CHAPTER 262

AUTHORIZING ACCEPTANCE OF TITLE TO LANDS IN SUSSEX COUNTY FOR USE OF FERRY SERVICE BETWEEN NEW JERSEY AND DELAWARE

AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE ACCEPTANCE OF TITLE TO LANDS IN SUSSEX COUNTY IN THE NAME OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION, OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE BY THE HIGHWAY COMMISSIONER OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY OF FACILITIES NECESSARY TO A FERRY SERVICE FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF PERSONS AND PROPERTY BETWEEN A POINT IN CAPE MAY COUNTY, NEW JERSEY, AND A POINT IN LEWES, DELAWARE; CONSENTING TO THE USE OF SAID LANDS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION, OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF SAID FACILITIES; PROVIDING MEANS TO ASSIST IN THE ACQUISITION OF THE USE OF PROPERTY NECESSARY OR CONVENIENT FOR SAID PURPOSE; CONSENTING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT, OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF SUCH FERRY SERVICE; EXEMPTING SUCH FACILITIES AND THEIR REVENUE FROM TAXATION; AND CONTAINING OTHER PROVISIONS INCIDENTAL TO THE FOREGOING.

WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey is considering the enactment of legislation authorizing and empowering the State Highway Commissioner of the State of New Jersey to establish, operate and maintain a ferry service for the transportation of persons and property between a point in Cape May County, New Jersey, and a point in Sussex County, Delaware, at or near the Town of Lewes, together with terminal and other facilities appropriate thereto; and

WHEREAS, the establishment, operation and maintenance of such ferry service and facilities will be for the benefit of the people of this State as well as of the State of New Jersey; NOW, THEREFORE,

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

Section 1. The State Highway Department of the State of Delaware is hereby authorized and directed, to accept title on behalf of and in the name of the State of Delaware to those lands necessary or convenient for use as the southerly terminus and approach for a ferry service to be established, operated and maintained by the State Highway Commissioner of the State of New Jersey between a point in Cape May County, New Jersey, and a point in Lewes, Delaware, said lands to be located in the town of Lewes, Sussex County.

Section 2. The State Highway Department of the State of Delaware shall take title to said lands as provided in Section 1 of this Act, and shall hold the same dedicated to the purpose of the construction, operation and maintenance of terminal facilities for said ferry service so long as such service shall exist; and no tolls shall be charged by the State of Delaware for the use of such facilities; provided, however, that the State of Delaware shall not be liable in any respect whatsoever for any expense, cost, liability or indebtedness incurred for the construction, operation or maintenance of such service or facilities.

Section 3. In the event that the State Highway Commissioner of the State of New Jersey is unable, by agreement with the owner or owners thereof, to cause title to all lands in Sussex County necessary or convenient for the construction, operation or maintenance of such service and facilities and approaches thereto to be conveyed to the State of Delaware as contemplated in Section 1 hereof, the State Highway Department of Delaware shall be, and hereby is authorized and directed upon the written request of the State Highway Commissioner of New Jersey and upon being satisfactorily assured, by the deposit of cash or otherwise, by said State Highway Commissioner that the State of New Jersey will provide the money necessary to pay the condemnation money or damages awarded and expenses of the proceeding, to condemn for the use of and to become a part of the aforesaid ferry facilities the real estate in Sussex County, Delaware, deemed by the State Highway Commissioner of New Jersey and the State Highway Department of Delaware to be necessary or convenient for the construction, operation and maintenance of said ferry service and facilities and approaches thereto. Such condemnation shall be effected in the manner in which the State Highway Department is now authorized by law to condemn land for highway purposes.

Section 4. Upon the acceptance of title to lands as provided in Section 1 of this Act and upon the acquisition of the right of use of lands as provided in Section 3 of this Act, the State Highway Commissioner of the State of New Jersey is granted a license to use said lands for the purpose of constructing, operating and maintaining the aforesaid ferry service and facilities and the approaches thereto, and any additions thereto or improvements or repairs thereof.

Section 5. The consent of the State of Delaware is hereby granted to the State of New Jersey, acting by and through the State Highway Commissioner of New Jersey, to construct, operate and maintain, and to charge and collect rates, rents and other charges for the use of the aforesaid ferry service and facilities and approaches thereto over and under the Delaware River, the southerly terminus thereof to be in Sussex County, Delaware, at or near the Town of Lewes, in accordance with the provisions of certain legislation enacted by the Legislature of the State of New Jersey.

Section 6. The aforesaid ferry facilities and approaches thereto and all property acquired or used for the purpose of the aforesaid ferry service in the State of Delaware and the revenues thereof shall at all times be free from taxation by the State of Delaware or any political subdivision thereof.

Section 7. This Act shall be liberally construed' so as to facilitate the construction, operation and maintenance of the aforesaid ferry service and facilities.

Section 8. In case, for any reason, any Section or provision of this Act shall be questioned in any court or shall be held to be unconstitutional or invalid, the same shall not be held to affect any other Section or provision of this Act.

Section 9. This Act shall take effect immediately.

Approved June 5, 1951.