CHAPTER 294

NEW CASTLE COUNTY LEVY COURT - CONSTRUCTION OF SEWERAGE SYSTEMS

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 43 OF THE REVISED CODE OF DELAWARE OF 1935, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE LEVY COURT OF NEW CASTLE COUNTY BY PROVIDING FOR THE CONSTRUCTION AND ACQUISITION OF SEWERS, SEWAGE DISPOSAL PLANTS AND PUMPING STATIONS, AND BY PROVIDING THE MANNER OF PAYMENT OF THE COST THEREOF.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:

Section 1. That Section 24, Chapter 43 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, being Code Section 1170, as amended, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out the first paragraph of said Section and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

1170. Sec. 24. Sewers, Sewage Disposal Plants and Pumping Stations Within New Castle County; Construction of, Acquisition of, Connections With, and Payment for:--The Levy Court of New Castle County is hereby authorized and empowered to construct or acquire by condemnation, agreement, purchase, or by gift such sewage disposal plants, pumping stations, sewers or sewer systems within said County outside of the corporate limits of any city or town as may seem to said Levy Court necessary to meet the requirements thereof. The Levy Court is likewise authorized and empowered to make agreements with incorporated cities and towns to permit interconnection of their respective sewer systems, to permit the County to build or acquire sewers, sewer systems, sewage disposal plants, or pumping stations in the said incorporated cities or towns, or to permit the County to maintain and operate said sewers, sewer systems, sewage disposal plants and pumping stations. The cost of said sewage disposal plants, pumping stations, sewers, or sewer systems both for construction, maintenance, repair, enlargement, and operation shall be paid primarily, as other County expenses, out of money collected for taxes for County purposes or out of fees and assessments collected for use of the said sewage disposal plants and sewers. The Levy Court shall fix by resolution the amount of money, which shall be paid by the owner of any property for the privilege of connecting any building thereon to the County sewers or to any portion of the. County sewer system, this amount to be known as the "sewer use fee", and the Levy Court may from time to time, change such amounts, which change shall apply only to new connections for which permits are issued after the effective date of such changed rates or amounts. The amounts to be paid shall be based either on the entire area of the floors, including the floor, of the cellar or basement, of the building or buildings to be drained, or upon the front footage of the property on which the said buildings are erected, or upon any combination of these two methods. In addition to this charge for the privilege of connection the Levy Court may also charge an additional fee, to be known as "physical connection fee", which fee shall not exceed twenty-five dollars for each physical connection from the said buildings to any County sewer. The Levy Court may adopt and amend from time to time such rules and regulations as it sees fit to provide for the method of determining, the floor area or front footage, to cover the necessary applications and permits, to regulate the use of the sewers, to establish the time and manner of paying charges and fees. Such rules, agreements, regulations, instructions, fees and assessments as the Levy Court has heretofore put into effect, whether heretofore authorized by this Section or not, are hereby authorized, effective upon the date of the resolution adopting them.

Section 2. That Section 26 of Chapter 43 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware, 1935, as amended, being Code Section 1172., be and the same is hereby repealed, and there is inserted in lieu thereof a new 1172. Section 26., as follows:

1172. Section 26. Payment for Use of Sewer; Penalty for Default in Payment for Use of Sewer Without Permit; Payment Upon Acquisition of Sewer System:--When the Levy Court shall have determined and fixed the amount which shall be paid by the owner of any property abutting upon the road in or adjacent to which the sewer is constructed, in accordance with the provisions of 1170. Section 24., the said amount so determined and fixed shall be a lien upon the said property from the date of the issuance of the sewer connection permit, and such lien shall have priority over any lien, encumbrance or conveyance made or suffered by the owner or owners of said property after the issuance of the said permit. The said sum, so determined and fixed, as aforesaid, shall be due and payable upon the date of the issuance of the connection permit, and if paid within thirty days thereafter, a discount of five per cent. shall be allowed on said sum, excluding therefrom the physical connection fee; and upon all payments made after thirty days, and on or before ninety days, the full sum shall be payable; and for all payments not made in full within ninety days after the date of the permit, as aforesaid, interest at the rate of six per cent. per annum shall be charged from the date of the permit, as aforesaid, until the sum is paid in full.

If, however, any such assessment or any part of such assessment, shall remain unpaid at the end of five years after the date of the permit, as aforesaid, it shall be the duty of the President of the Levy Court of New Castle County to cause to be brought proper proceedings for the enforcement of the said lien and levy the said assessment with interest thereon accrued, and all costs thereon, upon the grounds and buildings of such owner or owners abutting upon any such road in or adjacent to which said sewer is constructed, which such grounds and buildings, or any part thereof, shall be sold by the Sheriff of New Castle County, after like notice given by the said Sheriff, as is provided by law in cases of other sales of real estate by the Sheriff, and a deed from the Sheriff shall convey to the purchaser of such grounds and buildings as full and complete a title to said premises, in fee simple or otherwise, as if the same were executed by said owner thereof.

And it shall be the duty of the said Sheriff, out of the purchase money of the said premises so sold as aforesaid, to pay all costs arising from said process and sale to the parties entitled thereto respectively, and to pay the amount of such assessment with accrued interest thereon to the said Levy Court. The residue of said purchase money shall be immediately deposited in the Farmers Bank, at Wilmington, Delaware, to the credit of the owner or owners of the property so sold.

The permits granted by the Levy Court or the County Engineer acting under the authority of the Levy Court, as provided in Sections 25 and 26 of Chapter 43, Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, and statutes relative thereto, shall constitute the assessment list for the assessments hereinbefore provided for and the liens hereinbefore provided for shall attach and be effective as of the date of issuance of such permit.

It shall be the duty of the County Engineer, under the supervision and direction of the said Levy Court, to prepare a docket to be known as "The New Castle County Sewer Lien Docket" in which shall be recorded said liens.. Said docket shall be prepared at the expense of the said Levy Court in substantially the same form as the judgment docket for New Castle County, and contain in the back thereof an index according to the name of the owner against which such lien has been assessed. No sewer lien shall be valid unless duly recorded as herein provided. All sewer liens duly recorded in said docket shall continue in full force and effect until said liens have been satisfied by payment, and when such liens are satisfied by payment it shall be the duty of the County Engineer, acting under the supervision and direction of the said Levy Court as aforesaid, to satisfy said record by entering theron the date of final payment and the words "satisfied in full", for which the said County Engineer, for the use of the said Levy Court, shall receive a fee of Fifty Cents (50c) for each satisfaction so entered.

Whenever the Levy Court, pursuant to the authority granted in 1170. Section 24., shall require an already constructed sewer system, it shall establish as provided in 1170. Section 24., the sum to be paid for all future connections. Acquisition of any already constructed sewer system shall in no way affect the validity of any existing equitable easement of any owner in any such system. Other than the "sewer use fee" and "physical connection fee" there shall be no additional sums assessed, except that additional assessments may be made when new facilities have been added to an existing system or when existing service is otherwise improved at a cost to the County. The Levy Court, in consideration of the transfer of ownership of the said sewer or sewer system and its accessories, may grant to the former owner in lieu of payment in cash such credits against future sewer assessments for connection to the said system or to any other County system, as it may deem fit. Upon payment by the said owner or his assigns of the balance due upon any such assessment after allowance for said credit the sewer lien shall be recorded in "The New Castle County Sewer Lien Docket" and upon payment of the fee of Fifty Cents (50c) the lien shall be recorded as paid in full.

Section 3. That Section 29, Chapter 43, Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended, being Code Section 1175, be, and the same is hereby further amended by adding at the end of 1175. Sec. 29., the following paragraph:

The County Engineer or his representatives may go upon any land for the purpose of making surveys for sewers, sewer systems, sewage disposal plants or pumping plants or for rights-of-way or other property rights required for the said sewers, sewer systems, sewage disposal plants and pumping plants. The County Engineer or his representatives may inspect, at reasonable hours, any premises, dwellings or other buildings in the vicinity of a County sewer to determine if it is connected to the County sewer, or to determine if the sewer connection has been made or is being maintained in accordance with the regulations of the Levy Court. Any refusal to permit said inspections and surveys at reasonable hours shall be a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of not less than Ten Dollars ($10.00) for every such refusal.

Approved April 17, 1947.