in May make a true, just and impartial valuation and assessment of all the real estate within said town, locating each parcel of property by the street and square, and also an assessment of all the residents in said town above the age of twenty-one years, as well as those owning as those not owning real property within said town. The said assessor shall on the first Monday in May deliver to the Council a typewritten copy containing the names of all persons assessed and the amount of their assessments, distinguishing the real and personal assessment of each, and shall upon the said first Monday in May hang a typewritten duplicate of such assessment in the post office, or such other place as the Council shall, by ordinance, designate, there to remain for the space of two weeks for public information. And the said Council shall on the third Monday in May hold a court of appeals which shall continue open from six o'clock, P. M. until nine o'clock, P. M., when it shall hear and determine appeals from said assessment. Notice of the hanging up of the assessment list and also of the time and place of hearing appeals shall be given by notices posted by the assessor in at least five public places in said town. The decision of the Council upon any appeal shall be final and conclusive. No member of Council shall sit upon his or her own appeal, but the same shall be heard and determined by the others. After the valuation and assessment shall be examined and adjusted by said Council, all taxes shall be levied, assessed and raised on the real estate, and persons thus valued and assessed, in* just and reasonable proportions and rates.
Section 22. The said Council after having ascertained the sum necessary to be raised and having apportioned the same on the assessment and valuation aforesaid, shall, on the first day of July of each year, furnish the Treasurer of said town, who shall be the collector of taxes for said town, with a duplicate containing the names of the taxables as well as the owners of real estate, as those not owning real estate, distinguishing between them, and also the tax levied on each person and also the tax on the ,whole valuation and assessment and the rate per hundred dollars. The said duplicate shall have a warrant annexed thereto and shall be signed by the Mayor and the majority of the members of the Council. The said Treasurer shall, upon receiving such duplicate, post notices in at least five public places in said town, that the taxes for the ensuing year are due and payable, which notice shall be all that is required to be given before proceeding to collect the taxes of any taxable under the provisions of Section 23 of this Act. The said Treasurer shall sit at some convenient place on the first Monday in August of each year, from nine o'clock, A. M. until eight o'clock P. M., with intermission from twelve o'clock M. until one o'clock P. M., and from five o'clock, P. M., until six o'clock, P. M., for the purpose of receiving taxes; he shall also sit on the first Monday in December at the hours aforesaid for the same purpose. On all taxes paid before the first day of October, there shall be an abatement of five per centum; on all taxes paid after the first day of October and before the first day of January there shall be no abatement; and on all taxes paid after the first day of January there shall be added interest at the rate of one-half per centum per month until payment is made. The Treasurer shall apply all monies received by him on account of taxes in payment of the oldest taxes due.
Section 23. (a) The said Treasurer and his sureties shall, upon the delivery to him of the duplicate and warrant, be responsible for the whole amount of the taxes he shall be required to collect or that shall be committed to him for collection subject only to allowances made by the Council for delinquencies, commissions or otherwise. His death shall not effect his liability but his powers shall devolve upon his executor or administrator.
(b) If any person is taxed for several parcels of real estate, or for capitation and real estate in the same tax, the whole of such person's taxes may be collected either out of the real estate, or any part thereof; provided, that no land alienated shall be sold, if the persons taxed have other sufficient property.
(c) The treasurer may recover the amount of tax in an action of debt against the person taxed, before any Justice of the Peace in New Castle County, or before the Court of Common pleas or Superior Court of New Castle County; and it shall be sufficient to set forth that the action is to recover a specified sum of money, being a tax or taxes assessed against the defendant, and the time of assessing the same. The right of appeal shall be the same as in other civil actions.
If judgment be rendered in favor of the Treasurer, he shall have an allowance for his reasonable trouble in attending to the suit, including counsel fees, not in excess of five per centum of the amount of taxes plus accrued interest, to be taxed by the Court in the costs, and execution shall issue against the real estate of the defendant; provided, no execution against the real shall issue except out of the Superior Court of New Castle County. Where such judgment is recovered before a Justice of the Peace or Court of Common Pleas, and it is the desire of the Treasurer to proceed against the real estate of the defendant, the said Treasurer shall take a transcript of the judgment from the Justice of the Peace or Court of Common Pleas and cause the same to be entered on the dockets of the Superior Court. When such transcripts are entered, the subsequent proceedings shall be the same as upon other judgments. The lien of the judgment as aforesaid shall be deemed to relate back and take effect from the date of the Treasurer's duplicate as aforesaid.
(d) That in addition to all existing methods and authority for the collection of taxes or special assessments due to "The Mayor and Council of Odessa", the following methods and authority are hereby established:
"The Mayor and Council of Odessa" may file, or cause to be filed, a Praecipe in the Office of the Prothonotary of the Superior Court, in and for New Castle County, which shall contain the name of the person against whom the taxes or assessments sought to be collected were assessed, and a copy of the bills showing the amount of taxes or assessments due and the property against which the assessment was laid; and the statement of the lot number or numbers of the particular section in which said property is located shall be sufficient identification and description of the said property. The Prothonotary shall make a record of the same on the judgment records of said Superior Court against the property mentioned or described in said Praecipe. Thereafter upon a Praecipe for Monition filed in the office of the said Prothonotary by "The Mayor and Council of Odessa", a Monition shall be issued by the Prothonotary aforesaid to the Sheriff of New Castle County, which Monition shall briefly state the amount of the judgment for the taxes or assessments due and the year or years thereof, together with a brief description of the property upon which said taxes or assessments are a lien; a description of such property by street and number or by number or numbers of the particular section in which said property is located shall be sufficient description. Said Monition shall be substantially in the following form:
To all persons having, or claiming to have, any title, interest, or lien upon the within described premises, take warning that unless the judgment for the taxes and assessments stated herein is paid within twenty days, after the date hereof, or within such period of twenty days, after the date hereof, or within such period of twenty days evidence of the payment of taxes or assessments herein claimed shall be filed in the Office of the Prothonotary which evidence shall be in the form of a receipted tax bill or duplicate thereof, bearing date prior to the filing of the lien in the office of the Prothonotary of New Castle County, "The Mayor and Council of Odessa" may proceed to sell the property herein mentioned or described for the purpose of collecting the judgment for the taxes or assessments herein stated.
Name of the person in whose name property is assessed.
Description of property
Year or Years
Amount of Judgment
Said Monition, or a copy thereof, shall be posted by the Sheriff upon some common place or part of the property against which said judgment for the taxes or assessments is a lien, and a copy of said Monition shall be left, in the presence of an adult person, at the usual place of abode within New Castle County of the person in whose name the property is assessed. If the person in whose name the property is assessed is a Corporation, a copy of said Monition shall be left, in the presence of an adult person, at its principal place of business in New Castle County. If the said person does not reside in New Castle County, or if said corporation has no place of business in New Castle County, a copy of said Montion shall be mailed in a sealed postpaid envelope directed to the last known address or place of business of the said person or corporation. The Sheriff shall make due and proper return of his proceedings under said Monition to said Prothonotary within ten days after leaving of said copy of Monition as aforesaid or the mailing of said copy of Monition as aforesaid.
Alias or pluries Monition may issue upon like Praecipe. The posting of said Monition and the leaving or mailing of said copy as herein required shall constitute notice to the owner or owners and all persons having any interest in said property.
At any time after the expiration of twenty days next following the return of the Sheriff upon such Monition, unless before the expiration of said twenty days the said judgment and costs on said judgment shall be paid or evidence of the payment of such taxes evidenced by a receipted tax bill or a duplicate thereof bearing date therefor prior to the filing of said lien for record in the Office of the Prothonotary as aforesaid, upon application in writing by "The Mayor and Council of Odessa", through its Attorney, or any other person authorized in its behalf to collect taxes or assessments due to "The Mayor and Council of Odessa", a writ of Venditioni Exponas shall issue out of the Office of the said Prothontary directed to the Sheriff commanding the Sheriff to sell the property mentioned or described in said writ and make due return of his proceedings thereunder in the same manner as is now applicable with respect to similar writ of Venditioni Exponas issued out of the Superior Court.
Said writ shall be substantially in the following form:
New Castle County
State of Delaware
TO THE SHERIFF OF NEW CASTLE COUNTY, GREETINGS:
WHEREAS, by a Monition issued out of the Superior Court, dated at Wilmington, the _________ day of ___________ A. D. 19____, IT WAS COMMANDED, that you should post the said Montion or copy thereof upon the real estate therein mentioned and described, and make a return to the said Superior Court within ten days after service of a copy of said Superior Court within ten days after service of a copy of said Monition as hereafter stated. That on the day of _______ A. D. 19___, you returned that a copy of the said Monition was posted on the real estate- therein mentioned and described on the _____ day of ____ A. D. 19___, and that a copy of said Monition was left, in the presence of an adult person, at the usual place of abode within New Castle County of the person in whose name the property is assessed. on the day of ____ A. D. 19___, (or that a copy of said Monition was left, in the presence of an adult person, at the principal place of business in New Castle County of the corporation in whose name the property is assessed, on the day of ____ A. D. 19___, or that since said person or corporation does not reside in New Castle County or has no place of business in New Castle County, a copy of said Monition was mailed in a sealed postpaid envelope directed to the last known address or place of business of the said person or corporation, on the day of ____ A. D. 19___.
WE, therefore, now command you to expose to public sale the real estate mentioned and described in said Monition as follows:
and that you cause to be made as well a certain debt of ________ Dollars ($________) lawful money of the United States, which to the said "The Mayor and Council of Odessa", a Municipal Corporation of the State of Delaware, is due and owing, as also the sum of _______ Dollars ($____), lawful money as aforesaid, for its costs, which it has sustained by the detaining of that debt, whereof the said was convicted as it appears of record and against which said property it is a lien:
AND have you that money before the Judges of our Superior Court at Wilmington, on Monday the _________ day of ____ next, to render to the said "The Mayor and Council of Odessa", a Municipal Corporation as aforesaid, for its debt and costs as aforesaid, for its debt and costs as aforesaid, and this writ:
WITNESSETH, the Honorable ____________ at Wilmington, the _________ day of ________ A. D. 19______
(e) Any real estate or interest therein sold under the provisions hereof shall vest in the purchaser all the right, title and interest of the person in whose name the said property was assessed, and/or all right, title and interest of the person or persons who are the owner or owners-thereof, and likewise freed and discharged from any dower or curtesy or statutory right, in the nature of a dower or curtesy, whether absolute or inchoate, in or to said real estate, and from all equity of redemption and liens and encumbrances held by persons and corporations against said property.
() The owner of any such real estate sold under the provisions of this act or his legal representatives may redeem the same at any time within one year from the day of the sale thereof, by paying to the purchaser or his legal representatives, successors or assigns, the amount of the purchase price and fifteen per cent in addition thereto, together with all costs, incurred in the cause; or if the purchaser or his legal representatives, successors or assigns shall refuse to receive the same, or do not reside or cannot be found within the town of Odessa, by paying said amount into said Court for the use of said purchasers, his legal representatives or assigns.
In the event that the owner of said property or his legal representatives shall fail to redeem said property as herein provided, the 'purchaser of said property or his legal representatives, successors or assigns may present a Petition to the Superior Court setting forth the appropriate facts in conformity with this Act and pray that the said Superior Court make an order directing the Sheriff, then in office, to execute, acknowledge and deliver a deed, conveying the title to said property to the Petitioner; and thereupon the said Superior Court shall have power, after a hearing upon said Petition to issue an order directing the Sheriff to execute, acknowledge and deliver a deed as prayed for in said Petition; and a description of said property by street and number or by lot number or numbers of the particular section in which said property is located, together with a description of said property made from a map of the assessed property of the Town of Odessa in the office of the Assessor of the Town of Odessa shall be sufficient description in any such deed.
If the owner of any real estate sold under an order of sale or his legal representatives shall redeem said real estate, he may prefer to said Superior Court a petition setting forth that fact and thereupon the said Superior Court, after hearing and determining the facts set forth in said petition, shall have power to cause to be entered upon the record of the Judgment, under which said real estate was sold, a memorandum that the real estate described in the proceedings upon which said judgment was entered has been redeemed and thereafter the said owner shall hold such redeemed real estate subject to the same liens and in the same order of priority as they existed at the time of the sale thereof, excepting so far as the said liens have been discharged or reduced by the application of the proceeds by the said Sheriff from the said sale.
(g) Upon the return of the proceedings under said writ of Venditioni Exponas, the Superior Court may inquire into the regularity of the proceedings thereunder, and either approve the sale or set it aside.
(h) No Monition proceedings shall be brought under this Act unless the tax or assessment sought to be collected hereunder shall, at the time of the filing of said Praecipe in the Office of the Prothonotary, be and constitute a lien upon the property against which the tax or assessment was assessed or laid. All taxes for town purposes which may hereafter be lawfully assessed on real estate in the Town of Odessa shall constitute a prior lien thereon for a period of ten years from the First day of July succeeding the assessment of said taxes, but if the said real estate remains the property of the person to whom it is assessed, then the lien shall continue until the tax is collected, and may, with all incidental costs and expenses, be levied by sale thereof as hereinbefore provided. The said tax lien and costs and reasonable counsel fees for the collection thereof shall be fully paid and satisfied before any recognizance, mortgage, judgment, debt, obligation or responsibility which the real estate may become charged with or liable to. "The Mayor and Council of Odessa" shall have the authority to authorize any person or persons to make a bid or bids at the sale of any real estate under the provisions of this Act and in the event that such person or persons is the highest bidder or bidders therefor, the title thereto shall be taken in the name of "The Mayor and Council of Odessa", a Municipal Corporation of the State of Delaware. "The Mayor and Council of Odessa", by resolution adopted, are authorized and empowered to sell and convey any real estate purchased under the provisions of this Act.
(i) Wherever the Superior Court is mentioned in this Statute, the same shall be held to embrace the Judges or any Judge thereof, and any act required or authorized to be done under this Act may be done by the said Superior Court or any Judge thereof in vacation of said Superior Court, as well as in term time.
(j) The fees and costs to be taxed in all Monition proceedings under this Act, where not otherwise provided for, shall be as follows:
The following fees shall be charged by the Prothonotary:--
Issuing Monition and Copy
Issuing Alias or Pluries Monition and Copy
Writ of Venditioni Exponas
Filing any Petition in Superior Court under this Act
Costs of Paying Money into Superior Court
Cost of Paying Money out of Superior Court for Each Check drawn
The following fees shall be charged by the Sheriff:--
Posting Monition or Copy thereof $.75
Posting each Alias or Pluries Monition or copy thereof .75
All other charges not covered by this Act shall be the same as are now provided by law.
(k) In addition to the foregoing procedure for the collection of delinquent taxes, "The Mayor and Council of Odessa" shall have the authority to employ or cause to be employed such procedure for the collection of delinquent taxes due "The Mayor and Council of Odessa", as set forth in Chapter 135, 1155 Sec. 11. of Volume 40, Laws of Delaware, so far as the same refers to the attachment of personal property.
(I) The Treasurer shall proceed to collect all taxes due and unpaid on the first day of February of each year under the Provisions of this Section, provided he may collect such taxes under the Provisions of this Section at any time after receiving his duplicate. He shall on the third Monday in March settle in full with "The Mayor and Council of Odessa" for all taxes required to be collected by him during such year, except such delinquencies and commissions as the said Council shall allow. If the said Treasurer shall fail to settle in full on the said third Monday in March the said "The Mayor and Council of Odessa" shall proceed against him and his sureties for the balance due from him for such taxes.
(m) The said Treasurer shall discharge himself of all moneys in his hands by drafts drawn on him by order of the Council which drafts shall be signed by two members of the Council and countersigned by the Mayor. The said Treasurer shall receive a reasonable compensation for his services to be determined by the Council.
Section 24. "The Mayor and Council of Odessa" shall also have power and authority to levy and collect reasonable taxes upon all telephone, telegraph, electric light, electric power and trolley poles and other erections and equipment of like character erected within the Town of Odessa, and to this end may at any time direct the same to be included in or added to the City Assessment. In case of any of the owners or lessees of any such poles or erections within said Town shall refuse or neglect to pay the taxes that may be levied upon such poles or erections, the Council shall have authority to cause the same to be removed and may cause to be instituted by the collector, suit to recover the amount of taxes so levied and the expenses incident thereto and the expenses incident to the removal of such poles or erections.
Section 25. "The Mayor and Council of Odessa", under the restrictions hereinafter provided, may borrow for municipal purposes on the credit of said town such sum or sums of money, at such time or times, as they may deem proper, not to exceed twenty-five per centum of the assessed value of the real estate of said town and issue bonds for the payment of the same; provided, however, that not to exceed at any time two per centum of the assessed value of said real estate may be borrowed by "The Mayor and Council of Odessa" without the necessity of submitting the same to the voters of said town for their approval as otherwise provided, and the Council may cause the bonds or notes of "The Mayor and Council of Odessa" to be issued for the payment of the same; provided further that the total indebtedness of every kind, shall not exceed twenty-five per centum of the assessed value of said real estate; and provided further, that the said twenty-five per centum may be exceeded only for the purpose of borrowing any sum or sums of money to refund or pay off any bond issue or issues of said town.
Section 26. "The Mayor and Council of Odessa", for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of Section 25 of this Act, may issue bonds of such denomination as they may deem best, bearing interest at a rate not exceeding five per centum per annum, payable semi-annually. The principal of each issue of said bonds shall be made payable in thirty years from the date of the issue thereof, the said "The Mayor and Council of Odessa", reserving the power and authority of redeeming said bonds or any part of them at the expiration of ten years from the date of the issue of the same. The said bonds shall be signed by the Mayor and countersigned by the Treasurer, and shall be sealed with the corporate seal, and be exempt from all State, County and Municipal taxation.
The said Council is authorized, empowered and directed to levy, assess and collect annually in the same manner as provided by law for assessing and collecting other taxes for municipal purposes, a special tax for the purpose of establishing a fund adequate to the redemption at or before maturity of all the bonds of any issue; provided, that the amount to be raised for the purpose of establishing said sinking fund shall not exceed the sum of five per centum of the amount of such issue.
Section 27. Before any sum or sums of money shall be borrowed, the question of borrowing such sum or sums shall be submitted to the voters of said town, and be approved by a majority of the votes cast at a special election, and at every such election each person within said town, being a resident thereof, shall have the right to cast one vote for every dollar and fractional part of a dollar of tax assessed to him or her respectively; and that every male or female shall have the right to vote; provided that he or she shall have paid all taxes heretofore levied and assessed against him or her and shall produce a tax receipt for the same when demanded by any person entitled to vote at said election. Notice of such election and the purpose thereof shall be posted in at least ten public places in said Town, at least, twenty days before the time of such election. No election shall be necessary, however, where the purpose of the new bond issue is to pay off an existing bonded indebtedness in like or less amount and at a like or less rate of interest.
Section 28. The Council is hereby empowered, upon the written petition of five or more freeholders of said Town to notify in writing, the owner or owners of any house and/or lot in said Town, before or in front of which the said Council may deem proper that a pavement should be laid, to lay a pavement of brick, concrete or any other material, which may be approved by said Council. The length and width of such pavement may be prescribed by said Council, but no person shall be obliged to pave any sidewalk or footway to a greater width than four feet in front of any vacant lot or lots not near or adjoining any dwelling house. In like manner upon like petition, the Council is empowered where any pavement be deemed insufficient to notify, in writing, the owner or owners of the house and/or lot before or in front of which such pavement is or has been laid, to repair the same. In like manner upon like Petition, the Council is empowered where there is no curbing or where curbing is deemed insufficient before or in front of a house' and/or lot in front of which there is no curbing or where said curbing has been deemed insufficient, to notify the owner or owners to curb or re-curb with any material which may be approved by said Council. In like manner and upon like Petition, the Council is empowered to notify in writing, the owner or owners of any house or lot in said Town to cover the sidewalk before or in front of such house and/or lot with gravel, sand or other suitable material in case the said Council deems such sidewalk not proper to be paved. If such owner or owners shall neglect or refuse, for the space of twenty days after being notified as aforesaid, to lay such pavement or repair the same, to curb or re-curb, or to cover the sidewalk, as above-stated, it shall and may be lawful for "The Mayor and Council of Odessa" to cause the said specified work to be done and to charge the cost of the same against the owner or owners of the premises in question, said charge to constitute a lien against said premises, from the date of the beginning of the work until paid. It shall be the duty of "The Mayor and Council of Odessa", by Warrant signed by the Mayor and Secretary of said Council, with the seal affixed thereof, and directed to the Assessor, in which shall be stated the name of the owner or owners, if known; otherwise, it shall be sufficient to list the owner or owners as unknown, the date of the commencement of the work, the nature of the work done and the amount, directing the Assessor to prepare a special assessment list with said information included, which shall be attached to and be a part of his assessment of real estate and personal assessment within said Town for the ensuing year. The right of appeal from said assessment together with the time of payment and date from which interest shall run at the rate of one-half per centum per month on said assessment and the method of collection, shall be the same in all respects as though it were a claim for real estate taxes, as set out in Section 23 of this Act, excepting that no discount shall be allowed, as is allowed in the case of the payment of taxes.
The Council shall also have power, and it is hereby authorized to order and direct the owner or owners of any house or lot, situate on any street where there is or may hereafter be a water main or sewer main, to tap the water main or the sewer main in said street, and to connect said sewer main or said water main, by pipe, with the property so situated on said street aforesaid; and if such owner or owners neglect to refuse so to do for the space of twenty days, the said "The Mayor and Council of Odessa" shall cause the same to be done and recover the cost of the same in the same manner as prescribed for the recovery of cost where new pavements, etc., have been laid.
If there be more than one owner of the premises affected by the paving, repaving, curbing, re-curbing or tapping of water or sewer main, notice to one shall be deemed sufficient, and if there be no owner of said premises resident in the town of Odessa, notice to the occupier thereof shall be deemed sufficient, and if there be no occupier, then the posting of said notice upon the premises shall be deemed sufficient.
Section 29. Whenever at least fifty legally qualified voters of said town shall petition the Council requesting a vote upon any ordinance or any matter which may be the subject matter of an ordinance for an election thereon, the Council shall appoint a day for such election and shall choose an inspector and judges therefor, and give the same notice of such election as is required to be given at a general municipal election. If two-thirds of the votes cast at such election shall be against such ordinance, such ordinance shall be repealed as though repealed by the action of Council; or if two-thirds of the votes cast at such election shall favor any such matter which may be the subject matter of an ordinance, such matter shall be an ordinance as though passed by the Council in the manner prescribed in this Act. The subject matter of any such petition may also be the question of any municipal improvement.
The number of voters necessary to petition in order to secure an initiative or referendum may also be increased in the manner prescribed in this Section. A legally qualified voter shall mean a voter qualified to vote at the last general municipal election, and any one may vote at any special election who has qualified to vote at the general municipal election next preceding.
The Council may also submit any question which it may deem proper to the referendum vote of the legally qualified voters of said town.
Whenever the Council shall receive a petition for an election as prescribed in Sections 29 and 30 of this Act, it shall provide for an election to be held not more than sixty days from the time such petition is received.
Section 30. The legally qualified voters of said town may decide by an initiative or referendum vote as prescribed in Section 27 of this Act the manner by which any sewer or sewers shall be constructed or paid for, and if any part of the construction thereof shall be required to be paid by the owner or owners of any property fronting on such sewer or sewers, "The Mayor and Council of Odessa" may collect the part to be paid by any such owner or owners in the same manner as is prescribed in this Act for the collection of the cost of laying pavements and taxes, etc., caused to be laid by the said "The Mayor and Council of Odessa".
Section 31. The Act entitled "An Act to Reincorporate the Town of Odessa in New Castle County", passed at Dover and approved April 3, 1905 (being Chapter 173 of Volume 23, Laws of Delaware), and all Acts amendatory thereof and supplementary thereto, and all other Acts or parts of Acts inconsistent herewith be and the same are hereby amended by striking out and repealing the same, and enacting and inserting in lieu thereof the provisions as found in this Act now passed and adopted.
Section 32. All Acts and doing of "The Mayor and Council of Odessa", or of any officer of said Town, lawfully done or performed under the Provisions of any Law of this State, or of any ordinance of said Town, are hereby ratified and confirmed.
All debts, fines or penalties and forfeitures due to said Town, and all debts due from said Town to any person or persons or to any corporation are declared to be unaffected and unimpaired by this repeal, and all Laws of the State for the collection and enforcement thereof shall continue in full force until the same shall be lawfully paid. All the powers now conferred by law upon the Collector for the collection and enforcement of all taxes in said Town heretofore assessed and uncollected shall continue in full force and effect until all said taxes shall be fully collected and paid. The official bond of said collector shall be unaffected and unimpaired by this repeal, and he and his sureties thereon shall continue liable for any breaches of any of the conditions of said bond, and all proceedings heretofore commenced for the collection of any penalty, fine, forfeiture or debt due to said Town under any Law or ordinance shall not be affected or impaired by this repeal, but the same may be prosecuted to judgment and execution until the same be fully paid, liquidated and discharged.
Section 33. If any part of this Act shall be held unconstitutional, such holding shall not in anywise invalidate the remaining provisions of the Act.
Section 34. This Act shall be deemed and taken to be a Public Act.
Approved April 10, 1947.