CHAPTER 178

NEW CASTLE COUNTY LEVY COURT

CREATION OF SANITARY DISTRICTS

AN ACT TO AMEND ARTICLE 1, CHAPTER 43 OF THE REVISED CODE OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, 1935, AS AMENDED BY CHAPTER 113, VOLUME 45, LAWS OF DELAWARE, 1945, RELATING TO THE LEVY COURT OF NEW CASTLE COUNTY AND PROVIDING FOR THE CREATION OF SANITARY DISTRICTS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING FOR THE INSTALLATION AND MAINTENANCE OF SEWERAGE SYSTEMS AND TREATMENT PLANTS IN WHOLE OR IN PART, FOR THE ISSUING OF BONDS TO FINANCE THE COST OF SUCH IMPROVEMENTS AND PROVIDING FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF COSTS AND LEVYING OF TAXES FOR THE PAYMENT OF SUCH BONDS AND THE INTEREST THEREON AND FOR THE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE COSTS OF SUCH SEWERAGE SYSTEMS AND SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANTS AND VALIDATING ACTS AND PROCEEDINGS HERETOFORE DONE AND TAKEN TO ESTABLISH SANITARY DISTRICTS PURSUANT TO SUCH ACT.

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

Section 1. That Article 1, 1170, Section 24 of Chapter 43 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended by Chapter 113, Volume 45, Laws of Delaware, 1945, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of the paragraphs following the first paragraph and substituting in lieu thereof the following additional pargaraphs; said new paragraphs to be designated:

1170 A, Sec. 24A, 1170 B, Sec. 24B, 1170 C, Sec. 24C, 1170 D, Sec. 24D, 1170 E, Sec. 24E, 1170 F, Sec. 24F, 1170 G, Sec. 24G, 1170 H, Sec. 24H, 1170 I, Sec. 241, 1170 J, Sec. 24J, 1170 K, Sec. 24K.

1170 A, Sec. 24A. Whenever contiguous territory containing one or more centers of population, whether incorporated or not, shall be so situated that the construction of interceptor sewers, outfall sewers and sewage treatment plants will be conducive to the preservation of the public health, said territory shall be established by the Levy Court as a sanitary district.

1170 B, Sec. 24B. Where the Levy Court has already constructed sewers to which fifty or more houses have been connected, the Levy Court may establish, upon request of the County Engineer a new district or revise the boundaries of an established district without further petitions or hearings by posting at four public places in the district notices describing the new or revised boundaries, and, in the case of the establishment of a new district, the same cost and assessment data required for districts established by vote of electors.

Within thirty days after the posting of the notices of the establishment of the district in accordance with the provisions of the previous paragraph, the Levy Court shall pass a formal resolution establishing the district, which shall contain a description of the boundaries of the district, which shall authorize and direct the County Engineer and the attorney of the Levy Court to procure the necessary land and/or rights-of-way by purchase, agreement, or condemnation in accordance with existing statutes, and which shall authorize the County Engineer to prepare maps, plans, specifications, and estimates, let contracts for and supervise the construction and maintenance of, or enlarging and remodeling of, any or all structures required to provide for the safe disposal of the sewage in the said sanitary district.

1170 C, Sec. 24C. Fifty or more legal voters resident of a proposed sanitary district may petition the Levy Court to submit the question of organizing a sanitary district to a vote of electors residing in that district. The said petition shall contain a description of the proposed district and shall be accompanied by a map drawn to scale showing the boundaries of the proposed sanitary district together with the limits of any incorporated areas which may be included in said district. The execution of the petition by an elector shall be acknowledged by him or it may be proved by the Bath of a witness who shall

swear that he knows the elector and that the petition was signed by the elector in the presence of the witness.

The Levy Court, upon receipt of a petition submitted as provided in the preceding paragraph, shall, and the Levy Court may, upon its own motion and without having received such a petition, set a date for a public hearing on the question of organizing a sanitary district. The hearing shall be held at such time as may be fixed by the Levy Court and shall be previously advertised by posting a notice, in four of the most public places within the proposed district, at least ten days prior thereto and by publishing a notice in a newspaper published within the County and having a general circulation therein, once in each of two weeks immediately preceding the week in which the hearing is to be held. All interested persons, officials, residents, voters, tax payers, property owners or other persons or corporations in any way affected by the granting of said petition shall be heard on any question dealing with the location of the boundaries of the district. Such notice shall contain a description of the boundaries of the proposed sanitary district and if the public hearing be ordered as a result of the filing of a petition such boundaries shall be those described in such petition.

1170 D, Sec. 24D. After the public hearing shall have been closed the Levy Court shall, by resolution, determine whether or not it is in the public interest to establish the district and, if it deems it to be in the public interest to establish the district, the Levy Court shall, by such resolution, determine what shall be the boundaries of the district. Such boundaries may be those set forth in any such petition or may be boundaries which will include in the district the property and property-owners, and only the property and property-owners, which shall be benefited by the establishment of the district and the construction of sewage disposal facilities therein. After establishing the boundaries of such district, the Levy Court shall also cause to be prepared by the County Engineer or consulting Engineers, an estimate of the cost of proposed immediate construction and also an approximate estimate of the assessment per front foot and the amount to be included in the assessment necessary to take care of interest, amortization and maintenance costs. Said construction cost estimates and assessment estimates shall be

advertised in the same manner as herein provided for advertising the public hearing.

1170 E, Sec. 24E. The Levy Court then shall cause to be held an election within six months following the date of the hearing, at which the question shall be submitted to the voters residing within the boundaries of the sanitary district as fixed by the Levy Court as to whether the district shall be established or not. Notice of the election shall be advertised in the same manner as herein provided for advertising the public hearing. The cost of the election shall be borne by the Levy Court, which shall be reimbursed for such cost by the district, if established by the election.

The proposition shall be submitted substantially in the following form:

FOR THE SANITARY DISTRICT

AGAINST THE SANITARY DISTRICT

The majority of votes cast shall decide the matter.

The election shall be managed and the votes canvassed in such manner as may be prescribed by the Levy Court. If the majority are in favor of establishing the sanitary district, the Levy Court shall within thirty days following the election, issue a determination to the effect which shall contain a description of the sanitary district and the Court shall file a certified copy of said determination with the Clerk of the Peace. Within thirty days after the election, the Levy' Court shall authorize the County Engineer and the Levy Court Attorney to procure the necessary land and/or rights-of-way by purchase, agreement, or by condemnation in accordance with existing statutes, and shall authorize the County Engineer to prepare maps, plans, specifications and estimates for any or all structures required to provide for the installation of sewers, structures incidental thereto and the safe disposal of the sewage in the said sanitary district and to let contracts for, supervise the construction and maintenance of, or the enlarging or remodeling of such structures, and to carry on such other activities as may be required by this

law or considered necessary to perform the duties herein prescribed.

1170 F, Sec. 24F. It is intended that the Levy Court construct and maintain main sewers and sewage treatment works in order to provide a satisfactory outlet for any subdivision which may at any future time connect sub-main or lateral sewers to it. The Levy Court may also undertake the construction and/ or maintenance of sub-mains or laterals as agents for cities or towns when officially requested so to act and when the cost of such work is to be borne by local assessments against the property benefited, or by assessment by the Levy Court in the same manner as for unincorporated areas.

In the case where a sanitary district shall include areas wherein sanitary sewers have been constructed under the authority of the Levy Court, or by incorporated towns, corporations or individuals, the necessary adjustments shall be made with each property owner for those costs already incurred by the said property owner when said sewers were constructed. Such excess costs shall be credited to future assessments levied by said district.

1170 G, Sec. 24G. The Levy Court shall have power and authority to issue bonds of New Castle County to finance the cost of constructing sewage disposal facilities in any such sanitary district. The moneys raised by the issuance of such bonds shall be held in a separate account and shall be expended only for the construction of sewage disposal facilities in the sanitary district for which the bonds are issued. Said bonds shall bear interest at a rate which shall not exceed three per centum per annum and the income therefrom shall not be subject to State taxation. Each issue of said bonds shall be payable within thirty years after the date of the bonds of such issue. The reasonable expenses of issuing of such bonds shall be deemed a part of the cost of constructing such sewer facilities. The full faith and credit of New Castle County shall be pledged to the payment of such bonds and the interest thereon.

The Levy Court is hereby required and directed to advertise said bonds for sale in at least two issues each of two news-

papers, one of which shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the City of Wilmington, Delaware, and one of which shall be published in the City of New York, inviting bids for the same, which advertisements shall state the total amount of the proposed issue, the denominations of said bonds, the place of payment of said bonds and interest, the place and date of opening said bids, and the conditions under which said bonds are to be sold. Said Levy Court may give notice of the sale of said bonds in such other manner as it may decide.

The Levy Court shall have the power to require each bid for said bonds to be accompanied by a certified check in the amount of the bid, and after the bonds are awarded or sold to the successful bidder or bidders therefor, the Levy Court shall return to the unsuccessful bidder or bidders the certified check or checks submitted with the bid or bids.

The said Levy Court shall have the right to reject any and all bids, but in awarding the sale of said bonds, or any of them, they shall be sold to the person, persons, firm or corporation which, in the judgment of the said Levy Court, offers the most advantageous terms. Said bonds shall not be offered for sale until the attorney for said Levy Court has submitted his opinion in writing that the bonds will, when duly sold, executed, delivered and paid for, be validly issued in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

The said Levy Court shall direct and effect the preparation and printing of the bonds authorized by this Act, fix the rate of interest, and shall prescribe the form of said bonds and the coupons for the payment of interest thereto attached. Said bonds shall state the conditions under which they are issued. The coupons and face amount thereof shall be payable at the branch of the Farmers Bank of Delaware in the County where said bonds are issued. Said bonds shall be signed by the presiding officer of the Levy Court, countersigned by the Clerk of the Peace, and sealed with the official seal of said Levy Court.

1170 H, Sec. 24H. The Levy Court each year, at a time to be set by said Court, shall after a public hearing establish an annual assessment roll for said sanitary district and to be

known as "Sanitary District Sewer Assessment," with the said assessments to be collected by the Levy Court as are other county taxes. The County Engineer shall collect the front foot assessment. Notice of such public hearing shall recite that the assessment roll has been completed and filed and shall state that at the time and place fixed for such public hearing the Levy Court will meet and hear and consider any objections which may be made to such assessment roll. Notice of such public hearing shall be published in a newspaper published within New Castle County, and having a general circulation therein, once in each of the two weeks immediately preceding the week in which such public hearing is held. After holding such public hearing; the Levy Court may change or amend the assessment roll as it may deem necessary or just and may confirm and adopt the assessment roll as originally proposed or as amended or changed.

The total amount assessed for each year shall be sufficient to provide funds required to reimburse the County for sums to be expended for retiring the bonds which have been issued and for the payment of the interest due on the same and for maintaining or improving the sewerage system and paying the necessary general expenses of the sanitary district. The property against which such assessments are levied shall be liable for the payment of said assessments in the same manner as they are liable for other county taxes. Provided, however, that no assessment shall be made against any property which is not now subject to taxation and assessment for County and Municipal purposes.

1170 I, Sec. 241. The Commissioners of the Levy Court of New Castle County are hereby authorized to promulgate from time to time and enforce such rules and regulations, as may be necessary, governing the use of the whole or any parts of such sewerage systems or sewage treatment plants constructed under their control either within or without the district.

1170 J, Sec. 24J. The Levy Court shall be empowered to accept grants and/or loans of money, labor, materials, equipment or technical assistance from agencies of the Federal or State Government or from inter-state agencies established by law, to accomplish the purposes of this Act and may pay the

interest and amortization on such loans in the same manner as is authorized elsewhere in this Act for bonds.

1170 K, Sec. 24K. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this chapter shall be judged by any Court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section, or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered. This Act shall take effect immediately.

Section 2. All proceedings heretofore taken and all acts heretofore done purporting to establishing any sanitary district for the purposes set forth in said Article 1, Chapter 43 Revised Code of the State of Delaware, 1935, as amended by Chapter 113, Volume 45, Laws of Delaware, by either the Levy Court of New Castle County or by other officers or agencies of said County, are hereby legalized, validated and confirmed, notwithstanding any error or omission or irregularity in said acts or proceedings, or in any petition submitted to the Levy Court under such act, or any lack of authority therefor; provided (1) the Levy Court shall have fixed the boundaries of such sanitary district after holding a public hearing at which all interested persons, officials, residents, voters, taxpayers, property-owners or other persons or corporations in any way affected were afforded an opportunity to be heard on any question dealing with the location of the boundaries of the district, and (2) such public hearing shall have been previously advertised by posting notice thereof in one or more public places within such district at least ten days prior to such public hearing and by publishing a copy of such notice in a newspaper published within New Castle County and having a general circulation therein, once in each of the two weeks immediately preceding the week in which such public hearing was held, and (3) a majority of the voters voting at an election held in such district by order of the Levy Court shall have voted for the establishment of the district.

Section 3. All acts or parts of acts inconsistent with the provisions of this act are hereby repealed.